This Day in History- March 16

Today is the 75th day of 2023. There are 290 days left in the year.

Freedom's Journal, the first US newspaper owned and operated by African Americans, begins publishing in New York City on this day, 1827.


1968: During the Vietnam War, US soldiers dispatched on a search-and-destroy mission kill as many as 500 unarmed villagers in the hamlet of My Lai, considered a stronghold of the Viet Cong.


1190: At York in England, Jews seek refuge in Clifford's Tower, which is then besieged by a mob; about 150 people are massacred or commit suicide rather than submit to Christian baptism.

1521: Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, sailing under the Spanish flag on his circumnavigation of the globe, reaches the Philippines, securing the first alliance in the Pacific Islands for Spain; he is killed by natives the following month.

1527: Mogul Emperor Barbar defeats the Hindu Confederacy at Kanwanha, India.

1534: England severs all relations with the Roman Catholic papacy.

1690: France's King Louis XIV sends troops to Ireland to fight for King James II.

1802: The United States Military Academy at West Point, New York — one of the oldest service academies in the world — is originally founded this day as a training centre for the US Corps of Engineers.

1827: The first US newspaper owned and operated by African Americans, Freedom's Journal, begins publishing in New York City.

1829: Ohio, USA authorises high school night classes.

1830: The New York Stock Exchange experiences its slowest day ever with 31 shares traded.

1844: Greece adopts a constitution with two chambers.

1850: Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter is published in the United States.

1851: The Spanish Concordat with Papacy goes into effect whereby Catholicism becomes the sole faith in Spain and the Church gains control of education and the press.

1867: The first publication of an article by Joseph Lister outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery appears in The Lancet journal.

1906: Japan nationalises its railways.

1910: Magician Harry Houdini becomes the first man to fly an aeroplane in Australia and also drives a car for the first time on that trip; after that he never does either again.

1921: The Treaty of Moscow establishes friendly relations between the nationalist Government of Turkey and the Soviet Union.

1922: Britain recognises the Kingdom of Egypt under Fuad I, with joint Anglo-Egyptian sovereignty over Sudan.

1926: The first liquid-fuel rocket is successfully launched by Professor Robert Goddard at Auburn, Massachusetts; it travels 56 metres (184 feet) in 2.5 seconds.

1935: Adolf Hitler orders German rearmament, in violation of The Treaty of Versailles.

1945: Japanese resistance to the US assault on Iwo Jima in Pacific comes to end in World War II.

1978: The Amoco Cadiz tanker runs aground and breaks in two, releasing nearly 69 million gallons of light crude oil off the coast of Brittany, France — the largest oil spill in the world at the time.

1985: American journalist Terry Anderson of The Associated Press is captured by Muslim extremists in Beirut; he is released almost seven years later.

1993: A bomb in Calcutta, India, kills 69.

1994: Russia agrees to phase out production of weapons-grade plutonium. Figure skater Tonya Harding pleads guilty in Portland, Oregon, to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for covering up an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, avoiding jail but drawing a US$100,000 fine.

1995: Mississippi ratifies the Thirteenth Amendment — which abolished slavery — 130 years after it was added to the US Constitution; however, Mississippi's ratification is not made official until 2013, when the state notifies the US Archivist.

1998: The Vatican apologises for the failure of some Christians to deter the mass killings of European Jews before and during World War II. Rwanda, with 125,000 suspects for 500,000 murders, begins mass trials for the country's 1994 genocide.

1999: The entire European Commission, the top executive body of the European Union, resigns following allegations of corruption and inefficiency.

2002: Two unidentified gunmen shoot and kill Isaias Duarte Cancino, archbishop of the south-western city of Cali, Colombia; the 63-year-old is the highest-ranking clergyman ever assassinated in Colombia.

2003: American activist Rachel Corrie, 23, is crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer while trying to block the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip. Anti-war protesters demonstrate across the United States to show their support for peace, including an estimated 10,000 protesters in Chicago.

2005: Syrian military intelligence agents leave Beirut, ending an 18-year presence in Lebanon.

2007: China's legislators pass a law providing the most sweeping protection for private businesses and property since the nation's move toward a more capitalist-style economy beginning in the late 1970s.

2008: Four Belgian tourists held hostage by protesting farmers are released after security forces in boats and helicopters locate the group in Guatemala's eastern jungle.

2009: Iran's most prominent reformer, former President Mohammed Khatami, pulls out of the race against the country's hard-line president, saying he does not want to split the pro-reform vote.

2010: Hundreds of Palestinians in east Jerusalem set tyres and garbage bins ablaze and hurl rocks at Israeli riot police who respond with rubber bullets and tear gas in the heaviest clashes in months.

2011: Australia, Britain, and Germany advise their citizens in Japan to consider leaving Tokyo and earthquake-affected areas, joining a growing number of governments and businesses telling their people it may be safer elsewhere.

2012: Apple's latest iPad draws lines of diehard fans looking to be first and entrepreneurs looking to make a quick profit.

2013: One of the highest-ranking military officers yet to abandon Syrian President Bashar Assad defects to neighbouring Jordan and says that morale among those still inside the regime has collapsed.

2014: Fireworks explode and Russian flags flutter above jubilant crowds following a popular referendum in which residents in Crimea vote overwhelmingly to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation; despite opposition from numerous countries, Russia later annexes the region.

2017: US President Donald Trump submits his US$1.15-trillion budget to Congress; it proposes generous increases for the military while slashing domestic programmes, which riles both fellow Republicans and Democrats by going after favoured programmes. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, visiting Japan, calls on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, saying the isolated nation "need not fear" the United States.


James Madison, US president (1751-1836); Georg Simon Ohm, German physicist (1787-1854); Modest Mussorgsky, Russian composer (1839-1881); Reza Shah Pahlavi, shah of Iran (1878-1946); Jerry Lewis, US comedian (1926-2017); Bernardo Bertolucci, Italian film director (1941-2018); Kate Nelligan, Canadian-born actress (1951- ); Kevin Smith, New Zealand actor in Hercules and Xena – Warrior Princess (1963-2002)

— AP

With 125,000 suspects for 500,000 murders Rwanda begins mass trials on this day, 1998, for the country's 1994 genocide.
While trying to block the demolition of a Palestinian home in the Gaza Strip, 23-year-old American activist Rachel Corrie is crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer on this day, 2003.

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