Friday, January 19, 2018

Today in History for Jan. 19, 2018

Winston Churchill
Jan. 19, 1736 – Steam engine innovator James Watt was born in Greenock, Scotland.

Jan. 19, 1760 – Cherokees attacked Fort Prince George in South Carolina in an attempt to rescue tribal members held hostage by Governor Lyttleton. He had taken the warriors to assure compliance with a peace treaty in December 1759. The attack being unsuccessful, the Cherokees turned to raids on frontier settlements.

Jan. 19, 1764 - The British Parliament expelled John Wilkes from its ranks for his reputedly libelous, seditious and pornographic writings, and over the next 12 years, Wilkes’ name became a byword for Parliamentary oppression both in Britain and in Britain’s North American colonies.

Jan. 19, 1777 – Several Oneida chiefs met with Colonel Elmore at Fort Schuyler, where an Oneida warrior delivered a speech, saying “BROTHER: We are sent here by the Oneida chiefs in conjunction with the Onondagas. They arrived at our village yesterday. They gave us the melancholy news that the grand council-fire at Onondaga was extinguished. We have lost of their town by death 90, among whom are three principal sachems. We, the remaining part of the Onondagas, do now inform our brethren that there is no longer a council-fire at the capital of the Six Nations. However, we are determined to use our feeble endeavors to support peace through the confederate nations. But let this be kept in mind, that the council-fire is extinguished. It is of importance that this be immediately communicated to General Schuyler, and likewise to our brothers the Mohawks. In order to effect this, we deposit this belt with Te-key-an-e-don-hot-te, Col. Elmore, commander at Fort Schuyler, who is sent here by General Schuyler to transact all matters relative to peace. We therefore request him to forward this intelligence in the first place to Gen. Herkimer, desiring him to communicate it to the Mohawk castle near to him and then to Major Fonda, requesting him to immediately communicate it to the Lower Mohawk castle. Let the belt then be forwarded to General Schuyler,that he may know that our council-fire is extinguished and can no longer burn.”

Jan. 19, 1807 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee was born in Westmoreland County, Va. Lee commanded the Army of Northern Virginia during most of the Civil War and his brilliant battlefield leadership earned him a reputation as one of the greatest military leaders in history as he consistently defeated larger Union armies.

Jan. 19, 1809 – Poet and short-story writer Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, Mass.

Jan. 19, 1818 - The first legislature of the Alabama Territory convened at the Douglass Hotel in the territorial capital of St. Stephens. Attendance was sparse with 12 members of the House, representing seven counties, and only one member of the Senate conducting the business of the new territory.

Jan. 19, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Baltimore, Md.

Jan. 19, 1830 - LaGrange College in Franklin County, Ala. was chartered by the state legislature, and it eventually became the University of North Alabama. The college officially opened its doors to students on Jan. 11, 1830.

Jan. 19, 1830 – “Pending the negotiations of the treaty, the Legislature of the state of Mississippi passed an act, Jan. 19, 1830, abolishing the tribal customs of Indians not recognized by the common law or the law of the state.” The right of the Fourteenth Article Mississippị Choctaws to citizenship in the parent tribe appeared to have been recognized at one time by the Choctaw Nation west, which had removed to Indian Territory pursuant to the treaty.

Jan. 19, 1836 – Col. James “Jim” Bowie arrived at the Alamo with 30 men to investigate the military situation for govern Henry Smith and General Sam Houston.

Jan. 19, 1840 – Captain Charles Wilkes circumnavigated Antarctica, claiming what became known as Wilkes Land for the United States.

Jan. 19, 1847 - Angered by the abusive behavior of American soldiers occupying the city, Mexicans in Taos struck back by murdering the American-born New Mexican governor Charles Bent.

Jan. 19, 1861 – During the Civil War, the ordinance of secession was adopted at Milledgeville, Ga. at a special state convention by the Georgia State Legislature, making Georgia the fifth state to secede, joining South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama in seceding from the United States. The vote was 208-89 to leave the Union.

Jan. 19, 1862 – At the Battle of Mill Springs in Pulaski and Wayne counties in southern Kentucky, the Confederacy suffered its first significant defeat of the Civil War. Union forces were led by General George Thomas, and Confederate forces were led by George Crittenden. The battle, which secured Union control of the region and resulted in the death of Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer, is also known as the Battle of Logan’s Crossroads, Battle on Fishing Creek and Beech Grove. The Confederates lost 400 men in the engagement; the Yankees lost about 250.

Jan. 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at White Oak Creek, N.C.; in the vicinity of Woodbury, Tenn.; and at Burnt Ordinary, Va.

Jan. 19, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Branchville, Ark. and at Big Springs, in the vicinity of Tazewell, Tenn. A seven-day Federal operation began in and about Williamsburg, Va.

Jan. 19, 1865 - A two-day Federal reconnaissance began in the vicinity of Donaldsonville, La. and a four-day Federal operation began between Memphis, Tenn. and Marion, Ark. Skirmishes were also fought at outside of Corinth, Miss. and at Half-Moon Battery, N.C. Federal reconnaissance was conducted to Myrtle Sound, with assistance from the gunboat USS Buckingham. General Robert E. Lee also grudgingly accepted the command of all Confederate military forces.

Jan. 19, 1865 - Confederate General John Pegram and Hetty Cary were married. The ceremony was attended by nearly all of the high-ranking Confederates, including Jefferson Davis and his wife. On Feb. 6, Pegram's body was returned to the same church after he was killed at the Battle of Dabney's Mill, Va.

Jan. 19, 1884 – Excel, Ala. received its name when M.D. Harrison named its post office “Excel” because of the “excellent surrounding farmland and the possibility of future development.”

Jan. 19, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that during a public sale C.T. Simmons purchased the “Clausell place” on the south side of Monroeville, Ala. for $600.

Jan. 19, 1895 – The Monroe Journal office in Monroeville, Ala. received a visit from San Francisco native Frank C. Carpenter, who was walking from Cincinnati to Mobile “on a wager.” Carpenter left Cincinnati on Dec. 1 and under the conditions of the bet, he had to make the entire journey on foot and “without other pecuniary assistance than that he should earn while en route” by Jan. 30.

Jan. 19, 1906 - The Col. J.M. Falkner Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was scheduled to hold a public meeting at the Conecuh County (Ala.) Courthouse on this Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. to commemorate the birthday of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Crosses of Honor were to also be presented to all veterans entitled to them. (Crosses of Honor were to be bestowed on all veterans holding certificates of eligibility.) A small fee of admission, 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children, was to be charged for the benefit of the Soldiers Home at Mountain Creek. All veterans receiving Crosses of Honor were to be admitted free.

Jan. 19, 1909 - The second term of the Evergreen City School was scheduled to begin on this day. All patrons were asked to have their children bring the semi-annual matriculation fee of $5 on that day to the school. C.M. Dannelly was the Superintendent.

Jan. 19, 1906 - Company K was scheduled to meet at the Evergreen armory on this Friday night. Business of importance was to be conducted. P.M. Bruner Jr. was captain of Co. K.

Jan. 19, 1915 – The Conecuh County, Ala. United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapter met at the Evergreen, Ala. school to celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday and to confer Crosses of Honor on local Confederate veterans.

Jan. 19, 1915 – During World War I, German zeppelins bombed the towns of Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn in the United Kingdom killing at least 20 people, in the first major aerial bombardment of a civilian target.

Jan. 19, 1919 – During World War I, Army Sgt. James A. Powell of Georgiana, Ala. “died from disease.” He is buried in the He is buried in the Saint Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial, Thiaucourt-Regnieville, Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle, in Lorraine, France.

Jan. 19, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Wiley Payne of Greenville, Ala. “died from disease.”

Jan. 19, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James Gibby of Barlow Bend in Clarke County, Ala. “died from disease.” He is buried in the Saint Mihiel American Cemetery and Memorial, Thiaucourt-Regnieville, Departement de Meurthe-et-Moselle, in Lorraine, France.

Jan. 19, 1919 – Dr. Charles Brooks Thomas passed away at the age of 60 and was buried in the Thomaston Cemetery in Marengo County, Ala. Earlier in life, he bought a plantation where Thomaston, Ala. is now located and was appointed postmaster. Thomaston was named in his honor, and he had the land surveyed, laid out the town and served as the town’s first mayor.

Jan. 19, 1921 – Novelist Patricia Highsmith was born in Fort Worth, Texas. She is best known for her 1955 novel, “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”

Jan. 19, 1922 – The Monroe Journal reported that A.C. Lee visited Tallahassee and Monticello, Fla. on business during the first of that week.

Jan. 19, 1922 – The Monroe Journal reported that a “partial shipment of the art glass and Florentine windows for the new Baptist church” had been received and were to be put in place shortly.

Jan. 19, 1929 – The Evergreen, Ala. Night Hawks basketball team beat the Mobile Rangers, 37-25.

Jan. 19, 1929 – Confederate veteran Solomon Monroe Long of Range, Ala. passed away and was buried in the Johnson Cemetery at Range. Born in Rutledge in Crenshaw County on April 26, 1842, he enlisted in Greenville at the age of 19 on April 16, 1862 and was in Co. B, 1st Battalion of Hilliard’s Legion. He fought at Chickamauga and was wounded on Sept. 20, 1863. He was transferred to Co. H of the 60th Alabama and was listed as sick at Knoxville on Nov. 28, 1863. He was listed as sick at Bean’s Station on Dec. 14, 1863 and was on the muster roll at Drewry’s Bluff, Va. on May 16, 1864 and at Petersburg, Va. on Jan. 1, 1865. He was later captured and sent to Point Lookout, Md. only to be paroled on May 27, 1865.

Jan. 19, 1930 - Alabama author Ann Deagon was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Jan. 19, 1932 – The Annual Conecuh County Farm Bureau meeting was held at the Conecuh County (Ala.) Courthouse at 10 a.m., immediately after that morning’s Cotton Mass Meeting. E.L. Albreast was president of the Conecuh County Farm Bureau.

Jan. 19, 1938 – Alabama State Representative Forrest Castleberry announced he would seek reelection in the May and June primaries. He was serving his first term in office, having been elected in 1934.

Jan. 19, 1945 – During World War II, Soviet forces liberated the Łódź Ghetto. Of more than 200,000 inhabitants in 1940, less than 900 had survived the Nazi occupation.

Jan. 19, 1946 – Dolly Parton was born in Sevier County, Tenn.

Jan. 19, 1949 – UMS’s varsity boys basketball team beat Evergreen High School, 33-27, in Mobile, Ala. Dickey Bozeman led Evergreen with 12 points.

Jan. 19, 1950 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a Burnt Corn man had gained worldwide recognition for an act of generosity. Joe McCarter of Burnt Corn sent a turkey to the late President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in November 1943. Joe thought everything was fine when he received a letter of thanks from Roosevelt through his private secretary, Gene Tully. What happened later came as a complete surprise to Joe. Roosevelt flew to Cairo, Egypt, late in November of 1943 for a meeting with Winston Churchill, then Prime Minister of Great Britain. And, it has been revealed by Elliott Roosevelt in his biography of his father, Joe’s turkey flew with the late president. In Elliott’s book, “As He Saw It,” it was reported that President Roosevelt had Churchill and other prominent leaders as his guests for Thanksgiving dinner. The president brought his own turkeys, among them a bird sent by “one Joe McCarter.” Elliott quoted his illustrious father as saying, “Can you imagine how surprised Joe’ll be, when he finds out how far his bird was flown, before it was eaten?” A number of world famous persons enjoyed some of Joe’s turkey. In addition to Roosevelt, Elliott and Churchill, Sara Churchill, Anthony Eden, Admiral William Leahy, Harry Hopkins, and others ate the Conecuh County turkey.

Jan. 19, 1950 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team was scheduled to play Cuthbert (Ga.) on this Friday night at Memorial Gym in Evergreen, Ala. The game was scheduled to tip off at 8 p.m.

Jan. 19, 1952 - The National Football League bought the franchise of the New York Yankees from Ted Collins. The franchise was then awarded to a group in Dallas on Jan. 24.

Jan. 19, 1953 - Jesse Owens of Alabama was named Illinois Athletic Commission secretary.

Jan. 19, 1956 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Specialist Third Class James A. Ansley, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Zell Ansley, 306 Perryman St., Evergreen, Ala., had been assigned to the 8225th Army Unit’s Military Police Security Detachment in Pusan, Korea. Ansley, a veteran of 29 months of Army duty, arrived in the Far East in February 1955, from an assignment at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. He was a 1953 graduate of Evergreen High School.

Jan. 19, 1958 - The Canadian Football Council changed its name to the Canadian Football League.

Jan. 19, 1959 – John Malcolm Patterson took the oath of office as Alabama’s 44th Governor. Patterson was administered the oath by Judge Walter B. Jones of Montgomery, Alabama’s senior circuit judge. Conecuh County had a float in the inaugural parade, and Evergreen High School’s band also marched in the parade.

Jan. 19, 1961 - Outgoing President Dwight D. Eisenhower cautioned incoming President John F. Kennedy that Laos was “the key to the entire area of Southeast Asia,” and might even require the direct intervention of U.S. combat troops.

Jan. 19, 1963 – Lee Roy Jordan of Excel was named Associated Press College Football Lineman of the Year in Columbus, Ohio.

Jan. 19, 1965 - Frank T. Salter began his new duties as Conecuh County’s Judge of Probate on this Tuesday morning. He succeeded Judge Lloyd G. Hart, who ended 18 years in the office the day before. Judge Salter was administered the oath of office by his brother, State Representative Wiley Salter, at 9:30 a.m. on Monday morning in a brief ceremony in the courtroom. Judge Salter made his first political bid a successful one in the spring of 1964 when he won the probate judge’s election. He ran a close second in the first primary in May and defeated Judge Hart in the runoff in June. He had no opposition in the general election in November 1964. Judge Salter was born and reared on a Conecuh County farm and was graduated from Lyeffion High School. He served overseas in the U.S. Army during World War II and was recalled to active duty and served overseas again during the Korean War.

Jan. 19, 1967 - Lesly Gore appeared on ABC-TV's "Batman" as Catwoman's sidekick, Pussycat.

Jan. 19, 1967 – The Monroe Journal reported that copies of its 200-page Centennial Edition were selling at a “rapid pace.” Single copies of the permanently bound Centennial were selling for $2 each when picked up at The Journal office and for $2.50 when mailed.

Jan. 19, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, “Sky Soldiers” from the 173rd Airborne Brigade began Operation McLain with a reconnaissance-in-force operation in the Central Highlands, looking to find and destroy the communist base camps in the area in order to promote better security for the province.

Jan. 19, 1969 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Junior Seau was born in San Diego, Calif. During his career, he played for USC, the San Diego Chargers, the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jan. 19, 1971 - The Pinckney D. Bowles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy met on this Tuesday in the home of Miss Elizabeth Riley with Mrs. Hunter Morgan co-hostess. The meeting was called to order by Mrs. Ray Owens, the president. Miss Demoval Hagood gave the program on “The Virginia Lees.”

Jan. 19, 1974 – China gained control over all the Paracel Islands after a military engagement between the naval forces of the People's Republic of China and Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam).

Jan. 19, 1976 – Miss Voncile Ingram was named “Miss Rubicon” at the annual pageant on this Monday night at Evergreen High School and was to be featured in the school’s annual that year. The “top ten” in the pageant were Sharon Riley, Karen Palmer, Brenda Mitchell, Mollie Bradley, Ingram, Kathy Killough, Selinda Williams, Amy Gates, Cathy Hancock and Lisa Armstrong.

Jan. 19, 1977 – Snow fell in Miami, Fla., and this was the only time in the history of the city that snow had fallen. It also fell in The Bahamas.

Jan. 19, 1978 – The Macon General Store Museum Collection in Andalusia, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Jan. 19, 1979 - Former U.S. Attorney General John N. Mitchell was released on parole after serving 19 months at a federal prison in Alabama.

Jan. 19, 1980 - Conecuh County’s Junior Miss, Cordella Johnson, was to represent the county in the state Junior Miss finals on this Saturday at 7 p.m. at Lee High School in Montgomery, Ala. Cordella was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Alex Johnson and was crowned Conecuh County’s Junior Miss on Nov. 29, 1979. Cordella was to present a vocal selection, “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” in the program.

Jan. 19, 1983 – Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was arrested in Bolivia.

Jan. 19, 1989 - President Ronald Reagan pardoned George Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner was indicted on 14 criminal counts on April 5, 1974, then pleaded guilty to making illegal contributions to Nixon's re-election campaign and a felony charge of obstruction of justice on Aug. 23.

Jan. 19, 1991 – During the Gulf War, Iraq fired a second Scud missile into Israel, causing 15 injuries.

Jan. 19, 1991 – On this Saturday night, the Sparta Academy Warriors, led by Tim Salter with 29 points and Mark Watts with 16 points, defeated Mobile Christian, 65-60.

Jan. 19, 1991 - New officers for the Conecuh County Cattlemen Association were installed at their annual banquet held at Sparta Academy. New officers included Joe Morrison, President; Thad House, Vice President; and David Jackson, Secretary-Treasurer.

Jan. 19, 1993 - The Oakland A's unveiled its new elephant logo.

Jan. 19, 1995 - The annual banquet for the Conecuh-Evergreen Chamber of Commerce was scheduled to be held on this Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Evergreen Inn. Griffin Lassiter, Director of the Alabama Resource Centers, was to be one of the featured speakers at the banquet along with Mr. Ed Pitchford of Alabama Power Company’s Community Development Division.

Jan. 19, 1997 - Ivan Rodriguez signed a deal with the Texas Rangers worth $6.65 million for one year.

Jan. 19, 1999 – Former Evergreen coach Charles Kermit Branum, 58, was found dead in his home in Tillman’s Corner, Ala., murdered by escaped convicts Kathy R. Jenkins of Mobile and Leslie M. Fillingim of Eight Mile, Ala. Born on Dec. 1, 1940, he was buried in the Baptist Cemetery in Monroeville, Ala. Branum had served as head basketball coach of University of South Alabama’s womens team for 10 seasons, 1881-82 to 1990-91, with a 182-109 record.

Jan. 19, 2001 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys beat Clarke Prep, 71-59, in Evergreen, and Sparta’s varsity girls beat Clarke Prep, 59-42. John McKenzie led Sparta’s boys with 15 points, and Katie Etheridge led Sparta’s girls with 29 points. Other top Sparta boys in that game included Jimmy Hyde, Chris Garner, Rusty Salter, Derrick Williams, Kyle Johnston and Justin Tranum. Top Sparta girls in their game included Jill Pate, Ashley Hammonds, Jessica Bennett, Laura Wiggins, Ashton Garner and Callie Ezell.

Jan. 19, 2001 - J.M. “Jack” Davis, 58, of Castleberry died. Davis was a member of the Air Force Reserves and a Vietnam Veteran.

Jan. 19, 2006 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Victor Calhoun, who had moved to Evergreen from Detroit, had announced his plans to field a minor league football team that would compete in one of two established semi-professional leagues. He said the team, which would consist of players from Conecuh, Monroe, Escambia, Butler, Covington and other surrounding counties, would either participate in the North American Football League (NAFL) or the Southern States Football League (SSFL). Calhoun, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., once played outside linebacker for the St. Louis Cardinals professional football team. He said he had helped organize and coach a minor league team in Detroit. Calhoun said negotiations were under way at that time with Conecuh County School Board officials to use the facilities at Hillcrest High School to hold the games at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen. Calhoun said that the team would be called the Evergreen Jaguars and would play a 10-game schedule. He said games would be played each Saturday at 7 p.m. Calhoun added that the organization was non-profit and the players would not be paid, which would allow them to remain eligible to compete at the college level if given the chance. Calhoun noted that both college and pro scouts attended minor league football games on a regular basis, looking for players who they thought had a chance to play college or professional ball. He said the team would hold a mini-camp in the weeks to come.

Jan. 19, 2006 – The Evergreen Courant reported that friends and fellow members of the Mobile Bar Association had found a way to honor Evergreen native and longtime Mobile County Judge Robert Gordon (Bobby) Kendall who lost his battle with cancer in October 2005. Kendall, who grew up in Evergreen, served as circuit judge in the 13th Judicial Circuit for more than 20 years. He was the presiding judge of the circuit at the time of his death. A group of his friends in Mobile were working to create a perpetual scholarship at the University of Alabama Law School in his name.

Jan. 19, 2006 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroeville found itself in the international spotlight once again that month thanks to a nine-page feature article in National Geographic about Monroeville and the stage version of Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” National Geographic, a magazine with a total monthly circulation of 9.5 million copies that reached readers in 60 countries, sent senior writer Cathy Newman and photographer Michael Nichols to Monroeville in May 2005. The end result was a story in the magazine’s January 2006 issue titled “36460: To Catch a Mockingbird.” Jane Ellen Clarke was director of the Monroe County Heritage Museums at that time.

Jan. 19, 2010 – The Orange Beach Community Cemetery in Baldwin County was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Jan. 19, 2010 - The Evergreen City Council, during a meeting on this Tuesday at Evergreen (Ala.) City Hall, voted unanimously in favor of a resolution “to celebrate the athletic achievement” of Drew Davis and named him as as the city’s special athletic ambassador. Davis, the University of Alabama’s starting right offensive tackle for the past two seasons, closed out his college football career on Jan. 7 when Alabama claimed its 13th national championship with a 37-21 win over Texas in the BCS National Championship Game in Pasadena, Calif.

Jan. 19, 2013 – Former Major League Baseball infielder Milt Bolling passed away at Providence Hospital in Mobile, Ala. at the age of 82. Born on Aug. 9, 1930 in Mississippi City, Miss., he went on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the Washington Senators and the Detroit Tigers. He attended Spring Hill College in Mobile and after his playing days, he spent more than 30 years with the Red Sox, including time as an area scout based in Alabama.

Jan. 19, 2013 - In Scottsdale, Ariz., the original Batmobile for the TV series "Batman" sold at auction for $4.6 million. It was the first of six Batmobiles produced for the show.

Jan. 19, 2013 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and first baseman Stan Musial died at the age of 92 in Lade, Mo. He played his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Jan. 19, 2013 – National Baseball Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver died around 2 a.m. of an apparent heart attack, at the age of 82, while on an Orioles’ fantasy cruise aboard the Celebrity Silhouette in the Caribbean Sea. He coached and managed for his entire career for the Baltimore Orioles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996.

Jan. 19, 2015 – Around 5:30 a.m. in Greenville in Butler County, Ala., a UFO witness said he went outside with his dog and saw a “real, bright light” overhead at an estimated 10,000 feet. The light increased in brightness and then flew off into the sky, the witness said.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Jan. 19, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.25 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  1.90 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 2.50 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 1.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 19th day of 2018 and the 30th day of Winter. There are 346 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.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Only one UFO was reported in Alabama during the month of December 2017

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. A search for UFO reports in Alabama between Dec. 1 and Dec. 1 on MUFON’s website,, resulted in only one report from within our state during that time.

That incident occurred on Sat., Dec. 9, around 5:05 p.m. in Alabaster, which is in Shelby County, south of Birmingham. The witness in this case said that for two or three minutes he watched a strange object travel straight across the sky from the southwest towards the southeast. Around this same time, he saw a pair of airplanes, including a small two-seater plane in the same area as the same object.

The witness described the strange object as square-shaped with what looked like a small domed parachute attached to its four corners. He also noted that the object was emitting a light that looked like a flame with “sharp” rays of light emitting from around the light source. He went on to say that there was a reddish orange object on top of the box-shaped object beneath the parachute.

He reported that this unusual object stayed on its path until it disappeared out of sight behind some trees in the distance. He noted that there is a small municipal airport in the direction that it was traveling and that there is a weather service office located at the airport. The witness also mentioned that the object emitted no noise and left no type of visible trail in its wake.

“The more I think about it the stranger it seems,” the witness said. “There was never any noises, contrails or smells.”

The witness closed out his report by saying that he’d seen two other strange things in the sky within the past three years the same general area.
While we’re on the subject of strange objects in the sky, according to my trusty “Farmer’s Almanac,” this year’s only eclipse for North America will be a total lunar eclipse when the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow just before dawn on Wed., Jan. 31. Where we live, the eclipse won’t be total, but it’s total phase can be seen west of the Mississippi and from western Canada.

Jan. 31 will also mark the second full moon of the calendar month, which is known as a blue moon. On average, blue moons occurred about once ever 2.7 years. So if you hear someone on the street say “once in a blue moon,” you’ll have a better idea of what this really means.

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.

When and where did the long-running hunting tradition of 'blooding' originate?

Saint Hubert, the patron saint of hunters.
My nine-year-old son, James, made me real proud this week when he killed his first deer.

A few weeks ago, Butch Adams, one of Conecuh County’s finest outdoorsmen and my longtime colleague at the newspaper, invited James to go hunting down in Brooklyn, and James could hardly wait for a chance to bag his first deer. We met up with Butch and his son, Jake, on Saturday afternoon, and Jake drove us deep into the backwoods of Brooklyn, where he put us out at a shooting house a couple of hours before sunset. (Riley Worring, a tight end on the University of South Alabama football team, was also in our hunting party.)

James, who’d been deer hunting a number of times before, knew the drill. He knew he had to be quiet and still, so as not to scare off any deer in the area. And even though it was windy and cold, he knew that he had to tough it out and be patient if he hoped to kill his first deer. We sat there and watched the shadows grow longer, and just before sunset a doe walked out into the green patch.

We could see two larger deer off to our left, but the wood line prevented a good shot at them. Eventually it became clear that those two deer weren’t going to come closer, so James shot the deer in the food plot, bringing it down with his first shot. Not long after that, the deer was on the back of Jake’s truck, and we headed back toward civilization to show off James’ first deer.

Back at the camp, Butch and “Little Paul” Harden reminded me to put some of the deer’s blood on my fingers and streak James’ face up good before taking a picture for the paper. This was a tradition I’d forgotten about, and James endured it all with good humor. On the way home, he asked me why people put blood on their faces after killing their first deer, and I honestly had no better explanation than to say that it was a long-running tradition.

I thought about this rite of passage more and more over the rest of the weekend, and I presumed that the tradition of “blooding” had its roots in Native American beliefs. However, after a little research, I was surprised to learn that most sources say that it’s a custom that actually originated in Europe. 

Sources I read said that the blood smearing tradition is believed to have been started by fox hunters in England during the 1500s, when as a rite of passage, a master hunter would initiate a new hunter by smearing the blood of his first fox kill on the new hunter’s cheeks and forehead. They would often use the dead fox’s tail to apply the blood, sources said.

Others sources say that this tradition traces its roots to Saint Hubert, the patron saint of hunters, who was born in France in 638 A.D. Hubert died in 727 A.D., and hunters honored his memory by applying cross-shaped blood smears from fresh kills on their foreheads and cheeks with a hunting knife. This was done to evoke the blessings of Saint Hubert.

In the end, I really appreciate Butch, Jake and “Little Paul” affording James with the opportunity to kill his first deer. I know that it’s something that he’ll never forget, and I’m glad that all of them were part of this happy memory. 

Today in History for Jan. 18, 2018

Jan. 18, 1535 – Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro founded Lima, the capital of Peru.

Jan. 18, 1776 - On this evening, the Council of Safety in Savannah, Georgia, issued an arrest warrant for the colony’s royal governor, James Wright, and Patriots led by Major Joseph Habersham of the Provincial Congress then took Wright into custody and placed him under house arrest.

Jan. 18, 1778 - English navigator Captain James Cook discovered the Hawaiian Islands, which he called the "Sandwich Islands."

Jan. 18, 1779 – Peter Mark Roget, who is best known for “Roget’s Thesaurus,” was born in London.

Jan. 18, 1788 – The first elements of the First Fleet carrying 736 convicts from Great Britain to Australia arrived at Botany Bay.

Jan. 18, 1803 - Thomas Jefferson, in secret communication with Congress, sought authorization for the first official exploration by the U.S. government. Determined to begin the American exploration of the vast mysterious regions of the Far West, Jefferson asked Congress for money to fund the journey of Lewis and Clark.

Jan. 18, 1813 – Joseph Farwell Glidden, the inventor of barbed wire, was born in Charleston, New Hampshire.

Jan. 18, 1823 – Outlaw James Copeland was born to Isham and Rebecca Wells Copeland near the Pascagoula River in Jackson County, Miss.

Jan. 18, 1838 – Samuel White Oliver, who was around 41 years old, passed away at his residence on Pine Barren Creek in Dallas County, Ala. Born in Virginia around 1796, he moved to the Sparta area of Conecuh County, Ala. in 1819. He began serving in the state legislature in 1822 and represented Conecuh County there for 12 years and was elected speaker in 1834. He entered the state senate in 1836, representing Conecuh and Butler counties, but resigned the next year to move to Dallas County. He ran for governor in 1837 but was defeated by Arthur P. Bagby of Monroe County.

Jan. 18, 1843 – Steamboat pilot Charles Langdon Johnson was born at River Ridge (now called Franklin) in Monroe County, Ala. He fought in the Civil War as a private, and he was the nephew of Capt. “Andy” Andrew Harrison Johnson, the captain of the “Cremona.”

Jan. 18, 1845 – Confederate soldier James Kenard Kendall was born in Brooklyn, Ala. and on Sept. 13, 1863 at McGowin’s Bridge he enlisted as a private in Co. I of the 15th Confederate Cavalry, under the command of W.B. Amos. He passed away at the age of 74 in Conecuh County and was buried in the Brooklyn Baptist Cemetery.

Jan. 18, 1861 – U.S. Army Lt. Adam Slemmer refused the third demand for the surrender of Fort Pickens in Pensacola Harbor, Fla. Also on that day, Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas, off Key West, Fla., was garrisoned by Federal troops and used to hold political prisoners.

Jan. 18, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Confederate Territory of Arizona was formed.

Jan. 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in the Cherokee Territory, the Indian Territory.

Jan. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Grand Gulf, Miss. and at Flint Hill, Va.

Jan. 18, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Clarksville, Ark. and near Lovettsville, Va. A three-day Federal operation between Napoleonville and Grand River, La. began, and a five-day Federal operation from Warrensburg to the Snibar Hills, Mo. also began.

Jan. 18, 1862 - Former U.S. President and current Confederate Congressman-elect John Tyler passed away at the age of 71 in Richmond, Va., most likely due to a stroke. He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond.

Jan. 18, 1868 – John Singleton Peacock, the oldest of Lewis Lavon and Safronia Caroline Martin’s 10 (possibly 11) children, was born at Burnt Corn. He was named after his maternal grandfather.

Jan. 18, 1876 – Samuel G. Forbes named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Jan. 18, 1882 – Children’s author Alan Alexander Milne, better known as A.A. Milne, was born in London. He is best known for his books, “Winnie-the-Pooh” (1926) and “The House at Pooh Corner” (1928).

Jan. 18, 1886 - On this Monday morning a negro woman living on Mr. James Andrews’ place in Monroe County, about eight miles south of Pine Apple, left her three small children in a room in which a fire was burning. The youngest, which was just beginning to crawl, was found with its feet and legs in the fire, where it had evidently been for some time. The skin peeled off up to its waist wherever touched, and its feet were burned to a crisp. Dr. J.B. Adams, who happened to be in the neighborhood at the time of the accident, was called in, but found the little sufferer beyond human aid, as it had fallen into a stupor from which a reaction was hardly possible, according to the Pine Apple Enterprise.

Jan. 18, 1892 – Oliver Hardy of the comedy team Laurel & Hardy was born Norvell Hardy in Harlem, Ga.

Jan. 18, 1903 – United States President Theodore Roosevelt sent a radio message to King Edward VII, the first transatlantic radio transmission originating in the United States. The message was sent from a transmitter in Wellfleet, Mass.

Jan. 18, 1907 – At the Monroeville, Ala. school house on this Friday, public exercises were planned to commemorate the birthday of General Robert E. Lee. The Hon. John M. Burns was to deliver the principal address on the subject of “Lee’s Place in History.”  Q. Salter was to talk on “Lee as a Model Citizen.” “The school will render several concert songs applicable to the occasion,” The Monroe Journal reported.

Jan. 18, 1915 – Charles Henderson of Troy was inaugurated as Alabama’s governor at noon at the state capitol in Montgomery, succeeding Emmet O’Neil of Florence. The oath was administered by Chief Justice John C. Anderson of the State Supreme Court.

Jan. 18, 1915 – On this Monday, the Conecuh County (Ala.) Circuit Court convened. A number of cases on the civil docket were heard with the criminal docket to be taken up the following week.

Jan. 18, 1915 - L.M. Sawyer assumed the duties of Monroe County, Ala. Sheriff on this Monday. Claude Kilpatrick and J.W. Urquhart were members of his official staff.

Jan. 18, 1915 – A.A. Williams began his term as Conecuh County, Ala. Sheriff, succeeding E.C. Hines. Williams named Conrad Davis as his chief deputy, replacing former Chief Deputy R.G. Kendall.

Jan. 18, 1916 – A 611-gram chondrite type meteorite struck a house near the village of Baxter in Stone County, Missouri.

Jan. 18, 1919 – During World War I, the Paris Peace Conference opened in Versailles, France, and some of the most powerful people in the world met to begin the long, complicated negotiations that would officially mark the end of the First World War.

Jan. 18, 1929 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team beat Georgiana, 39-13.

Jan. 18, 1934 – Author and illustrator Raymond Briggs was born in London.

Jan. 18, 1936 - Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee and daughter, Nelle Harper, spent this Saturday in Mobile, Ala., according to The Monroe Journal.

Jan. 18, 1943 - The U.S. banned sales of pre-sliced bread for the duration of World War II.

Jan. 18, 1949 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, British and American plane crews searching for the missing Star Ariel reported seeing “a strange light” on the sea, but search-and-rescue units dispatched to the vicinity found nothing.

Jan. 18, 1950 – The People’s Republic of China formally recognized the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam and agreed to furnish it military assistance; the Soviet Union extended diplomatic recognition to Hanoi on Jan. 30.

Jan. 18, 1951 – Beatrice, Ala. native Butch Avinger was drafted in the first round of the NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Jan. 18, 1951 – Fred Cone of Pine Apple became the 27th overall pick in the 1951 NFL Draft when he was selected in the third round by the Green Bay Packers. Cone played fullback and placekicker for the Packers, and on Sept. 29, 1957 he actually played in the first ever game at Green Bay’s Lambeau Field, a 21-17 win over their rivals, the Chicago Bears. Cone was one of Green Bay’s best players during his seven seasons with the team, and he was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1973.

Jan. 18, 1951 - The NFL passed a rule that said that a tackle, guard or center was not eligible to catch a forward pass.

Jan. 18, 1951 – Frisco City High School’s boys basketball team beat Uriah, 55-43, on this Friday night in Frisco City, Ala. Standout Frisco City players that season included B.B. Barnes, Jerry Gulsby, Keith King, Charles Pugh and LaRue Rumbley. Evins McGhee led Blacksher with 14 points against FCHS.

Jan. 18, 1967 - Albert DeSalvo, who claimed to be the "Boston Strangler," was convicted in Cambridge, Mass. of armed robbery, assault and sex offenses. He was sentenced to life in prison. Desalvo was killed in 1973 by a fellow inmate.

Jan. 18, 1969 – Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams was appointed manager of the Washington Senators.

Jan. 18, 1971 – George C. Wallace began serving his second term as Alabama’s governor. He would later be re-elected and would remain for a third term that would eventually end on Jan. 15, 1979.

Jan. 18, 1971 - In a televised speech, Senator George S. McGovern (D-South Dakota) began his antiwar campaign for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination by vowing to bring home all U.S. soldiers from Vietnam if he was elected.

Jan. 18, 1973 – Sturdivant Hall in Selma, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Jan. 18, 1973 - Pink Floyd began recording "Dark Side Of The Moon."

Jan. 18, 1976 - The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Dallas Cowboys, 21-17, in Super Bowl X. The CBS telecast was viewed by an estimated 80 million people. Excel, Ala. native Lee Roy Jordan started for Dallas at middle linebacker. Jordan, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Walter Jordan of Excel, was a 13-year NFL veteran at the time.

Jan. 18, 1979 – The Wilcox County Courthouse Historic District in Camden, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Jan. 18, 1979 – The Oak Island “Money Pit” mystery was the subject of an episode of the television series “In Search of...,” which first aired on this date, bringing the legend of Oak Island to a wider audience.

Jan. 18, 1980 - The Conecuh County Cattlemen and CowBelles were scheduled to hold their annual banquet this on this Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn in Evergreen, Ala. Gerald and Kathy Salter were presidents of the organizations. The featured speaker was to be Robert Vaughn of Ozark, a highly sought after humorous speaker.

Jan. 18, 1991 – On this Friday night, Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team defeated Jackson Academy, 88-66. Leading scorers were Tim Salter, 31 points; Wayne Cook, 18; Steven Gall, 17; Scott Brown, 12; and Mark Watts had 11 points.

Jan. 18, 1994 – The Cando event, a possible bolide impact, occurred in Cando, Spain. Witnesses claim to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute.

Jan. 18, 1994 – Conecuh County Probate Judge Rogene Booker administered the oath of office to newly appointed Evergreen Police Chief Thomas Booker at Evergreen City Hall in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 18-19, 1994 – On both of these days, weather reporter Harry Ellis reported low temperatures of 16 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 18, 1995 - A network of caves were discovered near the town of Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in southern France. The caves contained paintings and engravings that were 17,000 to 20,000 years old.

Jan. 18, 1996 - Baseball owners unanimously approved interleague play for 1997.

Jan. 18, 1996 - J.F. Shields High School’s varsity boys basketball team earned a share of first place in the 2A, Area 2 race on this Thursday in Beatrice when the team upended Excel High School, 64-58. Alfred Hale scored 15 points to lead Shields’ offense. Stephen Pharr scored 16 points to lead Excel. Other standout Shields players in that game included Derek Booker and Damien Payne. Standout Excel players included Shane Moore, Mark Moore, Stacey McPhaul and Chris Lint.

Jan. 18, 2001 - The Cartoon Network exclusively aired the last episode of "Batman Beyond."

Jan. 18, 2001 - Special Education Coordinator for Conecuh County Schools, Harriet Hubbard, was awarded the Margaret Vann Award for Outstanding Special Education Coordinator in the State of Alabama in Birmingham during the Alabama Federation Council for Exceptional Children Super Conference 2001. Since Hubbard’s employment with Conecuh County Schools in 1997, tremendous strides had been taken in the field of special education. Hubbard had written grants totaling over $70,000, which enabled the county to purchase a new and much needed school bus for transporting multi-handicapped students.

Jan. 18, 2010 – Anne Crook Hines Farish passed away in Monroeville, Ala. at the age of 83. She was Monroeville’s first female council member and served as Monroeville’s mayor for 16 years.

Jan. 18, 2015 – Around 6 p.m. in Alabaster in Shelby County, Ala., a UFO witness was on his back patio when he saw two star-like objects. The witness watched these objects for about five minutes before they flew off to the north and faded from sight. The witness said “it was obvious it was not an aircraft, star, satellite, etc.”

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Jan. 18, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.25 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  1.90 inches.

Winter to Date Rainfall: 2.50 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 1.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 18th day of 2018 and the 29th day of Winter. There are 347 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.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Grave of Ernest J. Baggett in Montgomery, Ala.
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Jan. 17, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Earnest J. Baggette: Earnest J. Baggette, aged 53, died Friday morning at 8:30 o’clock at the family home, No. 424 South Hull St., following a brief illness. He had been a resident of this city (Montgomery) for the past few years and was held in the highest esteem. Mr. Baggette was a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, Knights of Pythias and a number of other prominent fraternal orders.
The funeral services will be conducted from the family home, No. 424 South Hull St., Saturday afternoon at 3:30, Rev. S.W. Williams of the Dexter Avenue Methodist Church officiating. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery. Modern Woodmen of America will conduct services at the grave. – Montgomery Advertiser.
Mr. Baggette formerly lived in Wilcox County in Pine Hill. He was an esteemed citizen and many friends in this county will regret to learn of his death.

Prof. J.B. Sellers of the McWilliams public school was a visitor Saturday.

The Street Fair has come and gone and many Camden citizens are wiser and poorer.

The coldest weather since 1899 was experienced throughout the South the past week.

Mr. J.K. Cammack of Primrose, Ala., a substantial citizen of Wilcox County, has moved to Columbia, Texas. Mr. Cammack for several years, has been a successful farmer of Gees Bend, and we note his departure with regret.

Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Wilkinson of Gastonburg, after almost two score years residence in Wilcox have moved to Selma. Mr. Wilkinson is one of our best-known citizens and Wilcox has been enriched by his stay here. His efforts and influence were always devoted to the betterment of his town and county. Our loss is Selma’s gain.

Lightning Strikes Barn: A barn belonging to Mr. R.J. Goode Jr. of Gastonburg, was struck by lightning and set on first last week. About 50 tons of beans and 40 tons of hay were lost with the barn, which was practically new. This is rather an unusual occurrence for this time of year.

Words from the bedside of Miss Myrtle Fail, who was seriously burned last week, is very encouraging. She was attending school at the State Normal (School).

Hon. S.D. Bloch left Sunday for Mobile, where he will spend several weeks looking after business interests. While Mr. Bloch will retain his citizenship here, his future business efforts will be directed largely from Mobile.

A recent addition to our exchange list is The Baldwin Times. This paper is edited by Mr. Abner J. Smith, who formerly owned and edited the Progressive Era. Bro. Smith gets out a good paper – we know him of old – and we are not disappointed in the Baldwin Times.

Dr. Savage is a son of our fellow townsman, Mr. F.H. Savage, and gives up a large and lucrative practice to serve his country.