Claudine Bustamante

Written by Claudine Bustamante

Modified & Updated: 28 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Welcome to our daily roundup of historical events and intriguing facts that took place on November 16th. Each day is filled with significant moments that have shaped the course of history and left a lasting impact on the world we live in.

From breakthrough scientific discoveries to landmark events, November 16th has been a day of great significance. Join us as we delve into the past and explore the remarkable events, notable births, and tragic incidents that have occurred on this day throughout history.

So, let’s embark on this journey through time, as we unveil the memorable moments and fascinating tidbits that make November 16th a day worth remembering.

Key Takeaways:

  • November 16th has seen significant events like the founding of UNESCO and the launch of iconic TV shows. It’s a day of scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, and the birth and passing of notable individuals.
  • From the first recorded automobile accident to the premiere of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” November 16th is a day filled with diverse and impactful historical events, making it a date worth remembering.
Table of Contents


  • 1959: The first episode of the animated TV series “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” airs.
  • 1914: The Federal Reserve Bank of the United States officially opens for business.
  • 1945: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is founded.
  • 1973: Skylab 4, the last crewed mission to Skylab, is launched by NASA.
  • 1988: Estonia declares its sovereignty from the Soviet Union.


  • 1896: The first recorded automobile accident occurs in New York City, involving a taxi and a bicycle.
  • 1959: American astronauts Alan Shepard and Virgil Grissom complete the first dual-man suborbital flight.
  • 1984: The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute is incorporated in California.
  • 1997: The first successful cloning of a mammal, Dolly the sheep, is announced in Scotland.
  • 2014: The comet lander Philae successfully touches down on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


  • 1864: Union General William T. Sherman begins his “March to the Sea” during the American Civil War.
  • 1920: The League of Nations holds its first meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • 2001: The first United Nations Climate Change Conference is held in Marrakech, Morocco.
  • 2006: The Mexican government launches Operación Conjunta Michoacán to combat drug cartels.
  • 2018: The United Kingdom and the European Union reach a draft Brexit withdrawal agreement.


  • 1981: The action-adventure film “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” directed by Steven Spielberg, is released.
  • 1990: The TV series “Saturday Night Live” parodies the Gulf War with the sketch “Baghdad Cafe.
  • 2001: The first Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,” premieres in London.
  • 2013: The popular video game “Grand Theft Auto V” becomes the fastest-selling entertainment product in history.
  • 2019: The Disney+ streaming service launches in the United States.


  • 1889: George S. Kaufman, American playwright and humorist.
  • 1937: Lois McMaster Bujold, American speculative fiction writer.
  • 1961: Frank Bruno, British former professional heavyweight boxer.
  • 1974: Paul Scholes, English former professional footballer (Manchester United).
  • 1984: Gemma Atkinson, English actress and radio presenter.


  • 1530: Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, English statesman and Archbishop of York.
  • 1831: Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers, German physician and astronomer.
  • 1980: Mae West, American actress, singer, and playwright.
  • 1990: Roald Dahl, British author of children’s books.
  • 2017: Mel Tillis, American country music singer-songwriter.


The events that took place on November 16th throughout history are diverse and significant. From the launch of iconic TV shows to scientific breakthroughs, political milestones, cultural events, and the births and deaths of notable individuals, this date has witnessed many notable moments.


Q: What are some key historical events that happened on November 16th?

A: Some key historical events that happened on November 16th include the opening of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States in 1914, the founding of UNESCO in 1945, and Estonia declaring its sovereignty from the Soviet Union in 1988.

Q: Were there any scientific breakthroughs on November 16th?

A: Yes, there have been several scientific breakthroughs on November 16th. Examples include the first recorded automobile accident in 1896, the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1997, and the landing of the comet lander Philae on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014.

Q: Are there any notable cultural events associated with November 16th?

A: Yes, there are notable cultural events associated with November 16th. The release of the film “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981, the premiere of the first Harry Potter film in 2001, and the launch of the Disney+ streaming service in 2019 are few examples.

Q: Which famous personalities were born on November 16th?

A: Some famous personalities born on November 16th include playwright George S. Kaufman, writer Lois McMaster Bujold, former boxer Frank Bruno, footballer Paul Scholes, and actress Gemma Atkinson.

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

A: Notable individuals who passed away on November 16th include Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers, actress Mae West, author Roald Dahl, and country music singer-songwriter Mel Tillis.

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