Maddy Hammock

Written by Maddy Hammock

Modified & Updated: 28 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


March 16th is a significant date when it comes to historical events. Throughout the years, on this day, numerous notable events have taken place, shaping the course of history. From groundbreaking discoveries and scientific achievements to political milestones and cultural moments, March 16th has witnessed a diverse range of occurrences.

By delving into the facts and events that happened on this day, we gain a deeper understanding of the past and its impact on the present. Whether it be a scientific breakthrough that revolutionized our understanding of the world or a historical event that changed the course of nations, each occurrence on March 16th holds significance in its own right.

In this article, we will explore a curated selection of facts and events that took place on March 16th throughout history. Join us as we uncover the past and discover the intriguing events that happened on this memorable day.

Key Takeaways:

  • March 16th is a day filled with historical significance, from the Paris Commune in 1871 to the visit of Barack Obama to Cuba in 2016, marking pivotal moments in political history.
  • On this day, scientific breakthroughs like the launch of the first liquid-fueled rocket and the discovery of the enzyme telomerase have shaped our understanding of space and aging, making March 16th a day of innovation and progress.
Table of Contents


  • 1871: The Paris Commune, a socialist government, is established in Paris during the French Revolution.
  • 1926: Robert H. Goddard successfully launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Massachusetts.
  • 1945: The Battle of Iwo Jima ends as the island is officially secured by the United States Marines.
  • 1968: The My Lai Massacre takes place during the Vietnam War, where American soldiers kill over 500 unarmed Vietnamese civilians.
  • 2014: Russia officially annexes Crimea, following a controversial referendum in the region.


  • 1750: American inventor and politician, James Madison, is born.
  • 1878: American physicist, Albert Einstein, is born, eventually becoming known for his theory of relativity.
  • 1926: Physicist Robert H. Goddard successfully launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket.
  • 1962: American astronaut, Wally Schirra, becomes the 5th person to travel into space aboard the Mercury-Atlas 8.
  • 1995: American biochemist, Elizabeth Blackburn, discovers the enzyme telomerase, revolutionizing our understanding of aging and cancer.


  • 1818: The United States Congress approves the flag of the city of Honolulu, which would later become the flag of the state of Hawaii.
  • 1920: American women’s suffrage leader, Alice Paul, proposes the Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • 1995: Mississippi becomes the last state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery.
  • 2003: Iceland becomes the first country in the world to elect an openly gay head of government, with the appointment of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir as Prime Minister.
  • 2016: Barack Obama becomes the first sitting United States President to visit Cuba since 1928.


  • 1943: The legendary musical “Oklahoma!” by Rodgers and Hammerstein premieres on Broadway.
  • 1968: The Beatles announce the creation of their own record label, Apple Records.
  • 1986: The iconic album “Graceland” by Paul Simon is released to critical acclaim.
  • 1994: The film “Pulp Fiction” directed by Quentin Tarantino wins the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • 2015: The popular television show “Game of Thrones” premieres its fifth season.


  • 1751: James Madison, American politician and fourth President of the United States.
  • 1756: James Monroe, American politician and fifth President of the United States.
  • 1912: Pat Nixon, American educator and wife of President Richard Nixon.
  • 1926: Jerry Lewis, American comedian, actor, and philanthropist.
  • 1961: Todd McFarlane, Canadian comic book artist and creator of Spawn.


  • 1244: Saint Louis IX of France, commonly remembered as Louis the Saint.
  • 1792: John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, former Prime Minister of Great Britain.
  • 1935: Percy Shaw, English inventor known for developing cat’s eye road studs.
  • 1975: Aristotle Onassis, Greek shipping magnate and husband of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
  • 1990: Sergio Leone, Italian film director, known for creating the Spaghetti Western genre, dies.


March 16th is a significant day in history, with notable events spanning various categories. From historical events such as the establishment of the Paris Commune in 1871 to political milestones like the visit of Barack Obama to Cuba in 2016, this date holds immense historical importance. Scientific breakthroughs also mark this day, such as the successful launch of the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket by Robert H. Goddard in 1926 and the discovery of the enzyme telomerase by Elizabeth Blackburn in 1995.Cultural events, like the premiere of the musical “Oklahoma!” on Broadway in 1943 and the release of the iconic album “Graceland” by Paul Simon in 1986, have left a lasting impact on our cultural landscape. Additionally, significant births and notable deaths add to the significance of this date.March 16th serves as a reminder of the diverse and pivotal moments that have shaped our history across various fields and industries.


Q: What other historical events happened on March 16th?

A: Apart from the mentioned events, other notable historical events that took place on March 16th include the signing of the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, marking peace between Great Britain and France during the Napoleonic Wars, and the start of the Korean War in 1950, with North Korea invading South Korea.

Q: Are there any famous personalities born on March 16th?

A: Yes, some famous individuals born on March 16th include British author and poet James Madison, American physicist Albert Einstein, and American comedian and actor Jerry Lewis.

Q: Is March 16th a significant day in political history?

A: Yes, March 16th has witnessed several significant political milestones, including the proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment by Alice Paul in 1920 and the historic visit of Barack Obama to Cuba in 2016, which marked a turning point in diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Q: What cultural events have occurred on March 16th?

A: Some notable cultural events on March 16th include the announcement of the creation of Apple Records by The Beatles in 1968 and the premiere of the fifth season of the popular television series “Game of Thrones” in 2015.

Q: Who are some notable individuals who passed away on March 16th?

A: Notable individuals who passed away on March 16th include Saint Louis IX of France in 1244, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1975, and Italian film director Sergio Leone in 1990.

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