On this day: October 31

Posted: 12:59 AM EDT Oct 31, 2012   Updated: 2:00 AM EDT Oct 31, 2015

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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Petty Officer 3rd Class Isaac D. Merriman/U.S. Navy

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 an FBI agent is seen tagging the cockpit voice recorder from EgyptAir Flight 990 on the deck of the USS Grapple at the crash site two weeks after the incident.


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