Years Ago

Today is Thursday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2013. There are 61 days left in the year.


On this date in:

1517: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.

1795: English poet John Keats is born in London.

1864: Nevada becomes the 36th state.

1887: Nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek is born in Zhejiang Province.

1926: Magician Harry Houdini dies in Detroit of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix.

1938: The day after his “War of the Worlds” broadcast had panicked radio listeners, Orson Welles expresses “deep regret” but also bewilderment that anyone had thought the simulated Martian invasion was real.

1941: The Navy destroyer USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.

Work is completed on the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota, begun in 1927.

1959: A former U.S. Marine shows up at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to declare he is renouncing his American citizenship so he cn live in the Soviet Union. His name: Lee Harvey Oswald.


1988: Mahoning County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving holds a candidate’s forum and Prosecutor Gary Van Brocklin and his challenger, James Philomena, square off in public for the first time. J.J. Cafaro was the moderator.

Eight players are returning to Coach Ed DeGregorio’s Lady Penguins basketball squad, which posted an 18-10 record in 1987-88: Angie Miller, Jenny Woodward, Stephanie Coie, Cara Hendrix, Lisa Gabrielson, Julie Bray, Margaret Somple and Debbie Burkett.

1973: Groundbreaking ceremonies are held on Central Square for the $1.4 million project that will create a downtown Youngstown mall.

A pipe bomb damages the MC Club at 3429 South Ave. in Youngstown and injures a night watchman, William Richards, 35, who was sleeping in a booth when the bomb exploded.

1963: Two bandits wearing Halloween masks burst into the South Side office of Dr. Harry E. Fusselman, terrorizing four adults and a 12-year-old girl before escaping with $75.

A new effort is being made to promote the Lake Erie-Ohio River Interconnecting Waterway as part of a national water transportation system to benefit the entire nation.

1938: West Virginia’s Mountaineers pound out a 27-6 victory over Youngstown College’s young football team before a hometown crowd of 4,000 in Morgantown, W. Va.

Al Hardy, an engineer at WKBN Radio in Youngstown estimates he received 30 phone calls from area residents asking whether Orson Welles “Mercury Theater” broadcast of H.G. Wells’ “War of the Worlds” was a dramatic program or a news program reporting an invasion of men from Mars.

Jack Dempsey, former heavyweight champion of the world, arrives in Youngstown to speak at a YMCA membership drive luncheon.

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