First Posted: 2/20/2014
The History Channel
* On March 16, 1802, The United States Military Academy — the first military school in the United States, located at West Point, N.Y. — is founded by Congress for the purpose of educating and training young men in the theory and practice of military science. In 1870, the first black cadet was admitted, and in 1976, the first female cadets.
* On March 15, 1820, as part of the Missouri Compromise between the North and the South, Maine is admitted into the Union as the 23rd state. The entrance of Maine as a free state was agreed to by Southern senators in exchange for the entrance of Missouri as a slave state.
* On March 12, 1888, the most severe winter storm ever to hit the New York City region reaches blizzard proportions. The 36-hour blizzard dumped some 40 inches of snow, and for several weeks the city was virtually isolated from the rest of the country by the massive snowdrifts.
* On March 10, 1927, Robert Kearns, who patented a design for the intermittent windshield wiper, is born in Gary, Ind. Kearns later won a multi-million dollar judgments against Chrysler ($20 million) and Ford ($10 million) for using his concept without permission.
* On March 11, 1942, during World War II, Gen. Douglas MacArthur leaves the Philippines as the American defense of the islands against the Japanese collapses. MacArthur had received a message from President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Feb. 20 ordering him to leave immediately. He finally obeyed the president’s order on March 11.
* On March 14, 1964, Jack Ruby, the Dallas nightclub owner who killed Lee Harvey Oswald — the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy — is found guilty of murdering Oswald “with malice” and sentenced to die in the electric chair.
* On March 13, 1979, power pitcher Johan Santana is born in Tovar Merida, Venezuela. He went on to become the dominant left-handed pitcher in baseball from 2003 to 2006 and won the Cy Young Award as the American League’s top pitcher in 2004 and again in 2006.