It happened today – this day in history – September 16

1498: Tomas de Torquemada, Castilian Grand Inquisitor during Spanish Inquisition, dies aged 77.

1630: The Massachusetts village of Shawmut changes its name to Boston.

1654: Russian troops occupy Smolensk.

1701: James Francis Edward Stuart “The Old Pretender”, becomes the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland on the death of his father James II.

1736: Daniel Gabriel Farenheit, inventor of the thermometer and the Fahrenheit scale, dies at 50.

1795: The British capture Capetown, South Africa, from the Dutch.

1824: Death of Louis XVIII of France.

1848: Slavery is abolished in all French territories.

1859: Lake Nyasa is discovered by explorer David Livingstone.

1915: The US takes control of customs and finances of Haiti for 10 years.

1920: A bomb in horse-drawn wagon explodes on Wall Street, New York, killing 38 and injuring 143.

1938: Captain George Eyston sets the world auto speed record at 357.5mph.

1941: German armoured troops surround Kiev in Ukraine. On the same day, Adolf Hitler orders that for every dead German, 100 Yugoslavs should be killed and Jews of Vilna Poland are confined to a ghetto.

1947: John Cobb sets the world auto speed record at 394.2mph.

1950: The Viet Minh launch an offensive against French bases in Vietnam.

1963: Malaysia is formed by Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

1966: The Metropolitan Opera House opens in the Lincoln Center, New York.

1968: The two-tier postal system is introduced in Britain.

1971: West German chancellor Willy Brandt meets with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.

1974: US President Gerald Ford announces a conditional amnesty for US Vietnam War deserters. On the same day, US General Alexander Haig Jr. becomes NATO supreme commander in Europe.

1975: Papua New Guinea gains independence from Australia.

1977: T. Rex star Marc Bolan is killed instantly when the car driven by his wife, singer Gloria Jones, hits a tree in Barnes, south London. On the same day, opera diva Maria Callas dies in Paris aged 53.

1978: An earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Richter scale hits south-east Iran demolishing a major city and dozens of surrounding villages, killing thousands. On the same day, filming begins in Tunisia on Monty Python’s Life of Brian.

1979: Coup in Afghanistan under Hafizullah Amin.

Singles chart:

  1. Cars – Gary Numan
  2. We Don’t Talk Anymore – Cliff Richard
  3. Don’t Bring Me Down – ELO
  4. If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me – The Bellamy Brothers
  5. Love’s Gotta Hold On Me – Dollar
  6. Street Life – The Crusaders
  7. Bang Bang – B A Robertson
  8. Message In A Bottle – The Police
  9. Just When I Needed You Most – Randy Vanwarmer
  10. Angel Eyes – Roxy Music
1979: Gary Numan – The Pleasure Principle

Albums chart:

  1. The Pleasure Principle – Gary Numan
  2. In Through The Out Door – Led Zeppelin
  3. Rock n Roll Juvenile – Cliff Richard
  4. Discovery – ELO
  5. Slow Train Coming – Bob Dylan
  6. String Of Hits – The Shadows
  7. I Am – Earth Wind and Fire
  8. Parallel Lines – Blondie
  9. The Best Disco Album In The World – Various Artists
  10. Voulez Vous – ABBA

1986: A lethal fire in a South African gold mine kills at least 177 miners.

1988: Singer Fish leaves Marillion.

1992: The government suspends Britain’s membership of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism as a last resort to save the falling pound.

2000: “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” directed by Ang Lee wins the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.

2008: Motown songwriter Norman Whitfield dies aged 68.

2009: Mary Travers from Folk trio Peter, Paul And Mary, passed away after suffering from leukemia for several years. She was 72.

2012: Eight female civilians are killed by a NATO airstrike in Laghman, Afghanistan.

2013: Paul Kagame wins the Rwandan presidential elections by a landslide.

2015: President of Burkina Faso, Michel Kafando and other officials are seized by presidential guards in a military coup.

2016: Playwright Edward Albee dies aged 88.

2017: Singer Charlotte Church marries musician Jonny Powell in Cardiff.

2019: Personal data on every Ecuadorean citizen is discovered online on an unsecured cloud server.

BIRTHDAYS: Bernie Calvert, bassist (The Hollies) 78; Russ Abbot (Roberts) comedian, 73; Kenney Jones, drummer (The Small Faces/The Faces/The Who) 72; Rosemary Casals, tennis star, 72; Ed Begley Jr, actor, 71; Susan Ruttan, actress, 71; Loyd Grossman, TV presenter, 70; Mickey Rourke, actor, 68; Earl Klugh, jazz guitarist, 67; Colin Newman, guitarist/singer/songwriter (Wire) 66; Janet Ellis, TV presenter, 65; David Copperfield (Kotkin), magician, 64; Jennifer Tilly, actress, 62; Neville Southall, goalkeeper, 62; Richard Marx, singer-songwriter, 57; Molly Shannon, actress, 56; Justine Frischmann, guitar/vocals (Elastica) 51; Amy Poehler, comedian/writer/actress, 49; Tina Barrett, singer (S Club 7) 44; Flo Rida (Tramar Lacel Dillard), rapper, 41; Alexis Bledel, actress, 39; Katie Melua, singer-songwriter, 36; Nick Jonas, singer-songwriter, 28.

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]