August 16 is the 228th day of the year (229th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. There are 137 days remaining.
- 1777 - American Revolutionary War: Battle of Bennington - British forces are defeated by American troops.
- 1780 - American Revolutionary War: Battle of Camden - The British defeat the Americans near Camden, South Carolina.
- 1812 - War of 1812: American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit without a fight to the British Army.
- 1819 - Peterloo Massacre at a public meeting at St. Peter's Field, Manchester, England.
- 1841 - U.S. President John Tyler vetoes a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Enraged Whig Party members riot outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in U.S. history.
- 1858 - U.S. President James Buchanan inaugurates the new transatlantic telegraph cable cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom. However, a weak signal will force a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.
- 1896 - George Carmack discovers gold in the Klondike.
- 1920 - Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians is hit in his head and fatally wounded with a fastball from Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Chapman will die early the next day, becoming the only person to ever die during a major league baseball game (as of 2003).
- 1928 - Murderer Carl Panzram is arrested in Washington, DC after killing about 20 people.
- 1930 - First colour sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, was made by Ub Iwerks
- 1954 - Volume 1, Issue 1 of Sports Illustrated is published.
- 1960 - Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
- 1960 - Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,330 m). He sets unbeaten (as of 2003) world records for: high-altitude jump; free-fall by falling 16 miles (25.7 km) before opening his parachute; and fastest speed by a human without an aircraft, 614 mi/h (982 km/h).
- 1962 - The Beatles fire Pete Best and replace him with Ringo Starr.
- 1964 - Vietnam War: In a coup, General Nguyen Khanh replaces Duong Van Minh as South Vietnam's chief of state and establishes a new constitution, which the U.S. Embassy helped draft.
- 1966 - Vietnam War: The House Un-American Activities Committee begins investigations of Americans who have aided the Viet Cong with the intent to introduce legislation making these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 are arrested.
- 1972 - The Royal Moroccan Air Force mistakenly fires upon, but fails to bring down, Hassan II of Morocco's plane while he was traveling back to Rabat.
- 1984 - Carmaker John De Lorean is acquitted of all eight counts of possessing and distributing cocaine.
- 1987 - A McDonnell Douglas MD-82 carrying Northwest Airlines flight 255 crashes on takeoff from Detroit Metropolitan Airport killing all but one of the 156 people on-board (sole survivor was four-year old Cecelia Cichan). The crew forgot to properly set the planes flaps.
- 1993 - The Debian GNU/Linux distribution is founded by Ian Murdock.
- 2004 – Heavy rains cause a river to flood the small coastal town of Boscastle, north-east Cornwall, England, Britain (– August 17).
- 1845 - Gabriel Lippmann, physicist (d. 1921)
- 1862 - Amos Alonzo Stagg, college sports coach (football, basketball and baseball) (d. 1965)
- 1868 - Bernarr McFadden, publisher
- 1884 - Hugo Gernsback, editor and publisher
- 1888 - T. E. Lawrence, writer, soldier
- 1888 - Armand J. Piron, jazz musician (d. 1943)
- 1894 - George Meany, labor union activist (d. 1980)
- 1895 - Albert Cohen, Swiss novelist (d. 1981)
- 1902 - Georgette Heyer, novelist (d. 1975)
- 1913 - Menachem Begin, Israeli soldier and politician (d. 1992)
- 1920 - Charles Bukowski, poet (d. 1994)
- 1925 - Fess Parker, actor
- 1928 - Ann Blyth, actress
- 1930 - Frank Gifford, pro football player, sports announcer
- 1930 - Robert Culp, actor
- 1931 - Eydie Gorme, singer
- 1940 - Bruce Beresford, film director
- 1946 - Lesley Ann Warren, actress
- 1946 - Massoud Barzani, leader of Kurdistan Democratic Party
- 1950 - Hasely Crawford, Trinidad and Tobago athlete
- 1954 - James Cameron, Academy Award winning director
- 1958 - Angela Bassett, actress
- 1958 - Madonna (Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone), singer, actress
- 1960 - Timothy Hutton, Academy Award winning actor
- 1967 - Pamela Smart, murderess
- 1968 - Mateja Svet, Slovenian alpine skier
- 1974 - Robin Hull, Finnish snooker player
- 1864 - Confederate General John Chambliss
- 1899 - Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, chemist
- 1907 - James Hector, geologist
- 1921 - King Peter I of Serbia
- 1938 - Robert Johnson, blues singer and guitarist
- 1948 - Babe Ruth, baseball player
- 1949 - Margaret Mitchell, novelist
- 1956 - Bela Lugosi, actor
- 1975 - Vladimir Kuts, Soviet long-distance runner
- 1977 - Elvis Presley, singer, actor
- 1979 - John Diefenbaker, thirteenth Prime Minister of Canada
- 1983 - Earl Averill, Baseball Hall of Famer (b. 1902)
- 1989 - Amanda Blake, actress
- 2002 - Martin Deutsch, physicist, discoverer of positronium
- 2003 - Idi Amin, Ugandan dictator
- 2004 - Ivan Hlinka, coach of the National Ice Hockey team of the Czech Republic
- 2004 - Robert Quiroga, former International Boxing Federation super flyweight champion.
Holidays and observances
August 15 - August 17 - July 16 - September 16 -- listing of all days
es:16 de agosto
eo:16-a de aŭgusto
ia:16 de augusto
pt:16 de Agosto
wa:16 d' awousse