I realize I did a similar thing last year around this time. And why not? But this time, I got a tad carried away. Of course, no one knows all that will happen in 2016, besides a leap day on February 29.
Super Bowl 50 (no Roman numerals) will be held on February 7, 2016, at Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, California, broadcast in the US on CBS-TV. The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. August 5–21, followed by the Paralympics, September 7–18. And of course, the 45th President of the United States will be voted on November 8.
These anniversaries will also be noted.
Oct 14 – Battle of Hastings – The Norman forces of William the Conqueror defeat the English army and kill King Harold II of England.
Mar – Work of Copernicus banned by the Congregation of the Index.
Apr 23- William Shakespeare, English writer and actor, died.
Sept 2-4 – The Great Fire of London breaks out and burns for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St Paul’s Cathedral.
Dec 5 – James Christie holds the first sale at Christie’s auction house in London.
Apr 11 – In Philadelphia, the African Methodist Episcopal Church is established by Richard Allen and other African-American Methodists, the first such denomination completely independent of White churches.
Apr 21 – Birthday of Charlotte Brontë.
Feb 4 – A first known reference to Groundhog Day in North America, in the diary of a James Morris.
Feb 10 – Act of Union (British North America Act, 1840) proclaimed in Canada; the next day, the two colonies of The Canadas are merged into the United Province of Canada.
Feb 18 – The first ongoing filibuster in the United States Senate begins and lasts until Mar 11.
Mar 9 – the United States v. The Amistad: The Supreme Court of the United States rules in the case that the Africans who seized control of the ship had been taken into slavery illegally.
150th (1866) – lots of post-US Civil War events
Jan 1 – Fisk University, a historically black university, is established in Nashville, TN.
Mar 13 – The US Congress overwhelmingly passes the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the first federal legislation to protect the rights of African-Americans; U.S. President Andrew Johnson vetoes the bill on March 27, and Congress overrides the veto on April 9.
July 28 – Birthday of Beatrix Potter.
Sept 21 – Birthday of Herbert George (H. G.) Wells.
Jan 7 – Birthday of Zora Neale Hurston, Harlem Renaissance writer (d. 1960).
Feb 13 – Birthday of Grant Wood, American painter (d. 1942).
Mar 19 – Birthday of Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States (d. 1974). I met him once; I need to write about that.
Apr 1 – The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago.
Apr 1 – The London–Paris telephone system is opened to the general public.
May 5 – The Music Hall in New York (later known as Carnegie Hall) has its grand opening and first public performance, with Tchaikovsky as guest conductor.
June 25 – Arthur Conan Doyle’s detective Sherlock Holmes appears in The Strand Magazine (London) for the first time, in the issue dated July.
Date unknown – James Naismith invents basketball.
100th (1916) – I emphasized this year, but didn’t mention all of the many World War I references
Jan 1 – The British Royal Army Medical Corps carries out the first successful blood transfusion using blood that had been stored and cooled.
Feb 26 – Birthday of Jackie Gleason, American comedian, actor, and musician (d. 1987).
Feb 29 – Birthday of Dinah Shore, American singer (d. 1994).
Mar 29 – Birthday of Eugene McCarthy, U.S. Senator from Minnesota and Presidential candidate (d. 2005).
Mar -Einstein publishes his theory of relativity.
Apr 5 – Birthday of Gregory Peck, American actor (d. 2003).
Apr 20 – The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (modern-day Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7–6 in 11 innings.
June 15 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America.
July 1 – Birthday of Olivia de Havilland, British-born American actress.
July 9 – Birthday of Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 2005).
Aug 25 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation creating the National Park Service.
Aug 31 – Birthday of Daniel Schorr, American journalist (d. 2010).
Sept 15 – World War I: Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme.
Oct 14 – Birthday of C. Everett Koop, United States Surgeon General (d. 2013).
Nov 4 – Birthday of Walter Cronkite, American television journalist (d. 2009). I read his autobiography.
Nov 24 – Birthday of Forrest J. Ackerman, American writer (d. 2008).
Dec 18 – Birthday of Betty Grable, American actress (d. 1973).
Feb 7 – Carter G. Woodson initiated the first National Negro Week. In 1972, it was renamed Black History Week and in 1976, it became Black History Month.
Aug 6 – Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
May 28 – Alan Turing submits On Computable Numbers for publication.
Dec – King Edward VIII of England signed the instrument of abdication; George VI accedes to the throne
75th (1941) – of course, LOTS of World War II anniversaries, far too many to list here
Mar 11 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the US, signs the Lend-Lease Act into law, providing for the U.S. to provide aid to the Allies.
May 15 – Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak begins as the New York Yankees’ center fielder goes one for four against Chicago White Sox; ends July 17.
July 1 – Commercial TV authorized by the FCC. NBC television begins commercial operation on WNBT on channel 1. The world’s first legal TV commercial occurs at 2:29 PM before a baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. The 10-second spot displays a picture of a clock superimposed on a map of the United States, accompanied by the voice-over “America runs on Bulova time.” As a one-off special, the first quiz show called “Uncle Bee” is telecast, followed later by Ralph Edwards hosting the second game show broadcast on U.S. TV, Truth or Consequences, as simulcast on radio and TV and sponsored by Ivory soap.
Aug 15 – Corporal Josef Jakobs is executed by firing squad at the Tower of London at 7:12 am, making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason. This was the final question on JEOPARDY! in May 2015.
Sept – Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox batted .406 for the season, the last Major League Baseball player to do so.
Dec 7 – Attack on Pearl Harbor, and subsequent entry by the US into WWII.
Mar 5 – Winston Churchill uses the phrase “Iron Curtain” in his speech at Westminster College, Missouri.
50th (1966) – lots of Vietnam War events
Jan – Indira Gandhi named Prime Minister of India. She wan’t the first female head of government in modern times; Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Ceylon was chosen PM of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, in 1960.
Jan 13 – Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet member, by being appointed US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
June 1 – The final new episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show airs (the first episode aired on October 3, 1961).
Aug 1 – Sniper Charles Whitman kills 14 people and wounds 32 from atop the University of Texas at Austin Main Building tower, after earlier killing his wife and mother. I wrote about this, briefly.
Aug 29 – The Beatles end their US tour with a concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It is their last-ever live performance, except for the short “rooftop concert” at the Apple Corps offices in January 1969.
Jan 20 – US embassy hostages, taken Nov 4, 1979, released from Iran, coincidentally, or not, the same day Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as the 40th US President.
Jan 16 – Gulf War: Operation Desert Storm begins with airstrikes against Iraq.
Mar 15 – Four Los Angeles, California police officers are indicted for the videotaped March 3 beating of Rodney King during an arrest.
May – The first Starbucks Coffee outlet is opened in California.
Dec 23 – Bohemian Rhapsody returns to the top of the British singles charts after 16 years, with the re-release’s proceeds being donated to the Terrence Higgins Trust, a British charity that campaigns on various issues related to AIDS and HIV.
Dec 25 – Dissolution of the Soviet Union: Mikhail Gorbachev resigns as president of the Soviet Union, from which most republics have already seceded, anticipating the dissolution of the 74-year-old state.
July 5 – Dolly the sheep becomes the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.
Apr 29 – Wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Kate Middleton.