On This Day

Historical Events on February 16

Events 1 - 200 of 212

  • 374 9th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet
  • 600 Pope Gregory the Great decrees saying "God bless You" is the correct response to a sneeze
  • 1249 Andrew of Longjumeau is dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols
  • 1486 Maximilian I is elected King of the Romans at Frankfurt
  • 1512 Battle at Valeggio: French troops beat Venetianen
  • 1559 Pope Paul IV calls for deposition of sovereigns supporting heresy

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1641 English king Charles I accepts Triennial Act requiring that Parliament meet for at least a fifty-day session once every three years

King of England Charles I
King of England
Charles I
  • 1646 Battle of Great Torrington, Devon - the last major battle of the first English Civil War
  • 1659 1st known cheque (£400) (on display at Westminster Abbey)
  • 1666 Netherlands & Brandenburg sign treaty
  • 1677 Earl of Shaftesbury arrested and confined in the Tower of London

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1741 Benjamin Franklin's General Magazine begins publishing

United States Founding Father Benjamin Franklin
United States Founding Father
Benjamin Franklin

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1742 Spencer Compton becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain (First Lord of the Treasury)

British Prime Minister Spencer Compton
British Prime Minister
Spencer Compton
  • 1751 1st publication of Thomas Gray's poem "Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard"
  • 1760 Native American hostages killed in Fort Prince George, South Carolina
  • 1771 Messier presents his original list of 45 M-objects to French Academy

  • 1777 Messier adds M53 to his catalog (globular cluster in Coma Berenice)
  • 1804 US Navy Lt Stephen Decatur raids Tripoli Harbor & burns Navy frigate "Philadelphia" after pirates seized it
  • 1824 Athenaeum club founded in London
  • 1838 Kentucky passes law permitting women to attend school under conditions
  • 1838 Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal are killed by Zulu warriors

DiscoveryHistoric Discovery

1840 American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica

Naval Officer and Explorer Charles Wilkes
Naval Officer and Explorer
Charles Wilkes
  • 1846 Battle of Sobraon ends 1st Sikh War in India
  • 1852 Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

Music releaseMusic Premiere

1854 Franz Liszt's symphony "Orpheus" premieres

Composer & Pianist Franz Liszt
Composer & Pianist
Franz Liszt
  • 1857 Gallaudet College (National Deaf Mute college) forms in Washington, D.C.
  • 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
  • 1860 Dutch Rochussen/Van Bosse government resigns

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1862 Fort Donelson is captured by General Ulysses S. Grant following the surrender of around 12,000 Confederate soldiers

Union General and US President Ulysses S. Grant
Union General and US President
Ulysses S. Grant
  • 1864 Battle of Mobile, AL - operations by Union Army
  • 1866 Spencer Compton Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington becomes the British Secretary of State for War
  • 1868 Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks forms (NY)
  • 1880 American Society of Mechanical Engineers forms (NYC)
  • 1883 "Ladies Home Journal" begins publishing
  • 1887 1st newspaper convention (Rochester NY)
  • 1887 Eduard Douwes Dekker writes his last text (Lf8-c5)
  • 1892 Opera "Werther" by Jules Massenet premieres in Vienna
  • 1894 British troops occupy Ilorin, Gold Coast
  • 1899 Pelham Warner scores 132 on Test Cricket debut (Eng v SA Johannesburg)
  • 1899 President of France Félix Faure dies in office.
  • 1899 Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland's first football club is founded

  • 1900 1st Chinese daily newspaper in US publishes (Chung Sai Yat Po, San Francisco)
  • 1900 Stanley Cup, Montreal Arena, Westmount, Quebec: Montreal Shamrocks beat Winnipeg Victorias, 5-4 to take challenge series, 3-1
  • 1903 -59°F (-51°C), Pokegama Dam, Minnesota (state record)
  • 1905 1st US Esperanto club organizes in Boston
  • 1909 1st subway car with side doors goes into service (NYC)
  • 1909 Serbia mobilizes against Austria-Hungary
  • 1912 VSV soccer team forms in Ijmuiden

AgreementAgreement of Interest

1913 US President Taft agrees not to intervene in Mexico

27th US President William Howard Taft
27th US President
William Howard Taft
  • 1914 1st airplane flight from LA to SF
  • 1915 Frank Home Run Baker, 28, announces retirement following a contract dispute with Connie Mack. He sits out 1915 season
  • 1916 Russian troops conquer the Ottoman Empire city of Erzurum during WWI
  • 1916 The US rejects the right of Germany and Austria-Hungary to sink armed merchant ships
  • 1916 The German ambassador in Washington announces that Germany will pay an indemnity for American lives lost on the Lusitania
  • 1917 1st synagogue in 425 years opens in Madrid
  • 1918 Lithuania declares independence from Russia & Germany (National Day)
  • 1923 Allies accept Latvia's occupation of Memel territory

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1923 Howard Carter opens the inner burial chamber of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb and finds the sarcophagus

Archaeologist who Discovered Tutankhamun Howard Carter
Archaeologist who Discovered Tutankhamun
Howard Carter
  • 1923 US Ladies' Figure Skating championship won by Theresa Weld Blanchard
  • 1923 US Men's Figure Skating championship won by Sherwin Badger
  • 1926 Suzanne Lenglen defeats US champion Helen Wills in influential tennis match in Cannes, France
  • 1927 Noel Coward's "Marquise" premieres in London
  • 1927 US restores diplomatic relations with Turkey
  • 1929 KID-AM in Idaho Falls ID begins radio transmissions

MurderMurder of Interest

1929 In mysterious murder suicide Ned Doheny Jr., son of oil magnate Edward L. Doheny, dies along with secretary Hugh Plunkett at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles

Oil Tycoon Edward L. Doheny
Oil Tycoon
Edward L. Doheny
  • 1931 Extreme right wing Pehr Evind Svinhufvud becomes President of Finland
  • 1932 1st patent for a tree issued to James Markham for a peach tree
  • 1933 Catholic newspaper Germania warns against Nazis and communists
  • 1933 England regains the Ashes, thanks to "bodyline" tactics
  • 1934 Austrian Civil War ends with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund
  • 1934 Commission of Government is sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland
  • 1936 Spanish Frente Popular (People's Front) wins elections
  • 1936 IV Winter Olympic Games close in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 1937 DuPont Corp patents nylon, developed by employee Wallace Carothers
  • 1937 Jean Anouilh's "Le Voyageur Sans Baggage" premieres in Paris
  • 1938 US Federal Crop Insurance program authorized

Film release premierFilm Release

1938 "Bringing Up Baby" film directed by Howard Hawks, starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, is released

  • 1940 British search plane finds German supply ship Altmark, used to accommodate aliied sailors from vessles sunk by the Graf Spee, off Norway
  • 1942 German submarines attack Aruba oil refinery
  • 1942 Bangka Island massacre: Japanese soldiers machine-gun 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships. Only one nurse and two soldiers survive.
  • 1943 -32°F (-36°C), Falls Village, Connecticut (state record)

AgreementContract of Interest

1943 British premier Winston Churchill contracts pneumonia

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • 1943 Withdrawing Afrika Korps reaches Mareth-line in North Africa
  • 1943 Sign on Munich facade: "Out with Hitler! Long live freedom!" done by "White Rose" student group, caught on 2/18, beheaded on 2/22
  • 1943 World War II: The USSR reconquers Kharkov.
  • 1945 US forces land on Corregidor, complete conquest on March 3
  • 1945 Venezuela declares war on Nazi Germany
  • 1946 "The Duchess Misbehaves" closes at Adelphi Theater NYC after 5 performances
  • 1946 1st commercially designed helicopter tested, Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • 1947 Morton Gould's 3rd Symphony, premieres
  • 1948 1st newsreel telecast, "20th Century Fox-Movietone News", shown on NBC
  • 1948 Miranda, famous moon of Uranus, photographed for 1st time
  • 1950 Longest-running prime-time game show, "What's My Line" begins on CBS
  • 1950 Writers fail to elect anyone to Baseball's Hall of Fame
  • 1951 NYC passes bill prohibiting racism in city-assisted housing
  • 1951 San Francisco City Hall dome fire
  • 1952 Ian Craig makes NSW cricket debut aged 16 years 249 days (NSW record)
  • 1952 United States goes 1-2 in the 500m speed skating at the Olso Winter Olympics with Ken Henry taking gold ahead of team mate Don McDermott; Norwegian Hjalmar Anderson dominates remaining 3 speed skating events

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953 Ted Williams safely crash-lands his damaged Panther jet, later awarded the Air medal

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • 1954 WNEM TV channel 5 in Bay City, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1957 The "Toddlers' Truce", a controversial television closedown between 6.00pm and 7.00pm, abolished in the United Kingdom

Film release premierFilm Release

1957 Swedish film classic "The Seventh Seal" directed by Ingmar Bergman, starring Max Von Sydow and Bengt Ekerot is released

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1959 Fidel Castro becomes the 16th Prime Minister of Cuba after overthrowing Fulgencio Batista

Cuban Revolutionary and President Fidel Castro
Cuban Revolutionary and President
Fidel Castro
  • 1959 Leonard Spigelgass' "Majority of One" premieres in NYC
  • 1960 US nuclear submarine USS Triton set off on underwater round-world trip
  • 1961 1st all-solid-propellant rocket put in orbit, Wallops Island, Virginia
  • 1961 China uses its 1st nuclear reactor
  • 1961 US satellite Explorer 9 is launched
  • 1962 Darius Milhaud's 12th Symphony premieres
  • 1962 "La Jetée", French film directed by Chris Marker, starring Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich and Jacques Ledoux, is released
  • 1963 1st round-trip swim of Strait of Messina, Italy (Mary Revell of US)

  • 1963 Beatles top British rock charts with "Please, Please Me"
  • 1963 C & A Building in Amsterdam burns down

Sports record brokenNBA Record

1963 North Carolina forward Billy Cunningham grabs a record 27 rebounds in a game vs Clemson

NBA Forward and Coach Billy Cunningham
NBA Forward and Coach
Billy Cunningham

Book releaseHistoric Publication

1963 Philosopher Hannah Arendt's controversial account of the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann is first published in "The New Yorker"

Political Theorist Hannah Arendt
Political Theorist
Hannah Arendt
Nazi SS Officer and War Criminal Adolf Eichmann
Nazi SS Officer and War Criminal
Adolf Eichmann
  • 1964 "Foxy" opens at Ziegfeld Theater NYC for 72 performances

Music ConcertThe Beatles on Ed Sullivan

1964 The Beatles' 2nd appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show"
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The Beatles with TV host Ed Sullivan during their first appearance on his show in February 1964
The Beatles with TV host Ed Sullivan during their first appearance on his show in February 1964
  • 1965 "Baker Street" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 313 performances
  • 1965 Pegasus 1 launched to detect micro-meteors
  • 1966 Bob Cowper makes 307 v England at the MCG, 727 mins, 20 fours
  • 1966 End of Wally Grout's Test Cricket career, 187 dismissals as Australian wicketkeeper
  • 1966 France performs underground nuclear test at Ecker, Algeria
  • 1967 Red Ruffing selected to Hall of Fame
  • 1968 US 1st 911 phone system goes into service in Haleyville, Alabama

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 Elvis Presley receives a gold record for "How Great Thou Art"

Singer & Cultural Icon Elvis Presley
Singer & Cultural Icon
Elvis Presley

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1968 Beatles George Harrison, John Lennon and their wives fly to India for transcendental meditation study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Singer-Songwriter George Harrison
Singer-Songwriter
George Harrison
Musician and Beatle John Lennon
Musician and Beatle
John Lennon
Guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Guru
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
  • 1968 Italy completes the bobsleigh double at the Grenoble Winter Olympics with victory in the 4-man; Eugenio Monti and Luciano de Paolis double up for gold winning 2-man earlier
  • 1969 Detroit Red Wings' captain Alex Delvecchio picks up an assist in a 6-2 defeat at Minnesota to become the 3rd player in NHL history to score 1,000 career points
  • 1969 "Andrei Rublev", Russian film directed by Andrei Tarkovsky, starring Anatoly Solonitsyn and Ivan Lapikov, premieres in Moscow after a limited release in 1966

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1970 Joe Frazier TKOs Jimmy Ellis in 5 for heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Joe Frazier
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Joe Frazier
  • 1972 German mass murderers "Three of Breda" freed
  • 1972 Test Cricket debut of Lawrence Rowe WI v NZ Kingston, 214 & 100

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 Wilt Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Lakers becomes first player in NBA history to reach the career 30,000 point mark during a 110-109 loss to the Phoenix Suns

NBA Legend Wilt Chamberlain
NBA Legend
Wilt Chamberlain
  • 1973 West Indies v Australia at Kingston, 1st time since 1955 without Gary Sobers
  • 1975 Washington Capitals 1st NHL shutout, beating KC Scouts 3-0
  • 1975 17th Daytona 500: Benny Parsons wins after Cale Yarborough sends race leader David Pearson spinning on the backstretch; Parsons avoids the accident and takes the victory
  • 1977 USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan
  • 1978 1st Computer Bulletin Board System (Ward & Randy's CBBS, Chicago)
  • 1979 George Harrison releases "Blow Away"
  • 1979 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk
  • 1979 Los Angeles premiere of Paul Schrader's allegedly fact based film "Hardcore"
  • 1980 Continuous traffic jam extends 176 km north of Lyons, France
  • 1980 American speed skater Eric Heiden wins 5,000m in Olympic record 7:02.29; second of record 5 gold medal sweep of events at Lake Placid
  • 1982 Agatha Barbara elected as 1st female president of Malta
  • 1982 Assembled STS-3 vehicle moves from Vandenberg AFB to launch pad
  • 1983 The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 75 people in one of Australia's worst ever fires
  • 1984 Bill Johnson becomes 1st American to win Olympic downhill skiing gold
  • 1984 NJ Devils 1st OT goal, Jan Ludvig beats Hartford Whalers 6-5
  • 1984 Swedish cross country skier Gunde Svan takes his 2nd gold medal of the Sarajevo Winter Olympics in the 4 x 10k relay; also wins 15k gold
  • 1984 Swedish cross country skier Thomas Wassberg wins 2nd career gold medal in 4 x 10k relay at Sarajevo Winter Olympics; 2nd of 4 career gold; 15k Lake Placid (1980), 50k Sarajevo, relay Calgary (1988)
  • 1984 Canadian speed skater Gaétan Boucher takes out the 1,500m at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics, his second gold medal of the Games; also wins the 1,000m

  • 1984 3-time men's figure skating world champion Scott Hamilton of the US wins the gold medal at the Sarajevo Winter Olympics from Brian Orser of Canada and Jozef Sabovčík of Czechoslovakia
  • 1985 Largest NBA crowd to date, 43,816, sees Philadelphia at Detroit
  • 1985 Livingston Bramble defeats Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini to win WBA champ
  • 1985 NJ Devils score their fastest hat trick in 42 seconds
  • 1985 The founding of Hezbollah.
  • 1986 "Uptown... It's Hot!" closes at Lunt-Fontanne NYC after 24 performances
  • 1986 French air force bombs Ouadi Doum airport in Chad
  • 1986 Dutch speed skater Hein Vergeer becomes World Allround champion for the second time
  • 1986 Karlstad skates world record 10 km (14:12.14)

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1986 Mário Soares from the Socialist Party is elected the 1st civilian President of Portugal

President of Portugal Mário Soares
President of Portugal
Mário Soares
  • 1986 28th Daytona 500: Geoff Bodine wins on fuel mileage after Dale Earnhardt forced to pit for gas with 3 laps to go, then blows engine leaving the pits

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 Senior PGA Championship Men's Golf, PGA National GC: Gary Player of South Africa wins his first of 9 Champions Tour major titles by 2 strokes from Lee Elder

Golfer Gary Player
Golfer
Gary Player
  • 1987 John Demjanjuk, accused of being "Ivan the Terrible" trial begins
  • 1988 1st documented combat action by US military advisors in El Salvador
  • 1989 Egypt, Iraq, Jordan & North Yemen form common market
  • 1989 Dodgers pitcher Orel Hershiser signs $7.9M-3 year contract

AgreementContract of Interest

1989 Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens signs $7.5M-3 year contract

MLB Pitching Legend Roger Clemens
MLB Pitching Legend
Roger Clemens
  • 1989 William Hayden becomes Governor-General of Australia
  • 1991 Dutch PPR, Political Party Radicals, disbands
  • 1991 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tonya Harding
  • 1992 Former silver Goodyear blimps are now painted yellow & blue

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 LA Lakers retire Magic Johnson's #32 uniform

NBA Legend Magic Johnson
NBA Legend
Magic Johnson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 Ethiopia finds the remains of former Emperor Haile Selassie on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, under the private lavatory of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who overthrew the Emperor

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Emperor
Haile Selassie

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1992 34th Daytona 500: Davey Allison joins father Bobby as a race winner; Richard Petty and A.J. Foyt's final drives in the event

Racing Car Driver A. J. Foyt
Racing Car Driver
A. J. Foyt
  • 1993 Sandra Völker swims world record 50m backstroke (28.33 sec)
  • 1993 Western Australia's and Australia's first woman Premier, Carmen Lawrence, is voted out of office.
  • 1994 6.5 earthquake strikes South East Sumatra, kills 200
  • 1994 Johann Olav Koss skates world record 1500m (1:51.29)
  • 1994 Premier Alfonso Bustamente ends government in Peru
  • 1996 Gary Kirsten scores 188* for South Africa v UAE at Rawalpindi
  • 1997 39th Daytona 500: Hendrick Motorsports posts a 1-2-3 finish with Jeff Gordon winning the race, ahead of Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven
  • 1998 Tellabs Inc acquires Coherent Communications Systems for $670 million

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999 O.J. Simpson's 1968 Heisman Trophy is sold for $230,000 to help settle a $33.5 million civil judgement against Simpson for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend

NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal O.J. Simpson
NFL Running Back and Convicted Criminal
O.J. Simpson
  • 1999 Across Europe, Kurdish rebels take over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Öcalan.
  • 2001 Mathieu Schneider of the Los Angeles Kings becomes the first defenseman in history to score a goal against all 30 NHL teams as LA beats Minnesota, 4-0
  • 2003 45th Daytona 500: Michael Waltrip wins for the second time in 3 years; race ends after 109 laps when rain pours on the track
  • 2004 The Pittsburgh Penguins lose their 12th consecutive home game, a NHL record
  • 2005 2004-05 NHL season is cancelled by Commissioner Gary Bettman; first time a North American professional sports league has called off a season due to labor dispute
  • 2005 The Kyoto Protocol comes into force following its ratification by Russia.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2005 The UK version of "The Apprentice" with British business magnate Alan Sugar premieres on the BBC

Computer Entrepreneur Alan Sugar
Computer Entrepreneur
Alan Sugar
  • 2006 The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army
  • 2013 84 people are killed and 190 are injured after a market bombing in Hazara Town, Pakistan
  • 2013 Anthony Carmona is elected President of Trinidad and Tobago

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2013 Lionel Messi scores his 14th consecutive goal in La Liga and his 300th goal in 365 appearances for Barcelona

Football Star Lionel Messi
Football Star
Lionel Messi

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2013 Angelina Jolie undergoes a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene

Sport awardNBA All-Star Game

2014 63rd NBA All-Star Game, Smoothie King Centre, New Orleans, LA: East beats West, 163-155; MVP: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers, G

NBA Player Kyrie Irving
NBA Player
Kyrie Irving
  • 2014 67th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAS): "12 Years a Slave" Best Film, Alfonso Cuaron Best Director
  • 2014 Netherlands sweeps the medals in the women's 1,500m speed skating at the Sochi Winter Olympics; Jorien ter Mors wins gold ahead of team mates Ireen Wüst and Lotte van Beek
  • 2014 At age 36, American Bode Miller becomes the oldest medalist in Olympic alpine skiing history when he ties for bronze in the super-G in Sochi