Today In History, April 16th

What happened today in history: Charlie Chaplin is born in 1889, Albert Hoffman accidentally discovers LSD in 1943, and more historical events from April 16th.

1828: Francisco Goya Dies

Francisco Goya, famous Spanish painter, dies in Bordeaux, France. Goya was a renowned romantic painter who created both lighthearted and disturbing pieces, including Saturn Devouring His Son — the world’s most disturbing painting.


1853: The First Passenger Railway In India Opens

The first passenger rail in India opens, running on a 20-mile track that connected the cities of Bombay and Thane. It contained 14 cars and carried 400 passengers on its maiden voyage.


1889: Charlie Chaplin Is Born

Today In History April 16

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesCharlie Chaplin in The Gold Rush (1925).

Charlie Chaplin is born in London, England. One of the most famous silent film stars of his era, Chaplin starred in iconic films like The Kid (1921), Modern Times (1936), and The Great Dictator (1940). He later became a target of American right-wing conservatives, who effectively banned him from the country, and Chaplin died in Switzerland at the age of 88.


1917: Vladimir Lenin Returns To Russia From Exile

Vladimir Lenin

Wikimedia CommonsBolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin addresses a crowd in Moscow on May 25, 1919, during the Russian Civil War.

Vladimir Lenin returns to Russia after a decade of exile. Back in the country, Lenin led the Russian Revolution, which toppled the monarchy and led to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922. Lenin ruled the country until his death two years later in January 1924.


1943: Albert Hofman Accidentally Discovers LSD

Albert Hofmann accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he’d created, in Basel, Switzerland. For two hours the Swiss chemist experienced the world’s first LSD “high.” The hallucinogenic drug later became popular in the United States in the 1960s but was outlawed in 1965.


2007: The Virginia Tech Shooting Takes Place

Virginia Tech Mourners

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesThousands of people attend a candlelight vigil on the day after the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

A mass shooting takes place on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia. The deadliest school shooting in American history, the massacre was perpetrated by 23-year-old Seung-Hui Cho, a student from South Korea with mental health issues. Thirty-three people died during the shooting, including Cho, who died by suicide.