• On Oct. 31, 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther nails to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, a piece of paper containing 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation. In one, Luther condemned the corruption of the Catholic Church for asking for payment for the forgiveness of sins.
• On Oct. 30, 1890, Oakland, Calif., enacts a law against opium, morphine and cocaine. The new regulations allowed only doctors to prescribe these drugs, which had been legal for cures or pain relief.
• On Nov. 2, 1947, the Hughes Flying Boat — the largest aircraft ever built — is piloted by designer Howard Hughes on its first and only flight. Built with laminated birch and spruce, the “Spruce Goose” had a wingspan longer than a football field and was designed to carry more than 700 men to battle.
• On Nov. 1, 1952, the United States detonates the world’s first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific. The Soviet Union quickly followed suit, and by the late 1970s, seven nations had constructed hydrogen bombs.
• On Oct. 28, 1965, construction is completed on the Gateway Arch, a 630-foot-high parabola of stainless steel in St. Louis. An internal tram system takes visitors to the top, where on a clear day they can see up to 30 miles across the Mississippi and to the Great Plains to the west.
(c) 2013 King Features Syndicate, Inc.