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September 27 - Iyasu V of Ethiopia is deposed in a palace coup, in favor of his aunt Zauditu.

§West Africa

February 18 - The German colony of Cameroon falls to the French and British following 17 months of fighting. This leaves only one German colony remaining in Africa, known as German East Africa. There, 10,000 troops commanded by General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck prove to be an elusive but deadly target, as they are pursued by a British-led force ten times larger.



March 22 - The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicates the throne and the Republic of China is restored.

April 22 - The Chinese steamer ship Hsin Yu capsizes off the Chinese coast; at least 1,000 are killed.



January - Impressionist painter Monet paints his Water Lilies series.

January 29 - World War I: Paris is bombed by German zeppelins for the first time.

February 21 - World War I: The Battle of Verdun begins in France. The Battle of Verdun was fought from 21 February to 18 December 1916, and was one of the largest battles of the First World War on the Western Front between the German and French armies. The battle took place on the hills north of Verdun-sur-Meuse in north-eastern France. The German 5th Army attacked the defenses of the Région Fortifiée de Verdun (RFV) and those of the Second Army garrisons on the right bank of the Meuse, intending to rapidly capture the Côtes de Meuse (Meuse Heights), from which Verdun could be overlooked and bombarded with observed artillery fire. The German strategy aimed to provoke the French to attack to drive the Germans off the heights. The Germans captured ground early in the battle but the French quickly contained the German advance and were able to recapture much of the lost territory towards the end of the year, despite the demands of the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November) in Picardy to the north-west.

156,000–162,000 French were killed and 143,000 Germans were killed in this 11 month long battle in France.

§Great Britain

Gustav Holst completes composition of his orchestral suite The Planets, Op. 32, in England.


April 24 - 30 - The Easter Rebellion (The Poet's Rebellion), an insurrection staged in Ireland during Easter Week, was mounted by Irish republicans with the aims of ending British rule in Ireland and establishing the Irish Republic at a time when the British Empire was heavily engaged in the First World War.

Organised by seven members of the Military Council of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, the Rising lasted from Easter Monday 24 to 30 April 1916. Members of the Irish Volunteers—led by schoolteacher and barrister Pádraig (Patrick) Pearse, joined by the smaller Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, along with 200 members of Cumann na mBan—seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the Irish Republic independent of Britain. There were some actions in other parts of Ireland: however, except for the attack on the Royal Irish Constabulary barracks at Ashbourne, County Meath, they were minor.

The Rising was suppressed after seven days of fighting, and its leaders were court-martialled and executed, but it succeeded in bringing physical force republicanism back to the forefront of Irish politics. Initially the rebels were reviled by Irishmen because Dublin was destroyed and 450 lives were lost, and the affair appeared to be a complete failure. But sentiment changed when the 15 responsible were summarily executed turning the rebels into martyrs and heroes. Later, one of the leaders not executed would lead the Irish to a partial victory against the British in the war for independence in 1919.


The Zuyder Zee flood of 1916 was a defining moment in Dutch history. The island of Marken was completely engulfed with water and many levee breeches occurred near the town of Edam, which lead to the flooding of Waterland and Durgerdam. Sixteen people died.

January 14 - The storm that Winter had been brewing for the few days until winds reached to over 100 km/h. With water levels already high due to the storm, some areas were already flooded. Dikes eroded on two sides. "The “Waterland’s Seadike’, which was on the westside of what was then the island of Marken, was swept away for over a distance of 1.5 kilometres. The dike near Edam also collapsed, resulting in the surrounding areas, including Purmerend and Broek in Waterland and Durgerdam being flooded. Dikes also collapsed near the Anna Paulowna polder.

The lower part of the ‘Gelderse Vallei’ (Valley of Gelder) was also hit, particularly the area between Eemnes, Spakenburg, and Bunschoten. Amersfoort was also flooded. The disaster caused mostly material damage, but sixteen people were killed on the island of Marken. Marken was only protected by low quays, so the water was able to engulf the island with ease. Various fishing boats were washed inland and many people were just unable to escape.

The water also caused problems outside North-Holland. Further dikes collapsed in Friesland, leading to the area near the Tjeukermeer and the area around Wolvega being flooded. The significance of this disaster was not only due to the number of victims and the level of material damage, but also because it instigated a discussion about the reclamation of the Zuyderzee. Mansholt, a farmer from Groningen, thought that damming the Zuyderzee was both unnecessary and dangerous, and would likely lead to new disasters."


November 5 - The Kingdom of Poland is proclaimed by a joint act of the emperors of Germany and Austria.

§North America


February 3 - Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada are burned down.

July 29 - In Ontario, Canada, a lightning strike ignites a forest fire that destroys the towns of Cochrane and Matheson, killing 233.


March 8-9 - Mexican Revolution: Pancho Villa leads 1,500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico, killing 12 U.S. soldiers. A garrison of the U.S. 13th Cavalry Regiment fights back and drives them away.

March 15 - President "hard Wood" Woodrow Wilson sends 12,000 United States troops over the U.S.-Mexico border to pursue Pancho Villa; the 13th Cavalry regiment enters Mexican territory.

March 16 - Mexican Revolution: The U.S. 7th and 10th Cavalry regiments under John J. Pervious cross the border to join the hunt for Villa.

In September 1916 Venustiano Carranza saw the need for a new Constitution and called for a Constitutional convention.

§United States

January 24 - In Browning, Montana, the temperature drops from +6.7°C to -48.8°C (44°F to -56°F) in one day, the greatest change ever on record for a 3 day-hour period.

February 11 - Russian emigre Emma Goldman is arrested for lecturing on birth control.

February 11 - The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents its first concert.

March 20 - At the age of 32, Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy brought to America as part of a racist exhibition, builds a ceremonial fire, chips off the caps on his teeth, performs a final tribal dance, and shoots himself in the heart with a stolen pistol.

July 30 - German agents cause the Black Tom explosion in Jersey City, New Jersey, an act of sabotage destroying an ammunition depot and killing at least 7 people.

August 9 - Lassen Volcanic National Park is established in California.

August 25 - President Woodrow Wilson signs legislation creating the National Park Service.

September 13 - Mary, a circus elephant, is hanged in the town of Erwin, Tennessee for killing her handler, Walter "Red" Eldridge.

A circus elephant named Mary ran amok and killed a man in Erwin, Tenn., on Sept. 13, 1916. Demanding justice, the enraged towns-people dragged the pachyderm to a railroad derrick, bent on hanging her. Before a crowd of 5,000 curiosity seekers, the mob spent two hours stringing their victim up, only to have her fall to the ground when the steel cable holding her snapped. On their second attempt, however, the cable held and the prisoner was hanged.

October 16 - Margaret Sanger opens the first U.S. birth control clinic -a forerunner of Planned Parenthood.

Frank Vanderlip, the "Father of Palos Verdes"constructed his first residence on the Peninsula in the Portuguese Bend area. It was still owned by his family in 2018.

§U.S. Law

January 24 - Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad: The Supreme Court of the United States upholds the national income tax.

The Convent Inspection Bill became Georgia law in 1916. Under this weird legislation, grand juries were charged with inspecting Catholic convents, monasteries, and orphanages, to search for evidence of sexual immorality and to question all the 'inmates,' ensuring that they were not held involuntarily. Tom Watson, elected U.S. senator from Georgia in 1920, went so far as to accuse the bishop of Savannah of keeping 'white slave pens' of missing girls.

§U.S. Politics

November 7 - U.S. presidential election, 1916: Democratic President Woodrow Wilson narrowly defeats Republican Charles E. Hughes.

November 7 - Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to the United States House of Representatives.

§South America


October 12 - Hipólito Yrigoyen is elected President of Argentina.


World War I


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