Today in history

Today in history

16 July 2019 (MIA)

622 – The beginning of the Islamic calendar.

1054 – Three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as the start of the East–West Schism.

1661 – The first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.

1779 – American Revolutionary War: Light infantry of the Continental Army seize a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.

1782 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail is first performed.

1809 – The city of La Paz, in what is today Bolivia, declares its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and forms the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.

1862 – American Civil War: David Farragut is promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.

1909 – Persian Constitutional Revolution: Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar is forced out as Shah of Persia and is replaced by his son Ahmad Shah Qajar.

1927 – Augusto César Sandino leads a raid on U.S. Marines and Nicaraguan Guardia Nacional that had been sent to apprehend him in the village of Ocotal, but is repulsed by one of the first dive-bombing attacks in history.

1931 – Emperor Haile Selassie signs the first constitution of Ethiopia.

1942 – Holocaust: Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel’ d’Hiv): The government of Vichy France orders the mass arrest of 13,152 Jews who are held at the Winter Velodrome in Paris before deportation to Auschwitz.

1945 – World War II: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis leaves San Francisco with parts for the atomic bomb “Little Boy” bound for Tinian Island.

1945 – Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

1948 – Following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, revered by Christians as the hometown of Jesus, capitulates to Israeli troops during Operation Dekel in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

1950 – Chaplain–Medic massacre: American POWs are massacred by North Korean Army.

1951 – The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is published for the first time, by Little, Brown and Company.

1960 – USS George Washington, a modified Skipjack-class submarine, successfully launches the first SLBM while submerged.

1965 – The Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opens.

1965 – South Vietnamese Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thao, a formerly undetected communist spy and double agent, is hunted down and killed by unknown individuals after being sentenced to death in absentia for a February 1965 coup attempt against Nguyen Khanh.

1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1973 – Watergate scandal: Former White House aide Alexander Butterfield informs the United States Senate that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.

1979 – Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Saddam Hussein.

1983 – Sikorsky S-61 disaster: A helicopter crashes off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.

1990 – The Luzon earthquake strikes in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines, with an intensity of 7.7.

1990 – The Parliament of the Ukrainian SSR declares state sovereignty over the territory of the Ukrainian SSR.

1991 – Ukraine celebrates its first Independence Day.

1994 – Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 collides with Jupiter. Impacts continue until July 22.

1999 – John F. Kennedy Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, dies when his plane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard. His wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette are also killed.

2007 – An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 and 6.6 aftershock occurs off the Niigata coast of Japan killing eight people, injuring at least 800 and damaging a nuclear power plant.

2008 – Sixteen infants in Gansu Province, China, who had been fed on tainted milk powder, are diagnosed with kidney stones; in total, an estimated 300,000 infants are affected.

2013 – As many as 27 children die and 25 others are hospitalized after eating lunch served at their school in eastern India.

2015 – Four U.S. Marines and one gunman die in a shooting spree targeting military installations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

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