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On This Day in History - 31st October


1632Jan Vermeer, Dutch painter
1795John Keats, English poet; works include 'Ode to a Nightingale'
1920Dick Francis, Former Royal National Hunt jockey, turned author
1926Sir Jimmy Saville, Charity fund raiser and radio/TV entertainer
1929Eddie Charlton, Australian snooker player
1930Mike Collins, US astronaut, and command module pilot of Apollo 11
1945Barrie Keefe, Dramatist, work includes 'The Long Good Friday'


1485The coronation of Henry VII took place
1903In Glasgow, the Hampden Park football ground was opened
1922Benito Mussolini became Prime Minister and Dictator of Italy
1926The escape artist Harry Houdini died in hospital, of a burst appendix
1951In Britain, 'Zebra' crossings came into use for the first time
1952The US detonated its first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific
1984In India, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was murdered by members of her bodyguard