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This Day in History: June 16


1755 – French and Indian War: The French surrender Fort Beauséjour to the British, leading to the expulsion of the Acadians.

1774 – Foundation of Harrodsburg, Kentucky.

1858 – Abraham Lincoln delivers his House Divided speech in Springfield, Illinois.

1884 – The first purpose-built roller coaster, LaMarcus Adna Thompson's "Switchback Railway", opens in New York's Coney Island amusement park.

1897 – A treaty annexing the Republic of Hawaii to the United States is signed; the Republic would not be dissolved until a year later.

1903 – The Ford Motor Company is incorporated.

1911 – IBM founded as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in Endicott, New York.

1911 – A 772 gram stony meteorite strikes the earth near Kilbourn, Wisconsin damaging a barn.

1933 – The National Industrial Recovery Act is passed.

1944 – At age 14, George Junius Stinney, Jr. becomes the youngest person executed in the United States in the 20th century.

1963 – Soviet Space Program: Vostok 6 Mission: Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space.

1967 – The Monterey Pop Festival begins

1977 – Oracle Corporation is incorporated in Redwood Shores, California, as Software Development Laboratories (SDL) by Larry Ellison, Bob Miner and Ed Oates.

1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan awards the Congressional Gold Medal to Ken Taylor, Canada's former ambassador to Iran, for helping six Americans escape from Iran during the hostage crisis of 1979-81; he is the first foreign citizen bestowed the honor.

2012 – The United States Air Force's robotic Boeing X-37B spaceplane returns to Earth after a classified 469-day orbital mission.


1829 – Geronimo, American tribal leader (d. 1909)

1838 – Cushman Kellogg Davis, American lieutenant and politician, 7th Governor of Minnesota (d. 1900)

1888 – Peter Stoner, American mathematician and astronomer (d. 1980)

1890 – Stan Laurel, English-American actor, singer, director, and screenwriter (d. 1965)

1902 – Barbara McClintock, American geneticist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1992)

1917 – Katharine Graham, American publisher (d. 2001)

1937 – Erich Segal, American author and screenwriter (d. 2010)

1938 – Joyce Carol Oates, American novelist, short story writer, critic, and poet

1941 – Lamont Dozier, American songwriter and producer

1946 – Rick Adelman, American basketball player and coach

1947 – Tom Malone, American trombonist, composer, and producer (The Blues Brothers and CBS Orchestra)

1959 – The Ultimate Warrior, American wrestler (d. 2014)

1963 – Deb Caletti, American author

1970 – Phil Mickelson, American golfer

1971 – Tupac Shakur, American rapper, producer, and actor (Digital Underground, Outlawz, and Thug Life) (d. 1996)

1982 – Matt Costa, American singer-songwriter and guitarist


1792 – Benjamin Tupper, American general and surveyor (b. 1738)

1881 – Marie Laveau, American voodoo practitioner (b. 1801)

1925 – Emmett Hardy, American cornet player (New Orleans Rhythm Kings) (b. 1903)

1929 – Vernon Louis Parrington, American historian and scholar (b. 1871)

1930 – Ezra Fitch, American lawyer and businessman, co-founded Abercrombie & Fitch (b. 1866)

1930 – Elmer Ambrose Sperry, American inventor, co-invented the gyrocompass (b. 1860)

1939 – Chick Webb, American drummer and bandleader (b. 1905)

1959 – George Reeves, American actor and director (b. 1914)

1970 – Brian Piccolo, American football player (b. 1943)

1977 – Wernher von Braun, German-American physicist and engineer (b. 1912)

1996 – Mel Allen, American sportscaster and game show host (b. 1913)

2014 – Tony Gwynn, American baseball player and coach (b. 1960)