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On This Day: November 16

This is the 320th day of the year.

Fact of the Day: blue sky

The sun emits solar radiation, some of which is visible to the human eye. We see colors depending on the length of the light waves, from the longest (red) to the shortest (blue). When solar radiation passes through the earth's atmosphere, various molecules scatter the light waves (called diffusion). Blue waves, which are short and intense, get diffused more widely than other waves - so we see the sky as blue.


Feast day of St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Agnes of Assisi, St. Gertrude of Helfta, St. Afan, St. Edmund of Abingdon, St. Mechtildis of Helfta, St. Nikon Metanoeite, and St. Eucherius of Lyons.

Oklahoma: Admission Day.

United Nations International Day for Tolerance.


1532 - The Incan empire fell to Spain.

1676 - The first U.S. prison was established, on Nantucket island.

1776 - British troops captured Fort Washington during the American Revolution.

1821 - Trader William Becknell reached Santa Fe, New Mexico, via the route that will become known as the Santa Fe Trail.

1824 - Australian explorer Hamilton Hume discovered the Murray River, the longest river in Australia.

1864 - Union General William Sherman and his troops began their March to the Sea during the Civil War.

1889 - The Oahu Railway and Land Company began operating in Hawaii.

1907 - Oklahoma became the 46th state of the Union.

1920 - The Russian Civil War ended; the Bolsheviks were victorious.

1920 - Metered mail was born in Stamford, Connecticut with the first Pitney-Bowes postage meter.

1933 - The United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations.

1959 - Rodgers and Hammerstein's "The Sound of Music" opened on Broadway.

1969 - Lieutenant William Calley, Jr., faced a court martial for directing his platoon in the massacre of at least 400 unarmed peasants in the Vietnamese village of My Lai.

1973 - Skylab 3, carrying three astronauts, launched from Cape Canaveral for an 84-day mission.

1973 - The Alaska Pipeline was signed into law.

1982 - An agreement was announced, ending a 57-day strike by the National Football League players.

1988 - Benazir Bhutto, daughter of former leader Zulfikar Bhutto, was elected prime minister and first female head of state of Pakistan.

1992 - The Roman Catholic Church issued a new universal catechism, addressing modern-day issues.

1993 - Vladimir Lenin's mausoleum was closed by the Russian authorities.

2004 - President George W. Bush picked National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice to be his new secretary of state, succeeding Colin Powell.


42 B.C.E. - Tiberius, Roman emperor.

1873 - W.C. Handy, American composer, called the "Father of the Blues."

1889 - George S. Kaufman, American playwright.

1896 - Fibber McGee (Jim Jordan), American actor.

1907 - Burgess Meredith, American actor.


1272 - Henry III, King of England.

1960 - Clark Gable, American film actor.

1981 - William Holden, American film actor (found dead on this date after a head injury).

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