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31st October in History

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475 – Romulus Augustulus is proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.

683 – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba catches fire and is burned down.

802 – Empress Irene is deposed and banished to Lesbos. Conspirators place Nikephoros, the minister of finance, on the Byzantine throne.

1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1822 – Emperor Agustín de Iturbide attempts to dissolve the Congress of the Mexican Empire.

1861 – American Civil War: Citing failing health, Union General Winfield Scott resigns as Commander of the United States Army.

1863 – The Maori Wars resume as British forces in New Zealand led by General Duncan Cameron begin their Invasion of the Waikato.

1917 – World War I: Battle of Beersheba: The “last successful cavalry charge in history”.

1918 – World War I: Dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1922 – Benito Mussolini is made Prime Minister of Italy

1940 – World War II: The Battle of Britain ends: The United Kingdom prevents a possible German invasion.

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.

1943 – World War II: An F4U Corsair accomplishes the first successful radar-guided interception by a United States Navy or Marine Corps aircraft.

1944 – Erich Göstl, a member of the Waffen-SS, is awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross, to recognise extreme battlefield bravery, after losing his face and eyes during the Battle of Normandy.

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.

1963 – An explosion at the Indiana State Fair Coliseum (now Pepsi Coliseum) in Indianapolis kills 74 people and injures another 400 during an ice skating show. A faulty propane tank connection in a concession stand is blamed.

1968 – Vietnam War October surprise: Citing progress with the Paris peace talks, US 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.

1979 – Western Airlines Flight 2605 crashes on landing in Mexico City, killing 73 people.

1984 – Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by two Sikh security guards. Riots break out in New Delhi and other cities and nearly 10,000 Sikhs are killed.

1994 – American Eagle Flight 4184 crashes near Roselawn, Indiana, killing 68.

1996 – TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais Flight 402 crashes in São Paulo, Brazil, killing 99 people.

1998 – Iraq disarmament crisis begins: Iraq announces it would no longer cooperate with United Nations weapons inspectors.

1999 – Yachtsman Jesse Martin returns to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world, solo, non-stop and unassisted.

1999 – EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket, killing all 217 people on board.

2000 – Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been crewed continuously since then.

2000 – Singapore Airlines Flight 006 crashes on takeoff from Taipei, killing 83.

2003 – Mahathir bin Mohamad resigns as Prime Minister of Malaysia and is replaced by Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, marking an end to Mahathir’s 22 years in power.

2015 – Metrojet Flight 9268 is bombed over the northern Sinai Peninsula, killing all 224 people on board.

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