March 16 is the 75th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (76th in Leap years). There are 290 days remaining.
- 1190 - Crusaders start to massacre the Jews of York, England.
- 1521 - Ferdinand Magellan reaches the Philippines.
- 1621 - Samoset, a Mohegan, visits the settlers of Plymouth Colony and greets them, "Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset."
- 1660 - The Long Parliament disbands.
- 1792 - King Gustav III of Sweden is shot; he dies on March 29.
- 1802 - West Point is established.
- 1815 - Willem I becomes King of the Netherlands.
- 1850 - Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel The Scarlet Letter is published for the first time.
- 1900 - Sir Arthur Evans purchases the land around the ruins of Knossos on Crete.
- 1926 - Robert Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, at Auburn, Massachusetts.
- 1935 - Adolf Hitler orders Germany to rearm herself in violation of the Versailles Treaty.
- 1945 - World War II: The Battle of Iwo Jima ends but small pockets of Japanese resistance persist.
- 1962 - A Flying Tiger Line Super-Constellation disappears in the western Pacific Ocean killing 107
- 1968 - Vietnam War: My Lai massacre American troops kill scores of women and children.
- 1969 - A Venezuelan Airlines DC-9 crashes shortly after takeoff in Maracaibo, Venezuela killing 155
- 1972 - Pruitt-Igoe housing complex is demolished.
- 1978 - Aldo Moro is kidnapped by left-wing urban guerrillas in Italy and is later killed by his captors.
- 1984 - CIA station chief stationed in Beirut, William Buckley, is kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists and later dies in captivity.
- 1985 - Associated Press newsman Terry Anderson is taken hostage in Beirut. He would later be released on December 4, 1991.
- 1988 - Iran-Contra Affair: Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Vice Admiral John Poindexter are indicted on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
- 1988 - Kurdish town of Halabjah attacked with a mix of poison gas and nerve agents killing 5000
- 1993 - A blizzard on the east coast of the United States kills 184 (see Great Blizzard of 1993).
- 1994 - In Portland, Oregon Tonya Harding pleads guilty to conspiracy to hinder prosecution for trying to cover-up an attack on figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan.
- 2002- Closing ceremonies of the Winter Paralympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
- 2003 - Largest coordinated worldwide vigil, as part of the global protests against war on Iraq.
- 2880 - A 1/300 probability prediction that asteroid (29075) 1950 DA will hit Earth causing an extinction-level event
- 1751 - James Madison, 4th President of the United States, (d. 1836)
- 1789 - Georg Simon Ohm, physicist and discoverer of Ohm's law, (d. 1854)
- 1829 - René François Armand Sully-Prudhomme, laureate of the first Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901, (d. 1907)
- 1834 - James Hector, geologist, (d. 1907)
- 1878 - Clemens August Graf von Galen, archbishop of Münster and cardinal, (d. 1946)
- 1878 - Reza Pahlavi, shah of Iran (d. 1941)
- 1889 - Reggie Walker, South African athlete (d. 1951)
- 1901 - Edward Pawley, Broadway/Movie/Radio actor. Played Steve Wilson on radio's popular Big Town show.
- 1902 - Leon Roppolo, jazz clarinetist, (d. 1943)
- 1905 - Elisabeth Flickenschildt, actress, (d. 1977)
- 1906 - Henny Youngman, comedian, (d. 1998)
- 1911 - Josef Mengele, Nazi war criminal, (d. 1979)
- 1912 - Pat Nixon, actress, First Lady, (d. 1993)
- 1918 - Frederick Reines, physicist (1995 Nobel Prize in Physics), (d. 1998)
- 1920 - Leo McKern, actor, (d. 2002)
- 1926 - Jerry Lewis, comedian
- 1926 - James N. Miller, microbiologist
- 1927 - Vladimir Komarov, cosmonaut, (d. 1967)
- 1927 - Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Senator from New York, (d. 2003)
- 1929 - Nadja Tiller, actress
- 1934 - Ray Hnatyshyn, former Governor-General of Canada, (d. 2002)
- 1941 - Bernardo Bertolucci, film director
- 1942 - James Soong, politician
- 1949 - Erik Estrada, actor
- 1949 - Victor Garber, actor
- 1952 - Philippe Kahn, entrepreneur
- 1953 - Isabelle Huppert, actress
- 1953 - Richard Stallman, Free Software activist & founder of GNU
- 1954 - Nancy Wilson, guitarist, singer, actress
- 1955 - Jiro Watanabe, Japanese boxing world champion
- 1959 - Flavor Flav, rap musician
- 1959 - Jens Stoltenberg, Prime Minister of Norway
- 1990 - James Bulger, abduction/murder victim, (d. 1993)
- 1992 - Carlie Brucia, kidnap/murder victim, (d. 2004)
- 455 - Valentinian III, Roman emperor, (b. 419)
- 1736 - Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, composer, (b. 1710)
- 1747 - Christian Augustus of Anhalt-Zerbst, father of Catherine II of Russia (b. 1690)
- 1898 - Aubrey Beardsley, British artist, (b. 1872)
- 1903 - Judge Roy Bean, jurist, Old West pioneer, (b. c. 1825)
- 1940 - Selma Lagerlöf, writer, (b. 1858)
- 1957 - Constantin Brancusi, sculptor, (b. 1876)
- 1970 - Tammi Terrell, singer
- 1971 - Thomas Dewey, candidate for President of the United States in 1944 and 1948, (b. 1902)
- 1975 - T-Bone Walker, musician, (b. 1910)
- 1977 - Kamal Jumblatt, leader of the Lebanese Druze, (b. 1917)
- 2003 - Rachel Corrie, International Solidarity Movement member, (b. 1979)
- 1988 - Edward Pawley, Broadway/Movie/Radio Actor. Played
Steve Wilson on radio's Big Town show. (b. 1901)
Holidays and observances
March 15 - March 17 - February 16 - April 16 -- listing of all days
ca:16 de març
es:16 de marzo
eo:16-a de marto
oc:16 de març
pt:16 de Março