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This Day in U.S. History: April 16


1582 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.

1818 – The United States Senate ratifies the Rush–Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada.

1862 – American Civil War: Battle at Lee's Mills in Virginia.

1862 – American Civil War: The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, becomes law.

1863 – American Civil War: During the Siege of Vicksburg, gunboats commanded by Acting Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter run downriver past Confederate artillery batteries at Vicksburg.

1881 – In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.

1908 – Natural Bridges National Monument is established in Utah.

1910 – The oldest existing indoor ice hockey arena still used for the sport in the 21st century, Boston Arena, opens for the first time.

1940 – Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1–0.

1945 – World War II: The Red Army begins the final assault on German forces around Berlin, with nearly one million troops fighting in the Battle of the Seelow Heights.

1945 – The United States Army liberates Nazi Sonderlager (high security) prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).

1947 – Texas City disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600.

1947 – Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

1962 – Walter Cronkite takes over as the lead news anchor of the CBS Evening News, during which time he would become "the most trusted man in America".

1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.

1972 – Apollo program: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1990 – The "Doctor of Death", Jack Kevorkian, participates in his first assisted suicide.

2007 – Virginia Tech shooting: Seung-Hui Cho guns down 32 people and injures 17 before committing suicide.

2012 – The Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, it was the first time since 1977 that no book won the Fiction Prize.


1867 – Wilbur Wright, American inventor (d. 1912)

1882 – Seth Bingham, American organist and composer (d. 1972)

1886 – Margaret Woodrow Wilson, American daughter of Woodrow Wilson (d. 1944)

1890 – Gertrude Chandler Warner, American author and educator (d. 1979)

1891 – Dorothy P. Lathrop, American author and illustrator (d. 1980)

1892 – Howard Mumford Jones, American author, critic, and academic (d. 1980)

1896 – Robert Henry Best, American journalist (d. 1952)

1924 – Henry Mancini, American composer and conductor (d. 1994)

1924 – Rudy Pompilli, American saxophonist (Bill Haley & His Comets) (d. 1976)

1930 – Herbie Mann, American flute player and composer (d. 2003)

1935 – Bobby Vinton, American singer

1946 – Margot Adler, American journalist and author (d. 2014)

1947 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, American basketball player and coach

1960 – Jeffrey Buszta, South High School A.P. U.S. History Teacher


1859 – Alexis de Tocqueville, French historian and philosopher, (b. 1805)

1914 – George William Hill, American astronomer and mathematician (b. 1838)

1915 – Nelson W. Aldrich, American businessman and politician (b. 1841)

1946 – Arthur Chevrolet, Swiss-American race car driver and engineer (b. 1884)

1947 – Rudolf Höss, German SS officer (b. 1900)

1961 – Carl Hovland, American psychologist and academic (b. 1912)

1994 – Ralph Ellison, American novelist and critic (b. 1913)

2002 – Ruth Fertel, American businesswoman, founded Ruth's Chris Steak House (b. 1927)

2008 – Edward Norton Lorenz, American mathematician and meteorologist (b. 1917)

2010 – Daryl Gates, American police officer, created the D.A.R.E. Program (b. 1926)

2013 – George Horse Capture, American anthropologist and author (b. 1937)

2013 – Pat Summerall, American football player and sportscaster (b. 1930)