Here are some of the things that happened on December 16th.
1653, Oliver Cromwell was made Lord Protector of England.
1773, the Boston Tea Party took place as American colonists boarded a British ship and dumped more than 300 chests of tea overboard to protest tea taxes.
1809, French emperor Napoleon divorced his wife Josephine.
1850, the first European immigrant ship, The Charlotte Jane, arrived in New Zealand.
1921, French composer Camille Saint-Saens died.
1944, American composer and bandleader Glenn Miller was presumed dead after his flight went missing over the English Channel.
1965, British novelist and playwright William Somerset Maugham died.
1984, New Zealand actress and star of Grease Olivia Newton-John got married to Matt Lattanzi.
1987, Italy held its biggest-ever Mafia trial, with 19 mob bosses receiving life sentences and 338 people convicted.
1990, Scottish rocker Rod Stewart married New Zealand supermodel Rachel Hunter.
1996, an Israeli inventor and a company called DIA TEC unveiled their new nappy recycling machine, the Diapactor, which converted nappies into pellets of plastic and wood pulp.
1998, Operation Desert Fox began when American and British forces launched air and cruise missile attacks at military targets in Iraq.
2000, Colin Powell was the first African-American to become Secretary of State. He left office in 2004 after George W. Bush's re-election.