This Day In History : November 16

1945 France

UNESCO founded

UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, was founded on November 16, 1945. Its Constitution was adopted in London that year and entered into force in 1946. The organization’s mission is to promote peace through international cooperation in education, science, and culture. Over the years, UNESCO has launched pioneering programs, including the Universal Copyright Convention, the Man and the Biosphere program, and the World Heritage Convention.

Also on This Day in History November 16

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

Births on This Day, November 16
  • 1952 Shigeru Miyamoto

    Japanese video game designer, created Mario, The Legend of Zelda

  • 1841 Jules-Louis-Gabriel Violle

    French physicist and inventor who made the first high-altitude determination of the solar constant 

  • 1835 Eugenio Beltrami

    Italian mathematician (non-Euclidean geometry)

  • 1898 Warren Sturgis McCulloch

    American neurophysiologist and psychiatrist, founder of cybernetics

  • 1944 Oliver Braddick

    British psychologist (research on infant visual perception)

Deaths on This Day, November 16
  • 2005 Henry Taube

    Canadian-born American chemist, (mechanisms of electron-transfer reactions), Nobel Prize 1983 

  • 1999 Daniel Nathans

    American microbiologist (Nobel 1978 - discovery and application of restriction enzymes)

  • 1948 Frederick Gardner Cottrell

    American Inventor (electrostatic precipitator)

  • 1934 Carl von Linde

    German engineer who invented mechanical refrigeration

  • 1966 Cluny MacPherson

    Canadian doctor and inventor of the gas mask


Soviets launch Venera 3

On November 16, 1965, the Soviet Union launched Venera 3, the first spacecraft intended to land on another planet. Venera 3 was part of the Venera program aimed at exploring Venus. Although the mission ultimately failed to transmit data back to Earth, Venera 3 made history by becoming the first human-made object to impact another planet when it crash-landed on Venus on March 1, 1966.

Australia's national airline, Qantas founded

On November 16, 1920, Australia's national airline, Qantas (Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited), was founded. Initially based in Winton, Queensland, Qantas began as a small regional carrier. Over the years, it grew to become one of the world's leading long-distance airlines, known for its safety and service standards.

Oklahoma became the United States 46th state

Oklahoma officially became the 46th state of the United States on November 16, 1907. This followed the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which opened up the Unassigned Lands for settlement, leading to the famous Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. The state's diverse culture and rich history continue to play a significant role in shaping its identity within the nation.

Skylab 4 launched into Earth orbit

Skylab 4, the third and final crewed mission to the Skylab space station, was launched into Earth orbit on November 16, 1973. This mission was notable for its duration, lasting 84 days, and for conducting extensive scientific experiments and observations aimed at studying the effects of long-duration spaceflight on the human body and conducting various experiments in microgravity.
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