Today is Friday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2003. There are 61 days left in the year. This is Halloween.
Today's Highlight in History:
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
On this date:
In 1795, English poet John Keats was born in London.
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 1941, the U.S. Navy destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of 115 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.
In 1956, Rear Adm. G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole.
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.
In 1980, Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the late shah, proclaimed himself the rightful successor to the Peacock Throne.
In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards.
In 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.
In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.
Ten years ago: Movie director Federico Fellini died in Rome at age 73. Actor River Phoenix died in Los Angeles at age 23.
Five years ago: A genetic study was released suggesting President Thomas Jefferson likely fathered at least one child by his slave Sally Hemings. Iraq announced it would cut off all dealings with UN weapons inspectors, a move condemned by the Security Council.
One year ago: Authorities charged the two Washington sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo with murder in a Louisiana attack that came just two days after a similar slaying in Alabama. The Securities and Exchange Commission ordered an investigation into allegations that Chairman Harvey Pitt had concealed information on the corporate ties of William Webster, his choice to head a new accounting oversight board. (Pitt resigned five days later.) An earthquake toppled a school in San Giuliano Di Puglia, Italy, killing 27 children and a teacher.
Today's Birthdays: Former Attorney General Griffin Bell is 85. Author Dick Francis is 83. Actress Barbara Bel Geddes is 81. Cambodian King Norodom Sihanouk is 81. Movie critic Andrew Sarris is 75. Former astronaut Michael Collins is 73. Actress Lee Grant is 72. CBS anchorman Dan Rather is 72. Actor Ron Rifkin is 64. Actor David Ogden Stiers is 61. Actress Sally Kirkland is 59. Singer Kinky Friedman is 59. Actress Deidre Hall is 55. NBC anchorwoman Jane Pauley is 53. Actor Brian Stokes Mitchell is 45. Rock musician Larry Mullen is 42. Actor Dermot Mulroney is 40. Rock musician Mikkey Dee (Motorhead) is 40. Rock singer-musician Johnny Marr is 40. Actor Rob Schneider is 39. Country singer Darryl Worley is 39. Rap musician Adrock is 37. Songwriter Adam Schlesinger is 36. Rap performer Vanilla Ice is 35. Rock singer Linn Berggren (Ace of Base) is 33. TV host Troy Hartman is 29. Actor Eddie Kaye Thomas is 23.
Thought for Today: "Success is a public affair. Failure is a private funeral." - Rosalind Russell, American actress (1911-1976).