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July 16th in History

Posted by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 7:18 AM
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July 16 is a date on which many momentous events occurred throughout our history. Here are the facts about a few of those significant happenings.

Kissing ban 

The Great Famine in Europe during 1438 eventually lead to the spread of Black Death in 1439, as well as the many other plagues that killed thousands of people throughout Europe. Though the concept of spreading disease through germs was unheard of at this time, it was known that diseases were passed through contact between people.

It was because of the fear of spreading disease that on July 16, 1438, King Henry VI banned kissing in England.

Washington D.C.

On July 16, 1790, Congress established the District of Columbia. On that day, Congress authorized President George Washington to choose a site that was ten square miles along the Potomac River, coming from the states of Maryland and Virginia. The area was initially called the "Territory of Columbia".

The name Columbia, was actually one of the names given to the European colonies in America, based on the surname of Christopher Columbus.

Under the sea

The first color photograph taken under water was taken on July 16, 1926, by National Geographic staff photographer Charles Martin and Dr. William Longley. It was a picture of a hogfish taken near the Florida Keys.

In order to take the picture, they used pounds of magnesium flash powder. The powder floated in a raft sitting atop the water, and when the camera shutter was pressed it triggered an explosion that illuminated the water enabling them to capture the photograph.

John F. Kennedy Jr.'s fatal flight

It's hard to believe, but 12 years ago on July 16, 1999, John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and her sister Lauren Bessette were killed in a plane crash off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

John Jr. was an inexperienced pilot and he flew the plane on that dark and moonless night, more than likely losing sight of the horizon. Kennedy was supposed to drop Lauren off at Martha's Vineyard, while he and his wife went to Hyannis Port on Cape Cod to attend the wedding of Rory Kennedy.

They never made it to Martha's Vineyard, and while the world waited and hoped for a miracle the following day, the miracle never came. On July 21st, divers found the wreckage and the bodies of the victims.

Famous birthdays

"Shoeless" Joe Jackson was born on July 16, 1887, other July 16 birthdays include actress Barbara Stanwyck, the famous actress from The Big Valley, Orville Redenbacher the popcorn king, actress and dancer Ginger Rogers, actress Phoebe Cates, comedian and actor Will Ferrell, and actor Corey Feldman.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 7:18 AM
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by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 7:20 PM

I have always wondered where DC got it's name, thanks.  Also I remember JFK jr.'s death.  Yesterday I watched part of a movie with Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda. I thought it was awful, but at least I now know who she is.

by on Jul. 16, 2013 at 8:00 PM

I  remember JFK Jr Death..

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