December 16 events in history

714 Pepin of Herstal, mayor of the Merovingian palace, dies at Jupille (modern Belgium). He is succeeded by his infant grandson Theudoald while his wife Plectrude holds actual power in the Frankish Kingdom
755 An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Yanjing, initiating the An Lushan Rebellion during the Tang Dynasty of China
1431 Hundred Years' War: Henry VI of England is crowned King of France at Notre Dame in Paris
1497 Vasco da Gama rounds the Cape of Good Hope, the point where Bartolomeu Dias had previously turned back to Portugal
1575 An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 8.5 strikes Valdivia, Chile
1598 Seven Year War: Battle of Noryang – The final battle of the Seven Year War is fought between the China and the Korean allied forces and Japanese navies, resulting in a decisive allied forces victory
1653 English Interregnum: The Protectorate – Oliver Cromwell becomes Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland
1689 Convention Parliament: The Declaration of Right is embodied in the Bill of Rights
1707 Last recorded eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan
1761 Seven Years' War: After a four-month siege, the Russians under Pyotr Rumyantsev take the Prussian fortress of Kołobrzeg
1773 American Revolution: Boston Tea Party – Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawk Indians dump hundreds of crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act
1811 The first two in a series of four severe earthquakes occur in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri
1826 Benjamin W. Edwards rides into Mexican-controlled Nacogdoches, Texas, and declares himself ruler of the Republic of Fredonia
1838 Great Trek: Battle of Blood River – Voortrekkers led by Andries Pretorius and Sarel Cilliers defeat Zulu impis, led by Dambuza (Nzobo) and Ndlela kaSompisi in what is today KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
1850 The Charlotte Jane and the Randolph bring the first of the Canterbury Pilgrims to Lyttelton, New Zealand
1863 American Civil War: Joseph E. Johnston replaces Braxton Bragg as commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Nashville – Major General George Thomas's Union forces defeat Lieutenant General John Bell Hood's Confederate Army of Tennessee
1903 Taj Mahal Palace & Tower hotel in Bombay first opens its doors to the guests
1907 The American Great White Fleet begins its circumnavigation of the world
1912 First Balkan War: The Royal Hellenic Navy defeats the Ottoman Navy at the Battle of Elli
1914 World War I: German battleships under Franz von Hipper bombard the English ports of Hartlepool and Scarborough
1918 Vincas Mickevičius-Kapsukas declares the formation of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic
1920 The Haiyuan earthquake, magnitude 8.5, rocks the Gansu province in China, killing an estimated 200,000
1922 President of Poland Gabriel Narutowicz is assassinated by Eligiusz Niewiadomski at the Zachęta Gallery in Warsaw
1927 Donald Bradman makes his debut in first-class cricket for New South Wales against South Australia. Batting at No. 7, he scores a century
1930 Bank robber Herman Lamm and members of his crew are killed by a 200-strong posse, following a botched bank robbery in Clinton, Indiana
1937 Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again
1938 Adolf Hitler institutes the Cross of Honor of the German Mother
1941 World War II: Japanese forces occupy Miri, Sarawak
1942 The Holocaust: Schutzstaffel chief Heinrich Himmler orders that Roma candidates for extermination be deported to Auschwitz
1944 World War II: The Battle of the Bulge begins with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest
1946 Thailand joins the United Nations
1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor
1950 Korean War: U.S. President Harry S. Truman declares a state of emergency, after Chinese troops enter the fight in support of communist North Korea
1957 Sir Feroz Khan Noon replaces Ibrahim Ismail Chundrigar as Prime Minister of Pakistan
1960 New York mid-air collision, the midair collision of a United Airlines flight with a TWA flight near Idlewild Airport that killed 133
1965 Vietnam War: General William Westmoreland sends U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara a request for 243,000 more men by the end of 1966
1968 Second Vatican Council: Official revocation of the Edict of Expulsion of Jews from Spain
1971 Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: The surrender of the Pakistan Army brings an end to both conflicts. This is commemorated annually as Victory Day in Bangladesh, and as Vijay Diwas in India
1971 The United Kingdom recognizes Bahrain's independence. This is commemorated annually as Bahrain's National Day
1978 Cleveland, Ohio, becomes the first major American city to default on its financial obligations since the Great Depression
1979 Libya joins four other OPEC nations in raising crude oil prices, which has an immediate, dramatic effect on the United States
1985 Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of New York's Gambino crime family
1986 Gennady Kolbin replaces Dinmukhamed Konayev as First Secretary of the Kazakh Communist Party, prompting the Jeltoqsan protests which began the next day
1989 Romanian Revolution: Protests break out in Timișoara, Romania, in response to an attempt by the government to evict dissident Hungarian pastor László Tőkés
1989 U.S. Appeals Court Judge Robert Smith Vance is assassinated by a mail bomb sent by Walter Leroy Moody, Jr
1991 Kazakhstan gains its independence from the Soviet Union
1997 A Japanese airing of the "Dennō Senshi Porygon" episode of Pokémon induces seizures in 685 viewers
2012 A gang rape in Delhi sparks widespread demonstrations across India
2013 A bus falls from an elevated highway in Manila, Philippines, killing at least 18 people and injuring 20 others