• Dennis McCaslin

Today in History: August 16



August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 137 days remaining until the end of the year.


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.

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.

1869 – Battle of Acosta Ñu: A Paraguayan battalion made up of children is massacred by the Brazilian Army during the Paraguayan War.


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.

1913 – Completion of the Royal Navy battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary.


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.

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.

1930 – The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks.

1942 – World War II: A naval L-class blimp drifts in from the Pacific and eventually crashes in Daly City, California. The two-man crew cannot be found.

1944 – First flight of a jet with forward-swept wings, the Junkers Ju 287.

1946– The All Hyderabad Trade Union Congress is founded in Secunderabad.


1954 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated is published.

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 – Pete Best is discharged from The Beatles, to be replaced two days later by Ringo Starr.

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.


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.

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.

2013 – The ferry St. Thomas Aquinas collides with a cargo ship and sinks at Cebu, Philippines, killing 61 people with 59 others missing.

2015 – More than 96 people are killed and hundreds injured following a series of air-raids by the Syrian Arab Air Force on the rebel-held market town of Douma.