On this day in history February 16,
1970 – Joe Frazier began his reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds. He lost the title on January 22, 1973, when he lost for the first time in his professional career to George Foreman.
1972 – Wilt Chamberlain (Los Angeles Lakers) reached the 30,000-point mark in his NBA career during a game against the Phoenix Suns.
1977 – The Anglican archbishop of Uganda, Janani Luwum, was killed in automobile accident. Two other men were also killed.
1985 – “Kojak” returned to network television after an absence of seven years with the CBS-TV special, “Kojak: The Belarus File.”
1987 – John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being “Ivan the Terrible”, a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
1989 – Investigators in Lockerbie, Scotland, announced that a bomb hidden inside a radio-cassette player was the reason that Pan Am Flight 103 was brought down the previous December. All 259 people aboard and 11 on the ground were killed.
1999 – A bomb exploded at the government headquarters in Uzbekistan. Gunfire followed the incident. The event apparently was an attempt on the life of President Islam Karimov.
1999 – Kurds seized embassies and held hostages across Europe following Turkey’s arrest of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan.
1999 – Testimony began in the Jasper, TX, trial of John William King. He was charged with murder in the gruesome dragging death of James Byrd Jr. King was later convicted and sentenced to death.