By The Associated Press
Today in History
Today is Thursday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2019. There are 61 days left in the year. This is Halloween.
Today’s Highlight 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.
On this date:
In 1517, Martin Luther sent his 95 Theses denouncing what he saw as the abuses of the Catholic Church, especially the sale of indulgences, to the Archbishop of Mainz, Germany (by some accounts, Luther also posted the Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg), marking the start of the Protestant Reformation.
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 1959, a U.S. Marine reservist showed up at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to declare he was renouncing his American citizenship so he could live in the Soviet Union. His name: Lee Harvey Oswald.
In 1964, Theodore C. Freeman, 34, became the first member of NASA’s astronaut corps to die when his T-38 jet crashed while approaching Ellington Air Force Base in Houston.
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 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.
In 1998, a genetic study was released suggesting President Thomas Jefferson did in fact father at least one child by his slave Sally Hemings.