309 Feb 16 Pamphilus Caesarea, Palestinian scholar, martyr, was beheaded.
600 Feb 16 Pope Gregory the Great decreed “God bless You” as the religiously correct response to a sneeze.
923 Feb 16 Abu Dja’far Mohammed Djarir al-Tabari (83), Islamic historian, died.
1075 Feb 16 Ordericus Vitalis, French monk, historian, poet, was born.
1270 Feb 16 In the Karusa Ice war in Estonia, Lithuanian forces defeated the Livonian Knights of the Cross.
1497 Feb 16 Philipp Melanchthon, German Protestant reformer (Augsburgse Confessie), was born.
1519 Feb 16 Gaspard de Coligny, Huguenot leader, French admiral, was born.
1559 Feb 16 Pope Paul IV called for the overthrow of sovereigns supporting heresy.
1568 Feb 16 A sentence of the Holy Office condemned all the inhabitants of the Netherlands to death as heretics. From this universal doom only a few persons, especially named, were acquitted.
1620 Feb 16 Frederick William, founder of Brandenburg-Prussia, was born.
1641 Feb 16 English king Charles I accepted the Triennial Act.
1677 Feb 16 Earl of Shaftesbury was arrested and confined to the London Tower.
1740 Feb 16 Giambattista Bodoni, printer, typeface designer (Bodoni), was born in Saluzzo, Italy.
1741 Feb 16 Benjamin Franklin’s General Magazine (2nd US Mag) began publishing.
1751 Feb 16 Thomas Gray’s poem “Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard” was 1st published.
1760 Feb 16 Cherokee Indians held hostage at Fort St. George, SC, were killed in revenge for Indian attacks on frontier settlements.
1779 Feb 16 William Boyce, English organist, composer (Cathedral Music), died.
1804 Feb 16 Lt. Stephen Decatur attacked Tripoli, where pirates held the USS Philadelphia. Decatur and 76 volunteers, aboard the captured Intrepid, attempted to recapture the Philadelphia, which caught fire, exploded and sank. Decatur and his crew escaped.
1808 Feb 16 The Peninsular War began when Napoleon ordered a large French force into Spain under the pretext of sending reinforcements to the French army occupying Portugal.
1812 Feb 16 Henry Wilson, 18th U.S. Vice President (Grant 1873-1875), was born.
1822 Feb 16 Francis Galton (d.1911), English scientist, was born. He was one of the first moderns to present a carefully considered eugenics program.
1823 Feb 16 John Daniel Imboden (d.1895), Brig General (Confederate Army), was born.
1826 Feb 16 Franz von Holstein, composer, was born.
1829 Feb 16 Francois-Joseph Gossec (95), Belgian-French composer (Messe de Morts), died.
1838 Feb 16 Henry Adams, was born. He was the son and grandson of the presidents who became a U.S. historian and wrote “The Education of Henry Adams.”
1845 Feb 16 Quinton Hogg, English philanthropist, was born.
1847 Feb 16 Ludwig Philipp Scharwenka, German composer (Album Polonaise), was born.
1852 Feb 16 Charles Taze Russell (d.1916) was born in Pittsburgh. In 1872 Russell abandoned the Adventist movement and formed the International Bible Students Association, which was later named Jehovah’s Witnesses (1931).
1854 Feb 16 Franz Liszt’s symphony “Orpheus,” premiered.
1857 Feb 16 Elisha Kent Kane (b.1820), US Navy surgeon and Arctic explorer, died of a stroke in Cuba.
1862 Feb 16 During the Civil War, some 14,000 Confederate soldiers  surrendered at Fort Donelson, Tenn. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s victory earned him the nickname “Unconditional Surrender Grant.” Nathan Bedford Forrest escaped.
1864 Feb 16 Battle of Mobile, Al., operations by Union Army.
1865 Feb 16 Columbia, S.C., surrendered to Federal troops.
1868 Feb 16 San Francisco police have recently been investigating the proceedings of a gang of thieving boys who denominate themselves and are known to the world as the Hoodlum Gang.
1868 Feb 16 The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (B.P.O.E.) was organized in New York City by members of the theatrical profession. Later, men in other professions were permitted to join the social organization. The letters E.L.K. are repeated in the titles of some of its officers, such as Esteemed Leading Knight and Esteemed Loyal Knight..
1870 Feb 16 The clipper ship Cutty Sark left London on its first voyage, proceeding around Cape Hope to Shanghai 3 1/2 months later. The ship made only eight voyages to China in the tea trade, as steam ships replaced sail on the high seas.
1876 Feb 16 George Macauley Trevelyan (d.1962), English historian (Giuseppi Garibaldi), was born: “’History repeats itself’ and ‘History never repeats itself’ are about equally true … We never know enough about the infinitely complex circumstances of any past event to prophesy the future by analogy.”
1878 Feb 16 The silver dollar became US legal tender.
1883 Feb 16 “Ladies Home Journal” began publishing.
1886 Feb 16 Van Wyck Brooks (d.1963), American biographer, critic and literary historian, was born. “Nothing is so soothing to our self-esteem as to find our bad traits in our forebears. It seems to absolve us.”
1892 Feb 16 The opera “Werther” premiered at the Imperial Theatre Hofoper in Vienna. It was composed in 1887 by French composer Jules Massenet based on Goethe’s 1774 novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther.”
1903 Feb 16 Edgar Bergen, radio ventriloquist and comedian, was born in Chicago.
1903 Feb 16 At Pokegama, Minnesota, temperatures fell to a record state low of 59 degrees below zero.
1904 Feb 16 George Keenan, U.S. diplomat, was born. He became a historian and proposed the policy of “containment” for dealing with the Soviet Union.
1905 Feb 16 1st US Esperanto club was organized in Boston. Dr. Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof (1859-1917), a Polish ophthalmologist, invented the artificial language in 1885.
1907 Feb 16 Fernando Previtali, composer, was born.
1909 Feb 16 The SF Citizens Health Committee declared SF free of bubonic plague.
1909 Feb 16 1st subway car with side doors went into service in NYC.
1909 Feb 16 Serbia mobilized against Austria and Hungary.
1915 Feb 16 Emil Waldteufel, [Charles Levy], French composer (Estudiantina), died.
1916 Feb 16 Russian troops conquered Erzurum, Armenia.
1917 Feb 16 The 1st Madrid synagogue in 425 years opened.
1918 Feb 16 The Council of Lithuania declared the independence of the State of Lithuania. The council also declared that the foundations of the state would be determined by a Constituent Assembly to be elected by the inhabitants on the basis of universal, equal and secret suffrage. Independence lasted until World War II. It again declared independence in 1990.
1919 Feb 16 Sir Mark Sykes (b.1879), best known for the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement dividing up the Middle East in anticipation of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, died of Spanish flu in Paris. In 2008 an Oxford team took tissue samples before reburying his body in its grave in East Yorkshire. They hoped to find clues that might help fight a future global influenza outbreak.
1920 Feb 16 Patty Andrews, vocalist (Andrews Sisters), was born in Minneapolis.
1922 Feb 16 Geraint Evans, Welsh opera baritone (Knaben Wunderhorn, Falstaff), was born.
1932 Feb 16 The 1st patent for a tree was issued to James Markham for a peach tree.
1934 Feb 16 Thousands of Socialists battled Communists at a rally in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
1935 Feb 16 Brian Bedford, actor (Anthony-Coronet Blue), was born in England.
1935 Feb 16 Salvatore Bono (d.1998), vocalist (Sonny & Cher), (Rep-R-Ca, 1995-98), was born in Detroit.
1936 Feb 16 Spanish Frente Popular (People’s Front) won elections.
1937 Feb 16 Wallace H. Carothers, a research chemist for Du Pont who invented nylon, received a patent for the synthetic fiber. It would replace silk in a number of products and reduce costs.  In 2000 Susannah Handley authored “Nylon: The Story of a Fashion Revolution.”
1938 Feb 16 The US Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized.
1940 Feb 16 The British destroyer HMS Cossack rescue British seamen from a German prison ship, the Altmark, in a Norwegian fjord.
1941 Feb 16 The Italians lost their last position in the Sudan.
1941 Feb 16 Kim Jong Il, son of Kim Il Sung, was born in the far East of the Soviet Union. He took over leadership of North Korea from his father in 1994.
1942 Feb 16 German submarines attacked an Aruba oil refinery and sank the tanker Pedernales.
1943 Feb 16 Withdrawing Africa Corps reached the Mareth-line in North Africa.
1943 Feb 16 Sign on Munich facade: “Out with Hitler! Long live freedom!” was posted by the “White Rose” student group. They were caught on 2/18 and beheaded on 2/22.
1943 Feb 16 The Red army conquered Kharkov.
1944 Feb 16 Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, was born. His work included “The Sportswriter” and “Independence Day.”
1945 Feb 16 American paratroopers landed on Corregidor during World War II, in a campaign to liberate the Philippines.
1946 Feb 16 The 1st commercially designed helicopter was tested at Bridgeport, Ct.
1948 Feb 16 NBC-TV began airing its first nightly newscast, “The Camel Newsreel Theatre,” which consisted of “20th Century Fox- Movietone News” newsreels.
1949 Feb 16 Chaim Weitzman was elected the 1st president of Israel. The title was invented by PM David Ben-Gurion to honor and to sideline veteran Zionist leader Chaim Weitzman.
1951 Feb 16 Stalin contended that the U.N. was becoming the weapon of aggressive war.
1952 Feb 16 The FBI arrested 10 members of the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.
1952 Feb 16 Jan Kerouac (d.1996), novelist daughter of Jack Kerouac, was born. Her books included “Baby Driver” (1981) and “Trainsong” (1988).
1956 Feb 16 Britain abolished the death penalty.
1957 Feb 16 LeVar Burton, (Roots, Star Trek Next Generation), was born in Landstuhl, Germany.
1957 Feb 16 A U.S. flag flew over an outpost in Wilkes Land, Antarctica.
1959 Feb 16 Leonard Spigelgass’ “Majority of One,” premiered in NYC.
1959 Feb 16 The US House Committee on Un-American Activities has charged that an “elite corps” of Communist lawyers is promoting the party’s cause in the courts, Congress and government agencies. A committee report dealt with the activities of 39 lawyers, who were among more than 100 lawyers identified as Communists in sworn testimony before the committee in the past decade.
1959 Feb 16 Fidel Castro took the oath as Cuban premier in Havana after the overthrow of Fulgencio Batista.
1960 Feb 16 US nuclear submarine USS Triton set off on underwater round-world trip.
1961 Feb 16 The United States launched the “Explorer Nine” satellite.
1962 Feb 16 Todd Gitlin (b.1943), Harvard activist, helped organize a national anti-war rally in Washington, DC. Some 8,000 students turned up. Boston SANE & the fledgling SDS organized the first anti-nuclear march.
1963 Feb 16 1st round-trip swim of Straits of Messina, Italy, was made by Mary Revell of US.
1964 Feb 16  The Beatles made their 2nd appearance on the “Ed Sullivan Show” from the Deauville Hotel in Miami.
1965 Feb 16 Four persons were held in a plot to blow up the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Bell and the Washington Monument.
1966 Feb 16 The World Council of Churches being held in Geneva, urged immediate peace in Vietnam.
1968 Feb 16 America’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.
1970 Feb 16 In SF a homemade bomb exploded outside the police Park Station on Waller St. Sgt. Brian McDonnell (44) died 2 days later and 8 other officers were injured. Black Panthers were suspected, but a later investigation suggested it was the work of the Weather Underground.
1972 Feb 16 Wilt Chamberlain became the 1st NBA player to score 30,000 points.
1977 Feb 16 Janani Luwum, the Anglican archbishop of Uganda, and two other men were killed in what Ugandan authorities said was an automobile accident.
1978 Feb 16 The 1st Computer Bulletin Board System was Ward & Randy’s CBBS in Chicago.
1978 Feb 16 China and Japan signed a $20 billion trade pact, which was the most important move since the 1972 resumption of diplomatic ties.
1979 Feb 16 Nematollah Nassiri (b.1911), Iranian general and head of the Savak intelligence agency during the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, was executed.
1980 Feb 16 Eric Heiden skated 5k in 7:02.29, an Olympic Record.
1982 Feb 16 In France Magdalena Kopp, lover of Carlos the Jackal, aka Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, was captured by French officials.
1983 Feb 16 In India a bomb wounded 13 people in the latest election violence in the northeastern state of Assam. The assassination pushed the death toll from 15 days of violence to at least 217 people.
1986 Feb 16 Mario Soares (b.1924), Socialist, was elected Portugal’s 1st civilian president in the 2nd round of elections.
1987 Feb 16 John Demjanjuk (66), a retired auto worker from Ohio, went on trial in Jerusalem, accused of being “Ivan the Terrible,” a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
1988 Feb 16 Richard Wade Farley gunned down 7 people at ESL Corp. during an office rampage in Sunnyvale, Calif. Farley was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
1989 Feb 16 Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, said a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was what brought down Pan Am Flight 103 the previous December, killing all 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground.
1990 Feb 16 Former President Reagan began two days of giving a videotaped deposition in Los Angeles for the Iran-Contra trial of former national security adviser John Poindexter.
1991 Feb 16 Tonya Harding won the US female Figure Skating championship.
1992 Feb 16 Two days before the New Hampshire primary, five Democratic presidential candidates debated on CNN, directing most of their criticism at President George H.W. Bush.
1993 Feb 16 Prices fell as Wall Street reacted unfavorably to President Clinton’s economic austerity plan outlined in a White House address the night before.
1994 Feb 16 Figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan encountered each other at the Winter Olympic Games in Norway before posing for the U.S. team photograph.
1995 Feb 16 Four people were killed when tornadoes tore through rural north Alabama.
1996 Feb 16 World chess champion Garry Kasparov won for the second time against IBM supercomputer “Deep Blue” in the fifth game of their match in Philadelphia (Kasparov had drawn twice and lost once.
1997 Feb 16 U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., the chairman of a House committee investigating campaign fund-raising activities, told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that his probe would be far broader than originally anticipated.
1998 Feb 16 Mr. Jefferson, the 1st cloned calf, was born in Virginia.
1999 Feb 16 In LA a number of possessions of O.J. Simpson were auctioned off to cover his 1997 legal suit. A conservative Christian group purchased his Hall of Fame plaque and other memorabilia and burned it the following day
2000 Feb 16 In NYC Lucy Edwards (41), a former bank of New York executive, and her husband, Peter Berlin (46), pleaded guilty to laundering over $7 billion from Russian bankers in exchange for $1.8 million.
2001 Feb 16 In Serbia Kosovo militants killed 9 Serbs and injured 43 with a roadside bomb that blew up a bus in northeastern Kosovo.
2002 Feb 16 In Noble, Ga., officials found 334 decomposing bodies at the Tri-State Crematory, where the furnace had not worked for years. Ray Brent Marsh (28), manager of the family operation, was arrested and charged with 5 counts of theft by deception. In 2004 families of the dead settled a class-action suit for $80 million. Marsh pleaded guilty and was sentenced to twelve years in prison, with credit for the time he had served before making bond, plus seventy-five years of probation.
2003 Feb 16 In Belgium thieves over the weekend emptied more than 100 vaults at a diamond trading center in what officials said might be the largest theft ever in Antwerp.
2004 Feb 16 In Australia rioters set fire to a train station and pelted police with gasoline bombs in an Aboriginal ghetto in Sydney during a nine-hour street battle that began after a teenager died, allegedly while being chased by officer.
2005 Feb 16 Syria and Iran announced a united front amid perceived US threats.
2006 Feb 16 A human rights group said that homophobic rhetoric has escalated in Poland since a socially conservative party came to power, threatening the rights of gays and lesbians.
2007 Feb 16 The US House of Representatives voted 246-182 for a non-binding resolution opposing Pres. Bush’s plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. 17 Republicans voted in favor.
2008 Feb 16 US President George W. Bush in Benin, opening a five-country Africa tour,  stepped up pressure on Kenyan leaders to accept a power-sharing deal to end their country’s deadly political crisis.
2009 Feb 16 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched her Asia tour in Japan calling US-Pacific ties “indispensable” for curbing problems like climate change, the global financial crisis and nuclear weapons.
2010 Feb 16 In New Jersey Shamsid-Din Abdul-Raheem (21) threw his 3-month-old daughter off the Garden State Parkway Driscoll Bridge after the mother filed a restraining order against him. The body of the infant was found on April 24.
2011 Feb 16 Florida Gov. Rick Scott rejected plans for a high-speed rail link between Tampa and Orlando, turning down over $2 billion in federal money.
2012 Feb 16 In Long Beach, Ca., an immigration agent shot and injured another agent and was then killed by a third colleague in a federal building.
2013 Feb 16 Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini led an 8-member team of the Maserati to a record 47-day trip from NYC around Cape Horn to San Francisco, beating a 1998 monohull record.
2014 Feb 16 A winter storm hit New England overnight with more than a foot of snow in parts of Massachusetts. Thousands on Cape cod were left without power.

Credit: Timelines of History


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