|February 16 in recent years
February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 318 days remaining until the end of the year (319 in leap years).
- 1249 - Andrew of Longjumeau was dispatched by Louis IX of France as his ambassador to meet with the Khan of the Mongols.
- 1568 - The entire population of the Netherlands - three million people - was sentenced to death by the Roman Catholic Church for heresy; see Eighty Years' War.
- 1646 - Battle of Great Torrington, Devon - the last major battle of the first English Civil War.
- 1742 - Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, becomes British Prime Minister.
- 1804 - First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia.
- 1838 - Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal were killed by Zulus.
- 1852 - Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established.
- 1857 - The National Deaf Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University) is established in Washington, becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf.
- 1859 - The French Government passes a law to set the A-note above middle C to a frequency of 435 Hz, in an attempt to standardize the pitch.
- 1862 - American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee.
- 1866 - Spencer Compton Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington becomes the British Secretary of State for War
- 1868 - In New York City the Jolly Corks organization is renamed the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks (BPOE).
- 1899 - President Félix Faure of France dies in office.
- 1899 - Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur Iceland's first football club is founded.
- 1918 - The Council of Lithuania unanimously adopts the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania an independent state.
- 1923 - Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
- 1934 - Austrian Civil War ends with the defeat of the Social Democrats and the Republican Schutzbund
- 1934 - Commission of Government sworn in as form of direct rule for the Dominion of Newfoundland.
- 1936 - Elections bring the Popular Front to power in Spain.
- 1937 - Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon.
- 1940 - World War II: Altmark Incident: The German tanker Altmark is boarded by sailors from the British destroyer HMS Cossack. 299 British prisoners are freed.
- 1943 - World War II: USSR reconquers Kharkov.
- 1945 - World War II: American forces land on Corregidor island in the Philippines.
- 1945 - World War II: First American Aircraft carrier strikes on Tokyo.
- 1945 - American forces recapture the Bataan Peninsula.
- 1947 - Canadians granted Canadian citizenship after 80 years of being British subjects. Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King becomes the first Canadian citizen.
- 1957 - The "Toddlers' Truce", a controversial television closedown between 6.00pm and 7.00pm was abolished in the United Kingdom
- 1959 - Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after President Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.
- 1961 - Explorer program: Explorer 9 (S-56a) launched.
- 1968 - In Haleyville the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.
- 1972 - NBA basketball player Wilt Chamberlain scores 30,000th point.
- 1978 - The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).
- 1983 - The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 71 people in Australia's worst ever fires.
- 1985 - The founding of Hezbollah.
- 1986 - The Soviet liner Mikhail Lermontov runs aground in the Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand.
- 1987 - The trial of John Demjanjuk, accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem.
- 1999 - In Uzbekistan a bomb explodes and gunfire is heard at the government headquarters in an apparent assassination attempt against President Islom Karimov.
- 1999 - Across Europe, Kurdish rebels take over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Öcalan.
- 2003 - Serbian Wikipedia is born.
- 2005 - The Kyoto Protocol comes into force, following its ratification by Russia.
- 2005 - The National Hockey League cancels the entire 2004-2005 regular season and playoffs, becoming the first major sports league in North America to do so over a labour dispute.
- 2006 - The last Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) is decommissioned by the United States Army.
- 2007 - The U.S. House of Representatives passes resolution opposing President George W. Bush's proposed troop surge, regarding the Iraq conflict.
- 1032 - Emperor Yingzong of China (d. 1067)
- 1222 - Nichiren Daishonin, Japanese founder of Nichiren Buddhism (d. 1282)
- 1497 - Philipp Melanchthon, German humanist and reformer (d. 1560)
- 1519 - Gaspard de Coligny, French Huguenot leader (d. 1572)
- 1543 - Kano Eitoku, Japanese painter (d. 1590)
- 1620 - Friedrich Wilhelm I of Brandenburg, Duke of Prussia (d. 1688)
- 1643 - John Sharp, English Archbishop of York (d. 1714)
- 1698 - Pierre Bouguer, French mathematician (d. 1758)
- 1710 - King Louis XV of France (d. 1774)
- 1727 - Nikolaus Joseph von Jacquin, Austrian scientist (d. 1817)
- 1761 - Charles Pichegru, French general (d. 1804)
- 1802 - Phineas Parkhurst Quimby, American philosopher (d. 1866)
- 1804 - Karl Theodor Ernst von Siebold, German physiologist (d. 1885)
- 1812 - Henry Wilson, 18th Vice President of US (d. 1875)
- 1821 - Heinrich Barth, German explorer (d. 1865)
- 1822 - Sir Francis Galton, English explorer and biologist (d. 1911)
- 1824 - Peter Kozler, Slovenian cartographer and geographer (d. 1879)
- 1826 - Julia Grant, First Lady of the United States (d. 1902)
- 1826 - Joseph Victor von Scheffel, German poet (d. 1886)
- 1831 - Nikolai Leskov, Russian writer (d. 1895)
- 1834 - Ernst Haeckel, German zoologist and philosopher (d. 1919)
- 1838 - Henry Adams, American historian and novelist (d. 1918)
- 1847 - Philipp Scharwenka, Polish-German composer (d. 1917)
- 1848 - Hugo de Vries, Dutch botanist (d. 1935)
- 1856 - Rudolph Karstadt, German entrepreneur (d. 1944)
- 1856 - Willem Kes, Dutch conductor (d. 1934)
- 1866 - Billy Hamilton, MLB Hall of Fame Outfielder (d. 1940)
- 1866 - Vyacheslav Ivanov, Russian poet (d. 1949)
- 1874 - Marie Gutheil-Schoder, German soprano (d. 1935)
- 1876 - George Macaulay Trevelyan, English historian (d. 1962)
- 1883 - Elizabeth Craig, British writer (d. 1980)
- 1884 - Robert J. Flaherty, American filmmaker (d. 1951)
- 1886 - Van Wyck Brooks, American historian and critic (d. 1963)
- 1887 - Kathleen Clifford, American actress (d. 1962)
- 1898 - Katharine Cornell, American actress (d. 1974)
- 1891 - Hans F. K. Günther, German eugenicist (d. 1967)
- 1901 - Vincent Coleman, American actor (d. 1971)
- 1901 - Chester Morris, American film actor (d. 1970)
- 1903 - Edgar Bergen, American ventriloquist (d. 1978)
- 1903 - George-Henri Lévesque, Quebec priest and sociologist (d. 2000)
- 1904 - George F. Kennan, American historian, diplomat and political policy-maker (d. 2005)
- 1909 - Hugh Beaumont, American actor (d. 1982)
- 1909 - Jeffrey Lynn, American actor (d. 1995)
- 1909 - Richard McDonald, American fast food pioneer (d. 1998)
- 1915 - Jim O'Hora, American college football coach (d. 2005)
- 1915 - Michael Relph, British film producer and director (d. 2004)
- 1916 - Bill Doggett, American jazz and rhythm and blues pianist and organist (d. 1996)
- 1918 - Patty Andrews, American singer
- 1920 - Anna Mae Hays, American army general
- 1921 - Jean Behra, French Formula One driver (d. 1959)
- 1921 - Araucaria, British crossword compiler
- 1921 - Vera-Ellen, American actress (d. 1981)
- 1922 - Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer, German night fighter pilot (d. 1950)
- 1925 - Carlos Paredes, Portuguese guitar master (d. 2004)
- 1926 - John Schlesinger, English film director (d. 2003)
- 1927 - June Brown, British actress
- 1929 - Gerhard Hanappi, Austrian footballer (d. 1980)
- 1931 - George E. Sangmeister, American politician (d. 2007)
- 1931 - Ken Takakura, Japanese actor
- 1932 - Gretchen Wyler, American actress and dancer
- 1932 - Otis Blackwell, American songwriter and singer (d. 2002)
- 1932 - Harry Goz, American actor (d. 2003)
- 1932 - Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, President of Sierra Leone
- 1934 - Herbie & Harold Kalin, American singers (d. 2005-Harold / 2006-Herbie)
- 1934 - Marlene Hagge, American professional golfer
- 1935 - Sonny Bono, American entertainer & U.S. Congressman (d. 1998)
- 1936 - Jill Kinmont, American skier
- 1937 - Yuri Manin, Russian mathematician
- 1938 - John Corigliano, American composer
- 1938 - Barry Primus, American actor
- 1942 - Kim Jong-il, North Korean leader
- 1943 - Brig Owens, American football player
- 1944 - Richard Ford, American novelist
- 1945 - Jeremy Bulloch, English actor
- 1945 - Frank Welker, American voice actor
- 1946 - Ian Lavender, English actor
- 1950 - Peter Hain, British politician
- 1950 - Kazuki Tomokawa, Japanese acid-folk singer
- 1950 - Roman Tam, Hong Kong famous singer (d. 2002)
- 1951 - William Katt, American actor
- 1952 - Barry Foote, Major League Baseball player
- 1953 - George Martin, American footballer
- 1953 - Lanny McDonald, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1953 - Roberta Williams, computer game designer
- 1954 - Michael Holding, West Indian fast bowler cricket
- 1954 - Iain Banks, Scottish author
- 1954 - Margaux Hemingway, American actress and model (d. 1996)
- 1955 - Hunt Block, American actor
- 1956 - James Ingram, American singer
- 1957 - LeVar Burton, American actor
- 1958 - Ice-T, American rapper, songwriter, and actor
- 1958 - Lisa Loring, American actress
- 1958 - Oscar Schmidt, Brazilian basketball player
- 1958 - Michael W. Burns, American politician
- 1959 - John McEnroe, American tennis player
- 1959 - Kelly Tripucka, American basketball player
- 1960 - Pete Willis, English guitarist (Def Leppard)
- 1960 - Cherie Chung, Hong Kong actress
- 1961 - Andy Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran)
- 1962 - John Balance, English musician (Coil, Psychic TV) (d. 2004)
- 1963 - Dave Lombardo, Cuban drummer (Slayer)
- 1963 - Dano Halsall, Swiss swimmer
- 1964 - Bebeto, Brazilian footballer
- 1964 - Christopher Eccleston, English actor
- 1967 - John Valentin, baseball player
- 1967 - Keith Gretzky, former hockey player; brother of Wayne Gretzky
- 1968 - Warren Ellis, British comic book writer
- 1969 - David Heath, American professional wrestler better known as Gangrel
- 1970 - D.J. Wallis, American fitness competitor
- 1970 - Serdar Ortac, Turkish popstar
- 1970 - Angelo Peruzzi, Italian footballer
- 1971 - Amanda Holden, British Actress
- 1972 - Jerome Bettis, American football player
- 1973 - Cathy Freeman, Australian athlete
- 1973 - Nikos Kostakis, Greek footballer
- 1974 - Fanis Katergiannakis, Greek footballer
- 1974 - Johnny Tri Nguyen, Vietnamese American stuntman and martial arts actor
- 1975 - Nanase Aikawa, Japanese singer
- 1975 - Vanina Ickx, Belgian racing driver
- 1976 - Eric Byrnes, American baseball player
- 1976 - Kyo, Japanese singer (Dir en grey)
- 1977 - Ian Clarke, Irish computer programmer
- 1977 - Ahman Green, American football player
- 1978 - John Tartaglia, Broadway actor and Muppeteer
- 1979 - Eric Mun, Korean rapper (Shinhwa)
- 1979 - Valentino Rossi, Italian motorcycle racer
- 1980 - Ashley Lelie, American football player
- 1981 - Jay Howard, British racing driver
- 1981 - Jerry Owens, American baseball player
- 1981 - Qyntel Woods, American basketball player
- 1982 - Wasalu Muhammad Jaco, American rapper
- 1983 - Bradley Manson, All-Round Champion Bloke
- 1985 - Zoi Dimoschaki, Greek swimmer
- 1988 - Denílson Pereira Neves, Brazilian footballer
- 1991 - Princess Alexandra of Luxembourg, Princess of Luxembourg
- 1247 - Heinrich Raspe, Landgrave of Thuringia (b. 1204)
- 1279 - King Afonso III of Portugal (b. 1210)
- 1391 - John V Palaeologus, Byzantine Emperor (b. 1332)
- 1531 - Johannes Stöffler, German mathematician and astronomer (b. 1452)
- 1560 - Jean du Bellay, French Catholic cardinal and diplomat
- 1710 - Esprit Fléchier, French writer and Bishop of Nîmes (b. 1632)
- 1721 - James Craggs the Younger, English politician (b. 1686)
- 1754 - Richard Mead, English physician (b. 1673)
- 1844 - Joseph Crosfield, English soap and alkali manufacturer (b. 1792)
- 1898 - Thomas Bracken, New Zealand poet (b. 1843)
- 1899 - Félix Faure, President of France (b. 1841)
- 1907 - Giosuè Carducci, Italian writer, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1835)
- 1912 - St. Nikolai of Japan, Eastern Orthodox priest (b. 1836)
- 1917 - Octave Mirbeau, French writer (b. 1848)
- 1919 - Vera Kholodnaya, Russian film star (b. 1893)
- 1928 - Eddie Foy, American singer and dancer (b. 1856)
- 1932 - Ferdinand Buisson, French pacifist, Nobel Prize Laureate (b. 1841)
- 1967 - Antonio Moreno, Spanish-born actor (b. 1887)
- 1967 - Smiley Burnette, American actor, singer and songwriter (b. 1911)
- 1974 - John Garand, Canadian rifle engineer and manufacturer (b. 1888)
- 1975 - Morgan Taylor, American athlete (b. 1903)
- 1975 - Norman Treigle, American bass-baritone (b. 1927)
- 1977 - Carlos Pellicer, Mexican poet (b. 1897)
- 1978 - E. Roland Harriman, American financier (b. 1895)
- 1980 - Erich Hückel, German physicist (b. 1895)
- 1988 - Jean Carignan, French Canadian fiddler (b. 1916)
- 1990 - Keith Haring, American artist (b. 1958)
- 1992 - Angela Carter, English writer (b. 1940)
- 1992 - Jânio Quadros, Brazilian politician (b. 1917)
- 1992 - Herman Wold, Swedish statistician (b. 1908
- 1996 - Roger Bowen, American actor (b. 1932)
- 1996 - Edmund G. Brown, Governor of California (b. 1905)
- 1996 - Brownie McGhee, American singer (b. 1915)
- 1997 - Chien-Shiung Wu, Chinese-American physicist (b. 1912)
- 1999 - Michael Larson, Press Your Luck Big-winning contestant (b. 1949)
- 2000 - Marceline Day, American actress (b. 1908)
- 2000 - Karsten Solheim, Norwegian-born engineer and inventor (b. 1911)
- 2000 - Lila Kedrova, Russian-born actress (b. 1918)
- 2001 - Bob Buhl, baseball player (b. 1928)
- 2001 - Howard W. Koch, American film director (b. 1916)
- 2001 - William Masters, American gynecologist and sexologist (b. 1915)
- 2002 - Walter Winterbottom, England football manager (b. 1913)
- 2003 - Eleanor "Sis" Daley, wife of Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley (b. 1907)
- 2004 - Shirley Strickland, Australian athlete (b. 1925)
- 2004 - Doris Troy, American singer (b. 1937)
- 2005 - Nicole DeHuff, American actress (pneumonia) (b. 1975)
- 2005 - Queen Narriman, second and last wife of King Farouk and mother of their only child King Fuad II
- 2006 - Johnny Grunge, American professional wrestler (b. 1966)
- 2006 - Ernie Stautner, German-born American football player (b. 1925)
Holidays and observances
- ^ Holweck, F. G. A Biographical Dictionary of the Saints. St. Louis, MO: B. Herder Book Co. 1924.
121 Familypedia people were born on February 16
129 Familypedia people died on February 16
102 Familypedia people were first married on February 16