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On this day in history, March 16, 1802, United States Military Academy established at West Point

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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.

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“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.”

View of West Point. George Washington selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko, one of the heroes of Saratoga, to design the fortifications for West Point in 1778. President Thomas Jefferson established the United States Military Academy in 1802. Engraving by Milbert. Panorama Universal. History of the United States of America, from 1st edition of Jean B.G. Roux de Rochelle's Etats-Unis d'Amerique in 1837. 

View of West Point. George Washington selected Thaddeus Kosciuszko, one of the heroes of Saratoga, to design the fortifications for West Point in 1778. President Thomas Jefferson established the United States Military Academy in 1802. Engraving by Milbert. Panorama Universal. History of the United States of America, from 1st edition of Jean B.G. Roux de Rochelle’s Etats-Unis d’Amerique in 1837.  (PHAS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

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.” — American Battlefield Trust

“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). 

Crew members of NASA's Apollo 11 lunar landing mission pose for a group portrait a few weeks before the launch, May 1969. From left to right, Commander Neil Armstrong, and West Point graduates Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin

Crew members of NASA’s Apollo 11 lunar landing mission pose for a group portrait a few weeks before the launch, May 1969. From left to right, Commander Neil Armstrong, and West Point graduates Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. (Space Frontiers/Getty Images)

West Point occupies a strategic location on a dramatic west-bank bluff overlooking a bend in the Hudson River, about 60 miles north of New York City

The river is navigable all the way to Albany, about 100 miles further north, which added to the waterway’s strategic importance during the fight for independence. 

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The British saw control of the Hudson as a way to drive a wedge between New England and the rest of the colonies. West Point stood in the way of their ambitions. 

“West Point had a major role in our nation’s history during the American Revolution,” the United States Military Academy writes in its online history. 

Engraving depicts American army officer Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), seated at a table, as he hands papers to British officer John Andre (1750-1780) during the American Revolutionary War, mid-to-late 18th century. Arnold formally switched sides and joined the British. 

Engraving depicts American army officer Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), seated at a table, as he hands papers to British officer John Andre (1750-1780) during the American Revolutionary War, mid-to-late 18th century. Arnold formally switched sides and joined the British.  (Stock Montage)

“American Continental Line soldiers constructed forts, gun batteries, redoubts and installed a 65-ton iron chain across the Hudson to block British invasions along the river.”

West Point is “first in magnitude and importance … and in all probability the real [object] of the enemy’s designs,” Gen. George Washington wrote as the British made probing attacks up the river.

“West Point had a major role in our nation’s history during the American Revolution.” – United States Military Academy

The garrison was the center of perhaps the most infamous act of treason in American history. 

Major General Benedict Arnold, a hero of the early years of the American Revolution, offered to trade West Point to the Redcoats in 1780 in exchange for £20,000 British pounds. 

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His betrayal was uncovered, West Point was saved and British conspirator Major John Andre was captured and executed. 

U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, circa 1915, vintage photograph.

U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York, circa 1915, vintage photograph. (Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Arnold escaped to England, his name forever tarnished in America. 

The ignominious act merely reinforced the importance placed on West Point by military commanders on both sides of the conflict. 

Coupled with its location on a major avenue of transportation, and its proximity to New York – rapidly becoming the nation’s largest city – West Point was an obvious choice for the site of the United States Military Academy. 

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West Point has produced a long list of the nation’s most celebrated military officers. Among them: “Buffalo Soldier” Henry O. Flipper (class of 1877), the academy’s first black graduate; World War I American Expeditionary Force leader Gen. John J. Pershing (1886); and World War II hero George S. Patton (1909). 

Confederate generals Robert E. Lee (1829) and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson (1846), two of the most skilled battlefield commanders in American history, were also West Point graduates. Lee was superintendent of the United States Military Academy from 1852 to 1855. 

Future general and president, Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), on the football field during his time as a military cadet at West Point Academy, New York, 1912. Eisenhower (class of 1915) played football at West Point with classmate and fellow future World War II general Omar Bradley. 

Future general and president, Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), on the football field during his time as a military cadet at West Point Academy, New York, 1912. Eisenhower (class of 1915) played football at West Point with classmate and fellow future World War II general Omar Bradley.  (FPG/Archive Photos//Getty Images)

West Point has produced 83 Medal of Honor recipients, more than any other institution of higher learning, and two U.S. presidents.

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Ulysses S. Grant (1843) led the Union army to victory in the Civil War and served as president from 1869 to 1877. 

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1915) was the Supreme Allied Commander in Europe in World War II and served as president from 1953 to 1961. 

West Point today is the oldest continuously occupied regular army post in the United States. 

It boasts about 4,400 students and produces approximately 900 lieutenants each year, about 20 percent of the new officers required annually by the Army. 

United States Military Academy graduating cadets celebrate at the end of their commencement ceremonies, June 13, 2020, in West Point, New York.

United States Military Academy graduating cadets celebrate at the end of their commencement ceremonies, June 13, 2020, in West Point, New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, Pool)

“From the day of its founding on March 16, 1802, West Point has grown in its size and stature, but it remains committed to the task of producing commissioned leaders of character for America’s Army,” the United States Military Academy proclaims online.

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“Guided by its timeless motto, ‘Duty, Honor, Country,’ the Academy is poised confidently to provide the Army and the nation with its third century of service.”

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On this day in history, March 21, 1952, first rock concert held in Cleveland, ends in chaos, conflict

The first rock ‘n’ roll concert, the ill-fated yet legendary Moondog Coronation Ball, pulsed from the stage of the former Cleveland Arena amid chaos and controversy on this day in history, March 21, 1952. 

“There was a sense of dynamite going off,” Indiana University professor emeritus and rock ‘n’ roll historian Glenn Gass told Fox News Digital.

“Right from the start, it was seen as dangerous music. Kids loved it. Parents hated it. Great. What a way for rock ‘n’ roll to get its start.”

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The oversold show ended early and, fittingly, in a conflict with authorities — which quickly became a hallmark of the explosive, controversial and bawdy new musical art form.

“Described as the ‘Big Bang of rock ‘n’ roll,’ the concert was organized by DJ Alan Freed and music store owner Leo Mintz and was headlined by saxophonist Paul Williams and his Hucklebuckers,” writes Guinness World Records in its confirmation of the show’s pioneering status in live-music history. 

R&B pianist and singer Amos Milburn with Paul Williams (baritone sax, center), Eddie Silver (tenor sax, left), Jimmy Brown (trumpet), Belton Evans (drums), and Steve Cooper (bass), circa 1950. Paul Williams, performing with the Hucklebuckers, co-headlined with guitarist Tiny Grimes the first rock concert in Cleveland on March 21, 1952. 

R&B pianist and singer Amos Milburn with Paul Williams (baritone sax, center), Eddie Silver (tenor sax, left), Jimmy Brown (trumpet), Belton Evans (drums), and Steve Cooper (bass), circa 1950. Paul Williams, performing with the Hucklebuckers, co-headlined with guitarist Tiny Grimes the first rock concert in Cleveland on March 21, 1952.  (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“The event was credited with ‘bringing Black and White kids together to dance in post-war America, but was abandoned after approximately 30 minutes due to overcrowding and rioting after more than 20,000 revelers stormed the 9,950-seat venue.”

The concert was co-headlined by guitarist Tiny Grimes, according to promotional posters from the landmark event. 

“Described as the ‘Big Bang of rock ‘n’ roll,’ the concert was organized by DJ Alan Freed and music store owner Leo Mintz.” — Guinness World Records

Apparently only Williams, the opening act, got to perform before the show was cut short in haste by local officials as crowds of ticket holders gathered on Euclid Avenue were unable to get into the arena. 

“In 1948, at the age of 33, Williams recorded ‘The Hucklebuck,’ an instrumental considered by many music historians to be an important precursor to rock ‘n’ roll,” writes Blackpast.org. 

Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland, March 21, 1952, organized by DJ Alan Freed and record-store owner Leo Mintz, is regarded as the first-ever rock 'n' roll concert. 

Moondog Coronation Ball in Cleveland, March 21, 1952, organized by DJ Alan Freed and record-store owner Leo Mintz, is regarded as the first-ever rock ‘n’ roll concert.  (y GAB Archive/Redferns)

“At a time when record companies promoted ‘race’ records only among African Americans, Williams’ song became a major crossover hit among both Black and White audiences.”

Fellow headliner Grimes recorded with artists such as Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday and pioneered rock sound with his up-tempo jazz-guitar style, according to various sources. 

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DJ Freed proved the real breakout star of the first rock concert.  

He was “the boundary-smashing, trend-setting evangelist of rock ‘n’ roll,” writes the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which made him a member of its charter class of 1986, alongside the genre’s greatest early icons, including Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

“Freed was the most effective proselytizer rock and roll has ever known.” — Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Freed, among other claims to fame, is credited with popularizing the phrase rock ‘n’ roll as its aggressive beats and sexually suggestive lyrics swept over American radio in the 1950s and soon conquered pop culture.

“Freed was the most effective proselytizer rock ‘n’ roll has ever known,” writes the Rock Hall. 

American disc jockey and radio performer Alan Freed (1921-1965), who popularized the term rock 'n' roll, sits in a 1010 WINS sound studio during a radio broadcast, 1950s. 

American disc jockey and radio performer Alan Freed (1921-1965), who popularized the term rock ‘n’ roll, sits in a 1010 WINS sound studio during a radio broadcast, 1950s.  (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

“Spreading the word from a radio pulpit that kicked off nightly to the strains of Freddie Mitchell’s ‘Moondog Boogie,’ Freed kept time to the music by smashing his hand on a telephone book. He first conquered Cleve­land over WJW, and then moved his show to New York’s flagship WINS.”

Freed’s celebrity soon extended far beyond the radio studio. 

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He appeared in numerous movies that popularized rock’s earliest stars, including “Go, Johnny, Go,” alongside American music icons Berry, Jackie Wilson and Ritchie Valens. 

The movie was released in June 1959, four months after Valens was killed in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper. 

Chuck Berry performs his

Chuck Berry performs his “duck walk” as he plays his electric hollowbody guitar at the TAMI Show on Dec. 29, 1964 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. Rock promoter and DJ Alan Freed appeared with Berry and other rock icons in the 1959 movie “Go, Johnny Go” — the title taken from the lyrics of Berry’s rock hit “Johnny B. Goode.”  (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Freed has also been celebrated on TV and in various rock songs. 

“He had an amazing ability to find new music and new artists,” Jason Hanley, vice president of education for the Rock Hall, told Fox New Digital. 

“He got rock ‘n’ roll to reach a much bigger audience than it would have otherwise.” 

“There was a sense of dynamite going off.” — Glenn Gass, rock ‘n’ roll historian

Freed’s career ended in disgrace, however. 

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He was indicted on charges of tax fraud in 1964 and became the center of the “Payola” scandal in which radio stations were accused of taking money from record labels to play their music. 

The legend of the Moondog Coronation Ball, and Freed’s ability to see the future of music, changed global pop culture forever. 

Photo of marquee at unspecified theater promoting a rock 'n' roll concert hosted by DJ and early rock figure Alan Freed. The marquee also highlights

Photo of marquee at unspecified theater promoting a rock ‘n’ roll concert hosted by DJ and early rock figure Alan Freed. The marquee also highlights “Don’t Knock the Rock,” a 1956 movie about a town that bans rock ‘n’ roll.  (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Metallica, Motley Crue and AC/DC, among others, played before 1.6 million people in Moscow in 1991, in what’s widely proclaimed the largest rock ‘n’ roll concert in history. 

“Crocodile Rock” crooner Elton John is in the midst of his COVID-interrupted global Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. 

Billboard in January proclaimed it the biggest selling concert tour of all time. It’s netted $818 million across 278 concerts with dates still on the docket. 

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Cleveland rose to prominence as a birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, and became home of Rock Hall of Fame in 1995, thanks largely to Freed’s impact, said Hanley. 

“Cleveland has always been a rock ‘n’ roll town, and a gospel town, an R&B town and one of the great music towns,” he said. 

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TikTok duo goes viral for their dating tips: ‘Excuse My Grandma’ explores changing relationship ideals

The dating scene today often involves social media, apps and more — making the generation gap even more stark when examining how previous generations met, fell in love and got married.

One East Coast family is talking about those differences and using social media to share smart life tips that may never go out of style. 

Kim Murstein is a 27-year-old New York native who went to live with her “Grandma Gail” — Gail Rudnick, 80 — in Palm Beach, Florida, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Rudnick and her husband of 60 years, known to the family as Poppy, moved from New York City to Florida upon retiring. 

While in Florida, Murstein continued to date as she had been doing in the city. 

Murstein was 24 and living in New York City when the pandemic hit. She decided to spend more time in Florida with her grandparents.

Murstein was 24 and living in New York City when the pandemic hit. She decided to spend more time in Florida with her grandparents. (Kim Murstein)

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Murstein recalled realizing that she and her grandmother, who has been married for 60 years, had very different dating rules. (SEE the duo discuss their very different views in the video at the top of this article.)

“We realized all the generational differences from the last time she was single, in the ‘50s and ’60s,” she said. 

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Together, they started a podcast — “Excuse My Grandma.” 

The pair discuss various dating differences, with Grandma Gail sharing the ideas and values she feels stand the test of time. 

"Excuse My Grandma" has over 400,000 followers on TikTok and over 170,000 followers on Instagram. 

“Excuse My Grandma” has over 400,000 followers on TikTok and over 170,000 followers on Instagram.  (Kim Murstein)

Soon after, the duo’s social media platforms took off. They now have over 400,000 TikTok followers and 170,000 Instagram followers.

“I think sometimes you’ve just got to give it a little time.”

One of the things the two women disagree on is how many dates a person should go on with the same companion before making a judgment call about the partner. 

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While Murstein has an estimated two-to-three date rule, Grandma Gail believes a person should go on about 10 dates before deciding whether or not to pursue a serious relationship. 

“You don’t even know what the guy is like on the first, second or even third date because everybody’s on their best behavior,” the grandmother of four said. 

Murstein (left) and Grandma Gail have a special bond — one they say has only grown since they started doing a podcast together. 

Murstein (left) and Grandma Gail have a special bond — one they say has only grown since they started doing a podcast together.  (Kim Murstein)

“I think sometimes you’ve just got to give it a little time,” she suggested. 

But what’s Grandma Gail’s biggest piece of dating advice? 

Don’t look for perfection. 

“Perfection is an idealized thing … but that’s not reality,” she said. She pointed out that this realization comes with maturity.

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Murstein, however, calls herself “a dreamer” — and spends time idealizing romantic comedies from the 1950s. 

“I have my own idea of what that [perfection] is, and I don’t think I want to settle for something less than that,” she said. 

Grandmother and granddaughter share dating tips and other advice on their social media accounts. 

Grandmother and granddaughter share dating tips and other advice on their social media accounts.  (Kim Murstein)

Although Murstein has taught Grandma Gail about modern dating apps and terms such as “ghosting,” Grandma Gail still doesn’t like some of the dating choices that her granddaughter makes.

Grandma Gail thinks young people today overthink and overcomplicate dating, she said. Instead, she recommends that single people go out and have fun without the stress of having a serious relationship. 

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The two have always had a close relationship, they noted. They lived near each other when Grandma Gail and her husband were still in Manhattan. 

“Excuse My Grandma” is a podcast and social media brand that Murstein and Grandma Gail created from real-life events in Murstein’s dating life.  (Kim Murstein)

“We lived very close to each other in Manhattan, and I saw her in all stages of growing up,” she recalled. 

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The grandmother said that working together now has only deepened the bond that the two share.

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“She’s a terrific young woman, great head on her shoulders, and she knows who to date and not to date,” said her grandmother. 

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On this day in history, March 20, 1854, Republican Party founded to oppose expansion of slavery

The Republican Party, forged from of a coalition of political forces to oppose the advance of slavery in the American west, was created in Ripon, Wisconsin, on this day in history, March 20, 1854. 

“The Republican Party grew out of resistance to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which overrode the Missouri Compromise and allowed slavery to spread into Western territory by popular sovereignty,” writes PBS American Experience in its history of political parties in the United States

“‘Anti-Nebraska’ men included anti-slavery Whigs, Democrats, Free Soilers, reformers, and abolitionists.”

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Alvin Earle Bovay, an attorney and co-founder of Ripon College, was incensed by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in the Senate in March and led a meeting at the town’s Congregational Church. 

“This group, considering possible passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill then being debated in Congress, resolved that steps should be taken to form a new Republican Party to appeal to all those who opposed slavery in the territories,” writes the Wisconsin Historical Society.

The birthplace of the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin. The movement that would create the anti-slavery party first met here on March 20, 1854. 

The birthplace of the Republican Party in Ripon, Wisconsin. The movement that would create the anti-slavery party first met here on March 20, 1854.  (MPI/Getty Images)

“Cries of ‘Repeal! Repeal!’ resounded throughout the nation, following the Ripon, Wisconsin meeting of March 20, 1854 in demonstration against the ‘Kansas-Nebraska Swindle,’” The Jefferson Banner of Jefferson Co., Wisconsin wrote years later of the transformative moment in American political history. 

Bovay was reportedly the first to call the assembly the “Republican” party.

“Cries of ‘Repeal! Repeal!’ resounded throughout the nation, following the Ripon, Wisconsin meeting of March 20, 1854.” — The Jefferson Banner

His moniker found a powerful ally in influential newspaper publisher Horace Greeley. 

“We should not care much whether those thus united against slavery were designated ‘Whig,’ ‘Free Democrat’ or something else,” Greeley wrote in his New-York Tribune in June 1854. 

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“Though we think some simple name like ‘Republican’ would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty rather than propagandist of slavery.”

The Kansas-Nebraska Act was signed into law by President Franklin Pierce on May 30 amid increasing hostility in the halls of power in Washington, D.C., and amid increasing groundswell of opposition. 

Horace Greeley, American newspaper editor known especially for his vigorous articulation of the North's antislavery sentiments during the 1850s. He is remembered often for his quote,

Horace Greeley, American newspaper editor known especially for his vigorous articulation of the North’s antislavery sentiments during the 1850s. He is remembered often for his quote, “Go West, Young Man.” (Getty Images)

“Local meetings were held throughout the North in 1854 and 1855. The first national convention of the new party was held in Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, 1856,” writes the Wisconsin Republican Party in its online history.

The party held its first nominating convention in Philadelphia in July 1856. It selected California explorer John C. Fremont as the first Republican to run for president. 

“‘Republican’ would more fitly designate those who had united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty” — Horace Greeley

He lost to Pennsylvania Democrat James Buchanan, but made an impressive showing for the upstart party founded only two years earlier. 

Fremont won 11 of 31 states and earned 33% of the popular vote, finishing ahead of former President Millard Fillmore of New York, who represented the short-lived Know Nothing Party. 

Campaign banner for presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln and running mate Hannibal Hamlin.

Campaign banner for presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln and running mate Hannibal Hamlin. (VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

The true impact of the Republican earthquake was felt when the party’s candidate, Abraham Lincoln, won the presidency in the hotly contested four-man race of 1860. 

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Democrat-led pro-slavery states quickly seceded from the Union in response to the Republican victory, launching the nation into the Civil War. 

Republicans after the war pushed through in rapid order the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Collectively known as the Reconstruction Amendments, they abolished slavery, provided equal protection under the law and guaranteed voting rights. 

Titled "Scene at the polls in Cheyenne," this colorized engraving shows a group of women as they line up on the sidewalk to cast their ballots through an open window, in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, 1888.

Titled “Scene at the polls in Cheyenne,” this colorized engraving shows a group of women as they line up on the sidewalk to cast their ballots through an open window, in Cheyenne, Wyoming Territory, 1888. (Stock Montage/Getty Images)

Democrats regained power in the years after the Civil War. 

The Republicans reportedly earned the name Grand Old Party in 1888, after winning back the White House from Democrat Grover Cleveland. 

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“Let us be thankful that under the rule of the Grand Old Party … these United States will resume the onward and upward march which the election of Grover Cleveland in 1884 partially arrested,” the Chicago Tribune wrote in what some sources say is the first use of the GOP label.

The Republican Party led the fight for woman’s suffrage, first in the Wyoming Territories in 1869 and then pushing through the 19th Amendment after sweeping to power in both houses of Congress in November 1918.

The newly Republican-led Senate approved the amendment in June 1919 and sent it on the states “after 41 years of debate,” notes the chamber’s official history. 

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The Republican Party later pushed through the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 in alliance with Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson, who split with his own party to support the bill. 

Illustration entitled

Illustration entitled “THE CRADLE OF THE G.O.P.,” depicting the first Republican convention held at Lafayette Hall in Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, 1856. Shows two views: one of hall’s exterior, one of interior during proceedings. (Getty Images)

The Civil Rights Act passed despite a ferocious 72-day filibuster in the Senate led by a collection of Democrat icons.

Among those senators who staunchly opposed the Civil Rights Act: Al Gore Sr. of Tennessee (father of the future vice president), J. William Fulbright of Arkansas (mentor of future president Bill Clinton), Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and Robert Byrd of West Virginia. 

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“The Republican Party has a rich history of fighting for the rights of all Americans, from opposing slavery to giving women the right to vote to fostering individual rights across every group in our nation today,” A.J. Catsimatidis, vice chairperson of the New York State Republican Party, told Fox News Digital.

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