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This Day in History: August 16


1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Americans led by General John Stark rout British and Brunswick troops under Friedrich Baum at the Battle of Bennington in Walloomsac, New York.

1780 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Camden: The British defeat the Americans near Camden, South Carolina.

1812 – War of 1812: American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit without a fight to the British Army.

1841 – U.S. President John Tyler vetoes a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Enraged Whig Party members riot outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in U.S. history.

1858 – U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.

1920 – Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians is hit on the head by a fastball thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, and dies early the next day. Chapman was the second player to die from injuries sustained in a Major League Baseball game, the first being Doc Powers in 1909.

1927 – The Dole Air Race begins from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, during which six out of the eight participating planes crash or disappear.

1930 – The first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, is made by Ub Iwerks.

1942 – World War II: The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears without a trace on a routine anti-submarine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crash-lands in Daly City, California.

1954 – The first issue of Sports Illustrated is published.

1964 – Vietnam War: A coup d'état replaces Dương Văn Minh with General Nguyễn Khánh as President of South Vietnam. A new constitution is established with aid from the U.S. Embassy.

1966 – Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong. The committee intends to introduce legislation making these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 people are arrested.

1987 – Northwest Airlines Flight 255 a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 crashes after take off in Detroit, Michigan, killing 154 of the 155 on board, plus two people on the ground.

2008 – The Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is topped off at 1,389 feet (423 m), at the time becoming the world's highest residence above ground-level.


1862 – Amos Alonzo Stagg, American baseball player and coach (d. 1965)

1892 – Otto Messmer, American cartoonist and animator, co-created Felix the Cat (d. 1983)

1894 – George Meany, American plumber and labor leader (d. 1980)

1908 – William Keepers Maxwell, Jr., American author (d. 2000)

1929 – Fritz Von Erich, American wrestler and trainer (d. 1997)

1930 – Frank Gifford, American football player, sportscaster, and actor (d. 2015)

1933 – Stuart Roosa, American colonel, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1994)

1947 – Carol Moseley Braun, American lawyer and politician, United States Ambassador to New Zealand

1953 – Kathie Lee Gifford, American talk show host, singer, and actress

1958 – Madonna, American singer-songwriter, producer, actress, and director

1970 – Bonnie Bernstein, American journalist and sportscaster

1971 – Rulon Gardner, American wrestler and mixed martial artist


1888 – John Pemberton, American pharmacist and chemist, invented Coca-Cola (b. 1831)

1945 – Takijirō Ōnishi, Japanese admiral (b. 1891)

1948 – Babe Ruth, American baseball player and coach (b. 1895)

1949 – Margaret Mitchell, American journalist and author (b. 1900)

1956 – Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-American actor (b. 1882)

1957 – Irving Langmuir, American chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1881)

1959 – William Halsey, Jr., American admiral (b. 1882)

1977 – Elvis Presley, American singer, guitarist, and actor  (b. 1935)

1998 – Phil Leeds, American actor (b. 1916)

1998 – Dorothy West, American journalist and author (b. 1907)