Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON : FEBRUARY 16



1929 – In mysterious murder suicide Ned Doheny Jr., son of oil magnate Edward L. Doheny, dies along with secretary Hugh Plunkett at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles


0374 – 9th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet

0600 – Pope Gregory the Great decrees saying “”God bless You”” is the correct response to a sneeze

1249 – Andrew of Longjumeau was dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols.

1559 – Pope Paul IV calls for deposition of sovereigns supporting heresy

1568 – The entire population of the Netherlands – three million people – was sentenced to death by the Roman Catholic Church for heresy; see Eighty Years’ War.

1641 – English king Charles I accepts Triennial Act requiring that Parliament meet for at least a fifty-day session once every three years

1646 – Battle of Great Torrington, Devon – the last major battle of the first English Civil War.

1677 – Earl of Shaftesbury arrested/confined in London Tower

1741 – Benjamin Franklin published America’s second magazine, “The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle”.

1746 – Government forces under Lord Louden attempted to capture Prince Charles Edward stewart at Moy Hall but were surprised and routed by a handful of Jacobites.

1804 – A raid was led by Lt. Stephen Decatur to burn the U.S. Navy frigate Philadelphia. The ship had been taken by pirates.

1838 – Kentucky passes law permitting women to attend school under conditions

1840 – American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica

1857 – The National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, DC. It was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. The school was later renamed Gallaudet College.

1862 – During the U.S. Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, TN.

1868 – The Jolly Corks organization, in New York City, changed it name to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).

1909 – Serbia mobilizes against Austria-Hungary

1913 – President Taft agrees not to intervene in Mexico

1917 – First synagogue in 425 years opens in Madrid

1918 – Lithuania proclaimed its independence.

1923 – Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.

1927 – US restores diplomatic relations with Turkey

1929 – In mysterious murder suicide Ned Doheny Jr., son of oil magnate Edward L. Doheny, dies along with secretary Hugh Plunkett at Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles  https://www.pbssocal.org/history-society/we-shall-never-know-murder-money-and-the-enduring-mystery-of-greystone-mansion

1932 – The first fruit tree patent was issued to James E. Markham for a peach tree which ripens later than other varieties.

1933 – Catholic newspaper Germania warns against Nazis/communists

1937 – Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon. Carothers was a research chemist for Du Pont.

1938 – The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized.

1940 – World War II: Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark is boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners are freed.

1942 – Bangka Island massacre: Japanese soldiers machine-gun 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships. Only one nurse and two soldiers survive

1943 – Sign on Munich facade “”Out with Hitler! Long live freedom!”” done by “”White Rose”” student group, caught on 2/18, beheaded on 2/22

1945 – During World War II, U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.

1946 – The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut.

1947 – Canadians granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.

1948 – Miranda, famous moon of Uranus, photographed for 1st time

1951 – NYC passes bill prohibiting racism in city-assisted housing

1957 – The “”Toddlers’ Truce””, a controversial television closedown between 6.00pm and 7.00pm was abolished in the United Kingdom

1959 – Fidel Castro becomes Cuba’s Prime Minister – Castro’s rise to power came shortly after his “26th of July Movement” had overthrown dictator Fulgencio Batista in what became known as the Cuban Revolution.

1960 – The U.S.S. Triton began the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip ended on May 10.

1961 – NASA Explorer 9 mission launches satellite for the 1st time from Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, Virginia; this was also the 1st all-solid-propellant rocket put into orbit

1963 – Philosopher Hannah Arendt’s controversial account of the trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann is first published in “The New Yorker”

1968 – In the U.S., the first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, AL.

1971 – Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, under opposition attack in the Commons, utters an apparently unparliamentary expression that he later describes as “fuddle-duddle”

1972 – German mass murderers “Three of Breda” freed

1977 – The Anglican archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, was killed in automobile accident. Two other men were also killed.

1985 – The founding of Hezbollah.

1987 – John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being “Ivan the Terrible”, a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.

1989 – Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed.

1992 – Ethiopia finds the remains of former Emperor Haile Selassie on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, under the private lavatory of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who overthrew the Emperor

1999 – A bomb exploded at the government headquarters in Uzbekistan. Gunfire followed the incident. The event apparently was an attempt on the life of President Islam Karimov.

2005 – The NHL announced the cancellation of the 2004-2005 season due to a labor dispute. It was the first time a major sports league in North America lost an entire season to a labor dispute.

2006 – The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army.

2013 – 84 people are killed and 190 are injured after a market bombing in Hazara Town, Pakistan

2016 – China announces it will relocate 9,000 people in Guizhou province, before completion of world’s largest telescope (FAST), designed to look for extraterrestrial life

2017 – Suicide attack on shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, Sehwan, Pakistan kills 72, Islamic State claims responsibility

2019 – Pope Francis defrocks ex-cardinal and archbishop of Washington Theodore McCarrick for sexually abusing minors and adults. First Cardinal to be removed for sexual abuse.

2020 – ‘Ghost ship’ cargo vessel MV Alta washed up on the Irish coast near Ballycotton by Storm Dennis, after drifting across the Atlantic from Bermuda

2023 – WWII: US Naval History and Heritage Command confirms identity of the wreck USS Albacore, a submarine lost in 1944, discovered by University of Tokyo sonar team in 2022 off of Hokkaidō, Japan

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com


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