This Day in History

Posted: Monday, October 31, 2005

In Alaska

• In 1934, the Uptown Theatre, a movie house, opened at Third and Seward streets in Juneau.

• In 1935, the Juneau-Douglas Bridge opened to the public, costing $225,000 to build and ending 48 years of ferry service between the two towns.

• In 1940, the new Gross 20th Century Theater opened in Juneau.

• In 1969, Senator Jay Kertulla (D-Palmer) and Representatives Mike Bradner (D-Fairbanks) and Don Young (R-Fort Yukon) called attention to the possibility of "the only serious environmental problem" of the proposed Trans-Alaska Pipeline: the possible pollution of Prince William Sound as tankers go in and out of Valdez.

In the nation

• In 1864, Nevada became the 36th state.

• 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 1968, President Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.

• In 1994, a Chicago-bound American Eagle ATR-72 crashed in northern Indiana, killing all 68 people aboard.

• In 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990, bound from New York to Cairo, crashed off the Massachusetts coast, killing all 217 people aboard.

• In 2004, in the closing hours of their bitter campaign, President Bush and challenger Sen. John Kerry charged through the critical battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio, going from hushed Sunday church services to raucous campaign rallies with promises to keep America safe.

In the world

• In 1517, Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

• In 1955, Britain's Princess Margaret ended weeks of speculation by announcing she would not marry Royal Air Force Captain Peter Townsend.

• In 1980, Reza Pahlavi, eldest son of the late shah of Iran, proclaimed himself the rightful successor to the Peacock Throne.

• In 1984, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh security guards.

• In 1995, stung by defeat in the secession referendum, Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau said he would resign as head of the bitterly divided province at year's end.

• In 1995, a Los Angeles-bound Singapore Airlines jumbo jet sped down the wrong runway in Taipei, Taiwan, slamming into construction equipment and bursting into flames, killing 83 people.

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