Fan Saunders

Written by Fan Saunders

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome to May 16th: All Facts & Events That Happened Today In History! On this day, significant events, remarkable achievements, and memorable moments have left their mark in history. We delve into the past to uncover the intriguing stories and milestones that have shaped our world.From groundbreaking inventions and scientific discoveries to historic events and noteworthy births and deaths, May 16th holds a rich tapestry of historical significance. Whether it’s a pivotal moment in politics, a game-changing artistic creation, or a birth of a legendary figure, this date has witnessed it all.Join us as we embark on a journey through time, exploring the incredible events that have transpired on May 16th. Step into the footsteps of visionaries, world leaders, and trailblazers, as we unravel the past and shed light on the happenings that have shaped our present. Venture forth and discover the fascinating stories behind May 16th in history!

Key Takeaways:

  • On May 16th, historical events like the first U.S. space flight and the passing of the 19th Amendment took place, shaping the world we live in today.
  • May 16th also saw the birth of influential figures like Pierce Brosnan and Megan Fox, as well as the passing of notable individuals such as H. R. Giger and Catherine I of Russia.
Table of Contents


  • 1961: The first U.S. traveler in space, Alan Shepard, Jr., completes a 15-minute suborbital flight aboard the Freedom 7 spacecraft.
  • 1770: Marie Antoinette marries Louis XVI, becoming the Queen of France.
  • 1920: Joan of Arc is canonized as a saint by Pope Benedict XV.
  • 1919: The United States Congress passes the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
  • 1943: The Dambusters Raid takes place, with the Royal Air Force carrying out a successful attack on German dams using bouncing bombs.


  • 1946: The first magnetic tape recorder is demonstrated by the American engineer, Jack Mullin.
  • 1960: Theodore Maiman operates the first laser at the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
  • 1929: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the first Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, honoring outstanding achievements in the film industry.
  • 1991: Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the United States Congress.
  • 1877: The very first sound recording is made by Thomas Edison, who recites the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb.


  • 1866: The United States Congress passes the Reconstruction Act, which outlines the conditions for re-admitting the Confederate states into the Union after the Civil War.
  • 1929: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the first Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, honoring outstanding achievements in the film industry.
  • 1966: The Communist Party of China initiates the Cultural Revolution with the goal of preserving Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from society.
  • 1951: The first Freedom Rides begin in the United States, organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to test the enforcement of Supreme Court rulings banning segregation in interstate travel.
  • 1988: U.S. President Ronald Reagan travels to Moscow for a summit meeting with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, furthering diplomatic relations between the two superpowers.


  • 1929: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the first Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, honoring outstanding achievements in the film industry.
  • 1965: American folk singer Bob Dylan releases his influential album “Bringing It All Back Home,” which features a mix of acoustic and electric styles.
  • 1843: The British novelist Charles Dickens publishes his novella “A Christmas Carol,” which would become one of his most beloved works.
  • 1984: The TV show “Miami Vice” debuts, showcasing a new style of police drama with its flashy fashion, fast cars, and electronic music.
  • 1953: The Pulitzer Prize for Drama is awarded to Tennessee Williams for his play “The Glass Menagerie.


  • 1946: Robert Fripp, English guitarist and co-founder of the progressive rock band King Crimson.
  • 1953: Pierce Brosnan, Irish actor known for portraying James Bond in several films.
  • 1969: David Boreanaz, American actor known for his roles in the TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Bones.
  • 1986: Megan Fox, American actress known for her roles in the “Transformers” film series.
  • 1977: Dolcenera (Emanuela Trane), Italian singer-songwriter and actress.


  • 1888: Yury Dolgorukiy, Russian ruler who founded Moscow and played a significant role in consolidating early Rus’.
  • 2014: H. R. Giger, Swiss artist and designer known for his work on the film “Alien” and his surrealistic paintings.
  • 1961: Newton D. Baker, American politician who served as the United States Secretary of War during World War I.
  • 1727: Catherine I of Russia, Empress consort to Peter the Great and the first woman to rule Russia in her own right.
  • 2014: Malcolm Glazer, American businessman and owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Manchester United.


May 16th has been a significant date throughout history, witnessing various remarkable events and milestones. From pioneering scientific breakthroughs to important political decisions, cultural achievements, and notable births and deaths, this day holds a rich tapestry of historical significance. These events serve as a testament to the continuous progression of human civilization and our collective journey through time. May 16th reminds us of the countless individuals who have shaped our world and left an indelible mark on society. It is a day to reflect on the past and appreciate the achievements and contributions of those who came before us.


Q: What is the significance of May 16th in history?

A: May 16th marks the occurrence of various significant events and milestones across different fields, including historical, scientific, political, cultural, and personal.

Q: Are there any famous birthdays on May 16th?

A: Yes, notable individuals such as Robert Fripp, Pierce Brosnan, Megan Fox, and David Boreanaz were born on May 16th.

Q: Are there any famous deaths on May 16th?

A: Yes, notable figures like H. R. Giger, Yury Dolgorukiy, and Catherine I of Russia passed away on May 16th.

Q: Which significant political decisions were made on May 16th?

A: May 16th witnessed events such as the passing of the Reconstruction Act in 1866 and the cultural revolution initiated by the Communist Party of China in 1966.

Q: Were there any groundbreaking scientific discoveries on May 16th?

A: Yes, significant scientific milestones like the demonstration of the first magnetic tape recorder in 1946 and the operation of the first laser by Theodore Maiman in 1960 occurred on May 16th.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.