Today's History Trivia for July 16
1969 First Manned Flight to Land on the Moon Apollo 11 is launched, landing on the moon four days later. It also left behind a laser reflector which was used to prove the moon was 131.2 feet farther away than previously believed.
1994 Jupiter struck by comet Our solar system's largest planet is struck by the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet, creating blasts equal to millions of large nuclear weapons.
1992 Ross Perot The Texas billionaire "drops out" of the U.S. Presidential race, although he was never actually a candidate. He reentered 2½ months later, having spent $10,000,000 during the time he was "out" maintaining his campaign organization and creating new advertisements.
1990 Discovery of another of Saturn's satellites by Voyager II, is announced.
1979 Iraq Saddam Hussein assumes the Presidency of Iraq.
1975 First species removed from the endangered species list enacted in 1969: Three species of trout.
1973 Watergate During Senate questioning it becomes known that most of Nixon's office conversations and phone calls had been recorded.
1902 First Air Conditioner The first modern-style electric air conditioner is installed in Brooklyn, NY. It was invented by Willis Carrier who went on to found the Carrier Corporation (1915).
1862 Doomsday The Swift-Tuttle Comet is discovered by Louis Swift in New York. Horace Tuttle spotted it three days later in Massachusetts. It has a 1 in 10,000 chance of colliding with Earth in the year 2126. If this occurs it will probably end civilization.
1862 Blacks in the military First federal law allowing persons of African descent to serve in the U.S. military is introduced into Congress. It was signed into law by Pres. Lincoln the following day.
1790 U.S. Capitol The site for the Capitol building is chosen by Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant, who then planned the basic layout of Washington D.C.
Today's Birthdays for July 16
1887 Shoeless Joe Jackson d. 1951 (Joseph Jefferson Jackson), American baseball player. He was banished for life from professional baseball for his alleged role in throwing the 1919 World Series. "Say it ain't so, Joe! Say it ain't so!"
1872 Roald Amundsen d. 1928 Norwegian explorer. First to sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific using the Northwest Passage (1905), and discoverer of the South Pole (1911). He disappeared during a rescue mission to the Arctic.
1748 Cyrus Griffin d. 1810 American lawyer. He was the 16th and last president of the Continental Congress (1788). He resigned after the ratification of the U.S. Constitution rendered the old Congress obsolete, becoming a federal judge (1789-1910, U.S. District Court of Virginia).
1971 Corey Feldman American actor. Film: Gremlins (1984), Goonies (1985), Stand By Me (1986), and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
1968 Barry Sanders American Hall of Fame football running back with the Detroit Lions, Heisman Trophy winner (1988).
1967 Will Ferrell American actor. TV: Saturday Night Live (1995-2002).
1963 Phoebe Cates American actress. Film: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and Gremlins (1984).
1952 Stewart Copeland American drummer, with Police, Roxanne (1978), Message In A Bottle (1979, #1), Every Breath You Take (1983, #1).
1951 Dan Bricklin computer scientist. He and Bob Frankston created VisiCalc, the first computer spreadsheet (1979).
1932 Max McGee d. 2007 American football player. He scored the first Super Bowl touchdown (1967); playing for the Green Bay Packers, he caught an 18-yard pass and ran it in from the 19-yard line against the Kansas City Chiefs.
1924 Bess Myerson d. 2014 American beauty contestant, actress. She was the first Jewish Miss America (1945). She was also the first Miss New York to win the title. She was charged with bribery and conspiracy as a result of hiring a judge's daughter, presumably to influence the judge to rule favorably toward Myerson's lover in his divorce case. The scandal was known as the "Bess Mess" (1988). She was eventually acquitted of the charges. She was arrested for shoplifting $44 worth of goods from a drug store (1988), to which plead guilty and was fined.
1915 Barnard Hughes d. 2006 (Bernard Hughes), American Tony-Emmy-winning actor. TV: Guiding Light (Dr. Bruce Banning) and The Cavanaughs (Pop Cavanaugh).
1911 Ginger Rogers d. 1995 (Virginia McMath), American Oscar-winning actress, Fred Astaire's dance partner.
1907 Orville Redenbacher d. 1995 American popcorn maker, co-creator of "snowflake" popcorn.
1907 Barbara Stanwyck d. 1990 (Ruby Stevens), American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Big Valley (Emmy, Victoria Barkley) and The Colbys (Constance Colby). In 1944 the IRS reported her as the highest-paid American woman.
1902 Mary Philbin d. 1993 American silent-film actress. She co-starred with Lon Chaney in The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
1890 Carl Ed d. 1959 American cartoonist. Creator of Harold Teen (1919) which was later made into movies.
1888 Percy Kilbride d. 1964 American actor. Film: Pa of the Ma and Pa Kettle films (1947-55).
1877 Béla Schick d. 1967 Hungarian-born American pediatrician. He developed the Schick test (1913) for diphtheria, which led to effective inoculation against the disease.
1821 Mary Baker Eddy d. 1910 founded the Church of Christ, Scientist (1879, Christian Science).
1746 Giuseppe Piazzi d. 1826 Italian astronomer. He was the first to discover an asteroid (1801, Ceres).
1731 Samuel Huntington d. 1796 American statesman. 7th president of the Continental Congress (1779-81), signer of the Declaration of Independence, president of the Continental Congress (1779-81), and governor of Connecticut (1786-96).
Deaths for July 16
2004 Major Charles Sweeney b. 1919 American pilot. He flew the plane which dropped the "Fat Man" atom bomb on Nagasaki (1945). Sixty percent of the city was destroyed and approximately 70,000 people were killed in the initial blast. This was the second atomic bomb dropped on Japan.
1915 Ellen Gould White b. 1827 American author, Christian pioneer. She and her husband helped found the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She claimed to have religious visions which were the basis for many of her books.
2014 Johnny Winter b. 1944 American albino Hall of Fame blues guitarist. Music: Silver Train (1973).
2012 Kitty Wells b. 1919 (Ellen Muriel Deason), American country singer, "Queen of Country Music." She was the first woman to hit #1 on the country charts with It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (1952).
1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr b. 1960 American lawyer, son of Pres. John F. Kennedy. He, his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette were killed in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard. The plane was piloted by Kennedy.
1992 "Gorgeous" George Arena b. 1907 American wrestler. Platinum-haired villain of the early days of TV wrestling. Known for his three-inch platform shoe and silk robes.
1989 Herbert von Karajan b. 1908 Austrian classical conductor.
1981 Harry Chapin b. 1942 American folk-rock singer. Taxi (1972) and Cat's In The Cradle (1974, #1).
1960 John Phillips Marquand b. 1893 American Pulitzer-winning author. Writings: The Late George Apley (1937, Pulitzer). He also created the Japanese detective Mr. Moto.
1882 Mary Todd Lincoln b. 1818 American first lady, widow of Abraham Lincoln. She was declared insane and committed to an mental institution (1875), but was later released.
1827 Josiah Spode II b. 1755 English potter. He coined the term "Bone China" (c. 1800) to describe the china he and his father had developed.
1216 Innocent III b. 1161 Italian religious leader, 176th Pope (1198-1216).