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This Day in History - August 16

August 16

1513 – The French are defeated in the Battle of the Spurs by Henry VIII of England and Emperor Maximilian

1645 – French writer famous for Characters of Theophrastus, Jean de la Bruyere, is born

1777 – France declares bankruptcy

1777 – Battle of Bennington, VT is won by American forces during the Revolutionary War

1780 – Continentals routed at Camden, South Carolina during American Revolution

1812 – Detroit is surrendered by American General William Hull to a much smaller British force under General Issac Brock during War of 1812

1815 – Italian educator and priest, John Bosco, is born

1829 – Eng and Chang, the original Siamese twins, arrive in Boston

1841- President John Tyler is burned in effigy outside the White House after vetoing second attempt by Congress to re-establish Bank of the US

1858 – The first transatlantic telegraph takes place between US President James Buchanan and Britain’s Queen Victoria

1861 – Union and Confederate forces fight near Fredericktown and Kirksville, Missouri during the Civil War

1864 – Confederate General John Chambliss is killed during Civil War

1868 – Publisher of True Story, Bernard McFadden, is born

1896 – The Klondike Gold Rush is ignited by a discovery in Canada’s Yukon Territory

1913 – Israeli statesman and Noble Peace Prize recipient, Menachem Begin, is born

1914 – The German Army takes Liege, Belgium

1917 – The Battle of Langemarck takes place during World War I

1920 – Poet and novelist, Charles Bukowski, is born

1920 – Cleveland Indians shortstop Ray Chapman is hit in the head by ball pitched by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, killing him 12 hours later

1929 – Jazz Pianist, Bill Evans, is born

1930 – English poet, Ted Hughes, is born

1938 – American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, Robert Johnson, dies

1940 – Australian film director of Driving Miss Daisy, Bruce Beresford, is born

1945 – Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright, a Japanese POW, is released from a POW camp in Manchuria by US troops

1945 – Ballerina, Suzanne Farrel, is born

1948 – Baseball legend, “Babe” Ruth, dies at the age of 53

1954 – Canadian film director and producer, James Cameron, is born

1955 – Paul Robeson loses his court appeal to try and force Department of State in granting him a passport during the Cold War

1958 – Entertainer and singer, Madonna, is born

1959 – American Admiral, William Halsey, Jr., dies

1960 – Actor, Timothy Hutton, is born

1960 – The third largest island in the Mediterranean, Cyprus, becomes an independent republic

1962 – Actor and comedian, Steve Carell, is born

1962 – Algeria was admitted to the Arab League

1964 – South Vietnamese chief of state Duong Van Minh is ousted by General Nguyen Khanh during Vietnam War

1965 – The Los Angeles’ Watts riots end

1966 – Congress investigates Americans who have given aid to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War

1967 – Model and UK television personality, Ulrika Jonsson, is born

1967 – Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas challenges President Johnson’s interpretation of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

1972 – King Hassan II of Morocco is almost killed when his own air force fires on an airliner he is travelling in

1972 – The highest amount of daily air strikes, 370, against North Vietnam takes place initiated by US fighter-bombers

1974 – The Ramones play their first gig at CBGB’s in downtown Manhattan

1977 – The “King” Elvis Presley dies of a heart attack at his home in Memphis, Tennessee

1984 – Safe from the sunken ocean liner Andrea Doria is opened on television after thirty years, revealing certificates and cash but no trinkets

1984 – John DeLorean, the founder of DeLorean Motor Company, is found not guilty due to entrapment in a drug smuggling case

1986 – A Sudanese Airways plane is shot down by Sudanese rebels, killing 57

1987 – Believers feel astrological alignment of sun, moon and six planets marks the dawning of a New Age

1987 – 156 people die in a pilot error induced plane crash at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Michigan, where the plane crashed into the highway

1988 – IBM introduces artificial intelligence software

1990 – Iraq orders 2,500 Americans and 4,000 British nationals in Kuwait to Iraq

1991 – Hong Kong singer, songwriter, actress, GEM, is born

2002 – Palestinian militant leader, Abu Nidal, dies

2003 – Former Ugandan dictator, Idi Amin, dies

2012 – At least 34 are killed when police fire on striking workers in South Africa


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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