US President John F. Kennedy ordered an air and naval blockade in Cuba. (1962) US military force used because aerial photographs were taken on October 15 that showed Cuba's possession of medium-range missiles, built by the Soviets. The blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis was implemented to prevent the Soviet Union from delivering any more weapons to the island.
The Allies captured the first German city during World War II. (1944) In a major step toward an Allied victory, American troops were victorious in the Battle of Aachen, taking control of the city.
The Highway Beautification Act was signed by US President Lyndon B. Johnson. (1965) The act aimed to clean up America's highways by reducing the number of cluttering billboards and highway advertising. Provisions of the act were also aimed at cleaning up highway-side junkyards and funding garden projects to add green spaces to the roadsides.
The US federal government decertified the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO). (1981) The decertification was in response to PATCO's strike the previous year. The trade union dissolved after it was decertified.
The US banned Red Dye No. 4 as a food additive. (1976) Scientists at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) discovered the dye caused tumors after testing it on dogs.
The Knickerbocker Trust Company failed, bringing the Panic of 1907 to the brink of a depression. (1907) The bank was the third largest in New York City, and its failure caused further large-scale monetary withdrawals as people lost their trust in the banking industry. The crisis ultimately was quelled when private banker J. P. Morgan funneled his own money into the banking system to help guarantee account holdings in a sort of bank bailout.
India launched its first lunar mission. (2008) The unmanned Chandrayaan-1 probe was launched for the purpose of Moon exploration. The mission ended early, after just 312 days, but largely succeeded in its objectives.
South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu rejected a US peace proposal to end the Vietnam War. (1972) US National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger attempted to negotiate the peace agreement, but Thieu accused the US of undermining his regime through conspiracies with the Soviet Union and China. Kissinger left the table, characterizing Thieu's response as verging on the insane.
The world's first parachute descent occurred. (1797) Andre-Jacques Garnerin, a French balloonist, successfully parachuted from a balloon floating about 3,200 feet (1,000 meters) above Paris.
Harry Houdini was sucker punched by J. Gordon Whitehead, and later died as a result of the injuries to his abdomen. (1926) Whitehead hit Houdini without warning to see if the man really could endure an above-waist body blow without sustaining an injury. Had Houdini been able to prepare for the blow, he likely would not have been killed. Houdini died due to a ruptured appendix on October 31.
Princeton University was founded. (1746) Initially chartered as the College of New Jersey, Princeton was the fourth university to open in the US. Its name was changed to Princeton in 1896.
Atlantic tropical storm Alpha struck, making the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season the worst in the ocean's history. (2005) The season broke records for the number of hurricanes, total number of storms and total cost in damages. More than 3,800 people were killed during the season that caused more than $130 billion US Dollars (USD) in damages — over $140 billion today.