This Day In History : August 16

1988 United States

IBM introduced software for artificial intelligence

IBM introduces artificial intelligence software. International Business Machines Corp. unveiled a number of software programs designed to provide corporate or home computer users with advice on topics from equipment design to home mortgages.

Also on This Day in History August 16

Discover what happened on August 16 with HISTORY's summaries of major events, anniversaries,
famous births and notable deaths.

Births on This Day, August 16
  • 1884 Hugo Gernsback

    American inventor (80 patents) and publisher who was largely responsible for the establishment of science fiction as an independent literary form.

  • 1821 Arthur Cayley

    English mathematician who played a leading role in founding the modern British school of pure mathematics.

  • 1832 Wilhelm Wundt

    Wilhelm Max Wundt was a German psychologist and physiologist who established the first laboratory for experimental psychology (1879).

  • 1744 Pierre Mechain

    Pierre (-François-André) Méchain was a French astronomer and hydrographer at the naval map archives in Paris recruited by Jean Delambre.

  • 1845 Gabriel Lippmann

    Gabriel Jonas Lippmann was a French physicist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1908 for producing the first colour photographic plate.

Deaths on This Day, August 16
  • 1973 Selman Waksman

    Selman Abraham Waksman was an Ukrainian-American microbiologist and biochemist who was one of the world’s foremost authorities on soil microbiology.

  • 1920 Joseph Norman Lockyer

    English astronomer who in 1868 discovered and named the element helium that he found in the Sun’s atmosphere before it had been detected on Earth.

  • 1893 Jean-Martin Charcot

    French founder (with Guillaume Duchenne) of modern neurology and one of France's greatest medical teachers and clinicians.

  • 1899 Robert Bunsen

    Robert Wilhelm Eberhard Bunsen was a German chemist who, working with Gustav Kirchhoff, about 1859 observed that each element emits a light of characteristic wavelength.

  • 1888 John S. Pemberton

    John Styth Pemberton was an American pharmacist, who invented Coca-Cola in 1885. At first it was a tonic, French Wine Coca.


Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom

Cyprus gained its independence from the United Kingdom on August 16, 1960. This followed a period of negotiations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, facilitated by the British government and culminating in the Zurich-London agreements. Cyprus subsequently became a republic with a power-sharing arrangement between its Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities.

Toronto's stock market halts trading after a solar flare from the Sun creates a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips

A significant geomagnetic storm caused by a very large X20 solar flare affected microchips and lead to the halt of Toronto’s stock market trading on August 16, 1989.

The first color sound cartoon "Fiddlesticks" by Ub Iwerks (ex Walt Disney studio) released

"Fiddlesticks" by Ub Iwerks was indeed the first color sound cartoon, released in 1930. It marked a significant milestone in animation history, showcasing the advancements in both color and synchronized sound technologies in animated films. This cartoon was a pioneering work outside the Disney studio, where Ub Iwerks had previously collaborated closely with Walt Disney himself.

Gold first discovered in Klondike

Gold was first discovered in the Klondike region of Yukon, Canada, in August 1896 by local miners. This discovery triggered the Klondike Gold Rush, one of the most famous and significant gold rushes in history. The rush attracted tens of thousands of prospectors to the remote and harsh wilderness of the Klondike, seeking their fortunes in gold mining.
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