Today in History, 16 September: What Happened on this Day

September 16 is the 259th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar; 106 days remain until the end of the year. Numerous remarkable occurrences, both big and small, have shaped our world today. From historical milestones and scientific discoveries to cultural moments and notable birthdays, this day has a rich tapestry of stories to uncover.

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Today In History – Events

1620 – The Mayflower’s Voyage

On this day in 1620, the venerable vessel, the Mayflower, embarked on its momentous journey from the port of Plymouth, England. This epic voyage was laden with the hopes and dreams of 102 intrepid Pilgrims, accompanied by a steadfast crew of approximately 30. Their destination? The untamed shores of the New World. (Note: Old Style date, September 6)

1701 – The Old Pretender’s Ascent

In the annals of history, 1701 saw a remarkable development with the emergence of James Francis Edward Stuart, known as “The Old Pretender.” This distinguished figure ascended to the Jacobite claimant status for the English and Scottish thrones upon the demise of his father, James II.

1810 – The Debut of “Silvana”

The year 1810 witnessed the grand premiere of Carl Maria von Weber’s operatic masterpiece, “Silvana.” Taking centre stage in the titular role was none other than his future spouse, Carone Brandt. The National Theatre in Frankfurt, within the Confederation of the Rhine, bore witness to this spectacular artistic creation.

1847 – Shakespeare’s Birthplace Preserved

A significant preservation effort unfolded in 1847 when the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust acquired the Bard’s birthplace in the charming town of Stratford-upon-Avon. This invaluable endeavour ensured the legacy of William Shakespeare would endure for generations to come.

1859 – Livingstone’s Glimpse of Lake Nyasa

Pioneering British explorer David Livingstone etched his name into history in 1859 as the first European to lay eyes upon Lake Nyasa. This remarkable body of water now forms the border between the nations of Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

1915 – The Adjournment of Russia’s 4th Duma

In the year 1915, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia made a consequential decision by adjourning the 4th Duma, marking a pivotal moment in Russian political history.

1920 – The Wall Street Bombing

Tragedy struck on Wall Street in New York on this day in 1920 when a horse-drawn wagon exploded at precisely 12:01, claiming the lives of 38 individuals and injuring 143 others. This event became known as the “Wall Street bombing.”

1940 – Inaugural US Peacetime Draft

History was made in 1940 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Selective Training & Service Act, initiating the first peacetime draft in the United States.

1941 – Axis Invasion of Yugoslavia

Adolf Hitler issued a grim decree in 1941, ordering a dire retribution: for every fallen German, 100 Yugoslavs would be met with the same fate during the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia.

1959 – French Recognition of Algerian Self-Determination

A pivotal moment in the struggle for independence unfolded in 1959 as French President Charles de Gaulle formally recognized the right to self-determination for the Algerian people.

1963 – Formation of the Federation of Malaysia

The year 1963 marked the birth of the Federation of Malaysia, uniting the regions of Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah), and Sarawak into a single entity.

1974 – The Ascension of General Alexander Haig Jr.

In the year 1974, General Alexander Haig Jr. assumed the mantle of NATO supreme commander in Europe, a momentous event in the realm of international diplomacy and military affairs.

1974 – Conditional Amnesty in the Vietnam War

President Gerald Ford made a historic announcement in 1974, extending conditional amnesty to U.S. Vietnam War deserters, offering a chance for reconciliation and repatriation.

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1987 – Pope John Paul II’s Interfaith Meeting

Pope John Paul II concluded his visit to Los Angeles in 1987 with a momentous interfaith gathering at Dodger Stadium. Leaders representing Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism joined the Pontiff in fostering dialogue and understanding.

1990 – Iraq’s Uncensored Broadcast

In 1990, Iraq aired an unprecedented 8-minute uncensored speech delivered by George H. W. Bush, providing a unique perspective on global events.

1991 – The Trial of Manuel Noriega

The year 1991 marked the commencement of the U.S. trial of former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, a significant legal proceeding with international implications.

1997 – Steve Jobs Appointed as Interim CEO

In 1997, Apple Computer Inc. appointed its co-founder, Steve Jobs, as interim CEO, heralding a transformative era for the company.

2013 – Paul Kagame’s Resounding Re-Election

Paul Kagame secured a resounding victory in the 2013 Rwandan presidential election, reaffirming his leadership in a landslide victory.

2018 – Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh

In 2018, the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court was marred by accusations of sexual assault dating back to the 1980s, as reported in “The Washington Post.”

2020 – Barbados’ Royal Transition

A historic declaration was made in 2020 as Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley announced the country’s intention to transition away from the monarchy, removing Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and embarking on the path to becoming a republic.

2021 – France’s Victory Against Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi

In 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron announced a significant victory as France successfully eliminated the leader of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, Adnan Abu Walid al-Sahrawi, marking a pivotal moment in the global fight against terrorism.

On This Day In History – Art, Music, Film, And TV

1901 – Gauguin’s Marquesas Retreat

In 1901, the eminent French painter Paul Gauguin embarked on an artistic pilgrimage, settling in the enchanting Atuona within the Marquesas Islands. His residency on these remote shores marked a transformative phase in his creative journey.

1953 – The Cinemascope Debut: “The Robe”

In a milestone in cinematic history, 1953 saw the premiere of the first-ever Cinemascope movie, “The Robe.” Directed by Henry Koster and based on Lloyd C. Douglas’s renowned novel, the film featured luminaries Richard Burton and Jean Simmons in leading roles.

1965 – The Birth of David Bowie

In a pivotal moment of musical evolution, the British singer formerly known as Davie Jones adopted the iconic moniker “David Bowie” in 1965. This change was executed to avert any confusion with another notable figure bearing the same name, who happened to be a member of the popular band, the Monkees.

1966 – The Inauguration of the Metropolitan Opera House

The year 1966 heralded the grand opening of the Metropolitan Opera House, a bastion of artistic excellence within Lincoln Center, New York. The inaugural performance featured the illustrious Leontyne Price portraying Cleopatra in Samuel Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra.”

1972 – “The Bob Newhart Show” Debut

Television history was made in 1972 with the premiere of “The Bob Newhart Show,” set against the backdrop of the vibrant city of Chicago. The series opener, “Fly Unfriendly Skies,” introduced Penny Marshall as The Stewardess in a delightful comedic venture.

1996 – The Emergence of “Judge Judy”

The world of television witnessed a unique addition in 1996 with the launch of “Judge Judy,” a pioneering courtroom reality show presided over by Judge Judith Sheindlin. This groundbreaking program became a staple of American television.

2000 – Triumph at the Toronto Film Festival

The 25th Toronto International Film Festival took a historic turn in 2000, with Ang Lee’s masterful “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” emerging as the prestigious People’s Choice Award recipient, solidifying its place in cinematic history.

2002 – “Dr. Phil” Takes the Stage

In 2002, the talk show world welcomed “Dr. Phil,” featuring the erudite Phil McGraw. Co-created by the influential Oprah Winfrey, this program made its debut on syndicated U.S. television, becoming a cornerstone of daytime television.

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2011 – “Drive” Revs Onto the Screen

In 2011, the cinematic landscape was enriched by the release of “Drive,” a critically acclaimed film featuring the talented Ryan Gosling. This suspenseful and stylish offering captivated audiences worldwide.

2014 – Barbra Streisand’s “Partners”

Barbra Streisand made musical history in 2014 with the release of her album “Partners.” This remarkable compilation featured duets with an array of artists and soared to the pinnacle of the charts, marking Streisand’s unique achievement as the sole recording artist to attain a top album in six decades.

Today In History – Sports

1924 – Jim Bottomley’s RBI Record

In the realm of baseball, 1924 bore witness to a remarkable feat as St. Cardinals’ future Hall of Famer, Jim Bottomley, etched his name in the annals of the sport by setting an all-time single-game RBI record of 12 during a resounding 17-3 victory over the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field.

1937 – Redskins’ Historic Debut

The Washington Redskins NFL franchise embarked on its inaugural game in 1937 at Griffith Stadium in Washington. Their debut was nothing short of triumphant, as they defeated the New York Giants in a season-opening clash, emerging victorious with a score of 13-3.

1973 – O.J. Simpson’s Rushing Record

In 1973, Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson achieved sporting greatness by rushing for a then-NFL record of 250 yards during a compelling game against the New England Patriots, ultimately securing a 31-13 victory.

1993 – Dave Winfield’s 3,000 Hits

The illustrious career of Minnesota Twins’ Dave Winfield reached a historic pinnacle in 1993, as he became the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to achieve the remarkable milestone of 3,000 hits.

1995 – Greg Maddux’s Road Dominance

In 1995, the Atlanta Braves legendary pitcher Greg Maddux etched his name into baseball lore by setting a record with 17 consecutive road victories, a testament to his unmatched prowess on the mound.

1996 – Paul Molitor’s 3,000 Hits

Another milestone in the world of baseball occurred in 1996 when the Minnesota Twins’ Paul Molitor joined an exclusive club as the 21st player to reach the monumental achievement of 3,000 hits.

2000 – Sammy Sosa’s Home Run Legacy

Sammy Sosa solidified his place in baseball history in 2000 when he became only the second player to hit 50 or more home runs in three consecutive years, an achievement shared with Mark McGwire.

2018 – Patrick Mahomes’ NFL Record

Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes left an indelible mark on the NFL in 2018 when he set an unprecedented record of 10 touchdowns in the first two weeks of a season. His virtuoso performance included six touchdown passes, leading the Chiefs to a resounding 42-37 victory on the road.

On This Day In History – Birthdays

Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179)

German Benedictine nun, magistrate, writer, and the first Western composer whose works have endured. She was baptized in Bermersheim, West Franconia, within the Holy Roman Empire (now Germany).

Henry V (1387-1422)

King of England from 1413 to 1422 and France from 1416 to 1419. His birthplace is Monmouth Castle, Monmouth, in the Principality of Wales (date of birth disputed).

Charles Crocker (1822-1888)

An American business magnate and railroad executive known for his role in the Central Pacific Railroad and Southern Pacific Railroad. He was born in Troy, New York.

Bonar Law (1858-1923)

A British Prime Minister (Conservative: 1922-23) born in Kingston, in the Colony of New Brunswick (now Canada).

Yuan Shikai (1859-1916)

A Chinese general and the President of the Republic of China in 1916. He was born in Xiangcheng, Henan, during the Qing dynasty in China.

James Cash Penney (1875-1971)

The American founder of the department store chain J. C. Penney was born in Hamilton, Missouri.

  1. O. Bentley (1888-1971)

An English engineer and motoring pioneer who founded Bentley Motors Limited. He was born in London.

Karl Dönitz (1891-1980)

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A German naval admiral and the last leader of Nazi Germany, born in Grünau, during the German Empire.

Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

The founding father of modern Singapore and the first Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. He was born in Singapore.

Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)

An American actress and singer known as one of the greatest female stars of classic Hollywood cinema. Her notable works include “Dark Passage” and “Key Largo.” She was born in Staten Island, New York.

B.B. King (1925-2015)

An American blues guitarist and singer renowned for “The Thrill is Gone.” He was born in Itta Bena, Mississippi.

Elgin Baylor (1934-2021)

An American Basketball Hall of Fame small forward known for his 11 NBA All-Star selections and MVP of the 1959 NBA All-Star Game. He played for the Minneapolis/LA Lakers and was born in Washington, D.C.

Tim Raines (63 years old)

Born in 1959, Tim Raines is an American Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder known for his impressive career achievements, including World Series wins in 1996, 1998, and 2005 and an NL batting championship in 1986. He played for the Montreal Expos, NY Yankees, and Chicago White Sox, among others.

Today In History – Deaths

James II (1633-1701)

King James II of England, Scotland, and Ireland, whose reign spanned from 1685 to 1688, passed away at the age of 68, leaving behind a complex legacy in the annals of British history.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686-1736)

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, a polymathic Dutch-German-Polish physicist, and inventor renowned for creating the thermometer and the Fahrenheit scale, took his final breath at the age of 50, leaving behind a profound impact on the world of science.

Louis XVIII (1755-1824)

Louis XVIII, the first post-revolutionary King of France, reigned from 1814 to 1824. His passing at the age of 68 marked the end of an era in French history.

Qi Baishi (1864-1957)

The whimsical and playful Chinese painter, Qi Baishi, celebrated for his enchanting watercolour works, departed this world at the age of 93, leaving behind a treasury of artistic treasures.

Maria Callas (1923-1977)

Renowned American soprano Maria Callas, celebrated for her captivating portrayal of roles such as Carmen, bid adieu in Paris at the age of 53, leaving an indelible mark on the world of opera.

Gordon Gould (1920-2005)

American physicist Gordon Gould acknowledged as the inventor of the laser, concluded his journey on this day at the age of 85. His groundbreaking contributions reshaped the landscape of modern technology.

Mary Travers (1936-2009)

American folk singer Mary Travers, known for her part in the iconic trio Peter, Paul & Mary and memorable songs like “Puff (The Magic Dragon)” and “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” succumbed to leukaemia at the age of 72, leaving a lasting musical legacy.

Edward Albee (1928-2016)

Prolific American playwright Edward Albee, acclaimed for works such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” departed at the age of 88, leaving behind a powerful body of theatrical literature.



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