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 a horse-drawn wagon explodes on Wall Street, New York, killing 38 and injuring 143.

1937: Highbury hosts the first live TV broadcast of a football match to test the technology of the time – Arsenal playing Arsenal Reserves in a match arranged for the cameras.

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.

1965: Singles chart:

  1. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  2. I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher
  3. Make It Easy On Yourself – The Walker Brothers
  4. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
  5. Look Through Any Window – The Hollies
  6. A Walk In The Black Forest – Horst Jankowski
  7. Tears – Ken Dodd
  8. Help! – The Beatles
  9. Laugh At Me – Sonny
  10. Zorba’s Dance – Marcello Minerbi

1966: The Metropolitan Opera House opens in New York.

1967: Working at EMI Studios in Abbey Road, The Beatles record 11 takes of Your Mother Should Know, giving the song a stronger beat. But this version is discarded in favour of the original recording.

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

1970: Jimi Hendrix joins Eric Burdon on stage at Ronnie Scotts in London for what would be the guitarist’s last public appearance.

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


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1972: The Arsenal v Liverpool game is on the verge of being abandoned when linesman Dennis Drewitt, suffers torn knee ligaments and is unable to continue. An appeal is made to the crowd for a qualified referee to step forward and cover the line. Up steps BBC presenter Jimmy Hill and the match is saved. On the same day, Wishbone Ash, Family, Steppenwolf, Slade and Uriah Heep appear at the Buxton Festival in Derbyshire.

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 aged 29 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.

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

1988: Singer Fish leaves Marillion. On the same day, former Clash drummer Nicky “Topper” Headon is released from jail after serving 10 months of a 15-month sentence on a narcotics charge.

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

1998; At a Sotheby’s auction a notebook belonging to former Beatles roadie Mal Evans containing the lyrics to Hey Jude sells for £111,500

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

2004: Weather Girls singer Izora Armstead dies aged 62 of heart failure.

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.

2016: K T Tunstall – Kin

Album chart:

  1. Wild World – Bastille
  2. Skeleton Tree – Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
  3. Live At The Hollywood Bowl – The Beatles
  4. Braver Than We Are – Meat Loaf
  5. Cartwheels – Ward Thomas
  6. The Nation’s Favourite Carpenters Songs – The Carpenters
  7. Kin – K T Tunstall
  8. Views – Drake
  9. GLA – Twin Atlantic
  10. Here – Teenage Fanclub

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: Russ Abbot (Roberts) comedian, 74; Kenney Jones, drummer (The Small Faces/The Faces/The Who) 73; Rosemary Casals, tennis star, 73; Ed Begley Jr, actor, 72; Susan Ruttan, actress, 72; Loyd Grossman, TV presenter, 71; Mickey Rourke, actor, 69; Earl Klugh, jazz guitarist, 68; Colin Newman, guitarist/singer/songwriter (Wire) 67; Janet Ellis, TV presenter, 66; David Copperfield (Kotkin), magician, 65; Jennifer Tilly, actress, 63; Neville Southall, goalkeeper, 63; Richard Marx, singer-songwriter, 58; Molly Shannon, actress, 57; Justine Frischmann, guitar/vocals (Elastica) 52; Amy Poehler, comedian/writer/actress, 50; Tina Barrett, singer (S Club 7) 45; Flo Rida (Tramar Lacel Dillard), rapper, 42; Alexis Bledel, actress, 40; Katie Melua, singer-songwriter, 37; Nick Jonas, singer-songwriter, 29.