John’s Believe It Or Not… April 16th

John Fioravanti standing at the front of his classroom.

It’s Easter Sunday! Did you know…

* 1746 Jacobite Rising 1745: Battle of Culloden, the last battle on British soil. (Royalist troops under the Duke of Cumberland defeat the Jacobite army. Queen Anne died in 1714, with no living children; she was the last monarch of the House of Stuart. Under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701, she was succeeded by her second cousin George I of the House of Hanover, who was a descendant of the Stuarts through his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth, a daughter of James VI and I. The Hanoverian victory at Culloden halted the Jacobite intent to overthrow the House of Hanover and restore the House of Stuart to the British throne; Charles Stuart never again tried to challenge Hanoverian power in Great Britain. The conflict was the last pitched battle fought on British soil.)

The Battle of Culloden took place on Culloden Moor, (a short drive outside Inverness), on 16 April It was the final battle of the 1745 Jacobite Rising


* 1818 – Rush & Bagot agree to extend US Boundary from Lake of the Woods to Great Divide. (Richard Rush, Acting Secretary of State of the United States, and Charles Bagot, British minister in Washington, exchange signed notes agreeing to extend the Boundary between American British territories in North America from the northwest corner of the Lake of the Woods directly north or south to the 49th parallel and west to the Great Divide. Oregon, west of the Rockies and lying between 42 degrees and 54 degrees N, to be joint occupancy. Fort George-Fort Astoria to be surrendered to American interests upon demand; the Rush-Bagot Agreement provided for an unarmed US-Canada border, and no naval vessels on the Great Lakes.)

Map showing the boundary

* 1947 Bernard Baruch coins the term “Cold War”. (Multimillionaire and financier Bernard Baruch, in a speech given during the unveiling of his portrait in the South Carolina House of Representatives, coins the term “Cold War” to describe relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The phrase stuck, and for over 40 years it was a mainstay in the language of American diplomacy. He called for longer workweeks, no-strike pledges from unions, and no-layoff pledges from management. It was imperative that American business and industry pull itself together, Baruch warned. “Let us not be deceived – we are today in the midst of a cold war. Our enemies are to be found abroad and at home. Let us never forget this: Our unrest is the heart of their success. The peace of the world is the hope and the goal of our political system; it is the despair and defeat of those who stand against us. We can depend only on ourselves.” The term “Cold War” was instantly embraced by American newspapers and magazines as an apt description of the situation between the United States and the Soviet Union: a war without fighting or bloodshed, but a battle nonetheless.)

Image of Baruch and his famous quote.

* 1947 Fertilizer explosion kills 581 in Texas. (A giant explosion occurs during the loading of fertilizer onto the freighter Grandcamp at a pier in Texas City, Texas, on this day in 1947. Nearly 600 people lost their lives and thousands were injured when the ship was literally blown to bits. Ammonium nitrate was used as an explosive by the U.S. Army in World War II and, after the war ended, production of the chemical continued as its use as a fertilizer became accepted. However, the precautions used in its transport became far more lax in the post-war years. In all, 581 people died and 3,500 were injured. The explosion caused $100 million in damages. A long-disputed court case over the cause of the blast was resolved when Congress granted compensation to 1,394 victims. They received a total of $17 million in 1955. The port was rebuilt to handle oil products only.)

Aerial photo of the disaster

* 1972 Apollo 16 departs for the moon. (From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Apollo 16, the fifth of six U.S. lunar landing missions, is successfully launched on its 238,000-mile journey to the moon. On April 20, astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke descended to the lunar surface from Apollo 16, which remained in orbit around the moon with a third astronaut, Thomas K. Mattingly, in command. Young and Duke remained on the moon for nearly three days and spent more than 20 hours exploring the surface of Earth’s only satellite. The two astronauts used the Lunar Rover vehicle to collect more than 200 pounds of rock before returning to Apollo 16 on April 23. Four days later, the three astronauts returned to Earth, safely splashing down in the Pacific Ocean.)

The LRV gets a speed workout by astronaut John W. Young in the "Grand Prix" run during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA)
The LRV gets a speed workout by astronaut John W. Young in the “Grand Prix” run during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA)

Look who was born on this date!

Head shot of Wilbur Wright* Wilbur Wright in 1867. (American Aviator:  Known for inventing and building the world’s first successful airplane with his brother Orville Wright.)




head shot of Chaplin* Charlie Chaplin in 1889. (British Comedian/Actor/Filmmaker:  Charlie Chaplin was born into poverty in England and started performing on the stage from a young age. After moving to America he became a film actor and famous worldwide for his tramp character in silent films. In 1919 he founded United Artists Studio in Hollywood which produced such famous silent films as ‘The Kid’, ‘Modern Times’ and ‘Gold Rush’, films that he wrote, directed and starred in. Having become a controversial figure for his political views and personal life Chaplin left America and settled in Switzerland in 1953.)

Head shot of Kareem* Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1947. (American NBA Legend:  Played 20 seasons in the NBA for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, he won the MVP award a record six times and was named an NBA All-Star a record 19 times. He won six NBA championships as a player and two as an assistant coach.)

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

11 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 16th”

    1. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Gwen! It is interesting how phrases and new words are coined. The other day I posted the advent of the first American English dictionary. I wonder how many words in that tome are now obsolete – or mean very different things. I guess what chilled me about the ‘Cold War’ piece was that this wealthy man expected the US working class to work longer hours for less pay for flag and country. He omitted what sacrifices the wealthy industrial leaders should commit to the cause. Greed at its finest!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Robbie! For those of us who lived through it, the current saber-rattling between Russia and the US and between North Korea and the US is a frightening throwback. However, as long as wealth and power are the only important goals of political leaders, we will have these crises. I was sad to witness on the morning news the violence between Trump Protestors and Supporters. The politics of division…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hey John,

    Another set of interesting factoids, thank you.

    Regards the final three photographs, one has to admire the spectrum of human activity and self-expression, rising from obscurity via vagrancy to pass through high hoops and freely glide reaching for the stars. We are remarkable. we are miraculous when not at war or politically engineering command and conquest.

    Inspiration for an inspirational day. Happy Easter John, best wishes to one and all.

    Take care.

    Namaste 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

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