Today in History….April 16

0069 – Otho committed suicide after being defeated by Vitellius’ troops at Bedriacum.

0556 – Pelagius I began his reign as Catholic Pope.

1065 – The Norman Robert Guiscard took Bari. Five centuries of Byzantine rule in southern Italy ended.

1175 – Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, signed the Treaty of Montebello with the Lombard League.

1705 – Queen Anne of England knighted Isaac Newton.

1746 – The Duke of Cumberland defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie (and his Jacobites) at the battle of Culloden.

1818 – The U.S. Senate ratified Rush-Bagot amendment to form an unarmed U.S.-Canada border.

1851 – A lighthouse was swept away in a gale at Minot’s Ledge, MA.

1854 – San Salvador was destroyed by an earthquake.

1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis approved conscription act for white males between 18 and 35.

1862 – In the U.S., slavery was abolished by law in the District of Columbia.

1883 – Paul Kruger became president of the South African Republic.

1900 – The first book of postage stamps was issued. The two-cent stamps were available in books of 12, 24 and 48 stamps.

1905 – Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000,000 of personal money to set up the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

1912 – Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1917 – Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia to start Bolshevik Revolution after years of exile.

1922 – Annie Oakley shot 100 clay targets in a row, to set a women’s record.

1922 – The Soviet Union and Germany signed the Treaty of Rapallo under which Germany recognized the Soviet Union and diplomatic and trade relations were restored.

1935 – “Fibber McGee and Molly” premiered.

1940 – The first no-hit, no-run game to be thrown on an opening day of the major league baseball season was earned by Bob Feller. The Cleveland Indians beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0.

1942 – The Island of Malta was awarded the George Cross in recognition for heroism under constant German air attack.

1943 – In Basel, Switzerland, chemist Albert Hoffman accidently discovered the the hallucinogenic effects of LSD-25 while working on the medicinal value of lysergic acid.

1944 – The destroyer USS Laffey survived immense damage from attacks by 22 Japanese aircraft off Okinawa.

1945 – American troops entered Nuremberg, Germany.

1947 – The Zoomar lens, invented by Dr. Frank Back, was demonstrated in New York City. It was the first lens to exhibit zooming effects.

1947 – In Texas City, TX, the French ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and blew up. The explosions and resulting fires killed 576 people.

1948 – In Paris, the Organization for European Economic Co-operation was set up.

1951 – 75 people were killed when the British submarine Affray sank in the English Channel.

1953 – The British royal yacht Britannia was launched.

1962 – Walter Cronkite began anchoring “The CBS Evening News”.

1968 – The Pentagon announced that troops would begin coming home from Vietnam.

1968 – Major league baseball’s longest night game was played when the Houston Astros defeated the New York Mets 1-0. The 24 innings took six hours, six minutes to play.

1972 – Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon. It was the fifth manned moon landing.

1972 – Two giants pandas arrived in the U.S. from China.

1975 – The Khmer Rouge Rebels won control of Cambodia after a five years of civil war. They renamed the country Kampuchea and began a reign of terror.

1978 – In Orissa, India, 180 people died when a tornado hit.

1982 – Queen Elizabeth proclaimed Canada’s new constitution in effect. The act severed the last colonial links with Britain.

1983 – China shelled the Vietnam border in retaliation for raids.

1983 – Brazil detained four Libyan planes en route to Nicaragua after finding weapons, explosives and ammunition on the planes.

1985 – Mickey Mantle was reinstated after being banned from baseball for several years.

1987 – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sternly warned U.S. radio stations to watch the use of indecent language on the airwaves.

1987 – The U.S. Patent Office began allowing the patenting of new animals created by genetic engineering.

1992 – Italian financier Carlo de Benedetti and 32 others were convicted of fraud in connection with the 1982 collapse of Banco Ambrosiano.

1992 – The House ethics committee listed 303 current and former lawmakers who had overdrawn their House bank accounts.

1995 – The European Union and Canada agreed to protect threatened fish stocks in the north Atlantic.

1996 – Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced that they were in the process of getting a divorce.

1996 – An Italian court found former Prime Minister Bettino Craxi guilty on charges of corruption. He was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison.

1999 – Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL).

2002 – The U.S. Supreme Court overturned major parts of a 1996 child pornography law based on rights to free speech.

2007 – In Blacksburg, VA, a student killed 33 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself.

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