16 August 2020 (MIA)
1 BC – Wang Mang consolidates his power and is declared marshal of state. Emperor Ai of Han, who had died the previous day, had no heirs.
963 – Nikephoros II Phokas is crowned emperor of the Byzantine Empire.
1328 – The House of Gonzaga seizes power in the Duchy of Mantua, and will rule until 1708.
1513 – Battle of the Spurs (Battle of Guinegate): King Henry VIII of England and his Imperial allies defeat French Forces who are then forced to retreat.
1652 – Battle of Plymouth: Inconclusive naval action between the fleets of Michiel de Ruyter and George Ayscue in the First Anglo-Dutch War.
1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Americans led by General John Stark rout British and Brunswick troops under Friedrich Baum at the Battle of Bennington in Walloomsac, New York.
1780 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Camden: The British defeat the Americans near Camden, South Carolina.
1792 – Maximilien de Robespierre presents the petition of the Commune of Paris to the Legislative Assembly, which demanded the formation of a revolutionary tribunal.
1793 – French Revolution: A levée en masse is decreed by the National Convention.
1812 – War of 1812: American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit without a fight to the British Army.
1819 – Peterloo Massacre: Seventeen people die and over 600 are injured in cavalry charges at a public meeting at St. Peter’s Field, Manchester, England.
1841 – U.S. President John Tyler vetoes a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Enraged Whig Party members riot outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in U.S. history.
1858 – U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.
1859 – The Tuscan National Assembly formally deposes the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.
1863 – The Dominican Restoration War begins when Gregorio Luperón raises the Dominican flag in Santo Domingo after Spain had recolonized the country.
1869 – Battle of Acosta Nu: A Paraguayan battalion made up of children is massacred by the Brazilian Army during the Paraguayan War.
1870 – Franco-Prussian War: The Battle of Mars-la-Tour is fought, resulting in a Prussian victory.
1891 – The Basilica of San Sebastian in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed.
1896 – Skookum Jim Mason, George Carmack and Dawson Charlie discover gold in a tributary of the Klondike River in Canada, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.
1900 – The Battle of Elands River during the Second Boer War ends after a 13-day siege is lifted by the British. The battle had begun when a force of between 2,000 and 3,000 Boers had surrounded a force of 500 Australians, Rhodesians, Canadians and British soldiers at a supply dump at Brakfontein Drift.
1906 – An estimated 8.2 MW earthquake hits Valparaíso, Chile, killing 3,886 people.
1913 – Tōhoku Imperial University of Japan (modern day Tohoku University) becomes the first university in Japan to admit female students.
1913 – Completion of the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary.
1916 – The Migratory Bird Treaty between Canada and the United States signed.
1918 – The Battle of Lake Baikal was fought between the Czechoslovak Legion and the Red Army.
1920 – Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians is hit on the head by a fastball thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, and dies early the next day. Chapman was the second player to die from injuries sustained in a Major League Baseball game, the first being Doc Powers in 1909.
1920 – The congress of the Communist Party of Bukhara opens. The congress would call for armed revolution.
1920 – Polish–Soviet War: The Battle of Radzymin concludes; the Soviet Red Army is forced to turn away from Warsaw.
1923 – The United Kingdom gives the name “Ross Dependency” to part of its claimed Antarctic territory and makes the Governor-General of the Dominion of New Zealand its administrator.
1927 – The Dole Air Race begins from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, during which six out of the eight participating planes crash or disappear.
1929 – The 1929 Palestine riots break out in Mandatory Palestine between Palestinian Arabs and Jews and continue until the end of the month. In total, 133 Jews and 116 Arabs are killed.
1930 – The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks.
1930 – The first British Empire Games were opened in Hamilton, Ontario by the Governor General of Canada, the Viscount Willingdon.
1942 – World War II: The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears without a trace on a routine anti-submarine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crash-lands in Daly City, California.
1944 – First flight of the Junkers Ju 287.
1945 – An assassination attempt is made on Japan’s prime minister, Kantarō Suzuki.
1945 – Puyi, the last Chinese emperor and ruler of Manchukuo, is captured by Soviet troops.
1945 – The National Representatives’ Congress, the precursor of the current National Assembly of Vietnam, convenes in Sơn Dương.
1946 – Mass riots in Kolkata begin, in which more than 4,000 would be killed in 72 hours.
1946 – The All Hyderabad Trade Union Congress is founded in Secunderabad.
1954 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated is published.
1960 – Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1960 – Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300 m), setting three records that held until 2012: High-altitude jump, free fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft.
1962 – Eight years after the remaining French India territories were handed to India, the ratifications of the treaty are exchanged to make the transfer official.
1964 – Vietnam War: A coup d’état replaces Dương Văn Minh with General Nguyễn Khánh as President of South Vietnam. A new constitution is established with aid from the U.S. Embassy.
1966 – Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong. The committee intends to introduce legislation making these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 people are arrested.
1972 – In an unsuccessful coup d’état attempt, the Royal Moroccan Air Force fires upon Hassan II of Morocco’s plane while he is traveling back to Rabat.
1987 – Northwest Airlines Flight 255 a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 crashes after take off in Detroit, Michigan, killing 154 of the 155 on board, plus two people on the ground.
1989 – A solar flare from the Sun creates a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto’s stock market.
1993 – Debian announced, initially called “the Debian Linux Release”.
2008 – The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is topped off at 1,389 feet (423 m), at the time becoming the world’s highest residence above ground-level.
2012 – South African police fatally shoot 34 miners and wound 78 more during an industrial dispute near Rustenburg.
2013 – The ferry St. Thomas Aquinas collides with a cargo ship and sinks at Cebu, Philippines, killing 61 people and 59 others missing.
2015 – More than 96 people have been killed and hundreds injured following a series of air-raids by the Syrian Arab Air Force on the rebel-held market town of Douma.