On This Day … 16 December

Events

  • 755 – An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Yanjing, initiating the An Lushan Rebellion during the Tang dynasty of China.
  • 1431 – Hundred Years’ War: Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris.
  • 1497 – Vasco da Gama passes the Great Fish River, where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal.
  • 1598 – Seven-Year War: Battle of Noryang: The final battle of the Seven-Year War is fought between the China and the Korean allied forces and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive allied forces victory.
  • 1653 – English Interregnum: The Protectorate: Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
  • 1773 – American Revolution: Boston Tea Party: Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians dump hundreds of crates of tea into Boston harbour as a protest against the Tea Act.
  • 1782 – British East India Company: Muharram Rebellion: Hada and Mada Miah lead the first anti-British uprising in the subcontinent against Robert Lindsay and his contingents in Sylhet Shahi Eidgah.
  • 1826 – Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican-controlled Nacogdoches, Texas, and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia.
  • 1838 – Great Trek: Battle of Blood River: Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius and Sarel Cilliers defeat Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  • 1850 – The Charlotte Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand.
  • 1863 – American Civil War: Joseph E. Johnston replaces Braxton Bragg as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.
  • 1864 – American Civil War: Battle of Nashville: The Union’s Army of the Cumberland routs and destroys the Confederacy’s Army of Tennessee, ending its effectiveness as a combat unit.
  • 1880 – Outbreak of the First Boer War between the Boer South African Republic and the British Empire.
  • 1883 – Tonkin Campaign: French forces capture the Sơn Tây citadel.
  • 1907 – The American Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world.
  • 1912 – First Balkan War: The Royal Hellenic Navy defeats the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Elli.
  • 1914 – World War I: Admiral Franz von Hipper commands a raid on Scarborough, Hartlepool and Whitby.
  • 1918 – Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declares the formation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic; it is dissolved in 1919.
  • 1942 – The Holocaust: Schutzstaffel chief Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz.
  • 1944 – World War II: The Battle of the Bulge begins with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.
  • 1950 – Korean War: In response to China’s Second Phase Offensive, US President Harry S. Truman declares a limited state of emergency.
  • 1965 – Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends US Secretary of Defence Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966.
  • 1971 – Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The ceasefire of the Pakistan Army brings an end to both conflicts.
    • This is commemorated annually as Victory Day in Bangladesh, and as Vijay Diwas in India.
  • 1971 – The United Kingdom recognises Bahrain’s independence, which is commemorated annually as Bahrain’s National Day.
  • 1989 – Romanian Revolution: Protests break out in Timișoara, Romania, in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor László Tőkés.
  • 1991 – Kazakhstan declares independence from the Soviet Union.
  • 2014 – Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan militants attack an Army Public School in Peshawar, Pakistan, killing 150 people, 132 of them schoolchildren.
  • Victory Day (Bangladesh).
  • Victory Day (India).

People (Births)

  • 1730 – Diego Silang, Filipino revolutionary leader (d. 1763).
  • 1742 – Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, German field marshal (d. 1819).
  • 1778 – John Ordronaux, French-American soldier (d. 1841).
  • 1869 – Hristo Tatarchev, Bulgarian physician and activist, co-founded the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (d. 1952).
  • 1872 – Anton Denikin, Russian general (d. 1947).
  • 1888 – Alphonse Juin, Algerian-French general (d. 1967).
  • 1889 – Kim Chwa-chin, South Korean guerrilla leader (d. 1930).
  • 1903 – Harold Whitlock, English race walker and coach (d. 1985).
  • 1917 – Pete T. Cenarrusa, American soldier, pilot, and politician, Secretary of State of Idaho (d. 2013).
  • 1930 – Bill Young, American sergeant and politician (d. 2013).
  • 1941 – Roger Neil Wheeler, English general.
  • 1964 – Heike Drechsler, German sprinter and long jumper.
  • 1967 – Donovan Bailey, Canadian sprinter and sportscaster.
  • 1967 – Indrek Kaseorg, Estonian decathlete.
  • 1968 – Greg Kovacs, Canadian bodybuilder (d. 2013).
  • 1969 – Michelle Smith, Irish swimmer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1379 – John FitzAlan, 1st Baron Arundel, English general and politician, Lord Marshall of England (b. 1348).
  • 1515 – Afonso de Albuquerque, Portuguese admiral and politician, 3rd Viceroy of Portuguese India (b. 1453).
  • 1598 – Yi Sun-sin, Korean general (b. 1545).
  • 1669 – Nathaniel Fiennes, English soldier and politician (b. 1608).
  • 1783 – Sir William James, 1st Baronet, Welsh-English commander and politician (b. 1720).
  • 1805 – Saverio Cassar, Gozitan priest and rebel leader (b. 1746).
  • 1944 – Betsie ten Boom, Dutch Holocaust victim (b. 1885).
  • 1968 – Muhammad Suheimat, Jordanian general and politician (b. 1916).
  • 1980 – Colonel Sanders, American businessman, founded KFC (b. 1890).
  • 1993 – Kakuei Tanaka, Japanese soldier and politician, 64th Prime Minister of Japan (b. 1918).
  • 2001 – Stefan Heym, German-American soldier and author (b. 1913).
  • 2010 – Melvin E. Biddle, American soldier, Medal of Honour recipient (b. 1923).
  • 2013 – James Flint, English commander (b. 1913).
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