Today In History Spotlights Dec. 16, 1773, The Boston Tea Party

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Today in 1773, the Boston Tea Party occurs. After the passing of the Tea Act by British Parliament just months earlier, the Sons of Liberty, lead primarily by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere, stormed British ships in Boston Harbor. Some were dressed as Mohawk Natives. To protest the tea tax, as well as the monopoly on tea, the Sons of Liberty proceeded to throw crates of tea overboard.

The British government responded harshly, introducing the Intolerable Acts the following year and severing trade with Boston. While Britain had hoped that prohibiting trade with Boston would dissuade other colonies from revolting, in actuality, it increased revolutionary sympathy. The Boston Tea Party is considered a primary triggering event of the American Revolution and has become an iconic historical event. 

What Happened On This Day – December 16

  • 2010 Last episode of Larry King Live aired. After 25 years of being on TV, the last episode of Larry King Live, one of CNN’s most watched TV program was aired. While the official end date for the talk show was December 16, an episode on cancer was aired two days later on December 18. It was replaced by Piers Morgan Tonight.
  • 1991 Kazakhstan independence. The Central Asian country was the last Soviet republic to declare its independence.
  • 1971 End of Indo-Pakistani War. The third major conflict between the two countries was fought because of India’s support of Bangladesh’s War of Liberation. The war ended only after 13 days and with the creation of the independent state of Bangladesh.
  • 1707 Last eruption of Mount Fuji. The highest volcano in Japan erupted for the last time in what is known as the Hōei Eruption. The eruption lasted for 17 days.

Births On This Day – December 16

  • 1917 Arthur C. Clarke – English author
  • 1901 Margaret Mead – American anthropologist
  • 1866 Wassily Kandinsky – Russian/French painter
  • 1775 Jane Austen – English author
  • 1485 Catherine of Aragon

Deaths On This Day – December 16

  • 1988 Sylvester – American singer-songwriter, pianist, producer
  • 1980 Colonel Sanders – American businessman, founded KFC
  • 1965 W. Somerset Maugham – French/English author, playwright
  • 1515 Afonso de Albuquerque – Portuguese Admiral
  • 705 Wu Zetian – Chinese empress

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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