On This Day … 16 June


  • 363 – Emperor Julian marches back up the Tigris and burns his fleet of supply ships. During the withdrawal, Roman forces suffer several attacks from the Persians.
  • 632 – Yazdegerd III ascends the throne as king (shah) of the Persian Empire. He becomes the last ruler of the Sasanian dynasty (modern Iran).
  • 1407 – Ming–Hồ War: Retired King Hồ Quý Ly and his son King Hồ Hán Thương of Hồ dynasty are captured by the Ming armies.
  • 1487 – Battle of Stoke Field: King Henry VII of England defeats the leaders of a Yorkist rebellion in the final engagement of the Wars of the Roses.
  • 1586 – Mary, Queen of Scots, recognises Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor.
  • 1745 – War of the Austrian Succession: New England colonial troops under the command of William Pepperrell capture the Fortress of Louisbourg in Louisbourg, New France (Old Style date).
  • 1746 – War of the Austrian Succession: Austria and Sardinia defeat a Franco-Spanish army at the Battle of Piacenza.
  • 1755 – French and Indian War: The French surrender Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians.
  • 1779 – Spain declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Great Siege of Gibraltar begins.
  • 1795 – French Revolutionary Wars: In what became known as Cornwallis’s Retreat, a British Royal Navy squadron led by Vice Admiral William Cornwallis strongly resists a much larger French Navy force and withdraws largely intact, setting up the French Navy defeat at the Battle of Groix six days later.
  • 1811 – Survivors of an attack the previous day by Tla-o-qui-aht on board the Pacific Fur Company’s ship Tonquin, intentionally detonate a powder magazine on the ship, destroying it and killing about 100 attackers.
  • 1815 – Battle of Ligny and Battle of Quatre Bras, two days before the Battle of Waterloo.
  • 1897 – A treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States is signed; the Republic would not be dissolved until a year later.
  • 1922 – General election in the Irish Free State: The pro-Treaty Sinn Féin party wins a large majority.
  • 1940 – World War II: Marshal Henri Philippe Pétain becomes Chief of State of Vichy France (Chef de l’État Français).
  • 1940 – A Communist government is installed in Lithuania.
  • 1948 – Members of the Malayan Communist Party kill three British plantation managers in Sungai Siput; in response, British Malaya declares a state of emergency.
  • 1955 – In a futile effort to topple Argentine President Juan Perón, rogue aircraft pilots of the Argentine Navy drop several bombs upon an unarmed crowd demonstrating in favor of Perón in Buenos Aires, killing 364 and injuring at least 800. At the same time on the ground, some soldiers attempt to stage a coup but are suppressed by loyal forces.
  • 1958 – Imre Nagy, Pál Maléter and other leaders of the 1956 Hungarian Uprising are executed.
  • 2012 – The United States Air Force’s robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returns to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.

People (Births)

  • 1606 – Arthur Chichester, 1st Earl of Donegall, Irish soldier and politician (d. 1675).
  • 1829 – Geronimo, American tribal leader (d. 1909).
  • 1836 – Wesley Merritt, American general and politician, Military Governor of the Philippines (d. 1910).
  • 1838 – Cushman Kellogg Davis, American lieutenant and politician, 7th Governor of Minnesota (d. 1900).
  • 1857 – Arthur Arz von Straußenburg, Austrian-Hungarian general (d. 1935).
  • 1910 – Juan Velasco Alvarado, Peruvian general and politician, 1st President of Peru (d. 1977).
  • 1912 – Enoch Powell, English soldier and politician, Secretary of State for Health (d. 1998).
  • 1917 – Phaedon Gizikis, Greek general and politician, President of Greece (d. 1999).
  • 1926 – Efraín Ríos Montt, Guatemalan general and politician, 26th President of Guatemala (d. 2018).
  • 1938 – Thomas Boyd-Carpenter, English general.
  • 1955 – Grete Faremo, Norwegian politician, Norwegian Minister of Defence.
  • 1958 – Warren Rodwell, Australian soldier, educator and musician.

People (Deaths)

  • 924 – Li Cunshen, general of Later Tang (b. 862).
  • 1397 – Philip of Artois, Count of Eu, French soldier (b. 1358).
  • 1626 – Christian, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Wolfenbüttel, German Protestant military leader (b. 1599).
  • 1722 – John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire (b. 1650).
  • 1945 – Aris Velouchiotis, Greek general (b. 1905).
  • 1958 – Pál Maléter, Hungarian general and politician, Minister of Defence of Hungary (b. 1917).
  • 1969 – Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis, English field marshal and politician, 17th Governor General of Canada (b. 1891).
  • 1979 – Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, Ghanaian general and politician, 6th Head of state of Ghana (b. 1931).
  • 1997 – Dal Stivens, Australian soldier and author (b. 1911).
  • 2004 – Thanom Kittikachorn, Thai field marshal and politician, 10th Prime Minister of Thailand (b. 1911).
  • 2008 – Mario Rigoni Stern, Italian soldier and author (b. 1921).
  • 2012 – Sławomir Petelicki, Polish general (b. 1946).

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