This Day In History : September 16

2011 United States

America Invents Act signed

The America Invents Act (AIA) was signed into law on September 16, 2011, in the United States. This legislation represented a significant overhaul of the U.S. patent system, transitioning from a "first-to-invent" to a "first-inventor-to-file" system. The AIA aimed to streamline patent application processes, enhance patent quality, and harmonize U.S. patent laws with international standards. 

Also on This Day in History September 16

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

Births on This Day, September 16
  • 1858 Bonar Law

    Canadian/Scottish politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

  • 1877 Jacob Schick

    American inventor and manufacturer of the first successful electric dry razor

  • 1804 Squire Whipple

    American engineer who invented the iron truss bridge

  • 1812 Robert Fortune

    Scottish botanist and plant hunter (established East India tea company in India)

  • 1822 Charles Crocker

    American business tycoon and railroad executive (Central Pacific Railroad, Southern Pacific Railroad)

Deaths on This Day, September 16
  • 2005 Gordon Gould

    American physicist and academic who invented the laser

  • 1960 George Stapledon

    British agriculturalist and pioneer who developed grassland science

  • 1946 James Hopwood Jeans

    English physicist, mathematician and astronomer (The Mysterious Universe)

  • 1736 Gabriel Fahrenheit

    Dutch-German-Polish physicist, inventor and scientific instrument maker, who invented the thermometer and the Fahrenheit scale

  • 1897 Louis Le Prince

    French artist and original inventor of the motion picture camera sometimes called "the father of cinematography"


The General Motors Corporation founded

The General Motors Corporation was founded on September 16, 1908, in Flint, Michigan, United States. It was established through the consolidation of several automobile manufacturers under the leadership of William C. Durant. General Motors quickly grew to become one of the world's largest automakers, producing a wide range of vehicles under various brands such as Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick, and GMC.

Papua New Guinea gains their independence from Australia

Papua New Guinea gained its independence from Australia on September 16, 1975. This milestone marked the end of Australian colonial rule in the region and the establishment of Papua New Guinea as an independent sovereign nation. The day is celebrated annually as Independence Day in Papua New Guinea.

Malaysia is founded

Malaysia was created on September 16, 1963, through the merger of the Federation of Malaya with Singapore, North Borneo (Sabah), and Sarawak. This union formed the modern-day Malaysia, which initially consisted of 13 states and later expanded to include the Federal Territories. Malaysia's creation aimed to foster unity among its diverse ethnic and cultural populations and promote economic development in the region.

NASA launches Space Shuttle STS 79 (Atlantis 17)

NASA launched Space Shuttle STS-79, also known as Atlantis 17, on September 16, 1996. The mission's primary objective was to dock with the Russian space station Mir and deliver supplies, equipment, and a replacement crew member. This mission marked the fourth shuttle-Mir docking and involved the exchange of astronaut Shannon Lucid, who had been on Mir, with John Blaha, who returned to Earth aboard Atlantis.
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