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5 Fun Facts About June 16 In Delaware History

---Learn Every Day: DE Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history de To: 618-270-4005---

1. Delaware's Ratification of the Constitution - On June 16, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution, paving the way for the birth of the United States. Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution because they saw the need for a strong federal government to solve the problems that plagued the country under the Articles of Confederation.

2. Founding of Wilmington - On June 16, 1739, the city of Wilmington was founded. The city was named after Spencer Compton, the Earl of Wilmington, who was the Prime Minister of Great Britain at the time. Wilmington was an important port city during the colonial era and played a key role in the American Revolution.

3. The Battle of Cooch's Bridge - On September 3, 1777, the Battle of Cooch's Bridge took place near Newark, Delaware. However, the battle actually began on June 16, 1777, when American soldiers under the command of General William Maxwell engaged with British troops led by General Cornwallis. The battle was a small skirmish and was part of the larger campaign during the Revolutionary War.

4. First African American Elected to Public Office - On June 16, 1969, James H. Sills Jr. was elected as a member of the Wilmington city council, becoming the first African American to hold public office in Delaware. Sills was also the first African American to be elected to a major city council in the Northeastern United States.

5. First Women's College in Delaware - On June 16, 1914, the Women's College of Delaware was founded. It was later renamed the University of Delaware and became a coeducational institution in 1945. The university is now recognized as a top-tier research institution and has a student body of over 24,000 students.
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