Today some 236 years ago, the American General Benedict Arnold committed his now infamous act of treason, in return for money and a high-ranking position in the British army. Arnold met with British Major John Andre on Sept. 21, 1780, to discuss giving West Point to British control.
The plan was uncovered, however, and Andre was captured and killed. Arnold swapped sides and later led British troops in Virginia and Connecticut. He went on to re-locate to England, but died in 1801, never receiving all of what the British had promised him.
Even now in the United States, his name is synonymous with “traitor.”
On Sept. 22, 1975, President Gerald Ford survived his second assassination attempt in a span of less than three weeks.
Sara Jane Moore, an F.B.I. informant at the time of the assassination attempt, aimed a gun at Ford as he left a San Francisco hotel. A bystander, Vietnam War veteran Oliver Sipple, instinctively grabbed her arm and prevented the shot from hitting Ford. Moore was given a life sentence for the attempt but was released from prison in 2007.
The first attempt at Ford’s assassination came 17 days before Moore’s, from the gun of Lynette Alice “Squeaky” Fromme, a member of the Manson Family. She was also sentenced to life imprisonment but released in 2009.
A much more positive event was the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 25, 1957.
A division of the U.S. Army escorted nine black students (nicknamed the “Little Rock Nine”) into the all-white high school, three weeks after Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus surrounded it with National Guard troops to keep them from entering. A standoff had ensued, and it’d forced President Dwight D. Eisenhower to federalize the state’s National Guard and send 1,000 Army paratroopers to enforce the federal order to integrate.
This all came three years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka in 1954 — the decision that educational facilities could not segregate on the basis of race. This event marked the biggest test of federal over state power since the time of Reconstruction.