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On January 16th...

National Nothing Day*

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1362 Agreatstorm tide in the North Sea destroyed the German island of Strand and the city of Rungholt.

1412 The Medici family was appointed official banker of the Papacy.

1547 Ivan IV crowned himself the first Tsar of Moscow.

1556 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V appointed his son, Philip II, King of Spain.

1581 The English Parliament passed laws against Catholicism.

1599 Poet Edmund Spenser died.

Sieur d'Iberville1702 French-Canadian explorer Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville founded what is now Mobile, Alabama.

1707 The Act of Union was ratified by the Scottish Parliament.

1761 The British captured Pondicherry, India, from the French.

1776 The Continental Congress approved enlistment of free blacks.

1777 Vermont declared itself independent from New York.

Geirge Romney1780 A British fleet under Admiral Sir George Romney defeated a Spanish squadron under Don Juan de Lángara.

1793 French King Louis XVI was sentenced to death by the National Convention.

1794 Historian Edward Gibbon died.

1809 The British defeated the French at the Battle of Corunna.

John C. Fremont1847 John C. Fremont was appointed Governor of California Territory.

1868 The refrigerator car was patented by William Davis.

1870 Virginia became the 8th state to be readmitted to the United States.

1874 Poet Robert W. Service was born.

1877 The color organ (for light shows) was patented by Bainbridge Bishop.

1879 Educator William M. Jardine was born.

1883 The Civil Service system of the United States was established.

1900 The United States gained control over Tutuila in Samoa and several smaller Pacific islands.

Fulgencio Batista1901 Fulgencio Batista Zaldívar, two-time President of Cuba, was born.
Hiram Revels1901 Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first black to to be elected to the U.S. Senate, died.

1906 Businessman Marshall Field died.

1908 Pinnacles National Monument was created in California.
1908 Singer Ethel Merman was born.

1910 Baseball player Dizzy Dean was born.

1913 The British House of Commons accepted Home-Rule for Ireland.

George Dewey1917 U.S. Admiral George Dewey died.

1919 The 18th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages, was ratified.

1920 The first assembly of the League of Nations was held in Paris, France.

1924 The government of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin resigned.

1932 Anthropologist Dian Fossey was born.

1934 Singer Marilyn Horne was born.

1935 Auto racer A. J. Foyt was born.
1935 Criminal gang leader Ma Barker was killed.

1936 The Screen Actors Guild was incorporated.
1936 The first photo finish camera was installed at Hialeah Race Track in Hialeah, Florida.

1939 The daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuted.

1942 Actress Carole Lombard died.

1943 Singer Ronnie Milsap was born.

Dwight Eisenhower1944 General Dwight D. Eisenhower took command of the Allied Invasion Force.

1948 Film director John Carpenter was born.

Hans Speidel1957 German General Hans Speidel was appointed Supreme Commander of NATO forces in central Europe.
Arturo Toscanini1957 Conductor Arturo Toscanini died.

Mickey Mantle1961 Mickey Mantle became the highest-paid active baseball player when he signed a $75,000 contract with the New York Yankees.

John Glenn1964 John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, resigned from NASA.
1964 "Hello, Dolly!" opened at the St. James Theater in New York City, New York.
1964 American League owners voted 9-1 against Charlie Finley moving the Kansas City Athletics to Louisville, Kentucky.

1965 The last episode of "Outer Limits" aired on ABC-TV.

McCormick PlaceDestroyed By Fire1967 McCormick Place, in Chicago, Illinois, was destroyed by fire.
1967 Lynden O. Pindling took office as the first black Prime Minister of The Bahamas.
U.S. Department of Transportation1967 The first U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Alan Stephenson Boyd, took office.
1967 Physicist Robert J. Van de Graaff died.

1968 The Youth International Party was founded.

1969 The Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and 5 docked in space and two cosmonauts "walked" from one craft to the other.
Jan Palach funeral1969 Jan Palach, a 21-year-old student, set himself on fire in Prague, Czechoslavakia, to protest Soviet occupation of his country.

1972 The Dallas Cowboys defeated the Miami Dolphins 24-3 in Super Bowl VI.

1973 The last episode of "Bonanza" aired on NBC-TV.

1974 A landslide killed 9 persons in Canyonville, Oregon.
Jaws, by Peter Benchley, was published.

1976 "Donny and Marie" variety show debuted on ABC-TV.
1976 Peter Frampton released Frampton Comes Alive.
1974 Model Kate Moss was born.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi1979 Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran was ousted from power and went into self-imposed exile.
1979 Actor Ted Cassidy died.

1980 Baseball player Albert Pujols was born.

1988 Jimmy "the Greek" Snyder was fired by CBS for making racial remarks.
1988 The St. Louis Cardinals announded their move to Phoenix, Arizona.

1992 The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed in Mexico City, Mexico, ending the 12-year Salvadoran Civil War.

1995 The Universal-Paramount Network (UPN) began broadcasting.

2001 Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated by one of his bodyguards.

2005 Former Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang died.

2006 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was sworn in as President of Liberia.

2007 Actor Ron Carey died.

2009 Painter Andrew Wyeth died.

2013 Three car bombs exploded in Idlib Governate, Syria, killing 24 persons.
2013 An apartment block collapsed in Alexandria, Egypt, killing 25 persons.

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The Robinson Library >> On This Day

This page was last updated on January 16, 2019.