16 January 2020 (MIA)
27 BC – Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus is granted the title Augustus by the Roman Senate, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire.
378 – General Siyaj K’ak’ conquers Tikal, enlarging the domain of King Spearthrower Owl of Teotihuacán.
550 – Gothic War: The Ostrogoths, under King Totila, conquer Rome after a long siege, by bribing the Isaurian garrison.
929 – Emir Abd-ar-Rahman III established the Caliphate of Córdoba.
1120 – The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
1362 – A storm tide in the North Sea ravages the East coast of England and destroys the German city of Rungholt on the island of Strand.
1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.
1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language is presented to Queen Isabella I.
1547 – Ivan IV of Russia a.k.a. Ivan the Terrible becomes Czar of Russia.
1556 – Philip II becomes King of Spain.
1572 – Thomas Howard, 4th Duke of Norfolk is tried for treason for his part in the Ridolfi plot to restore Catholicism in England.
1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain.
1707 – The Scottish Parliament ratifies the Act of Union, paving the way for the creation of Great Britain.
1761 – The British capture Pondichéry, India from the French.
1780 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
1786 – Virginia enacted the Statute for Religious Freedom authored by Thomas Jefferson.
1809 – Peninsular War: The British defeat the French at the Battle of La Coruña.
1847 – John C. Frémont is appointed Governor of the new California Territory.
1862 – Hartley Colliery disaster: Two hundred and four men and boys killed in a mining disaster, prompted a change in UK law which henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape.
1878 – Russo-Turkish War (1877–78): Battle of Philippopolis: Captain Aleksandr Burago with a squadron of Russian Imperial army dragoons liberates Plovdiv from Ottoman rule.
1883 – The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed.
1900 – The United States Senate accepts the Anglo-German treaty of 1899 in which the United Kingdom renounces its claims to the Samoan islands.
1909 – Ernest Shackleton’s expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.
1919 – Temperance movement: The United States ratifies the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, authorizing Prohibition in the United States one year after ratification.
1920 – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated was founded on the campus of Howard University.
1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France.
1921 – The Marxist Left in Slovakia and the Transcarpathian Ukraine holds its founding congress in Ľubochňa.
1924 – Eleftherios Venizelos becomes Prime Minister of Greece for the fourth time.
1938 – Benny Goodman and his band performed in concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City
1942 – Crash of TWA Flight 3, killing all 22 aboard, including film star Carole Lombard.
1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
1964 – Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.
1969 – Czech student Jan Palach commits suicide by self-immolation in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in protest against the Soviets’ crushing of the Prague Spring the year before.
1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.
1970 – Buckminster Fuller receives the Gold Medal award from the American Institute of Architects.
1979 – The last Iranian Shah flees Iran with his family for good and relocates to Egypt.
1991 – Coalition Forces go to war with Iraq, beginning the Gulf War.
1992 – El Salvador officials and rebel leaders sign the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City, Mexico ending the 12-year Salvadoran Civil War that claimed at least 75,000 lives.
2001 – Congolese President Laurent-Désiré Kabila is assassinated by one of his own bodyguards.
2001 – US President Bill Clinton awards former President Theodore Roosevelt a posthumous Medal of Honor for his service in the Spanish–American War.
2002 – The UN Security Council unanimously establishes an arms embargo and the freezing of assets of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the remaining members of the Taliban.
2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one. Columbia disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.
2006 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is sworn in as Liberia’s new president. She becomes Africa’s first female elected head of state.
2016 – 33 out of 126 freed hostages are injured and 23 killed in terrorist attacks in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on a hotel and a nearby restaurant.