This Day in History - November 16

November 16

42 BC – Roman Emperor, Tiberius Claudius Nero is born

1532 – With fewer than 200 men against several thousand Incans, Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco Pizarro sets a trap for Incan emperor, Atahualpa by inviting him to a feast in his honor only to open fire on the unarmed Incans. Pizarro will force Atahualpa to convert to Christianity before eventually killing him

1724 – English criminal, Jack Sheppard dies

1776 – Hessian Lieutenant General Wilhelm von Knyphausen and 3,000 Hessian mercenaries along with 5,000 Redcoats besiege Fort Washington

1798 – British seaman board the US frigate Baltimore and pretend to be deserters in a game that will help contribute to the War of 1812

1811 – British Victorian radical, John Bright is born

1813 – The British announce a blockade of Long Island Sound, leaving the New England coast the only avenue open to shipping

1821 – Trader William Becknell reaches Santa Fe, N.M. on the route that will become known as the Santa Fe Trail, and opens trade

1839 – Canadian poet Louis-Honore Frechette is born

1846 – US General and future president Zachary Taylor captures Saltillo, Mexico during the Mexican-American War

1849 – A Russian court sentences the leader of the Petrashevsky Circle, a radical intellectual group, Fyodor Dostoevsky, to death for alleged anti-government activities, although his execution will be stayed at the last minute as he is standing in front of the firing squad

1863 – Union General Ambrose Burnside defeats the Confederates under James Longstreet at the Battle of Campbell Station near Knoxville, Tennessee

1864 – Union General William T. Sherman officially begins his “March to the Sea” when he leaves Atlanta

1873 – Father of the blues, W.C. Handy is born

1885 – Canadian politician, Louis Riel dies

1889 – American playwright, George S. Kaufman is born

1892 – King Behanzin of Dahomey (now Benin) leads soldiers against the French

1902 – A cartoon appears in the Washington Star that begins the Teddy Bear Craze, after it is reported that President Teddy Roosevelt refused to kill a captive bear tied up for him to shoot during a hunting trip to Mississippi

1907 – The Indian and Oklahoma territories are unified to create Oklahoma, which becomes the 46th state

1907 – Actor who is considered to be one of the most accomplished of the 20th century, Burgess Meredith is born

1913 – Swann’s Way, the first volume of Marcel Proust’s 7-part novel Remembrance of Things Past, is published

1914 – Nazi Germany spy and double agent serving native England, Edward Chapman is born

1914 – In Germany, a group of intellectuals led by the physician Georg Nicolai launch Bund Neues Vaterland, the New Fatherland League

1920 – The first Pitney Bowes postage meter is introduced in Connecticut

1922 – Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author, Jose Saramago, is born

1930 – Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe is born

1935 – Lebanese Twelver Shi’a scholar Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah is born

1941 – Joseph Goebbels publishes in the German magazine Das Reich that “The Jews wanted the war, and now they have it” – as part of the Nazi propaganda movement used to blame the world war on European Jews

1945 – Eighty-eight German scientists, all holding Nazi secrets, arrive in the US to work on rocket technology

1948 – President Harry Truman rejects four talks (Big Four Talks) on Berlin until the blockade is removed

1952 – TV producer, Peter Keefe is born

1952 – Japanese video game designer, Shigeru Miyamoto is born

1953 – The US condemns Israel for its raid on Jordan

1955 – The Big Four Talks occurring in Geneva on German reunification, end in failure

1957 – Notre Dame beats Oklahoma 7-0, ending the Sooner’s 47-game, 1,512-day college football winning streak

1957 – Edward Gein murders his last victim Bernice Worden after robbing her. Worden’s son, a local deputy, grew suspicious of Gein. When authorities searched his farmhouse, they found human organs in his fridge, a heart on the stove, heads used as soup bowls and human skin used to upholster chairs. Gein became infamous for grave robbing, necrophilia, and cannibalism and might be the inspiration behind Norman Bates in Psycho and serial killer Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. While it is believed Gein killed others, he only admitted to two murders and was declared insane and sent to the Wisconsin State Hospital where he remained until his death in 1984. Gein was a quiet farmer, although considered “odd” by those around him, living in rural Wisconsin and it is known that he had an extremely domineering mother. When she died, he began studying anatomy and stealing women’s corpses from local cemeteries

1959 – The Sound of Music premieres on Broadway

1960 – 2,000 whites riot in the streets of New Orleans over integration of two all-white schools

1960 – American actor Clark Gable dies

1961 – President John F. Kennedy decides to increase military aid to South Vietnam without committing U.S. combat troops

1965 – In the last day of fighting at Landing Zone X-Ray, the US 1st Cavalry Division repulse NVA forces in the la Drang Valley

1967 – US planes bomb Haiphong shipyard in North Vietnam for the first time

1970 – While speaking at US Military Academy at West Point, South Vietnamese Vice President, Nguyen Cao Ky, says Cambodia would be overrun by communist forces “within 24 hours” if South Vietnamese troops are withdrawn from there

1971 – With fighting getting closer to Phnom Penh, the US increases air activities in support of the Cambodian government

1973 – President Richard Nixon announces that America’s energy requirements have outpaced its production capacity and urges Congress to pass Senate Bill 1081, which would authorize the construction of the Alaskan oil pipeline

1977 – American actress, Maggie Gyllenhaal is born

1979 – American Airlines receives a $500,000 fine for improper DC-10 maintenance

1980 – Indian actor, Jayan dies

1982 – The first operational flight is completed by space shuttle Columbia

1989 – The Salvadoran Army death squad kills six Jesuit priests and two others at Jose Simeon Canas University

1992 – Near Suffolk, England, while using a metal detector to search for a friend’s lost hammer, Eric Lawes, incredulously discovers the Hoxne Hoard, the largest hoard of Roman silver and gold ever found in Britain, and the largest collection of 4th and 5th century coins found anywhere within the bounds of the former Roman Empire

1997 – Pro-democracy Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng is released from prison after 18 years due to issues involving his health

1998 – The first open election in more than a decade takes place in Pakistan, and Benazir Bhutto is chosen as the leader- the daughter of the Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the first woman leader of a Muslim country in modern history

1999 – Construction begins on a giant bonfire at Texas A&M University, as part of a tradition that began 90 years earlier. Two days later, the bonfire collapses, killing 12 students and injuring 27

2001 – J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter makes its big-screen debut

2006 – Nobel Prize winning American economist, Milton Friedman dies


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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