It happened today – this day in history – August 16

1513: Henry VIII and Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I beat France at the Battle of the Spurs at Guinegate.

1743: Champion of England titleholder Jack Broughton publishes ‘Rules of the Ring’ – the earliest boxing code.

1777: American militiamen defeat British forces at the Battle of Bennington near Vermont, during the American Revolutionary War.

1780: The British decisively defeat the Americans in the Battle of Camden, South Carolina.

1787: Turkey declares war on Russia.

1819: Peterloo Massacre, Manchester. The cavalry charges demonstrators, 15 people are killed and 400–700 injured.

1858: Queen Victoria sends a telegraph for the first time by transatlantic telegraph cable to US President James Buchanan.

1865: The Dominican Republic regains its independence after four years of fighting against Spanish Annexation.

1869: A Paraguay battalion made up of children is massacred by the Brazilian Army during the Battle of Acosta Ñu.

1888: Birth of T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) in Wales.

1896: Gold is first discovered in Klondike at Bonanza Creek, Alaska.

1898: Edwin Prescott patents the rollercoaster.

1899: Death of Robert Bunsen, German inventor of the Bunsen burner, aged 88.

1904: Construction of Grand Central Station begins in New York City.

1906: An earthquake destroys Valparaiso, Chile.

1908: The Committee of Union and Progress (The Young Turks) announces a program for reforms and respect for the rights of all within the Ottoman Empire, regardless of race or religion.

1914: Zapata and Pancho Villa overrun Mexico.

1918: US troops are overrun by Bolshevik troops at Archangelsk.

1930: The British Empire Games open in Hamilton, Canada.

1934: The US ends its 19-year occupation of Haiti.

1938: Blues singer-songwriter Robert Johnson becomes the first member of the 27 Club when he dies from drinking poisoned whiskey.

1940: 45 German aircraft are shot down over England.

1945: Puyi, the last Chinese Emperor and ruler of Manchukuo is captured by Soviet troops.

1946: Widespread riots erupt in Calcutta between Muslims and Hindus over whether Pakistan should be a separate state, killing over 4,000 and leaving 100,000 homeless.

1949: Author Margaret Mitchell, writer of Gone With The Wind, dies aged 48.

1952: 32 people die as a flood sweeps through Lynmouth in north Devon.

1956: Adlai E Stevenson is nominated as US Democratic presidential candidate. On the same day, Hungarian actor Bela Lugosi dies of a heart attack aged 73 .

1958: After being drafted into the US Army, Elvis Presley is assigned to the 3rd Armored Division in Friedberg, West Germany.

1960: Britain grants independence to Cyprus.


1961: A quarter of a milion West Berliners demonstrate against the closing off of East Berlin. On the same day, Martin Luther King protests for black voting rights in Miami, Florida. Also, singer Patsy Cline records the Willy Nelson song Crazy.

1962: Brian Epstein informs Pete Best that he is being replaced as drummer with The Beatles. then asks him to perform with the band that night at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester.

Singles chart:

  1. I Remember You – Frank Ifield
  2. Speedy Gonzales – Pat Boone
  3. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
  4. Guitar Tango – The Shadows
  5. Things – Bobby Darin
  6. A Picture Of You – Joe Brown
  7. Once Upon A Dream – Billy Fury
  8. Roses Are Red (My Love) – Ronnie Carroll
  9. Don;t Ever Change – The Crickets
  10. Little iss Lonely – Helen Shapiro

1968: At EMI Studios in Abbey Road, while working on the White Album, The Beatles begin converting the George Harrison song While My Guitar Gently Weeps from the acoustic demo recorded at the guitarist’s Esher home to a heavier, electric song and one of the album’s strongest tracks.

1969: Hippie leader Abbie Hoffman is knocked offstage by Pete Townshend while attempting to make a political statement during The Who’s set at Woodstock.

1971 Over 8,000 workers go on strike in Derry, Northern Ireland, in protest at the introduction of internment.

1975: Peter Gabriel announces that he is leaving Genesis.

1977: Elvis Presley dies aged 42 after collapsing while reading on the toilet at his Graceland home in Memphis.

1980: The south stand of Bristol Rovers’ Eastville ground, housing the club’s offices and changing rooms, burns down following their 1-1 draw with Orient. On the same day, Bill Ward quits Black Sabbath, Cozy Powell quits Rainbow and Jools Holland quits Squeeze.

1983: Singer-songwriter Paul Simon marries actress Carrie Fisher.

1984: Former car maker John DeLorean is cleared of all charges against him at his drug trafficking trial in Los Angeles.

1989: A solar flare creates a geomagnetic storm that affects microchips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto’s stock market.

1992: Williams driver Nigel Mansell finishes second in the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring to clinch the Formula 1 World Drivers Championship.

1993: Death of actor Stewart Granger aged 80.

1997: Blur, The Prodigy, Beck, Foo Fighters, James, Ash and Dodgy appear at the V97 Festival in Chelmsford and Leeds. On the same day Pakistani Qawwali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan dies aged 48.

2001: Paul Burrell, former butler to Princess Diana, is charged with stealing hundreds of items from the Wales household.

2003: Former Ugandan dictator Idi Amin dies in exile in Saudi Arabia. On the same day, US Representative from South Dakota, Bill Janklow, hits and kills a motorcyclist with his car at a rural intersection. He will eventually be convicted of manslaughter and resign from Congress. Also, 18 year-old Cristiano Ronaldo makes his debut for Manchester United in a 4–0 Premier League home victory over Bolton Wanderers.

2004: Flash floods devastate the north Cornwall coastal village of Boscastle. On the same day, Australian swimmer Ian Thorpe wins the men’s 200m freestyle in Olympic record 1:44.71, giving him the 200/400m freestyle double at the Athens Olympics.

2005: Madonna suffers three cracked ribs, a broken collarbone and a broken hand in a horse-riding accident on her and husband Guy Richie’s country estate on the Wiltshire/Dorset border.

2006: Steve McClaren takes charge of his first match as England manager, dropping David Beckham for the friendly against European champions Greece at Old Trafford.

2007: Jazz drummer Max Roach dies aged 82.

2008: Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt sets a new world record of 9.69 seconds to win the 100m gold medal at the Beijing Olympics. On the same day, Rebecca Adlington wraps up the 400/800m freestyle double at the Beijing Olympics with a world record 8:14.10 in the 800, Ben Ainslie convincingly wins the Finn class in the sailing and Bradley Wiggins becomes the first cyclist ever to successfully defend his Olympic title in the individual pursuit. Also, Tom James, Steve Williams, Pete Reed & Andrew Triggs Hodge win the men’s rowing coxless fours for Britain.

2009: Usain Bolt wins the 100m in a world record 9.58s at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin.

2009: Beyonce – I Am.. Sasha Fierce

Album chart:

  1. The Essential – Michael Jackson
  2. I Am.. Sasha Fierce – Beyonce
  3. The End – The Black Eyed Peas
  4. Sunny Side Up – Paolo Nutini
  5. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
  6. Lungs – Florence and the Machine
  7. La Roux – La Roux
  8. The Fame – Lady Gaga
  9. Wild Young Hearts – The Noisettes
  10. West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum – Kasabian

2012: Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is granted political asylum by Ecuador in their embassy in London. On the same day, South African police open fire on striking mine workers, killing at least 34 people,

2016: Wildfire breaks out in San Bernardino County, California, engulfing 15,000 acres, prompting the evacuation of 82,000 people.

2018: Soul legend Aretha Franklin dies aged 76 in Detroit. On the same day, British Columbia, Canada, declares a state of emergency with 566 wildfires burning.

2019: Actor Peter Fonda dies aged 79 and actress Anna Quayle dies aged 86.

BIRTHDAYS: Julie Newmar, actress, 88; Ketty Lester (Revoyda Frierson) singer, 87; Lorraine Gary (Gottfried) actress, 84; Sir Trevor Mcdonald, journalist, 82; John Craven, TV presenter, 81; Bruce Beresford, director, 81; John Challis, actor, 79; Lesley Ann Warren, actress, 75; Eric Bibb, guitarist/singer, 70; James Cameron, director/screenwriter, 67; George Galloway, politician/broadcaster, 67; Hetty Baynes, actress, 65; Tim Farriss, guitarist (INXS) 64; Madonna (Ciccone), singer-songwriter/actress, 63; Angela Bassett, actress, 63; Timothy Hutton, actor, 61; Flood (Marc Ellis) record producer, 61; Saskia Reeves, actress, 60; Steve Carell, actor, 59; Ulrika Jonsson, TV personality, 54; Emily Robison, singer-songwriter (Dixie Chicks) 49; Frankie Boyle, comedian/writer, 49; Taika Waititi, director/writer, 46; Bob Hardy, bassist (Franz Ferdinand) 41; Vanessa Carlton, singer-songwriter, 41; Joleon Lescott, footballer/pundit, 39; Catherine Bohart, comedian, 33; Moussa Sissoko, footballer, 32; Evanna Lynch, actress, 30.