• On Oct. 31, 1517, priest and scholar Martin Luther nails his 95 revolutionary opinions to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking for payment — called “indulgences” — for the forgiveness of sins.
• On Oct. 29, 1929, Black Tuesday hits Wall Street as investors trade 16,410,030 shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. The industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression.
• On Nov. 1, 1952, the United States detonates the world’s first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific, giving the U.S. a brief advantage in the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union.
• On Nov. 3, 1964, residents of the District of Columbia cast their ballots in a presidential election for the first time. Passage of the 23rd Amendment in 1961 gave citizens of the nation’s capital the right to vote for president and vice president.
• On Oct. 30, 1974, 32-year-old Muhammad Ali becomes the heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocks out champion George Foreman. Seven years earlier, Ali had lost his title for draft-dodging during the Vietnam War.
• On Nov. 2, 1986, Norwegian distance runner Grete Waitz wins her eighth New York City marathon, finishing the 26-mile course in 2:28.6, more than a mile ahead of next women’s finisher.
• On Nov. 4, 2001, just two outs away from their fourth straight championship, the New York Yankees lose to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the seventh game of the World Series. The Series began later than usual and was extended into November due to the Sept. 11 attacks.
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