Today is Monday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2011. There are 61 days left in the year. This is Halloween.
Today's Highlights in History:
On Oct. 31, 1941, the Navy destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II. Work was completed on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, begun in 1927.
On this date:
In 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state.
In 1926, magician Harry Houdini died in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix.
In 1961, the body of Josef Stalin was removed from Lenin's Tomb as part of the Soviet Union's "de-Stalinization" drive.
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 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh (seek) security guards.
In 1991, theatrical producer Joseph Papp died in New York at age 70.
In 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.
In 1996, a Brazilian Fokker-100 jetliner crashed in Sao Paulo, killing all 96 people on board and three on the ground.
In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, bound from New York to Cairo, crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.
Ten years ago: New York hospital worker Kathy T. Nguyen (nwen) died of inhalation anthrax, the fourth person to perish in a spreading wave of bioterrorism. Former Symbionese Liberation Army fugitive Sara Jane Olson pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to the attempted murder of police officers (she was paroled in 2009 after serving about half her prison sentence). Microsoft and the Justice Department reached a tentative agreement to settle the historic antitrust case against the software giant. Cold War arms negotiator Paul C. Warnke died at age 81. The New York Yankees played the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 4 of the World Series; the game ended a few minutes after midnight with the Yankees winning 4-3 and tying the Series at two games each.
Five years ago: A fire at a residential hotel in Reno, Nev., killed 12 people. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the lifting of joint U.S.-Iraqi military checkpoints around the Shiite militant stronghold of Sadr City and other parts of Baghdad. P.W. Botha, South Africa's apartheid-era president, died on the southern Cape coast at age 90.
One year ago: A former teenage al-Qaida fighter, Omar Khadr, was sentenced by a military judge at Guantanamo to eight more years in custody under the terms of a plea agreement unsealed after a military sentencing jury said he should serve 40 years for war crimes. Theodore C. Sorensen, President John F. Kennedy's aide and speechwriter, died in New York at age 82. The San Francisco Giants beat the Texas Rangers 4-0 in Game 4 of the World Series, taking a 3-1 edge. Kim Clijsters beat top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki to win the season-ending WTA Championships in Qatar, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. For the first time in more than five years, Tiger Woods was no longer golf's No. 1 player.
Today's Birthdays: Former Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk is 89. Actress Lee Grant is 84. Movie critic Andrew Sarris is 83. Former astronaut Michael Collins is 81. Former CBS anchorman Dan Rather is 80. Folk singer Tom Paxton is 74. Actor Ron Rifkin is 72. Actress Sally Kirkland is 70. Actor David Ogden Stiers is 69. Actor Stephen Rea is 65. Olympic gold medal long-distance runner Frank Shorter is 64. Actress Deidre Hall is 63. Talk show host Jane Pauley is 61. Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is 54. Movie director Peter Jackson is 50. Rock musician Larry Mullen is 50. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 48. Rock musician Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) is 48. Rock singer-musician Johnny Marr is 48. Actor Rob Schneider is 47. Country singer Darryl Worley is 47. Actor-comedian Mike O'Malley is 46. Rap musician Adrock is 45. Songwriter Adam Schlesinger is 44. Rap performer Vanilla Ice (aka Rob Van Winkle) is 43. Rock singer Linn Berggren (Ace of Base) is 41. Reality TV host Troy Hartman is 40. Gospel singer Smokie Norful is 38. Actress Piper Perabo is 35. Actor Brian Hallisay is 33. Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas is 31. Rock musician Frank Iero (My Chemical Romance) is 30. Actor Scott Clifton is 27. Actress-singer Willow Smith is 11.
Thought for Today: "Success is a public affair. Failure is a private funeral." -- Rosalind Russell, American actress (1911-1976).