This Day In History, January 16th

What happened on this day in history: Ivan the Terrible becomes czar of Russia, Operation Desert Storm begins, and other noteworthy events from January 16th.

27 B.C.E: Augustus Becomes The First Emperor Of The Roman Empire

Octavian, dubbed “Augustus,” takes power over the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar’s heir and successor, Augustus had long battled Mark Antony for total power in Rome. Having defeated Antony, Augustus went on to rule for four decades, establishing a powerful empire that lasted in various forms for roughly 1,500 years.

1547: Ivan The Terrible Becomes Czar Of Russia

Today In History January 16

Public DomainIvan the Terrible developed a violent reputation during his long reign.

Ivan IV Vasilyevich becomes the czar of Russia at the age of 16. Later known as Ivan the Terrible, the czar’s later reign was marked by the torture and execution of his enemies. He was also known for flying into mad rages, as in 1581 when Ivan murdered his own son and heir.

1936: Albert Fish Is Executed

Albert Fish is executed by electric chair at the age of 65 at Sing Sing Prison in New York. A vicious serial killer, rapist, and cannibal, Fish brutally murdered at least three children between 1924 and 1928. And although it remains unverified, Fish himself claimed to have taken as many as 100 victims.

1991: Operation Desert Storm Begins

Operation Desert Storm

Steve Liss/Getty ImagesThree men reading about the commencement of Operation Desert Storm.

Operation Desert Storm begins in Kuwait. Five months earlier, Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait, leading to a build-up of American and allied forces in nearby Saudi Arabia to defend the country. The military operation lasted just 43 days and resulted in a victory for the American-led coalition.

1992: El Salvadorian Civil War Ends

The El Salvadorian Civil War ends, resulting in the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords in Mexico City. The war began after a 1979 coup and the subsequent murder of anti-coup protestors and activists. From this year until the signing of the peace accords, an estimated 75,000 people died in the conflict. The Salvadorian government fought against Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) guerrillas in its quest for total control of the country. The Salvadorian government’s “scorched earth” strategy led to massive human rights violations and major atrocities that still permeate the country’s political culture today.