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On This Day In History - April 16

By CM Chaney · April 16, 2024

On This Day In History - April 16

"On This Day in History" is a captivating journey through time, revisiting the most significant events that have occurred on this very date throughout the years.

From monumental political decisions and groundbreaking scientific discoveries to unforgettable moments in sports and cultural milestones, each article in this series will transport you back to a specific day, offering a glimpse into the past and revealing how these events have shaped our world.

Join us as we uncover the fascinating stories that have left an indelible mark on history.  Wikimedia

1646: Versailles Palace Architect Born in Paris

Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the renowned architect responsible for redesigning and expanding the iconic Palace of Versailles, was born on this day in Paris.

His contributions to the palace's architecture helped transform it into a symbol of French grandeur and power, solidifying his place as one of the most influential architects in history.  Wikimedia/King of Hearts

1746: Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite Rebellion Crushed at Culloden

The Battle of Culloden marked the end of the Jacobite uprising led by Charles Edward Stuart, known as Bonnie Prince Charlie, in his attempt to restore the Stuart dynasty to the English throne.

The English army emerged victorious, decisively defeating the Scottish force and quashing the Jacobite rebellion, solidifying the Hanoverian rule over Great Britain.  Wikimedia/William Mosman

1755: Renowned Marie-Antoinette Portrait Artist Born

Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, the talented French painter celebrated for her exquisite portraits of Queen Marie-Antoinette, was born on this day in Paris.

Her artistic skills and close relationship with the queen made her one of the most sought-after portraitists of her time, leaving an indelible mark on the world of art and French history.  Wikimedia/Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun

1838: Pastry Shop Dispute Sparks French Occupation of Veracruz

In a surprising turn of events, French forces seized the Mexican city of Veracruz during the Pastry War, a conflict that originated from a seemingly trivial incident.

A French pastry chef near Mexico City alleged that his restaurant had been vandalized by Mexican army officers, leading to a full-scale military response from France.  Wikimedia/Horace Vernet

1908: Natural Bridges National Monument Officially Established

On this day, the U.S. government formally designated Natural Bridges National Monument in southeastern Utah.

The monument, known for its stunning natural sandstone bridges formed by centuries of erosion, aims to protect and preserve these unique geological features for future generations to enjoy, while also providing opportunities for scientific study and public appreciation.  Wikimedia/Tobias

1912: Harriet Quimby: First Woman to Fly Across the English Channel

American aviator Harriet Quimby made history on this day in 1912 by becoming the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel.

Despite challenging weather conditions, Quimby skillfully piloted her French Blériot monoplane from Dover, England, to Hardelot, France, cementing her place as a pioneer in aviation and an inspiration for generations of female pilots.  Wikimedia/George Grantham Bain Collection

1917: Lenin Returns to Russia, Forms Provisional Government

After 17 years in exile, Vladimir Lenin returned to Russia on this day, determined to shape the country's future.

Seizing the opportunity presented by the political instability, Lenin quickly formed a provisional government, setting the stage for the Bolshevik Revolution that would soon transform Russia and establish the world's first communist state.  Wikimedia

1922: Kingsley Amis, Creator of Iconic Comic Character, Born

On this day, British author Kingsley Amis was born.

His debut novel, "Lucky Jim" (1954), introduced a comedic protagonist that quickly became a cultural icon in 1950s Great Britain.

Amis's witty and satirical writing style, exemplified by the novel's unforgettable character, solidified his reputation as one of the most influential British authors of his generation.  Wikimedia/Godfrey Argent

1943: Albert Hofmann Uncovers LSD's Psychedelic Effects

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann made a groundbreaking discovery on this day when he experienced the psychedelic properties of LSD, a drug he had first synthesized in 1938.

This serendipitous finding revolutionized the field of psychopharmacology and sparked a new era of research into the potential therapeutic and mind-altering effects of psychedelic substances.  Wikimedia/Philip H. Bailey

1947: NBA Legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Born

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, was born on this day.

The American center went on to win five NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s, cementing his legacy as a dominant force on the court and an icon of the sport.  Wikimedia/U.S. Department of State

1948: 16 European Nations Unite to Form OEEC, Rebuilding Post-WWII Economy

In the aftermath of World War II, 16 European countries came together to establish the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation (OEEC) with the goal of revitalizing Europe's war-torn economy.

This collaborative effort laid the foundation for economic recovery and cooperation, eventually evolving into the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  Wikimedia/cflm

1962: Walter Cronkite Takes Helm as CBS Evening News Anchor

On this day, American journalist Walter Cronkite assumed the role of anchor for the CBS Evening News.

Over the course of his nearly two-decade tenure, Cronkite's credibility, integrity, and trustworthy reporting earned him the title "the most trusted man in America," solidifying his status as an icon in broadcast journalism.  Wikimedia/Bernard Gotfryd

2003: Basketball Icon Michael Jordan Plays Final NBA Game

Michael Jordan, widely considered the greatest basketball player of all time, played his last game in the NBA at the age of 40.

With an unparalleled career that redefined the sport, Jordan's final appearance on the court marked the end of an era, cementing his legacy as a true icon in the world of basketball.  Wikimedia/Steve Lipofsky

2007: Virginia Tech Massacre: 33 Dead in Tragic Campus Shooting

On this day, a devastating mass shooting occurred at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, claiming the lives of 32 individuals and the shooter.

The tragic event, which unfolded on the university campus, marked one of the deadliest mass shootings in United States history, forever impacting the lives of countless students, faculty, and families.  Wikimedia/

2014: South Korean Ferry Sewol Sinks, 304 Mostly High Schoolers Perish

Tragedy struck as the South Korean ferry Sewol, carrying passengers from Inch'ŏn to Cheju, capsized and sank on this day.

The devastating incident claimed the lives of 304 people, the majority of whom were high school students, leaving the nation in mourning and prompting calls for improved safety measures in the maritime industry.  Wikimedia/jinjoo2713