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 (cue “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”) the 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 1838, the day before Halloween, Oberlin College became the first in the U.S. to admit female students (cue Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”), introducing the wonderful, and some thought scary, concept of coeducation.
  • 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.martian-alien-face-drawing
  • 1919. Prohibition went into effect on October 28, and people refrained. But three days later, on Halloween, they broke out the booze. Prohibition wildly increased organized crime and (cue tommy guns) murder.
  • 1929. On Black Tuesday, ninety years ago today, the worst financial collapse in history occurred (cue desperate music). The market rallied, but on Halloween day began a long downward spiral, initiating the Great Depression.
  • 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 on Halloween day? I haven’t a clue. untitled.png
  • 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 this Halloween!

Also see: Is Halloween Evil?

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Popular Culture & Entertainment, Quips and Quotes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Histoween

  1. Paula Light says:

    Interesting factoids!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eliza Ayres says:

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is interesting and fun – and I love your playlist! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Every blog should have a soundtrack. 😉
    Maybe they opened Mount Rushmore on that day because it was wearing its Halloween costume (and has been wearing it ever since) … ?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. revruss1220 says:

    Wonderful history lesson. But I still can’t figure out why Luther chose Halloween as the right day to post his 95 Theses. Probably because he saw it as a treat, whereas the RC Church took it as a trick. Just a thought…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. numrhood says:

    what do you have to say for year 61
    mentioned 67


  7. M.B. Henry says:

    Well done with A Mighty Fortress hahaha. 🙂 It was a big theme at service last Sunday!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My scariest Halloween story is the one where I got stood up on a sales appointment. Believe it or not, I actually had an appointment scheduled to pre-arrange funerals…at a funeral home…in the evening…on October 31st. Nobody picked up on the significance of the date when it was booked, evidently. Anyway, the couple didn’t show up, I was the only one there, and it was left up to me to turn off all the lights as I left – and it was dark outside. I started from the back, where all the caskets and the embalming room was, then worked my way forward to the front door, flipping off lights as I went. Look, I’m a believer in Jesus Christ, and I believe “greater is He that’s in me than he that’s in the world,” but there was NO WAY I could get rid of the feeling that something (someone) was behind me breathing down my neck the whole way out…I just never turned around. True story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Love how diverse and interesting facts were and Vanilla Ice…🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fun trivia – something to add for those of us in the Midwest was the Great Halloween Blizzard of 1991 which came with force during the Trick & Treating, then left ice and snow that lasted the rest of the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mystic Dee says:

    Most interesting, Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on Encouraging-Grace and commented:
    GUEST POST FROM Mitch Teemley
    Fun Halloween historical events

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ann Coleman says:

    Who knew that Halloween was responsible for so much? Although I have to say, the Vanilla Ice part IS a little scary…..

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love that last one! Ice, Ice, Baby! (The ’80s were a very strange time.)

    Liked by 1 person

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