This Week in History: George Washington posthumously promoted, Battle of Guilford Courthouse, & West Point founded

Happy Sunday! Attached is a summary of my “morning history” posts from this past week. Enjoy and have a great week!

Monday, March 13

Medal of Honor Monday! On (almost) this day in 1966, an Air Force pilot puts his life on the line for his comrade-in-arms, another pilot who had been downed during a mission. Rescue helicopters were still half an hour away! Bernard Fisher knew what he had to do. He landed his plane on a jungle runway, in the midst of hostile fire. He saved his fellow pilot.  “I couldn’t stand by and watch him get murdered without at least trying to rescue him,” Fisher later explained.  Fisher would receive a Medal of Honor for his actions. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Tuesday, March 14

On (almost) this day in 1978, George Washington is posthumously promoted.  It had been more than two centuries since the American Revolution began! Washington’s new rank? General of the Armies of the United States.  Washington’s promotion was retroactively dated to July 4, 1976, the bicentennial anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. Today, the rank is the highest in the United States military, and it has been held by only one other officer. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Bonus post: Federalist Paper No. 69: “The President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for FOUR years; the king of Great Britain is a perpetual and HEREDITARY prince. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other is sacred and inviolable. . . . . What answer shall we give to those who would persuade us that things so unlike resemble each other?” MORE:  Permalink

Wednesday, March 15

On this day in 1781, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse takes place. It was technically a British victory—but only technically. Indeed, one member of Parliament later noted: “Another such victory would ruin the British army.” FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Bonus post: Federalist Paper No. 70: “Taking it for granted, therefore, that all men of sense will agree in the necessity of an energetic executive; it will only remain to inquire, what are the ingredients which constitute this energy—how far can they be combined with those other ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense? And how far does this combination characterise the plan, which has been reported by the convention?” MORE:  Permalink

Thursday, March 16

On this day in 1802, the United States Military Academy at West Point is founded. The academy has trained some of America’s greatest military minds, including such notables as Douglas MacArthur, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and George S. Patton.  Generals on both sides of the Civil War were trained at West Point as well.  West Point found its beginning in another war, though. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+

Friday, March 17

On this day in 1776, the British army evacuates Boston. It was the culmination of an American effort that had begun many months earlier. The City of Boston had been under siege by the Americans since April 1775. As the months wore on, a colonel in George Washington’s army, Henry Knox, had an idea: Why not retrieve the British cannons and artillery that could be found at Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point? Those forts had been captured by the Americans, and the cannons were available, assuming someone could make the trip with them. The journey would be no easy feat. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Saturday, March 18

On this day in 2014, twenty-four soldiers are belatedly awarded the Medal of Honor in a ceremony at the White House. A congressional investigation had determined that these veterans were denied the Medal because of their heritage. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+

Check out my Saturday morning presidential trivia! Facebook

Bonus post: Federalist Paper No. 71: “To what purpose separate the executive or the judiciary from the legislative, if both the executive and the judiciary are so constituted as to be at the absolute devotion of the legislative? Such a separation must be merely nominal, and incapable of producing the ends for which it was established.” MORE:  Permalink

Sunday, March 19

On this day in 1734, Thomas McKean is born. He was President of the United States before George Washington was! Well, sort of. McKean was a President under the Articles of Confederation, not the U.S. Constitution. But when George Washington won his victory at Yorktown, he reported it to McKean. FULL STORY: Permalink; Facebook; Google+; Instagram

Bonus quote: Federalist Paper No. 72: “There are few men who would not feel much less zeal in the discharge of a duty when they were conscious that the advantages of the station with which it was connected must be relinquished at a determinate period, than when they were permitted to entertain a hope of OBTAINING, by MERITING, a continuance of them.” MORE:  Permalink