16 June It Happened Today

1654  Queen Christina of Sweden abdicates.

1722  Death of John Churchill, first Duke of Marlborough.

1890  Birth of English comedian and actor Stan Laurel, who subsequently teamed up with Oliver Hardy to form the famous duo.

1961  Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev requests political asylum in France. 

1963  Valentina Tereshkova of the USSR becomes the first woman in space.

1977  Death of German rocket scientist Werner von Braun.

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