Thursday, July 21, 2016

Three UFOs were reported in Alabama during the month of June 2016

Fort Rucker, near Daleville, Ala.
It’s the third Thursday of the month, so this week I’m giving you an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON). A search for UFO reports in Alabama between June 1 and June 30 on MUFON’s website,, resulted in three reports from within our state during that time.

The first incident occurred on Wed., June 8, around 9 p.m. in Davenport, which is in Lowndes County. The witness in this case was fishing alone in a lake on family property when he saw a “bright, round object” low on the western horizon. The object was “silver white” in color, and the witness watched as it disappeared and reappeared three times in the western sky in a matter of seconds.

The next night, the witness and a friend were fishing in the same area around 9 p.m. when the initial witness saw a round object identical to the one he saw the night before. The object appeared then disappeared “very fast” twice in a 20-minute span. “I screamed at my friend to look both times, but he didn’t see it,” the witness said.

Later, around 9:45 p.m., the light reappeared, and then another identical light appeared to its right. A few seconds later, the first light disappeared, but reappeared a split second later. However, when they reappeared, the lights were dark orange in color and were rectangular in shape. Three more lights appeared, and then the witness “could actually see a shape of a disc-shaped object.”

The witnesses continued to watch as two reddish-orange orbs sped off to the north, one moving in a straight line as the other seemed to circle the other. The lights then “spiraled each other” and disappeared. All of this took place in under two minutes, the witness said. The witness returned to the same spot the following night, but saw nothing out of the ordinary.

The second incident occurred on Fri., June 10, around midnight in Daleville, which is in Dale County, in the southeast corner of Alabama. The witness in this case provided few details other than to say that he saw a “clear light” traveling across the sky over Fort Rucker. The witness said that what he saw was “hard to explain,” but noted that it was observed by at least two other witnesses.

“It looked like it was gliding faster than a jet, with no sound,” the witness said. “It was no jet (and it) kind of gave me a bad feeling like something very bad is going to happen very soon.”

The third incident occurred on Fri., June 17, around 11:45 p.m. in Gadsden, which is in Etowah County, in northeast Alabama. The witness in this case went out onto his back deck to smoke a cigarette, looked up and saw a “blue blur” out of the corner of his eye. At first, he thought a transformer box had blown up, but there was no sound.

He rubbed his eyes, thinking that he was seeing things, but quickly changed his mind when he saw blue and red lights rising up from the trees. The witness thought he was seeing a plane crash, but instead he watched as “it” kept traveling toward him.

“I couldn't actually see a craft, only the lights, but the lights were large, maybe larger than a basketball,” the witness said. “And there was no point of light, such as an element, but more like a glass ball filled with glowing gas. I was excited and scared and called for my kids to come look, but by the time they got to me, it had gone.”

The witness then got his keys, hopped in his car and began driving around, looking for the strange object in the sky, but was unable to spot it.

Before closing out this week, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from anyone who have witnessed a UFO, especially in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously. You can contact me by e-mail at or by phone at 578-1492.

A 'bingle' is an old baseball term that's rarely used nowadays

Evergreen's Ottis Johnson
If you take a close look at this week’s Sports Flashback feature, you’ll notice an unusual baseball term that’s rarely used nowadays. In a 69-year-old sports story about a baseball game between the Evergreen Greenies and a team from McCullough played on July 10, 1947 it was reported that Evergreen’s Warren “Rabbit” Bolton broke a “season long hitting slump to lead the locals with four bingles.”

When our office manager Cheryl Johnston was proof-reading my Sports Flashback last Thursday afternoon, she asked the question that many of you have probably asked as well: What’s a bingle?

To be perfectly honest, I had to look it up because I thought it may have been a slang term for a group of extra base hits, sort of a catch all term for multiple hits that resulted in doubles and triples during the course of a game. As it turns out, I was wrong. A bingle is actually another word for single, that is, a base hit that ends up with the hitter on first base.

Evergreen ended up beating McCullough, 12-4, that day, and that game was the first of two wins that helped Evergreen close in on the team from Atmore, which was leading in the league standings at the time. In addition to Bolton, other top players for Evergreen in that game included brothers Ottis and Edsel Johnson, who are arguably the two best baseball players to ever come out of Evergreen. Edsel got the pitching win that day, his third pitching win of the season.

His 24-year-old brother, Ottis, who would be fatally injured in a baseball game in 1951, “grabbed a screaming line drive with his bare hand and threw to third to complete a double play for the fielding gem of the day.” (Most folks who saw Ottis Johnson in his heyday will tell you that he was the greatest baseball player to ever come out of Conecuh County. The barehanded play described above is just one example of the types of feats he was known for on the baseball field.)

Conecuh County sports legend Wendell Hart, who was just 29 years old at the time, was not only the team’s manager during the 1947 season, but he also pitched for the Greenies. A few days after Evergreen’s win over McCullough, Hart picked up his ninth pitching win of the season by shutting out the team from Frisco City, 9-0. This was his second shutout of the season. Edsel and Ottis Johnson again led the Greenies at the plate with a pair of hits each.

James “Lefty” Carpenter pitched the second game of the double header against Frisco, and the Greenies came up short, 8-6, mostly due to six costly errors.

The story went on to say that the Greenies were scheduled to play their arch rivals, the Monroeville team, on Sun., July 20, in Evergreen. What’s interesting about that to me is that I’ve run across information that indicates that Edsel Johnson, a native of Evergreen, actually played for Monroeville at times. As late as 1955, Edsel was playing for the Monroeville town team in what was then called the Dixie Amateur League, an interesting baseball league that included a team from the “State Farm,” that is, the state prison in Atmore. 

Today in History for July 21, 2016

U.S. General Irvin McDowell
July 21, 356 BC – The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was destroyed by arson. The fire was set by Herostratus, who committed the act in a quest for fame.

July 21, 1775 - Patriot minutemen in whaleboats, commanded by Major Joseph Vose, raided Nantasket Point, also known as Little Brewster Island, in Boston Harbor, Mass. The raiders temporarily drove off the island’s British guard and confiscated lamps, oil, gunpowder and boats, before burning the wooden parts of the point’s lighthouse.

July 21, 1793 –French admiral, explorer, and politician Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux died of scurvy at the age of 55, off the Hermits. He is perhaps best known for his exploration of the Australian coast in 1792, while searching for the La Pérouse expedition.

July 21, 1796 – Scottish poet and prominent Freemason Robert Burns passed away at the age of 37 in Dumfries, Scotland. It is believed that in May 1785 he wrote “Epistle to William Simson” to the William Simson (Simpson), who eventually became a trustee at the school in Belleville, Ala.

July 21, 1861 – The First Battle of Bull Run (also known as First Manassas) began at Manassas Junction, in Prince William County, Va., near the city of Manassas, not far (about 30 miles) from Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the U.S. Civil War, and the Confederates won the battle. The Union Army was led by General Irvin McDowell, and Confederate forces were led by P.T. Beauregard.

July 21, 1861 – Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson earned the nickname "Stonewall" during the First Battle of Bull Run. During the battle, Confederate General Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. led his Confederates to reinforce Jackson on Henry Hill and was reported to have characterized Jackson as “standing like a stone wall.” Bee died minutes later, but the nickname “Stonewall” stuck as Jackson’s men held their ground.

July 21, 1861 - Nearly 400 Confederate soldiers were killed at the First Battle of Bull Run, including six members of the Conecuh Guards - Dr. Samuel H. Wimberly, First Sergeant Louis Gatch, First Cpl. William Thomas, Jesse Peacock, John Robbins and James Strickland. Members of the Conecuh Guards known to have been wounded in the battle included 1st. Lt. Archibald D. McInnis, 2nd Lt. John G. Guice, First Sergeant Andrew J. Mosley (wounded in head and arm), Sgt. James M. Andrews (survived war and returned to Conecuh County), Fourth Cpl. Joseph A. Thomas, Blake Beard (wounded and honorably discharged), J.B. Bonnett (wounded and honorably discharged), John Mason (dropped from roll in 1862 and returned to live in Conecuh County), Evander McIver (wounded in two places, honorably discharged in September 1861 and moved to Texas after war), Owen Perry (honorably discharged, rejoined the army later, was captured and died in prison), and Theodosius Turk (honorably discharged under act of Congress in 1862). Capt. Pinckney D. Bowles had his canteen shattered at First Bull Run by a rifle ball fired by Union troops. Casualties at Bull Run shocked the nation. The Union count came to 2,800, including 460 killed, and the Confederates had 1,900, with nearly 400 dead. Although future battles would make these numbers appear small, they were a wake-up call to a public, in both the North and the South, unprepared for such a bloody conflict.

July 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians on the South Ford of the Eel River in California and at Charlestown, West Virginia. A Federal operation also began between Springfield and Forsyth, Missouri.

July 21, 1862 - Former U.S. President Martin Van Buren, who served as the nation’s eighth president between 1837 and 1841, slipped into a coma. Three days later, he passed away.

July 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought around Nashville, Tennessee and at Luray, Virginia.

July 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, in a tersely worded telegram, Braxton Bragg informed Jefferson Davis that he would move his army in force from Tupelo, Mississippi to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

July 21 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Street's Ferry, North Carolina; and at Manassas Gap, Wapping Heights, Snicker’s Gap, and Gaines’ Cross Road and Chester Gap, Virginia.

July 21, 1864 – A four-day Federal operation from Barrancas, Fla. toward Pollard, Ala. began with skirmishes at Camp Gonzales, Fla. and near Pollard, Ala.

July 21, 1864 – Col. Samuel Adams, an attorney, educator and state representative who lived in both Conecuh and Butler counties, was shot through the breast and killed instantly while superintending the erection of fortifications near Atlanta while serving with the 33rd Alabama. His remains were returned to Greenville, Ala., where he was buried.

July 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, an engagement occurred at Bald Hill, Georgia. Skirmishes were also fought on the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana; and near Carthage and another near Plattsburg, Missouri.

July 21, 1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first western showdown. The two men had a falling out over a woman and a gambling debt, and finally agreed to settle their differences in a duel. At a distance of about 75 paces, they fired simultaneously, and Tutt’s shot went wild, but Hickok’s hit Tutt through the heart.

July 21, 1873 – At Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the James–Younger Gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West. Tey held up the Rock Island Express and stole $3,000.

July 21, 1879 – Charles Roberts shot and killed D.W. Rankin at Perdue Hill, Ala. That same day, Jonathan L. Marshall, a Justice of the Peace in Monroe County, issued an arrest warrant for Roberts, who was charged with murder. Roberts was arrested and brought before Marshall. During the ensuing investigation, Marshall ruled that Roberts wasn’t guilty of murder, but second-degree manslaughter instead. Marshall set Roberts’ bail at $400, which Roberts paid and was released from custody.

July 21, 1887 – A rain of ants occurred in Nancy, France.

July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal announced, under the headline “Twice-A-Week,” that beginning that week and for an “indefinite period,” the newspaper would be published twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, “thus giving its readers the advantage of fresher news and more carefully selected matter. During the remainder of the State campaign and until its results is known, a lively interest will be felt in what is transpiring and it is largely to gratify this desire that this departure is made. The subscription price will remain at the same figure - $1 a year.”

July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that work on the new Methodist parsonage was progressing steadily. The timbers had been “pretty well all cut,” and the frame was to be erected in a few days.

July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mrs. Sallie Farish (nee Dickinson) of Nellie in Wilcox County was on a visit to her mother, the postmistress at Turnbull.

July 21, 1899 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Ill.

July 21, 1899 – Harold Hart Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio.

July 21, 1911 – Two freight trains wrecked near Garland, Ala. on this Thursday afternoon, leaving both engines and a number of cars damaged. Merchandise was scattered along the tracks, but both crews escaped without serious injuries.

July 21, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Auburn University chemistry professor H.S. Gentry was working as the prescription clerk at the Peoples Drug store until September, relieving J.M. Northcutt, who had taken some time off.

July 21, 1918 – During World War I, Army Cpl. Will F. Alexander of Georgiana, Ala. was killed in action.

July 21, 1930 - The Veterans Administration of the United States was established.

July 21, 1932 – Evergreen’s baseball team beat Greenville, 5-4, at Black’s Field in Greenville, Ala.

July 21, 1933 – Novelist, poet and teacher John Gardner was born in Batavia, N.Y.

July 21, 1941 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the approval of the City of Evergreen’s contract with Alabama Power Company for the purchase of electricity at wholesale rested with the Alabama Public Service Commission. The PSC promised a ruling prior to Sept. 1, which was the expiration date of the city’s contract with the Alabama Electric Cooperative. Hearings on the contract change were held on July 14 and July 18, and the contract change was opposed by the Southern Pine Electric Cooperative and the Alabama Electric Cooperative.

July 21, 1943 – Poet Tess Gallagher was born in Port Angeles, Wash.

July 21, 1944 – During World War II, Claus von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators were executed in Berlin, Germany, for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

July 21, 1946 – In Amateur League Baseball, a game between Evergreen and Uriah was rained out.

July 21, 1947 – A joint meeting of members and former members of American Legion Post 50 and Foshee-Tranum Post 3581 V.F.W. was scheduled to be held at Evergreen High School on this Monday night “to continue plans and discuss ways and means for construction of a Joint Home and Club House.”

July 21, 1954 – During the First Indochina War, the Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.

July 21, 1959 – Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate. He came in as a pinch runner for Vic Wertz and stayed in as shortstop in a 2–1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

July 21, 1961 – In the Evergreen Senior League, the Indians beat the Tigers, 6-2. Standout players for the Indians included Jimmy Weaver and Stan Coker. Standout players for the Tigers included Willie Mack Pate, Donnie Bolton and Grady Ralls.

July 21, 1961 – In the Evergreen Senior Baseball League, the Braves beat the Tigers, 5-4. Standout players for the Braves included winning pitcher Ronnie Jackson. Standout players for the Tigers included Mike Fields, Sid Lambert and Grady Ralls.

July 21, 1962 - The federal district court in Montgomery, Ala. rejected the Alabama legislature's plan to reapportion itself, ordering it instead to implement the court's plan. Although Alabama's Constitution of 1901 mandated reapportionment every ten years, the state's legislative districts had not been redrawn since 1901, with the result that less-populated districts came to dominate the legislature in violation of the principle of "one man/one vote."

July 21, 1965 - With Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara back from a visit to Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson began a weeklong series of conferences with his civilian and military advisers on Vietnam. He also met with private citizens that he trusted during this period. Johnson appeared to be considering all the options with an open mind, but it was clear that he was leaning toward providing more combat troops to bolster the faltering South Vietnamese government.

July 21, 1967 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Jimmie Foxx passed away in Miami, Fla. at the age of 59. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.

July 21, 1976 - Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported a high of 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

July 21, 1977 – The Evergreen Courant reported that work was proceeding rapidly on the bypass road from Highway 83 North to Highway 31 South.

July 21, 1978 – The Griffin House in Arlington in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

July 21, 1983 - The world's lowest temperature in an inhabited location, -128.6° F, was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica.

July 21, 1987 – Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, “Appetite for Destruction,” was released.

July 21, 1990 – Mobile City eliminated Monroe County by beating them 6-1 during the South State All-Star Advanced Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament at Patrick Henry State Junior College in Monroeville, Ala. Standout players on Monroe County’s 16-year-old team included Nick Ackerman, Mike Bishop, Richard Chatman, Steve Goodman, Trey Harris and Mitchell Turberville. Mobile City went on to win the tournament by beating Mobile County, 6-1, later that day in Monroeville.

July 21, 1997 – On this Monday evening, Vince Doerr, chief of the Ochopee, Fla. Fire Central District, told the Miami Herald that he had seen a “brown-looking tall thing” run across the road ahead of him. He was certain that the thing was not a bear.

July 21, 1997 - The U.S.S. Constitution, which defended the United States during the War of 1812, set sail under its own power for the first time in 116 years.

July 21, 2004 - White House officials were briefed on the September 11 commission's final report. The 575-page report concluded that hijackers exploited "deep institutional failings within our government." The report was released to the public the next day.

July 21, 2006 - Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees collected his 2,000th career hit and became the youngest player to reach the 450 home run mark.

July 21, 2007 - The seventh and last book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was released.

July 21, 2012 – Erden Eruç completed the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.

July 21, 2014 – “Guardians of the Galaxy” premiered in Hollywood. It was released in theaters on Aug. 1, 2014 in the United States in 3D and IMAX 3D.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., July 21, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.25 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 5.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 31.05 inches.

Notes: Today in the 203rd day of 2016 and the 32nd day of Summer. There are 163 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for July 21, 2016

JULY 18, 2007

Evergreen weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.03 inches of rain on July 11, .01 inches on July 13, .05 inches on July 14 and .04 inches on July 15. He reported a high of 94 degrees on July 10 and a low of 68 on July 15.

Memorial service at Belleville UMC Cemetery: The family of Third Sergeant, Dr. Henry Smith Skinner, descended on the Belleville community this past Saturday, July 14, 2007, to remember him and his service to his country.
Dr. Skinner, born in 1839 in Missouri, moved from Virginia to Conecuh County about 1860 with his family. He and his brother, John, answered the summons to war and joined the 3rd Florida Cavalry at Milton, Fla. This company, along with four others from Florida and five more from Alabama, were consolidated, being designated as the 15th Confederate Cavalry, better known as the Simpson Mounted Rangers.
Living in Belleville, Dr. Skinner practiced dentistry for 55 years, was a member of the Methodist Church, the Masonic Order, and the United Confederate Veterans. He died in 1922 and is buried in the Belleville United Methodist Church Cemetery located on U.S. Highway 84.

This giant pink squash and mushmelon were grown by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Robinson. The squash weighed 44 pounds and was 40-1/2 inches long. The mushmelon weighed 17 pounds.

JULY 16, 1992

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported .56 inches of rain on July 9 and .21 inches on July 12. He also reported a high of 95 on July 9 and lows of 67 on July 6 and July 7.

Man charged in stabbing death: One man is dead and another has been charged with murder following an incident near Belleville last Friday night.
According to Deputy Dudley Godwin of the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department, Ray McAfee, a resident of Chicago, Ill., was pronounced dead at the Monroe County Hospital. He apparently died from stab wounds.
Law enforcement officers and a crew from Smith’s Ambulance Service had been dispatched to the home of W.C. Wallace in Belleville. The ambulance crew arrived first, reporting quickly the seriousness of the situation and that the victim was dead.
Officers placed John Robert Nelson in the Conecuh County Jail and charged him with murder. Judge Sue Bell Cobb set a $10,000 bond Monday on Nelson.
Deputy Godwin said the incident is still under investigation.

Mr. James C. King, a lifelong resident of Conecuh County, has announced his intention to seek election to the Evergreen City Council in District One.
King is a graduate of Marion Military Institute, Auburn University and served in the Merchant Marines for four years during World War II. He is treasurer of the Evergreen Presbyterian Church.
King retired from Knud Neilsen Co., Inc., and was also a self-employed businessman.

JULY 21, 1977

Work is proceeding rapidly on the bypass road from Highway 83 North to Highway 31 South. Here is some of the heavy machinery being used on the project which is a State Highway Department contract.

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported .36 inches of rain on July 11, .03 inches on July 14, .07 inches on July 16 and .21 inches on July 17. He reported highs of 100 degrees on July 14 and July 16 and a low of 66 on July 12.

Members of the Foshee-Tranum Post No. 3581 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of Conecuh County are requested to attend a meeting on Sunday afternoon, July 24, in the County Courthouse at 2:30 o’clock.
This is the first call meeting of the year, and some important business needs to be taken care of before the new year begins, according to Commander J.B. Harper.

The Evergreen Baptist Church Touring Youth Choir and Ensemble gave a concert at its home church Sunday and left Wednesday morning on a concert tour. Wednesday night the choir was in concert in Greenville, Miss. Other concerts will be given in West Memphis, Ark.; Waddy, Ky.; and Indianapolis, Indiana. They will have stops in Cincinatti and Nashville and are due home Tuesday. The choir is directed by David Coleman.

Registration and Open House – WONDERLAND KINDERGARTEN – 415 Bruner Ave., Evergreen, Ala., 36401 – Wed., July 27, 1977 – 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Mrs. John A. Hendricks, Director.

JULY 19, 1962

Last Thursday night a 1959 Chevrolet driven by Floyd Wilson of Castleberry struck and killed Henry Faircloth of near Castleberry. Mr. Faircloth, 76, and Wilson both were on their way to attend church services when the accident occurred.

(Evergreen) Postmaster Bill Salter had asked the city to cut a path through from the dead end of Martin Street in the C.P. Strong subdivision to Highway 31 South to facilitate mail delivery to homes in that section. The path would permit the city mail carrier to make his rounds here without having to double back.
The (Evergreen city) council voted for city crews to cut the path through the undergrowth, provided property owners agree.

Pictures of the Evergreen area are being featured on the six o’clock newscasts of Television Station WALA, Channel 10, Mobile, according to the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce. Pictures will be shown on the Friday night and Wednesday night newscasts, according to present scheduling, according to Claude Evans of the station’s news staff.
The pictures are from the C of C’s new information pamphlet recently prepared and published under the direction of Blake Campbell, publicity and promotion chairman Blake Campbell.
Arrangements for the news-picture spots were made by Billy Moody of local Radio WBLO who does spot reports for the TV station and Waynard Price, chamber president.

JULY 17, 1947

KIRKLAND: Friends of John H. Josey will be happy to learn that he was recently initiated into Phi Eta Sigma, national honorary fraternity, at the University of Alabama. Members are chosen on the basis of scholarship, leadership and character. He takes an active part in his social fraternity which is Phi Kappa Sigma.

ATTENTION WAR I and II VETERANS: Members and former members Legion Post 50 and Foshee-Tranum Post 3581 V.F.W. There will be a joint meeting of the above organizations At Evergreen High School Monday Night, July 21 to continue plans and discuss ways and means for construction of a Joint Home and Club House. If interested in your Community and Buddies, please be there. – Publicity Committee, LEGION AND V.F.W.

Tom Vickery Jr. was recently promoted to Technician-Fifth Grade. He has served with the airborne troops overseas for over nine months and is stationed at Yamoto, Japan.

Evergreen Rotary Club’s Second Annual Horse Show – Evergreen High School Athletic Field – Thurs., July 24, 1947 – 7:30 p.m. – Comprising Sixteen Classes – A Feature of the Plantation Saddle Horse Association of America – Promoted For Charity.

Castleberry: Mr. and Mrs. Hilary Sullivan and son, Hilary Jr., enroute to their home in Riverview for a trip to Mexico City and other points in old Mexico spent two days last week with his father, J.H. Sullivan and family.

Today in History for July 20, 2016

July 20, 1304 – Italian scholar and poet Francesco Petrarca, bettern known as Petrarch, was born in Arezzo, Tuscany.

July 20, 1738 – Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye reached the western shore of Lake Michigan.

July 20, 1775 - A British rule went into effect that banned colonists from fishing in the North Atlantic.

July 20, 1775 - Patriots attacked Josiah Martin's headquarters at Fort Johnsont on Cape Fear.

July 20, 1779 - Mohawk Indian Chief Joseph Brant led a raid in the Neversink Valley in New York. They destroyed a school and a church.

July 20, 1780 - General “Mad Anthony” Wayne led two brigades of Pennsylvania militia, supported by four artillery pieces, in an attempt to destroy a fortified blockhouse located approximately four miles north of Hoboken, in Bull’s Ferry, New Jersey. The blockhouse, or observation shelter, was surrounded by iron stakes and defended by 70 Loyalists, who managed to hold on to it despite the best efforts of the Americans. The Patriots lost 18 men killed and 46 wounded in the unsuccessful assault.

July 20, 1797 – Polish geologist and explorer Paweł Edmund Strzelecki was born in Głuszyna (then part of South Prussia, today part of Nowe Miasto, Poznań), Greater Poland.

July 20, 1799 - Daniel Pratt, who was to become a significant industrialist in nineteenth-century Alabama, was born in Temple, New Hampshire. After arriving in Alabama in 1832, he founded the town of Prattville and established what would later become the largest cotton gin manufacturing plant in the world.

July 20, 1818 – A postal route advertisement on this date stated that a postal route would run from Whetstone Hill to Burnt Corn Springs, Fort Claiborne, Mount Actna (in Clarke County), Fort Madison, Republicville (Jackson, Ala.) to St. Stephens, 131 miles, twice each week.

July 20, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Germantown and Chestnut Hill, near Philadelphia, Pa.

July 20, 1859 - Brooklyn and New York played baseball at Fashion Park Race Course on Long Island, N.Y. The game marked the first time that admission had been charged to see a ball game. It cost 50 cents to get in and the players on the field did not receive a salary (until 1863).

July 20, 1861 - The Congress of the Confederate States began holding sessions in Richmond, Va.

July 20, 1861 - A five-day Federal operation from Springfield to Forsyth, Missouri began, and more Confederate troops converged on the Manassas, Virginia area.

July 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Gaines’ Landing, Arkansas; at Hatchie Bottom, Mississippi; and at Greenville and Taberville, Missouri.

July 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Cabin Creek in the Indian Territory; at Coals Hill (near Cheshire) and Hockingport in Ohio; at Tarborough and Sparta, North Carolina; at Ashby Gap and another at Berry’s Ferry, Virginia; and near Hedgesville and Martinsburg, West Virginia.

July 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce expelled 33 members because of their refusal to take an oath of allegiance.

July 20, 1863 - During the Civil War, the Federal naval began shelling of Legare’ Point on James Island, South Carolina. A three-day Federal operation from Memphis, Tenn. to Hernando, Miss. began, and a seven-day Federal operation against Indians in the Round Valley area of California also began.

July 20, 1864 - On this day, General John Bell Hood's Confederate forces attacked William T. Sherman's troops outside of Atlanta, Georgia at the Battle of Peachtree Creek, but were repulsed with heavy losses. This was Hood’s first battle as head of the Army of Tennessee.

July 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Arrow Rock, Missouri; in Blount County, Tennessee; and at Newport, Berryville, Philomont and Stephenson’s Depot in Virginia.

July 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, an 11-day Federal operation began in La Fayette and Johnson counties in Missouri.

July 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, Federals continued shelling Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The Federals shot 4,890 artillery rounds into Ft Sumter over a 14-day period.

July 20, 1865 - Joseph Sanders, aka “The Turncoat of Dale County,” resigned his commission in the U.S. Army, citing concerns for the welfare and safety of his family, who were still living in Dale County, Ala. As had happened previously when he resigned his Confederate commission, Sanders' request to leave the service was endorsed by his superiors. Sanders' resignation took effect on Sept. 13, 1865, with the discharge granted "for the good of the service.”

July 20, 1869 – Mark Twain’s second book, “Innocents Abroad,” was published, firmly establishing Twain as a serious writer.

July 20, 1870 – Steamboat pilot Charles Johnson of Franklin, Ala. married Frances Elizabeth Foster (Fannie Bett). One of the stained-glass windows in the First Methodist Church at Franklin was dedicated to her memory.

July 20, 1875 – The largest swarm of locusts in American history descended upon the Great Plains. Measuring 1,800 miles long and 110 miles wide, the swarm stretched from Canada to Texas.

July 20, 1881 – Five years after General George A. Custer's infamous defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn, Hunkpapa Teton Sioux leader Sitting Bull surrendered to the U.S. Army, which promised amnesty for him and his followers.

July 20, 1896 - Mr. W.H. Louiselle of the Bear Creek Mill Co. and his brother from Manistee, Mich., visited The Monroe Journal office on this Monday afternoon. Louiselle had recently graduated from a leading law school and had plans of possibly locating in “some progressive southern city.”

July 20, 1901 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Heinie Manush was born in Tuscumbia, Ala. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators, the Boston Red Sox, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.

July 20, 1903 – The Ford Motor Company shipped its first car.

July 20, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. A.G. Stacey of Activity (in Conecuh County?) had returned from Louisville, Ky., where he had been studying medicine for the past four years and was “now a full fledged M.D.”

July 20, 1906 - The reunion of Confederate veterans at Captain Riley’s took place on this Friday. Thirteen veterans and other visitors were present. They had a fine dinner, watermelons, fruit, ices, lemonade, etc. and enjoyed the occasion immensely according to The Monroe Journal.

July 20, 1910 - The Conecuh Guards, commanded by Capt. P.M. Bruner, left on this Wednesday afternoon for their annual encampment at Chickamauga.

July 20, 1916 – The 11th annual session of the Monroe County Masonic Conference was held at Excel Lodge, No. 655, at 10 a.m. in Excel, Ala. Past Grand Master, the Hon. H.C. Miller of Birmingham, was present at this meeting to conduct the conference. W.S. Nash was Secretary.

July 20, 1916 - The University of Alabama “Varsity Four Quartet” performed at Monroe County High School in Monroeville at 8:30 p.m. Admission was 25 cents and 35 cents. Bill McCorvey Jr. and Steve Hixon were the quartet’s managers. According to the July 27, 1916 edition of The Monroe Journal, “the young representatives of the University were handicapped in doing full justice to themselves by the fact that they had no printed programs and that their announcement of the numbers, their authors and names were given in such an inarticulate manner as to be lost to the audience who naturally had some curiosity in this direction. Their extreme rapidity of singing together with faulty enunciation caused the audience to fail to grasp much of the beauty of the rendition.”

July 20, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Prof. J.M. Stapleton was teaching at the Grimes school house that summer.

July 20, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Perdue Hill community, that the recent high water “came up about six inches in Florey Brothers’ store. The bridge drifted between the store and the residence.”

July 20, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that M. Katz “had an experience in returning from Mobile recently that he would not care to repeat. Being caught in the Gulf City by the storm which caused the suspension of all transportation, he took advantage of the opportunity offered by the first train out of Mobile over the Southern railroad to come as far north as Whatley and undertook to make his way home across country. High water made it impossible to get a conveyance and he was forced to make the trip most of way on foot, swimming creeks and wading through backwater until the Alabama River was reached. He was fortunate in getting a negro with a skiff to ferry him across, after which he reached home without further incident.”

July 20, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that Percy Chapman reported that he had succeeded in securing 10 recruits for the State Militia.

July 20, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported, in news from the Finklea community, that “up to last week, the farmers in this section had a fine prospect for a good crop but the storm has nearly ruined everything, especially corn and cotton. The boll weevil is getting in his work on cotton. Roads were badly washed. Mr. Lowery’s mill dam, which had just been rebuilt, was washed away. While the storm did much damage, we are glad to note that there was no loss of life.”

July 20, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the “recent storm is reported to have done injury to crops amounting to about a third in the vicinity of Brooklyn.”

July 20, 1919 – New Zealand mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary was born in Auckland, New Zealand. He and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay would summit the tallest mountain on Earth, Mount Everest, on May 29, 1953.

July 20, 1933 – Novelist Cormac McCarthy was born in Providence, Rhode Island.

July 20, 1940 – California opened its first freeway. Known as the Arroyo Seco Parkway, the Pasadena Freeway, or simply “the 110,” it was also the first freeway — a high-speed, divided, and limited-access thoroughfare — in the western United States. It runs for just over eight miles and connects Pasadena to Los Angeles.

July 20, 1944 – During World War II, Adolf Hitler survived an assassination attempt led by German Army Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg. The plot involved a bomb that exploded at Hitler's Rastenburg headquarters, but Hitler was only wounded.

July 20, 1947 - The National Football League (NFL) ruled that no professional team could sign a player who had college eligibility remaining.

July 20, 1947 – The Evergreen Greenies were scheduled to play their arch rivals, Monroeville, in Evergreen on this Sunday, starting at 3 p.m. Greenies manager Wendell Hart was expected to get the pitching start for Evergreen.

July 20, 1955 – The Evergreen Dodgers beat the Red Sox, 14-10, and pulled off the first triple play of the season. Players for the Dodgers included winning pitcher Jackie Frazier, Jimmy Raines, Bonner Ridgeway, Jimmy Kelley and Wayne Tolbert. Players for the Red Sox included losing pitcher Conner Warren, Billy Melton, Stanley Barlow and Don Holcombe.

July 20, 1964 – During the Vietnam War, Viet Cong forces attacked the capital of Định Tường Province, Cái Bè, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of whom are children).

July 20, 1969 - At 10:56 p.m. EDT, American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the surface of the moon.

July 20, 1969 - A top-secret study, commissioned by presidential assistant Henry Kissinger, was completed by the office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Code-named Duck Hook, the study proposed measures for military escalation against North Vietnam. The military options included a massive bombing of Hanoi, Haiphong, and other key areas of North Vietnam; a ground invasion of North Vietnam; the mining of harbors and rivers; and a bombing campaign designed to sever the main railroad links to China. A total of 29 major targets in North Vietnam were pinpointed for destruction in a series of air attacks planned to last four days and to be renewed until Hanoi capitulated. 

July 20, 1970 - The first (and only) baby was born on Alcatraz Island, during an occupation by American Indians.

July 20, 1976 – Journalist Erica Hill was born in Clinton, Connecticut.

July 20, 1977 – The Central Intelligence Agency released documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind-control experiments.

July 20, 1985 - Treasure hunters began raising $400 million in coins and silver from the Spanish galleon "Nuestra Senora de Atocha." The ship sank in 1622, 40 miles off the coast of Key West, Fla.

July 20, 1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrated its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

July 20, 1997 - Alabama author James Ralph Johnson died in Santa Fe, N.M.

July 20, 2006 – “Heavens Fall,” which starred Timothy Hutton and Leelee Sobieski and was filmed largely in Monroe County, was released for the first time at the Stony Brooks Film Festival.

July 20, 2007 – Sylacauga, Ala. native and former Jefferson Davis Community College baseball player Ehren Wassermann made his Major League Baseball debut with the Chicago White Sox against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, retiring both batters faced.

July 20, 2012 – A gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, as it is showing “The Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 and injuring 70 others.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., July 20, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 3.25 inches

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.25 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 5.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 31.05 inches.

Notes: Today in the 202nd day of 2016 and the 31st day of Summer. There are 164 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.