On This Day … 16 November


  • 951 – Emperor Li Jing sends a Southern Tang expeditionary force of 10,000 men under Bian Hao to conquer Chu.
    • Li Jing removes the ruling family to his own capital in Nanjing, ending the Chu Kingdom.
  • 1272 – While travelling during the Ninth Crusade, Prince Edward becomes King of England upon Henry III of England’s death, but he will not return to England for nearly two years to assume the throne.
  • 1532 – Francisco Pizarro and his men capture Inca Emperor Atahualpa at the Battle of Cajamarca.
  • 1776 – American Revolutionary War: British and Hessian units capture Fort Washington from the Patriots.
  • 1793 – French Revolution: Ninety dissident Roman Catholic priests are executed by drowning at Nantes.
  • 1797 – The Prussian heir apparent, Frederick William, becomes King of Prussia as Frederick William III.
  • 1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Schöngrabern: Russian forces under Pyotr Bagration delay the pursuit by French troops under Joachim Murat.
  • 1828 – Greek War of Independence: The London Protocol entails the creation of an autonomous Greek state under Ottoman suzerainty, encompassing the Morea and the Cyclades.
  • 1857 – Second relief of Lucknow: Twenty-four Victoria Crosses are awarded, the most in a single day.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: In the Battle of Campbell’s Station, Confederate troops unsuccessfully attack Union forces which allows General Ambrose Burnside to secure Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • 1885 – Canadian rebel leader of the Métis and “Father of Manitoba” Louis Riel is executed for treason.
  • 1904 – English engineer John Ambrose Fleming receives a patent for the thermionic valve (vacuum tube).
  • 1933 – The United States and the Soviet Union establish formal diplomatic relations.
  • 1938 – LSD is first synthesized by Albert Hofmann from ergotamine at the Sandoz Laboratories in Basel.
  • 1940 – World War II: In response to the levelling of Coventry by the German Luftwaffe two days before, the Royal Air Force bombs Hamburg.
  • 1940 – The Holocaust: In occupied Poland, the Nazis close off the Warsaw Ghetto from the outside world.
  • 1944 – World War II: In support of the Battle of Hürtgen Forest, the town of Düren is destroyed by Allied aircraft.
  • 1988 – The Supreme Soviet of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic declares that Estonia is “sovereign” but stops short of declaring independence.
  • 1989 – El Salvadoran army troops kills six Jesuit priests and two others at Jose Simeon Canas University.

People (Births)

  • 1874 – Alexander Kolchak, Russian admiral and explorer (d. 1920).
  • 1883 – Emil Breitkreutz, American runner and coach (d. 1972).
  • 1889 – Dietrich Kraiß, German general (d. 1944).
  • 1896 – Oswald Mosley, English fascist leader and politician (d. 1980).
  • 1924 – Mel Patton, American sprinter and coach (d. 2014).
  • 1978 – Mehtap Doğan-Sızmaz, Turkish runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 897 – Gu Yanhui, Chinese warlord.
  • 1328 – Prince Hisaaki, Japanese shōgun (b. 1276).
  • 1745 – James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, Irish general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (b. 1665).
  • 1806 – Moses Cleaveland, American general, lawyer, and politician, founded Cleveland, Ohio (b. 1754).
  • 1884 – František Chvostek, Czech-Austrian soldier and physician (b. 1835).
  • 2005 – Donald Watson, English activist, founded the Vegan Society (b. 1910).
  • 2013 – William McDonough Kelly, Canadian lieutenant and politician (b. 1925).
  • 2014 – Jadwiga Piłsudska, Polish soldier, pilot, and architect (b. 1920).
  • 2014 – Carl Sanders, American soldier, pilot, and politician, 74th Governor of Georgia (b. 1925).
  • 2015 – Alton D. Slay, American general (b. 1924).

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