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This Day in History: September 16


1620 – Pilgrims set sail from England on the Mayflower.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Harlem Heights is fought.

1779 – American Revolutionary War: The Franco-American Siege of Savannah begins.

1863 – Robert College of Istanbul-Turkey, the first American educational institution outside the United States, is founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1880 – The Cornell Daily Sun prints its first issue in Ithaca, New York. The Sun is the nation's oldest, continuously-independent college daily.

1893 – Settlers make a land run for prime land in the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma.

1908 – The General Motors Corporation is founded.

1919 – The American Legion is incorporated.

1920 – The Wall Street bombing: A bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City killing 38 and injuring 400.

1943 – World War II: The Allied invasion of Italy concludes when Heinrich von Vietinghoff, commander of the German Tenth Army, orders his troops to withdraw from Salerno.

1945 – World War II: The surrender of the Japanese troops in Hong Kong is accepted by Royal Navy Admiral Sir Cecil Harcourt.

1959 – The first successful photocopier, the Xerox 914, is introduced in a demonstration on live television from New York City.

1961 – The United States National Hurricane Research Project drops eight cylinders of silver iodide into the eyewall of Hurricane Esther. Wind speed reduces by 10%, giving rise to Project Stormfury.

1966 – The Metropolitan Opera House opens at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber's opera Antony and Cleopatra.

1992 – The trial of the deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega ends in the United States with a 40-year sentence for drug trafficking and money laundering.

2013 – A gunman kills twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.


1838 – James J. Hill, Canadian-American railroad executive (d. 1916)

1875 – James Cash Penney, American businessman and philanthropist, founded J. C. Penney (d. 1971)

1877 – Jacob Schick, American-Canadian inventor and businessman, founded Schick Razors (d. 1937)

1898 – H. A. Rey, American author and illustrator, co-created Curious George (d. 1977)

1914 – Allen Funt, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1999)

1925 – B.B. King, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer (d. 2015)

1927 – Peter Falk, American actor (d. 2011)

1950 – Henry Louis Gates, Jr., American historian, scholar, and journalist

1956 – David Copperfield, American magician and actor


1672 – Anne Bradstreet, English-American poet (b. 1612)

1819 – John Jeffries, American physician and surgeon (b. 1744)

1977 – Maria Callas, American-Greek soprano and actress (b. 1923)

1992 – Millicent Fenwick, American journalist and politician (b. 1910)

1996 – McGeorge Bundy, American intelligence officer and diplomat, 6th United States National Security Advisor (b. 1919)

2016     Edward Albee, American playwright (b. 1928)