What Happened on July 16?

  • NASA's Apollo 11 mission took off for the moon. (1969) Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to successfully land on the moon. Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first humans to walk on the moon after it landed on July 20. This mission also marked the first time samples were brought back to Earth from another planetary body — scientists dated the samples at 3.7 billion years old.

  • John F. Kennedy Jr. died in a plane crash, along with his wife Carolyn and her sister. (1999) Kennedy was piloting the plane, which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard. Investigators determined the crash was due to pilot error — Kennedy was trying to navigate over water and night and was not rated to fly with only aircraft instruments.

  • Martha Stewart was sentenced to five months in prison for lying about a stock sale. (2004) Stewart avoided a $45,673 US Dollar loss by using inside information from her broker, Peter Bacanovic. She was found guilty in March 2004, and was sentenced on this day to five months in prison and five months of electronic monitoring at home.

  • The United States exploded its first atomic bomb. (1945) The nuclear weapon was exploded in a test area near Alamogordo, New Mexico. It marked the successful completion of the "Manhattan Project," which cost the US government $2.4 billion US Dollars.

  • John Glenn set a new transcontinental speed record. (1957) Glenn, a Major in the Marines, flew to New York from California in just 3 hours, 23 minutes and 8 seconds in a F8U Crusader supersonic jet. Glenn also gained fame as an astronaut, being the third person and first American to orbit the Earth in 1962.

  • The world's first parking meter was installed. (1935) The meter, invented by Carl C. Magee, was installed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The first meters cost one nickel per hour. Widespread production started in 1936, and 140,000 meters were installed in the US by 1940. The first "meter maids" were hired in New York City in 1960.

  • The Residence Act was signed and the District of Columbia became the capital of the United States. (1790) Washington D.C. was named after the first US President George Washington, who had been in office for a year at the time.

  • The first female physician was licensed to practice medicine in Canada. (1880) Emily Stowe graduated from the New York Medical College for Women in the United States in 1867. She practiced medicine in Toronto, Canada, without a license until the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario granted her a license on this day in 1880. Stowe's daughter, Augusta Stowe-Gullen, later became the first woman to graduate with a medical degree in Canada.

  • France and Italy were connected by the Mont Blanc Tunnel. (1965) The tunnel opened to traffic on this day, reducing the commute from France to Turin, Italy, by 31 miles (50 kilometers) and from France to Milan by 62 miles (100 kilometers). T Mont Blanc tunnels through the Alps, which required almost 6 million square feet (555,000 square meters) of rock to be blasted out.

  • American comedian Will Ferrell was born. (1967) Ferrell became famous working on the American comedy TV show Saturday Night Live. He also has made his mark in movies, in such films as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Stranger than Fiction and Blades of Glory.

Discussion Comments


Though I don't know much about Martha Stewart, I do remember a lot of publicity when she was sent to prison (and when she was on electronic monitoring). However, since then, she seems to have faded out of the spotlight, as the news hasn't covered her at all.


The third to last bullet point really puts emphasis on how during the 1800s, women had far less rights then they do now, and that they were expected to stay home and cook. However, not only did Emily Stowe's practice in medicine show society that women were capable of having any role, but her daughter's graduation further emphasized this.

When the United States exploded its first atomic bomb in 1945, it definitely set off a chain of events that would forever be remembered. Fortunately, in this day and age, nuclear and atomic weapons seem to be much less of a problem. However, there are always chances that something similar could happen, and it's always a good idea to be cautious.
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