March 16th in history:
The Army Corps of Engineers was established on March 16th, 1802, to operate the military academy at West Point.
On this date in 1916, General John J. Pershing (West Point class of 1886) led the horsemen of the Cavalry across the Mexican border to search for revolutionary Pancho Villa.
Most people gave up horses for cars in the early 20th century. On March 16th, 1958, Ford produced its 50 millionth car, a Thunderbird. Exactly 10 years later on the same date, General Motors made its 100 millionth auto. It was an Olds Toronado.
Only two U.S. Senators have been assassinated while in office. One was Huey Long of Louisiana. The other was Robert F. Kennedy, shot on June 5th, 1968, just moments after giving a victory speech at a Los Angeles hotel on the night he won the California presidential primary. Kennedy died the next day. According to videotaped TV coverage of the victory rally, the attack happened less than three minutes after Kennedy’s speech ended. Supporters were chanting “Kennedy, Kennedy, sis boom bah” when people in the ballroom became aware of the shooting in a nearby kitchen.
The man convicted of killing Kennedy, Sirhan Sirhan, allegedly timed the shooting to coincide with the first anniversary of the “Six-Day” Arab-Israeli War of 1967.
Ronald Reagan was governor of California at the time of Bobby Kennedy’s death. Reagan later became the only U.S. president to survive being shot while in office. Reagan died on June 5th, 2004, 15 years after leaving the White House. He had battled Alzheimer’s disease for several years.
A few men associated with guns and the Old West were born on June 5th:
Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa (born 1878);
Lawman Pat Garrett (1850), best known for killing outlaw Billy the Kid;
And actor William Boyd (1895), who played the fictional cowboy hero “Hopalong Cassidy.”