On This Day in History December 16

December 16 – Events:

  • 755 – An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China.
  • 1392 – Nanboku-cho – Emperor Go-Kameyama abdicates in favor of rival claimant Go-Komatsu.
  • 1431 – Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.
  • 1497 – Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.
  • 1598 – Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang Point – The final battle of the Seven Year War is fought between the Korean and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive Korean victory.
  • 1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
  • 1689 – Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights.
  • 1707 – Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.
  • 1761 – Seven Years’ War: After four-month siege, the Russians under Pyotr Rumyantsev take the Prussian fortress of Kolobrzeg.
  • 1773 – American Revolution: Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
  • 1811 – The first two in a series of severe earthquakes occurs, in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri.
  • 1826 – Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican controlled Nacogdoches, Texas and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia.
  • 1838 – Battle of Blood River: Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius combat Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  • 1850 – History of New Zealand: The Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Joseph E. Johnston replaces Braxton Bragg as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Franklin-Nashville Campaign – Battle of Nashville – Major General George H. Thomas’s Union forces defeat Lieutenant General John Bell Hood’s Confederate Army of Tennessee.
  • 1893 – Antonín Dvorák’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95, “From The New World” was given its world premiere at Carnegie Hall.
  • 1907 – Great White Fleet started its circumnavigation of the world
  • 1910 – During a ground test of his Coanda-1910 plane, Henri Coanda, caught unaware

by the power of the engine, finds himself briefly airborne and loses control of the machine which crashes to the ground.

  • 1914 – World War I: German battleships under Franz Von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough.
  • 1920 – A magnitude 8.5 earthquake rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000.
  • 1922 – President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zacheta Gallery in Warsaw.
  • 1925 – Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity is founded at Lafayette College.
  • 1937 – Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.
  • 1941 – World War II: Japanese occupy Miri, Sarawak
  • 1942 – Holocaust: Porajmos – Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.
  • 1944 – World War II: Battle of the Bulge – General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s allied forces and Field Marshall Gerd von Rundstedt’s German army engage in the Belgian Ardennes.
  • 1946 – Léon Blum becomes Prime Minister of France.
  • 1947 – William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point contact transistor.
  • 1949 – Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knows as SAAB, is founded in Sweden.
  • 1950 – President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight with communist North Korea in the Korean War.
  • 1957 – Sir Feroz Khan Noon replaces Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar as Prime Minister of Pakistan.
  • 1960 – 1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966.
  • 1971 – Bangladesh War of Independence and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan army brings an end to both conflicts.
  • 1971 – Independence Day of the State of Bahrain from British Protectorate Status
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Henry Kissinger announces that North Vietnam has left private peace negotiations, in Paris.
  • 1978 – Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks.
  • 1979 – Libya joins four other OPEC nations in raising crude oil prices, having an immediate dramatic effect on the United States.
  • 1982 – The Federal Reserve announces that the operating capacity of factories has gone down to 67.8%.
  • 1985 – Mafia: In New York City, Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino family.
  • 1986 – Revolt in Kazakhstan against Communist party, known as Zheltoksan, which becomes the first sign of ethnic strife during Gorbachev’s tenure.
  • 1989 – Protest breaks out in Timisoara in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor, László Tokés.
  • 1989 – Walter LeRoy Moody begins his terrorist bombing streak when he sends Judge Robert Smith Vance a bomb in the mail, instantly killing him near his house in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 1991 – United Nations General Assembly: UN General Assembly Resolution 4686 revokes UN General Assembly Resolution 3379 after Israel makes revocation of resolution 3379 a condition of its participation in the Madrid Peace Conference of 1991.
  • 1991 – Independence of The Republic of Kazakhstan.
  • 1998 – Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox – The United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq.

December 16 – Birthdays:

  • 1485 – Catherine of Aragon, Queen of England (d. 1536)
  • 1584 – John Selden, English jurist and oriental scholar (d. 1654)
  • 1614 – Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg (d. 1674)
  • 1714 – George Whitefield, English-born Methodist leader (d. 1770)
  • 1716 – Louis-Jules Mancini-Mazarini, Duc de Nivernais, French diplomat and writer (d. 1798)
  • 1717 – Elizabeth Carter, English writer (d. 1806)
  • 1742 – Gebhard Fürst Blücher von Wahlstatt, German Field Marshal (d. 1819)
  • 1770 – Ludwig van Beethoven, German composer (d. 1827)
  • 1775 – Jane Austen, English writer (d. 1817)
  • 1775 – François-Adrien Boïeldieu, French composer (d. 1834)
  • 1776 – Johann Wilhelm Ritter, German physicist (d. 1810)
  • 1790 – King Léopold I of Belgium (d. 1865)
  • 1804 – Viktor Bunyakovsky, Russian mathematician (d. 1889)
  • 1834 – Léon Walras, French economist (d. 1910)
  • 1861 – Antonio de La Gandara, French painter (d. 1917)
  • 1863 – George Santayana, Spanish philosopher and writer (d. 1952)
  • 1865 – Olavo Bilac, Brazilian poet (d. 1918)
  • 1866 (N.S.) – Wassily Kandinsky, Russian-born French abstract painter (d. 1944)
  • 1867 – Amy Carmichael, missionary in Dohnavur, India (d. 1951)
  • 1869 – Hristo Tatarchev, Bulgarian revolutionary (d. 1952)
  • 1872 – Anton Ivanovich Denikin, Russian general (d. 1947)
  • 1882 – Sir Jack Hobbs, English cricketer (d. 1963)
  • 1882 – Zoltán Kodály, Hungarian composer (d. 1967)
  • 1882 – Walther Meissner, German physicist (d. 1974)
  • 1883 – Max Linder, French pioneer of silent film (d. 1925)
  • 1888 – King Alexander I of Yugoslavia (d. 1934)
  • 1888 – Alphonse Juin, Marshall of France (d. 1967)
  • 1899 – Sir Noel Coward, English playwright, actor and composer (d. 1973)
  • 1900 – V. S. Pritchett, English author and critic (d. 1997)
  • 1901 – Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (d. 1978)
  • 1902 – Rafael Alberti, Spanish poet (d. 1999)
  • 1905 – Piet Hein, Danish mathematician and inventor (d. 1996)
  • 1906 – Barbara Kent, Canadian actress
  • 1915 – Turk Murphy, American trombonist (d. 1987)
  • 1917 – Nabi Bux Khan Baloch, Sindhi scholar
  • 1917 – Sir Arthur C. Clarke, English writer
  • 1918 – Pierre Delanoë, French songwriter and lyricist (d. 2006)
  • 1922 – Cy Leslie, American music and video executive (d. 2008)
  • 1926 – James McCracken, American tenor (d. 1988)
  • 1927 – Randall Garrett, American writer (d. 1987)
  • 1928 – Philip K. Dick, American writer (d. 1982)
  • 1929 – Nicholas Courtney, English actor
  • 1932 – Rodion Shchedrin, Soviet/Russian composer
  • 1934 – Elgin Gay Baylor, NBA Hall of Famer
  • 1936 – Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center
  • 1937 – Joyce Bulifant, American actress
  • 1938 – Frank Deford, American sportswriter
  • 1938 – Liv Ullmann, Norwegian actress
  • 1941 – Lesley Stahl, American journalist
  • 1943 – Steven Bochco, American television producer and writer
  • 1943 – Tony Hicks, English guitarist (The Hollies)
  • 1945 – Patti Deutsch, American actress and Match Game panelist
  • 1945 – Bobby George, English professional darts player
  • 1945 – Yukio Hattori, Japanese Iron Chef commentator
  • 1946 – Benny Andersson, Swedish musician, singer and songwriter (ABBA)
  • 1946 – Trevor Pinnock, English conductor and harpsichordist
  • 1947 – Ben Cross, English actor
  • 1947 – Vincent Matthews, American sprinter
  • 1948 – Christopher Biggins, English actor
  • 1949 – Billy Gibbons, American guitarist (ZZ Top)
  • 1950 – Claudia Cohen, American gossip columnist and socialite (d. 2007)
  • 1950 – Roy Schuiten, Dutch cyclist (d. 2006)
  • 1951 – Robben Ford, American guitarist
  • 1952 – Joel Garner, Barbadian West Indies cricketer
  • 1952 – Francesco Graziani, Italian footballer
  • 1955 – Xander Berkeley, American actor
  • 1955 – Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este
  • 1960 – Pat van den Hauwe, Belgian footballer
  • 1961 – Bill Hicks, American comedian (d. 1994)
  • 1961 – Jon Tenney, American actor
  • 1962 – Maruschka Detmers, Dutch actress
  • 1962 – William “The Refrigerator” Perry, American football player
  • 1963 – Benjamin Bratt, American actor
  • 1963 – Jeff Carson, American singer
  • 1963 – James Mangold, American film director and screenwriter
  • 1964 – Heike Drechsler, East German-born sprinter
  • 1964 – Georgie Parker, Australian actress
  • 1964 – Billy Ripken, American baseball player
  • 1965 – Chris Jones, American baseball player
  • 1965 – Melanie Sloan, American attorney
  • 1965 – Nancy Valen, American actress
  • 1966 – Clifford Robinson, American basketball player
  • 1966 – Dennis Wise, English footballer
  • 1967 – Donovan Bailey, Jamaican-born Canadian sprinter
  • 1967 – Miranda Otto, Australian actress
  • 1971 – Michael McCary, American singer (Boyz II Men)
  • 1971 – Paul van Dyk, German DJ
  • 1972 – Angela Bloomfield, New Zealand actress
  • 1972 – Charles Gipson, American baseball player
  • 1972 – Željko Kalac, Australian soccer player
  • 1973 – Themba Mnguni, South African footballer
  • 1973 – Scott Storch, Canadian-American hip-hop producer
  • 1974 – Frida Hallgren, Swedish actress
  • 1975 – Valentin Badoi, Romanian footballer
  • 1975 – Nawo Kawakita, Japanese drummer (Maximum the Hormone)
  • 1975 – Benjamin Kowalewicz, Canadian musician (Billy Talent)
  • 1975 – Jonathan Scarfe, Canadian actor
  • 1977 – Éric Bélanger, Canadian ice hockey player
  • 1977 – Sylvain Distin, French footballer
  • 1978 – Gunter Van Handenhoven, Belgian footballer
  • 1978 – Kaine, American rapper (Ying Yang Twins)
  • 1979 – Mihai Traistariu, Romanian singer
  • 1979 – Jessie Ward, American professional wrestler
  • 1979 – Trevor Immelman, South African golfer
  • 1981 – Flo Rida, American rapper
  • 1981 – Anna Sedokova, Ukrainian singer
  • 1981 – Took Leng How, Malaysian criminal (d. 2006)
  • 1981 – Gareth Williams, Scottish footballer
  • 1982 – Garnon Davies, Welsh actor
  • 1983 – Kelenna Azubuike, English basketball player
  • 1983 – Danielle Lloyd, English model
  • 1983 – Antrel Rolle, National Football League defensive back
  • 1985 – Keita Tachibana, member of Japanese boy band w-inds.
  • 1985 – Girish Swami from bhandup mumbai india
  • 1987 – Hallee Hirsh, American actress
  • 1988 – Anna Popplewell, English actress
  • 1992 – Blake Falls, footballplayer

December 16 – Deaths:

  • 705 – Empress Wu of Zhou (b. 625)
  • 714 – Pippin of Herstal, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
  • 867 – Eberhard of Friuli
  • 999 – Saint Adelaide of Italy (b. 931)
  • 1325 – Charles of Valois, son of Philip III of France (b. 1270)
  • 1378 – Otto III of Montferrat
  • 1379 – John Fitzalan, Marshal of England
  • 1470 – John II, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1425)
  • 1515 – Afonso de Albuquerque Portuguese naval general (b. 1453)
  • 1598 – Yi Sun-sin, Korean admiral (b. 1545)
  • 1669 – Nathaniel Fiennes, English politician (b. circa 1608)
  • 1687 – William Petty, English scientist and philosopher (b. 1623)
  • 1751 – Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessau, Prussian general (b. 1700)
  • 1765 – Peter Frederick Haldimand, Swiss military officer and surveyor
  • 1774 – François Quesnay, French economist (b. 1694)
  • 1783 – Johann A. Hasse, German composer (b. 1699)
  • 1783 – Sir William James, British naval commander (b. 1720)
  • 1809 – Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy, French chemist (b. 1755)
  • 1859 – Wilhelm Grimm, German writer and folklorist (b. 1786)
  • 1897 – Alphonse Daudet, French novelist and short story writer (b. 1840)
  • 1898 – Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and art collector (b. 1832)
  • 1914 – Ivan Zajc, Croatian composer (b. 1832)
  • 1921 – Camille Saint-Saëns, French composer (b. 1835)
  • 1922 – Gabriel Narutowicz, first President of Poland (b. 1865)
  • 1928 – Elinor Wylie, American poet and writer (b. 1885)
  • 1935 – Thelma Todd, American actress (b. 1905)
  • 1940 – Billy Hamilton, American baseball player (b. 1866)
  • 1945 – Giovanni Agnelli, Italian automobile manufacturer (b. 1866)
  • 1945 – Fumimaro Konoye, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1891)
  • 1949 – Sidney Olcott, Canadian film director (b. 1873)
  • 1956 – Nina Hamnett, Welsh artist (b. 1890)
  • 1965 – W. Somerset Maugham, English writer (b. 1874)
  • 1976 – Réal Caouette, French Canadian politician (Social Credit Party of Canada) (b. 1917)
  • 1977 – Risto Jarva, Finnish filmmaker (b. 1934)
  • 1980 – Colonel Sanders, American fast food entrepreneur (b. 1890)
  • 1980 – Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  • 1982 – Colin Chapman, English engineer and automobile manufacturer, founder of Lotus
  • Cars (b. 1928)
  • 1984 – Debs Garms, American baseball player (b. 1907)
  • 1985 – Thomas Bilotti, American mafioso (b. 1940)
  • 1985 – Paul Castellano, American mafioso (b. 1915)
  • 1988 – Sylvester, American singer (b. 1948)
  • 1989 – Oscar Alfredo Gálvez, Argentine racing driver (b. 1913)
  • 1989 – Silvana Mangano, Italian actress (b. 1930)
  • 1989 – Aileen Pringle, American actress (b. 1895)
  • 1989 – Lee Van Cleef, American actor (b. 1925)
  • 1990 – Douglas Campbell, American pilot (b. 1896)
  • 1992 – Blake Falls (football player)
  • 1993 – Moses Gunn, American actor (b. 1929)
  • 1993 – Tanaka Kakuei, Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1918)
  • 1995 – Johnny Moss, American poker player (b. 1907)
  • 1995 – Mariele Ventre, Italian choir director (b. 1939)
  • 1996 – Quentin Bell, English art historian (b. 1910)
  • 1997 – Nicolette Larson, American singer (b. 1952)
  • 1998 – William Gaddis, American writer (b. 1922)
  • 2001 – Stuart Adamson, English-born Scottish musician (The Skids, Big Country) (b. 1958)
  • 2001 – Stefan Heym, German author (b. 1913)
  • 2003 – Robert Stanfield, Premier of Nova Scotia (b. 1914)
  • 2003 – Gary Stewart, American musician and songwriter (b. 1945)
  • 2004 – Ted Abernathy, American baseball player (b. 1933)
  • 2005 – Kenneth Bulmer, English author (b. 1921)
  • 2005 – Ed Hansen, American film director and editor (b. 1937)
  • 2005 – John Spencer, American actor (b. 1946)
  • 2006 – Don Jardine, Canadian professional wrestler (b. 1940)
  • 2006 – Taliep Petersen, South African singer and composer (b. 1950)
  • 2006 – Pnina Salzman, Israeli pianist (b. 1922)
  • 2007 – Dan Fogelberg, American singer/songwriter (b. 1951)

December 16 – Holidays:

  • Bahrain – National Day
  • Bangladesh – Victory Day
  • India – Vijay Divas (Victory Day)
  • Kazakhstan – Independence Day
  • South Africa – Day of Reconciliation
  • Afrikaners (South Africa) – Day of the Vow
  • Mexico – First day of Las Posadas
  • Philippines – First day of Misa de Gallo
  • Adelaide
  • Eusebius of Vercelli
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