Today's History Trivia for August 16
1994 First Smartphone IBM's "Simon Personal Communicator" goes on sale to the public by BellSouth Cellular. It combined a mobile phone and PDA allowing the user to make and receive telephone calls, facsimiles, emails and pages. It also included a calendar, address book, notepad, maps, stocks, and news.
1977 Death of Elvis Presley "The King of Rock 'n' Roll" is found unresponsive on his bathroom floor. His death has been attributed to a possible combination of an enlarged heart and prescription drugs. In the first eight months of 1977, Elvis had been prescribed more than 10,000 doses of sedatives, amphetamines, and narcotics. An autopsy showed he was chronically ill with diabetes, glaucoma, and constipation. It is believed that straining on the toilet may have induced a heart attack. His chronic constipation was probably due to a combination of drugs and diet.
1920 First Major-League Baseball Player Mortally Wounded During a Game Ray Chapman (short stop, Cleveland Indians) is hit by a pitch and dies early the next morning. Chapman had led the American League in runs scored and walks in 1918.
1985 Madonna marries Sean Penn.
1984 John DeLorean The auto manufacturer is acquitted of charges of possession of 59 pounds of cocaine with intent to distribute.
1962 The Beatles Drummer Pete Best is dropped from the group. He would be replaced by Ringo Starr.
1954 First issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.
1861 Civil War Pres. Lincoln declares the inhabitants of 11 southern states in insurrection.
1858 First transatlantic telegraph message Pres. Buchanan to Queen Victoria of England - "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and good will towards men."
1812 General Hull surrenders Detroit to the British without firing a shot, during the War of 1812.
1619 Slavery First slaves arrive in Virginia.
Today's Birthdays for August 16
Mariya Vasilyevna Oktyabrskaya
Soviet tank driver. When she learned her husband had been killed fighting the Germans during WWII she sold all of her possessions and bought a tank for the Red Army. Her conditions were that the tank be named "Fighting Girlfriend" and that she be allowed to drive it. Seen at first as a publicity stunt, she fought in several battles proving herself an able and skilled tank driver. She died of wounds received while repairing her tank under heavy fire after it had been hit by a German anti-tank shell.
1960 Timothy Hutton American Oscar-winning actor. Film: Ordinary People (1980, Oscar) and The Falcon and the Snowman (1985).
1958 Madonna (Madonna Louise Ciccone), American pop singer. Music: Like a Virgin (1984, #1).
1946 Lesley Ann Warren American actress. TV: Mission: Impossible (Dana Lambert).
1933 Julie Newmar (Julie Newmeyer), American actress. One of the Catwomen on the TV series Batman.
1930 Robert Culp d. 2010 American actor. TV: I Spy (1965-68, Tennis playing spy Kelly Robinson) and Greatest American Hero (1981-83, FBI Agent Bill Maxwell).
1930 Frank Gifford d. 2015 American football player, Emmy-winning sportscaster for Monday Night Football. Gifford won the NFL MVP Award (1956).
1928 Eydie Gormé d. 2013 (Edith Gormezano), American Grammy-Emmy-winning singer. Wife of partner Steve Lawrence.
1924 Fess Parker d. 2010 (Fess Elisha Parker, Jr.), American actor. TV: Disneyland (1955-56, Davy Crockett) and Daniel Boone (1964-70, title role). His portrayal of Davy Crockett launched the coonskin hat craze in the U.S.
1920 Charles Bukowski d. 1994 German-born American poet, novelist, "Bard of Beer and Broads." His heavy drinking and hard living provided the setting for the film Barfly (1987). Writings: Flowers, Fist and Bestial Wall (1959) and Ham on Rye (1982).
1894 George Meany d. 1980 American labor official. He was unanimously elected first president of the AFL-CIO (1955-79).
1892 Hal Foster d. 1982 (Harold Rudolf Foster), cartoonist, creator of Prince Valiant and artist for Tarzan.
1884 Hugo Gernsback d. 1967 American publisher, pioneer science fiction author. He founded Modern Electronics (1908, the first radio magazine) and Amazing Stories (1926).
1845 Gabriel Lippmann d. 1921 French Nobel-winning physicist. He received the Nobel Prize (1908) for producing the first color photographic plates.
Deaths for August 16
1956 Bela Lugosi b. 1882 (Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó), Hungarian-born American horror actor. Film: Dracula (1931), Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943, Ygor), and Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959, called "the worst movie ever made"). He was buried wearing his Dracula costume.
1948 Babe Ruth b. 1895 (George Herman Ruth), American baseball legend, called "The Sultan of Swat," he hit 714 home runs. Pitched 29 2/3 scoreless innings in the 1918 World Series, a record that stood until 1961.
2012 William Windom b. 1923 American actor. TV: Murder, She Wrote (Dr. Seth Hazlitt).
1995 Oveta Culp Hobby b. 1905 American government official. She was the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, first commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps, and the first woman in the Army to receive the Distinguished Service Medal.
1993 Stewart Granger b. 1913 (James Leblanche Stewart), British-born American actor. Film: King Solomon's Mines (1950), The Prisoner of Zenda (1952), and The Last Safari (1967).
1989 Amanda Blake b. 1929 (Beverly Louise Neill), American actress. TV: Gunsmoke (Miss Kitty Russell).
1973 Selman Abraham Waksman b. 1888 Ukrainian-born American Nobel-winning microbiologist. While a professor at Rutgers University, he and student Albert Schatz discovered streptomycin, the first antibiotic to successfully treat tuberculosis (1944). He also coined the term "antibiotic," which means "against life."
1963 R.B. Fuller b. 1890 (Ralph Briggs Fuller), American cartoonist. Created Oaky Doaks (1935).
1949 Margaret Mitchell b. 1900 American Pulitzer-winning author. Writings: Gone With The Wind (1937, Pulitzer).
1921 Peter I b. 1844 King of Serbia (1903-21).
1899 Robert Wilhelm Bunsen b. 1811 German chemist. He invented the Bunsen burner and discovered the elements cesium and rubidium.
1893 Jean-Martin Charcot b. 1825 French physician. He and Guillaume Duchenne founded modern neurology. As one of his pupils, Sigmund Freud's interest in the psychological aspects of neurosis was initiated by his use of hypnosis.
1888 John Styth Pemberton b. 1831 American pharmacist. He created Coca-Cola (1886), calling it "Esteemed Brain Tonic and Intellectual Beverage."