June 16th in History

Cosmonaut Валенти́на Терешко́ва (Valentina Tereshkova) becomes the first woman in space, June 16, 1963

Today in History

  • Wars of the Roses: The Battle of Stoke Field, the last battle of the war, takes place (1487)
  • Mary, Queen of Scots, recognizes Philip II of Spain as her heir and successor (1586)
  • Lord Byron reads a ghost story to his houseguests, inspiring Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and John Polidori’s The Vampyre (1816)
  • Abraham Lincoln says, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” (1858)
  • The US annexes the Republic of Hawaii (1897)
  • Ford Motor Company is incorporated (1903)
  • Bloomsday: The events in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses take place in Dublin (1904)
  • IBM (originally the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company) is founded (1911)
  • African-American 14-year old George Stinney, Jr., becomes the youngest person executed in the US in the 20th century, although no physical evidence existed to tie him to the murders for which he was convicted (1944)
  • Рудо́льф Нуре́ев (Rudolf Nureyev) defects from the Soviet Union (1961
  • Cosmonaut Валенти́на Терешко́ва (Valentina Tereshkova) becomes the first woman in space (1963)


  • Edward Davy, inventor (1806)
  • Old Tom Morris, golfer (1821)
  • Geronimo, Native American tribal leader (1829)
  • Stan Laurel, actor, Oliver Hardy partner (1890)
  • Murray Leinster, science fiction writer (1896)
  • Jack Albertson, actor (1907)
  • Hank Luisetti, basketball player (1916)
  • Katharine Graham, Washington Post publisher (1917)
  • Joyce Carol Oates, author (1938)
  • Billy “Crash” Craddock, rockabilly singer (1939)
  • Joan Van Ark, actress (1943)
  • Ron LeFlore, baseball player (1948)
  • Roberto Durán, boxer (1951)
  • Laurie Metcalf, actress (1955)
  • Ultimate Warrior, wrestler (1959)
  • Phil Mickelson, golfter (1970)
  • Tupac Shakur, rapper (1971)
  • John Cho, actor (1972)


  • Ernst Schröder, mathematician and logician (1902)
  • Ezra Fitch, retailer, Abercrombie & Fitch co-founder (1930)
  • Elmer Sperry, co-inventor of the gyrocompass (1930)
  • Chick Webb, drummer and bandleader (1939)
  • DuBose Heyward, author (1940)
  • George Reeves, actor, TV Superman (1959)
  • Brian Piccolo, football player (1970)
  • Wernher von Braun, rocket designer (1977)
  • Mel Allen, sportscaster (1996)

Holidays and Celebrations

  • Bloomsday (Dublin, James Joyce fans)
  • Chelum (Pakistan)
  • Constitution Day (Iceland)
  • Day of the Rat (Vietnamese Buddhists)
  • Feast of the Madonna (Italy)
  • Imre Nagy Day (Hungary)
  • International Day of the African Child (Organization of African Unity)
  • Martyrdom of  ਗੁਰੂ ਅਰਜਨ  (Guru Arjan Dev) (Sikhism)
  • Night of the Tear-Drop (Egypt)
  • Soweto Day (United Nations)
  • Sussex Day (Sussex, England)
  • Youth Day (South Africa)
Informal and made-up holidays include Fairies’ Day of Third-Hand Reports and Shaky Evidence, Geronimo Day, National Fudge Day, National Hollering Day, National Mortician’s Day, Scrubwomen Tea Party Day, Wish Fulfillment Day, and Woodchopper’s Jamboree.


June 16 is the 167th day of the year (168th in leap years). There are 198 days remaining until the end of the year.