On This Day

Historical Events on May 16

Events 1 - 200 of 259

  • 955 Octavian, son of Duke Alberic II of Spoleto, elected Pope John XII
  • 1165 Ramjbam & his family reach Acre Palestine
  • 1204 Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders, is crowned as the first Emperor of the Latin Empire of Constantinople
  • 1527 Florence becomes a republic
  • 1532 Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England
  • 1547 Protestant German monarch surrenders to Karel in Wittenberg
  • 1568 Mary Queen of Scots flees to England

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1571 German astronomer Johannes Kepler, by his own calculations, is conceived at 4:37 AM

Astronomer Johannes Kepler
Johannes Kepler
  • 1584 7 Westfriese towns divide monasteries of Egmond, Blokker and St Pietersdal
  • 1605 Camillo Borghese elected to succeed Pope Leo XI, becomes Paul V
  • 1606 2,000 foreigners murdered in Russia
  • 1648 Battle of Zhovti Vody: Bohdan Chmielricki's cosacks defeat Polish King John Casimir after 18 days of battle
  • 1747 Prince Willem V sworn in as admiral-general of Netherlands

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1763 Samuel Johnson 1st meets his future biographer James Boswell in London

Scholar and Lexicographer Samuel Johnson
Scholar and Lexicographer
Samuel Johnson
  • 1771 The Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolutionary War battle between local militia and a group of rebels called "The Regulators", occurs in present-day Alamance County, North Carolina.
  • 1792 Denmark abolishes slave trade

  • 1795 Hedges Treaty: Bataafse Republic becomes French vassal state
  • 1796 Lombardian Republic forms
  • 1803 Peace of Amiens between French Republic and Great Britain ends
  • 1811 Peninsular War: Allies defeat French at Albuera
  • 1815 The Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, officially names the town of Blackheath in the upper Blue Mountains
  • 1817 Mississippi River steamboat service begins
  • 1822 Greek War of Independence: Turks capture the Greek town of Souli

Electoral defeatPresidential Convention

1860 -18] Chicago: Republican convention selects Abraham Lincoln as candidate

16th US President Abraham Lincoln
16th US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • 1861 Major General Twiggs surrenders to Confederate Army in San Antonio, Texas (US Civil War)
  • 1861 Confederate government offers war volunteers $10 premium
  • 1861 Kentucky proclaims its neutrality
  • 1862 Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir builds 1st automobile
  • 1863 Battle of Champion's Hill, Mississippi - bloodiest action of Vicksburg Campaign
  • 1864 Atlanta Campaign: Battle of Resaca, ends (since May 13)
  • 1864 Battle of Bermuda Hundred, Virginia
  • 1864 Last battles at Drewry's Bluff, Virginia (6,666 casualties)

InventionHistoric Invention

1866 Charles E. Hires invents "Hires Root Beer"

Pharmacist and Root Beer Brewer Charles E. Hires
Pharmacist and Root Beer Brewer
Charles E. Hires
  • 1866 US Congress authorizes the nickel 5 cent piece (replaces silver half-dime)
  • 1868 Bedrich Smetana's opera "Dalibor" premieres in Prague

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1868 US Senate fails to impeach President Andrew Johnson by one vote

17th US President Andrew Johnson
17th US President
Andrew Johnson

  • 1869 Cincinnati Reds play their 1st baseball game, win 41-7
  • 1872 Metropolitan Gas Company lamps lit for 1st time
  • 1874 1st recorded dam disaster in US (Williamsburg, Massachusetts)
  • 1875 Eathquake in Venezuela & Colombia kills 16,000
  • 1877 May 16, 1877 political crisis in France.
  • 1879 Antonin Dvorák's "Slavic Dancing" premieres
  • 1879 Treaty of Gandamak to set up Afghan state between Russia & English
  • 1881 World's 1st electric tram enters service in Lichterfelder (near Berlin)
  • 1882 8th Kentucky Derby: Babe Hurd aboard Apollo wins in 2:40.00
  • 1884 10th Kentucky Derby: Isaac Murphy aboard Buchanan wins in 2:40.25
  • 1888 CPR opens Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1891 George A. Hormel & Co establishes Geo. A.Hormel & Co. (Hormel Foods Corporation) in Austin, Minnesota
  • 1894 Fire in Boston destroys baseball stadium & 170 other buildings
  • 1902 2 deaf-mutes face each other for 1st time as Dummy Hoy leads off for the Reds against Dummy Taylor of the Giants, Reds win 5-3
  • 1903 1st transcontinental motorcycle trip began in San Francisco by George A. Wyman (arrives in New York July 6)
  • 1907 In the Pact of Cartagena, Great Britain, France, and Spain agree to maintain the status quo in the Mediterranean and along the Atlantic coast of Europe and Africa
  • 1910 US Bureau of Mines forms
  • 1911 Remains of a neanderthal man found on Jersey, Channel Islands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1911 Zeppelin "Deutscheland" wrecked at Dusseldorf

Inventor of the Zeppelin Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Inventor of the Zeppelin
Ferdinand von Zeppelin
  • 1914 American Horseshoe Pitchers Association organizes in Kansas City
  • 1914 Ewing Field baseball park opens near Masonic Street, San Francisco. Relocated a year later.
  • 1916 41st Preakness: Linus McAtee aboard Damrosch wins in 1:54.8
  • 1918 The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government an imprisonable offense.


1920 Joan of Arc (Jeanne D'arc) canonized a saint

French Soldier and National Heroine Joan of Arc
French Soldier and National Heroine
Joan of Arc
  • 1920 Spanish bullfighter Joselito is fatally gored fighting his last bull
  • 1921 46th Preakness: F Coltiletti aboard Broomspun wins in 1:54.2
  • 1922 White Star Liner Majestic completes 5½ day maiden voyage
  • 1924 108°F (42°C) in Blitzen, Oregon
  • 1925 51st Kentucky Derby: Earl Sande aboard Flying Ebony wins in 2:07.6
  • 1927 NY Yankee Bob Meusel steals 2nd, 3rd & home
  • 1927 US Supreme Court ruled bootleggers must pay income tax

Film tv awardsAcademy Awards

1929 1st Academy Awards: "Wings", Emil Jannings & Janet Gaynor win

  • 1930 6th Walker Cup: US, 10-2
  • 1931 57th Kentucky Derby: Charley Kurtsinger on Twenty Grand wins 2:01.8
  • 1932 Yanks 4th straight shutout to equal record set by Cleveland & Boston
  • 1933 Cecil Travis becomes 1st player to get 5 hits in his 1st game
  • 1936 1st British air hostess Daphne Kearley flies to France
  • 1936 61st Preakness: George Woolf aboard Bold Venture wins in 1:59
  • 1938 1st animal breeding society forms (NJ)
  • 1938 38 die in Terminal Hotel fire (Atlanta Ga)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938 In cricket Bradman scores 278 Aust v MCC, 349 mins, 35 fours 1 six

Cricket Legend Donald Bradman
Cricket Legend
Donald Bradman
  • 1939 1st AL night game, Philadelphia Shribe Park (Indians 8, Athletics 3 in 10)
  • 1939 Food stamps are 1st issued
  • 1940 Nazis forbid non-professional auto workers

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1940 British Premier Winston Churchill returns to London from Paris

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • 1941 1st US radio performance of Bennett's "Symphony in D for the Dodgers"
  • 1941 Italian army under Aosta surrenders to Britain at Amba Alagi, Ethiopia
  • 1941 Last great German air attack on Great Britain (Birmingham)
  • 1941 Nazis forbid Dutch Organization of Actors (NOT)
  • 1942 1st transport of British and Dutch prisoners to South Burma

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 Operation Chastise: No. 617 Squadron RAF begins the famous dambusters Raid, bombing the Möhne and Eder dams in the Ruhr valley with bouncing bombs

RAF Pilot Guy Gibson
RAF Pilot
Guy Gibson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1943 SS General Jürgen Stroop orders the burning of the Warsaw Ghetto, ending a month of Jewish resistance. 13,000 Jews have died, about half burnt alive or suffocated, German casualties less than 300

Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Mordecai Anielewicz
Leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
Mordecai Anielewicz
  • 1944 1st of 180,000+ Hungarian Jews reach Auschwitz
  • 1945 Violent battles around Sugar Loaf and Half Moon, Okinawa

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1946 "Annie Get Your Gun" musical by Irving Berlin, Dorothy and Herbert Fields opens at Imperial Theater NYC, starring Ethel Merman and featuring "There's no Business Like Show Business"

Composer and Lyricist Irving Berlin
Composer and Lyricist
Irving Berlin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1947 Billie Holiday is arrested in her New York apartment for possession of narcotics

Jazz Musician Billie Holiday
Jazz Musician
Billie Holiday
  • 1948 First chess world championship since WWII; Russian player Mikhail Botvinnik wins a 5-player tournament to begin 20-year Russian domination
  • 1948 CBS news correspondent George Polk's body is found in Greece
  • 1948 Chaim Weizmann elected 1st President of Israel
  • 1948 Egyptians enter Gaza
  • 1948 Israel issues its 1st postage stamps
  • 1951 The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights begin between Idlewild Airport (New York International Airport) and Heathrow Airport (London), operated by El Al Israel Airlines
  • 1952 "New Faces (of 1952)" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 365 performances
  • 1953 Phillies Curt Simmons gives up a single, then retires next 27 in a row

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954 Ted Williams gets 8 hits in 1st game (DH) since breaking collarbone

Baseball Player Ted Williams
Baseball Player
Ted Williams
  • 1954 WGAN (now WGME) TV channel 13 in Portland, ME (CBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1955 King Baudouin of Belgium visits Congo
  • 1955 Ray Lindwall scores his 2nd Test Cricket century 118 at Bridgetown

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1955 Rocky Marciano beats Don Cockell by TKO in the 9th round at Kezar Stadium, San Francisco to retain his world heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Rocky Marciano
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Rocky Marciano
  • 1956 Egypt recognizes People's Republic of China
  • 1956 Great Britain performs nuclear Test at Monte Bello Is Australia
  • 1956 Kraft Theater presents an act from "Profiles in Courage"
  • 1956 England cricket spin bowler Jim Laker takes 10-88 for Surrey v Australia in tour match at The Oval, London
  • 1957 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Invicti Athletae
  • 1957 US launches its 3rd atomic submarine, USS Skate, at Groton, Connecticut
  • 1957 Yanks involved in Copacabana Incident, leads to Billy Martin trade
  • 1958 Major Irwin, USAF, flies a Lockheed Starfight F-104 A to a record 1,404.18 MPH
  • 1958 Eli Beeding experiences 83 g deceleration on a rocket sled, New Mexico
  • 1959 84th Preakness: William Harmatz aboard Royal Orbit wins in 1:57
  • 1959 WTOM TV channel 4 in Cheboygan, MI (NBC) begins broadcasting
  • 1960 Big 4 summit in Paris collapses as USSR levels spy charges against US
  • 1960 Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California
  • 1961 13th Emmy Awards: Jack Benny Show, Raymond Burr & Barbara Stanwyck win
  • 1963 "Beast in Me" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC for 4 performances
  • 1963 Gordon Cooper completes 22 orbits in Faith 7, ends US Proj Mercury

  • 1964 89th Preakness: Bill Hartack aboard Northern Dancer wins in 1:56.8
  • 1964 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1964 Verne Gagne beats Mad Dog Vachon in Omaha, to become NWA champ
  • 1965 "Roar of the Greasepaint" opens at Shubert Theater NYC for 232 performances
  • 1965 Baltimore Oriole Jim Palmer's pitching debut, beats Yankees 7-5 & homers
  • 1965 Bomb destroys USAF base Bien Hoa, South Vietnam
  • 1965 WNJU TV channel 47 in NY-Linden, NY (TEL) begins broadcasting
  • 1965 The Campbell Soup Company introduces SpaghettiOs under its Franco-American brand
  • 1965 18th Cannes Film Festival: "The Knack...and How to Get It" directed by Richard Lester wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • 1966 The Beach Boys release their groundbreaking album "Pet Sounds", containing hit singles "Sloop John B" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
  • 1966 National Welfare Rights Organization organizes
  • 1966 Stokely Carmichael named chairman of Student Nonviolent Coordinating
  • 1966 "May 16 Notification" released, Mao's offical justification for the Cultural Revolution
  • 1967 Philalphia voters approve a $13 million bond issue to build a new stadium
  • 1968 Earthquake kills 47 in Japan
  • 1968 In the Stormont (Northern Ireland parliament) by-election in the city of Londonderry (Derry) the Ulster Unionists retain the seat

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1969 Barbra Streisand appears at a Friars Club Tribute

Singer-Songwriter and Actress Barbra Streisand
Singer-Songwriter and Actress
Barbra Streisand
  • 1969 Students occupies Magden House Amsterdam
  • 1969 US nuclear sub Guitarro sinks off San Francisco
  • 1969 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1969 Venera 5 lands on Venus, returns data on atmosphere
  • 1969 The Who's Pete Townsend and Roger Daltrey charged with assault
  • 1970 95th Preakness: Eddie Belmonte aboard Personality wins in 1:56.2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 Grover Henson Feels Forgotten by Bill Cosby hits #70

Actor/Comedian Bill Cosby
Bill Cosby

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970 23rd Cannes Film Festival: "M*A*S*H" directed by Robert Altman wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film

Film Director Robert Altman
Film Director
Robert Altman
  • 1971 US 1st class postage now costs 8 cents (was 6 cents)
  • 1971 Benjamin Britten's opera "Owen Wingrave" premieres in Aldwych, London
  • 1971 Bulgaria adopts its constitution
  • 1972 "Don't Play Us Cheap" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC for 164 performances
  • 1972 Greg Luzinski's 500' HR hits Liberty Bell monument in Philadelphia Vet

  • 1973 ABC Masters Bowling Tournament won by Dave Soutar
  • 1973 AC Milan of Italy win 13th European Cup Winner's Cup against Leeds of England 1-0 in Saloniki
  • 1974 Helmut Schmidt becomes West German Chancellor
  • 1974 USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1975 India annexes Principality of Sikkim
  • 1975 Junko Tabei from Japan becomes 1st woman to reach summit of Mt Everest

Sport defeatBoxing Title Fight

1975 Muhammad Ali TKOs Ron Lyle in 11 for heavyweight boxing title

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali
  • 1975 Wings release "Listen to What the Man Said" in UK

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1976 Stanley Cup Final, The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA: Guy Lafleur and Pete Mahovlich each have a goal and 2 assists as Montreal Canadiens beat Philadelphia Flyers, 5-3 for a 4 games series sweep

NHL Legend Guy Lafleur
NHL Legend
Guy Lafleur
  • 1977 5 die as NY Airway helicopter topples on Pan Am building in NYC
  • 1977 Muhammad Ali beats Alfredo Evangelist in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
  • 1977 TV drama “Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn”, starring Leigh McCloskey, follow up to "Dawn: Portrait of a Teenage Runaway" premieres on US network NBC, focusing on what happened to him after Dawn left L.A. to return to her hometown
  • 1979 FC Barcelona of Spain wins 19th European Cup Winner's Cup against Fortuna Düsseldorf of West Germany 4-3 in Basel
  • 1979 NL approves Astros sales from Ford Motors to John J McMullen for $19M
  • 1980 34th NBA Championship: LA Lakers beat Philadelphia 76ers, 4 games to 2
  • 1980 Brian May of rock group Queen collapses on stage with hepatitis

Music releaseAlbum Release

1980 Paul McCartney releases "McCartney II" album

Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney
Musician and Beatle
Paul McCartney
  • 1980 Former Buggles members Geoff Downes & Trevor Horn replace Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman in Yes

Music release#1 in the Charts

1981 "Bette Davis Eyes" by Kim Carnes hits #1 for next 9 weeks

Actress Bette Davis
Bette Davis
  • 1981 106th Preakness: Jorge Velásquez aboard Pleasant Colony wins in 1:54.6
  • 1981 Houston shortstop Craig Reynolds hits 3 triples as Astros beat Chicago Cubs, 6-1
  • 1982 "Barnum" closes at St James Theater NYC after 854 performances
  • 1982 "Is There Life after High School?" closes at Barrymore after 12 performances
  • 1982 Columbia moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating in preparation for STS-4
  • 1982 Salvador Jorge Blanco wins presidential election in Dominican Rep
  • 1982 Stanley Cup Final, Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, BC: 3-peat for NY Islanders; sweep Vancouver Canucks in 4 games with a 3-1 Game 4 win
  • 1983 Lebanese parliament accepts peace accord with Israel
  • 1983 Sudan People's Liberation Army and Movement rebels against the Sudanese government

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983 Chinese American architect I. M. Pei is awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize in New York

Architect I. M. Pei
I. M. Pei
  • 1984 Guinea-Bissau adopts constitution

  • 1984 Juventus of Italy win 24th European Cup Winner's Cup against Porto of Portugal 2-1 in Basel
  • 1984 Phillie pitcher Steve Carlton hits a grand slam homer
  • 1984 US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1984 Mackay pays $218,718 for 44,166 tickets to keep Twins in Minnesota Twins sell 51,863 tickets but only 6,346 fans show up for the game
  • 1984 "When Doves Cry" single released by Prince (Billboard Song of the Year 1984)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985 Michael Jordan named NBA Rookie of Year

Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan
Basketball Superstar
Michael Jordan
  • 1985 Pope John Paul II arrives in Belgium
  • 1985 NHL Prince of Wales Conference Final: Philadelphia Flyers beat Quebec Nordiques, 4 games to 2
  • 1985 NHL Clarence Campbell Conference Final: Edmonton Oilers beat Chicago Black Hawks, 4 games to 2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 "Top Gun", directed by Tony Scott and starring Tom Cruise premieres

Actor Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise
  • 1986 Bobby Ewing (Patrick Duffy) comes back from the dead on TV soap "Dallas"
  • 1986 Joaquín Balaguers PRSC wins Dominican Rep parliamentary election

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1986 South African President P. W. Botha sends Coetsee to visit Mandela

President of South Africa P. W. Botha
President of South Africa
P. W. Botha
  • 1986 The Seville Statement on Violence is adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO, in Seville, Spain.
  • 1987 "Mystery of Edwin Drood" closes at Imperial NYC after 608 performances
  • 1987 112th Preakness: Chris McCarron aboard Alysheba wins in 1:55.8

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1987 Weird Al Yankovic performs live at 72nd National Orange Show

Parody Singer and Comedian Weird Al Yankovic
Parody Singer and Comedian
Weird Al Yankovic
  • 1987 "Bobro 400", a barge carrying 3,200 tons of garbage sets sail from NYC, beginning an unsuccessful 8 week search for a dumping site
  • 1988 US Surgeon General C Everett Koop reports nicotine as addictive as heroin