Rhianna Corrales

Written by Rhianna Corrales

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Facts.net

Welcome to today’s fascinating journey through time as we explore the significant events and intriguing facts that have taken place on October 31st throughout history. From monumental achievements to notable milestones, this date has witnessed numerous noteworthy moments that have shaped our world.As we delve into the past, we will uncover compelling stories of triumph, innovation, and cultural significance. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about the events that unfolded on this day, join us as we uncover the hidden gems and lesser-known anecdotes from around the globe.From historical breakthroughs to extraordinary individuals, October 31st has a rich tapestry of events that have left an indelible mark on our collective memory. So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready to embark on an exciting journey through the annals of time. Let’s discover the captivating facts and events that transpired on October 31st!

Key Takeaways:

  • On October 31st, historical events like Martin Luther sparking the Protestant Reformation and the completion of Mount Rushmore shaped the world we live in today.
  • October 31st also marks the birth of influential figures like filmmaker Christopher Nolan and rapper Tupac Shakur, adding to the date’s rich tapestry of history.
Table of Contents


  • 1517: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, sparking the Protestant Reformation.
  • 1864: Nevada is admitted as the 36th U.S. state.
  • 1926: Magician Harry Houdini performs his famous escape act, known as the “Water Torture Cell” for the first time.
  • 1941: Mount Rushmore is completed after 14 years of construction.
  • 1994: American actor and comedian, River Phoenix, tragically dies from a drug overdose at the age of 23.


  • 1863: Physicist James Clerk Maxwell presents his groundbreaking theory of electromagnetism, known as Maxwell’s Equations.
  • 1916: American astrophysicist Harlow Shapley accurately measures the size of the Milky Way galaxy for the first time.
  • 1952: The first thermonuclear hydrogen bomb, codenamed “Ivy Mike,” is successfully tested by the United States on the Marshall Islands.
  • 1984: Indian-born physicist and Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, receives the Nobel Prize in Physics for his mathematical theory on the stability of stars.
  • 2014: The European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission successfully lands the Philae probe on a comet, becoming the first-ever controlled landing on a comet’s surface.


  • 1512: Pope Julius II unveils the Sistine Chapel ceiling painted by Michelangelo.
  • 1917: British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour issues the Balfour Declaration, expressing support for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people in Palestine.
  • 1984: Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated by her own bodyguards in New Delhi.
  • 1994: The Channel Tunnel, connecting the United Kingdom and France, opens for passenger service after six years of construction.
  • 2011: The global population reaches 7 billion, according to the United Nations.


  • 1940: The animated film “Fantasia,” featuring classical music synchronized with animation, is first released in the United States.
  • 1961: American author and Pulitzer Prize winner Harper Lee publishes her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” which quickly becomes a literary classic.
  • 1975: The popular sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live” premieres on NBC, showcasing a mix of live sketches, celebrity guest hosts, and musical performances.
  • 1995: Rapper and actor, Tupac Shakur, releases his influential album “Me Against the World,” which debuts at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
  • 2017: The Marvel superhero film “Thor: Ragnarok” is released, garnering critical acclaim and becoming a box office success.



  • 1618: Sir Walter Raleigh, English explorer and writer.
  • 1793: Olympe de Gouges, French women’s rights activist and playwright.
  • 1879: James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish physicist and mathematician.
  • 1904: Jean-Baptiste Charcot, French polar explorer.
  • 2016: Tammy Faye Bakker, American televangelist and television personality.


October 31st has seen a plethora of historical events, scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, significant births, and notable deaths throughout history. From Martin Luther sparking the Protestant Reformation in 1517 to Dale Evans, an iconic American actress, being born in 1912, this date has witnessed a remarkable range of happenings that have shaped the world as we know it. From artistic achievements such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling to scientific feats like the successful landing on a comet’s surface, October 31st serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of human history.


Q: What is the significance of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses on October 31st?

A: Martin Luther’s act of posting his 95 Theses on the Castle Church in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, is regarded as the spark that ignited the Protestant Reformation. This event challenged the authority and corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church and laid the foundation for the formation of various Protestant denominations.

Q: Why is October 31st associated with Halloween?

A: October 31st is widely recognized as Halloween, a holiday celebrated in many countries around the world. It originated from ancient Celtic traditions, particularly the festival of Samhain, which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. Over time, Halloween evolved into a celebration associated with costumes, trick-or-treating, and spooky festivities.

Q: Which famous film director was born on October 31st?

A: Christopher Nolan, known for directing films like “The Dark Knight” trilogy and “Inception,” was born on October 31st, 1970. Nolan is acclaimed for his intricate storytelling, visual style, and ability to blend genres, making him one of the most influential directors of contemporary cinema.

Q: What is the Balfour Declaration?

A: The Balfour Declaration, issued on October 31, 1917, by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, expressed the British government’s support for the establishment of a national homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine. It had a profound impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the eventual creation of the State of Israel.

Q: Who was the influential American rapper born on October 31st?

A: Tupac Shakur, one of the most influential rappers of all time, was born on October 31st, 1971. Known for his poetic lyrics and social commentary, Tupac’s impact on hip-hop culture continues to resonate even after his untimely death.

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