This Day in History— May 16

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Print this page Email A Friend!

Today is the 136th day of 2018. There are 229 days left in the year.


1975: Japanese climber Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.


1532: Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro lands with a small band of soldiers on the northern coast of Peru.

1770: Marie Antoinette, age 14, marries the future king of France, Louis XVI, who is 15.

1866: US Congress authorises minting of the nickel.

1871: British Columbia, a British colony, becomes a province of Canada.

1920: Joan of Arc is canonised in Rome.

1929: The first Academy Awards are presented during a banquet at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

1941: The Icelandic parliament ends treaty with Denmark, proclaims independence.

1966: China's Cultural Revolution begins when the Communist party's Politburo approves an edict from Chairman Mao Zedong. An elite corps of young zealous students, the Red Guards, is formed to attack traditional values and bourgeois thinking.

1969: Soviet spacecraft reaches vicinity of planet Venus and drops capsule that sends back information on planet's atmosphere.

1979: Police in El Salvador seal off capital after 10 days of violence by anti-government groups takes 44 lives.

1989: Hundreds of thousands arrive in Beijing to support college students fasting for freedom in Tiananmen Square.

1991: France's first female prime minister, Edith Cresson, takes office; Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the US Congress.

1994: Scotland Yard for the first time approves a plan to allow some London police officers to openly carry firearms.

1995: Japanese police arrest doomsday cult leader Shoko Asahara in connection with the nerve-gas attack that killed 12 on Tokyo's subways two months earlier.

1997: In the face of rebellion, Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko gives up power after 32 years of autocratic rule.

1999: Iranian President Mohammad Khatami is greeted with warm embraces and kisses on his historic visit to Saudi Arabia, the first by an Iranian leader in two decades. He mentions hope for “a new era” between the two countries and a stable Persian Gulf.

2006: Nigeria's Senate rejects a proposed constitutional amendment that could have allowed its president, Olusegun Obasanjo, a third term — a proposal that had widened regional, ethnic and religious rifts in Africa's most-populous nation.

2009: The ruling Congress Party sweeps to a resounding victory in India's national elections, defying expectations as it brushes aside the Hindu nationalist opposition and a legion of ambitious smaller parties.

2011: The usually uninhibited and irreverent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei seems a different man in custody as he sits, red-eyed and tense, for what his wife says was a brief, monitored meeting — his first contact with the outside world in 43 days.

2012: Russian police arrest about 20 protesters at a central Moscow square where demonstrators had moved after police uprooted them from a camp, the latest move in a broadening crackdown on the forces opposing President Vladimir Putin.

2013: The first exiles from an Iranian opposition group have moved to Albania from a camp near Baghdad as part of a relocation process, the UN says, a step toward defusing an explosive dispute left over from the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s and the US-led ousting of President Saddam Hussein.


Maria Agnesi, Italian, first woman to become a known mathematician (1718-1799); Henry Fonda, US actor (1905-1982); H E Bates, English author (1905-1974); Woody Herman, US jazz musician (1913-1987); Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor (1953- ); Debra Winger, US actress (1955- ); Janet Jackson, US pop singer (1966- ); Tori Spelling, US actress (1973- )

— AP




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon