Today in History – July 16

1377 – King Richard II of England was crowned.

1439 – Kissing was banned in England to stop the Black Death (bubonic plague) from spreading.

1769 – Father Junípero Serra founded California’s first mission, Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Over the following decades, it evolved into the city of San Diego, California.

1779 – American Revolutionary War: Light infantry of the Continental Army seized a fortified British Army position in a midnight bayonet attack at the Battle of Stony Point.

1790 – The District of Columbia was established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.

1858 – The last of 18 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes, France.

1861 – American Civil War: At the order of President Abraham Lincoln, Union troops began a 25-mile march into Virginia for what would become the First Battle of Bull Run, the first major land battle of the war.

1862 – American Civil War: David Farragut was promoted to rear admiral, and became the first officer in United States Navy to hold an admiral rank.

1910 – John Robertson Duigan made the first flight of the Duigan pusher biplane, the first aircraft built in Australia.

1915 – Henry James, an American, became a British citizen to highlight his commitment to Britain during the first World War.

1935 – The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

1941 – Joe DiMaggio hits safely for the 56th consecutive game, a streak that still stands as an MLB record.

1945 – World War II: The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis left San Francisco with parts for the atomic bomb “Little Boy” bound for Tinian Island.

1945 – Manhattan Project: The Atomic Age began when the United States successfully detonated a plutonium-based test nuclear weapon near Alamogordo, New Mexico.

1948 – The storming of the cockpit of the Miss Macao passenger seaplane, operated by a subsidiary of the Cathay Pacific Airways, marked the first aircraft hijacking of a commercial plane.

1951 – Novel “Catcher in Rye” by J. D. Salinger was published by Little Brown and Company.

1956 – Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed its last “Big Tent” show in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Due to changing economics, all subsequent circus shows were held in arenas.

1967 – The Monkees performed at Forest Hills, New York with Jimi Hendrix as their opening act.

1969 – Apollo program: Apollo 11, the first mission to land astronauts on the Moon, launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1972 – Final live performance of Smokey Robinson & Miracles.

1976 – Rock duo Loggins & Messina broke up after 6 years.

1999 – John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when the Piper Saratoga PA-32R aircraft he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

2001 – “Jurassic Park III”, starring Sam Neill and William H Macy, premiered in the US.

2004 – Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison plus five months in home confinement for lying to federal investigators.

2005 – “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, the 6th book in the series by J. K. Rowling, was published worldwide. 9 million copies sold within the first 24 hours.

2013 – 27 children were killed and 25 were hospitalized after eating lunch contaminated with insecticide in India.

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