On this day in history, July 16
|Updated: 7/16 5:16 pm
||Published: 7/16 5:13 pm
- 622 – The beginning of the Islamic calendar.
- 1054 – Three Roman legates break relations between Western and Eastern Christian Churches through the act of placing an invalidly-issued Papal bull of Excommunication on the altar of Hagia Sophia during Saturday afternoon divine liturgy. Historians frequently describe the event as the start of the East–West Schism.
- 1212 – Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa: after Pope Innocent III calls European knights to a crusade, forces of Kings Alfonso VIII of Castile, Sancho VII of Navarre, Peter II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal defeat those of the Berber Muslim leader Almohad, thus marking a significant turning point in the Reconquista and in the medieval history of Spain.
- 1377 – Coronation of Richard II of England.
- 1661 – The first banknotes in Europe are issued by the Swedish bank Stockholms Banco.
- 1683 – Manchu Qing Dynasty naval forces under traitorous commander Shi Lang defeat the Kingdom of Tungning in the Battle of Penghu near the Pescadores Islands.
- 1769 – Father Junípero Serra founds California's first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Over the following decades, it evolves into the city of San Diego, California.
- 1779 – American Revolutionary War: light infantry of the Continental Army seize a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.
- 1782 – First performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
- 1790 – The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.
- 1809 – The city of La Paz, in what is today Bolivia, declares its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and forms the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.
- 1849 – Antonio María Claret y Clará founded the Congregation of the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, popularly known as the Claretians in Vic, in the province of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.
- 1861 – American Civil War: at the order of President Abraham Lincoln, Union troops begin a 25 mile march into Virginia for what will become the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the war.
- 1862 – American Civil War: David Farragut is promoted to rear admiral, becoming the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.
- 1909 – Persian Constitutional Revolution: Mohammad Ali Shah Qajar is forced out as Shah of Persia and is replaced by his son Ahmad Shah Qajar.
- 1910 – John Robertson Duigan makes the first flight of the Duigan pusher biplane, the first aircraft built in Australia.
- 1915 – Henry James becomes a British citizen, to highlight his commitment to England during the first World War.
- 1915 – First Order of the Arrow ceremony takes places and the Order of the Arrow is founded.
- 1927 – Augusto César Sandino leads a raid on U.S. Marines and Nicaraguan Guardia Nacional that had been sent to apprehend him in the village of Ocotal, but is repulsed by one of the first dive-bombing attacks in history.
- 1931 – Emperor Haile Selassie I signs the first constitution of Ethiopia.
- 1935 – The world's first parking meter is installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
- 1941 – Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as a MLB record.
- 1942 – Holocaust: Vel' d'Hiv Roundup (Rafle du Vel' d'Hiv): the government of Vichy France orders the mass arrest of 13,152 Jews who are held at the Winter Velodrome in Paris before deportation to Auschwitz.
- 1945 – World War II: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis leaves San Francisco with parts for the atomic bomb "Little Boy" bound for Tinian Island.
- 1945 – Manhattan Project: the Atomic Age begins when the United States successfully detonates a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
- 1948 – Following token resistance, the city of Nazareth, revered by Christians as the hometown of Jesus, capitulates to Israeli troops during Operation Dekel in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
- 1948 – The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marks the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.
- 1950 – Chaplain–Medic massacre: American POWs were massacred by North Korean Army.
- 1951 – King Leopold III of Belgium abdicates in favor of his son, Baudouin I of Belgium.
- 1951 – The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger is published for the first time by Little, Brown and Company.
- 1956 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closes its very last "Big Tent" show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, due to changing economics all subsequent circus shows will be held in arenas.
- 1960 – USS George Washington a modified Skipjack class submarine successfully test fires the first ballistic missile while submerged.
- 1965 – The Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opens.
- 1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
- 1973 – Watergate scandal: former White House aide Alexander Butterfield informs the United States Senate that President Richard Nixon had secretly recorded potentially incriminating conversations.
- 1979 – Iraqi President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr resigns and is replaced by Saddam Hussein.
- 1981 – Mahathir Mohamad becomes Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister; his 22 years in office, ending with retirement on 31 October 2003, made him Asia's longest-serving political leader.
- 1983 – Sikorsky S-61 disaster: a helicopter crashes off the Isles of Scilly, causing 20 fatalities.
- 1990 – The Luzon Earthquake strikes in Benguet, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, La Union, Aurora, Bataan, Zambales and Tarlac, Philippines, with an intensity of 7.7.
- 1990 – The Parliament of the Ukrainian SSR declares state sovereignty over the territory of the Ukrainian SSR.
- 1994 – Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9 collides with Jupiter. Impacts continue until July 22.
- 1999 – John F. Kennedy, Jr., piloting a Piper Saratoga aircraft, dies when his plane crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. His wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette are also killed.
- 2004 – Millennium Park, considered Chicago, Illinois's first and most ambitious early 21st century architectural project, is opened to the public by Mayor Richard M. Daley.
- 2007 – An earthquake of magnitude 6.8 and 6.6 aftershock occurs off the Niigata coast of Japan killing eight people, injuring at least 800 and damaging a nuclear power plant.
- 2008 – Sixteen infants in Gansu Province, China, who had been fed on tainted milk powder, are diagnosed with kidney stones; in total an estimated 300,000 infants are affected.
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