Category: October 31

  • REFORMATION DAY – October 31


    On October 31st, Reformation Day celebrates one of the most monumental events in Christianity. It was on this date in 1517 that the Protestant Reformation began.

    Up until 1517, the beliefs of the Catholic Church dominated Christianity throughout the world. That is until an Augustinian monk named Martin Luther began studying the Bible for himself. He was then brave enough to nail his “95 Theses” to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. Part of Luther’s theses condemned the Roman Catholic Church for many of its unbiblical practices. One such practice involved asking for payment in order to forgive sins. These payments were called indulgences.

    Central Beliefs

    Luther’s 95 Theses also contained two central beliefs:

    1. The Bible is the central religious authority.
    2. Humans may reach salvation only by their faith and not by their works.

    The Roman Catholic Church warned Luther to keep quiet about his opinions and beliefs. When he didn’t, he was excommunicated from the Church. Luther was later branded an outlaw and heretic. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles V of Germany even gave permission to have Luther killed. While on the run, Luther spent the next 10 years working on a German translation of the Bible.

    It wasn’t until 12 years after Luther posted his 95 Theses that the term “Protestant” was first used. The term came to describe anyone who opposed the Catholic Church. Eventually, anyone who believed the Church should be reformed were called Protestants. This included those living outside of Germany. Luther died in 1546, but his revolutionary beliefs lived on to form the foundation for the Protestant Reformation.

    Today, Protestants make up several different denominations. These include Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist, Methodist, and Wesleyan. Of the 2.5 billion Christians throughout the world, up to 1 billion of them are Protestant. The countries with the most Protestants include South Africa, Brazil, China, Nigeria, and the United States.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #ReformationDay

    Protestant churches throughout the world hold special services on this day. Some people watch movies or learn about other important men that influenced the Protestant Reformation. Along with Martin Luther, these men include John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, and John Hus. Instead of celebrating Halloween, some churches and families have Reformation Day parties. To participate:

    • Attend a worship service at a Protestant Church.
    • Learn more about how the Protestant Reformation forever changed Christianity throughout the world.
    • Watch the documentary, Martin Luther: The Idea That Changed the World.
    • Share this day on social media with #ReformationDay.


    Protestants have been celebrating Reformation Day for hundreds of years. It always falls on October 31st, which is when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses onto the door of a Catholic Church in 1517.




    National Doorbell Day | October 31
    National Doorbell Day | October 31


    On October 31st, National Doorbell Day will have doorbells ringing more than any other day of the year. The day recognizes the little buzzer, unique tones, and rings that alert us to visitors to our doors every day of the year.


    More than 41 million American children dress up and trick-or-treat every Halloween. In honor of the workout the door chime will receive, the celebration recognizes J.Ralph Corbett, the inventor of the first NuTone brand melodious door chime.


    Engage visitors with a riddle or tongue twister to celebrate the day. Greet family members with a password or trivia question about the doorbell to gain entry. Enjoy the festivities and stay safe this Halloween!

    With every ring, chime, jingle and more, celebrate the day with each visitor.

    Technology brings a variety of ways to explore the doorbell, too. What unique chimes do you recall from movies or television history?

    Use #NationalDoorbellDay to share on social media.


    NuTone™ founded National Doorbell Day to celebrate the innovative development of the first melodious door chime invented by J.Ralph Corbett during the Great Depression. His invention replaced the buzzers and knockers that often alerted residents to visitors. Today, NuTone is proud to announce the launch of NuTone Knock™, the company’s revolutionary new video doorbell that allows homeowners to see and talk to visitors from anywhere in the world using their smartphones.

    The Registrar at National Day Calendar® proclaimed the day to be observed annually beginning in 2017.

    Doorbell FAQ

    Q. How did the first doorbells work?
    A. Similar to the way the first school bells worked, a visitor pulled a cord to initiate the ring. However, the bell was located inside the home, instead of outside a school bell. When the visitor pulled the cord, it caused a hammer to strike the bell.

    Q. Who invented the first electric doorbell?
    A. Joseph Henry, Jr. (1797-1878) is credited with the invention of the electric doorbell. From 1846 to 1878, Henry served as the Smithsonian Institution’s first Secretary. He, among other inventors of his era, studied electromagnetism.


    October 31st Celebrated History


    The 22nd Postmaster General, Alexander Randall, issues an order describing letter carrier uniforms. The cadet blue uniforms included a black stripe on the pant leg. Throughout the U.S. Postal Service’s history, the style and color of the uniforms have changed. Today, postal workers sport darker postal blue uniforms with the eagle emblem.


    Veterinarian John Boyd Dunlop invents the pneumatic tire for bicycles.


    Joseph H. Campbell Co. trademarks Campbells for its baked beans.


    When the money ran out, work stopped on the giant sculpture started by Gutzon Borglum at Mount Rushmore. Even though Borglum’s designs included a more complete sculpture, the mountain sculpture in the Black Hills of South Dakota remains unchanged since this date.


    Pilot Lt. Commander Conrad C. Shinn lands a plane at the South Pole for the first time.


    The Soyuz TM 31 delivers the first resident crew to the International Space Station (ISS). For over 20 years later, teams of astronauts have continually manned the ISS without interruption.

    October 31 Celebrated Birthdays

    Juliette Gordon Low – 1860

    In 1912, Howe founded the Girl Scouts of America with 18 girl members in Savannah, GA.

    Julia Peterkin – 1880

    The Southern author of seven books is best known for her novel Scarlet Sister Mary for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.

    Ethel Waters – 1896

    The singer and actress began her career as a blues singer. Her musical talents brought her critical acclaim on both stage and screen. She was noted for her work in the Broadway hit Cabin in the Sky and the film Pinky.

    Michael Collins – 1930

    The astronaut piloted two spacecraft during his career. His first mission on Apollo 11 landed the first men on the Moon.

    Katherine Paterson – 1932

    The award-winning children’s author is best known for her novel Bridge to Terabithia.

    Isabel Alvarez – 1933

    The Cuban-born pitcher played five seasons in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.

    John Candy – 1950

    The comedian appeared in more than 60 films, including Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Spaceballs, Canadian Bacon, and Uncle Buck.

    Vanilla Ice – 1967

    The rapper turned DIY television host released his first album in 1989. Hooked featured his hit song “Ice Ice Baby.”



    On October 31st, Girl Scout Founder’s Day recognizes the founders and all the great things Scouting has done for girls since its inception. It commemorates the birth of the founder, Juliet Gordon Low. 


    The day is special for all girls. It is a time to think about who we would like to be, let our imaginations run wild and turn those dreams into a reality. We can genuinely transform ourselves into something different—something more significant, bolder, and more daring than we ever thought possible.

    Girl Scouting in the United States of America began on March 12, 1912, when Juliette Gordon Low organized the first Girl Scout troop meeting. At the first troop meeting in Savannah, Georgia, there were 18 girls present. For these girls, Juliette Gordon Low organized enrichment programs, service projects, and outdoor activities and adventures. Since the time of the first meeting, Girl Scouts has grown to over 3.7 million members.

    • The organization’s original name was the Girl Guides of America
    • By 1920 there were close to 70,000 members
    • By 1930 there were over 200,000 members
    • In 2005 there were over 3.7 million members
    • Motto – “Be Prepared”
    • Slogan – “Do a Good Turn Daily”

    “Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.”


    Share your Girl Scouting memories and use #GirlScoutFoundersDay to post on social media.


    Juliette Gordon Low, also known as Daisy, who was born on October 31, 1860, was the founder of Girl Scouts of the USA, along with the help of Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scouting Movement.  In 1912, Low formed a Girl Guide troop in Savannah, Georgia, and in 1915, the Girl Guides became the Girl Scouts with Low becoming the first president.  She remained active with the Girl Scouts until the time of her death in 1927.  Low’s birthday, October 31, is celebrated by the Girl Scouts as “Founder’s Day.”

    Girl Scout FAQ

    Q. What age do Girl Scouts start?
    A. The Girl Scouts offers programs for girls between ages 5 to 18 years old.

    Q. What levels of Girl Scouts are available?
    A. The Girls Scouts offer six levels, including Daisy, Brownie, Junior, Cadette, Senior, and Ambassador.


  • NATIONAL MAGIC DAY – October 31


    National Magic Day each year on October 31st recognizes the thrill of seeing the performance art. It takes place during National Magic Week.  


    Magic is a performance art entertaining audiences through the creation of illusions. The methods of seemingly impossible or supernatural feats use natural means. The person performing such entertainment is called a magician or an illusionist.

    Humans have likely created magical displays throughout history.  One of the most renowned magicians was Harry Houdini. Known for his *escapology, Houdini had developed a range of stage magic tricks and made full use of the variety of conjuring techniques, including fake equipment and collusion with individuals in the audience.  His show business savvy was as exceptional as his showmanship. The Houdini Museum is located in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

    * Escapology is the practice of escaping from restraints or other traps. 

    Some Magic Categories:
    • Stage illusions –a kind of large-scale performance on a stage.
    • Parlor magic – a performance before a medium-scale audience such as an auditorium. 
    • Micromagic – performed close up using coins, cards, and other small items. It’s also known as close-up or table magic. This type of performance occurs in an intimate setting.
    • Escapology – In this type of performance, the artist escapes from a dangerous situation such as being submerged underwater while handcuffed or dangling from a burning rope. 
    • Pickpocket magic – A distraction type of performance, the artist, makes watches, jewelry, wallets, and more disappear through misdirection. The audience witnesses the entire event. 
    • Mentalism – This type of performance stuns the audience with the artist’s powers of intuition, memory, memory, deduction, and other feats of the mind.

    Many magicians take their talents and combine them. Whether they take to show to the streets or entertain children, they hone their skills in a variety of ways. Others travel with fairs or demonstrate their skills with corporate or trade shows. Also, audiences enjoy comedy and magic together. 


    Attend a magic show or teach yourself a magic trick or watch other magicians perform. Read a book about Harry Houdini or another magician. Visit a magic museum. You can also:

    • Host a magic party.
    • Play magical games.
    • Share your favorite magic trick.
    • Dress up as a magician.

    Use #NationalMagicDay to post on social media.


    The Society of American Magicians sponsors National Magic Day. In 1938, a Chicago member of the Society of American Magicians sought official permission for a Houdini Day. Mrs. Houdini sanctioned the observance, and October 31st was proclaimed National Magic Day in Harry Houdini’s memory.

    Harry Houdini (March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926)





    Laugh out loud on National Knock Knock Joke Day! October 31st encourages telling a few funny knock knock jokes while going door to door. And the day is for jokesters of all ages, too.


    A little history of the Knock Knock Joke:
    1929:  The game of Buff – A child with a stick thumps it on the ground using the following dialogue:
    Knock Knock
    Who’s There:
    What says, Buff:
    Buff says Buff to all his men, and I say Buff to you again.
    1934:  The standard knock-knock joke format was used in a newspaper humor column:
    Knock Knock
    Q. Who’s there?
    A. Rufus
    Q. Rufus Who?
    A. Rufus the most important part of your house.

    1936:  Likely the beginning of popularity for knock-knock jokes.

    Knock-knock jokes became a regular part of the Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in Show in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    At a very young age, children often learn to tell knock-knock jokes as one of their first types of jokes. They also like making up knock-knock jokes to tell their family and friends. What’s your favorite knock-knock joke?


    Take turns telling knock-knock jokes with your kids. Make up new ones or tell some old classics. Trade them back and forth and let the giggles ensue. Laughter is some of the best medicine you can share.

    Have a knock-knock joke-writing contest. Take videos and share them. Visit to find some funny ones for kids.

    We even have a guide to help you tell jokes, 5 Types of Funny Jokes to Tell Your Kids.

    Tell your best knock-knock jokes and use #KnockKnockJokeDay to post on social media.

    Educators, visit the National Day Calendar® Classroom for projects, puzzles, and more designed to Celebrate Every Day® with your students!


    National Day Calendar® continues researching the origin of this fun day. 

    Joke FAQ

    Q. Are there other joke days on the calendar?
    A. Of course, the calendar is full of fun days, but when it comes to jokes and laughter, we have you covered. Check out these days to get the laughter started.

    Q. What’s a knock-knock joke about the National Days?
    A. Knock Knock.
    Who’s there?
    Calenders who?
    Calenders through the door after he knocks.



    National Caramel Apple Day on October 31st celebrates a time-honored fall treat. Many of us remember eating caramel apples or making them with family. Whether it was at a fair, carnival, or Halloween party, it was a special treat. Sometimes we even made them at home. No matter where we enjoyed them, the memory is a good one.


    Caramel apples go by many names – taffy apples or even candy apples. They’re made by skewering apples on a stick and then dipping them in hot caramel. We make them extra delicious by rolling them in nuts, chocolate, or other candies. 

    Sheet caramel allows for the high production of candy apples. The sheets of caramel are wrapped around the apples and then heated to melt the caramel evenly. The best caramel apples are made with tart crisp apples, such as Granny Smith or Fuji apples. Since apples come into season during the fall, Halloween is the ideal time of year to enjoy caramel apples. 

    The caramel-apple flavor is also a fall favorite. It finds its way into beverages, cakes, and other desserts. Add caramel to just about any apple recipe for a bit of caramel apple flavor. It also complements savory dishes, such as pork.


    Host a caramel apple-making day. Invite family and friends to make candy apples with you. Ask them to bring their favorite toppings. Celebrate with hot apple cider and sweet laughter.

    Try this delicious recipe or share your own. Experiment with the caramel apple taste in the kitchen.

    Share your creations by taking photos and posting on social media using #CaramelAppleDay.


    The National Confectioners Association sponsors National Caramel Apple Day.

  • Halloween – October 31



    On October 31, Halloween brings out the ghouls and goblins, creatures, and strange folk. They come creeping about the neighborhood seeking favors over trickery.


    People of all ages look forward to Halloween traditions. While dressing up and baking, we carve up glowing pumpkins. Children breathe life into storybook characters while practicing their trick or treat. In twos and threes, they traipse through the neighborhood, collecting their bounty in pillow sacks. A ghost, a pirate, a robot or Dorothy, and Toto. No matter their age, they come to the door. They knock or ring. Here and there, a screech or a boo!

    The crisp air and autumn colors set the mood. Seasonings fill our senses with a taste of autumn. So we set forth on an adventure and finish with a warm apple cider around a flickering fire.


    Typical festive Halloween activities include trick-or-treating (or the related “guising”). While many attend costume parties, bob for apples, and light bonfires, others look forward to counting trick or treaters. Many people decorate with sprays of fall leaves, scarecrows, and pumpkins carved into jack-o-lanterns. Attractions include visiting a haunted house, playing pranks, telling scary stories, and watching horror films.

    However, trick or treating has also changed. In the United States, some organizations offer trick-or-treat events for children to come dressed up and collect candy in a safe environment. They may also offer Halloween parties for children to attend, too.

    In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remains popular. Although, in other locations, these solemn customs are less pronounced in favor of a more commercialized and secularized celebration.

    Because many Western Christian denominations encourage, although no longer required, abstinence from meat on All Hallows’ Eve, the tradition of eating certain vegetarian foods for this vigil day developed, including the consumption of apples, colcannon, cider, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.

    For the safest Halloween trick or treating tips, be sure to check out the Centers for Disease Control guidelines. Then, get your spook on and use #Halloween to post on social media.


    The observance dates back to an ancient pagan harvest festival marking the end of summer and the beckoning of winter. Seasons overlapped during Samhain (pronounced sah-win), and revelers believed the worlds of the living and the dead crossed. The living would wear costumes and light, bright bonfires to help protect them, allowing them to interact with the spirits.

    Similar celebrations honoring the dead took place in Roman traditions, which were gradually blended and soon replaced the Celtic ceremonies.  However, All Martyrs Day, established by Pope Boniface IV in 609 A.D., was eventually moved by Pope Gregory III to November 1. Later, it became known as All Saint’s Day. The eve of this celebration became known as All Hallows Eve or Halloween.

    Through the Colonial era in America, Halloween celebrations were considered taboo due to religious beliefs. By the Victorian era, though, Haloween traditions featured fall festivals, parties, and foods involving communities and neighborhoods.