On Oct. 31, legend has it that the priest and scholar Martin Luther approached the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nailed a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation.
On Nov. 2, the USS Ranger, with a crew of 140 men under the command of John Paul Jones, left Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for the naval port at Brest, France, where it will stop before heading toward the Irish Sea to begin raids on British warships. This was the first mission of its kind during the Revolutionary War.
In the greatest upset in presidential election history, Democratic incumbent Harry S. Truman defeats his Republican challenger, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey of New York, by just over two million popular votes. In the days preceding the vote, political analysts and polls were so behind Dewey that on election night, long before all the votes were counted, the Chicago Tribune published an early edition with the banner headline “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN.”
Earl Lloyd became the first Black player in the NBA when on Oct. 31, 21-year-old Earl Lloyd played in an NBA game for the Washington Capitols.
The Cuban Missile crisis came to a close on Oct. 28 as Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agrees to remove Russian missiles from Cuba in exchange for a promise from the United States to respect Cuba’s territorial sovereignty.
On Oct. 28, construction was completed on the Gateway Arch, a spectacular 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel marking the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial on the waterfront of St. Louis, Missouri.