On This Day … 16 April


  • AD 73 – Masada, a Jewish fortress, falls to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Great Jewish Revolt.
  • 1346 – Stefan Dušan, “the Mighty”, is crowned Emperor of the Serbs at Skopje, his empire occupying much of the Balkans.
  • 1520 – The Revolt of the Comuneros begins in Spain against the rule of Charles V.
  • 1582 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.
  • 1746 – The Battle of Culloden is fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the British Hanoverian forces commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, in Scotland. After the battle many highland traditions were banned and the Highlands of Scotland were cleared of inhabitants.
  • 1799 – French Revolutionary Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor: Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.
  • 1818 – The United States Senate ratifies the Rush–Bagot Treaty, limiting naval armaments on the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain.
  • 1847 – Shooting of a Māori by an English sailor results in the opening of the Wanganui Campaign of the New Zealand Wars.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: Battle at Lee’s Mills in Virginia.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, becomes law.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: During the Vicksburg Campaign, gunboats commanded by acting Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter run downriver past Confederate artillery batteries at Vicksburg.
  • 1917 – Vladimir Lenin returns to Petrograd, Russia, from exile in Switzerland.
  • 1919 – Mohandas Gandhi organises a day of “prayer and fasting” in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Jallianwala Bagh massacre by the British colonial troops three days earlier.
  • 1919 – Polish–Soviet War: The Polish army launches the Vilna offensive to capture Vilnius in modern Lithuania.
  • 1922 – The Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which Germany and the Soviet Union re-establish diplomatic relations, is signed.
  • 1925 – During the Communist St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia, Bulgaria, 150 are killed and 500 are wounded.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Italian-German Tarigo convoy is attacked and destroyed by British ships.
  • 1941 – World War II: The Nazi-affiliated Ustaše is put in charge of the Independent State of Croatia by the Axis powers after Operation 25 is effected.
  • 1943 – Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers the hallucinogenic effects of the research drug LSD. He intentionally takes the drug three days later on 19 April.
  • 1944 – World War II: Allied forces start bombing Belgrade, killing about 1,100 people. This bombing fell on the Orthodox Christian Easter.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin, with nearly one million troops fighting in the Battle of the Seelow Heights.
  • 1945 – The United States Army liberates Nazi Sonderlager (high security) prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).
  • 1945 – More than 7,000 die when the German refugee ship Goya is sunk by a Soviet submarine.
  • 1947 – Bernard Baruch first applies the term “Cold War” to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
  • 1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist–Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
  • 2001 – India and Bangladesh begin a five-day border conflict, but are unable to resolve the disputes about their border.
  • 2013 – The 2013 Baga massacre is started when Boko Haram militants engage government soldiers in Baga.
  • Remembrance of Chemical Attack on Balisan and Sheikh Wasan (Iraqi Kurdistan).

People (Births)

  • 1730 – Henry Clinton, English general and politician (d. 1795).
  • 1786 – John Franklin, English admiral and politician, 4th Lieutenant Governor of Van Diemen’s Land (d. 1847).
  • 1800 – George Bingham, 3rd Earl of Lucan, English field marshal and politician (d. 1888).
  • 1821 – Ford Madox Brown, French-English soldier and painter (d. 1893).
  • 1865 – Harry Chauvel, Australian general (d. 1945).
  • 1874 – Jōtarō Watanabe, Japanese general (d. 1936).
  • 1922 – Lawrence N. Guarino, American colonel (d. 2014).
  • 1923 – Arch A. Moore Jr., American sergeant, lawyer, and politician, 28th Governor of West Virginia (d. 2015).
  • 1956 – David M. Brown, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 2003).

People (Deaths)

  • 1645 – Tobias Hume, Scottish soldier, viol player, and composer (b. 1569).
  • 1925 – Stefan Nerezov, Bulgarian general (b. 1867).
  • 1937 – Jay Johnson Morrow, American military engineer and politician, 3rd Governor of the Panama Canal Zone (b. 1870).
  • 1965 – Francis Balfour, English soldier and colonial administrator (b. 1884).
  • 1978 – Lucius D. Clay, American officer and military governor in occupied Germany (b. 1898).
  • 2010 – Rasim Delić, Bosnian general (b. 1949).

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