Today In History, 16 February

Historical Events On This Day

  • In 1659, the first known cheque was written for £400 in Britain.
  • In 1918, Lithuania was proclaimed an independent state after the adoption of the Act of Independence by the Council of Lithuania.
  • In 1923, the burial chamber of King Tutankhamun of ancient Egypt was unsealed by British archaeologist Howard Carter.
  • In 1937, American chemist and inventor Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon fabric.
  • In 1945, American paratroopers landed on Corregidor Island in the Philippines during World War II and captured it from the Japanese within two weeks.
  • In 1959, Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba from Fulgencio Batista and established the country as the Western Hemisphere’s first communist state.
  • In 1968, the first 911 emergency call was made in the US.
  • In 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty aimed at reducing the emission of gases that contribute to global warming, went into effect.
  • In 2019, the first high-speed Vande Bharat train in India malfunctioned on its return trip from Delhi to Varanasi.

Sports Events Today

  • In 2005, the National Hockey League cancelled the entire 2004–05 regular season and playoffs due to a labour lockout caused by a salary-sharing dispute with the players.
  • In 2011, disgraced former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong announced his retirement from professional cycling amid doping allegations.
  • In 2013, Lionel Messi scored his 300th goal for Barcelona in 365 appearances.

Art and Culture Events Today

  • In 1964, the Beatles’ second appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” drew about 70 million television viewers.
  • In 2013, Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie underwent a preventive double mastectomy after learning she had an 87% risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene.

Notable Deaths On This Day

Sr NoDeath YearPersonality
11586Birbal, Indian folk legend who served as an advisor in the court of Mughal emperor Akbar, also called the navaratnas
21944Dadasaheb Phalke, Indian filmmaker who pionered the motion-picture industry of India with the film Raja Harishchandra and is considered the “father of Indian Cinema”
31956Meghnad Saha, Indian astrophysicist who gave the Saha ionization equation used to describe chemical and physical condition in stars
41990Keith Haring, American graphic artist and designer who transformed graffiti art into a visual language
52015Lesley Gore, American singer, actress and activist who is known for her iconic hit “It’s My Party”

Famous Birthdays On This Day

Sr NoBirth YearPersonality
11620Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia, known his military and political achievements during his reign (1640-1688)
21822Francis Galton, English polymath who developed the fingerprinting method and was a proponent of social Darwinism and scientific racism
31834Ernst Haeckel, German zoologist, naturalist, eugenicist, artist and physician who discovered, described and named several species and also coined the terms ecology, phylum, Protista, phylogeny etc
41848Hugo de Vries, Dutch botanist and geneticist who suggested the concept of genes, rediscovered the laws of heredity and developedthe mutation theory of evolution
51941Kim Jong-iI, North Korean politician and dictator who ruled the country from 1994 to 2011
61957LeVar Burton, American actor, director and television host best known for playing Geordi La Forge in Star Trek: The Next Generation
71959John McEnroe, American tennis legend who is one of the greatest players of the sport but is also infamous for his controversial antics while playing
81974Mahershala Ali, American actor and two time Academy Award winner for the films Moonlight and Green Book
91989Elizabeth Olsen, American actor famed for her role as the superhero Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch in the Marvel Cinematic Universe
101990The Weeknd, Canadian pop singer and actor who is one of the best selling artists of the decade and is known for his hit songs “Blinding Lights,” “Starboy” and “I Was Never There”