May 16, Four Major Historical Events on This Day

History recalls. Day after day, week after week and year after year. There are so many happenings around the world on this day. But today we have brought four crucial happenings that took place on May 16. These are US President Andrew Johnson escapes conviction by one vote in the year 1868, Cultural Revolution begins in China in the year 1966, Beach Boys release landmark album in the year 1966 and C. Everett Koop warns of nicotine’s addictive power in the year 1988.

1. US President Andrew Johnson escapes conviction by one vote (May 16, 1868)

US President Andrew Johnson escapes conviction by one vote (May 16, 1868)

Having impeached Andrew Johnson three months earlier, the US Congress fails to convict the president of ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ stemming from his refusal to go along with Civil War Reconstruction. A Senate trial acquits the first US president ever impeached of all charges. Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, was impeached on February 24, 1868, when the United States House of Representatives resolved to impeach the President, adopting eleven articles of impeachment detailing his “high crimes and misdemeanors”, in accordance with Article Two of the United States Constitution. The House’s primary charge against Johnson was violation of the Tenure of Office Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in March 1867, over the President’s veto. Specifically, he had removed from office Edwin McMasters Stanton, the Secretary of War—whom the Act was largely designed to protect—and attempted to replace him with Brevet Major General Lorenzo Thomas.

2. Cultural Revolution begins in China (May 16, 1966)

Cultural Revolution begins in China (May 16, 1966)

Mao Zedong, China’s Communist Party chairman, issues his ‘May 16 Notice’ condemning the growing influence of capitalist elements in the government, and he calls for a purge. The resulting ‘Cultural Revolution’ will lead to the destruction of important landmarks, torture, and murder. The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a sociopolitical movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated goal was to preserve Chinese Communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, and to re-impose Mao Zedong Thought as the dominant ideology within the Party. The Revolution marked Mao’s return to a position of power after the failures of his Great Leap Forward. The movement paralyzed China politically and negatively affected both the economy and society of the country to a significant degree.

3. Beach Boys release landmark album (May 16, 1966)

Beach Boys release landmark album (May 16, 1966)

The Beach Boys release ‘Pet Sounds,’ which showcases Brian Wilson’s elaborate production and personal approach to songwriting. The album is not an instant smash in the U.S., but will go on to influence the experimental sounds of the psychedelic-rock era and generations of musicians to come. Pet Sounds is the eleventh studio album by American rock band the Beach Boys, released May 16, 1966 on Capitol Records. It initially met with a lukewarm critical and commercial response in the United States, peaking at number 10 on Billboard Top LPs chart, a somewhat lower placement than the band’s preceding albums. In the United Kingdom, the album was hailed by the music press and was an immediate commercial success, peaking at number 2 in the UK Top 40 Albums Chart and remaining among the top ten positions for six months. Promoted as “the most progressive pop album ever”, Pet Sounds attracted recognition for its ambitious recording and uniquely sophisticated music, and is widely considered to be among the most influential albums in the history of music.

4. C. Everett Koop warns of nicotine’s addictive power (May 16, 1988)

C. Everett Koop warns of nicotine's addictive power (May 16, 1988)

13th Surgeon General of the United States. US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop reports on the addictive properties of nicotine, described as on par with cocaine and heroin. A dedicated campaigner against smoking, his public advocacy will be credited with helping spur declines in cigarette use during his tenure and beyond. Charles Everett Koop was an American pediatric surgeon and public health administrator. He was a vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and served as the 13th Surgeon General of the United States under President Ronald Reagan from 1982 to 1989. According to the Associated Press, “Koop was the only surgeon general to become a household name.”

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