Today in History - October 16th

  • 1492 - On this day in history, Columbus' fleet anchored at the island of Fernandina (Long Island, Bahamas). Inching his way through a crowded Caribbean, the explorer named the islands after the King and Queen of Spain, who had footed his bill to the New World.
  • 1775 - American Revolutionary War: Portland, Maine burned by the British. The Burning of Falmouth was an attack by a fleet of Royal Navy vessels on the town of Falmouth, Massachusetts, site of the modern Portland, Maine
  • 1780 - Royalton, Vermont and Tunbridge, Vermont last major raid of the American Revolutionary War: In the early morning hours of October 16, 1780, Lieutenant Houghton of the British Army and a single Grenadier, along with 300 Mohawk warriors from the British province of Quebec, attacked and burned the towns of Royalton, Sharon and Tunbridge, along the White River in eastern Vermont.
  • 1781 - Washington takes Yorktown: The Siege of Yorktown or Battle of Yorktown was a decisive victory by a combined force of American Continental Army led by General Washington and French Army troops over the British Army.
  • 1829 - On this day in history, the Tremont Hotel was the first modern US hotel to open in Boston.
  • 1861 - Today in history, the US Confederacy started selling postage stamps.
  • 1863 - Grant was given command of the Union forces in the West, on this day in history.
  • 1875 - Today in history, Brigham Young University was founded in Provo, Utah.
  • 1923 - Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio was founded, on a day like today.
  • 1934 - Mao Tse-tung and 25,000 troops began the 6,000 mile Long March. There was not one Long March, but a series of marches, as various Communist armies in the south escaped to the north and west. The best known is the march from Jiangxi province, which began in October 1934.
  • 1940 - Warsaw Ghetto formed housing every Jew in the capital of Poland.
  • 1941 - Germany advanced within 60 miles (96 K) of Moscow. They were closing in on Russia without realizing that they would not be able to withstand the harsh cold of Siberia.
  • 1943 - Jewish quarter of Rome was surrounded by Nazis, which subsequently sent all the Jews in Rome to the Auschwitz death camp in Poland.
  • 1946 - Finally some justice: 10 Nazi leaders hanged as war criminals after the Nuremberg trials.
  • 1962 - Today in history, the Cuban missile crisis began as JFK became aware of missiles in Cuba.
  • 1970 - Anwar Sadat became elected president of Egypt. He became the architect of the relative calm between Israel and Egypt and this won him and Israel Prime Minister Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • 1973 - Today in history, Maynard Jackson was elected the first black Mayor of Atlanta.
  • 1990 - US forces reached 200,000 in Persian Gulf, on this day in history.
  • 1995 - The Million Man March was held in Washington DC and over 800,000 black men attended.

SCIENCE, INVENTIONS, PATENTS - Today in History, October 16th

  • 1843 - Sir William Rowan Hamilton gave us with the concept of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.
  • 1846 -  Dentist William Morton demonstrated the effectiveness of ether.
  • 1848 - The first homeopathic medical college opened in Pennsylvania.
  • 1923 - John Harwood patented the self-winding watch in Switzerland.
  • 1984 - A baboon heart was transplanted into a 15-day-old baby girl, today in history.

CULTURE, LIFESTYLE - Today in History, October 16th

  • 1847 - Charlotte Bronte's book "Jane Eyre" was published.
  • 1916 - Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic at 46 Amboy St, Brooklyn, NY.
  • 1925 - Texas School Board prohibited the teaching of evolution.
  • 1981 - Harvey Fierstein's legendary "Torch Song Trilogy," premiered in NYC.

HISTORY OF MUSIC - Today in History, October 16th

  • 1956 - "Love Me Tender" with Elvis Presley premiered.
  • 1972 - Credence Clearwater Revival broke up on a day like today.

SPORTS - Today in History, October 16th

  • 1909 - Jack Johnson KO'd Stanley Ketchel in 12 for heavyweight boxing title.


  • 1854- Oscar Wilde, [Fingal O'Flahertie Wills], Dublin, (Picture of Dorian Gray).
  • 1888 - Eugene O'Neill, NYC, dramatist (Desire Under the Elms-Nobel 1936)
  • 1890 - Paul Strand, NYC, photographer (Native Land-1942)
  • 1925 - Angela Lansbury, London England, actress (Jessica-Murder She Wrote)
  • 1946 - Suzanne Somers, San Bruno California, actress (3's Company, Step by Step)