Today in History for October 31st

Highlights of this day in history: Martin Luther leads start of Protestant Reformation; President Lyndon B. Johnson halts U.S. bombing of North Vietnam; India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinated; Magician Harry Houdini dies. (Oct. 31)

Video Transcript


- October 31, 1517.


- In Germany, the start of the Protestant Reformation as the priest Martin Luther takes a stand. He posts "Ninety-five Theses" on the door of Wittenberg Palace Church questioning Catholic Church practices.

1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson orders a halt to all US bombing of North Vietnam. Johnson says he hopes the move spurs fruitful peace negotiations to end the Vietnam War.

LYNDON B. JOHNSON: I have reached this decision on the basis of the developments in the Paris talks. And I've reached it in the belief that this action can lead to progress toward a peaceful settlement of the Vietnamese war.

- But the war rages for more than another four years before a ceasefire agreement is finally reached.

1984. In India, two Sikh security guards of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi assassinate her. It happens months after Gandhi orders a deadly attack on the Sikhs holiest shrine to crack down on Sikh militants.

And 1926, in Detroit, magician Harry Houdini dies of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. Houdini became ill after a student had struck him in the stomach in his dressing room days earlier.

"Today in History," October 31. Sandy Kozel, the Associated Press.