Today In History - Wednesday, April 16th

2008


Start of Papal Journey of Pope Benedict XVI to the United States
2007


Virginia Tech massacre: The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. The gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, shoots 32 people to death and injures 23 others before committing suicide.
2004


The super liner Queen Mary 2 embarks on her first Trans-Atlantic crossing, linking the golden age of ocean travel to the modern age of ocean travel.
2003


The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.
1992


The Katina P. runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique. 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean.
1990


The "Doctor of Death", Jack Kevorkian, goes through with his first assisted suicide.
1988


In Forlì, Italy, Red Brigades kill Italian Senator Roberto Ruffilli, an advisor to Prime Minister Ciriaco de Mita.
1987


British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appears at Bow Street Magistrates' Court in London charged with gross indecency.
1972


Apollo program: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive - prompted by the North Vietnamese offensive, the United States resumes the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong.
1964


Great Train Robbery - 12 men are sentenced to a total of 307 years.
1963


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.
1955


The Burma-Japanese peace treaty signed in Rangoon on November 5, 1954 comes into force, formally ending the state of war.
1953


Queen Elizabeth II launches the Royal Yacht ''Britannia''.
1947


Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600.
Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
1946


Syria gains independence.
1945


The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin.
The United States Army liberates Nazi ''Sonderlager'' (high security) Prisoner of War camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz Castle).
More than 7,000 die when the German refugee ship ''Goya'' is sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.
1943


Dr. Albert Hofmann discovers the psychedelic effects of LSD.
1941


World War II: The Italian convoy ''Duisburg'', directed to Tunisia, is attacked and destroyed by British ships.
Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.
1925


During the Communist St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia, 150 are killed and 500 are wounded.
1922


The Treaty of Rapallo, in which Germany and the Soviet Union re-establish diplomatic relations between Berlin and Moscow, is signed.
1919


Mohandas Gandhi organizes a day of "prayer and fasting" in response to the British slaughter of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre.
1917


Vladimir Lenin returns to Petrograd from exile in Finland.
1912


Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.
1881


In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.
1863


American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg - ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter move through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
1862


American Civil War: The Battle at Lee's Mills in Virginia.
American Civil War: A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia becomes law.
1858


The Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is wound up.
1853


The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.
1799


Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor - Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.
1780


The University of Münster in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is founded.
1746


The Battle of Culloden takes place.
1582


Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.
1521


Martin Luther's first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.
1395


Azzo X d'Este is defeated at the Battle of Portomaggiore by Venetian-Ferrarese troops.
1346


The Serbian Empire is proclaimed in Skopje by Dusan Silni, occupying much of the Balkans.
1071


Bari falls to Robert Guiscard, ending Byzantine rule in Italy.
73


Masada, a Jewish fortress, falls to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.