February 16 is the 47th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 318 days remaining (319 in leap years).
- 1742 - Spencer Compton[?], Earl of Wilmington, becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain[?]
- 1804 - First Barbary War[?]: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate Philadelphia[?].
- 1852 - Studebaker Brothers wagon company, precursor of the automobile manufacturer, is established
- 1857 - The National Deaf Mute College (later renamed Gallaudet University) is established in Washington, DC becoming the first school for the advanced education of the deaf.
- 1862 - American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant captures Fort Donelson, Tennessee
- 1868 - In New York City the Jolly Gorks organization is renamed the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks[?] (BPOE).
- 1883 - Ladies Home Journal[?] is published for the first time.
- 1918 - Lithuania declares its independence from both Russia and Germany
- 1923 - Howard Carter unseals the burial chamber of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.
- 1937 - Wallace H. Carothers receives a patent for nylon.
- 1943 - World War II: Russia reconquers Kharkov
- 1945 - World War II: American forces land on Corregidor island in the Philippines.
- 1945 - American forces recapture the Bataan Peninsula
- 1959 - Fidel Castro becomes Premier of Cuba after President Fulgencio Batista was overthrown on January 1.
- 1968 - In Haleyville, Alabama the first 9-1-1 emergency telephone system goes into service.
- 1970 - Joe Frazier starts a heavyweight[?] world boxing champion winning streak with the knock out of Jimmy Ellis[?] in five rounds.
- 1978 - The first computer bulletin board system is created (CBBS in Chicago, Illinois).
- 1983 - The Ash Wednesday bushfires in Victoria and South Australia claim the lives of 71 people in Australia's worst ever fires.
- 1987 - The trial of John Demjanjuk, who was accused of being a Nazi guard dubbed "Ivan the Terrible" in Treblinka extermination camp, starts in Jerusalem. He was eventually convicted, but this ruling was overturned by the Israeli Supreme Court[?].
- 1989 - Pan Am flight 103: Investigators announce that the cause of the crash was a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player.
- 1991 - Gulf War: U.S. and U.K. war planes bomb the suburbs of Baghdad, injuring at least 11 civilians and killing three others.
- 1999 - In Uzbekistan a bomb explodes and gunfire is heard at the government headquarters in an apparent assassination attempt against President Islam Karimov[?]
- 1999 - Across Europe, Kurdish rebels take over embassies and hold hostages after Turkey arrested one of their rebel leaders, Abdullah Ícalan.
- 1999 - In Jasper, Texas, testimony begins in the trial of John William King who is accused of dragging African American James Byrd Jr.[?] to death in an apparent hate crime. King was later convicted and sentenced to the death penalty.
- 1497 - Philipp Melanchthon, humanist and reformer (+ 1560)
- 1620 - Friedrich Wilhelm[?], called "Great Elector" of Brandenburg-Prussia (+ 1688)
- 1822 - Sir Francis Galton, explorer, biologist (+ 1911)
- 1826 - Joseph Victor von Scheffel[?], poet (+ 1886)
- 1826 - Julia Grant[?], First Lady, wife of President Ulysses S. Grant (+ 1902)
- 1834 - Ernst Haeckel, zoologist and philosopher (+ 1919)
- 1838 - Henry Adams, historian and novelist (+ 1918)
- 1901 - Wayne King[?], band leader ("The Waltz King")
- 1903 - Edgar Bergen, ventriloquist (+ 1978)
- 1935 - Sonny Bono, singer, music producer, television procuder, Congressman (+ 1998)
- 1944 - Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist
- 1948 - Pete Postlethwaite, actor
- 1957 - LeVar Burton, actor
- 1957 - James Ingram[?], singer
- 1958 - Ice-T, singer, songwriter, actor
- 1959 - John MacEnroe[?], tennis player
See Also: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
February 15 - February 17 - January 16 - March 16 - Historical anniversaries