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October 31

1999 Yachtsman Jesse Martin returned to Melbourne after 11 months of circumnavigating the world. He did it solo, non-stop and unassisted, the youngest person at the time to do so.

1956 Admiral George J. Dufek of the US Navy landed the first aircraft on the South Pole, a C-47 Skytrain. This led to the establishment of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, which has been in continuous operation to this day.

1941 Work was completed on Mount Rushmore, after 14 years of work.

1795 English poet John Keats was born in London. He was one of the key figures in the second generation of the Romantic movement, and is considered one of the greatest poets of all time. He died of tuberculosis at the age of 25, and much of the recognition of his greatness did not come until after his death.

1517 Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, in which he outlined his displeasure with some of the Roman Catholic clergy’s abuses. This event is regarded as the primary catalyst for the start of the Protestant Reformation which ultimately gave birth to Protestantism.

October 30

1960 British surgeon Michael Woodruff performed the first successful kidney transplant in the United Kingdom at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.

1895 German pathologist and bacteriologist Gerhard Domagk was born in Lagow, Brandenburg. He is credited with the discovery of Sulfonamidochrysoidine (KI-730) – the first commercially available antibacterial antibiotic.

1864 Helena, Montana was founded by four gold prospectors. Today, the city is the capital of the state of Montana.

1839 French artist Alfred Sisley was born in Paris to affluent British parents. He was an Impressionist landscape painter, dedicated to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors). Among his important works are a series of paintings of the River Thames, mostly around Hampton, executed in 1874, and landscapes depicting places in or near Moret-sur-Loing.

He spent most of his life in France, but retained British citizenship and was never granted French citizenship. He died on 29 January 1899 in Moret-sur-Loing at the age of 59.

1735 John Adams, the 2nd President of the United States, was born in Braintree, Massachussetts.

1485 Henry VII became King of England.

1340 Battle of Río Salado: During the Reconquista, King Afonso IV of Portugal and King Alfonso XI of Castile defeated the invading Muslim forces of Abu al-Hasan ‘Ali of the Marinid dynasty of Morocco and the Nasrid ruler Yusuf I of the Kingdom of Granada. After suffering this humiliating defeat, no Muslim army was ever able to invade the Iberian Peninsula again.

October 29

1991 The American Galileo spacecraft made its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.

1969 Engineers 400 miles apart at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) sent the first data between the first nodes of what was then known as Arpanet, and would later become the internet.

1958 The first coronary angiogram was performed by Dr. F. Mason Sones, Jr., a pediatric cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic.

1831 American paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh was born in Lockport, New York. He discovered over 1000 fossils during his lifetime, and made extensive scientific explorations of the western U.S. and contributed greatly to knowledge of extinct North American vertebrates.

1792 British Naval Lieutenant William Robert Broughton, a member of Captain George Vancouver’s discovery expedition, spotted Mount Hood in Oregon and named it after British admiral Samuel Hood (pictured below).

1787 Don Giovanni, an opera written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered in the Estates Theatre in Prague.

October 28

1942 Construction of the Alaska Highway was completed at Mile 1202 in Beaver Creek.

1893 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, Pathétique, received its premiere performance in St. Petersburg, only nine days before the composer’s death.

1886 The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor was officially unveiled by President Grover Cleveland in front of thousands of spectators.

1845 Polish physicist and chemist Zygmunt Florenty Wróblewski was born in Grodno. He is known for his work involving the liquification of “permanent gases” such as nitrogen and carbon monoxide in larger quantities.

306 Maxentius was proclaimed Western Roman Emperor.

October 27

2000 English professional cyclist Chris Boardman broke the UCI hour record, riding 49.441 kilometers in one hour.

1961 NASA’s Saturn I rocket was launched for the first time, as part of the Saturn-Apollo 1 (SA-1) mission. The rocket reached a height of 136.5 km and impacted 345.7 km down range from the launch site in the Atlantic Ocean, making the flight a complete success.

1904 The first underground New York City Subway line opened at the now closed City Hall Station, under City Hall Park.

1761 Scottish physician and pathologist Matthew Baillie was born in Shots Manse, Lanarkshire. His book Morbid Anatomy of Some of the Most Important Parts of the Human Body (1793) was the first publication in English on pathology as a separate subject and the first systematic study of pathology ever made.

1275 The traditional date of the founding of Amsterdam. A certificate dated 27 October 1275 contained the first recorded use of the name “Amsterdam” in which the inhabitants, who had built a bridge with a dam across the Amstel, were exempted from paying a bridge toll by Count Floris V.

939 Edmund I, called the Elder, the Deed-doer, the Just, or the Magnificent, became King of England.

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