October 30th in History

Nat Turner

On This Day in History

  • Ballet of Chestnuts: Cardinal Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI, throws a dinner in the Papal Palace featuring “fifty honest prostitutes” for the entertainment of guests, described in a contemporary diary entry (1501)
  • Nat Turner, leader of the bloodiest slave rebellion in US history, is captured (1831)
  • Four prospectors discover gold at “Last Chance Gulch” and found Helena, Montana around it (1864)
  • A radio play of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds, directed and narrated by Orson Welles, causes anxiety in some listeners (though not the widespread panic often suggested) because it was presented in the form of a series of news bulletins (1938)
  • British sailors retrieve codebooks and an Enigma machine from the German submarine U-559 as it sinks (1942)
  • Anne Frank and her sister are transferred from Auschwitz to Bergen-Belsen, where both would die (1944)
  • The Soviet Union tests the 50+ megaton Царь-бомба (Tsar Bomba), the most powerful artificial explosion in human history (1961)
  • The body of Ио́сиф Ста́лин (Joseph Stalin) is removed from its place of honor in Lenin’s Tomb and reburied near the Kremlin wall with a plain granite marker (1961)
  • The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul is completed, connecting Europe and Asia (1973)
  • “Rumble in the Jungle:” Muhammad Ali knocks out George Foreman in a boxing match held in Kinshasa, Zaire (1974)


  • Julia the Elder, daughter of Augustus (39 BCE)
  • John Adams, 2nd US President (1735 CE)
  • Martha Jefferson, wife of Thomas Jeffeson (1748)
  • Richard Sheridan, playwright (1751)
  • Alfred Sisley, painter (1839)
  • Buck Freeman, baseball player (1871)
  • Paul Valéry, poet (1871)
  • William Halsey, Jr., US Navy admiral (1882)
  • Ezra Pound, poet (1885)
  • Ruth Gordon, actress (1896)
  • Bill Terry, baseball player (1898)
  • Patsy Montana, country singer (1908)
  • Ruth Hussey, actress (1911)
  • Fred Friendly, journalist (1915)
  • Jane Randolph, actress (1915)
  • Leon Day, Negro League baseball player (1916)
  • Clifford Brown, jazz trumpeter (1930)
  • Louis Malle, director (1932)
  • Robert Caro, biographer (1935)
  • Jim Perry, baseball player (1935)
  • Поліна Астахова (Polina Astakhova), gymnast (1936)
  • Dick Vermeil, football coach (1936)
  • Grace Slick, singer-songwriter (1939)
  • Otis Williams, singer (1941)
  • Henry Winkler, actor and director (1945)
  • Harry Hamlin, actor (1951)
  • Heidi Heitkamp, senator (1955)
  • Joe Delaney, football player (1958)
  • Nia Long, actress (1970)
  • Ivanka Trump, heiress (1981)


  • Henry Dunant, Red Cross founder (1910)
  • Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet (1919)
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger Sr, historian (1965)
  • Conrad Richter, author (1968)
  • Steve Allen, comedian and talk show host (2000)
  • Jam Master Jay, rapper and producer (2002)
  • Al Lopez, baseball player and manager (2005)
  • Robert Goulet, singer (2007)
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss, anthropologist (2009)


  • Výročie Deklarácie slovenského národa (Anniversary of the Declaration of the Slovak Nation) (Slovakia)
  • Checklist Day (aviation community worldwide, in memory of the crash of a B-17 prototype on October 30, 1935, that led to the creation of the takeoff checklist)
  • Create a Great Funeral Day (US)
  • День памяти жертв политических репрессий (Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Political Repressions) (former Soviet republics except Ukraine, which celebrates it on the third Sunday in May)
  • Haunted Refrigerator Night (Wellcat Holidays and Herbs)
  • International Orthopaedic Nurses Day (Worldwide)
  • Mischief Night (aka Cabbage Night, Devil’s Night, Gate Night, Goosing Night, Miggy Night, or Mizzy Night) (England and North America)
  • National Candy Corn Day (National Confectioners Association)
  • Thevar Jayanthi (Thevar Community, Tamil Nadu)

Image: “The Discovery of Nat Turner”

October 30 is the 303rd day of the year (304th in leap years). There are 62 days remaining until the end of the year.