On This Day in History January 16

January 16 – Events:

  • 27 BC – The title Augustus is bestowed upon Gaius Julius Caesar Octavian by the Roman Senate.
  • 550 – Gothic War (535–552): The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison.
  • 1120 – The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
  • 1362 – A great storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German island of Strand and the city of Rungholt.
  • 1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
  • 1492 – The first grammar of a modern language, in the Spanish language, is presented to Queen Isabella.
  • 1547 – Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Tsar of Russia.
  • 1556 – Philip II becomes King of Spain.
  • 1572 – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
  • 1581 – The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.
  • 1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid.
  • 1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
  • 1761 – The British capture Pondicherry, India from the French.
  • 1777 – Vermont declares its independence from New York.
  • 1780 – American Revolution: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
  • 1795 – France occupies Utrecht, Netherlands.
  • 1809 – Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruña.
  • 1847 – John C. Fremont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
  • 1864 – Second Schleswig War: King Christian IX of Denmark declares war on the German Confederation in order to occupy Schleswig.
  • 1878 – Captain Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.
  • 1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
  • 1896 – Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.
  • 1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
  • 1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
  • 1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
  • 1920 – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. is founded on the campus of Howard University.
  • 1920 – 18th Amendment, prohibition, goes into effect; repealed in 1933.
  • 1941 – War Department forms first Army Air Corps squadron for black cadets.
  • 1942 – William Knudsen becomes first civilian appointed a general in US army.
  • 1944 – General Eisenhower took command of Allied Invasion Force in London
  • 1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
  • 1956 – President Gamal Abdal Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.
  • 1957 – 3 B-52s leave California for first non-stop round the world flights.
  • 1963 – Khrushchev claims to have a 100-megaton nuclear bomb.
  • 1964 – “Hello, Dolly!” starring Carol Channing, opens on Broadway.
  • 1966 – Harold R. Perry becomes 2nd black Roman Catholic bishop in US.
  • 1968 – The Youth International Party is founded.
  • 1969 – Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, in protest against the Soviets’ crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.
  • 1969 – The Metroliner train enters into service.
  • 1970 – NFL realigns into 3 divisions (down from 4).
  • 1972 – Super Bowl VI-Dallas Cowboys-24, Miami-3.
  • 1976 – “Donny & Marie” musical variety show premiers on ABC TV.
  • 1979 – The Shah of Iran flees Iran with his family and relocates to Egypt.
  • 1980 – Paul McCartney jailed in Tokyo for 10 days on marijuana possession.
  • 1981 – Leon Spinks is mugged, his assailants even take his gold teeth.
  • 1984 – Paul & Linda McCartney arrested in Barbados-possession of marijuana.
  • 1988 – Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder fired from CBS for racial remarks.
  • 1988 – NFL St Louis Cardinals announce move to Phoenix.
  • 1991 – The United States goes to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).
  • 1992 – El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City ending a 12-year civil war that claimed at least 75,000.
  • 1996 – Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou resigns from office for health reasons.
  • 2001 – Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
  • 2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish-American War.
  • 2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
  • 2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one.  Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
  • 2005 – Adriana Iliescu becomes the oldest woman in the world to give birth, at age 66.
  • 2006 – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia’s new president. She becomes Africa’s first female elected head of state.

January 16 – Birthdays:

  • 1245 – Edmund Crouchback, son of Henry III of England (d. 1296)
  • 1409 – René I of Naples (d. 1480)
  • 1477 – Johannes Schöner, German astronomer and cartographer (d. 1547)
  • 1501 – Anthony Denny, confidant of King Henry VIII of England (d. 1559)
  • 1616 – François de Vendôme, duc de Beaufort, French soldier (d. 1669)
  • 1626 – Lucas Achtschellinck, Flemish painter (d. 1699)
  • 1634 – Dorthe Engelbrechtsdatter, Norwegian poet (d. 1716)
  • 1675 – Louis de Rouvroy, duc de Saint-Simon, French writer (d. 1755)
  • 1728 – Niccolò Piccinni, Italian composer (d. 1800)
  • 1807 – Charles Henry Davis, American Civil War Admiral (d 1877)
  • 1815 – Henry W. Halleck, American Civil War general (d. 1872)
  • 1821 – John C. Breckinridge, U.S. Vice-President and Confederate general (d. 1875)
  • 1834 – Robert R. Hitt, American politician (d. 1906)
  • 1836 – King Francis II of the Two Sicilies (d. 1894)
  • 1838 – Franz Brentano, German philosopher and psychologist (d. 1917)
  • 1844 – Ismail Qemali, Albanian nationalist (d. 1919)
  • 1853 – Andre Michelin, French industrialist (d. 1931)
  • 1853 – Sir Johnston Forbes-Robertson, English actor and theatre manager (d. 1937)
  • 1853 – Gen Sir Ian Hamilton, British military commander (d. 1947)
  • 1872 – Edward Gordon Craig, English actor, producer, director and scenic designer (d. 1966)
  • 1872 – Henri Busser, French composer (d. 1973)
  • 1874 – Robert W. Service, Canadian poet (d. 1958)
  • 1875 – Leonor Michaelis, German enzyme kinetic theorist (d. 1947)
  • 1878 – Harry Carey, American silent film actor (d. 1947)
  • 1885 – Zhou Zuoren, Chinese writer (d. 1967)
  • 1886 – John Hamilton, American actor (d. 1958)
  • 1888 – Osip Brik, Russian writer (d. 1945)
  • 1893 – Daisy Kennedy, Australian violinist (d. 1981)
  • 1894 – Irving Mills, American jazz music publisher (d. 1985)
  • 1895 – Nat Schachner, American author (d. 1955)
  • 1897 – Carlos Pellicer, Mexican poet (d. 1977)
  • 1898 – Irving Rapper, UK-US film director (d. 1999)
  • 1898 – Margaret Booth, American film editor (d. 2002)
  • 1901 – Fulgencio Batista, Cuban leader (d. 1973)
  • 1901 – Frank Zamboni, American inventor (d. 1988)
  • 1902 – Eric Liddell, Scottish runner (d. 1945)
  • 1903 – William Grover-Williams, English-French racing driver and WWII resistance fighter (d. 1945, by execution)
  • 1905 – Ernesto Halffter, Spanish composer and conductor (d. 1989)
  • 1906 – Diana Wynyard, British actress (d. 1964)
  • 1907 – Alexander Knox, Canadian actor (d. 1995)
  • 1907 – Paul Nitze, American government official (d. 2004)
  • 1908 – Ethel Merman, American actress and singer (d. 1984)
  • 1908 – Günther Prien, German World War II submarine captain (d. 1941)
  • 1910 – Dizzy Dean, American baseball player (d. 1974)
  • 1911 – Roger Lapébie, French cyclist (d. 1996)
  • 1911 – Eduardo Frei Montalva, Chilean politician (d.1982)
  • 1914 – Roger Wagner, American choral musician (d. 1992)
  • 1916 – Philip Lucock, Australian politician and Presbyterian minister (d. 1996)
  • 1917 – Carl Karcher, founded the Carl’s Jr. hamburger chain (d. 2008)
  • 1918 – Nel Benschop, Dutch poet (d. 2005)
  • 1918 – Clem Jones, Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Australia (d. 2007)
  • 1918 – Stirling Silliphant, American writer (d. 1996)
  • 1920 – Alberto Crespo, Argentine racing driver (d. 1991)
  • 1921 – Francesco Scavullo, American photographer (d. 2004)
  • 1922 – Ernesto Bonino, Italian singer
  • 1923 – Anthony Hecht, American poet (d. 2004)
  • 1924 – Katy Jurado, Mexican actress (d. 2002)
  • 1928 – Pilar Lorengar, Spanish soprano (d. 1996)
  • 1928 – William Kennedy, American author
  • 1930 – Clarence Ray Allen, American murderer (d. 2006)
  • 1930 – Norman Podhoretz, US writer, foreign policy adviser
  • 1931 – Johannes Rau, German politician (d. 2006)
  • 1932 – Dian Fossey, American zoologist (d. 1985)
  • 1933 – Susan Sontag, American writer (d. 2004)
  • 1934 – Marilyn Horne, American opera singer
  • 1935 – A.J. Foyt, American race car driver and team owner
  • 1937 – Lorraine Bayly, Australian actress
  • 1937 – Luiz Bueno, Brazilian racing driver
  • 1938 – Jô Soares, Brazilian author, musician and TV personality
  • 1942 – René Angélil, Canadian music executive
  • 1942 – Barbara Lynn, American singer
  • 1943 – Gavin Bryars, English composer and double bassist
  • 1943 – Brian Ferneyhough, British composer
  • 1944 – Jim Stafford, American singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Kabir Bedi, Indian actor
  • 1946 – Ronnie Milsap, American singer and songwriter
  • 1946 – Katia Ricciarelli, Italian soprano
  • 1947 – Laura Schlessinger, American radio talk show host
  • 1947 – Magdalen Nabb, British author (d. 2007)
  • 1947 – Harvey Proctor, British politician
  • 1948 – John Carpenter, American film director
  • 1948 – Dalvanius Prime, New Zealand entertainer (d. 2002)
  • 1948 – Cliff Thorburn, Canadian snooker player
  • 1948 – Ruth Reichl, American magazine editor
  • 1949 – Andrew Refshauge, Australian politician, Deputy Premier of New South Wales
  • 1950 – Debbie Allen, American dancer and choreographer
  • 1950 – Damo Suzuki, Japanese singer (Can)
  • 1951 – Glenn Ordway, American radio talk show host
  • 1952 – King Fuad II of Egypt
  • 1953 – Robert Jay Mathews, American neo-Nazi (d. 1984)
  • 1956 – Jennifer Dale, Canadian actress
  • 1956 – Martin Jol, Dutch football manager
  • 1956 – Ivan Safronov, Russian journalist (d. 2007)
  • 1958 – Anatoli Boukreev, Russian climber (d. 1997)
  • 1958 – Lena Ek, Swedish politician
  • 1959 – Juanita Bynum, American televangelist
  • 1959 – Sade, Nigerian-born singer
  • 1961 – Paul Raven, English musician (Killing Joke) (d. 2007)
  • 1961 – Jill Sobule, American singer-songwriter
  • 1962 – Paul Webb, British musician (Talk Talk, .O.rang)
  • 1962 – Joel Fitzgibbon, Australian Labor Party politician
  • 1963 – James May, English television presenter
  • 1965 – Maxine Jones, American singer (En Vogue)
  • 1968 – David Chokachi, American actor
  • 1969 – Roy Jones Jr., American boxer
  • 1969 – Dead, Swedish black metal vocalist (Mayhem) (d. 1991)
  • 1970 – Garth Ennis, Irish comic book author
  • 1970 – Brendan O’Hare, Scottish drummer (Teenage Fanclub, Telstar Ponies)
  • 1970 – Ron Villone, American baseball player
  • 1971 – Sergi Bruguera, Spanish tennis player
  • 1972 – Richard T. Jones, American actor
  • 1972 – Greg Page, Australian actor
  • 1973 – Josie Davis, American actress
  • 1974 – Marlon Anderson, American baseball player
  • 1974 – Kate Moss, English model
  • 1975 – Greg Strause, American visual effects creator
  • 1975 – Gillian Iliana Waters, American actress
  • 1976 – Viktor Maslov, Russian racing driver
  • 1976 – Martina Moravcová, Slovak female swimmer
  • 1977 – Jeff Foster, American basketball player
  • 1979 – Aaliyah, American singer (d. 2001)
  • 1979 – Brenden Morrow, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1979 – Jason Ward, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1980 – Albert Pujols, Dominican-born baseball player
  • 1980 – Michelle Wild, Hungarian model
  • 1980 – Seydou Keita, Malian footballer
  • 1981 – Bobby Zamora, English footballer
  • 1981 – Nick Valensi, American guitarist (The Strokes)
  • 1982 – Samuel Preston, British singer (The Ordinary Boys)
  • 1982 – Tuncay Sanli, Turkish footballer
  • 1983 – Emanuel Pogatetz, Austrian footballer
  • 1984 – Jared Slingerland, Canadian musician
  • 1987 – Lauren McAvoy, British fashion model
  • 1988 – Nicklas Bendtner, Danish footballer

January 16 – Deaths:

  • 960 – Polyeuctus, Patriarch of Constantinople
  • 1400 – John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter, English politician (executed) (b. 1352)
  • 1545 – George Spalatin, German reformer (b. 1484)
  • 1547 – Johannes Schöner, German astronomer and cartographer (b. 1477)
  • 1554 – Christiern Pedersen, Danish humanist (b. 1480)
  • 1585 – Edward Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln, English admiral (b. 1512)
  • 1659 – Charles Annibal Fabrot, French lawyer (b. 1580)
  • 1710 – Emperor Higashiyama of Japan (b. 1675)
  • 1711 – Joseph Vaz, Apostle of Ceylon (b. 1651)
  • 1747 – Barthold Heinrich Brockes, German poet (b. 1680)
  • 1748 – Arnold Drakenborch, Dutch classical scholar (b. 1684)
  • 1750 – Ivan Trubetskoy, Russian field marshall (b. 1667)
  • 1752 – Francis Blomefield, English topographer (b. 1705)
  • 1794 – Edward Gibbon, English historian (b. 1737)
  • 1809 – John Moore, British general (b. 1761)
  • 1817 – Alexander J. Dallas, American statesman (b. 1759)
  • 1834 – Jean Nicolas Pierre Hachette, French mathematician (b. 1769)
  • 1856 – Thaddeus William Harris, American naturalist (b. 1795)
  • 1864 – Anton Schindler, Austrian biographer of Beethoven (b. 1795)
  • 1865 – Edmond François Valentin About, French writer (b. 1828)
  • 1879 – Octave Crémazie, French Canadian poet (b. 1827)
  • 1886 – Amilcare Ponchielli, Italian opera composer (b. 1834)
  • 1891 – Léo Delibes, French composer (b. 1836)
  • 1898 – Charles Pelham Villiers, longest-serving MP in the British House of Commons (b. 1802)
  • 1901 – Hiram Revels, U.S. Senator, first African-American to serve in the United States Congress (b. 1822)
  • 1901 – Jules Barbier, French opera librettist (b. 1825)
  • 1901 – Arnold Böcklin, Swiss painter (b. 1827)
  • 1906 – Marshall Field, founder of Marshall Field and Company (b. 1834)
  • 1917 – George Dewey, U.S. admiral (b. 1837)
  • 1919 – Francisco de Paula Rodrigues Alves, President of Brazil (b. 1848)
  • 1920 – Reginald De Koven, American music critic and composer of operettas (b. 1859)
  • 1924 – Winifred Cochrane, Countess of Dundonald, philanthropist (b. 1859)
  • 1935 – Ma Barker, American criminal (b. 1871)
  • 1936 – Albert Fish, American serial killer (b. 1870)
  • 1942 – Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria, Governor General of Canada (b. 1850)
  • 1942 – Carole Lombard, American actress (b. 1908)
  • 1957 – Arturo Toscanini, Italian conductor (b. 1867)
  • 1957 – 1st Earl of Athlone, British royal, Governor-General of South Africa and Canada (b. 1874)
  • 1962 – Ivan Meštrovic, Croatian sculptor (b. 1883)
  • 1962 – Frank Hurley, Australian photographer (b. 1885)
  • 1963 – Ike Quebec, American tenor-saxophone player (b. 1918)
  • 1967 – Robert J. Van de Graaff, American nuclear physicist (b. 1901)
  • 1969 – Vernon Duke, American composer and songwriter (b. 1903)
  • 1969 – Jan Palach, Czech protester against the Soviet led invasion.(b. 1948)
  • 1971 – Philippe Thys, Belgian cyclist (b. 1890)
  • 1972 – Ross Bagdasarian, American actor and creator of The Chipmunks (b. 1919)
  • 1979 – Ted Cassidy, American actor (b. 1932)
  • 1979 – August Heissmeyer, German SS officer (b. 1897)
  • 1981 – Bernard Lee, English actor (b. 1908)
  • 1982 – Red Smith, American sports columnist (b. 1905)
  • 1985 – Robert Fitzgerald, U.S. poet and translator (b. 1910)
  • 1986 – Herbert W. Armstrong, American evangelist, author, and publisher (b. 1892)
  • 1987 – Bertram Wainer, Australian pro-abortion campaigner (b. 1928)
  • 1988 – Andrija Artukovic, Croatian war criminal (b. 1899)
  • 1988 – Ballard Berkeley, English actor (b. 1904)
  • 1993 – Jón Páll Sigmarsson, Icelandic strength athlete (b. 1960)
  • 1995 – Eric Mottram, English poet, teacher, critic, and editor (b. 1924)
  • 1996 – Marcia Davenport, American author and music critic (b. 1903)
  • 1997 – Ennis Cosby, son of entertainer Bill Cosby (murdered) (b. 1969)
  • 1998 – Dimitris Horn, Greek actor (b. 1921)
  • 1999 – Jim McClelland, Australian solicitor, politician, Minister, Royal Commissioner, judge (b. 1915)
  • 2000 – Will “Dub” Jones, American singer (The Coasters) (b. 1928)
  • 2000 – John Rankin, musical entertainer (b. 1959)
  • 2001 – Laurent-Désiré Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (b. 1939)
  • 2001 – Auberon Waugh, British author and journalist (b. 1939)
  • 2002 – Robert Hanbury Brown, British-Australian astronomer and physicist (b. 1916)
  • 2002 – Michael Bilandic, Mayor of Chicago (b. 1923)
  • 2002 – Bobo Olson, American boxer (b. 1928)
  • 2002 – Eddie Meduza, Swedish composer (b. 1948)
  • 2002 – Ron Taylor, American actor (b. 1952)
  • 2003 – Richard Wainwright, English politician (b. 1918)
  • 2004 – Kalevi Sorsa, Prime Minister of Finland (b. 1930)
  • 2005 – Marjorie Williams, American journalist (b. 1958)
  • 2006 – Stanley Biber, American physician, pioneer of transgender surgery, (b. 1923)
  • 2007 – Ron Carey, American actor (b. 1935)
  • 2007 – Benny Parsons, American racecar driver and commentator (b. 1941)

January 16 – Holidays:

  • Teacher’s Day in Thailand
  • Thai Pongal in Tamil nadu, India
  • National Religious Freedom Day in the United States, to commemorate the adoption of Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786
  • Religious holidays:
    • Berard of Carbio
    • Saint Fursey
    • Honoratus of Arles
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