This Day in History — August 16

This Day in History — August 16

Friday, August 16, 2019

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Today is the 237th day of 2019. There are 138 days left in the year


2003: Ugandan military ruler Idi Amin, 78, who presided over an eight-year reign of terror from 1971-1979, where an estimated 300,000 people were killed and tortured to death, dies of multiple organ failure.



1570: John Sigismund Zapolya of Transylvania signs secret treaty with Holy Roman Empire to achieve independence from Turkey, but renounces control over much of Hungary.

1777: American forces win Revolutionary War Battle of Bennington, Vermont.

1812: Detroit falls to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.

1827: Sultan of Turkey rejects note of Russia, France and Britain demanding truce in war with Greece.

1858: A telegraphed message from Britain's Queen Victoria to US President James Buchanan is transmitted over the new trans-Atlantic cable.

1896: British protectorate in Ashanti, West Africa, is proclaimed.

1944: More than 1,000 US bombers from Britain attack aircraft bases and factories in Germany. Thirty-two German planes are shot down and 23 bombers go missing.

1956: Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser boycotts first London conference to discuss Suez Canal.

1960: Britain grants independence to Crown Colony of Cyprus, with Archbishop Makarios as president.

1962: The US recognises Jamaica's independence with the establishment of the American Embassy in Kingston. Irving Cheslaw is Chargé d'Affaires.

1964: Major General Nguyen Khan takes over the presidency of South Vietnam, ousting Major General Duong van Minh.

1972: Morocco's King Hassan II escapes an assassination attempt by Moroccan Air Force jets in a military coup attempt.

1974: Turkish invaders of Cyprus complete division of island into two areas.

1977: Elvis Presley, known as the King of rock 'n' roll, is found dead at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.

1987: An American Northwest Airlines flight crashes while trying to take off from a Detroit airport, killing 156 people. Four-year-old Cecelia Cichan is the only survivor.

1989: Palestinian activists in Gaza Strip call for two-week boycott of jobs in Israel to protest computerised identity cards for day labourers.

1990: Men hack their way through a train station in Soweto, South Africa with spears and axes, killing at least nine people; Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev restores citizenship of exiled writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

1991: United Nations and South African Government agree on amnesty terms for political exiles, clearing the way for an estimated 40,000 refugees to return to South Africa.

1996: France takes a tough position on African immigrants, saying those who arrive illegally — including 10 on the 43rd day of a hunger strike — will not be allowed to stay.

1999: Russia's lower house of parliament approves Vladimir Putin as the country's new president.

2001: NATO allows British servicemen and women to head to Macedonia for a mission to collect and destroy rebel arms.

2002: Monsoon floods in South Asia kill more than 900 people and displace or maroon some 25 million more over the next two months.

2004: Venezuelans vote to keep President Hugo Chavez in office in a popular referendum, following a long and bitter campaign by his opposition to oust him.

2005: A chartered jet filled with tourists returning home to the French Caribbean island of Martinique crashes in western Venezuela, killing all 160 people on board.

2006: The Israeli army begins its withdrawal from southern Lebanon, handing over some of their positions to a UN force.

2007: A powerful 7.9-magnitude earthquake shakes Peru's coast near the capital, toppling buildings, setting off landslides, killing at least 500 and injuring at least 827.

2008: President Leonel Fernandez of The Dominican Republic is sworn in for a third term.

2009: Prime Minister Gordon Brown affirms Britain's commitment to Afghanistan on a weekend in which roadside bombs kill five more soldiers, pushing the UK death toll past 200.

2010: A Boeing 737 jetliner filled with vacationers crashes in a thunderstorm and breaks apart as it slides onto the runway on a Caribbean island near Colombia. Only one of the 131 people on board dies, and the island's governor calls it a miracle.

2011: The leaders of France and Germany call for greater economic discipline and unity among European nations but decline to take immediate financial measures seen by many investors as the only way to halt the continent's spiralling debt crisis.

2012: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wins asylum in Ecuador but legal experts say the decision by the South American nation to identify him as a refugee and let him reside in its London embassy does little to help him avoid extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations.



Jean de la Bruyere, French essayist-novelist (1645-1696); Menachem Begin, Israeli prime minister (1913-1992); Eydie Gorme, US singer (1932-2013); Bruce Beresford, Australian film director (1940- ); Suzanne Farrell, US ballerina (1945- ); Madonna, US pop singer (1958- ); Steve Carell, actor (1962- )

— AP

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