March 16, 1521 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the island of Homonhon in the Philippines with 150 crew. Members of his expedition became the first Spaniards to reach the Philippine archipelago, but were not the first Europeans. He landed with three small ships - Concepcion, Trinidad, and Victoria - and called the place the Arcigelago de San Lazaro since it was the feast day of Saint Lazarus of Bethany. 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, 1789 – English general and explorer Francis Chesney was born in Annalong, a seaside village in County Down, Northern Ireland at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.
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 6, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Arizona Territory Convention, held in Mesilla, Az., voted to leave the Federal Union.
March 16, 1862 – During the Civil War, martial law was declared in San Francisco as Federal authorities heard increasing rumors that there was to be a Confederate attack on the city. Skirmishes were also fought at Pound Gap, Ky.; at Black Jack Forest, near Pittsburg Landing, Tenn.; and at Marshall, Mo.
March 16, 1863 – During the Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant and Admiral David Dixon Porter were working remarkably well together in the project to defeat Vicksburg. Despite the cooperation between usually hostile forces, the grim fact of the matter was that they just weren’t making any progress. The expedition to the Yazoo Pass had returned, a failure, so a new plan was devised to proceed from the Yalobusha to Yazoo River, to Steele’s Bayou. This would have been very tricky even if the Confederates weren’t already aware of the plan. A three-day Federal operation between Trenton and Jackson, Tenn. began.
March 16, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Red River Campaign continued as Union troops reached Alexandria, Louisiana.
March 16, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Palatka, Fla.; in the vicinity of Tullahoma, Tenn.; and at Annandale and Bristoe Station, Va. Federal forces occuppied Alexandria, La. A nine-day Federal operation from Pilot Knob Mo., to the Arkansas state line began. A 38-day Confederate operation into Western Tennessee and Kentucky began, led by Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. A three-day Federal operation between Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia and Snicker’s Gap, Va. began. A three-day Federal operation began in Cabell and Wayne counties, West Virginia.
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. The Yankees lost approximately 95 men killed, 530 wounded, and 50 missing, while Confederates lost about 865 total.
March 16, 1865 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation between Winchester and Front Royal, Va. began. A Federal operation from Summit Point to Shenandoah Ferry, West Virginia began. A skirmish was fought at Little Cohera Creek, N.C.
March 16, 1878 – Stage and film actor Henry Brazeale Walthall was born in Shelby County, Ala. He is best known for his role of the “Little Colonel” in D.W. Griffith’s “The Birth of a Nation.”
March 16, 1892 – Poet Cesar Vallejo was born in Santiago de Chuco, Peru.
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 repored 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, Ala. 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, Ala., occupying the “Watson old stand” on the west side of the square.
March 16, 1906 – Comedian Henny Youngman was born in London.
March 16, 1911 – German physician and SS officer Josef Mengele was born in Günzburg, Bavaria, Germany.
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 Alabama governor.
March 16, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the L.D. King Lumber Co. had shipped several carloads of lumber to Nova Scotia that week.
March 16, 1916 – The following candidates announced their candidacy for the Conecuh County (Ala.) Board of Education: Dr. R.T. Holland, Castleberry; Dr. E.L. Kelley, Repton; Dr. W.A. Blair, Herbert; T.A. Jones, Rt. 1, Garland; E.J. McCreary, Evergreen; Geo. M. Harper, Herbert; Luke J. Mixon, Evergreen; S.B. Sanders, Brooklyn. Hugh S. Hagood, a civil engineer who had been county surveyor for a number of year, also announced his candidacy for County Tax Assessor. Old Town Beat farmer N.T. Aarons also announced his candidacy for Third District Member of the Board of Revenue.
March 16, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mrs. Julia Hatter Emmons had opened a Kindergarten at her home on Eastside and was glad to enroll all beginners under seven years. “Emmons recently took a special course in kindergarten work in Chicago and is prepared to conduct the institution along lines of latest developments in this work. This is the first institution of the kind ever established in the county and is worthy of liberal encouragement.”
March 16, 1918 - Tallulah Bankhead of Huntsville, Ala. made her New York acting debut with a role in "The Squab Farm."
March 16, 1920 – German SS officer Dorothea Binz was born in Försterei Dusterlake.
March 16, 1926 – Robert Goddard launched the first liquid-fueled rocket in Auburn, Mass.
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, 1951 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive guard Joe DeLamielleure was born in Detroit, Mich. He went on to play for Michigan State, the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003.
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. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.
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, 1962 – A Flying Tiger Line Super Constellation disappeared in the western Pacific Ocean, with all 107 aboard missing and presumed dead.
March 16, 1964 - Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were reinstated to the National Football League 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, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, in the My Lai Massacre, between 200 and 500 Vietnamese unarmed villagers (men, women, and children) were killed by a platoon of American troops at My Lai, one of a cluster of small villages located near the northern coast of South Vietnam.
March 16, 1970 – Army Spc. James Steven Stanley of Opp, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
March 16, 1975- During the Vietnam War, the withdrawal from Pleiku and Kontum began, as thousands of civilians joined the soldiers streaming down Route 7B toward the sea.
March 16, 1976 – Major League Baseball third baseman Abraham Núñez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. During his career, he played for the Pittsburg Pirates, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.
March 16, 1979 – College and NFL defensive tackle Rashad Moore was born in Huntsville, Ala. He went on to play for the University of Tennesse, the Seattle Seahawks, the New York Jets and the New England Patriots.
March 16, 1979 – During the Sino-Vietnamese War, the People's Liberation Army crossed the border back into China, ending the war.
March 16, 1988 – During what is now known as the “Halabja Chemical Attack,” the Kurdish town of Halabja in Iraq was attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents on the orders of Saddam Hussein, killing 5,000 people and injuring about 10,000 people.
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.