Jan 16 1919
The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages, was ratified. It was later repealed by the 21st Amendment.
Jan 16 1936
Serial killer cannibal Albert Fish executed at Sing Sing. God wanted him to castrate boys, and who was he to disagree. At his electrocution, the twenty-nine needles he had inserted into his crotch meant he needed a second jolt.
Jan 16 1942
Raising money for the war, actress Carol Lombard and her mother are killed along with a score of others in a Las Vegas airplane crash.
Jan 16 1969
Jan Palach self-immolates in Wenceslas Square, Prague, to protest the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. His gasoline powered sacrifice starts a wave of copycat suicides, seven of which are successful.
Jan 16 1985
Playboy magazine announced that its 30-year tradition of stapling centerfold models in the bellybutton (and elsewhere) would come to an immediate end.
Jan 16 1987
President Leon Cordero of Ecuador is kidnapped by followers of Gen. Frank Vargas, held in a Quito prison for a 1986 coup attempt. Vargas is free and so was the President. Lesson: crime pays.
Jan 16 1989
Three days of race riots begin in Overtown, Miami when a black man fleeing on motorcycle is killed by a Hispanic police officer. 125 blocks are sealed off during the riots.
Jan 16 1991
Operation Desert Storm commences as Baghdad is pummeled live on CNN. Targeted with smartbombs are “command and control facilities” and Saddam Hussein himself. We seem to miss both, but do manage to kill about 100,000 Iraqi soldiers in the surreal bombardments that follow.
Jan 16 1997
Bill Cosby’s 27 year old son Ennis William Cosby is shot to death at Skirball Center in Sepulveda Pass, near Los Angeles CA. It was a robbery attempt while he was attempting to change a flat tire.