September 16, 1928, BLACK HISTORY: a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour made landfall in Palm Beach County, Florida. The hurricane destroyed a levee that protected a number of small farming communities from the waters of Lake Okeechobee. Most of the residents of these low-lying communities were black migrant farm workers. When the levee was destroyed, water from Lake Okeechobee rushed into these communities, killing thousands. After the hurricane, black survivors were forced to recover the bodies of those killed. The officials in charge of the recovery effort ordered that food would be provided only to those who worked and some who refused to work were shot. The bodies of white storm victims were buried in coffins in local cemeteries, but local officials refused to provide coffins or proper burials for black victims. Instead, the bodies of many black victims were stacked in piles by the side of the roads doused in fuel oil, and burned. Authorities bulldozed the bodies of 674 black victims into a mass grave in West Palm Beach. The mass grave was not marked and the site was later sold for private industrial use; it later was used as a garbage dump, a slaughterhouse, and a sewage treatment plant. The city of West Palm Beach did not purchase the land until 2000. In 2008, on the 80th anniversary of the storm, a plaque and historical marker was erected at the mass grave site.
September 16, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: the US release of “She Loves You.” The song wasn't a hit at first. Capitol - EMI's US counterpart - refused to release it, and Vee Jay - which had released Please Please Me and From Me To You to little effect - also declined. Desperate for a stateside hit, Brian Epstein licensed the song to Swan Records, based in Philadelphia, although it was picked up by very few of the crucial US radio stations.
September 16, 1964: Teenage Culture: Shindig! premiered on ABC. Produced as a replacement for Hootenanny which fizzled out with the British Invasion. Shindig! will become one of a few shows providing a venue for pop music. The opener featured Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers, the Wellingtons, Jackie and Gayle, Donna Loren, Bobby Sherman and the Righteous Brothers.
September 16, 1966, Grateful Dead: Dead poster for a show at the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco. [from Professor Poster] Undoubtedly the most famous poster from the 60's as well as the most recognized image ever used by the Grateful Dead. The central image is a drawing done by Edward Joseph Sullivan, a late 19th and early 20th century artist. Sullivan created this drawing to illustrate one of the quatrains of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Mouse and Kelley added the color, as the original drawing was in black and white. A thorough examination of this poster shows the excellent lettering, fine use of the ribbon motif an ideal choice of coloring and perfect framing and balance in the design.
September 16, 1967, Jimi Hendrix: LP, 'Are You Experienced?' entered the Billboard Hot 200 album chart, where it stayed for 106 weeks, including 77 weeks in the Top 40. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it No.15 on their 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and two years later it was selected for permanent preservation in the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress in the United States.
September 16, 1970, Jimi Hendrix: Hendrix joined Eric Burdon on stage at Ronnie Scotts in London for what would become the Hendrix's last public appearance. September 16, 1974, Vietnam: President Ford offered conditional amnesty today to thousands of Vietnam era draft evaders and military deserters who agreed to work for up to two years in public service jobs. "My sincere hope," he said in a statement, "is that this is a constructive step toward calmer and cooler appreciation of our individual rights and responsibilities and our common purpose as a nation whose future is always more important than its past." In his proclamation, the President declared that "desertion in time of war is a major, serious offense," and that draft evasion "is also a serious offense." Such actions, he said, need not "be condoned." "Yet," he continued, "reconciliation calls for an act of mercy to bind the nation's wounds and to heal the scars of divisiveness." Some questioned Ford’s conditional amnesty compared to his unconditional pardon for Nixon 8 days earlier.