Today's History Trivia for May 16
1983 Michael Jackson's Moonwalk First broadcast of The King of Pop's signature move. Michael Jackson performed the dance move during the song Billie Jean on for the TV show Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, which had been taped before a live audience March 25, 1983. See Moonwalk compilation
1989 Dan Quayle The U.S. Vice-President states the President had asked him, "I know you've had some rough times, and I want to do something that will show the nation what faith that I have in you, in your maturity and sense of responsibility. Would you like a puppy?"
1988 Smoking The Surgeon General issues a report declaring tobacco products as addictive. The Tobacco Institute refuted the report. (Hmm… Who to believe?)
1975 First Woman to Climb Mt. Everest Junko Tabei of Japan.
1929 First Academy Awards Wings wins the Oscar for best film.
1888 The flat disc record player is publicly demonstrated for the first time, by inventor Emile Berliner.
1866 The nickel 5-cent piece is authorized by Congress, replacing the silver half-dime. It is composed of 25% nickel and 75% copper. Source: Famous First Facts
Today's Birthdays for May 16
1919 Liberace d. 1987 (Wladziu Valentino Liberace), American flamboyant pianist. He captivated audiences with his extravagant costumes and elaborate candelabra. He was one of the first major celebrities to die of AIDS.
1970 Gabriela Sabatini Argentine tennis player, U.S. Open winner (1990).
1966 Janet Jackson American singer, actress, sister of the Jackson Five members. During the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, she had a "wardrobe malfunction" that exposed her right breast. TV: Diff'rent Strokes (Charlene DuPrey), and Good Times (Penny).
1955 Olga Korbut Russian gymnast, winner of three gold medals in the 1972 Olympics. She was the first person to a backwards somersault on the balance beam.
1955 Debra Winger American actress. Film: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982, voice of E.T., along with Pat Walsh).
1953 Pierce Brosnan Irish actor. TV: Remington Steele (Remington Steele). Film: Starred as 007 in GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. Also starred in Mamma Mia! The Movie (2008).
1952 Christopher Browne American cartoonist. Son of Hägar the Horrible creator Dik Browne. After his father's death (1989) he became the artist and writer for Hagar the Horrible.
1928 Billy Martin d. 1989 (Alfred Manuel Pesano, Jr.), American baseball manager of the New York Yankees.
1905 Henry Fonda d. 1982 American Oscar-winning actor. Film: My Darling Clementine (1946), Mr. Roberts (1955), and On Golden Pond (1981, Oscar).
1903 Charles F. Brannock d. 1992 American inventor. He invented (1925) the metal shoe-size measurer used in thousands of shoe stores.
1824 Levi Parsons Morton d. 1920 22nd U.S. Vice-President (1889-93).
1801 William Henry Seward d. 1872 American statesman. He purchased Alaska for the U.S. from Russia for 2¢ an acre, which was derisively called "Seward's Folly." He was also governor of New York (1839-43), U.S. Senator (1849-61), and U.S. Secretary of State (1861-69).
1611 Innocent XI d. 1689 Italian religious leader, 240th Pope (1676-89).
Deaths for May 16
1703 Charles Perrault b. 1628 French author. In 1697, he published his now famous versions of popular folk tales, which included: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Bluebeard, Little Red Riding-Hood, and Puss in Boots.
2001 Edgar C. Whisenant b. 1932 American NASA engineer and Bible student. His book 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988, which sold 4.5 million copies, predicted the Rapture would occur between September 11 and 13, 1988. As the date loomed, Trinity Broadcasting Network provided special bulletins with instructions on preparing for the Rapture. After the predicted date passed, he followed up with books predicting the Rapture in 1989, 1993, 1994, etc.
1990 Sammy Davis Jr b. 1925 American singer, dancer, actor. Music: That Old Black Magic (1956) and Candy Man (1972, #1). After a 1954 car crash that robbed him of his left eye, he joked of being "the world's only one-eyed Jewish nigger."
1990 Jim Henson b. 1936 American muppeteer, created the Muppets (1956) and has won 18 Emmy, 7 Grammy, 4 Peabody, and 5 ACE awards. He died of toxic shock syndrome.
1985 Margaret Hamilton b. 1902 American actress, Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz (1939), and as Cora who sold Maxwell House coffee in the TV commercials.
1984 Andy Kaufman b. 1949 American actor, comedian. TV: Taxi (Latka Gravas). He was banned from Saturday Night Live after losing a viewer phone-in vote by 26,358 votes.
1973 Jacques Lipchitz b. 1891 Lithuanian-born American sculptor. Considered one of greatest sculptures of the 20th century, known for his bronze statues of humans and animals.
1924 Candy Cummings b. 1848 (William Arthur Cummings), American baseball Hall of Famer, inventor of the curveball.
1920 Levi Parsons Morton b. 1824 22nd U.S. Vice-President (1889-93).
1899 William Nast b. 1807 American clergyman. Founder of the first German Methodist church in the U.S.
1830 Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier b. 1768 French mathematician. He developed the Fourier Series, one of the landmarks of mathematics.