May 16 is the 136th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (137th in leap years). There are 229 days remaining.

  1. 1204 - Baldwin IX, Count of Flanders is crowned first Emperor of the Latin Empire.
  2. 1527 - The Florentines drive out the Medici for a second time and Florence re-establishes a republic.
  3. 1532 - Sir Thomas More resigns as Lord Chancellor of England.
  4. 1568 - Mary Queen of Scots flees to England.
  5. 1605 - Paul V becomes Pope.
  6. 1770 - 14-year old Marie Antoinette marries 15-year-old Louis-Auguste who later becomes king of France.
  7. 1777 - Lachlan McIntosh and Button Gwinnett shoot each other during a duel near Savannah, Georgia. Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, dies three days later.
  8. 1811 - Peninsular War - Allies (Spain, Portugal & Britain) defeat French at the Battle of Albuera.
  9. 1836 - Edgar Allan Poe marries his 13-year-old cousin Virginia.
  10. 1843 - The first major wagon train heading for the Northwest sets out with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri on the Oregon Trail.
  11. 1866 - The U.S. Congress eliminates the half dime coin and replaces it with the five cent piece, or nickel.
  12. 1866 - Charles Elmer Hires invents root beer.
  13. 1868 - President Andrew Johnson is acquitted during his impeachment trial, by one vote in the United States Senate.
  14. 1874 - A flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroyed much of four villages and killed 139 people.
  15. 1877 - May 16, 1877 political crisis in France.
  16. 1910 - The U.S. Congress authorizes the creation of the United States Bureau of Mines.
  17. 1918 - The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government a jailable offense.
  18. 1919 - US Navy Naval Curtiss aircraft NC-4 commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.
  19. 1920 - In Rome, Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc as a saint.
  20. 1929 - In Hollywood, California, the first Academy Awards are handed out.
  21. 1938 - A fire at the Terminal Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, kills 35 people.
  22. 1943 - Holocaust: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends.
  23. 1943 - World War II: The Dambuster Raids by No. 617 Squadron RAF on German dams.
  24. 1948 - Chaim Weizmann is elected as the first President of Israel.
  25. 1960 - Nikita Khrushchev demands an apology from US President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union thus ending a Big Four summit in Paris.
  26. 1960 - Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser, at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
  27. 1965 - Campbell Soup Company introduces SpaghettiOs under its Franco-American brand.
  28. 1966 - The Communist Party of China issued the "May 16 Notice", marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.
  29. 1969 - Venera program: Venera 5, a Soviet spaceprobe, lands on Venus.
  30. 1972 - Decimal currency introduced in Malta. The Pound sterling is henceforth divided into 100 cents.
  31. 1975 - India annexes Sikkim after the mountain state held a referendum where popular vote was in favour of merging with India.
  32. 1975 - Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  33. 1988 - A report by United States' Surgeon General C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.
  34. 1992 - STS-49: Space Shuttle Endeavour lands safely after a successful maiden voyage.
  35. 2003 - In Casablanca, Morocco, 33 civilians are killed and more than 100 people are injured in the Casablanca terrorist attacks.
  36. 2004 - The Day of Mourning at Bykivnia forest, just outside of Kiev, Ukraine. Here during 1930s and early 1940s communist bolsheviks executed over 100.000 Ukrainian civilians.
  37. 2005 - Kuwait permits women's suffrage in a 35-23 National Assembly vote.
  38. 2006 - A large magnitude 7.4 earthquake occurs near New Zealand.