Benedict Arnold’s accomplice British Major John Andre is hanged by Continental Army troops.
Arnold was responsible for surrendering the fort at West Point, New York to British forces. Andre was found carrying letters and papers detailing the inner workings of the fort, as well as an agreement to pay Arnold £20,000 for his treason.
Andre was allowed to write several letters before his execution. One was to George Washington, in which he asked for a gentlemanly execution by firing squad, not for a reprieve.
Washington so admired the bravery, he tried to negotiate a prisoner switch, so that the Continentals could kill Arnold.
After several days, he ordered Andre executed — by hanging.
Charles Darwin returns from the HMS Beagle, ending his journey that would inspire publication of “the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection.”
He wouldn’t publish the work until 1859, however.
Woodrow Wilson suffers a stroke in the White House, leaving him largely unable to serve.
He remained in office, however, with his wife, powerful legislators and aides doing most of the work.
Wilson had been lobbying the American people for support to get Congress to ratify the Treaty of Versailles and admit the U.S. to the League of Nations. The tour of the country nearly killed him from exhaustion. Toward the end of the train tour, he collapsed, and upon returning to DC, suffered the stroke.
He would be awarded the Nobel Prize that year.
Guinea declares its independence from France, making it one of the first open allies with the Soviets in Africa.
More than half its diamond and gold exports would go to communist holdings while it received millions in aide from the Reds.
Guinean leader Sekou Toure was also a sympathizer to Mao in China. He was known for pitting American and Soviet powers against each other, squeezing relief and aide out of both countries.
Military juntas and dictators have largely ruled Guinea since Toure’s death in 1984.
Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black justice of the Supreme Court.
Marshall had been the leading lawyer for the NAACP and helped build the national legal cases against institutional segregation.
He was also responsible for successfully arguing Brown v. Board of Education, after which the Supreme Court ruled racial segregation illegal per the 14th amendment.
Marshall retired in 1991 and died in 1993.