On This Day in History, July 16

In 1054, a papal legate sent by Pope Leo IX delivered an invalidly issued Papal bull of Excommunication Ecumenical Patriarch Michael I Cerularius. This was done in the midst of a Saturday liturgy at the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople, now Istanbul. Many historians consider this action as the initiation of the East-West Schism among European Christians, specifically between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism.

In 1809, the city of La Paz in modern day Bolivia declared independence from the Spanish Crown after a revolution that expelled Spanish authorities from the city that was led by Pedro Domingo Murillo. While the Spanish would re-seize the city in a violent repression of the revolt, this incident would mark a key point in the Spanish American wars of independence during the early 19th Century.

In 1969, the Apollo 11 mission launched from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Kennedy, Florida. Aboard the craft were astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. They would land on the moon on July 20th and returned to Earth on July 24th. This was the first of six manned missions to the moon, the last of which occurred in 1972.

A Notable Birth

1896 – Trygve Lie (d. 1968) was a Norwegian politician and labour leader. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Norwegian government in exile during the Second World War. He was involved with the founding of the United Nations and was elected their first Secretary-General.

A Notable Death

1882 – Mary Todd Lincoln (b. 1818) was the First Lady of the United States during the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865). During the Civil War, she was criticized for her spending on balls to boost moral and redecorating the White House. She was present for her husband’s assassination.

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