On this day, May 16 … 

1966: China launches the Cultural Revolution, a radical and deadly reform movement aimed at purging the country of “counter-revolutionaries.”

Also on this day:

  • 1770: Marie Antoinette, age 14, marries the future King Louis XVI of France, who was 15.
  • 1868: At the U.S. Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 35 out of 54 senators vote to find Johnson guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors” over his attempted dismissal of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, falling one vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict.
  • 1939: The federal government begins its first food stamp program in Rochester, N.Y.
  • 1943: The nearly monthlong Warsaw Ghetto Uprising comes to an end as German forces crushed the Jewish resistance and blew up the Great Synagogue.
  • 1975: Japanese climber Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
  • 1988: Surgeon General C. Everett Koop releases a report declaring nicotine was addictive in ways similar to heroin and cocaine.
  • 1991: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first British monarch to address the United States Congress as she praises U.S.-British cooperation in the Persian Gulf War.
  • 1997: President Bill Clinton publicly apologizes for the notorious Tuskegee experiment, in which government scientists deliberately allowed black men to weaken and die of treatable syphilis.
  • 2007: Anti-war Democrats in the Senate fail in an attempt to cut off funds for the Iraq war.
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  • 2018: Michigan State University officials say they have agreed to pay $500 million to settle claims from more than 300 women and girls who said they were assaulted by sports doctor Larry Nassar.