Sunday, July 22, 2018

Old newspaper excerpts from The Monroe Journal newspaper of Monroe County, Alabama

Blacksher Store Co. of Uriah
JULY 23, 1992

Hope Alexis Daniels, 11, of Monroeville has been invited by the Country Music Association of Alabama to vie for the title of 1993 Top Female Vocalist of the Year in Alabama.
Miss Daniels is the daughter of Joe and Margie Daniels and has been singing since she was seven. Her most recent performance was at the Hank Williams Memorial Concert in Georgiana in June.

After posting a 15-12 victory Friday, Monroeville suffered two straight losses in the Babe Ruth Baseball State Tournament for 13-year-olds in Bay Minette.
Monroeville, which swept through the district tournament in Evergreen undefeated a few weeks ago, beat Grand Bay, 15-12, Friday to open the six-team tournament.
Tallassee upended the District 1 champion, 6-4, Saturday in the double-elimination tournament. Monroeville bowed out of the tournament Sunday with a 5-3 loss to Andalusia.
(Players on Monroeville’s team that year included Bucky Busby, Josh Kendrick, Clinton Kidd, Kevin Luker, Beau Pipkins, Alan Pulfrey, Deric Scott and Eric Scott. Jim Pulfrey was the team’s manager.)

Construction of a building for Frisco City’s newest industry, Medline Industries Inc., has been temporarily delayed.
Bids were opened July 10 from three general contractors vying to build the 39,080-foot pre-engineered building, but all seemed “excessive in relation to the budget for the building,” according to Frisco City Mayor Billy McCrory.

JULY 28, 1977

Ronnie Ray of Ray’s Ace Hardware in Frisco City is greeted by Lou Fant at the Ace Hardware convention held in Dallas, Texas, June 3-7. Ray placed orders in Dallas for fall and winter merchandise soon to be shipped to Frisco City.

In district finals: The Monroeville Little League All-Stars won the District 5, Area 1 title last Thursday night at Monroeville’s Bud Lathram Field. The team will travel to Andalusia tonight (Thursday) to meet Jackson for the district title and the right to play in the state tournament.
(Members of the team included Gathern McClain, Frank Brown, Anthony Morressette, Donald Kilpatrick, Ken Miller, Calvin Tucker, Kenneth Richardson, Ricky Wilson, Frank Jones, Michael Howard, Ray Laffitte, Ricky Smith, Jerome Ikner, Mike Strout and Edger Lee McCarthy. Billy Ghee was the team’s manager, and Ned Adams was assistant coach.)

An Evergreen man drowned Monday, after he and another man fell from a boat into the Alabama River north of Davis Ferry.
The body of Jerry Peacock, 18, was pulled from the river by Monroe County Rescue Squad members at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Monroeville Police Chief Charles Colbert said.
Fifteen squad members dragged the river from five small boats for nearly 17 hours before recovering the body.
Bobby Johnson, 18, Evergreen, was piloting a small motor boat near the east bank of the river when the accident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Monday, Monroe County Chief Deputy Sheriff Larry Ikner said.
Ikner said although Peacock reportedly did not know how to swim, neither man was wearing a life preserver.

JULY  26, 1962

IN MEXICO – Winston Sessions of Monroeville and Douglas Hitson of Andalusia are attending summer school at the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. They are seniors at Livingston State College and are majoring in Spanish. Winston is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wilbur Sessions of Monroeville.

A total of five new instructors for Monroe County schools was approved at a recent meeting of the Board of Education.
Miss Bobby Nell Northrop has been named to the elementary school faculty in Frisco City. A graduate of J.U. Blacksher School, Uriah, Miss Northrop was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education at Auburn University, where she also served as head majorette.
Mrs. Marlene Brantley Grissette of Excel will replace Mrs. Wilbur Sessions of Monroeville on the elementary school faculty at Excel.
Gerald R. Irby, a native of Millry, has been named as coach and teacher at Excel. He replaces Charles Walston in the coaching position. Mr. Walston will remain on the Excel faculty as a science instructor. For the past five years, (Irby) has been assistant coach at Satsuma High School, Mobile County.
Benny G. Rhoades Jr., a Selma native, has been appointed coach and teacher at J.U. Blacksher School, Uriah. He was assistant coach for four years in Shelby County and for one year in Geneva County.
Mrs. Betty Watkins Irby has been engaged as elementary school teacher in Uriah.

JULY 24, 1947

The Blacksher Store Co. of Uriah will observe its first anniversary under new management Saturday, Frank Rush, vice president and manager, announced this week.
The concern is conducting a special sale on that day, Mr. Rush said, and any person whose birthday anniversary occurs on July 27 will receive a silver dollar from the store upon bringing proof of his birth date. Actually the store’s anniversary is July 27 but since that date is on Sunday, the sale has been set for Saturday.
The Blacksher Store, one of the largest in the county, was begun almost 40 years ago. The present ownership is composed of D.W. Blacksher, president, and Mr. Rush, vice-president.

Frisco City defeated Flomaton, 7-4, Sunday afternoon at Flomaton with M. Watson, right fielder, leading a heavy hitting attack against Kennedy, who pitched for the losers.
Watson batted out a homer in the third inning with one man on and also got two doubles during the game. T. Springer was the winning pitcher.
Exceptional fielding was chalked up in the seventh inning when A. Murphy, first baseman for Frisco City, reached over the fence to catch a fly and retire Flomaton, and in the same inning when G. Gaston, second baseman, made a diving catch of a fly ball.

Preparation for about 1-1/2 miles of street for paving in Frisco City probably will get underway this week or next, Mayor G.E. Hendrix revealed Wednesday.
The construction is expected to cost about $7,500 and the majority of the paving will take place in the area leading out to Snyder and on the extension to Central Avenue, Mr. Hendrix said.

JULY 28, 1932

Sam McCorrey shot and killed Mary Cooper near Eliska Monday night. Immediately after the shooting the Sheriff was notified and Tuesday morning the deputy was sent to the scene of the killing where he found McCorrey ready to surrender. McCorrey’s statement is to the effect that the Cooper woman was trying to take a shotgun away from him when the weapon was accidentally discharged. McCorrey has been placed in the county jail to await the action of the grand jury.
Both McCorrey and the Cooper woman… had been living in the Eliska community about 12 years.

Last word received from William Barnett, Nick Hare and David Katz was that they were at the Grand Canyon and had recently made a trip into Mexico. They were joined by two other boys, Otho Robinson of Atmore, and Jack Dawes of Boston, who will make the trip to California with them.

The store building and entire stock of goods belonging to Mr. W.H. Tucker at McGill was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning. Soon after the fire was discovered it was thought that the store might have been robbed and burned, but further investigation has failed to furnish any clue.

Mr. A.T. Simmons is planning to open a grocery store in Monroeville which will be located in the Simmons Building. Shelving and fixtures are being installed and as soon as stock has been assembled, Mr. Simmons will give due notice of his opening.

James A. Sanders is to be the new postmaster here (Beatrice), taking charge of the office in the near future.

Today in History for July 22, 2018

Ackerville Baptist Church of Christ

July 22, 1298 – During the Wars of Scottish Independence, at the Battle of Falkirk, King Edward I of England and his longbowmen defeated William Wallace and his Scottish schiltrons outside the town of Falkirk.

July 22, 1376 - The legend of the Pied Piper of Hamelin leading rats out of town is said to have occurred on this date.

July 22, 1587 – A second group of English settlers arrived on Roanoke Island off North Carolina to re-establish the deserted colony.

July 22, 1598 – Shakespeare’s play “The Merchant of Venice” was entered on the Stationers’ Register.

July 22, 1779 - Mohawk Indian Chief and Freemason Joseph Brant led a mixed force of Loyalists and Indians in surrounding a force of 120 colonial militiamen from New York and New Jersey at Minisink, New York.

July 22, 1779 - Sir James Wright resumed his role as royal governor of Georgia. He left on July 11, 1782, as the British evacuated Georgia.

July 22, 1788 – Early Conecuh County pioneer Chesley Crosby was born in Chester District, S.C. He came to Conecuh County in 1818 and settled at Hampden Ridge. He was “Coroner and Ranger” of Conecuh County in 1818 and “Justice of the Quorum” of Conecuh County in 1819. A longtime supporter of the Belleville Baptist Church, he also helped found one of the county’s first schools, Evergreen Academy, in 1840. One of the school’s original trustees, he passed away at his home between Belleville and Sparta on May 22, 1864.

July 22, 1793 – Alexander Mackenzie, a young Scotsman engaged in the fur trade out of Montreal, reached the Pacific Ocean becoming the first recorded human to complete a transcontinental crossing of Canada.

July 22, 1797 – Early Conecuh County settler Edwin Robinson was born in Brooklyn, Windham County, Conn. He would go on to found Brooklyn, Ala. and name it after his former home in Connecticut. Brooklyn’s post office was established in 1829. Robinson died at the age of 83 on Feb. 8, 1881 in Brooklyn, Conn. He is buried in the South Cemetery in Brooklyn, Conn.

July 22, 1798 - The USS Constitution was underway and out to sea for the first time since being launched on October 21, 1797.

July 22, 1823 – William Bartram, one of America’s first professional botanists, passed away at the age of 84 while working in his garden in Kingsessing, Pa. Between 1773 and 1777, he went on a botanical and anthropological expedition through the Southeast, including Alabama, passing through Baldwin, Butler, Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties. He published the famous book, Bartram’s “Travels” in 1791.

July 22, 1839 – Isaac Betts became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

July 22, 1844 - The Rev. William Archibald Spooner was born at 17 Chapel Street, Grosvenor Place, London, SW1. The lecturer became known for what are now called 'spoonerisms,' slips of the tongue where the consonants of words are reversed. One of his flubs was issued as he officiated at a wedding: "Son, it is now kisstomary to cuss the bride."

July 22, 1849 – Poet Emma Lazarus was born in New York City.

July 22, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Forsyth and Etna in Missouri.

July 22, 1861 – During the Civil War, Union General George B. McClellan was ordered to Washington to take command of the Army of the Potomac following the defeat at First Manassas. His appointment would delay the ending of the war by at least a year.

July 22, 1861 – During the Civil War, in a proclamation, Jefferson Davis accepted Tennessee as a member of the Confederacy.

July 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, an affair took place at Verdon and near Westover in Virginia.

July 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Florida, Mo. and near Tazewell, Tenn.

July 22, 1862 - The Confederate ironclad Arkansas fought with and ran off two Union ships. However, the Arkansas suffered damage to her engines.

July 22, 1862 - President Abraham Lincoln informed his chief advisors and cabinet that he would issue a proclamation to free slaves but added that he would wait until the Union Army has achieved a substantial military victory to make the announcement.

July 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation began out from Clinton, Ky.

July 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, Confederate forces captured and occupied Brasher City, La.

July 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Jackson, Miss. and at Eagleport, Ohio.

July 22, 1864 – During the American Civil War, at the Battle of Atlanta, Confederate General John Bell Hood led an unsuccessful attack on Union troops under General William T. Sherman on Bald Hill outside Atlanta.

July 22, 1864 – George Morgan Rikard, 33, of Buena Vista, a private in the Alabama CSA Cavalry, was wounded in the Battle of Atlanta and died six hours later. According to the letter written to his wife, Caroline, by L.L. McCreary, Rikard was buried in the flower garden of Col. Robert Alston’s home nearby. Born on Aug. 15, 1830, a marker in his memory was later placed at the Buena Vista Cemetery in Monroe County, Ala. Sources say that George Morgan Rikard was one of five sons of Michael and Sarah Rikard, all of whom were killed in the Civil War. 

July 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Camp Gonzales, Fla.

July 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Berryville and Newton in Virginia; at Clifton, Tenn.; near Pine Bluff, Ark.; at Coldwater River, Miss.; and at Concordia and near Vidalia in Louisiana.

July 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union forces conducted a raid to Covington, Ga.

July 22, 1864 – The 2nd Alabama Cavalry regiment lost a number of men at Atlanta. Dr. John Augustus Baldwin of Butler County was assistant surgeon in the regiment.

July 22, 1870 - A very fine shower visited Monroeville on this afternoon, accompanied by some thunder and lightning, “during the prevalence of which, one of the large oak trees in front of the jail was struck by the lightning and shivered. A cow, that was under the tree at the time, was knocked down, but soon got up and walked off.”

July 22, 1882 – Painter Edward Hopper was born in Nyack, N.Y.

July 22, 1886 - Col. S.J. Cumming of Camden and Col. C.J. Torrey of Mobile attended chancery court on this day in Monroeville.

July 22, 1888 - Biochemist Selman Abraham Waksman, discoverer of streptomycin, the first effective treatment of tuberculosis, was born in the Ukraine.

July 22, 1893 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jesse Haines was born in Clayton, Ohio. During his career, he played for the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.

July 22, 1896 - W.R. Shirley was in Monroeville on this Wednesday. He had “almost entirely recovered from the effects of his recent injuries,” according to The Monroe Journal.

July 22, 1896 - Master Jno. “John” Stallworth left on this Wednesday on his “bike” via Pineville, to visit his old home at Bell’s Landing, according to The Monroe Journal.

July 22, 1905 – The Rev. C.M. Hutton of Fort Worth, Texas, the former chaplain of the 36th Alabama Confederate Regiment, accompanied by J.L. Marshall of Perdue Hill, visited The Monroe Journal office on this Saturday.

July 22, 1907 - The Second Infantry Regiment, Alabama National Guard, was scheduled to go into encampment at Selma.

July 22, 1909 – The Conecuh Record reported that the Nashville American baseball team beat Evergreen in three games that week in Evergreen, Ala.

July 22, 1909 - At Huntington Avenue Grounds, Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers stole three bases in one inning.

July 22, 1914 – Alabama State Highway Engineer William Simpson Keller (Helen Keller’s half-brother) passed down the Old Stage Road in Conecuh and Monroe counties as part of a scouting party that included about 25 automobiles, surveying proposed trunk highway from Mobile to Montgomery.

July 22, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the bridge across Lovett’s Creek on the Mount Pleasant Road collapsed “one day last week” when a heavily loaded wagon tried to cross it.

July 22, 1915 – The Monroe County Fair Association’s executive committee met in Monroeville on this Thursday and agreed to hold the Monroe County Fair on Oct. 19-21 of that year.

July 22, 1916 - A massive parade held in San Francisco, California, to celebrate Preparedness Day, in anticipation of the United States entrance into World War I, was disrupted by the explosion of a suitcase bomb on the west side of Steuart Street, just south of Market Street, near the Ferry Building, which killed 10 bystanders and wounded 40 more. The true identity of the Preparedness Day bomber (or bombers) remains unknown.

July 22, 1926 - Babe Ruth caught a baseball at Mitchell Field in New York that had been dropped from an airplane flying at 250 feet.

July 22, 1928 – Confederate veteran Robert Thomas Capers Robinson, 87, of Evergreen passed away. Born on Oct. 16, 1840, he was buried at Brushy Creek Methodist Church Cemetery in Conecuh County. During the war, he served in Co. D, 45th Alabama Infantry Regiment.

July 22, 1932 – Herbert farmer G.R. Stinson brought the first open bolls of cotton of the 1932 crop into The Evergreen Courant’s office.

July 22, 1932 – Welcome Church, located about one mile from Travis Bridge on U.S. Highway 31, was destroyed by a tornado around 4 p.m.

July 22, 1932 – Novelist, essayist and short story writer Tom Robbins was born in Blowing Rock, N.C. He is perhaps best known for his 1971 book, “Another Roadside Attraction.”

July 22, 1934 – Outside Chicago's Biograph Theater, "Public Enemy No. 1" John Dillinger was mortally wounded by FBI agents.

July 22, 1934 – Evergreen’s baseball team was scheduled to play Chapman on this Sunday in Evergreen, Ala., but the rain got called off after it was underway due to heavy rains. Loice “Skin” Hyde was Evergreen’s pitcher. Tom Melton was Evergreen’s manager and catcher. Woodrow Lawlis played right field for Evergreen. Other players on Evergreen’s team included Sam Jones and Woody Mott.

July 22, 1938 – The Dothan Browns beat the Evergreen Greenies, 1-0, on this Friday even though the Browns didn’t record a single hit. Greenies pitcher Lee Anthony had the Browns eating out of his hand for eight of the nine innings he pitched. In the sixth frame, the Browns pushed a run over to give them the margin of victory. A walk, two sacrifices and an error accounted for the lone run. The Greenies had scoring chances throughout the contest but lacked the punch to carry them across. The Browns were able to hit only three balls to the outfield off Anthony. Kraus ran his total chances to 21 in the game without a bobble. Anthony was the second hurler to pitch a no-hit game that season. Virgil Trucks of Andalusia had hurled two no-hitters. Anthony has missed two no-hitters by Danny Kraus spoiling one and pitcher John Koneff of Troy banged out a knock to ruin another no-hitter.

July 22, 1938 - Andrew R. Pierce, 52, well known and respected citizen of Repton, died suddenly about 8 a.m. on this Friday from what was generally supposed to have been a heart attack. Pierce was engaged in running some land lines near the place of Ike Bradley, farmer living four miles from Evergreen on the Montgomery highway, when he died. A young man who was helping him was the only one present and according to his statement Pierce fell over and died without saying a word. Deceased was born near Old Salem in Monroe County on July 18, 1886. He moved to Lenox in Conecuh County when a boy and lived there until he married. Since his marriage, he had lived in Repton. He engaged in farming, timbering and surveying. He did quite a bit of timber cruising and estimating. He was known throughout Conecuh County and adjoining counties and had many friends who were saddened at his passing. Pierce was buried at Repton Methodist Church Cemetery.

July 22, 1940 – William George Riley, the last surviving Confederate veteran in Conecuh County, Ala. (except for one who’d recently moved there from another part of the state), passed away at his home in Evergreen on this Monday at 5 p.m., at the age of 97 years, 10 months and 20 days. Born in the Old Pineville community near present-day Beatrice on Sept. 2, 1842, he enlisted in the Confederate military at the age of 19, served four years under General Forrest and was severely wounded in the Battle of Manassas. He and his family moved from Old Pineville to Evergreen in 1887. He was buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen, Ala.

July 22, 1948 – Novelist S.E. Hinton was born Susan Eloise Hinton in Tulsa, Okla. She is perhaps best known for her 1967 book, “The Outsiders.”

July 22, 1948 - Monroeville’s baseball team was scheduled to play Atmore on this Thursday in Atmore at 3 p.m.

July 22, 1951 – The baseball game between the Loree Dollies and the Bermuda Bears on this Sunday afternoon was rained out and was scheduled to be made up on Sat., July 28, at Bermuda.

July 22, 1951 - Harold Godwin and J.W. Windham pitched the league-leading Paul Aces to a pair of shutout wins over the last place Starlington club at Starlington on this Sunday. The double win increased the Aces’ margin over the rest of the league. In the opening game, Godwin sent the Starlington batters back to the bench with their bats dragging while his mates were hitting at a merry clip to win, 6-0. His batterymate was Joe McClain. Godwin also led his team’s hitting, getting two hits in four trips to the plate. Dunk Stinson threw for Starlington with Elmore Stinson doing the catching. Elmore and Tank Stinson, with a hit a piece in three and two trips to the plate, respectively, topped the Starlington batters. In the nightcap, it was J.W. Windham who had the Starlington batters on their heels as the Aces eased out a 2-0 win. Joe McClain was again the Paul catcher. Tank Stinson worked on the hill for Starlington with Dud Stuckey behind the plate. Harold Godwin again led the Paul hitting with two for three including a second inning triple. McClain had two for three also. H. Black and J. Harrison, with one hit in three trips to the plate each, led the Starlington batters.

July 22, 1951 - The Shreve Eagles took both ends of a doubleheader from the Centerville Rookies on this Sunday afternoon in Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, where the Rookies played their home games. In the opener, Chester (Check) Ellis bested league-leading pitcher George Gaston by a 6-1 score. Seven Rookie errors paved the way to Gaston’s second loss of the season. Ellis checked the Rookies with but six hits, well scattered. His mates backed him up by committing but one error and touched Gaston for seven hits. Georgie Brown was the Shreve catcher. Dennis Andrews relieved Gaston in the third and gave up but one run. Clint Ward was behind the plate. Ellis was Shreve’s leading hitter with two hits in three trips. Herbert Sanford had two for four. Randy Moorer with three hits, single, double and triple, in as many trips led the Rookies. In the second game, the Eagles rallied for two runs in the fourth inning of a five-inning encounter to register a 6-5 win. Ferrill Smith started and was relieved by Ellis in the fourth. Leroy Smith was behind the plate. Dennie Andrews started for Centerville and gave way to Jeff Moorer in the fourth. Bailey did the catching. James Barlow had two for three to lead the Shreve batters. The Rookies divided their six hits up. Centerville made seven costly errors in this game also and gathered but five hits.

July 22, 1955 – The Evergreen Giants beat the Yankees, 16-7. Standout players for the Giants included winning pitcher Leon Stinson, Eddie Lambert and Terry Trawick. Standout players for the Yankees included losing pitcher H.W. Ward, Ronnie Byrd, Reuben Hyde and Bob Miller.

July 22, 1955 – James Tucker Sr., a farmer from Castleberry, Ala., brought in the first bag of cotton from the 1955 crop to the Conecuh County Agent’s Office.

July 22, 1962 - Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

July 22, 1965 – Atmore’s Little League All-Star team beat Monroeville’s All Stars, 7-1, in the area tournament in Atmore. Charles Rawls collected Monroeville’s only hit. Other outstanding Monroeville players in that game included Bill Grant, Riley Dawson and Ronnie Taylor.

July 22, 1967 - General Maxwell Taylor, former U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam and now a consultant to President Lyndon B. Johnson, and presidential adviser Clark Clifford toured South Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea to sound out opinion on the possibility of another summit conference on the situation in Vietnam.

July 22, 1968 - Nguyen Thanh Le, North Vietnamese spokesman at the Paris peace talks, told reporters that the Honolulu conference revealed that “the position of the United States remains infinitely obstinate.”

July 22, 1975 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee had his U.S. citizenship restored by the U.S. Congress.

July 22, 1976 - Weather reporter Earl Windham reported a high of 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala. for the second day in a row.

July 22, 1976 - Conecuh County High School’s Quarterback Club was scheduled to hold a special meeting on this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. All members were urged to attend.

July 22, 1987 - The U.S. began its policy of escorting re-flagged Kuwaiti tankers up and down the Persian Gulf to protect them from possible attack by Iran.

July 22, 1991 - Prairie Mission (also known as the Prairie Mission School and Prairie Institute) near Catherine, in Wilcox County, Ala., was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

July 22, 1991 – The Hank Williams Sr. Boyhood Home in Georgiana, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

July 22, 1991 - Police arrested Jeffrey Dahmer after finding the remains of 11 victims in his apartment in Milwaukee. Dahmer confessed to 17 murders and was sentenced to life in prison.

July 22, 1999 - Alabama author and illustrator Dorothea Warren Fox died in New Fairfield, Conn.

July 22, 2003 – Members of 101st Airborne of the United States, aided by Special Forces, attacked a compound in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, killing Saddam Hussein's sons Uday and Qusay, along with Mustapha Hussein, Qusay's 14-year-old son, and a bodyguard.

July 22, 2003 - U.S. Army Private Jessica Lynch, a 19-year-old prisoner-of-war who was rescued from an Iraqi hospital, received a hero’s welcome when she returned to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia.

July 22, 2004 - The September 11 Commission's final report was released. The 575-page report concluded that hijackers exploited "deep institutional failings within our government." The report was released to White House officials the day before.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., July 22, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.90 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 5.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 31.50 inches.

Notes: Today is the 203rd day of 2018 and the 32nd day of Summer. There are 162 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.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

George Singleton describes childhood pet, El Sid, a large Hereford bull

El Sid was a Hereford bull like the one pictured above.

(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Country boys sometimes have strange companions” was originally published in the July 7, 1994 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Time has a strange way of causing a person to look back and relive old memories. A week or so ago, I returned to a special place where found memories seemed to yet linger there under the chinaberry trees in the old yard.

Many memories flashed through my mind as I reviewed the remains of the crumbled house and grown-up yard. I remembered that it had not always been like this. I knew of a time when a darling mother saw to it that beautiful blooming flowers grew along the yard fence and beauty abounded there in the shade of the huge chinaberry trees. I remembered a woman of great patience and understanding, a woman of love and trust, even for the animals there on the farm.

There are not many mothers of today that could watch their four-year-old son ride across a nearby pasture sitting on the head of a huge Hereford bull, holding unto its horns. My mother witnessed this many times and thought nothing of it.

El Sid had been raised on a bottle as a young calf. He seemed almost one of the family. As he grew to a full-grown bull, he never changed his ways. His greatest love was to be given food such as cold biscuits, cornbread, potato pie or anything that could be eaten.

He delighted in running out his large tongue and taking a piece of cake or candy right out of the hand of the unexpected. Then with one large slurp, he would swallow his prize, then lick his mouth as though marveling at his success.

I found out that I could coax him into doing many thing that would benefit me if I carried something in my pockets for him to eat. I would carry such items as parched peanuts or a handful of shelled corn – anything that I thought that El Sid might enjoy.

If I needed for him to carry me across the pasture or over to my friend’s house, I would stop by the barn and put several small ears of corn in my overall pockets. When I reached my destination, I would give him an ear of corn.

El Sid would wait with great patience until I was ready to return home. Before he would lower his huge head for me to get on, I would have to reach into my pockets and bright forth what he was waiting for. Then, I would mount up between his horns and the huge beat would slowly make his way to the yard gate, being ever so careful not to unseat his passenger.

I was the envy of all my friends. My playmates marveled at my ability to ride El Sid’s head when they had to walk. Most of them were afraid of my companion; only once in a great while could I coax one to get on El Sid’s back. This had to be done by making the large animal walk up next to the fence, then having them jump off the fence and onto his broad back.

I found out that the huge animal loved water almost as much as he did eating. One day while playing in the local swimming hole, I looked up, and there stood El Sid, almost up to his neck in water. I began to splash the cool water over his back. He let out a loud groan as though he wanted more. He would stand patiently as three or four kids scrambled up his neck and onto his back, then dive in the cool waters for hours on end.

When he tired of being used for a diving platform, he would slowly walk out of the swimming hole and start grazing on the rich grass on the bank of the creek. There he would wait until it was time to return home. He would stand patiently as three or four boys tried several times to get on his large back while slipping off from time to time on his wet and slippery hide.

When he reached the yard gate, he would wait for a hasty trip to the kitchen for a cold biscuit, if nothing could be found in my overalls pockets. He would then make his way to the barn, where he knew that sooner or later he would be fed again.

Before any of the family realized it, El Sid acquired the knowledge of how to open the yard gate. This would happen especially if there were kids playing in the yard. He would open the gate with his nose, and then he would come in and check each kid for a quick snack.

Like a flash of lightning, that large tongue would lash out for any goodies being eaten. A slice of pie or a popcorn ball would vanish into thin air. Only the sound of the huge bull swallowing gave evidence as to where the food went.

If the huge animal frightened any of the children who were not used to being around him, my darling mother would walk out and drape her apron over his powerful horns and lead him out of the yard. Usually, this wonderful woman would slip him a bit of food under her apron, out of sight of those looking on. El Sid would then wait outside the gate until the time came when he again became the center of attention.

This large animal was the constant companion for a small farm boy. Very few trips were made around the farm that this 1,700-pound bull wasn’t close on the heels of his very dear friend. As the years passed and I grew larger in size, my riding habits changed from the head to the muscular back of the large bull.

I could easily jump to the back of the big animal and throw my leg over and sit upright with little or no effort. One of my favorite positions was to bend forward and lay down on El Sid as he made his way across the pasture to the home of my good friend and playmate. But never was there a time that he didn’t have to be compensated with some kind of snack for the services he rendered. He gave no quarter when food was the issue.

But the years began to take a toll on this wonderful and gentle animal. El Sid lost his love for the cool and refreshing waters of the swimming hole. Only during the hottest days of summer did he venture forth for a back washing and to be used for a diving platform. And then, he would only stay in the cool water for a few short minutes.

One day, while I was away at school, El Sid calmly lay down in the barnyard and died. My father, a self-taught veterinarian, did everything possible to keep him alive. But El Sid, friend and companion, passed on to greener pastures. According to my father, this is the way El Sid seemed to have wanted it.

As I sat there and relieved the memories from the past, I knew that if there was a special place beyond the sunset for animals like El Sid, he is there. There his spirit waits, looking for a handout of food or quick snack from those around him. Or cooling himself in the waters from the river of life that flows forever into the endless passageways of eternity.

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born to Vincent William Singleton and Frances Cornelia Faile Singleton, during a late-night thunderstorm, on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School in 1946, served as a U.S. Marine paratrooper in the Korean War, worked as a riverboat deckhand, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from June 28, 1964 to Dec. 14, 1987. He was promoted from the enlisted ranks to warrant officer in May 1972. For years, Singleton’s columns, titled “Monroe County history – Did you know?” and “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. It’s believed that his first column appeared in the March 25, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for July 21, 2018

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.

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 D. Robbins and James Strickland. 

July 21, 1861 - John D. Robbins, who was just 17 years old, was killed at the First Battle of Bull Run while serving with the Conecuh Guards. Born on Dec. 1, 1843, he was buried at Ebenezer Methodist Cemetery in Wilcox County, Ala.

July 21, 1861 - Members of the Conecuh Guards known to have been wounded at the Battle of Bull Run 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, W.Va. A Federal operation also began between Springfield and Forsyth in 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, Tenn. and at Luray, Va.

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, Miss. to Chattanooga, Tenn.

July 21 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Street's Ferry, N.C.; and at Manassas Gap, Wapping Heights, Snicker’s Gap, Gaines’ Cross Road and Chester Gap in 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 – Colonel Samuel Adams, 35, of Greenville, Ala. was killed in action by a sharpshooter in a fight at Bald Hill near Atlanta. He was shot through the breast and killed instantly while superintending the erection of fortifications near Atlanta. Born on March 5, 1829 in Abbeville County, South Carolina, he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1850 and moved to Butler County, Ala. in 1851. He worked as a teacher and lawyer in Conecuh and Butler counties and served as a state representative from 1857 to 1861. He became a 2nd Lt. with Co. G in the 9th Alabama on July 19, 1861 and 1st. Lt. on Sept. 6, 1861. He was promoted to Colonel in the 33rd Alabama when its was organized on April 23, 1862. He was wounded in action at Perryville while leading a brigade. He is buried in Pioneer Cemetery in Greenville.

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

July 21, 1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Mo., 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 Duncan M. Rankin, 36, 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. Born on April 10, 1843, Rank had served as a captain in Co. A of the 42nd Alabama Regiment. He was buried in the McConnico Cemetery at Perdue Hill.

July 21, 1884 – The Monroe Journal reported that Col. T.C. McCorvey, the popular and efficient Commandant of the State University, was on a brief visit to his old home and relatives and friends at Monroeville.

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, 1896 - The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville jail had “but one lonely inmate, and he a prisoner who availed himself of what is known in provincial vernacular as ‘leg bail.’”

July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that, according to the Brewton News, that an effort was being made to raise a building fund by the Baptists in Brewton. If $5,000 could be secured, a “magnificent brick church to cost that amount” would be erected soon. The Standard Gauge also reported that the loss of the Harold mill in a recent fire was estimated at $5,000.

July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that, according to The Thomasville News, that residents there were expecting an expert there soon to examine the coal in that vicinity. “It is quite likely it can be found of value, also there is strong probability of getting a good quality of it near Thomasville.”

July 21, 1896 - Capt. George H. Gray of Perdue Hill visited The Monroe Journal on this Tuesday.

July 21, 1896 - A “very pleasant social was enjoyed by the young people” at Dr. Russell’s residence, “Magnolia Villa,” on this Tuesday evening, according to The Monroe Journal.

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

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

July 21, 1907 - Lula McMillan, a colored woman, the wife of Andrew McMillan, was fatally burned near Burnt Corn on this Sunday afternoon and died the following morning. The woman attempted to start a fire in the stove with kerosene oil. The can exploded and her body was enveloped in flames in an instant. Before assistance reached her, she was burned beyond hope of recovery.

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, 1911 - At the Mansion House in London, David Lloyd George (the future prime minster) delivered the customary annual address of the British chancellor of the exchequer and implied that war might be the price of continued threats to the security of his country and its allies.

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 with serving with the 28th Infantry, 1st Division. He was buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, Belleau, Departement de l'Aisne, in Picardie, France.

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, 1938 – The Dothan Browns beat the Evergreen Greenies, 1-0, scoring their lone run late in the ninth inning on this Thursday night. Greenies pitcher Charlie Richards pitched superb ball except for the ninth inning when the Browns bunched two scratch hits and took advantage of an error to score. The underhand ball of Richards kept the Dothan boys baffled all night. The official score showed eight hits chalked up against the tall hurler but only five were knocks. Cox led the batting parade for the Browns as he pounded out two hits. The Greenies were able to solve Lovetree for only three hits which were kept scattered. Danny Kraus, new Greenie second baseman, socked out one of the blows while Cudillo and Hilcher were collecting the two remaining singles. The new combination around second looked swell. Koval took over the short field duties as Kraus was sent to the second base.

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 the Foshee-Tranum Post 3581 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). 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, 1951 - The Loree Dollies edged the Bermuda Bears, 6-5, on this Saturday afternoon in a well-played game at Bermuda. Haskew Danial pitched creditable ball as he racked up another win for the Dollies. He struck out five batters and didn’t issue a base on balls. Allen Thompson was on the mound for the Bears. He gave up only seven hits. Red Powell started the ball rolling for Bermuda with a timely hit which brought in the first two runs.

July 21, 1953 - At its regular meeting on this Tuesday, the Evergreen City Council decided to take action in spite of State Highway Department opposition and install a traffic light at the intersection of Rural and West Front Streets at the foot of the overhead bridge. The city had asked for permission from the State Highway Department as this intersection is on Highway 31 but had not been given it. The action followed another “close miss” at the intersection around noon that day when a car speeding through the intersection bashed a local car which was backing out into the street from a parking place on Rural Street.

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 on Vietnam with his civilian and military advisers and with private citizens that he trusted during this period.

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, 1968 - A 57-year-old pedestrian, Mrs. Bessie B. Quimby Lampley of Repton, was killed at 3 p.m., 0.2 miles south of Repton on Alabama 41. Edward L. Maness of Greenfield, Tenn. was the driver of a 1963 Buick sedan involved in the accident. Trooper Cottingham investigated. Lampley, who was born on Feb. 11, 1910 was buried in the Springhill Methodist Church Cemetery in Conecuh County.

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, 1977 – Monroeville’s Little League All-Stars won the District 5, Area 1 title on this Thursday night at Monroeville’s Bud Lathram Field. The team was to travel to Andalusia on July 28 to play Jackson for the district title and the right to play in the state tournament. Members of Monroeville’s team included Gathern McClain, Frank Brown, Anthony Morressette, Donald Kilpatrick, Ken Miller, Calvin Tucker, Kenneth Richardson, Ricky Wilson, Frank Jones, Michael Howard, Ray Laffitte, Ricky Smith, Jerome Ikner, Mike Strout and Edger Lee McCarthy. Billy Ghee was the team’s manager, and Ned Adams was assistant coach.

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, and 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 Sat., July 21, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): Trace.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.60 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  3.90 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 5.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 31.50 inches.

Notes: Today is the 202nd day of 2018 and the 31st 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.

Today in History for July 20, 2018

July 20, 1304 – Italian scholar and poet Francesco Petrarca, better 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 Johnson 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, Mo. began, and more Confederate troops converged on the Manassas, Va. area.

July 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Gaines’ Landing, Ark.; at Hatchie Bottom, Miss.; and at Greenville and Taberville, Mo.

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 in N.C.; at Ashby Gap and another at Berry’s Ferry in Virginia; and near Hedgesville and Martinsburg in 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 navy began shelling of Legare Point on James Island, S.C. 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, Ga. 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, Mo.; in Blount County, Tenn.; 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, S.C. The Federals shot 4,890 artillery rounds into Fort 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 later 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, 1886 - Col. S.P. Gaillard of Mobile visited The Monroe Journal on this Tuesday.

June 20, 1889 - Having made the mistake of homesteading on land previously controlled by a Wyoming cattle king, homesteaders Ella Watson and James Averell were accused of rustling and hanged.

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, 1907 - There was to be a basket picnic at Davis Bridge on Flat Creek on this Saturday with a baseball game in afternoon between the Ridge and Scotland teams.

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, 1914 - As war threatened in the Balkans, the attention of much of the French people focused instead on the sensational case of Madame Henriette Caillaux, whose trial for the murder of Gaston Calmette, editor of the newspaper Le Figaro, opened in Paris.

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. Nine of the 12 lodges in the county were represented by delegates, others being kept away by high water and damaged roads. Monroeville was chosen as the place of meeting for the next year and the following officers were elected: A.B. Coxwell, W.M.; W.R. Blackwell, S.W.; C.W. Adams, J.W.; W.S. Nash, Sec.-Treas.; W.P. Wiggins, S.D.; J.W. Hadley, J.D.; H.C. Fountain and R.L. Lewis, Stewards; the Chaplain and Tiler of Monroeville lodge to serve as chaplain and tiler of the conference.

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, 1917 – During World War I, the Corfu Declaration, which led to the creation of the post-war Kingdom of Yugoslavia, was signed by the Yugoslav Committee and Kingdom of Serbia.

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, 1932 – In Washington, D.C., police fired tear gas on World War I veterans, part of the Bonus Expeditionary Force, who attempted to march to the White House.

July 20, 1933 - B.F. Stallworth went to Mobile during the previous week to attend a state meeting of probate judges and members of county revenue boards.

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

July 20, 1933 – The Monroe Journal reported that two of the men who escaped from the Monroe County jail the week before were waiting at the jail door when Sheriff Sawyer came to Monroeville on Tuesday morning (July 18), wanting to be let back in. Two others had been returned to jail the latter part of the week before, leaving a fifth prisoner still at liberty. The break, in which the five prisoners gained liberty, occurred just before day on Tuesday morning, July 11. Prisoners had taken a bolt and grate from a stove and managed to break the locks that stood between them and freedom.

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, 1947 - Frisco City defeated Flomaton, 7-4, on this Sunday afternoon in Flomaton with M. Watson, right fielder, leading a heavy hitting attack against Kennedy, who pitched for the losers. Watson hit a homer in the third inning with one man on and also got two doubles during the game. T. Springer was the winning pitcher. Exceptional fielding was chalked up in the seventh inning when A. Murphy, first baseman for Frisco City, reached over the fence to catch a fly and retire Flomaton, and in the same inning when G. Gaston, second baseman, made a diving catch of a fly ball.
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.

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, 1983 - Ill feelings between Evergreen Mayor Lee Smith and City Councilman Lomax Cassady that had long simmered came to a boil on this Wednesday. After a verbal exchange, the two men swapped blows in the council meeting room at City Hall. The mayor received treatment including stitches on the head and lips at the emergency room of Evergreen Hospital. The councilman also had a “fat lip.” Both men said that they regretted the incident and were embarrassed by their participation in it.

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.