16th March In History

Someone wise once said, "Life is all about sequence of events; although every event is a successor as well as predecessor of another one." Isn't it true that one incident which occurs in the present has an impact somewhere in someone's life, and it is the result of some events that occurred in the past? Hence it is important to be acquainted with the pages of history as only then will be in a better position to handle our present and future. Let us begin by looking at the events that occurred across the globe on March 16. Some of these will surely take you by surprise and leave you wondering how differently things would have turned out in just matter of seconds. From historical exhumations to bloody battles to landmark technological advancements and politics, this day in history is laden with information on myriad topics. The watershed battle of Averasborough, or the first ever sex discrimination lawsuit, the massacre of Jews at York and the successful testing of V2 rockets are some of the momentous incidents that occurred on this fateful date. Indulge your grey cells and soak in the stories from the past. Tune in to Today in History!


HISTORICAL EVENTS ON 16th March



1660

Politics

The Long Parliament Of England Is Dissolved

The Long Parliament of the Kingdom of England which was in effect from 1640 until 1660 was dissolved and a new Parliament called the Convention Parliament was elected. It heralded a period when a new political system was established in the UK.


1792

Politics

Conspiracy To Kill King Gustav III Of Sweden

The Russo-Swedish war and the implementation of Union and Security Act by King Gustav III of Sweden were among the major reasons why the member of nobility conspired to kill the monarch. The king was attending a masked ball at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm at midnight on 16 March 1792 where he received a letter warning him of the impending threat to his life. But he chose to ignore it and as soon as he entered the masquerade Count Anckarström, Count Claes Fredrik Horn and Count Adolf Ludvig Ribbing surrounded him and in the ensuing chaos the King was wounded by a gunshot, which eventually led to his death on 29 March.


1815

Politics

Prince Willem Becomes The First Constitutional Monarch In The Netherlands

After uniting the Low Countries, which is a coastal region in Western Europe, William I proclaimed Netherlands as a kingdom thus making him the first sovereign king of the state. He made several changes to the existing constitution which allowed him more control over his subjects. He also worked towards unifying the Protestant and Dutch-speaking north and Roman-Catholic south.


1869

Politics

Hiram R. Revels Makes 1st Official Speech

Hiram R. Revels, the first ever African American to serve in the US Senate charted history when he delivered his first official speech on this day in 1869. He was appreciated for his articulate speeches and his tactful approach in handling sensitive issues.


1882

Politics

US President Chester Arthur Signed The Treaty Of Geneva

The US Senate ratified the Geneva Convention of 1864 which aimed at care of wounded war personnel. Following this, the then President of USA, Chester Arthur signed the treaty thus initiating the nation's inclusion into the International Red Cross.


1916

Politics

US Cavalry Regiments Join The Hunt For Pancho Villa

The United States conducted a military operation to capture Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa in March 1916, when the latter attacked the town of Columbus, New Mexico during the Mexican Revolution. On March 16, the 7th and 10th US cavalry regiments of the US troops led by John J. Pershing crossed the US–Mexico border. The operation lasted for almost a year.


1921

Politics

Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement Signed

To promote bilateral trade between the United Kingdom and the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic, the leaders of the two nations signed the Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement on March 16, 1921. The deal was signed by Robert Horne who represented Britain and Leonid Krasin who stood for Russia, after three phases of negotiations that lasted for over eight months.


1968

Politics

Robert F. Kennedy Announced He Was Running For The President

It seems politics did not suit the Kennedys. President John F. Kennedy who was assassinated had a younger brother Robert F. Kennedy. Robert who was also a senator announced that he would be participating in the Presidential race on 16th March 1968. Within the next few months however, the senator was assassinated by a young Palestinian man named Sirhan Sirhan.


1970

Politics

First Ever Sex Discrimination Lawsuit

On March 16, 1970 the Newsweek magazine was embroiled in a legal soup when forty-six women filed a sex-discrimination suit against the magazine, after they were told, “women don’t write here.” The lawsuit was the first of its kind and eventually women were accepted as writers and editors by the management.


1978

Politics

Panama Canal Treaty Is Accepted By US Senate

The Neutrality Treaty and the Panama Canal treaty were two important agreements signed between United States and the Republic of Panama. The treaties were aimed at improving relations between the two nations. The US senate ratified the Neutrality Treaty which allowed the nation to retain permanent right to take action against any party interfering with the canal’s neutral operations, on March 16, 1978. The Panama Canal Treaty according to which Panama would gain full control of the canal was accepted two days later.


1988

Politics

Iran-Contra Affair: Senior Officials Indicted On Charges Of Conspiracy To Defraud The United States

A political scandal that engulfed the Reagan administration was the Iran-contra affair. Senior officials Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter were indicted with charges of funding the Nicaraguan contra rebels with the profits earned by selling arms illegally to Iran.


1995

Politics

Mississippi Formally Ratifies The Thirteenth Amendment

The Thirteenth Amendment to the US constitution which abolished slavery was ratified by the Senate in 1865. However it turned out that the state of Mississippi never submitted the documents that were prerequisite for formally supporting the amendment. It was only in 1995 that the required documents were submitted by the state officials and thus Mississippi became the last state to abolish slavery.


2010

Politics

Work On Project 28 Halted

Project 28, the US border protection program along the US-Mexico border has faced several hurdles, which include a delay in implementation and shortage of funds, ever since its inception in 2006. Five years later in 2010 the Obama administration announced that as a move to diverge more funds to other purposes, work on the virtual fence along the southern border will be halted. Many have remarked that this may come as a death-knell to the already troubled project.


2014

Politics

Crimean Status Referendum

On March 16, 2014 the Crimean status referendum asked the people of Crimea if they were in favor of separating from Ukraine and joining Russia as a federal subject or they wanted to continue being a part of Ukraine. 95.5% of the voters answered in favor of seceding from Ukraine. The poll has been deemed as illegal by many including the USA and EU.


1190

Wars

Massacre Of Jews At Clifford's Tower, York

As the wave of anti-Semitism spread across England, the Jewish population of the city of York took refuge in the Clifford’s Tower. But as the rioters surrounded the tower and demanded that the Jews abandon their faith and adopt Christianity, the refuge seekers decided to end their lives instead. After killing the women and children, the Jews burnt the wooden keep and killed themselves. As many as 150 Jews died on that fateful day.


1782

Wars

Battle Of Roatán

During the American War of Independence, the British and Spanish forces confronted each other on March 16, 1782 for annexing the island of Roatán on the Caribbean Coast. The Spanish troops led by Governor Matias de Galvez defeated the English forces and gained control over the island.


1864

Wars

Red River Campaign

During the American Civil War, the Union forces led by Major General Nathaniel P. Banks marched towards Louisiana with the goal to decimate the Confederate troops led by Lieutenant General Richard Taylor. The series of battles fought between the two commanders is named as the Red River Campaign and it was on March 16, 1864 that Nathaniel's army reached Louisiana.


1865

Wars

The Battle Of Averasborough

The battle of Averasborough was fought as a part of the American Civil War. The battle which took place just days before the final Battle of Bentonville caused heavy fatalities on both sides but the Confederates who were already outnumbered were the most affected.


1924

Wars

The Free Port Of Fiume Is Formally Annexed By Mussolini's Fascist Regime

The treaty of Rome, signed on February 22, 1924 granted the rights of Free State of Fiume to Italy. The port administration was to be handled jointly by Fiume and Susak which was under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. However revoking the treaty, the fascist leader Benito Mussolini annexed the free port on March 16, 1924.


1935

Wars

Violation Of Treaty Of Versailles

On March 16, 1935, Adolf Hitler issued orders to reorganize the Wehrmacht, the combined forces of Nazi Germany. The order came as a direct violation of the historic Treaty of Versailles which marked the end of World War I.


1940

Wars

First Civilian Casualty In WWII

The Scapa Flow which is a water body in the Orkney Islands was the main British naval base during WWII. The German raided the naval base with fourteen Ju-88 Luftwaffe bombers on this day in 1940. The raid caused the first British civilian casualty -- an Orkney resident name James Isbister.


1945

Wars

Battle Of Iwo Jima, WWII

The US Marines and the Japanese Imperial Army fought the Battle of Iwo Jima during the WWII. After a grueling battle of 23 days the marines secured the island on March 16, which marked the defeat of Japanese troops by the Allied Forces.


1945

Wars

Bombing Of Wurzburg, Germany During WWII

The Allied Forces were rapidly decimating the Axis powers towards the last weeks of WWII. The historic city of Wurzburg in Germany was raided by the bomber planes of British Royal Air Force and it was a matter of minutes before the entire city was burnt to ashes killing almost 5000 people.


1968

Wars

My Lai Massacre, Vietnam War

In a grueling episode during the Vietnam War, called the My Lai Massacre, as many as 347 to 500 Vietnamese residents were killed by the US forces. The United States drew a lot of flak from the global media for its involvement in the Vietnam War.


1979

Wars

End Of Sino-Vietnamese War

The People's Liberation Army of China retaliated as a result of Vietnam's invasion of Cambodia and the series of battles fought were named as the Sino-Vietnamese War. The PLA withdrew its troops on this day in 1979 thus marking the end of the war.


1988

Wars

Halabja Chemical Attack

Iraqi Forces used a potent combination of mustard gas, the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX and possibly cyanide to attack the Kurdish city of Halabja in 1988. The poison gas killed thousands and many speculate that it was ordered by former dictator Saddam Hussein.


2013

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Galena Wildfire Of Colorado Contained

The Galena wildfire in Colorado was responsible for destruction of about 1000 acres of forests. It was finally contained and residents were allowed to return to their homes on March 16, 2013.


1872

Sports

First Ever FA Cup Final

The year 1872 marked the beginning of the oldest football tournament of the world, Football Association Challenge Cup. The Wanderers F.C. and the Royal Engineers A.F.C. battled for the top spot in the final which was hosted at the Kennington Oval Stadium in London on March 16. The Wanderers defeated the Royal Engineers by 1-0 in the historic match.


1876

Sports

Nelly Saunders & Rose Harland Fight 1st Female Boxing Match

The New York Times described it as "a sparring match with boxing-gloves between two women." The two women were Nelly Saunders and Rose Harland who dueled at the Harry Hill’s music hall for prize money of $200. The match lasted four rounds after which the referee awarded the winning point to Saunders.


1870

Literature & Entertainment

Romeo And Juliet By Tchaikovsky Premieres

Based on the Shakespearean play of the same name, Romeo and Juliet was a symphonic poem created by the Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. On this day in 1870, the overture premiered but a court case surrounding the conductor of the orchestra brought in a lot of flak to Tchaikovsky.


1930

Literature & Entertainment

First Ever Shortwave Transmission Of A Live Opera

In a landmark moment, first ever shortwave transmission was demonstrated in 1930 when a live opera performance in Germany was broadcast in New York. However owing to poor transmission quality the American audience were able to listen to only 20 minutes of the opera "Fidelio."


1950

Literature & Entertainment

1st Annual National Book Awards, US

The National Book Awards is a literary award presented in the United States by the National Book Foundation. It was established in 1936 but the first time it was ever handed over to someone was on March 16, 1950.


1961

Literature & Entertainment

"The Agony And The Ecstasy" Was Published By Irving Stone

American writer Irving Stone penned the much acclaimed biography of famous sculptor Michelangelo in his novel 'The Agony and the Ecstasy'. The book was first published on March 16, 1961.


2010

Literature & Entertainment

Rights To Michael Jackson’s Catalogue Of Hits And Unreleased Work Sold To Sony

Michael Jackson's estate sold rights of the iconic pop star's unfinished works to Sony in a $250 million deal. This grants Sony the permission to sell not only his unreleased works but also use his works in video games, amusement park rides, TV advertising and the likes.


1802

Trivia

United States Military Academy Is Established At West Point

In 1802, on this day the first ever military school was established in the United States. Ever since its inception the institute has produced many a great soldiers who have and continue to defend their country in times of need.


1827

Trivia

1st U.S. Black Newspaper,"Freedom's Journal" Begins Publishing

The iconic newspaper Freedom's Journal was published in 1827 on this day. It was the first newspaper, solely owned and operated by African-Americans, to have been published.


1883

Trivia

Susan Hayhurst Became The First Woman To Graduate From The Philadelphia College Of Pharmacy

As the batch of 1883 graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Susan Hayhurst, aged 63, created history by becoming the first woman pharmacist of the United States. She had completed her studies from the Woman’s Medical College of Philadelphia in 1857 and worked at the pharmaceutical department of the institution before obtaining her degree in Pharmacy.


1900

Trivia

Arthur Evans Discovery Of Archaeological Site Belonging To Bronze Age

Eminent English Arthur Evans led the excavating team that uncovered the remains of an ancient Bronze Age civilization, in Knossos, Crete. To further his research he purchased the land across the ruins of the city of Knossos in 1900.


1907

Trivia

The World's First Battle Cruiser, The British Indomitable Was Launched

The British Indomitable was one of the three invincible class battle cruisers that were employed by the British Navy during the World Wars. On 16 March 1907, the battleship was launched for the first time. The Indomitable played an important role in chasing down German warships and rummaging through the Turkish fortifications.


1926

Trivia

Robert Goddard Successfully Test-Fired Liquid Propelled Rocket

On this day in 1926, American scientist Robert H. Goddard made space travel a reality. He successfully tested the 10-feet tall liquid-fuelled rocket which travelled a distance of 184 feet and reached a maximum height of 41 feet at an average speed of 60 mph.


1942

Trivia

The First V-2 Rocket Test Launch

The result of WWII and history itself would have been a lot different if the first ever launch of V-2, a long range ballistic missile developed by Germany, on March 16 1942 had been successful. The 'vengeance weapon' fared nothing as expected and exploded during lift-off.


1948

Trivia

Billie Holiday Is Released From Prison Early

Billie Holiday the renowned Jazz singer was arrested and imprisoned for drug abuse. However owing to good behavior she was let out of prison early on March 16, 1948.


1958

Trivia

The Ford Motor Company Produces Its 50 Millionth Automobile

It was a historic day in the history of Ford Motor Company as it marked the production of 50 million automobiles ever since it was founded. The 50 millionth automobile produced was a Thunderbird and the average rate of production for Ford stood at almost a million cars per year.


1966

Trivia

First US Manned Docking Of Two Spacecraft

The Gemini VIII spacecraft with US astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott aboard was responsible for performing the first orbital docking. The Gemini space vehicle was supposed to dock at the Gemini Agena target vehicle and perform some extravehicular activities. The docking was successful but owing to some problems cropping up the rest of the three day mission was cancelled.


1968

Trivia

General Motors Produces Its 100 Millionth Automobile, The Oldsmobile Toronado

One of the pioneering automobile companies General Motors celebrated a landmark of producing their 100 millionth automobile on this day in 1968. The 100 millionth vehicle was an Oldsmobile Toronado, a personal luxury car that competed with the likes of the Ford Thunderbird.


1970

Trivia

New English Bible Published

New English Bible which is a translation of the original text in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic into English was first published in 1970. The 1970 version included the Old Testament along with the Apocrypha. The Oxford University Press and the Cambridge University Press held the copyright to the New English Bible.


1978

Trivia

Former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro Is Kidnapped

In 1978, former Italian President Aldo Moro was taken into captivity by a group of left-wing extremists. The Red Brigades terrorists demanded release of prisoners in exchange for Moro's release. The national leader was found dead in the trunk of a Renault 4 in Via Caetani after being held captive for 55 days.


1978

Trivia

Supertanker Amoco Cadiz Splits In Two Three Miles Off The Coast Of Brittany

A very large crude oil carrier, Amoco Cadiz carrying 220,000-ton of cargo was split into two after it was embroiled in strong tides and winds. The carrier was 5km from the coast of Brittany, France, when hit and caused an oil spill of such magnitude that the world had not witnessed before.


1984

Trivia

William Buckley, The CIA Station Chief In Beirut, Lebanon, Is Kidnapped By Islamic Fundamentalists

US Army Officer William Buckley was undercover in Beirut, Lebanon when he was kidnapped by terrorists of the Shia Islamist militant group Hezbollah. The CIA station chief who worked under the alias of Political Officer at the US Embassy died in captivity.


1989

Trivia

In Egypt, A 4,400-Year-Old Mummy Is Found Near The Pyramid Of Cheops

Archaeologists found the mummified remains of a 4,400 year old corpse at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. It is said that her smile is frozen and she belonged to the nobility, probably the Fifth Dynasty.


People Born This Day

Caroline Herschel
(1750-1848)
Astronomer [ German ]
Georg Ohm
(1789-1854)
Physicist & Mathematician [ German ]
Erik Estrada
(1949-)
Actor [ American ]
Henny Youngman
(1906-1998)
[ American ]
James Madison
(1751-1836)
President of the U.S.A [ American ]
Lauren Graham
(1967-)
[ American ]
Flavor Flav
(1959-)
Rapper [ American ]
Jerry Lewis
(1926-)
Comedian, Actor, Singer, Film Director [ American ]
Matthew Flinders
(1774-1814)
Voyager [ British ]
Josef Mengele
(1911-1979)
War Criminal [ German ]
Frederick Reines
(1918-1998)
Physicist [ American ]
Robert Rossen
(1908-1966)
Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter [ American ]
Alexandra Daddario
(1986-)
Actress [ American ]
Chris Ballinger
(1983-)
Vlogger, YouTuber [ American ]


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