Today’s Highlight in History:
On Oct. 31, 1961, the body of Josef Stalin was removed from Lenin’s Tomb as part of the Soviet Union’s “de-Stalinization” drive.
On this date:
In 1795, English poet John Keats was born in London.
In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state as President Abraham Lincoln signed a proclamation.
In 1926, magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix.
In 1941, work was completed on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, begun in 1927.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.
In 1975, the Queen single “Bohemian Rhapsody” was released in the United Kingdom by EMI Records.
In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh (sihk) security guards.
In 1992, Pope John Paul II formally proclaimed that the Roman Catholic Church had erred in condemning the astronomer Galileo for holding that the Earth was not the center of the universe.
In 1998, a genetic study was released suggesting President Thomas Jefferson did in fact father at least one child by his slave Sally Hemings.
In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, bound from New York to Cairo, crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.
In 2005, President George W. Bush nominated Judge Samuel Alito (ah-LEE’-toh) to the Supreme Court. Civil rights icon Rosa Parks was honored during a memorial service in Washington, D.C.
In 2019, President Donald Trump announced that he would be making Palm Beach, Florida, his permanent residence after leaving the White House rather than returning to Trump Tower in New York.
Ten years ago: Palestinians won their greatest international endorsement yet with full membership in UNESCO, but the move prompted the U.S. to cut off payments to the Paris-based cultural agency. The United Nations estimated that the world’s population had surpassed 7 billion.
Five years ago: Pope Francis marked the upcoming 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation by traveling to secular Sweden, where he encouraged Catholics and Lutherans to forgive the “errors” of the past and forge greater unity, including sharing in the Eucharist.
One year ago: Actor Sean Connery, who rose to international stardom as the suave secret agent James Bond and then carved out an Oscar-winning career in other rugged roles, died at his home in the Bahamas at the age of 90. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new month-long lockdown for England amid a resurgent coronavirus outbreak. Tropical Storm Eta formed in the Caribbean, tying the record (28) for most named storms in a single Atlantic hurricane season. (The season would conclude with 30 named storms.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Lee Grant is 96. Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather is 90. Folk singer Tom Paxton is 84. Actor Ron Rifkin is 83. Actor Sally Kirkland is 80. Actor Brian Doyle-Murray is 76. Actor Stephen Rea is 75. Olympic gold medal long-distance runner Frank Shorter is 74. Actor Deidre Hall is 74. TV show host Jane Pauley is 71. Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is 64. Movie director Peter Jackson is 60. Rock musician Larry Mullen is 60. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 58. Rock musician Mikkey Dee is 58. Rock singer-musician Johnny Marr is 58. Actor Rob Schneider is 58. Country singer Darryl Worley is 57. Actor-comedian Mike O’Malley is 56. Rap musician Adrock is 55. Rap performer Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) is 54. Rock musician Rogers Stevens (Blind Melon) is 52. Rock singer Linn Berggren (Ace of Base) is 51. Reality TV host Troy Hartman is 50. Gospel singer Smokie Norful is 48. Actor Piper Perabo (PEER’-uh-boh) is 45. Actor Brian Hallisay is 43. Actor Samaire (SAH’-mee-rah) Armstrong is 41. Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas is 41.
Rock musician Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) is 40. Actor Justin Chatwin is 39. Actor Scott Clifton is 37. Actor Vanessa Marano is 29. Actor Holly Taylor is 24. Actor Danielle Rose Russell is 22. Actor-singer Willow Smith is 21.