February 16th

2005
The Kyoto Protocol goes into effect. The global warming pact was ratified by 191 countries to date - excluding the United States.
Kyoto Protocol
1999
Turkish commandos captured Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan in Kenya, sparking seizures of embassies in Europe by Kurds.
Kurdish–Turkish conflict (1978–present)
1987
The first trial against John Demjanjuk begins in Jerusalem. Demjanjuk was falsely accused of being a particularly brutal nazi guard dubbed “Ivan the Terrible”; in a separate trial in 2011, he was convicted by a German criminal court as an accessory to the murder of 27,900 people.
John Demjanjuk
1985
Hezbollah is founded. The Lebanese political party and militant group is classified as a terrorist organization by several western countries.
Hezbollah
1968
The country's first 911 phone system went into service in Haleyville, Ala.
911
1959
Fidel Castro becomes Cuba's Prime Minister. Castro's rise to power came shortly after his “26th of July Movement” had overthrown dictator Fulgencio Batista in what became known as the Cuban Revolution.
Fidel Castro
1937
Nylon was patented.
Nylon
1923
The burial chamber of Pharoh Tutankhamun is opened. Howard Carter's discovery is one of archeology's best known, especially due to the myth of the “Curse of Tutankhamun” that was sparked by the death of Lord Carnarvon who was one of the first to enter the chamber.
KV62
1918
Lithuania proclaimed its independence from Russia.
Act of Independence of Lithuania
1840
American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica.
List of Antarctic expeditions
1804
U.S. frigate Philadelphia, captured and held by Barbary pirates at Tripoli during the Tripolitan War, was set fire to and destroyed by a small group of men led by Stephen Decatur.
First Barbary War
1659
1st known cheque (£400) (on display at Westminster Abbey).
1659