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On February 16th...
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600 Pope Gregory the Great decreed that saying "God bless You" is the correct response to a sneeze.
1659 The first known check was written (for £400, in England).
1804 Lieutenant Stephen Decatur raided Tripoli Harbor and burned the Navy frigate Philadelphia.
1838 Kentucky passed a
law permitting women to attend school, under certain
1840 Charles Wilkes discovered Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica.
1852 Studebaker Brothers wagon company was established.
1857 National Deaf Mute College (now Gallaudet University) was established.
1859 The French Government passed a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.
1864 The Battle of Mobile (Alabama) was fought.
1868 The Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks was founded in New York City.
1878 The silver dollar became legal U.S. tender.
1880 The American Society of Mechanical Engineers was founded in New York City.
1883 Ladies Home Journal began publication.
1886 Historian Van Wyck Brooks was born.
1893 Actress Katharine Cornell was born.
1889 French President Félix Faure died.
1900 The Montreal Shamrocks defeated the Winnipeg Victorias for the Stanley Cup.
1903 Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen was born.
1909 The first subway
car with side doors went into service in New York City.
1914 The first airplane flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco was flown.
1918 Lithuania declared its independence from Russia and Germany.
1928 Singer Eddie Foy died.
1932 James Markham received a patent for a peach tree, the first ever patent to be awarded for a tree.
1935 Singer Sonny Bono was born.
1937 DuPont Corporation patented nylon.
1938 The U.S. Federal Crop Insurance program was authorized by Congress.
1941 North Korean President Kim Jong Il was born.
1942 Japanese soldiers machine-gunned 22 Australian Army nurses and 60 Australian and British soldiers and crew members from two sunken ships on Bangka Island.
forces landed on Corregidor.
1946 The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
1948 The first newsreel telecast, "20th Century Fox-Movietone News," was shown on NBC.
"What's My Line?" premiered on CBS-TV.
York City passed a law prohibiting racism in
1953 Businessman James L. Kraft died.
1955 Actress Margaux Hemingway was born.
1956 Great Britain abolished the death penalty.
1957 Actor LeVar Burton was born.
1958 Rapper Ice-T was born.
1959 Fidel Castro became Premier of Cuba.
1960 The U.S. nuclear submarine USS Triton embarked on an underwater round-the-world voyage.
China activated its first nuclear reactor.
1966 France conducted an underground nuclear test at Ecker, Algeria.
1968 The first 911 system went into operation in Haleyville, Alabama.
1970 Joe Frazier TKO'd Jimmy Ellis in the 5th round for the heavyweight boxing title.
1972 Wilt Chamberlain hit the 30,000 career points mark during a game with the Phoenix Suns.
1974 John C. Garand, inventor of the M-1 rifle, died.
1975 Benny Parsons won the Daytona 500.
1982 Agatha Barbara was elected as the first female president of Malta.
1986 Mário Soares was
elected the first civilian President of Portugal.
Goodyear began painting its blimps yellow and blue.
1994 A magnitude 6.5 earthquake killed about 200 people in Sumatra.
1996 American politician Pat Brown died.
1997 Jeff Gordon became the youngest driver to win the Daytona 500, he was 25.
2003 Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500.
2012 Baseball player Gary Carter died.
2013 A bombing in a
Hazara Town, Pakistan, market killed 84 persons and
2016 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary General of the United Nations, died.
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This page was last updated on February 15, 2018.