February 16 Dateline

Famous Birthdays

1838 - Henry Adams, Historian and Novelist
1886 - Van Wyck Brooks, Literary Critic and Cultural Historian
1935 - Sonny Bono, Entertainer and U.S. Congressman
1959 - John McEnroe, Tennis player
1973 - Cathy Freeman, Athlete

John McEnroe

Historical Events

600 - Pope Gregory I decrees that "God bless you" is the correct response to a sneeze.

1568 - The entire population of the Netherlands - three million people - is sentenced to death by the Roman Catholic church for heresy.

1937 - Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon, a synthetic polymer.  It is later used for stockings.

1892 - The four-act lyric drama Werther by French composer Jules Massenet is first performed. Libretto was written by Edouard Balu, Paul Milliet and Henri Grémont Hartmann, based on a 1774 novel by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther. The venue was Vienna, Opéra Impérial de Vienne. The setting is in Wetzlar near Frankfurt, circa 1780.

1959 - Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba.

2005 - The Kyoto Protocol on climate change comes into force, following its ratification by Russia.  

1. Asiado, Tel. The World's Movers and Shapers. New Hampshire: Ore Mountain Publishing House (2005)
2. Chambers Biographical Dictionary, 19th Ed. London: Chambers Harrap, 2011
3. Dateline. Sydney: Millennium House, (2006)
4. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History, New 3rd Revised Ed. Simon & Schuster/Touchstone (1991)

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