475 – Romulus Augustulus is proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.
1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.
1861 – American Civil War: Citing failing health, Union General Winfield Scott resigns as Commander of the United States Army. He was a United States Army general and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852.
1863 – The Maori Wars resume as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron begin their Invasion of the Waikato.
1864 – Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.
1876 – A monster cyclone ravages India, resulting in over 200,000 deaths.
1913 – Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, the first automobile highway across United States. Conceived in 1912 by Indiana entrepreneur Carl G. Fisher, and formally dedicated October 31, 1913, the Lincoln Highway ran coast-to-coast from Times Square in New York City west to Lincoln Park in San Francisco, originally through 13 states: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. In 1915, the “Colorado Loop” was removed, and in 1928, a realignment relocated the Lincoln Highway through the northern tip of West Virginia. Thus, there are a total of 14 states, 128 counties, and more than 700 cities, towns and villages through which the highway passed at some time in its history. Today, Interstate 80 serves as the primary highway from the New York City area to San Francisco.
1922 – Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy
1923 – The first of 160 consecutive days of 100° Fahrenheit at Marble Bar, Western Australia.
1926 – Magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis that develops after his appendix ruptures.
1938 – 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.
1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.
1941 – World War II: The destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat near Iceland, killing more than 100 U.S. Navy sailors. It is the first U.S. Navy vessel sunk by enemy action in WWII.
1956 – Suez Crisis: The United Kingdom and France begin bombing Egypt to force the reopening of the Suez Canal.
1961 – In the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin’s body is removed from Vladimir Lenin’s Tomb.
1968 – Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, 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.
1998 – Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.
1999 – EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket, killing all 217 people on board.
2002 – A federal grand jury in Houston, Texas indicts former Enron 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.
2011 – The global population of humans reaches seven billion. This day is now recognized by the United Nations as Seven Billion Day.
1795 – John Keats, English poet (d. 1821)
1815 – Karl Weierstrass, German mathematician and academic (d. 1897)
1827 – Richard Morris Hunt, American architect His designs included the New York Tribune Building, the facade and Great Hall of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty and many Fifth Avenue mansions lost to the wrecking ball.
1860 – Juliette Gordon Low, American scout leader, founded the Girl Scouts of America (d. 1927)
1920 – Helmut Newton, German-Australian photographer (d. 2004)
1928 – Andrew Sarris, American critic and educator (d. 2012)
1931 – Dan Rather, American journalist
1941 – Derek Bell, English race car driver
1964 – Frank Bruni, American journalist and critic
1744 – Leonardo Leo, Italian composer (b. 1694)
1984 – Indira Gandhi, Indian politician, 3rd Prime Minister of India
1991 – Joseph Papp, American director and producer (b. 1921)
2008 – Studs Terkel, American historian and author (b. 1912)