This Day in History - September 16

September 16

1620 – The Mayflower sets sail from England with Pilgrims aboard

1630 – The Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston

1668 – King John Casimir V of Poland abdicates the throne

1701 – James II of England dies

1747 – The French consolidate their occupation of Austrian Flanders in the Netherlands with the capture of Bergen-op-Zoom

1789 – Jean-Paul Marat starts a newspaper in France called L’Ami du Peuple

1810 – A revolution calling for independence breaks out in Mexico, known as the Mexican War of Independence

1824 – Louis XVIII of France dies

1832 – Robert E. Lee’s son, George Washington Custis Lee, is born

1838 – Railroad builder, James J. Hill, is born

1845 – Phineas Wilcox is stabbed to death by fellow Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois because he was believed to be a Christian spy. His murder would, essentially, lead to the Mormons being expelled and thus heading to Salt Lake Valley, Utah where they were instrumental in founding the state

1858 – Prime Minister of the UK, Bonar Law, is born

1864 – Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest leads 4,500 out of Verona, Mississippi to take on Union outposts in northern Alabama and Tennessee during the Civil War

1875 – Founder and owner of J.C. Penny Company, James Cash Penney, is born

1885 – Psychoanalyst who exposed the male bias in the Freudian analysis of women, Karen Horney, is born

1889 – In Minnesota’s Stillwater Penitentiary for life, Robert Younger, dies of tuberculosis, leaving behind his brothers Cole and Bob. Robert was part of the James-Younger Gang, who along with Frank and Jesse James, robbed banks, trains, and stagecoaches across Kansas and nearby states during times of the Old West

1891 – German Admiral who succeeded Adolf Hitler as ruler of Germany, Karl Doenitz, is born

1893 – Biochemist who isolated vitamin C, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, is born

1893 – The very first day of the Oklahoma land rush, some 50,000 “Sooners” claim land in the Cherokee Strip

1898 – Puerto Rican doctor and politician, Ramon Eeterio Betances, dies

1908 – General Motors, founded by William C. Durant, files for incorporation

1916 – General Paul von Hindenburg orders the construction of a heavily fortified German zone running several miles behind the active front between the north coast of France and Verdun in World War I

1919 – The American Legion was incorporated by Congress

1920 – Thirty people are killed in a terrorist bombing in New York’s Wall Street financial district

1925 – Blues guitarist, B.B. King, is born

1926 – Writer, John Knowles, is born

1927 – Actor, Peter Falk, is born

1932 – In his cell at Yerovda Jail near Bombay, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest of the British’s decision to separate India’s electoral system by caste

1934 – Anti-Nazi Lutherans protest in Munich, Germany

1940 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Selective Service and Training Act, requiring all male citizens between the ages of 26 and 35 to register for the military draft

1942 – American bombers raid the Japanese base at Kiska in the Aleutian Islands during World War II

1943 – First black man to win Pulitzer Prize for fiction, author, James Alan McPherson, is born

1945 – Japan surrenders Hong Kong to the British during World War II

1948 – Pro tennis player and women’s rights activist, Rosemary Casals, is born

1950 – During the Korean War, the US 8th Army breaks out of the Pusan Perimeter in South Korea and begins heading north to meet MacArthur’s troops heading south from Inchon

1950 – Critic and scholar, Henry Louis Gates Jr., is born

1950 – Soviet representatives condemn an essay writing contest sponsored by the UN which asked: “Has the rule of unanimity prevented the UN from functioning in the political and security field?” The reason for the anger on the part of the Soviets was due to the fact that the UN approved for UN forces to attack North Koreans in the Korean War, a measure the Soviets missed and would’ve vetoed, had they not been absent. While the essay contest was considered a small incident, it proved that the battle of words was just as prominent during the Cold War as the battle with guns

1952 – Actor, screenwriter, professional boxer, Mickey Rourke, is born

1954 – Jazz guitarist, Earl Klugh, is born

1956 – Magician, David Copperfield, is born

1960 – Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, US Ambassador in Saigon, Elbridge Durbrow, warns that the situation is worsening during the Vietnam War

1960 – During the Vietnam War, President Richard Nixon announces the second round of US troop withdrawal

1963 – American singer, songwriter, and producer, Richard Marx, is born

1972 – South Vietnamese troops recapture Quang Tri province from the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War

1974 – Limited amnesty is offered to Vietnam-era draft resisters who would now swear allegiance to the US and perform two years of public service

1975 – Rhodes Scholarship’s administrators announce the decision to begin offering fellowships to women

1975 – Papua New Guinea becomes independent

1776 – General George Washington arrives at Harlem Heights and successfully takes command of a group of retreating Continental troops during the Revolutionary War

1977 – Soprano, Maria Callas, dies

1978 – 25,000 people are killed by an earthquake, estimated to be as strong as 7.9 on the Richter scale, in Iran

1980 – Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget, dies

1981 – Welterweight boxer Sugar Ray Leonard, comes from behind and fighting with one eye closed shut when he knocks out Thomas Hearns in the 13th round to grab the middleweight title

1982 – Just hours after Israeli forces enter West Beirut, Phalangist militiamen begin slaughtering Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Over the course of the next two days, 1,000 men, women, and children were killed

1987 – The Montreal Protocol is signed by 25 nations, limiting production of substances believed to harm the ozone layer

1991 – The trial of deposed dictator of Panama, Manuel Noriega, begins in the US

1994 – Britain lifts the 1988 broadcasting ban against members of Ireland’s Sinn Fein and Irish paramilitary

2013 – 12 people are killed by Aaron Alexis at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. before officers kill him

2007 – Under the employment of Blackwater Worldwide, military contractors allegedly kill 17 Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisour Square, further straining relations between the US and the people of Iraq


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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