October 31: Indianapolis Streetcar Strike, New York City truck attack, and other events of the date
A number of important events have taken place on October 31 in U.S. history, apart from Halloween celebrations. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.
1913 – Indianapolis Streetcar Strike
This event was known as an open breakdown in public order inIndianopolis, the capital city of Indiana. It all started as a wide-range workers’ strike organized by the employees of the Indianapolis Traction & Terminal Company who were members of the trade unions. They were also accompanied by many other minor labor organizations, and eventually they all joined the Amalgamated Street Railway Employees of America union, which resulted in a series of strikes all across America.
Since Indianapolis was considered to be one of the capitals of the U.S. Railway System and an important transportation hub, the consequences of this strike were quite disastrous for the economy. The government couldn’t tolerate such actions; as they took part exactly a week before the elections, the conflict between the workers and the officials was rather harsh. The government brutally suppressed the workers, leaving six dead and hundreds wounded.
Yet, the strike was effective and—the shutdown of mass transit throughout the city, state, and even nation, led to the forced improvement of working conditions.
1963 - Indiana Farmers Coliseum Explosion
Another important historical event, which also occurred in Indiana, exactly fifty years after the Indianapolis Streetcar Strike, was a major explosion at the Farmers Coliseum during a Holiday on Ice show.
It happened around 11 PM as the skaters were finishing a medley called “Mardi Gras.” Tragically, nobody realized that propane gas was leaking from a rusty tank in the concession area, slowly filling the unventilated room. Later, when the skaters started gliding into a pinwheel formation, the gas contacted an electric-run popcorn machine, and then the blast occurred. The explosion killed 74 people. The number of wounded exceeded 400.
A memorial plaque was dedicated 40 years later, back in 2003, but unfortunately it has since been removed. However, another plaque in the honor of the explosion victims currently hangs inside the building’s lobby.
2017 - New York City truck attack
Truck attacks have become a notorious method of terrorism practiced by a number of prohibited organizations throughout the world.
One of those tragedies happened a year ago in New York, as an Islamist terrorist connected with one of these prohibited organizations drove a truck into a crowd of innocent people, killing eight and wounding eleven.
The suspect was identified as an Uzbekistan-born SayfulloHabibullaevich Saipov, who entered the U.S. on the basis of an immigrant visa back in 2010, and later received a green card.The reports said Saipov was “self-radicalized.” Interestingly, two years before the terrorist act he committed, in 2015, the federal agents interviewed Saipov on his possible contacts with two other suspected terrorists, but a case was not opened against him. If one had been, his eight victims could be alive now.
These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on October 31, at least in our view.