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On this day in history - May 16

What Happened On This Day – May 16

  • 1975 Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to conquer Mount Everest

    The ascent by the Japanese adventurer came 22 years after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to reach the summit.

  • 1966 In China, the Cultural Revolution begins

    The publication of the May 16 notification marks the beginning of the political campaign, which was initiated by Mao Zedong and lasted ten years. Its objective was to strengthen communism by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society.

  • 1960 Theodore Maiman fires the first functional laser

    The American physicist's invention, an advancement of earlier research by scientists in the U.S. and the Soviet Union, was patented in 1967.

  • 1929 The Oscars are awarded for the first time

    The first Academy Awards were presented at a private dinner with about 270 attendees. Today, it is the world's most important entertainment awards ceremony.

  • 1919 Albert Cushing Read takes off on the first transatlantic flight in history

    The crossing from New York State, USA to Lisbon, Portugal on a Curtiss NC-4 flying boat took 19 days.

Illustration of stork, signifying birth

Births On This Day,
May 16

  • 1966 Janet Jackson

    American singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, actress

  • 1953 Pierce Brosnan

    Irish/American actor, singer, producer

  • 1919 Liberace

    American singer, pianist, actor

  • 1905 Henry Fonda

    American actor, singer, producer

  • 1831 David Edward Hughes

    Welsh/American scientist, co-invented the microphone

Illustration of tombstone, signifying death

Deaths On This Day,
May 16

  • 2012 Maria Bieşu

    Moldovan opera singer

  • 1990 Jim Henson

    American puppeteer, director, producer, founded The Company

  • 1990 Sammy Davis, Jr.

    American actor, singer, dancer

  • 1977 Modibo Keïta

    Malian politician, 1st President of Mali

  • 1953 Django Reinhardt

    Belgian guitarist, composer