Today In History - Friday, October 31st


Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton was shot and killed while finish up paperwork with his trainee after a traffic stop. The trainee was hit but survived and was able to return fire. The suspect was caught a few days later.

A bankruptcy court approves MCI's reorganization plans, essentially clearing the telecommunications company to exit bankruptcy.
Mahathir bin Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, marking an end to Mahathir's 22 years in power.

A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas formally indicts former Enron Corp. chief financial officer Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice related to the collapse of his ex-employer.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400 operating as Flight 006 collides with construction equipment upon takeoff in Taipei, Taiwan killing 79 passengers and four crew members.
A chartered Antonov An-26 explodes after takeoff in Northern Angola killing 50.
Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been continuously crewed since.

EgyptAir Flight 990 traveling from New York City to Cairo crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on-board.
Roman Catholic Church and Lutheran Church leaders sign the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, ending a centuries-old doctrinal dispute over the nature of faith and salvation.
Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.

Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.

19-year-old British au pair Louise Woodward, convicted by a Cambridge, Massachusetts, jury of second-degree murder the day before, is sentenced to life in prison.

A Fokker F100 operating as TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 402 crashes into several houses in São Paulo, Brazil killing 98 including 2 on the ground.

An American Eagle ATR-72 crashes in Roselawn, Indiana, after circling in icy weather, killing 68 passengers and crew.

The 5th congress of the Communist Party of Sweden is inaugurated. During the course of the congress the party name is changed to the Solidarity Party and the party ceases to be a communist party.

Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards. Riots soon break out in New Delhi and nearly 2,000 Sikhs are killed.

Mountjoy Prison helicopter escape. Three Provisional Irish Republican Army members escape from Mountjoy Prison, Dublin, Republic of Ireland aboard a hijacked helicopter that lands in the exercise yard.

Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US President Lyndon B. Johnson announces to the nation that he has ordered a complete cessation of "all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam" effective November 1.

An explosion at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) in Indianapolis kills 74 people during an ice skating show. The explosion also injures 400. A faulty propane tank connection in a concession stand was blamed.

In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin's body is removed from Lenin's Tomb.

Lee Harvey Oswald attempts to renounce his American citizenship at the US Embassy in Moscow, USSR.

Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.

Algerian War of Independence: The Algerian National Liberation Front begins a revolt against French rule.

World War II: An F4U Corsair accomplishes the first successful radar-guided interception.

After 14 years of work, drilling is completed on Mount Rushmore.
World War II: The destroyer USS ''Reuben James'' is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 United States Navy sailors. It is the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in WWII.
A fire in a clothing factory in Huddersfield, England kills 49

World War II: The Battle of Britain ends - the United Kingdom prevents a German invasion.

Great Depression: In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.

The Boy Scouts of the Philippines is formed.

Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that developed after his appendix ruptured.

World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks).

The first of 160 consecutive days of 100 degrees at Marble Bar, Australia.

Banat Republic is founded

World War I: Battle of Beersheba - "last successful cavalry charge in history".

Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road across United States.

A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 deaths.

Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.

The Maori Wars resumes as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron begin their Invasion of the Waikato.

American Civil War: Citing failing health, Union General Winfield Scott resigns as Commander of the United States Army.

Emperor Agustín de Iturbide attempts to dissolve the Mexican Empire.

Leiden University Library opens its doors after its founding in 1575.

Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

Romulus Augustulus is proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.