On This Day in History: March 16

On March 16, Howard Wilson shocked Britain by announcing his resignation. Here is a look at events and birthdays from today in history.

1802: The Creation of West Point

West Point 1870The United States Military Academy at West Point was founded on this day in history. It was the first U.S. military school, founded by Congress to teach military science practice and theory. Only men were allowed to attend, but it has since been opened to men and women. The location was chosen after Patriot and traitor Benedict Arnold agreed to surrender West Point, New York for £6,000. The plot was uncovered and Arnold was found out to be a traitor. The location remained in the hands of the American’s. The first African-American cadets were allowed into the college in 1870. It took over a century longer for the first female cadets to be allowed in.

1881: Murder of Francisco “Chico” Forester

On this day in history, Francisco “Chico” Forester was shot in the eye and killed. The murder was carried out by 18-year-old Lastania Abarta.  Forester had a reputation for womanizing, but Abarta wasn’t going to just take his actions lightly. After promising to marry her and then failing to return with a ring or priest, Abarta and her sister went to look for him. Once found, they started to drive him to a church but he escapes and Abarta shot him. Abarta’s defense lawyers tried to go with “female hysteria” as a defense, as there were medical theories that the reproductive system sent women crazy. The jury full of men acquitted the woman and she was able to leave town.

1976: Resignation of Harold Wilson

Harold WilsonIn history today, the Labour leader and Prime Minister of Great Britain resigned. He had been serving as Labour leader for 13 years, and had been in his current position for seven. The announcement did not just shock Britain, but his own Cabinet. He had decided two years earlier that he was going to resign, and said there were no hidden reasons. He remained as the official prime minister until James Callaghan took over on April 5, 1976.

2005: Robert Blake Acquitted

A three-month-long trial came to an end on March 16, 2005, when Robert Blake was acquitted of murdering his wife. The 1970s TV star had been accused of the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley, but he claimed he had been trapped in a loveless marriage due to his wife falling pregnant. She had been killed by gunshot on May 4, 2001, and two former stunt doubles of the actor joined the prosecution to say they had been recruited to help. The stunt doubles had been drug users, and that evidence helped lead to Blake’s acquittal. He was later found guilty of “intentionally” causing her death in a civil trial.

Famous Birthdays on March 16

Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick–1338

Henry IV the Pious, Duke of Saxony–1473

Novelist Contessa Marie Madeleine La Fayette–1634

Queen of Prussia, Sophia Dorothea of Hanover–1687

U.S. President James Madison—1751

German physicist George S. Ohm—1789

American Civil War Union general John Pope—1822

Richard Nixon’s first lady Thelma Catherine Patricia Ryan Nixon—1912

Actor and comedian Jerry Lewis—1926

Titanic and Alias actor Victor Garber—1949

The Blue Aeroplanes guitarist Alex Lee—1970

Model Katie May—1981

Vine star Sara Hopkins—1991

Lab Rats actor Tyrel Jackson Williams—1997

Sources:

Birthdays from HistoryNet.com, OnThisDay.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Image of Harold Wilson in the public domain: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wilson#/media/File:Dodwilson.JPG

West Point around 1870: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Military_Academy#/media/File:The_USMA_Corps_in_mid_1800s.jpg


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