#TodayInHistory – December 162 min read
December 16 – Some important events on this day.
755 👉🏼 An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion during Chinese Tang Dynasty
1497 👉🏼 Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama is 1st European to sail along Africa’s East Coast, names it Natal
1598 👉🏼 Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang Point – in the final battle of the war Korean navy decisively defeats the Japanese
1631 👉🏼 Mount Vesuvius in Italy erupts, burying many villages under lava flows and killing around 3,000 people
1653 👉🏼 Parliamentarian General Oliver Cromwell appointed as Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland
1689 👉🏼 English Parliament passes Bill of Rights establishing limits on crown powers and requirement for regular elections
1707 👉🏼 Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.
1773 👉🏼 Boston tea party incident – Sons of Liberty protesters throw tea shipments into Boston harbour in protest against British imposed Tea Act
1907 👉🏼 As a gesture of the US’s new presence as a world power, President Theodore Roosevelt sends the ‘Great White Fleet’ on a round-the-world cruise, visiting ports internationally.
In the last years of his administration, President Theodore Roosevelt ordered a massive US Navy fleet to circumnavigate the globe to project American naval power. The fleet, their hulls painted white, was meant as a showpiece of American goodwill and was to make courtesy calls at a number of ports globally.
Great excitement followed the arrivals of the White Fleet. In Australia, when the fleet arrived in 1908, they were greeted with huge receptions of people: they too liked Australia, and over 200 of them deserted while in Australian ports.
The fleet returned to the United States in 1909. Apart from displaying to the world the rising naval and military power of America, the visits led to improvements in formation steaming, coal economy and morale aboard ships in the naval fleets.
1920 👉🏼 8.5 earthquake rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000
1937 👉🏼 Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from American federal prison Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.
1944 👉🏼 Nazi Germany launches a counteroffensive against the Allies in the Ardennes region of Belgium, beginning the ‘Battle of the Bulge’
1998 👉🏼 Iraq disarmament crisis: Operation Desert Fox – the United States and United Kingdom bomb targets in Iraq
2019 👉🏼 Mariah Carey’s single “All I Want For Christmas Is You” reaches No. 1, 25 years after release