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This Day in History: February 16

Events

1804 – First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia.

1852 – Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.

1862 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee.

1874 – Silver Dollar becomes legal US tender.

1933 – The Blaine Act ends Prohibition in the United States.

1937 – Wallace H. Carothers receives a United States patent for nylon.

1945 – World War II: American forces land on Corregidor Island in the Philippines.

1959 – Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.

1960 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Triton begins Operation Sandblast, setting sail from New London, Connecticut, to begin the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

1961 – Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) is launched.

1961 – The DuSable Museum of African American History is chartered.

1968 – In Haleyville, Alabama, the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.

1978 – The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago).

1987 – The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem.

2005 – The National Hockey League cancels the entire 2004–2005 regular season and playoffs.

2006 – The last Mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army.

Births

1812 – Henry Wilson, American colonel and politician, 18th Vice President of the United States (d. 1875)

1838 – Henry Adams, American journalist, historian, and author (d. 1918)

1843 – Henry M. Leland, American engineer and businessman, founded Cadillac and Lincoln (d. 1932)

1845 – George Kennan, American journalist and explorer (d. 1924)

1856 – Ossian Everett Mills, American academic, founded Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia (d. 1920)

1903 – Edgar Bergen, American ventriloquist and actor (d. 1978)

1909 – Richard McDonald, American businessman, co-founded McDonald's (d. 1998)

1954 – Margaux Hemingway, American model and actress (d. 1996)

1957 – LeVar Burton, German-American actor, director, and producer

1958 – Ice-T, American rapper and actor

Deaths

2001 – William Masters, American gynecologist and sexologist (b. 1915)

2012 – Gary Carter, American baseball player and coach (b. 1954)

2015 – Lesley Gore, American singer-songwriter (b. 1946)