April 16th in History

Harriet Quimby (Photo: George Grantham Bain, LC cph.3a17324)

Today in History

  • Masada falls to the Romans (73)
  • The first passenger rail opens in India (1853)
  • Slavery ends in the District of Columbia (1862)
  • Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle (1881)
  • Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel (1912)
  • Walter Cronkite becomes anchor of the CBS Evening News (1962)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., writes “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (1963)
  • Apollo 16 takes off (1972)
  • Dr. Jack Kevorkian participates in his first assisted suicide (1990)
  • The Virginia Tech massacre takes place (2007)

Birthdays

  • Anatole France, writer (1844)
  • Wilbur Wright, aviator (1967)
  • John Millington Synge, poet and playwright (1871)
  • Charlie Chaplin, filmmaker (1889)
  • Fifi D’Orsay, actress (1904)
  • Guy Burgess, spy (1911)
  • Barry Nelson, actor (1917)
  • Spike Milligan, comedian (1918)
  • Merce Cunningham, choreographer (1919)
  • Peter Ustinov, actor, director, screenwriter (1921)
  • Kingsley Amis, author (1922)
  • John Christopher, author (1922)
  • Henry Mancini, composer (1924)
  • Edie Adams, actress and singer (1927)
  • Benedict XVI, pope (1927)
  • Dick Lane, football player (1927)
  • Herbie Mann, flautist (1930)
  • Bobby Vinton, singer (1935)
  • Dusty Springfield, singer (1939)
  • Margrethe II, Danish monarch (1940)
  • Margot Adler, journalist (1946)
  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, basketball player (1947)
  • Gerry Rafferty, singer-songwriter (1947)
  • Ellen Barkin, actress (1954)
  • Jon Cryer, actor (1965)
  • Selena, singer-songwriter (1971)

Deaths

  • Jacques Cassini, astronomer (1756)
  • Francisco Goya, painter (1828)
  • Marie Tussaud, wax sculptor (1850)
  • Alexis de Tocqueville, historian (1859)
  • Edna Ferber, author (1968)
  • 石川 馨 (Kaoru Ishikawa), management theorist (1989)
  • David Lean, filmmaker (1991)
  • Ralph Ellison, invisible man (1994)
  • Robert Urich, actor (2002)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Emancipation Day (District of Columbia)
  • National Eggs Benedict Day (US food holidays)
  • National Bookmobile Day (US)
  • Save the Elephant Day (Worldwide)
  • World Voice Day (International)
Informal and made-up holidays include National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day.
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April 16 is the 106th day of the year (107th in leap years). There are 259 days remaining until the end of the year.