On This Day in History for December 16

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 132

  • 755 An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during Chinese Tang Dynasty
  • 882 Marinus I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding John VIII
  • 1392 Nanboku-chō - Emperor Go-Kameyama abdicates in favor of rival claimant Go-Komatsu.
  • 1431 King Henry VI of England crowned king of France

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1497 Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama is 1st European to sail along Africa's East Coast, names it Natal

Explorer Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
  • 1538 King Francois I orders renewed pursuit of Protestants
  • 1575 The 1575 Valdivia earthquake takes place.
  • 1577 Danzig surrenders to troops of Polish king Istvan Bathory
  • 1598 Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang Point - in the final battle of the war Korean navy decisively defeats the Japanese
  • 1617 Spanish viceroy Hernando Arias de Saavedra founds provinces Rio de la Plata (Argentina)/Guaira (Paraguay)
  • 1631 Mount Vesuvious, Italy erupts, destroys 6 villages & kills 4,000

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1653 Parliamentarian General Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland

English Military and Political Leader Oliver Cromwell
English Military and Political Leader
Oliver Cromwell
  • 1659 General Monck demands free parliamentary election in Scotland
  • 1689 English Parliament passes Bill of Rights establishing limits on crown powers and requirement for regular elections
  • 1707 Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.
  • 1740 Prussian Libya falls to Silezie
  • 1761 Seven Years' War: After four-month siege, Russian army under Pyotr Rumyantsev takes Prussian fortress of Kolobrzeg (German: Kolberg).
  • 1773 Boston tea party incident - Sons of Liberty protesters throw tea shipments into Boston harbour in protest against British imposed Tea Act
  • 1777 Articles of Conferation (US 1st constitution) ratified by 1st state Virginia
  • 1811 Earthquake hits New Madrid, Missouri, causing widespread damage
  • 1817 Leaders of Molukkas uprising hanged in Ambon
  • 1824 Great North Holland Canal opens
  • 1826 Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican controlled Nacogdoches, Texas and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia.
  • 1835 Fire consumes over 600 buildings in NYC
  • 1838 Boers beat Zulu chieftain Dingaan in South Africa
  • 1838 Battle of Blood River: Zulu impis defeated by Voortrekkers in South Africa (Great Trek)
  • 1850 Ships the Charlotte-Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand
  • 1857 Earthquake in Naples, Italy
  • 1858 Dutch government decides to vacate Schokland Island
  • 1862 Kingdom of Nepal accepts its constitution

AppointmentAppointment of Interest

1863 Braxton Bragg is replaced by Joseph E. Johnston as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee

American Military Officer Joseph E. Johnston
American Military Officer
Joseph E. Johnston
  • 1864 Battle of Nashville ends after 4400 casualities
  • 1880 Transvaal region declares itself as the Republic of South Africa
  • 1880 Beginning of the First Boer War between British Empire and Boer South African Republic
  • 1883 Tonkin Campaign: The French capture the citadel in Hanoi
  • 1884 Great Britain recognizes King Leopold II's Congo Free State
  • 1886 Rift at Dutch Reformed Church over "Doleantie"
  • 1890 Negro Methodist Episcopal Church founded in Jackson, TN
  • 1897 1st submarine with an internal combustion engine demonstrated
  • 1900 Boer army under gen Kritzinger take Cape colony
  • 1900 A National Civic Federation is formed in the US to arbitrate labor disputes
  • 1901 Boer general Kritzinger captured
  • 1903 Majestic Theater, NYC, becomes 1st in US to employ women ushers
  • 1903 The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel opens its doors to guests for the first time
  • 1905 "Variety" covering all phases of show business, 1st published
  • 1907 Eugene H Farrar is 1st to sing on radio (Bkln Navy Yard NY)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1907 As a gesture of the US's new presence as a world power, President Theodore Roosevelt sends the US Battle Fleet on a round-the-world cruise, visiting ports internationally

26th US President Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President
Theodore Roosevelt
  • 1908 1st credit union in US forms (Manchester NH)
  • 1909 A conservative revolution and US pressure forces Nicaraguan President Jose Santos from office
  • 1912 1st US postage stamp picturing an airplane, 20 cent parcel post, issued
  • 1912 Austria-Hungary engage in conflict with Serbia

  • 1912 First Balkan War: The Ottoman Navy is defeated by the Royal Hellenic Navy at the Battle of Eli
  • 1914 French offensive in Artois (Pétain)
  • 1914 World War I: German battleships under Franz Von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough.
  • 1918 German troops evacuate Finland, give over Kiev in the Ukraine to revolutionary forces and pull back from Estonia as Bolshevik forces move in
  • 1920 8.5 earthquake rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000
  • 1921 The Communist Party of South Africa (CPSA) calls for a united front in a pass burning campaign on Dingaan's Day
  • 1921 The Anglo-Irish Treaty, agreed to by the British Parliament and Sinn Fein, is ratified
  • 1924 Noel Coward's "Vortex" premieres in London

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

1924 Hiram Bingham is elected as a Republican to serve in the U.S. Senate forcing him to resign as Governor of Connecticut after serving only one day in office, the shortest term of any Connecticut Governor

Archaeologist and Explorer Hiram Bingham
Archaeologist and Explorer
Hiram Bingham
  • 1925 Alpha Phi Omega national service fraternity is founded at Lafayette College.
  • 1926 WOW-AM in Omaha NE begins radio transmissions
  • 1931 German SPD begins Iron Front against fascism
  • 1933 Abe de Vries & Sipke Castelein win Elfstedentocht
  • 1937 Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from American federal prison Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1938 Adolf Hitler institutes the state decoration and civil order of merit, Cross of Honour of the German Mother

Dictator of Nazi Germany Adolf Hitler
Dictator of Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler
  • 1940 British air raid on Mannheim
  • 1941 Sarawak occupied by Japanese forces
  • 1942 Hitler orders combat against partisans in Russia & Balkan
  • 1943 "Tamiami Champion" (New York to Florida) trains collide, kills 73 & injures 200
  • 1944 Nazi Germany launches a counteroffensive against the Allies in the Ardennes region of Belgium, beginning the 'Battle of the Bulge'
  • 1944 German V-2 strikes Antwerp bioscope (638 kill)
  • 1944 US 2nd Inf division occupies "Heartbreak Crossroads" Wahlerscheid

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1946 French fashion designer Christian Dior and his backer Marcel Boussac found fashion house Christian Dior

Fashion Designer Christian Dior
Fashion Designer
Christian Dior
  • 1946 Thailand joins the United Nations
  • 1949 Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, later knows as SAAB, is founded in Sweden.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1950 US President Harry Truman proclaims state of emergency against "Communist imperialism"

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman

Conference meetingConference of Interest

1953 1st White House Press Conference (President Eisenhower & 161 reporters)

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • 1953 Charles E Yeager fly > 2,575 kph in Bell X-1A
  • 1957 Sir Feroz Khan Noon replaces Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar as Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • 1958 Bogota warehouse fire kills 82
  • 1959 Snow falling in Lowarai Pass West Pakistan kills 48
  • 1960 TWA 266 & United 826 collide over Staten Island, kills 134
  • 1962 Nepal establishes its constitution and becomes a Constitutional Hindu Monarchy
  • 1964 US performs nuclear test at Pacific Ocean
  • 1965 Gemini 6 returns to Earth
  • 1965 Pioneer 6 launched into solar orbit
  • 1965 Taufa'ahau Tupou IV becomes King of Tonga
  • 1968 Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain at Second Vatican Council
  • 1969 British House of Commons votes 343-185 to abolish the death penalty
  • 1969 "War is Over! If You Want It, Happy Christmas from John & Yoko" posters begin appearing
  • 1970 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1971 Vijay Diwas (Victory Day): East Pakistan's independence (as Bangladesh) from Pakistan is recognized internationally after India's army occupies Dacca, and 93,000 West Pakistani troops surrender
  • 1971 Don McLean's 8+ minute version of "American Pie" released
  • 1972 Bangladesh Constitution goes into effect
  • 1973 US kidnap victim John Paul Getty III freed after ransom paid by grandfather John Paul Getty
  • 1974 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1974 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1976 Andrew Young named Ambassador & Chief US Delegate to UN
  • 1976 Charlie Finley's $10 million damage suit against Bowie Kuhn begins

Birthdays in History

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1485 Catherine of Aragon, Spanish princess/1st wife of Henry VIII, born in Madrid, Spain (d. 1536)

Spanish Princess, Queen of England Catherine of Aragon
Spanish Princess, Queen of England
Catherine of Aragon
  • 1584 John Selden, English jurist and oriental scholar (d. 1654)
  • 1614 Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg (d. 1674)
  • 1622 Kurt S Adeler, Danish admiral/ship builder
  • 1669 Arnold van Boonen, Dutch portrait painter

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1714 George Whitefield, English-born Methodist leader and preacher, born in Gloucester, England (d. 1770)

Anglican Preacher George Whitefield
Anglican Preacher
George Whitefield
  • 1716 Louis-Jules Mancini-Mazarini, Duc de Nivernais, French diplomat and writer (d. 1798)
  • 1717 Elizabeth Carter, English poet, bluestocking and translator (All the Works of Epictetus Which Are Now Extant), born in Deal, England (d. 1806)
  • 1742 Gebhard Fürst Blücher von Wahlstatt, German Field Marshal (d. 1819)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1775 Jane Austen, English novelist (Pride and Prejudice), born in Steventon, England (d. 1817)

Novelist Jane Austen
Jane Austen
  • 1776 Johann Wilhelm Ritter, German physicist (d. 1810)
  • 1787 Mary Russell Mitford, English writer (d. 1855)
  • 1790 King Léopold I of Belgium (d. 1865)
  • 1804 Viktor Bunyakovsky, Russian mathematician (d. 1889)
  • 1809 Peter P van Bosse, Dutch attorney/liberal minister of Finance
  • 1812 William Grose, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dayton, Ohio (d. 1900)
  • 1819 Robert Selden Garnett, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1861)
  • 1825 Henry Heth, Major General (Confederate Army), (d. 1899)
  • 1827 John A C Oudemans, Dutch geographer/astronomer
  • 1828 John Beatty, American banker, statesman, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Sandusky, Ohio (d. 1914)
  • 1830 John Frederick Hartranft, American politician, 17th Governor of Pennsylvania (1873-1879), and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in New Hanover Township, Pennsylvania (d. 1889)
  • 1834 Leon Walras, French economist (border use theory)
  • 1851 Theodoor H de Meester, Dutch premier (1905-08)
  • 1857 Edward Emerson Barnard, Tenn, astronomer (Jupiter's 5th satellite)
  • 1861 Antonio de La Gandara, French painter (d. 1917)
  • 1862 Eugene Demolder, Belgian writer (Sous la robe)
  • 1863 George Santayana, Spanish philosopher/poet/humanist (Last Puritan)
  • 1863 Ralph Adams Cram, American gothic architect (Cathedral of St Joan NYC)
  • 1865 Victor Rousseau, Belgian sculptor
  • 1867 Amy Carmichael, missionary in Dohnavur, India (d. 1951)
  • 1869 Albert F Pollard, British historian (Dict of natural biography)
  • 1869 Hristo Tatarchev, Bulgarian revolutionary (d. 1952)
  • 1872 Anton Ivanovich Denikin, Russian general (d. 1947)
  • 1882 Walther Meissner, German physicist (Meissner effect)
  • 1888 Alphonse Juin, French marshal
  • 1888 Alexander I, king of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes (1921–29) and of Yugoslavia (1929–34), born in Cetinje, Montenegro (d. 1934)
  • 1892 A "Shon Nene" Morales, Antillean/Neth very old lady
  • 1895 Lidj Jasu, emperor of Ethiopia
  • 1897 Paul Neuhuys, Belgian playwright (Le Canari et le Cerise)
  • 1899 Harold Walter Bailey, philologist
  • 1899 Noel Coward, England, playwright (In Which We Serve-1942 Acad Award)
  • 1900 Victor S Pritchett, literary critic/author (Myth Makers)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1901 Margaret Mead, American anthropologist (Coming of Age in Samoa), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cultural Anthropologist Margaret Mead
Cultural Anthropologist
Margaret Mead
  • 1903 Rafael Alberti, Spanish poet (El hombre deshabitado)
  • 1904 Edward Morris Bernstein, economist
  • 1905 Piet Hein, poet/inventor
  • 1906 John Morrison, politician/landowner
  • 1906 Lord Margadale, English Conserv parliament leader/large landowner
  • 1907 Ray C Bliss, (R) Ohio State Republican Chairman
  • 1908 Remedios Varo, Anglès Spain, Spain-Mexican Surrealist artist
  • 1909 Henricus Verbunt, civil servant/resistance fighter
  • 1916 Theo Bitter, Dutch painter/set designer
  • 1916 Udom Patpongsiri, property developer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1917 Arthur C. Clarke, English sci-fi author (2001: A Space Odyssey, Childhood's End), born in Minehead, England (d. 2008)

Sci-Fi Author Arthur C. Clarke
Sci-Fi Author
Arthur C. Clarke
  • 1917 Nabi Bux Khan Baloch, Sindhi scholar
  • 1918 Henry Clarke, fashion photographer
  • 1923 Tip [Silvio A] Marugg, Antillian writer (Weekend pilgrimage)
  • 1927 G Randall P D Garrett, American sci-fi writer (Takeoff (too)!)
  • 1927 Peter [Malcolm] Dickinson, Zambia, sci-fi author (Heartsease)
  • 1928 Peter Nailor, civil servant/historian
  • 1928 Philip K[indred] Dick, US, sci-fi author (Hugo-1963, Blade Runner), born in Chicago, Illinois
  • 1929 Ian Board, British barkeeper (the Colony Room), born in Devon (d.1994)
  • 1930 Bill Young, Harmarville, PA, politician (Congress, 1993-2013), (d. 2013)
  • 1936 Morris Dees, founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center
  • 1937 Edward Ruscha, American artist (Pop Art), born in Omaha, Nebraska

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1938 Jimmie Lee Jackson, American civil rights protester who was shot and killed by an Alabama State Trooper in 1965, born in Marion, Alabama (d. 1965)

Civil Rights Activist Jimmie Lee Jackson
Civil Rights Activist
Jimmie Lee Jackson
  • 1942 Donald Carcieri, American politician, governor of Rhode Island
  • 1945 Bobby George, English professional darts player
  • 1945 Yukio Hattori, Japanese Iron Chef commentator
  • 1946 Fred Borgman, Dutch 2nd chamber member (CDA)
  • 1950 Ieremia Tabai, President of Kiribati (Gilbert Islands) (1979-91)
  • 1950 Claudia Cohen, American gossip columnist and socialite (d. 2007)
  • 1955 Carol M Browner, US Administrator (EPA)
  • 1955 Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este
  • 1965 Melanie Sloan, American attorney

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1969 Lei Jun, Chinese Businessman and founder of Xiaomi Inc, born in Xiantao, Hubei

Founder of Xiaomi Inc Lei Jun
Founder of Xiaomi Inc
Lei Jun
  • 1973 Scott Storch, Canadian-American hip-hop producer
  • 1981 Took Leng How, Malaysian criminal (d. 2006)
  • 1985 Keita Tachibana, member of Japanese boy band w-inds.
  • 1994 Stephen Sutton, English cancer blogger (Stephen's Story), born in Burntwood (d. 2014)

Weddings in History

  • 1944 Gen Eisenhower's clerk Rickey marries corporal Pearlie

Divorces in History

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

1809 Napoleon Bonaparte divorces Empress Joséphine by French Senate

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte

Deaths in History

  • 705 Wu Zetian, Chinese Empress (690-705) - only woman to rule China (b. 625)
  • 714 Pepin/Pippin II, of Herstal/Héristal, Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia and Duke and Prince of the Franks, dies
  • 867 Eberhard of Friuli, Frankish Duke and catholic saint, dies at about 51
  • 875 Ado of Vienne, French archbishop of Vienne, dies at about 75
  • 882 John VIII, Italian Pope (872-82), dies
  • 999 Saint Adelaide, Holy Roman Empress, wife of Emperor Otto I and regent to Otto II, dies at about 68
  • 1325 Charles of Valois, son of Philip III of France (b. 1270)
  • 1378 Secondotto [Otto], Margrave of Montferrat (1372-78)
  • 1379 John Fitzalan, Marshal of England
  • 1404 Albrecht of Bavaria, duke of Bavaria, dies at about 74
  • 1470 John II, Duke of Lorraine (b. 1425)
  • 1598 Yi Sun-sin, Korean Naval Commander, shot at the naval Battle of Noryang. (b. 1545)
  • 1669 Nathaniel Fiennes, English politician (b. circa 1608)
  • 1670 Dorothy, 1st English marquis of Halifax, dies
  • 1672 John II Casimir Vasa, cardinal/king of Poland (1648-68), dies at 63
  • 1687 William Petty, English scientist and philosopher (b. 1623)
  • 1719 Adrian "Aart" van Wijck, Dutch theologist (anti-jansenism), dies at 78
  • 1751 Leopold II of Anhalt-Dessau, Prussian general (b. 1700)
  • 1765 Peter Frederick Haldimand, Swiss military officer and surveyor
  • 1774 Francois Quesnay, French personal physician of Louis XIV, dies at 80
  • 1783 Sir William James, British naval commander (b. 1720)
  • 1809 Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy, French chemist (b. 1755)
  • 1852 Andries H Potgieter, South African/Transvaal explorer, dies at 59
  • 1858 Richard Bright, British Dr (Bright's disease/nephritis), dies at 69

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1859 Wilhelm Grimm, writer, dies at 73

  • 1871 Willibald Alexis, German writer (Schloss Avalon), dies at 73
  • 1874 Abraham Capadose, Dutch physician and missionary, dies at 79
  • 1897 Alphonse Daudet, French writer (Tartarin sur les Alpes), dies at 57
  • 1898 Pavel Tretyakov, Russian businessman and art collector, dies at 65
  • 1916 Friedrich Ernst Dorn, German physicist who discovered that radon is emitted from radium, dies at 68
  • 1920 Ma, the Benovelent, Chinese muslim rebel (holy war), dies
  • 1922 Gabriel Narutowicz, 1st President of Poland (Dec 7-16, 1922), assassinated
  • 1928 Elinor Wylie, American poet and writer (b. 1885)
  • 1931 Gustave J Waffelaert, Flemish theologist/bishop of Bruges, dies at 82
  • 1940 M Eugene F T Dubois, geologist/paleontologist (Wadjakmens), dies
  • 1944 Elisabeth ten Boom dies at 59
  • 1945 Fumimaro Konu, Japanese prince/PM (1937-39, 40-41), commits harakiri
  • 1949 Traitsjo Kostov, Bulgarian communist vice-premier, executed
  • 1956 Nina Hamnett, Welsh artist (b. 1890)
  • 1965 William Somerset Maugham, English author (Razor's Edge), dies at 91
  • 1974 Kostas Varnalis, writer, dies
  • 1976 George, a goose that lived to 49 years 8 months, dies
  • 1976 Réal Caouette, French Canadian politician (Social Credit Party of Canada) (b. 1917)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1980 Colonel Harland Sanders, American founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, dies at 90

Businessman and Restaurateur Colonel Sanders
Businessman and Restaurateur
Colonel Sanders
  • 1980 Hellmuth Walter, German engineer and inventor (b. 1900)
  • 1982 Colin Chapman, English engineer and automobile manufacturer, founder of Lotus Cars, dies at 54
  • 1983 Kusan Sunim, found Milae Sa temple/Bulsung Sa Zen in Korea, dies at 74
  • 1985 Paul Castellano, Organized-crime chief, shot dead at a NYC restaurant
  • 1985 Thomas Bilotti, American mafioso (b. 1940)
  • 1987 Albert P Morano, (Rep-R-Conn, 1951-59), dies at 79
  • 1990 Douglas Campbell, American pilot (b. 1896)
  • 1992 Anton [Tom] Koolhaas, Dutch writer (Snow White), dies at 80
  • 1993 Bentri Seddik, Algerian court judge, murdered at 46
  • 1993 Kakuei Tanaka, premier of Japan (1972-74), dies at 75
  • 1993 Ratu Penaia Ganilau, president of Fiji (1987-93), dies at 75
  • 1993 Richard AFM Auwerda, Dutch journalist/writer (Volkskrant), dies at 68
  • 1993 Charizma, American Hip-Hop MC (b. 1973)
  • 1994 Mary Durack, Australian author and historian (Kings in Grass Castles and Keep Him My Country), dies at 81
  • 1995 Johnny Moss, American poker player (b. 1907)
  • 1996 Laurens Jan van der Post, South African writer, explorer and conservationist, dies at 90
  • 1996 Jean-Pierre Levy, resistance leader, dies at 85
  • 1996 Joe Coral [Joseph Kagarlitski], British bookmaker (Gala Coral Group), dies at 92
  • 1996 Quentin Bell, artist author/teacher, dies at 86
  • 1997 Lillian Disney, widow of animator Walt Disney, dies of a stroke at 98
  • 1998 William Gaddis, American writer (b. 1922)
  • 2001 Stefan Heym, German author (b. 1913)
  • 2003 Robert Stanfield, Premier of Nova Scotia (b. 1914)
  • 2004 Peter Coker, English painter, dies at 78
  • 2004 Agnes Martin, Canadian-American abstract painter dies aged 92
  • 2005 Kenneth Bulmer, English author (b. 1921)
  • 2009 Roy E. Disney, American businessman (b. 1930)
  • 2009 Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, controversial South African Health Minister (b. 1940)
  • 2009 Yegor Gaidar, Russian politician (b. 1956)
  • 2010 Melvin E. Biddle, American soldier and Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1923)