#TodayInHistory – October 16
October 16 – Some important events on this day.
1384 👉🏼 Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland, despite being a woman
1793 👉🏼 Nine months after the execution of her husband, the former King Louis XVI of France, Marie Antoinette follows him to the guillotine.
1813 👉🏼 Battle of Leipzig, largest battle in Europe prior to WWI, Napoleon’s forces defeated by Prussia, Austria and Russia
1829 👉🏼 Tremont Hotel, 1st US modern hotel opens (Boston)
1847 👉🏼 Charlotte Brontë’s book “Jane Eyre” published
1867 👉🏼 Alaska adopts Gregorian calendar, crosses international date line
1900 👉🏼 Great Britain and Germany sign the Anglo-German Treaty, agreeing to maintain territorial integrity of China and support ‘open door’ policy called for by US Secretary of State
1923 👉🏼 Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio founded
1934 👉🏼 Mao Zedong and 25,000 troops begin their 6,000 mile Long March from the south of China to the north and west
1939 👉🏼 Sugar rationing begins in Netherlands
1946 👉🏼 10 Nazi leaders are hanged as war criminals after Nuremberg war trials, including Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop and Alfred Jodl.
At the end of World War II in Europe, the victorious Allied powers created the first international court to try war criminals from Nazi Germany. Headquartered in the German city of Nuremberg, the first and most famous trials of the major war criminals were held between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946, with verdicts announced on September 30 and October 1.
In the end, a large number of senior Nazi leaders were sentenced to death, including Hermann Goering (who killed himself with cyanide the night before his sentence was to be carried out), Karl Dönitz, Martin Bormann (who was missing but sentenced to death in abstentia), Alfred Jodl, Joachim von Ribbentrop and various others. Some leaders, like Rudolf Hess and Albert Speer, were given prison terms in Spandau Prison. The death sentences were carried out on this day.
Described as “the greatest trial in history” by one of the presiding judges, Nuremberg was a leap in international law, and would set a precedent for trying war crimes in an international court. The effect of Nuremberg can be seen in the modern-day International Criminal Court and with the prosecution of criminals for actions during wars in Yugoslavia and beyond.
1962 👉🏼 Cuban Missile Crisis begins as JFK is shown photos confirming the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba
1968 👉🏼 Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics to protest racism and injustice against African-Americans.
US athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos caused a sensation when they raised their black-gloved fists in protest, the salute of the Black Power political organisation, on the podium at the Mexico City Olympics after the 200-meter sprint.
They’d already removed their shoes in a protest against poverty and they also wore beads against lynching. Smith and Carlos were later ordered to leave the stadium and were expelled from the American track team. Their actions came amid the context of the Vietnam War and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. but remains one of the most powerful images of protest ever.
1978 👉🏼 Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla elected Pope John Paul II
1998 👉🏼 Former Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet is arrested in London on a Spanish warrant requesting his extradition on murder charges
2002 👉🏼 Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.
2004 👉🏼 Lionel Messi, aged 17, makes his league debut for Barcelona against Espanyol
2017 👉🏼 Findings published of neutron star collision that occurred two months prior on August 17, the first cosmic event seen in gravitational waves and light. Confirms heavy elements such as gold the result of such collisions
2019 👉🏼 Egyptian archaeologists announce discovery of more than 20 painted wooden coffins from Theban necropolis of Asasif