After succeeding in defeating the forces of dictator General Fulgencio BatistaFidel Castro became Cuba’s prime minister, transforming the country into the first communist state in the western Hemisphere and the symbol of Latin America’s communist revolution. He held his position as premier until 1976, upon when he took office as the President of State the Council of Ministers until 2008.

Other notable events on February 16th:

In 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty aiming at the reduction of gas emissions contributing to global warming, enters into effect.

In 1985, the Lebanese political party and militant group Hezbollah is founded.

In 1923, Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s burial chamber is opened.

Fidel Castro arrives MATS Terminal, Washington, D.C.