This Day In History
Sunday, December 16, 2018
On This Day

Events

in 1626

The Castello Plan showing the Dutch colonial city of New Amsterdam in 1660 - then confined to the southern tip of Manhattan Island.
The Castello Plan showing the Dutch colonial city of New Amsterdam in 1660 - then confined to the southern tip of Manhattan Island.
Peter Minuit buys Manhattan. On May 24, 1626, Minuit was credited with purchasing the island from the natives (most likely the Lenape tribe) in exchange for trade goods valued at 60 guilders. The figure of 60 guilders comes from a letter by a member of the board of the Dutch West India Company, Pieter Janszoon Schagen, to the States-General in November 1626. In 1846 a New York historian converted the figure of Fl 60 (or 60 guilders) to US$24. "[A] variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars," as Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York. Sixty guilders in 1626 had the approximate value of $1000 in 2006, according to the Institute for Social History of Amsterdam Based on the price of silver, Straight Dope author Cecil Adams calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992.
Peter Minuit, Manhattan

Births

in 1494
Pontormo

Jacopo Carucci, usually known as Jacopo da Pontormo, Jacopo Pontormo or simply Pontormo, was an Italian Mannerist painter and portraitist from the Florentine school. His work represents a profound stylistic shift from the calm perspectival regularity that characterized the art of the Florentine Renaissance. He is famous for his use of twining poses, coupled with ambiguous perspective; his figures often seem to float in an uncertain environment, unhampered by the forces of gravity.
in 1887
Mick Mannock

Major Edward Corringham "Mick" Mannock VC, DSO and Two Bars, MC & Bar was a British First World War flying ace. Mannock was probably born in Ireland, but of English and Scottish parentage.
in 1940
Joseph Brodsky

Iosif Aleksandrovich Brodsky, was a Russian poet and essayist.

Deaths

in 1543
Nicolaus Copernicus

Nicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance astronomer and the first person to formulate a comprehensive heliocentric cosmology which displaced the Earth from the center of the universe.
in 1972
Asta Nielsen

Asta Nielsen was a Danish silent film actress who was one of the most popular leading ladies of the 1910s and one of the first international movie stars. Seventy of Nielsen's 74 films were made in Germany where she was known simply as Die Asta (The Asta). Noted for her large dark eyes, mask-like face and boyish figure, Nielsen most often portrayed strong-willed passionate women trapped by tragic consequences. Due to the erotic nature of her performances, Nielsen's films were heavily censored in the United States and her work remained relatively obscure to American audiences.
in 1995
Harold Wilson

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx was a British Labour politician and Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the February 1974 General Election resulted in a hung parliament. He is the most recent British Prime Minister to have served non-consecutive terms.
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