Today in History: Oct. 16
by Robert Joseph Baker | October 16, 2017 12:00 am
Last Updated: October 16, 2017 at 12:26 am
456 – Magister militum Ricimer defeats Emperor Avitus at Piacenza and becomes master of the Western Roman Empire.
690 – Empress Wu Zetian ascends to the throne of the Tang dynasty and proclaims herself ruler of the Chinese Empire.
955 – Battle on the Raxa: King Otto I defeats the Obotrite federation led by Nako and his brother Stoigniew near Mecklenburg.
1384 – Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, although she is a woman.
1590 – Carlo Gesualdo, composer, Prince of Venosa and Count of Conza, murders his wife, Donna Maria d’Avalos, and her lover Fabrizio Carafa, the Duke of Andria at the Palazzo San Severo in Naples.
1780 – Royalton, Vermont and Tunbridge, Vermont are the last major raids of the American Revolutionary War.
1793 – Marie Antoinette, widow of Louis XVI, is guillotined at the height of the French Revolution.
1793 – The Battle of Wattignies ends in a French victory.
1813 – The Sixth Coalition attacks Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of Leipzig.
1834 – Much of the ancient structure of the Palace of Westminster in London burns to the ground.
1836 – Battle of Vegkop between Afrikaner voortrekkers and Matabele warriors in South Africa.
1841 – Queen’s University is founded in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
1843 – Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.
1846 – William T. G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.
1847 – The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is published in London.
1859 – John Brown leads a raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
1869 – The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is “discovered”.
1869 – Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England’s first residential college for women.
1875 – Brigham Young University is founded in Provo, Utah.
1882 – The Nickel Plate Railroad opens for business.
1905 – The Partition of Bengal in India takes place.
1906 – The Captain of Köpenick fools the city hall of Köpenick and several soldiers by impersonating a Prussian officer.
1909 – William Howard Taft and Porfirio Díaz hold a summit, a first between a U.S. and a Mexican president, and they only narrowly escape assassination.
1916 – In Brooklyn, New York, Margaret Sanger opens the first family planning clinic in the United States.
1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney.
1934 – Chinese Communists begin the Long March; it ended a year and four days later, by which time Mao Zedong had regained his title as party chairman.
1939 – World War II: No. 603 Squadron RAF intercepts the first Luftwaffe raid on Britain.
1940 – The Holocaust in Poland: The Warsaw Ghetto is established.
1943 – Holocaust in Italy: Raid of the Ghetto of Rome
1946 – Nuremberg trials: Execution of the convicted Nazi leaders of the Main Trial.
1947 – Republic of the Philippines takes over the administration of the Turtle Islands and the Mangsee Islands from the United Kingdom.
1949 – Nikos Zachariadis, leader of the Communist Party of Greece, announces a “temporary cease-fire”, effectively ending the Greek Civil War.
1950 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is published, starting The Chronicles of Narnia series.
1951 – The first Prime Minister of Pakistan, Liaquat Ali Khan, is assassinated in Rawalpindi.
1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon.
1964 – Soviet leaders Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin are inaugurated as General Secretary of the CPSU and Premier, respectively and the collective leadership is established.
1968 – United States athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos are kicked off the US team for participating in the 1968 Olympics Black Power salute.
1968 – Kingston, Jamaica is rocked by the Rodney riots, inspired by the barring of Walter Rodney from the country.
1968 – Yasunari Kawabata becomes the first Japanese person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
1970 – In response to the October Crisis terrorist kidnapping, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau of Canada invokes the War Measures Act.
1973 – Henry Kissinger and Lê Đức Thọ are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1975 – The Balibo Five, a group of Australian-based television journalists based in the town of Balibo in the then Portuguese Timor (now East Timor), are killed by Indonesian troops.
1975 – Rahima Banu, a two-year-old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, is the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.
1975 – The Australian Coalition opposition parties using their senate majority, vote to defer the decision to grant supply of funds for the Whitlam Government’s annual budget, sparking the 1975 Australian constitutional crisis.
1978 – Karol Wojtyla is elected Pope John Paul II after the October 1978 Papal conclave, the first non-Italian pontiff since 1523.
1978 – Wanda Rutkiewicz is the first Pole and the first European woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
1984 – Desmond Tutu is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1986 – Reinhold Messner becomes the first person to summit all 14 Eight-thousanders.
1991 – Luby’s shooting: George Hennard runs amok in Killeen, Texas, killing 23 and wounding 20 in Luby’s Cafeteria.
1993 – Anti-Nazism riot breaks out in Welling in Kent, after police stop protesters approaching the British National Party headquarters.
1995 – The Million Man March takes place in Washington, D.C.
1995 – The Skye Bridge is opened.
1996 – Eighty-four people are killed and more than 180 injured as 47,000 football fans attempt to squeeze into the 36,000-seat Estadio Mateo Flores in Guatemala City.
1998 – Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a warrant from Spain requesting his extradition on murder charges.
2002 – Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.
2013 – Lao Airlines Flight 301 crashes on approach to Pakse International Airport in Laos, killing 49 people.