This Day In History : May 16

1991 United Kingdom

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the 1st British monarch to address the U.S. Congress

Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress on May 16, 1991. Her historic speech to a joint meeting of Congress marked a significant moment in the relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.

Also on This Day in History May 16

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

Births on This Day, May 16
  • 1801 William H. Seward (1801-1872)

    American politician (Secretary of State, 1861-69, Governor of New York, 1839-42)

  • 1830 David Edward Hughes

    Welsh-American scientist and inventor of the microphone and teleprinter

  • 1986 Megan Fox

    American actress and model

  • 1925 Nancy Roman

    NASA's first chief of astronomy 'Mother of the Hubble'

  • 1929 Adrienne Rich

    American feminist writer

Deaths on This Day, May 16
  • 1956 H.B. Reese

    American candy maker who created Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

  • 1920 Levi Parsons Morton

    American politician and 22nd U.S. Vic President from 1889-1893

  • 1891 John Banvard

    American artist who painted worlds largest painting (3 mile canvas)

  • 2019 Bob Hawke

    Australian politician and 23rd Prime Minister of Australia

  • 1994 Phani Majumdar

    Indian film director


Food stamps are 1st issued

The first food stamps in the United States were issued on May 16, 1939. This initiative was part of a pilot program designed to help low-income families purchase food and to support the agricultural economy during the Great Depression.

The U.S. Bureau of Mines was formed

The U.S. Bureau of Mines was formed on May 16, 1910. This federal agency was established to conduct scientific research and to promote safer and more efficient mining practices in the United States.

Charles Elmer Hires invents root beer

Charles Elmer Hires introduced his root beer to the public on May 16, 1876, at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. This date marks the beginning of the commercial availability of root beer.

1st recorded dam disaster in US

The 1st recorded dam disaster happens in the U.S. when a flood on the Mill River in Massachusetts destroys
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