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Important Events From This day in History December 16th

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1979 - U.S.A. -- Increases in Gas Prices
1979 : As OPEC has increased prices and oil production over the last 12 months the price of gas continues to increase sharply, mostly due to the ongoing crisis in Iran. In just 12 months the price of gas has risen from just 63 cents at the end of 1978 to over a $1.00 per gallon today. It should also be noted the US government had produced Gas coupons for rationing due to panic buying and ongoing concern over supplies but had not issued them . Find More What happened in 1979

1944 - Belgium -- Battle of the Bulge
The Battle of the Bulge during World War II began as German forces launched a surprise counterattack against Allied forces at Ardennes Belgium . The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest of the battles that U.S. forces experienced in World War II with over 19,000 American soldiers killed

1773 - United States -- Boston Tea Party
The Boston Tea Party was a culmination of protests against the Tea Act and about the extent of the British Parliament's authority over the British American colonies including new taxes, including one on tea, the colonists primary dispute was "no taxation without representation", the tea just offered a way to protest no representation for the colonies in the British Government. Following the decision of officials in Boston who refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and destroyed the tea by throwing it into Boston Harbor.

1955 - England -- Heathrow Airport
1955 : The Queen has opened new buildings in the centre of London Airport ( renamed Heathrow Airport ) , part of a new complex designed to handle a growing number of air passengers. London Airport ( Heathrow ) was originally opened in 1946 but the new buildings were part of a planned extension Heathrow Airport now has four terminals with a fifth terminal under construction and is one of the world's busiest airports with over 65 million passengers per year.

1907 - South Africa -- Ethiopian Movement
The British were very concerned about the Ethiopian movement in South Africa. This movement had as its slogan "South Africa for the blacks" and its aim was to abolish British rule. The most radical group of rebels was the Zulu tribe.

1910 - UK -- Houndsditch Murders
A gang attempts to break into the rear of a jeweller's shop at 119 Houndsditch, during a police check the gang shot and killed Constable Choate and Sergeant Bentley, On January 2nd and 3rd the following year Police surround an area in Stepney and a gunfight leaves 2 of those responsible dead.

1916 - Russia -- Rasputin
Rasputin, the monk who had wielded powerful influence over the Russian royal family, was murdered by a group of noblemen led by Prince Felix Yusupov and the Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich .

1920 - China -- Severe Earthquake
1920 : An earthquake measuring 8.5 magnitude on the Richter scale hits the heavily populated of Gansu province of midwestern China, causing the deaths of an estimated 200,000 people.

1926 - U.S.A. -- Calls to Bolster the Navy
1926 : Congress appealed to President Coolidge for money to bolster a weak and embarrassing American navy. They said that their navy was a third rate power and was behind France, Japan, and Great Britain.

1933 - Germany -- Quits the League of Nations
Germany quit the League of Nations and Adolph Hitler was in power with his Nazi regime. Other European countries were nervous of Germany's intentions; however, they were relying on negotiations instead of war at that point. France was threatened by Germany, but generally felt secure behind her fortifications.
1940 - England -- Aircraft Production
British factories could manufacture a plane in two hours, making a total of a dozen planes a day. Although Nazi bombing raids had damaged some of the plane factories Britain was still producing plenty of aircraft for the war effort. The majority of steel for the planes came from the United States.

1950 - U.S.A. -- Communist Threat
1950 : President Truman proclaimed a state of emergency to combat the growth of communism and delegated many of his own war powers to Charles E. Wilson, the new Mobilization Director of the Economic Stabilization Agency . As part of the measures to fight communism new price controls are put in place and new war production targets are set.

1950 - Italy -- US Ambassador
1950 : Italy had a new ambassador from the United States. He was J.D. Zellerbach and was president of the Crown-Zellerbach Corporation. During World War II Italy awarded him the Knightly Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for his mission in 1948-50.

1960 - U.S.A. -- Plane Crash
A United Air Lines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collide over New York City, killing 134 people

1967 - Canada -- Call For Quebec to Separate
General de Gaulle in France was encouraging Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada. The Newport Daily News explained, "Whereas practically all educated French learned English as a matter of necessity, any number of leading British Canadians knew little or no French - Canadian culture was almost exclusively British and American, with hardly a dash of French."

1969 - England -- Death Penalty Abolished
The British Parliament votes to abolish the death penalty in Great Britain, there had been a temporary ban on the death penalty since 1965.

1971 - Pakistan -- Bangladesh
Two weeks after the Indian invasion of East Pakistan ( Now Bangladesh ) in support of the independence movement, 90,000 Pakistani troops surrender to Indian forces.

1977 - England -- Picadily Line to Heathrow
The Queen opens the new underground link on the Picadily Line from central London to Heathrow's terminals which will run every 4 minutes and take 40 minutes and cost 80 pence one way. ( current price £3.80 )

1978 - Japan -- Massive New Store
Brooks Bothers and Daido Worsted Mills, were merging to create a 4,000 square foot store in Japan. This was an unusual move since Japan usually did not allow foreign companies to have the controlling interest in a joint Japanese company. Brooks was the oldest textile and retail manufacturer in the U.S. and Daido was a Japanese company.

1985 - U.S.A. -- Mafia Boss Shot
Paul Castellano the head of the Gambino crime family, then one of New York's largest Mafia families, is shot to death outside Sparks Steak House in Manhattan on the orders of John J. Gotti.

1989 - China -- Sanctions Following Student Deaths
Sanctions were placed on China due to the death of student protesters and this was affecting Japan economically. Japan was the second largest investor in China. Since 1979 Japan loaned 770 billion yen to China and promised another 10 billion yen from 1990-1995. Japan did not resume trade with China, because the Japanese did not want to offend the United States.

1990 - Haiti -- President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide was elected president of Haiti in the country's first democratic elections

1997 - Mexico -- Border Control
1997 : President Bill Clinton and Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo joined forces to combat illegal immigration and drug smuggling along the 2,000 mile border between Mexico and the United States. President Clinton declared, "The United States and Mexico are working hard to forge a true partnership founded on mutual respect, a partnership as broad as our border is long."

1998 - Iraq -- US Air strikes
President Bill Clinton orders a series of air strikes against Iraq by American and British forces in response to Saddam Hussein's continued defiance of UN weapons inspectors.

2000 - U.S.A. -- Colin Powell
The next President of the United States George W. Bush announces his selection for secretary of state, Colin Powell who will be the first African-American Secretary Of State.

2004 - England -- Anti Terrorism
The United Kingdoms high court makes a ruling to the government's anti terrorism policy that it can not detain foreign suspects indefinitely without trial.

2006 - Iraq -- Study Group
The Iraq Study Group report which is 96 pages long had just been released on the Internet and in book form. The study's critics were busy quibbling over semantics and whether or not the U.S. administration's actions were right or wrong. In one paragraph it read, "Iraq is vital to regional and even global stability, and is critical to U.S. interests. It runs along the sectarian fault lines of Shia and Sunni Islam, and of Kurdish and Arab populations. It has the world's second-largest known oil reserves. It is now a base of operations for international terrorism, including al Qaeda."

2006 - Iraq -- Turkish bombing of Kurdistan
Turkey's air strikes against Kurdish rebels in Iraq are said to have been approved in advance by the United States. The country's top general, Yasar Buyukanit, said that the U.S. opened northern Iraqi airspace for the operation, and jets targeted the Kurdish rebel P.K.K. in areas near around the border. The Turkish media says that up to fifty planes were used. Iraqi officials said the bombs hit ten villages, leaving one woman dead. The P.K.K. have reported seven deaths.
The United States has denied approving the Turkish attacks on P.K.K. targets in northern Iraq, which killed one woman. The Turkish army claims the U.S. provided intelligence and gave tacit approval by opening Iraqi airspace to Turkish jets. The U.S. has denied approving the Turkish attacks, and would only say it had been informed of the operation in advance. A U.S. embassy official in Iraq has told Reuters: "We have not approved any decision, it is not for us to approve. However, we were informed before the event."

2008 - United States -- Governor Rod Blagojevich Impeachment
Illinois lawmakers have taken the first step towards impeaching Governor Rod Blagojevich by voting to begin an inquiry into the grounds for impeachment. If the inquiry determines that impeachment is warranted, the house will vote on whether to impeach him, and a trial in the state senate will follow. Blagojevich had been arrested the previous week for trying to sell the President-elect's Senate seat.

2009 - Iran -- Iran test fires new missiles
2009 : Iran has successfully test-fired an improved version of one of their medium-range missiles. TV pictures have shown the launch of the Sajjil-2 rocket, which is said to have enough range to hit Israel or U.S. bases in the Gulf. Correspondents say it has been tested before, but it is likely to add to the increased speculation on Iran's nuclear ambitions. The West is speculating that Iran is trying to build nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies, and the U.S. says the test has 'undermined Iran's claims of peaceful intentions.'

2009 - European Union -- The Swiss minaret ban goes to court in Europe
An appeal against last month's decision by Swiss voters to ban minarets has been submitted to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The appeal has been lodged by an Algerian-born Muslim and a former spokesman for the Geneva Mosque. He wants the court to rule that the ban is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Some 57.5% of Swiss voters and twenty-two out of twenty-six cantons voted in favour of the ban.

2011 - Syria -- Continued Anti-Government Unrest in Syria
Security forces reportedly opened fire on anti-government demonstrators across Syria. Protesters claim that several people were killed during the protests which took place after Friday prayers. An estimated 200,000 people joined marches in various cities throughout the country.

2011 - Russia -- Russia Joins World Trade Organization
2011 : Russia officially joined the World Trade Organization after a ceremony in Switzerland commemorated the event. Russia spent nearly eighteen years negotiating its membership and finally gained membership after making a deal with Georgia who had been trying to block Russia's membership. Russia's membership was hailed as the last of the Group of 20 major economies to join the organization.

2013 - Chile -- Bachelet Wins Election
Former Chilean President Michele Bachelet won the President election with sixty-two percent of the vote compared to rival candidate Evelyn Matthei's thirty-eight percent. Bachelet had been the president of Chile from 2006 to 2010 but by law could not run for a second consecutive term.


2014 - Pakistani -- Peshawar school massacre
6 gunmen, wearing explosive belts entered the Peshawar Army Public School from the back through a cemetery adjacent to the school after having scaled the walls. They opened fire on school staff and children, killing 149 people including 132 schoolchildren, ranging between eight and eighteen years of age making it the world's fourth deadliest school massacre. The Terrorist Group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.

Born This Day In History 16th December

Celebrating Birthday's Today Noel Coward
Born: 16th December 1899 Teddington, Richmond upon Thames, England
Died: 26th March 1963 Port Maria, Jamaica
Known For :
Noel Coward who many believe was one of the finest writers of high comedy in the English language, he was also an accomplished , Actor, Singer, Songwriter, painter, novelist and Poet. His works are still performed in the theatre many years after he wrote them around the world possibly the most popular are Hay Fever, Private Lives, The Vortex, Design for Living, Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit. Many of his plays were also adapted to movies. He was a homosexual but, following the convention of his times, this was never publicly mentioned.

William Perry ( The Fridge )
Born: 16th December 1962 Aiken, South Carolina
Known For : William Perry is a former professional American football player a fullback and defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears where his nickname was "The Fridge". He was a member of the Chicago Bears winning team in Super Bowl XX beating the New England Patriots 46 -- 10 , and also scored a touchdown. The Super Bowl ring he earned for the win is the largest size ( 25 ) of any professional football player in the history of the event