April 16th in History

This day in historyApril 16 is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 259 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 1457 BC,  Likely date of the Battle of Megiddo between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh, the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.

In 73,  Masada, a Jewish fortress, falls to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Great Jewish Revolt.

In 1346,  Dušan the Mighty is proclaimed Emperor, with the Serbian Empire occupying much of the Balkans.

In 1520,  The Revolt of the Comuneros begins in Spain against the rule of Charles V.

In 1521,  Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther‘s first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.

In 1582,  Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.

In 1746,  The Battle of Culloden is fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the British Hanoverian forces commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, in Scotland. After the battle many highland traditions were banned and the Highlands of Scotland were cleared of inhabitants.

In 1780,  The University of Münster in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is founded.

In 1799,  Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor: Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.

In 1818,  The United States Senate ratifies the Rush–Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada.

In 1847,  The accidental shooting of a Māori by an English sailor results in the opening of the Wanganui Campaign of the New Zealand land wars.

In 1853,  The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.

In 1858,  The Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is wound up.

In 1859,  Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian and politician, French Minister of Foreign Affairs (b. 1805) dies. A longtime sufferer from bouts of tuberculosis, Tocqueville would eventually succumb to the disease on April 16, 1859. He was buried in the Tocqueville cemetery in Normandy. Tocqueville’s professed religion was Roman Catholicism. He saw religion as being compatible with both equality and individualism, and felt that religion would be strongest when separated from politics. During his life, he was a French political thinker and historian best known for his works Democracy in America (appearing in two volumes: 1835 and 1840) and The Old Regime and the Revolution (1856). In both of these, he analyzed the improved living standards and social conditions of individuals, as well as their relationship to the market and state in Western societies. Democracy in America was published after Tocqueville’s travels in the United States, and is today considered an early work of sociology and political science.

In 1862,  American Civil War: Battle at Lee’s Mills in Virginia.

In 1862,  American Civil War: The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, becomes law.

In 1863,  American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg: Ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter move through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi.

In 1881,  In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.

In 1894,  2014 Premier League champions Manchester City F.C. was formed from Ardwick A.F.C..

Samuel Smiles by Sir George Reid.jpgIn 1904,  Samuel Smiles, Scottish author (b. 1812) dies in Kensington, London and was buried in Brompton Cemetery.   He was a Scottish author and government reformer, who campaigned on a Chartist platform. But he concluded that more progress would come from new attitudes than from new laws. His masterpiece, Self-Help (1859), promoted thrift and claimed that poverty was caused largely by irresponsible habits, while also attacking materialism and laissez-faire government. It has been called “the bible of mid-Victorian liberalism”, and it raised Smiles to celebrity status almost overnight.

In 1908,  Natural Bridges National Monument is established in Utah.

In 1910,  The oldest existing indoor ice hockey arena still used for the sport in the 21st century, Boston Arena, opens for the first time.

In 1912,  Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.

In 1917,  Vladimir Lenin returns to Petrograd, Russia from exile in Switzerland.

In 1919,  Mohandas Gandhi organizes a day of “prayer and fasting” in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by the British colonial troops three days earlier.

In 1919,  Polish–Soviet War: The Polish army launches the Vilna offensive to capture Vilnius in modern Lithuania.

In 1922,  The Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which Germany and the Soviet Union re-establish diplomatic relations, is signed.

In 1925,  During the Communist St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia, Bulgaria, 150 are killed and 500 are wounded.

In 1941,  World War II: The Italian convoy Duisburg, directed to Tunisia, is attacked and destroyed by British ships.

In 1941,  World War II: The Ustaše, a Croatian far-right organization is put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis powers after the Axis Operation 25 invasion.

In 1941,  Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1–0.

In 1944,  World War II: Allied forces start bombing Belgrade, killing about 1,100 people. This bombing fell on the Orthodox Christian Easter.

In 1945,  World War II: The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin, with nearly one million troops fighting in the Battle of the Seelow Heights.

In 1945,  The United States Army liberates Nazi Sonderlager (high security) prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).

In 1945,  More than 7,000 die when the German refugee ship Goya is sunk by a Soviet submarine.

In 1947,  Texas City disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600.

In 1947,  Bernard Baruch coins the term “Cold War” to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Höss, Rudolf.jpgIn 1947,  Rudolf Höss, German SS officer (b. 1900) was hanged in 1947 following a trial in Warsaw. He was a Nazi lieutenant colonel in the Schutzstaffel (SS) and the longest serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. He tested and carried into effect various methods to accelerate Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jewish population of Nazi-occupied Europe through genocide known as the Final Solution. Höss introduced pesticide Zyklon B containing hydrogen cyanide to the killing process, thereby allowing soldiers at Auschwitz to murder 2,000 people every hour. He created the largest installation for the continuous annihilation of human beings ever known. Höss joined the Nazi Party in 1922 and the SS in 1934. From 4 May 1940 to November 1943, and again from 8 May 1944 to 18 January 1945 he was in charge of Auschwitz where more than a million people were killed before the defeat of Germany

In 1953,  Queen Elizabeth II launches the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia.

In 1957,  Johnny Torrio, Italian-American mobster (b. 1882) dies of a heart attack in Brooklyn while sitting in a barber’s chair waiting for a haircut, dying several hours later in a nearby hospital.

His full name was John “Papa Johnny” Torrio, born Giovanni Torrio, also known as “The Fox” and as “The Immune”, was an Italian-American mobster who helped build the criminal empire known as the Chicago Outfit in the 1920s that was later inherited by his protégé, Al Capone. He also put forth the idea of the National Crime Syndicate in the 1930s and later became an unofficial adviser to the Genovese crime family. The U.S. Treasury official Elmer Irey considered him “the biggest gangster in America” and wrote as follows: “He was the smartest and, I dare say, the best of all the hoodlums. ‘Best’ referring to talent, not morals”. Virgil W. Peterson of the Chicago Crime Commission stated that his “talents as an organizational genius were widely respected by the major gang bosses in the New York City area”.

In 1961,  In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist–Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.

In 1962,  Walter Cronkite takes over as the lead news anchor of the CBS Evening News, during which time he would become “the most trusted man in America”.

In 1963,  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.

In 1972,  Apollo program: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Lucius-d-clay-80-87.jpgIn 1978,  Lucius D. Clay, American general (b. 1897) dies.  He was an American officer and military governor of the United States Army known for his administration of occupied Germany after World War II. Clay was deputy to General Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1945; deputy military governor, Germany (U.S.) 1946; commander in chief, U.S. Forces in Europe and military governor of the U.S. Zone, Germany, 1947–49. He retired in 1949. Clay orchestrated the Berlin Airlift (1948–1949) when the USSR blockaded West Berlin. Clay was born in 1898 in Marietta, Georgia, the sixth and last child of Alexander Stephens Clay, who served in the U.S. Senate from 1897 to 1910. Lucius Clay graduated from West Point in 1918 and held various civil and military engineering posts during the 1920s and 1930s, including teaching at West Point, directing the construction of dams and civilian airports, and by 1942 rising to the position of the youngest brigadier general in the Army. All the while he acquired a reputation for bringing order and operational efficiency out of chaos, and for being an exceptionally hard and disciplined worker, going long hours and refusing to even stop to eat during his workdays.

In 1990,  The “Doctor of Death”, Jack Kevorkian, participates in his first assisted suicide.

In 1992,  The Katina P runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique and 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean.

In 1995,  George W. Bush names April 16 as Selena Day in Texas, after she was killed two weeks earlier.

In 2001,  India and Bangladesh begin a five-day border conflict, but are unable to resolve the disputes about their border.

In 2003,  The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting ten new member states to the European Union.

In 2007,  Virginia Tech shooting: Seung-Hui Cho guns down 32 people and injures 17 before committing suicide.

In 2012,  The trial for Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, begins in Oslo, Norway.

In 2012,  The Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, it was the first time since 1977 that no book won the Fiction Prize.

In 2013,  A 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, killing at least 35 people and injuring 117 others.

In 2014,  The MV Sewol ferry carrying more than 450 people capsizes near Jindo Island off South Korea, leaving 295 passengers and crew dead and 9 more missing.

In 2015, The Feds attempting to control the market, dry up supply? Purchase in addition to billions of bullets previously bought by feds.  The Department of Homeland Security is set to purchase over 62 million rounds of ammo typically used in AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, just weeks after the ATF was forced to back down on a ban on M855 bullets. A posting on FedBizOpps.gov revealed that the DHS is looking to contract with a company to provide 12.6 million rounds of .223 Remington ammunition per year for a period of five years – totaling 62.5 million bullets.

In 2015, One of the great political mysteries of the early 2016 presidential campaign has been solved: Hillary Clinton did not leave a tip at the Chipotle restaurant she visited during her road trip to Iowa on Sunday. “Her bill was $20 and some change, and they paid with $21 and left” without putting anything in a tip jar on the counter, Charles Wright, the manager at the Maumee, Ohio, Chipotle restaurant told Bloomberg.



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