On this day in 1802, the House, by a 71-12 vote, approved legislation to create a military academy to train officers in West Point, N.Y. The legislation had been introduced by Rep. Joseph Varnum of Massachusetts, a Revolutionary War veteran who had helped suppress Shays’ Rebellion in 1786.
The Senate passed an amended bill March 5. Ten days later, the House concurred with the Senate’s amendments and sent it to President Thomas Jefferson, who signed the bill into law March 16, 1802.
March 16th is celebrated each year as Founders Day.