|Huntsville, Alabama's Tallulah Bankhead|
March 16, 1521 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines. He was killed the next month by natives.
March 16, 1751 - James Madison, the fourth president of the United States, was born near Port Conway, Va. He was one of the main drafters of the U.S. Constitution, recorder of the Constitutional Convention, one of the authors of “The Federalist Papers” and served two terms as President.
March 16, 1782 – During the American Revolutionary War, Spanish troops captured the British-held island of Roatán, the largest of Honduras' Bay Islands.
March 16, 1802 – The United States Military Academy – the first military school in the United States – was founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. Located at West Point, New York, the U.S. Military Academy is often simply known as West Point.
March 16, 1830 – Scottish author and newspaperman James Stuart, who wrote “Three Years in North America,” arrived in Montgomery, Ala. He traveled from Montgomery to Mobile by stagecoach, and he described his travels in his book.
March 16, 1836 - The Republic of Texas approved a constitution.
March 16, 1850 - The novel "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was published for the first time.
March 16, 1861 – Edward Clark became Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who has been evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy.
March 16, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Red River Campaign continued as Union troops reached Alexandria, Louisiana.
March 16, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Averasborough began in North Carolina as Confederate forces suffered irreplaceable casualties in the final months of the war. Union troops in the battle were led by General William T. Sherman.
March 16, 1900 – Sir Arthur Evans purchased the land around the ruins of Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete.
March 16, 1900 - Ban Johnson, after presiding over a meeting of baseball owners, announced that the new American League would begin play in April with teams in Buffalo, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
March 16, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Alger-Sullivan Lumber Co. would begin operating a new freight and passenger train over their railroad from Century, Fla. to the end of the line in Monroe County. The train would be a mixture of freight cars with a passenger coach partitioned for white and colored passengers. The train was to leave Century every afternoon and to return in the morning, an arrangement that would allow passengers from Monroe County to visit Mobile or Pensacola in the morning and to return to their homes in the afternoon.
March 16, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.F. Hassell & Co. had opened a new livery and sale stable in Monroeville, occupying the “Watson old stand” on the west side of the square.
March 16, 1912 – Lawrence Oates, an ill member of Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition, left his tent to die, saying: "I am just going outside and may be some time."
March 16, 1914 – B.B. Comer spoke at the Monroe County Courthouse, Jones Mill and Repton while campaigning for governor.
March 16, 1918 - Tallulah Bankhead of Huntsville, Ala. made her New York acting debut with a role in "The Squab Farm."
March 16, 1935 – Adolf Hitler ordered Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Conscription is reintroduced to form the Wehrmacht.
March 16, 1937 - Alabama author Richmond Pearson Hobson died in New York, N.Y.
March 16, 1939 – From Prague Castle, Hitler proclaimed Bohemia and Moravia a German protectorate.
March 16, 1952 – Novelist Alice Hoffman was born in New York City.
March 16, 1953 - Baseball’s owners refused to allow Bill Veeck to move his struggling St. Louis Browns to Baltimore, which forced Veeck to sell the team. Veeck was the clown prince among baseball owners, prone to boneheaded stunts as well as inspired pranks, all aimed at bringing people to the ballpark and making a baseball game as entertaining as possible.
March 16, 1956 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome was born in Muscle Shoals, Ala. He would go on to play for Alabama and the Cleveland Browns.
March 16, 1957 – In an incident attributed to the “Dragon’s Triangle,” a U.S. Navy JD-1 Invader plane disappeared between Japan and Okinawa.
March 16, 1964 - Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were reinstated to the NFL after an 11-month suspension for betting on football games.
March 16, 1966 – NFL quarterback Rodney Peete was born in Mesa, Az. He would go on to play for Southern Cal, the Detroit Lions, the Dallas Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Redskins, the Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers.
March 16, 1968 – Army PFC Dewey Ray Owens of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
March 16, 1970 – Army Spc. James Steven Stanley of Opp, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
March 16, 1989 – In Egypt, a 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops.
March 16, 1995 – Mississippi formally ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, becoming the last state to approve the abolition of slavery. The Thirteenth Amendment was officially ratified in 1865.