942 May 16 Saadiah Gaon, head of Talmudic Academy of Sura, died.
955 May 16 Alberich II, (bastard?) son of Octavianus, was elected pope.
1527 May 16 Florence expelled the Medici nephews of the Pope and reverted to a republic.
1532 May 16 Sir Thomas More resigned as English Lord Chancellor.
1568 May 16 Mary Queen of Scotland fled to England.
1691 May 16 Jacob Leisler, 1st American colonist, was hanged for treason.
1763 May 16 The English lexicographer, author and wit Samuel Johnson first met his future biographer, James Boswell.
1770 May 16 Marie Antoinette (14), married the future King Louis XVI of France (15).
1777 May 16 Button Gwinnet, US revolutionary leader, died from wounds.
1791 May 16 James Boswell’s celebrated 2-volume work, “The Life of Samuel Johnson,” was published. In 2001 Adam Sisman authored “Boswell’s Presumptuous Task,” an account of how Boswell came to write the Johnson biography.
1792 May 16 Denmark abolished slave trade.
1801 May 16 William Henry Seward was born. He was later Gov. of New York and the American Sec. of State from 1861-1869. Under Pres. Lincoln he purchased Alaska for the United States at 2 cents per acre.
1804 May 16 Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, founder of the first U.S. kindergarten, was born.
1828 May 16 Sir William Congreve (b.1772), British artillerist and inventor, died. In 1805 he developed the Congreve Rocket.
1831 May 16 David Edward Hughes, inventor (microphone, teleprinter), was born.
1850 May 16 Johannes von Mikulica-Radecki, Polish surgical pioneer, was born.
1860 May 16 The Republican convention operned in Chicago.
1861 May 16 Pres. Lincoln commissioned Benjamin F. Butler, a Massachusetts politician, as a major general of volunteers in the US Army.
1863 May 16 At the Battle of Champion’s Hill, in Mississippi, the bloodiest action of the Vicksburg Campaign, Union General Ulysses S. Grant repulsed the Confederates, driving them into Vicksburg.
1864 May 16 In the Atlanta Campaign, the battle of Resaca, begun May 13, ended.
1866 May 16 US Congress authorized the minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the “Shield nickel.” The Shield nickel was quite effective in replacing the half dime, as its base metal composition discouraged hoarding and caused it to circulate very widely.
1868 May 16 Bedrich Smetana’s opera “Dalibor,” premiered in Prague.
1879 May 16 Antonin Dvorak’s “Slavonic Dances” premiered.
1881 May 16 World’s 1st electric tram went into service in Lichterfelder near Berlin.
1886 May 16 Douglas Southall Freeman, journalist, historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, was born.
1892 May 16 Richard Tauber, [Ernst Seiffert], Austria-British, tenor, conductor (“Deine ist mein ganzes Herz”), was born.
1905 May 16 Henry Fonda (d.1982), actor, was born in Grand Island, Nebraska. He starred in “Grapes of Wrath” and “On Golden Pond.”
1911 May 16 Remains of a Neanderthal man were found in Jersey, UK.
1912 May 16 Studs Terkel American author, was born. He wrote The ‘Good War.’ “Take it easy, but take it.”
1913 May 16 Woody Herman (d.1987), jazz bandleader, was born.
1919 May 16 Liberace (d.1987), pianist, was born in a Milwaukee suburb as Wladziu Valentino Liberace. At 17 he debuted with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He later averaged an income of $5 million for over 35 years.
1920 May 16 Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.
1924 May 16 Frank F. Mankiewicz, columnist (Perfectly Clear), was born in NYC.
1927 May 16 US Supreme Court ruled that bootleggers must pay income tax.
1929 May 16 Betty Carter, jazz singer, was born.
1936 May 16 San Francisco Municipal Judge Lazarus condemned dance hall operators who made white girls dance with Filipinos. He had just held Terry Santiago (22) to answer a charge of assault with intent to murder for stabbing Norma Kompisch (22) 22 times with an 8-inch butcher knife, despite her cries for mercy. Lazarus had recently call Filipinos “savages.”
1939 May 16 US food stamps were 1st issued.
1940 May 16 Bernardo Bertolucci, director (1900, Last Emperor), was born in Parma, Italy.
1943 May 16 German troops destroyed the synagogue of Warsaw. Jewish resistance in the Warsaw ghetto ended after 30 days of fighting.
1944 May 16 The 1st of over 180,000 Hungarian Jews reached Auschwitz.
1945 May 16 The Nazi submarine U-234 surrendered to US forces at Portsmouth, NH. It had been bound for Tokyo with 10 containers of uranium oxide. The atomic material ended up in the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
1946 May 16 The Irving Berlin musical “Annie Get Your Gun” opened on Broadway starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley. The play closed in 1949 after 1,147 performances.
1948 May 16 The body of CBS News correspondent George Polk was found in Salonika Harbor in Greece, several days after he’d left his hotel for an interview with the leader of a Communist militia.
1951 May 16 Chinese Communist Forces launched a second step, fifth-phase offensive [in Korea] and gained up to 20 miles of territory.
1952 May 16 Pierce Brosnan, actor (Remington Steele, Golden Eye), was born in County Meath, Ireland.
1953 May 16 Django Reinhardt (b.1910), Gypsy jazz guitarist, died in France. In 2004 Michael Dregni authored “Django: The Life and Music of a Gypsy Legend.”
1955 May 16 Olga Korbut, Olympic gymnast (2 golds-1972), was born in Grodno, Belorussia.
1957 May 16 Pope Pius XII published his encyclical Invicti Athletae.
1958 May 16 A man endured a record 82.6 G for .04 seconds on a water-braked rocket sled at Holloman Air Force Base. He was hospitalized for 3 days for recovery.
1960 May 16 A Big Four summit conference in Paris collapsed on its opening day as the Soviet Union leveled spy charges against the United States in the wake of the U-2 incident.
1963 May 16 After 22 Earth orbits Gordon Cooper returned to Earth in Friendship Seven, ending Project Mercury.
1965 May 16 The musical play “The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd” opened on Broadway.
1966 May 16 Columbia Records released Bob Dylan’s album “Blonde on Blonde.”
1969 May 16 Russia’s Venera 5 landed on Venus and returned data on atmosphere.
1974 May 16 SLA members William and Emily Harris were identified with Patty Hearst in LA during a shoplifting attempt at Mel’s Sporting Goods store. They escaped in a stolen van with a 19-year-old kidnapped victim.
1975 May 16 India annexed the Principality of Sikkim. The people of Sikkim had revolted against the monarchy and Sikkim became India’s 22nd and second smallest state.  The Lepchas are the original inhabitants of Sikkim.
1977 May 16 Five people were killed when a New York Airways helicopter, idling atop the Pan Am Building in midtown Manhattan, toppled over, sending a huge rotor blade flying.
1978 May 16 Patricia Hearst (24) entered the Federal correctional Institute at Pleasanton, Ca., to resume her 7-year sentence for a SF bank robbery with the SLA.
1979 May 16 Asa Philip Randolph (b.1889), black labor leader and civil rights pioneer, died in NYC. Randolph brought the word of trade unionism to millions of African American households.
1982 May 16 In the Dominican Republic the Revolutionary Party, under the leadership of Jose Pena Gomez (1937-1998), won the presidential elections. The PRD’s presidential candidate, Salvador Jorge Blanco, won, and the PRD gained a majority in both houses of Congress. Jose Pena Gomez served as the mayor of Santo Domingo from 1982-1986.
1984 May 16 Andy Kaufman (35), comedian, died of cancer. He played Latka Gravas in the TV sitcom Taxi.
1985 May 16 Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls was named NBA Rookie of Year.
1986 May 16 Argentine ex-president Galtieri (1926-2003) was sentenced to 12 years.
1987 May 16 Kentucky Derby winner Alysheba captured the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Alysheba fell short in the Belmont Stakes, failing to become the first Triple Crown champion since Affirmed.
1988 May 16 US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.
1989 May 16 During his visit to Beijing, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, formally ending a 30-year rift between the two Communist powers.
1990 May 16 Sammy Davis Jr. (64), entertainer, died in Los Angeles. Davis owed the IRS $5 million at his death. A settlement was later reached for $300,000. In 2003 Wil Haygood authored “In Black and White: The Life of Sammy Davis, Jr.”
1991 May 16 US Secretary of State James A. Baker the Third wrapped up his latest Mideast visit in Israel without an agreement for Arab-Israeli peace talks.
1992 May 16 America3, skippered by Bill Koch, won the 28th defense of the America’s Cup.
1993 May 16 A two-day Bosnian Serb referendum on a U.N.-backed peace plan ended, with voters rejecting the proposal by a wide margin.
1994 May 16 Israel began its final withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, shutting down the prison and military headquarters where Israeli soldiers had been in charge since the 1967 Middle East War.
1996 May 16 The US Treasury Dept. announced planned to issue a new type of government bond that would protect investors from inflation and help government finance the national debt. The new bond would offer returns that would rise and fall in line with inflation.
1997 May 16 Pres. Clinton spoke an apology for the government’s Tuskegee syphilis study from 1932-1972, in which 399 black men were kept untreated by government scientists in order to study the progression of the disease.
1998 May 16 “Real Quiet” won the Preakness, two weeks after winning the Kentucky Derby. Real Quiet later failed to capture the Triple Crown, losing the Belmont Stakes to Victory Gallop by a nose.
1999 May 16 The Justice Department said preliminary figures from the FBI indicated a decline in serious crime in 1998 for the seventh consecutive year.
2000 May 16 The Federal Reserve raised its federal funds rate by one-half point, the biggest increase in five years.
2001 May 16 The US State Dept. decided to designate the Real IRA as a terrorist organization and banned fund raising by the group and its supporting organizations.
2002 May 16 The White House defended President Bush for not disclosing intelligence before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden wanted to hijack U.S. airplanes, saying there had been no specific threat.
2003 May 16 President Bush launched his re-election campaign.
2004 May 16 The United States announced a new initiative to speed up the approval process for new combination AIDS drugs that was designed to bring cheap, easy-to-use treatment to millions of people in Africa and the Caribbean.
2005 May 16 A US Senate report detailing alleged misuse of the program said almost one third of the oil allocations granted under the United Nations’ 1996 to 2003 Iraqi Oil-for-Food program went to Russian parties or individuals.
2006 May 16 The Pentagon released the first video images of American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the military headquarters building and killing 189 people on 9/11.
2007 May 16 Anti-war Democrats in the US Senate failed in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq war.
2008 May 16 Under pressure from Congress the US Energy Dept. said it would temporarily suspend filling the US strategic oil stocks. Oil futures rose to a record $126.29 on the NY Mercantile Exchange. Pres. Bush signed a bill to stop the filling on May 19.
2009 May 16 President Barack Obama reached across the political divide and named Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a potential Republican presidential contender in 2012, to the sensitive diplomatic post of US ambassador to China.
2010 May 16 Oil from a blown-out well is forming huge underwater plumes as much as 10 miles long below the visible slick in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists said as BP wrestled for a third day with its latest contraption for slowing the nearly month-old gusher.
2011 May 16 The US and Pakistan agreed to work together in any future actions against “high value targets” in Pakistan, even as US Sen. John Kerry defended Washington’s decision not to tell Islamabad in advance about the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
2012 May 16 The new $1.4 billion int’l. air terminal opened at Hartsfeld-Jackson Atlanta Int’l. Airport.

Source: Timelines of History


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