On this day: October 31

Published: Oct 31 2012 12:59:09 AM EDT   Updated On: Oct 31 2014 02:00:00 AM EDT

The first All Hallows' Evening is celebrated, Nevada becomes a state, Harry Houdini dies, Mount Rushmore is completed, and the Vatican apologizes to Galileo, all on this day.

OTD October 31 - EgyptAir Flight 990
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Brian Snyder/Reuters

1999: While traveling from New York City to Cairo, EgyptAir Flight 990 crashes off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing all 217 on board. With the crash occurring in international waters, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA) asked the American National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to handle the investigation. As evidence began pointing to a deliberate crash, the Egyptian government reversed their earlier decision, and the ECAA launched its own investigation. The two investigations would come to very different conclusions, with the NTSB finding the crash was caused by deliberate action of the Relief First Officer Gameel Al-Batouti and the ECAA finding that the crash was caused by mechanical failure of the airplane's elevator control system. Here wreckage is seen in a hangar at a former U.S. Navy base in Kingstown, Rhode Island, on Nov. 1, 2000.


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