Today is Tuesday, Oct. 31, the 304th day of 2006 with 61 to follow.
This is Halloween.
The moon is waxing. The morning stars are Saturn and Mars. The evening stars are Venus, Mercury, Pluto, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Scorpio. They include Dutch painter Jan Vermeer in 1632; English poet John Keats in 1795; Girl Scouts founder Juliette Gordon Low in 1860; Gen. Chiang Kai-Shek, the first leader of Nationalist China, in 1887; actress/singer Ethel Waters in 1900; actresses Dale Evans in 1912 and Barbara Bel Geddes in 1922; astronaut Michael Collins in 1930 (age 76); TV news anchorman Dan Rather in 1931 (age 75); actor/producer Michael Landon in 1936; folk singer/songwriter Tom Paxton in 1937 (age 69); actors David Ogden Stiers in 1942 (age 64) and Stephen Rea in 1946 (age 60); actress Deidre Hall in 1947 (age 59); comic actor John Candy in 1950; broadcaster Jane Pauley also in 1950 (age 56); comic actor Rob Schneider in 1963 (age 43); and rapper Vanilla Ice in 1968 (age 38).
On this date in history:
In 1517, Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation by nailing a proclamation to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.
In 1864, Nevada was admitted to the Union as the 36th state.
In 1926, magician, illusionist and escape artist Harry Houdini died of peritonitis in a Detroit hospital following a blow to the abdomen.
In 1931, with the Great Depression in full swing, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that 827 banks had failed during the past two months.
In 1941, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota -- consisting of the sculpted heads of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt -- was completed.
In 1968, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson announced a halt to the bombing of North Vietnam.
In 1984, India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by Sikh guards. Her son, Rajiv, succeeded her.
In 1985, salvage divers located the remains of the booty-laden pirate ship Whydah, which sank Feb. 17, 1717, off Cape Cod, Mass.
In 1988, former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos pleaded innocent to charges that she and her husband, deposed President Ferdinand Marcos, embezzled more than $100 million from the Philippine government.
In 1990, Egypt rebuffed a call by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev for a peaceful settlement to the Gulf crisis but a key Soviet diplomat said his government had not ruled out military force.
In 1992, more than 300 people were killed in renewed fighting as Angola slid back into civil war.
In 2001, U.S.-led forces resumed air strikes in Afghanistan, hitting Taliban positions in the northern part of the country and outside the capital, Kabul. The Taliban claimed 1,500 people were killed.
In 2002, Andrew Fastow, former Enron chief financial officer, was indicted on 78 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in the collapse of the Houston energy trading company.
In 2003, a rebel group known to kidnap children and sell them in Sudan as slaves struck a village in northern Uganda, killing 18 and abducting many more.
In 2004, Iranian lawmakers chanted, "Death to America!" after a unanimous vote to allow their government to resume uranium enrichment activities.
Also in 2004, Japan confirmed a Japanese man taken hostage in Baghdad had been beheaded. The kidnappers had demanded Japan pull its troops out of Iraq.
Also in 2005, the U.N. Security Council, in a unanimous vote, warned Syria to stop obstructing the investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
A thought for the day: English poet John Keats wrote, "If I should die, I have left no immortal work behind me -- nothing to make my friends proud of my memory -- but I have loved the principle of beauty in all things, and if I had had time I would have made myself remembered."