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16th May: Find Out The Events That Happened On This Day In History

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16th May is the 136th day of the year (137th in leap years). 229 days remain until the end of the year. Find out some of the events that occurred on this day, 16th May, in history.


Historical events

955 — Octavian, son of Duke Alberic II of Spoleto, elected Pope John XII.

1527 — Florence becomes a republic.

1571 — German astronomer Johannes Kepler, by his own calculations, is conceived at 4:37 AM.

1792 — Denmark abolishes slave trade.

1817 — Mississippi River steamboat service begins.

1862 — Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir builds the first automobile.

1866 — Pharmacist and root beer brewer Charles E. Hires invents “Hires Root Beer”.

1866 — US Congress authorises the nickel five-cent piece. It replaces silver half-dime.

1872 — Metropolitan Gas Company lamps lit for the first time.

1874 — The first recorded dam disaster in the US (Williamsburg, Massachusetts).

1875 — Earthquake in Venezuela and Colombia kills 16,000.

1881 — World’s first electric tram enters service in Lichterfelder (near Berlin).


16th May in the 20th Century

1903 — First transcontinental motorcycle trip began in San Francisco by George A. Wyman (arrives in New York July 6).

1920 — Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) canonized a saint.

1938 — The first animal breeding society forms.

1947 — Jazz musician Billie Holiday is arrested in her New York apartment for possession of narcotics

1948 — First chess world championship since WWII; Russian player Mikhail Botvinnik wins a 5-player tournament to begin 20-year Russian domination.

1948 — Chaim Weizmann elected as the first President of Israel.

1948 — Israel issues its first postage stamps.

1956 — Egypt recognises People’s Republic of China.

1965 — The Campbell Soup Company introduces SpaghettiOs under its Franco-American brand.

1965 — 18th Cannes Film Festival: “The Knack…and How to Get It” directed by Richard Lester wins the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film.

1966 — National Welfare Rights Organization organises.

1969 — Singer-songwriter and actress Barbra Streisand appears at a Friars Club Tribute.

1977 — Muhammad Ali beats Alfredo Evangelist in 15 for heavyweight boxing title.

1980 — Musician and Beatle Paul McCartney releases “McCartney II” album.

1983 — Lebanese parliament accepts peace accord with Israel.

1984 — Guinea-Bissau adopts constitution.

1984 — “When Doves Cry” single released by Prince (Billboard Song of the Year 1984).

1986 — South African President P. W. Botha sends Coetsee to visit Mandela.

1986 — The Seville Statement on Violence adopted by an international meeting of scientists, convened by the Spanish National Commission for UNESCO, in Seville, Spain.

1988 — US Supreme Court rules that trash may be searched without a warrant.

1990 — Eugene Stoner and Mikhail Kalashnikov, the creators of the M16 rifle and the AK-47 rifle respectively, meet in Washington D.C.

1991 — Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address US Congress.


16th May in the 21st Century

2002 — “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman opens in cinemas.

2005 — Kuwait permits women’s suffrage in a 35-23 National Assembly vote.

2007 — Alex Salmond elected First Minister of Scotland. He is first Scottish National Party leader to be elected First Minister after winning a historic victory at the Scottish general election on the 3rd May.

2013 — Microsoft founder Bill Gates regains his position as the world’s richest man with $72.7 billion after losing the position in 2008.

2013 — Successful cloning of human stem cells.

2017 — 10-year-old girl granted special 20-week abortion request in Rohtak, India in a landmark case.

2018 — Painting “Past Times” by Kerry James Marshall bought by Sean Combs for $21.1 million. It is the most paid for a painting by a living African American artist.

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