On This Day … 16 May

Events

  • 1527 – The Florentines drive out the Medici for a second time and Florence re-establishes itself as a republic.
  • 1568 – Mary, Queen of Scots, flees to England.
  • 1739 – The Battle of Vasai concludes as the Marathas defeat the Portuguese army.
  • 1771 – The Battle of Alamance, a pre-American Revolutionary War battle between local militia and a group of rebels called The “Regulators”, occurs in present-day Alamance County, North Carolina.
  • 1811 – Peninsular War: The allies Spain, Portugal and United Kingdom, defeat the French at the Battle of Albuera.
  • 1812 – Imperial Russia signs the Treaty of Bucharest, ending the Russo-Turkish War. The Ottoman Empire cedes Bessarabia to Russia.
  • 1822 – Greek War of Independence: The Turks capture the Greek town of Souli.
  • 1834 – The Battle of Asseiceira is fought, the last and decisive engagement of the Liberal Wars in Portugal.
  • 1888 – Nikola Tesla delivers a lecture describing the equipment which will allow efficient generation and use of alternating currents to transmit electric power over long distances.
  • 1891 – The International Electrotechnical Exhibition opens in Frankfurt, Germany, and will feature the world’s first long-distance transmission of high-power, three-phase electric current (the most common form today).
  • 1916 – The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and the French Third Republic sign the secret wartime Sykes-Picot Agreement partitioning former Ottoman territories such as Iraq and Syria.
  • 1918 – The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the US Congress, making criticism of the government during wartime an imprisonable offense.
    • It will be repealed less than two years later.
  • 1919 – A naval Curtiss NC-4 aircraft commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.
  • 1943 – World War II: The Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends.
  • 1960 – Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser (a ruby laser), at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
  • 1961 – Park Chung-hee leads a coup d’état to overthrow the Second Republic of South Korea.
  • 1974 – Josip Broz Tito is elected president for life of Yugoslavia.
  • Mass Graves Day (Iraq).

People (Births)

  • 1824 – Edmund Kirby Smith, American general (d. 1893).
  • 1831 – David Edward Hughes, Welsh-American physicist, co-invented the microphone (d. 1900).
  • 1907 – Bob Tisdall, Irish hurdler (d. 2004).
  • 1917 – Ben Kuroki, American sergeant and pilot (d. 2015).
  • 1931 – Hana Brady, Jewish-Czech Holocaust victim (d.1944).
  • 1931 – Lowell P. Weicker, Jr., American soldier and politician, 85th Governor of Connecticut.
  • 1934 – Antony Walker, English general.
  • 1948 – Staf Van Roosbroeck, Belgian cyclist.
  • 1957 – Joan Benoit, American runner.
  • 1960 – S. Shanmuganathan, Sri Lankan commander and politician (d. 1998).
  • 1969 – Steve Lewis, American sprinter.
  • 1975 – Simon Whitfield, Canadian triathlete.
  • 1990 – Darko Šarović, Serbian sprinter.
  • 1993 – Johannes Thingnes Bø, Norwegian biathlete.

People (Deaths)

  • 1182 – John Komnenos Vatatzes, Byzantine general (b. 1132).
  • 1375 – Liu Bowen, Chinese military strategist, officer, statesman and poet (b. 1311).
  • 1936 – Leonidas Paraskevopoulos, Greek general and politician (b. 1860).
  • 1947 – Zhang Lingfu, Chinese general (b. 1903).
  • 1996 – Jeremy Michael Boorda, American admiral (b. 1939).
  • 2002 – Alec Campbell, Australian soldier (b. 1899).
  • 2005 – Andrew Goodpaster, American general (b. 1915).
  • 2012 – James Abdnor, American soldier and politician, 30th Lieutenant Governor of South Dakota (b. 1923).
  • 2014 – Vito Favero, Italian cyclist (b. 1932).
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