On This Day December 16
1983 – British rockers The Who announce their breakup. However, it was not to last, as the band gets back together in 1985 for Live Aid (a massive, duel-venue benefit concert for African famine relief) and then launches a full-fledged reunion tour in 1989.
1773 – Massachusetts colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians board three British ships docked in Boston Harbor and dump 342 chests of tea into the water to protest tea taxes. The raid comes be known as the Boston Tea Party.
1944 – The deadliest conflict of World War II occurs on this day. The Germans launch the last major offensive of the war, Operation Mist, also known as the Ardennes Offensive and the Battle of the Bulge, an attempt to push the Allied front line west from northern France to northwestern Belgium.
1951 – “Just the facts, ma’am.” The police detective series “Dragnet,” which launched on NBC Radio in 1949, premieres on NBC Television, starring Jack Webb as detective Joe Friday. Webb was the show’s creator and also served as director/producer. The series runs through 1970.
1960 – This day marks the worst commercial aviation disaster of its time. A United Airlines DC-8 and a TWA Super Constellation collide over New York City, sending one aircraft hurtling into Staten Island and the other into a Brooklyn neighborhood. The crash kills 134 people, including six on the ground.