Today in History: May 16

On May 16, 1990, American puppeteer, artist, and inventor Jim Henson died. Henson was well known as the creator of The Muppets. (AP Photo/Bill Polo)

Today is Monday, May 16, the 137th day of 2016. There are 229 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On May 16, 1966, China launched the Cultural Revolution, a radical, youth-driven reform movement aimed at bolstering Chairman Mao Zedong while purging the country of “counter-revolutionaries.” It’s been estimated that during the decade of upheaval that followed, hundreds of thousands of people, perhaps more, died as a direct or indirect result of the Cultural Revolution.

On this date:

In 1770, Marie Antoinette, age 14, married the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.

In 1866, Congress authorized minting of the first five-cent piece, also known as the “Shield nickel.”

In 1868, the U.S. Senate failed by one vote to convict President Andrew Johnson as it took its first ballot on the eleven articles of impeachment against him.

In 1916, during World War I, France and Britain secretly ratified the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which concerned postwar partitioning of Arab lands held by the Ottoman Empire.

In 1920, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.

In 1939, the federal government began its first food stamp program in Rochester, New York.

In 1946, the Irving Berlin musical “Annie Get Your Gun,” starring Ethel Merman as Annie Oakley, opened on Broadway.

In 1957, federal agent Eliot Ness, who’d organized “The Untouchables” team that took on gangster Al Capone, died in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, at age 54.

In 1960, the first working laser was demonstrated at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California, by physicist Theodore Maiman.

In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court, in California v. Greenwood, ruled that police can search discarded garbage without a search warrant. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop released a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.

In 1991, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British monarch to address the United States Congress as she lauded U.S.-British cooperation in the Persian Gulf War.

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