January 16th in History

This day in historyJanuary 16 is the 16th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 349 days remaining until the end of the year (350 in leap years).



In 27 BC,  Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus is granted the title Augustus by the Roman Senate, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire.

In 378,  General Siyaj K’ak’ conquers Tikal, enlarging the domain of King Spearthrower Owl of Teotihuacán.

In 550,  Gothic War: The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison.

In 929,  Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III established the Caliphate of Córdoba.

In 1120,  The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.

In 1362,  A storm tide in the North Sea destroys the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.

In 1412,  The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.

In 1492,  The first grammar of the Spanish language is presented to Queen Isabella I.

In 1547,  Ivan IV of Russia aka Ivan the Terrible becomes Czar of Russia.

In 1556,  Philip II becomes King of Spain.

In 1572,  Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.

In 1581,  The English Parliament outlaws Roman Catholicism.

In 1605,  The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain.

In 1707,  The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.

In 1761,  The British capture Pondichéry, India from the French.

An oil painting depicting a sea battle. The sky has dark clouds with patches of blue, and the sea is grey. Warships are visible in the distance, some of which are exchanging cannon fire. A British warship occupies the center foreground, obscuring an explosion behind it.In 1780,  American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cape St. Vincent. The Battle of Cape St. Vincent took place off the southern coast of Portugal on 16 January 1780 during the American War of Independence. A British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney defeated a Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Lángara. The battle is sometimes referred to as the Moonlight Battle because it was unusual for naval battles in the Age of Sail to take place at night. It was also the first major naval victory for the British over their European enemies in the war and proved the value of copper-sheathing the hulls of warships.

In 1786,  Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.

In 1809,  Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruña.

In 1847,  John C. Frémont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.

In 1862,  Hartley Colliery Disaster: 204 men and boys killed in a mining disaster, prompted a change in UK law which henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape.

In 1878,  Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878)Battle of Philippopolis: Captain Aleksandr Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.

In 1883,  The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.

In 1896,  Defeat of Cymru Fydd at South Wales Liberal Federation AGM, Newport, Monmouthshire.

In 1900,  The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.

In 1909,  Ernest Shackleton‘s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.

In 1919,  Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.

In 1920,  The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France.

In 1924,  Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister of Greece for the fourth time.

Ma Barker.jpgIn 1935,  Ma Barker, American criminal (b. 1871) was killed during a shoot-out with the FBI. Arizona Donnie Barker better known as Ma Barker, and sometimes as Kate Barker, was the mother of several criminals who ran the Barker gang from the “public enemy era”, when the exploits of gangs of criminals in the U.S. Midwest gripped the American people and press. Under various pseudonyms, she traveled with her sons during their criminal careers. She acquired a reputation as a ruthless crime matriarch, who controlled and organized her sons’ crimes. J. Edgar Hoover described her as “the most vicious, dangerous and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade”. Because of this Ma Barker has been presented as a monstrous mother in films, songs and literature. However, witnesses say she had no active role in criminal activity and “couldn’t plan breakfast”, as one gang associate said.

In 1939,  The Irish Republican Army (IRA) begins a bombing and sabotage campaign in England.

In 1942,  Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.

In 1945,  Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.

In 1956,  President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt vows to reconquer Palestine.

In 1964,  Hello, Dolly! (musical) starring Carol Channing opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

In 1969,  Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in protest against the Soviets‘ crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.

In 1969,  Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.

In 1970,  Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.

In 1979,  The last Iranian Shah flees Iran with his family for good and relocates to Egypt.

In 1981,  Bernard Lee, English actor (b. 1908) died. John Bernard Lee known as Bernard Lee, was an English actor, best known for his role as M in the first eleven Eon-produced James Bond films. Lee’s film career spanned 1934 to 1979, though he had appeared on stage from the age of six. He was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Lee appeared in over one hundred films, as well as on stage and television dramatisations. He was known for his roles as authority figures, often playing military characters or policemen, and highlights in his career include The Third Man, The Blue Lamp, The Battle of the River Plate and Whistle Down the Wind. He died of stomach cancer on 16 January 1981, aged 73.

In 1986,  First meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force.

In 1991,  The Coalition Forces go to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War (U.S. Time).

In 1992,  El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City, Mexico ending the 12-year Salvadoran Civil War that claimed at least 75,000 lives.

In 2001,  Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.

In 2001,  US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish–American War.

In 2002,  The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the remaining members of the Taliban.

In 2003,  The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.

In 2005,  Romanian university lecturer and novelist Adriana Iliescu gives birth at 66 to her daughter Eliza, breaking the record for the oldest birth mother in the world

In 2006,  Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia‘s new president. She becomes Africa‘s first female elected head of state.

1983 car

In 2007  Benny Parsons, American race car driver and sportscaster (b. 1941) died. He was an American NASCAR driver, and later an announcer/analyst/pit reporter on SETN, TBS, ABC, ESPN, NBC and TNT. He became famous as the 1973 NASCAR Winston Cup (now Sprint Cup) champion. He was the older brother of former NASCAR driver car owner and broadcaster Phil Parsons of Phil Parsons Racing. He was nicknamed BP and The Professor, the latter in part because of his popular remarks and relaxed demeanor. He was the founder of Rendezvous Ridge, a winery in North Carolina, which opened shortly after his death.

In 2013,  An estimated 41 international workers are taken hostage in an attack in the town of In Aménas, Algeria.

In 2013,  Glen P. Robinson, American businessman, founded Scientific Atlanta (b. 1923) died. He called the “father of high-tech industry in Georgia”, was an American businessman and founder of Scientific Atlanta, now a subsidiary of Cisco Systems. Robinson was CEO of the company for 20 years, and chairman of the board for an additional eight years, until he retired from Scientific Atlanta in 1979.

Pauline Phillips 1961.JPGIn 2013,  Pauline Phillips, American columnist and radio host, created Dear Abby (b. 1918) died. She was also known as Abigail Van Buren, was an American advice columnist and radio show host who began the “Dear Abby” column in 1956. During her decades writing the column, it became the most widely-syndicated newspaper column in the world, syndicated in 1,400 newspapers around the world with 110 million of readers. From 1963 to 1975, Phillips also had a daily “Dear Abby” program on CBS Radio. TV anchorwoman Diane Sawyer calls her the “pioneering queen of salty advice.”

In 2016, Thirty-three out of 126 freed hostages are injured and 23 killed in terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on a hotel and a nearby restaurant.

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