- It happened today – this day in history – October 31 - 31/10/2020
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1099: Jerusalem is captured and plundered by Christian forces during the First Crusade.
1207: King John expels Canterbury monks for supporting Archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton.
1381: John Ball, a leader in the Peasants’ Revolt, is hung, drawn and quartered in the presence of Richard II.
1410: The Battle of Grunwald, one of Medieval Europe’s largest battles during the Poland-Lithuanian Teutonic War.
1501: Portuguese explorer Pedro Cabral arrives back in Lisbon after discovering Brazil and returning from India.
1573: Birth of architect Inigo Jones in London.
1606: Birth of artist Rembrandt van Rijn in Leiden, The Netherlands.
1662: Charles II charters the Royal Society in London.
1755: The French ambassador is recalled from London.
1799: The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard.
1815: Napoleon surrenders to Captain Frederick Maitland of HMS Bellerophon at Rochefort after his earlier defeat at the Battle of Waterloo. On the same day, the first horse race on the flat is held at Cheltenham.
1830: The Sioux, Sauk & Fox tribes, sign the fourth Treaty of Prairie du Chien, giving the US most of Minnesota, Iowa and Missouri.
1840: Great Britain, Russia, Austria and Prussia sign Quadruple Alliance.
1858: Birth of Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of the British suffragette movement, in Moss Side, Manchester.
1869: Margarine is patented by Hippolye Méga-Mouriès for use by the French Navy.
1870: Georgia becomes last confederate state to be readmitted to US.
1898: Birth of composer Noel Gay (Reginald Moxon Armitage) in Wakefield.
1904: Death of writer Anton Chekhov aged 44
1912: The National Health Insurance Act goes into effect.
1915: The head of German propaganda in the US, Dr Heinrich Albert, loses his briefcase on a subway in New York City. An examination of its contents reveals an extensive network of German espionage and subversion across the US. On the same day, Austro-German forces launch an offensive along the Eastern Front.
1918: The Second Battle of Marne begins.
1919: Birth of novelist Iris Murdoch in Dublin.
1922: Gene Sarazen wins the US Open, his first major golf title.
1923 Bobby Jones wins the US Open, his first major golf title. On the same day, jazz drummer Philly Joe Jones is born in Philadelphia.
1925: Birth of documentary film maker DA (Donn Alan) Pennebaker in Illinois.
1927: 89 protesters are killed by the Austrian police in Vienna.
1928: Defending champion Nicolas Frantz of Luxembourg wins the Tour de France, holding the yellow jersey from start to finish.
1932: US President Herbert Hoover cuts his own salary 15%.
1933: Wiley Post begins the first solo flight around world.
1937: Buchenwald concentration camp opens near Weimar, Germany.
1944: Greenwich Observatory is damaged by a flying bomb.
1948: Alcoholics Anonymous is founded.
1949: Czech tennis stars Jaroslav Drobny and Vladimir Cernik defect to US.
1952: The first transatlantic helicopter flight begins.
1953: ANC members, Walter Sisulu and Duma Nokwe leave South Africa and go overseas under false names.
1955: 18 Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons. 38 others follow.
1958: John Lennon’s mother Julia is killed by a car driven by a drunk off-duty police officer. On the same day, US President Eisenhower sends US troops to Lebanon.
1961: Arnold Palmer wins the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
1962: Algeria becomes a member of the Arab League. On the same day, defending champion Jacques Anquetil of France claims his third Tour de France title.
1963: Paul McCartney is fined £17 for speeding.
1965: Mariner IV sends back the first pictures of Mars.
1968: Commercial air travel begins between the US and USSR.
1970: Denmark beats Italy 2-0 in the first world female soccer championship.
1971: The British Government endorses a cull of baby seals in The Wash.
1972: Lee Trevino claims his second straight British Open at Muirfield.
1973: After his wife left him, taking their young children, Ray Davies of The Kinks announced from the stage of the Great Western Express festival at White City that he was sick of the whole thing and was retiring. He then walked into a local hospital and collapsed from an overdose of tranquillizers.
1974: Cyprus president Archbishop Makarios flees the island after a military coup. On the same day, Florida news reporter Christine Chubbuck shoots herself live on TV.
1975: Soyuz 19 and Apollo 18 are launched.
1976: 26 school children and their bus driver are kidnapped in California.
1979: Morarji Desai resigns as premier of India.
1980: Billy Carter, the brother of US President Jimmy Carter, registers as a foreign agent of the Libyan government after it was revealed they paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars.
1987: John Poindexter testifies at Iran-Contra hearings. On the same day, a state of siege ends in Taiwan.
1989: Footballer Laurie Cunningham dies in a car crash in Madrid aged 33.
1992: Pope John Paul II is hospitalised to have tumor removed. On the same day, the UN Security Council examines violence in South Africa.
1994: Hundreds of thousands of Hutus flee to Zaire in the Congo near the end of the Rwandan genocide.
1995: Thousands of Muslim refugees flee the captured “safe area” of Srebrenica – forced out by the Bosnian Serbs.
1996: A Belgian Air Force C-130 Hercules carrying the Royal Netherlands Army marching band crashes on landing at Eindhoven Airport. On the ame day, Prince Charles and Princess Diana sign divorce papers.
1997: Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace is shot dead on the steps of his Miami mansion.
1998: Aerosmith were forced to cancel a US tour after drummer Joey Kramer’s car set on fire as he was filling up with petrol. He was admitted to hospital with second-degree burns.
2000: An Oasis fan was killed when he tried to walk home from a gig along the M61 motorway. On the same day, Sad Cafe and Mike and the Mechanics singer Paul Young died of a heart attack at his Manchester home aged 53. Also, a world record Rugby attendance of 108,874 sees New Zealand beat Australia, 39-35 in a Tri Nations match at Stadium Australia.
2002: An anti-Terrorism Court in Pakistan hands down the death sentence to British born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh and life terms to three others suspected of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.
2006: Soccer star Ashley Cole marries Girls Aloud member Cheryl Tweedy in Herts.
2007: The UK music industry reacted angrily to a decision to give away Prince’s new album “Planet Earth” as a ‘covermount’ with the Mail on Sunday newspaper. The CD was not due to be released in stores until July 24. On the same day, defending champions Brazil win their eighth Copa America title with a 3-0 win over Argentina. Also, Girlschool guitarist Kelly Johnson dies aged 49 after a six-year battle with spinal cancer.
2012: A Russian Soyuz rocket with an international team launches for a mission to the International Space Station.
2015: A judge trimmed more than $1m from the damages Pharrell Williams was ordered to pay after the Blurred Lines copyright trial. The case revolved around the question of whether Williams and his co-writer Robin Thicke had copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit ‘Got To Give It Up’. The judge also gave Gaye’s family a 50% cut of future earnings from the song. On the same day, The Los Angeles home of US singer Chris Brown was raided and ransacked by three masked men who locked his aunt in a closet.
2016: An attempted military coup in Turkey fails.
2017: Australian Justine Damond is killed by a Minneapolis police officer after calling 911 over a disturbance. On the same day, actor Martin Landau dies aged 89.
2018: Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao stops WBA welterweight champion Lucas Matthysse in seven rounds in Kuala Lumpur for his first knockout in nine years and 60th career victory. On the same day, France beats Croatia, 4-2 to win the FIFA World Cup in Moscow.
BIRTHDAYS: Julian Bream, classical guitarist, 87; Millie Jackson, singer, 76; Linda Ronstadt, singer, 74; Trevor Horn, producer/musician (Buggles/Yes) 71; Terry O’Quinn, actor, 68; Alicia Bridges, singer, 67; Joe Satriani, guitarist, 64; Forest Whitaker, actor/director, 59; Brigitte Nielsen, actress, 57; Jason Bonham, drummer, 54; John Dolmayan, drummer (System of a Down) 47; Brian Austin Green, actor, 47; Diane Kruger, actress, 44; Ray Toro, guitarist (My Chemical Romance) 43; Lana Parilla, actress, 43; Olly Alexander (Thornton) singer/actor (Years and Years) 30.