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16th March

1521 Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines.

1751 * James Madison, fourth US President from 1809-1817.

1802 The first United States Military Academy "West Point", was established.

1815 William of Orange proclaimed King of the Netherlands.

1872 The first FA Cup soccer match played between Bolton Wanderers and Royal Engineers.

1900 The ancient city of Knossos on the island of Crete was discovered.

1920 * Leo McKern, Australian-born actor who starred in the TV series Rumpole of the Bailey.

1926 US The first liquid-fuel rocket was successfully launched by Prof. Robert Goddard at Auburn, Massachusetts. The rocket travelled 184 feet in 2.5 seconds.

1926 * Jerry Lewis, US film comedian who, with Dean Martin starred in many Hollywood films.

1935 Hitler renounced the Versailles Treaty and introduced conscription.

1940 * Bernardo Bertolucci, Italian film director.

1953 Marshal Josef Tito of Yugoslavia arrived in Britain, the first Communist head of state to visit the country.

1973 The Queen opened the new London Bridge.

1976 Harold Wilson Labour leader for 13 years and Prime Minister for almost eight resigned as Prime Minister.

1978 Italian politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped, and later murdered, by the Red Brigades.

1985 US journalist Terry Anderson was kidnapped in Beirut. He was eventually released on December 4, 1991 after 2454 days in captivity.

1988 Lieutenant Colonel Oliver L. North and Vice Admiral John M. Poindexter of the National Security Council are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States for their role in the Iran-contra affair.

1988 Thousands of people died in a poison gas attack in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja, a Kurdish city in northern Iraq.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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