Today in History: July 16
1999: JOHN F. KENNEDY JR. KILLED IN A PLANE CRASH

12. 1999: JOHN F. KENNEDY JR. KILLED IN A PLANE CRASH

1999: JOHN F. KENNEDY JR. KILLED IN A PLANE CRASH © Vivian Ronay/Getty Images

John F. Kennedy Jr., his wife, Carolyn, and her sister, Lauren Bessette, died when their single-engine plane, piloted by Kennedy, plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

11. 1995: AMAZON OFFICIALLY OPENS FOR BUSINESS

1995: AMAZON OFFICIALLY OPENS FOR BUSINESS © Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Amazon officially opens for business as an online bookseller. 

10. 1990: PHILIPPINES EARTHQUAKE CLAIMS MORE THAN 1,000 LIVES

1990: PHILIPPINES EARTHQUAKE CLAIMS MORE THAN 1,000 LIVES © Joseph Capellan/AP Photo

More than 1,000 people are killed after a powerful 7.7-magnitude earthquake strikes Luzon Island in the Philippines. The massive tremor wreaked havoc across a sizeable portion of Luzon, the country’s largest island, with Baguio City suffering the most devastating effects.

9. 1979: SADDAM HUSSEIN BECOMES FIFTH IRAQI PRESIDENT

1979: SADDAM HUSSEIN BECOMES FIFTH IRAQI PRESIDENT © AP Photo

The de facto ruler of Iraq formally takes office after forcing ailing President Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr to resign.

8. 1969: APOLLO 11 IS LAUNCHED INTO SPACE

1969: APOLLO 11 IS LAUNCHED INTO SPACE © Photo12/UIG/Getty Images

Carrying Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, the spaceflight is launched at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, U.S.

7. 1957: ‘PROJECT BULLET’ SETS TRANSCONTINENTAL SPEED RECORD

1957: ‘PROJECT BULLET’ SETS TRANSCONTINENTAL SPEED RECORD © Anthony Camerano/AP Photo

Marine pilot Maj. John H. Glenn Jr. sets a transcontinental speed record from Los Angeles to New York, spanning the country in 3 hours and 23 minutes.

6. 1951: CATCHER IN THE RYE IS PUBLISHED

1951: CATCHER IN THE RYE IS PUBLISHED © Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images

J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye, is published by Little, Brown.

5. 1945: FIRST ATOMIC BOMB IS SUCCESSFULLY TESTED

1945: FIRST ATOMIC BOMB IS SUCCESSFULLY TESTED © Universal History Archive/REX/Shutterstock

Marking the end of the Manhattan Project, the U.S. Army conduct the test in the New Mexico desert. The code name "Trinity" was assigned to the detonation.

4. 1935: WORLD’S FIRST PARKING METERS ARE INSTALLED

1935: WORLD’S FIRST PARKING METERS ARE INSTALLED © Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

The first parking meters are installed in Oklahoma City.

3. 1790: THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ESTABLISHED AS THE SEAT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT

1790: THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IS ESTABLISHED AS THE SEAT OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT © Photo12/UIG/Getty Images

A site along the Potomac River is designated the permanent seat of the United States government; the area became Washington, D.C.

2. 1769: FIRST CATHOLIC MISSION IS ESTABLISHED IN CALIFORNIA

1769: FIRST CATHOLIC MISSION IS ESTABLISHED IN CALIFORNIA © Bettmann/Getty Images

Sent on an expedition to establish missions in San Diego and Monterey in California, U.S., Father Junípero Serra, a Spanish Franciscan missionary, establishes the Mission San Diego de Alcalá.

1. 1212: BATTLE OF LAS NAVAS DE TOLOSA TAKES PLACE

1212: BATTLE OF LAS NAVAS DE TOLOSA TAKES PLACE © Kharbine-Tapabor/REX/Shutterstock

Called the Battle of Al-Uqab by the Arabs, it saw the Muslim Almohads of the southern Iberian Peninsula go up against the combined Christian forces of King Alfonso VIII of Castile, Sancho VII of Navarre, Peter II of Aragon and Afonso II of Portugal. The Almohads were defeated, leading to their loss of power in Spain and marking the Christian Reconquest of Iberia.

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