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This Day in History - February 16

February 16

374 – The 9th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet occurs

600 – Pope Gregory the Great decrees that saying “God bless you” is the correct response to a sneeze

1249 – Andrew of Longjumeau is sent by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols

1486 – Maximillian I is elected King of the Romans at Frankfurt

1512 – French troops are victorious over the Venetians at the Battle at Valeggio

1559 – Pope Paul IV calls for deposition of sovereigns supporting heresy

1620 – Founder of Brandenburg-Prussia, Frederick William, is born

1641 – English King Charles I accepts the Triennial Act which required that Parliament meet for at least a fifty-day session once every three years

1646 – The last major battle of the first English Civil occurs known as the Battle of Great Torrington, Devon

1659 – The first known cheque is written and now it's on display at Westminster Abbey

1666 – The Netherlands and Brandenburg sign a treaty

1677 – The Earl of Shaftesbury is arrested and imprisoned in the Tower of London

1741 – Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine begins publishing

1742 – Spencer Compton becomes the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the First Lord of the Treasury

1751 – The first publication of Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard” occurs

1760 –Cherokee Indians that are being held hostage at Fort St. George are killed in revenge for attacks on frontier settlements

1778 – Future presidents John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams, board the frigate, Boston, to head for France so that John Adams can replace Silas Deane in Congress’ commission to negotiate a treaty of alliance

1786 – Future President James Monroe marries Elizabeth Kortright

1804 – US Navy Lieutenant Steven Decatur and a small group of sailors head into Tripoli Harbor to burn the USS Philadelphia, which had been captured earlier by Barbary pirates

1824 – The Athenaeum Club is founded in London

1831 – Russian author, playwright and journalist Nikolai Leskov is born

1832 – The HMS Beagle carrying Charles Darwin reaches St. Pauls

1838 – US historian and son and grandson of US Presidents, Henry Adams, is born

1838 – Kentucky passes a law permitting women to attend school under certain conditions

1838 – Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River in Natal are killed by Zulu warriors in an event known as the Weenen Massacre

1840 – American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica

1845 – English philanthropist Quinton Hogg is born

1846 – The Battle of Sobraon ends the first Sikh War in India

1848 – Frederic Chopin plays his final public performance before his death, in Paris

1852 – Founder of the association that will later become the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Charles Taze Russell, is born

1852 – The Studebaker Brothers wagon company is established

1854 – Composer Frank Liszt’s symphony “Orpheus” premieres

1857 – The National Deaf Mute College, Gallaudet College, forms in Washington, DC

1859 – The French government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz in an attempt to standardize the pitch

1862 – Fort Donelson, Tennessee falls to Ulysses Grant’s Federal forces, but Nathan Bedford Forrest escapes

1865 – Columbia, South Carolina surrenders to Federal troops

1866 – Spencer Compton Cavendish becomes the British Secretary of State for War

1868 – Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks forms in New York

1878 – The Bland-Allison Act becomes law, and the West returns to the minting of silver coins

1880 – American Society of Mechanical Engineers forms in New York City

1883 – “Ladies Home Journal” begins publication

1886 – Biographer, critic and literary historian Van Wyck Brooks is born

1887 – The first newspaper convention is held in Rochester, New York

1894 – Gunslinger John Wesley Hardin is pardoned after spending 15 years in a Texas prison for murder

1898 – American actress Katharine Cornell is born

1899 – Felix Faure, President of France, dies

1903 – Ventriloquist and radio comedian Edgar Bergen is born

1904 – US diplomat and historian George Kennan is born

1916 – The Russian army defeats the Third Turkish Army and captures Erzerum in the Ottoman province of Anatolia

1918 – Lithuania proclaims independence from Russia

1923 – Bessie Smith makes her first recording, “Down Hearted Blues”

1923 – English archaeologist Howard Carter enters the sealed burial chamber of ancient Egyptian ruler King Tutankhamen, in Thebes, Egypt and is delighted to find a sarcophagus, three coffins nested inside one another, the last one made of solid gold, the mummified body of King Tut, shrines, jewels, statues, a chariot, weapons and clothing- all perfectly preserved

1927 – The US restores diplomatic relations with Turkey

1931 – Pehr Evind Svinhufvud becomes President of Finland

1932 – The first patent for a tree is issued to James Markham-peach tree

1932 – American and English financier and philanthropist Edgar Speyer dies

1933 – David O. Selznick becomes vice president and producer at MGM, and will go on to become one of the most influential independent producers of his time

1934 – Thousands of Socialists battle Communists at a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden

1937 – Dupont patents nylon thread to replace silk in certain products to reduce costs

1940 – A British destroyer HMS Cossack rescues British seaman from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord

1941 – 2nd Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-il, is born

1942 – Tojo outlines Japan’s war aims to the Diet, referring to “new order of coexistence” in East Asia

1942 – Japanese soldiers machine-gun 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships in the Bangka Island Massacre

1944 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford is born

1945 – American paratroopers land on Corregidor, in an effort to liberate the Philippines and recapture Bataan

1945 – Venezuela declares war on Germany

1951 – Joseph Stalin declares the UN is becoming the weapon of aggressive war

1952 – The FBI arrests ten members of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina

1957 – A US flag flies over an outpost in Wilkes Land, Antarctica

1957 – Polish and American pianist and composer Josef Hofmann dies

1959 – Fidel Castro takes the oath as Cuban premier in Havana

1965 – Four persons are detained in a plot to blow up the Liberty Bell, Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument

1966 – The World Council of Churches held in Geneva, pleads for immediate peace in Vietnam

1968 – US officials report that the Tet Offensive of Vietnam has created 350,000 new refugees

1968 – The country’s first 911 phone system goes into effect in Haleyville, Alabama

1978 – China and Japan sign a $20 billion trade pact

1979 – Italian motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi is born

1983 – Thousands of acres are burned in a brush fire, raging across South Australia, and 75 are killed and another 800 injured

1984 – Bill Johnson becomes the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing

1984 – Bangladeshi General MAG Osmani dies

1987 – The first trial against John Demjanjuk began in Jerusalem when he was accused of being a brutal Nazi guard, “Ivan the Terrible”

1997 – 25-year old Jeff Gordon becomes the youngest Daytona 500 winner in history

1985 – The Lebanese political party Hezbollah is founded

1999 – Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan is captured by Turkish commandos in Kenya, sparking seizures of embassies in Europe by the Kurds

1999 – OJ Simpson sells his 1968 Heisman Trophy for $230,000 to help settle a $33.5 million civil suit against him for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend

2002 – England football manager Walter Winterbottom dies

2005 – The NHL season is canceled by league commissioner Gary Bettman marking the first time a North American pro sports league had to cancel a season due to a labor dispute

2005 – The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect as the global warming pact, ratified by 191 countries excluding the US

2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the Army

2013 – 84 are killed and 190 injured in a market bombing in Hazara Town, Pakistan

2013 – English guitarist, singer, and songwriter Tony Sheridan dies

2016 – China announces it will locate 9,000 people in Guizhou Province before the completion of the world’s largest telescope (FAST), designed to search for extraterrestrial life

 


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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