National Religious Freedom Day

🗓️ On This Day - January 16th

From rising empires to scientific discoveries, January 16th has proven to be a pretty interesting date throughout history! While there’s likely millions of important events that have unfolded across the decades and centuries on this date, we’ve crammed in as much as we can into a bite-sized fact file to help clue you in. Here’s some fun facts about January 16th.

On this day

Julius Caesar Octavius - On This day in History January 16th

The Roman Empire began!

It’s true! On January 16th, 27 BC, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavius claimed the honored title of Augustus by the Roman Senate. This marked the genesis of the Roman Empire - which, as you probably know, changed history in myriad different ways.

On This Day in History, January 16th Philip II, known as Philip the Prudent,

Phillip II took the Spanish crown.

In 1556, Philip II, known as Philip the Prudent, became King of Spain. He remained king until his death in 1598. He was also effectively King of England and Ireland (jure uxoris) thanks to his marriage to Queen Mary I (also known as Bloody Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII) until her death in 1558.

Thomas Jefferson - Statute for Religious Freedom

The Statute for Religious Freedom came into force.

On this very day back in 1786, the Statute for Religious Freedom was enacted in the state of Virginia. The statute was written by Thomas Jefferson and changed the way religion would be treated in the US. It remains one of the most important statutes ever written in the US - it gave people the liberty to believe whatever they wanted without reproach.

Ernest Shackleton

Ernest Shackleton took the pole!

In 1909, Anglo-Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton led one of his three expeditions to the South Pole to find the magnetic South Pole - and on January 16th, they were successful! He was one of the most iconic historical figures known from the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.


Adolf Hitler moved into the Führerbunker.

The Führerbunker was an air raid shelter used to keep Adolf Hitler safe. He used it as the center of the Nazi regime for the very last week of World War II after he moved into it on January 16th, 1945. He also married his wife, Eva Braun, in there, only 40 hours before they committed suicide together. This led to the end, finally, of World War II.

Special Days Falling on January 16th

If it’s your birthday or anniversary, you already have something big to celebrate - but believe it or not, there are a few special days elsewhere on January 16th that might just raise your eyebrows.
National Fig Newton Day

National Fig Newton Day

Whether you love them or you hate them, fig newtons are iconic treats across the US - and January 16th is the perfect date to celebrate their tasty goodness (though we’re not entirely certain why!). Dig deep for some fig newtons without guilt today.

National Religious Freedom Day

National Religious Freedom Day

Celebrating National Religious Freedom Day is a fantastic way of honoring the US’ incredible diversity. Today, people across the nation hail the day the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom was signed back in 1786.

International Hot and Spicy Food Day

International Hot and Spicy Food Day

If fig newtons don’t satisfy you, then get ready to sample some super spicy cuisine! Restaurants all over offer great deals on this day for their hottest dishes and even food challenges worthy of champions with the strongest taste buds. Just remember to order a glass of milk to cool down - and think twice before you give that ghost chili vindaloo a go!

This page was last modified on July 29, 2023. Suggest an edit