The United States Military Academy at West Point, which has trained generations of American leaders to serve from the battlefield to the White House, was established on this day in history, March 16, 1802.
Its graduates pioneered America’s way west and mankind’s path into the heavens.
The academy’s creation was part of the Military Peace Establishment Act, introduced by Massachusetts Congressman Joseph Varnum, and signed into law by President Thomas Jefferson.
“Congress established a separate Corps of Engineers to be located at West Point, New York, and constituted it as a military academy with the Chief Engineer serving as superintendent,” writes the website of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“This action, taken at a time when the overall size of the Army was reduced, placed the Corps on permanent footing and capped a quarter-century of efforts to provide professional training for officers.”
The United States Military Academy opened for instruction on July 4. Massachusetts native Joseph Gardner Swift was its first graduate.
West Point, as its commonly known, stands today as the world’s premier institute of military training and also one of its top engineering schools.
The academy attracts the best and brightest patriotic young Americans from coast to coast.
“West Point grads designed almost all early American railways, roads, and bridges as it was the only engineering college in the country until 1824,” writes the American Battlefield Trust.
West Point grads in the 20th century proved essential to the NASA space program. Two of the three astronauts on Apollo 11, the first mission to put men on the lunar surface, were West Point graduates: command module pilot Michael Collins (Class of 1952) and moon walker Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin (1951). . . . (read more on Fox News)