Did you know that Halloween has served as the occasion for many historical events?
- 1517. On October 31 a soon-to-be-ex-priest named Martin Luther launched the (cue pious music) Protestant Reformation.
- In 1636, just in time for All Hallows Eve, a little seminary for poor ministers called the New College opened in Massachusetts. It later changed its name to (cue expensive music) Harvard University.
- In 1846 a group of pioneers set out on the arduous trek to California. They came to be known as (cue creepy music) the Donner Party.
- 1919. Prohibition went into effect on October 28, and people refrained. But three days later, on Halloween, they broke out the booze. Prohibition was wildly successful…in increasing organized crime and (cue tommy guns) murder.
- 1938. The War of the Worlds radio adaptation aired on October 30. By the next day, Halloween, there was widespread panic in the U.S. due to the fact that millions had believed it to be news of an actual (cue alien sound f/x) Martian invasion!
- 1941. On Halloween day (cue patriotic music) Mount Rushmore opened. Why?
- 1967. Perhaps scariest of all, on October 31, Robert Matthew Van Winkle was born. He would later be known as (cue stolen bass track) Vanilla Ice.
Have fun and make (legal) history of your own tonight (cue personal playlist)!
Also see: Is Halloween Evil?