ON THIS DAY: October 31, 2017

October 31st is


Books for Treats Day *

Caramel Apple Day

Day of the Seven Billion *

National Magic Day *

National UNICEF Day *

Reformation Day *

U.N. World Cities Day *


MORE! Martin Luther, Ethel Waters and Harry Houdini, click



Pagan – Northern Hemisphere: Samhain – Southern Hemisphere: Beltane

Christian – All Saints’ Day

Burkina Faso – Martyrs’ Day

Canada – Toronto ON:
Halloween on Church Street

Ecuador – National Flag Day

Germany & Slovenia –
Reformation Day

Scotland – Edinburgh:
Samhuinn Fire Festival


On This Day in HISTORY

683 – 2nd Islamic Civil War: During the Siege of Mecca by the Umayyad Army, the Kaaba, at the center of Islam’s most sacred site, catches fire and is severely damaged

1291 – Philippe de Vitry born, French composer, music theorist and poet

1517 – Reformation Day *: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, starting the Protestant Reformation

1587 – The Leiden University Library, which was founded with the gift of a Polyglot Bible by William of Orange in 1575, opens its doors to scholars in the vault of the Academy building at Rapenburg in the Netherlands; its Nomenclator, the first printed catalogue of any institutional library, appears in 1595, coinciding with the opening of the library’s new, more spacious location on the upper floor of the Faliede Bagijnkerk

Leiden University Library in 1610

1614 – First performance of Ben Jonson’s comedy Bartholomew Fair by the company ‘Lady Elizabeth’s Men’ (King James I’s daughter) at the Hope Theatre in London

1632 – Jan Vermeer, Dutch master painter, is born

Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, by Jan Vermeer

1776 – King George III addresses the British Parliament, concerning the war with the American colonies and its leaders, “for daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this country”

1795 – John Keats, English poet, is born

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

1860 – Juliette Gordon Lowe, founder of the Girl Scouts USA, is born in Savannah GA

1861 – American Civil War: Citing failing health, 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 on the North Island

1864 – Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state

1868 – Postmaster General Alexander Williams Randall approves a standard uniform for postal carriers

1876 – Natalie Clifford Barney born, American playwright, novelist and poet; lived openly as a Lesbian in Paris for 60 years; formed a “Women’s Academy” (L’Académie des Femmes); a feminist and pacifist, and free love advocate; her weekly Salon brought together expat writers and artists, with their French counterparts, from modernists to members of the French Academy

1880 – Julia Mood Peterkin born in south Carolina, American author, won the 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Literature for her novel Scarlet Sister Mary; her books included depictions of the lives of the Gullah people of the Low Country; Scarlet Sister Mary was banned by the Gaffney library in South Carolina, but The Gaffney Ledger published the complete book in serial form

1887 – Chiang Kai-Shek born, first president of the Taiwan Republic of China

1896 – Ethel Waters born, African American singer/actor, records over 250 sides after her debut in 1921, vocalist and stylist with perfect pitch

1902 – Julia Lee born, American blues singer-songwriter

1913 – Dedication of the Lincoln Highway, first automobile highway across the continental U.S.

1917 – WWI Battle of Beersheba, the Australian 4th Light Horse Brigade makes the “last successful cavalry charge in history”

1918 – Dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire

1923 –First of 160 consecutive days of 100° Fahrenheit at Marble Bar, Western Australia

1924 – World Savings Day * is announced in Milan, Italy by members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks)

1926 – Magician Harry Houdini dies of peritonitis after his appendix ruptures

1938 – Society of American Magicians start Magic Day * on the anniversary of Harry Houdini’s death on October 31, 1926

1941 – Fourteen years after the work starts, Mount Rushmore is completed

1950 – Jane Pauley born, American television journalist, Today show co-host (1976-1989), Dateline co-anchor (1992-2003)

1950 – UNICEF Day * – for the first time, trick-or-treaters collect coins to help UNICEF help kids

1952 – The U.S. detonates its first hydrogen bomb

1955 – Susan Orlean born, American journalist; since 1992, staff writer for The New Yorker; author of The Orchid Thief

1956 – The U.K. and France begin bombing Egypt to force reopening of the Suez Canal

1956 – Annie Finch born, central figure in contemporary American poetry, has published over eighteen books, which include her own poetry, literary essays, and criticism, as well as several anthologies which she edited. Her mother was the poet Margaret Rockwell Finch

1966 – Adam Keefe Horovitz born, aka Ad-Rock, of the Beastie Boys

1968 – Citing Paris peace talk progress, US President Johnson announces his  order of a complete cessation of “all air, naval, and artillery bombardment of North Vietnam” effective November 1

1998 – Iraq announces ceasing cooperation with U. N. nuclear weapons inspectors

1999 – Roman Catholic and Lutheran church leaders sign Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, ending centuries of doctrinal dispute on faith and salvation

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

2001 – The first Books for Treats Day * is started to encourage giving trick-or-treaters children’s books instead of candy

2002 – A Houston TX federal grand jury indicts former Enron CFO Andrew Fastow on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and obstruction of justice during the collapse of his ex-employer

2011 – Day of the Seven Billion *– the day the U.N. Population Fund designated as the day the world population reached 7 billion

2014 – The first U.N. World Cities Day * which is established by a UN General Assembly resolution on December 27, 2013


About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for over 50 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband.
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4 Responses to ON THIS DAY: October 31, 2017

  1. Malisha says:

    Somehow it always amused me that the Roman Catholic Church would make these grand proclamations and discoveries and decisions about beliefs by committees. I remember seeing a cartoon where a teacher points to a picture of a camel and says: “This is a horse designed by a committee.” I have nothing against it; it just amuses me. I understand that the concept of the trinity was itself proclaimed by a committee.

    • wordcloud9 says:

      Well, some of the proclamations have been purely ideas of individual Popes – and those carry extra weight because of the “Ex cathedra” doctrine – Papal infallibility.

      from Wikipedia:
      “Cathedra” and “sedes” are Latin words for a chair, the symbol of the teacher in the ancient world; the “chair” is still used metaphorically as the office of a university professor, and to the “see” of a bishop (from “sedes”). The pope is said to occupy the “chair of Peter” or the “Holy See”, since Catholics hold that the pope is the successor of Peter. Also, Catholics hold that Peter had a special role among the apostles as the preserver of unity, and that the pope therefore holds the role of spokesman for the whole church among the bishops, whom Catholics hold to be the successors of the apostles.

      The doctrine of papal infallibility, the Latin phrase ex cathedra (literally, “from the chair”) was proclaimed by Pius IX in 1870 as meaning “when, in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, (the Bishop of Rome) defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.”

      The response demanded from believers has been characterized as “assent” in the case of ex cathedra declarations of the popes and “due respect” with regard to their other declarations.

      Not being a Catholic, I think it kind of reeks of HUBRIS (which is a concept that’s a lot older than this Latin stuff) to declare yourself infallible, especially on matters of religion, even if you’re supposed to be God’s representative on Earth.

      • I am not a biblical scholar; however, I am reasonably familiar with the words attributed to Jesus himself. One must take into consideration the fact they were transcribed by his followers years after his death and have been through several translations. Incidentally, the ancient languages did not have vowels or punctuation, which can change meanings (See: “Eats, shoots, and leaves”). In those days, spelling was hardly an exact science.

        Having said that, I cannot recall Jesus ever making any pronouncements regarding infallibility. He used logic and parables. When hauled up before tribunals, his ability to skirt direct answers puts the typical White House press secretary to shame.

        • Malisha says:

          He never claimed infallibility, to my knowledge. I am told (never fact-checked this) that the Hebrew commentaries on him (which avoid actually identifying him by name) allowed that he was one of the greatest scholars of his time, if not THE preeminent scholar of his time, but that he was unlawfully (under Hebrew law) discriminated against by being denied a seat on the Sanhedrin for the reason that he was born under “Mumzerut” meaning his mother was engaged to his father at the time she conceived him, NOT by his father. Those children were not supposed to bear any civil disability and were accorded full rights EXCEPT MARRIAGE. They were not permitted to marry since their lineage was not clear, so a marriage might violate incest laws. But they were not supposed to be deprived of any of their other rights under law, so the story goes that he should have been recognized and seated on the Sanhedrin. Parts of this ring true because at that time, a man with no known physical disabilities should have been married at least once by the age 33.

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