December 16th

December 16 is the 350th day of the year (351st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 15 days remaining until the end of the year. Okay… it is serious now …. there are only 9 days till Christmas.


In 755An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Yanjing, initiating the An Lushan Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China.

In 1431,  Hundred Years’ War: Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.

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Retrato de Vasco da Gama

In 1497,  Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.

In 1575,  An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 8.5 strikes Valdivia, Chile.

In 1598,  Second War of Jeong-yu: Battle of Noryang – Chinese General Chen Lin heavily damages the Japanese fleet; however, the Japanese army succeeds in retreating.

In 1653,  English Interregnum: The ProtectorateOliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.

In 1689,  Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights.

In 1707,  Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.

In 1761,  Seven Years’ War: After a four-month siege, the Russians under Pyotr Rumyantsev take the Prussian fortress of Kołobrzeg.

In 1773,  American Revolution: Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians dump hundreds of crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.

In 1811,  The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes occur in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri.

In 1826,  Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican-controlled Nacogdoches, Texas, and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia.

In 1838,  Great Trek: Battle of Blood RiverVoortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius and Sarel Cilliers defeat Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

In 1850,  The Charlotte Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand.

In 1863,  American Civil War: Joseph E. Johnston replaces Braxton Bragg as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.

In 1864,  American Civil War: Battle of Nashville – Major General George Thomas‘s Union forces defeat Lieutenant General John Bell Hood‘s Confederate Army of Tennessee.

In 1903,  Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel in Bombay first opens its doors to the guests.

Flagship Connecticut: one of a set of commemorative postcards of the ships of the Great White Fleet

In 1907,  The American Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world. The Great White Fleet was the popular nickname for the United States Navy battle fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from 16 December 1907 to 22 February 1909 by order of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. Roosevelt sought to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability. Hoping to enforce treaties and protect overseas holdings, the U.S. Congress appropriated funds to build American sea power. Beginning with just 90 small ships, over one-third of them wooden, the navy quickly grew to include new modern steel fighting vessels. The hulls of these ships were painted a stark white, giving the armada the nickname “Great White Fleet”.

In 1912,  First Balkan War: The Royal Hellenic Navy defeats the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Elli.

In 1914,  World War I: German battleships under Franz von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough.

In 1918,  Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declares the formation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.

In 1920,  The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000.

In 1922,  President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw.

In 1930,  Bank robber Herman Lamm and members of his crew are killed by a 200-strong posse, following a botched bank robbery in Clinton, Indiana.

In 1937,  Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.

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Deutsches Reich Mother’s Cross of Honour

In 1938,  Adolf Hitler institutes the Cross of Honor of the German Mother.

In 1941,  World War II: Japanese forces occupy Miri, Sarawak.

In 1942,  The Holocaust: Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.

In 1944,  World War II: The Battle of the Bulge begins with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.

In 1946,  Thailand joins the United Nations.

In 1947,  William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor.

In 1950,  Korean War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight in support of communist North Korea.

In 1957,  Sir Feroz Khan Noon replaces Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

In 1960,  1960 New York air disaster: While approaching New York’s Idlewild Airport, a United Airlines Douglas DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Super Constellation in a blinding snowstorm over Staten Island, killing 134.

In 1965,  Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966.

In 1968,  Second Vatican Council: Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain.

In 1971,  Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan Army brings an end to both conflicts. (This is commemorated annually as Victory Day in Bangladesh, and as Vijay Diwas in India.)

In 1971,  Britain recognizes Bahrain’s independence. (This is commemorated annually as Bahrain’s National Day.)

In 1978,  Cleveland, Ohio, becomes the first major American city to default on its financial obligations since the Great Depression.

In 1979,  Libya joins four other OPEC nations in raising crude oil prices, which has an immediate, dramatic effect on the United States.

In 1985,  Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of New York’s Gambino crime family

In 1986,  Gennady Kolbin replaces Dinmukhamed Konayev as First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party, prompting the Jeltoqsan protests which began the next day.

In 1989,  Romanian Revolution: Protests break out in Timișoara, Romania, in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor László Tőkés.

In 1989,  U.S. Appeals Court Judge Robert Smith Vance is assassinated by a mail bomb sent by Walter Leroy Moody, Jr.

In 1991,  Kazakhstan gains its independence from the Soviet Union.

In 1997,  A Japanese airing of the “Dennō Senshi Porygon” episode of Pokémon induces seizures in 685 viewers.

In 1998,  Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox – The United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq.

In 2012,  2012 Delhi gang rape: A 23-year-old woman is viciously gang raped on a bus in Delhi, India, sparking an international outcry.

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