This Day in History — June 16

Today is the 168th day of 2020. There are 198 days left in the year.


1858: Accepting the Illinois Republican Party’s nomination for the US Senate, Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved, declaring, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”


1567: Mary, Queen of Scots, is imprisoned in Lochleven Castle in Scotland. (She escaped almost a year later but ended up imprisoned again.)

1671: Rebel Cossack leader Stenka Razin is executed by quartering in Moscow’s Red Square.

1779: Spain declares war on Britain and begins a four-year siege of Gibraltar.

1903: Ford Motor Company is incorporated.

1911: IBM has its beginnings as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Co, and is incorporated in New York state.

1933: The National Industrial Recovery Act becomes law with President Franklin D Roosevelt’s signature. (The Act is later struck down by the US Supreme Court.) The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp is founded as President Roosevelt signed the Banking Act of 1933.

1942: A second four-man team of Nazi saboteurs lands in Florida, three days after another group arrives on Long Island, New York. (The plot was foiled when two members of the first team agreed to betray their comrades.)

1944: George Stinney, a 14-year-old black youth, became the youngest person to die in the electric chair as the state of South Carolina executed him for the murders of two white girls, Betty June Binnicker, 11, and Mary Emma Thames, 7.

1956: Poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes are married in London.

1963: The world’s first female space traveller, Valentina Tereshkova, 26, is launched into orbit by the Soviet Union aboard ; she spends 71 hours in-flight, circling the Earth 48 times before returning safely.

1967: The three-day Monterey International Pop Music Festival, a major event of the “Summer of Love”, opens in northern California; among the featured acts were Jefferson Airplane, The Who, the Grateful Dead, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, and Ravi Shankar.

1977: Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev is named president, becoming the first person to hold both posts simultaneously. Business software maker Oracle Corp has its beginnings as Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates founded Oracle’s precursor, Software Development Laboratories.

1978: President Jimmy Carter and Panamanian leader Omar Torrijos (toh-REE’-ohs) exchange the instruments of ratification for the Panama Canal treaties.

1987: A jury in New York acquits Bernhard Goetz of attempted murder in the subway shooting of four youth he said were going to rob him; however, Goetz was convicted of illegal weapons possession. (In 1996, a civil jury ordered Goetz to pay US$43 million to one of the individuals he had shot.)

1996: Russian voters go to the polls in their first independent presidential election; the result is a run-off between President Boris Yeltsin (the eventual winner) and Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov. Sportscaster Mel Allen dies in Greenwich, Connecticut, at age 83.

1998: Afghanistan’s Taliban religious army orders the closing of more than 100 private schools that had been educating girls.

1999: Amnesty International singles out the United States for human rights abuses, citing use of the death penalty, particularly against people who committed crimes before they were 18.

2001: US President George W Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin meet for the first time in Slovenia. They agree to cooperate and have regular consultations.

2003: A drought that began in 2001 puts some 12.6 million Ethiopians at risk of starving to death, United Nations food agencies say, adding that this could lead to the worst famine since a 1984-85 crisis in which a million people died of starvation.

2007: A North Carolina State Bar disciplinary committee says disgraced prosecutor Mike Nifong would be disbarred for his disastrous prosecution of three Duke University lacrosse players falsely accused of rape. Six people are killed when a car driven by Australian-born professional drag racer Troy Critchley gets out of control and plows into a parade crowd in Selmer, Tennessee. (Critchley later pleaded guilty to reckless assault, thereby avoiding jail time.) US astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams sets a then-record aboard the international space station for the longest single spaceflight by any woman, surpassing the record of 188 days set by astronaut Shannon Lucid at the Mir space station in 1996. (Williams spent a total of 195 days aboard the station; her record was eclipsed in 2015 by Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, who spent 199 days in spaceflight.)

2012: Egyptians began going to the polls for a two-day run-off to choose their first freely elected president; Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi emerges the winner. China launches its most ambitious space mission to date, carrying its first female astronaut, Liu Yang, and two male colleagues on a 13-day mission to an orbiting module that ended safely.

2015: Real estate mogul Donald Trump launches his successful campaign to become president of the United States with a speech at Trump Tower in Manhattan.

2016: President Barack Obama travels to Orlando, Florida, the scene of a deadly nightclub shooting that claimed 49 victims; the president embraces grieving families and cheers on Democrats’ push for new gun control measures. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in a livestream to his supporters from Vermont, says he would work with Hillary Clinton to transform the Democratic Party, adding that his “political revolution” had to continue to ensure the defeat of Republican Donald Trump. Walt Disney Company opens Shanghai Disneyland, its first theme park in mainland China.



Geronimo, Apache Indian leader (1829-1909); Stan Laurel, US actor (1890-1965); Bobby Clark, US vaudevillian/comedian (1886-1960); Jean Peugeot, French car manufacturer (1896-1966); Barbara McClintock, US geneticist and Nobel laureate (1902-1992); Joyce Carol Oates, US author (1938- ); Eddie Levert, US singer (1942- ); Joan Van Ark, US actress (1943- )

— AP

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