Monday, February 16, 2015

Today in History for Feb. 16, 2015

John Adams
Feb. 16, 1741 - Benjamin Franklin published America’s second magazine, "The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle."

Feb. 16, 1776 - The Continental Congress decided to allow General George Washington to investigate the practicability of an expedition to Nova Scotia.

Feb. 16, 1778 - In Marblehead Harbor, Mass., John Adams and his son, 10-year-old John Quincy Adams, prepared to leave for France. Adams was traveling to France to replace Silas Deane in Congress' commission to negotiate a treaty of alliance with France.

Feb. 16, 1820 – The Rev. Andrew Jay was born about three miles from Jayvilla. He went on to serve as a Baptist minister, military officer, commissioner of roads and revenue, tax assessor and state representative.

Feb. 16, 1826 – Timothy Horton Ball was born in Agawam in Hampden County, Mass. A minister, teacher, historian and author, most of his life was spent in Clarke County, Ala. and in 1882, while living in Grove Hill, he would publish “A Glance into the Great South-east; or, Clarke County, Alabama, and its Surroundings, from 1540 to 1877.”

Feb. 16, 1838 – Historian and writer Henry Adams was born in Boston, Mass. The great-grandson of John Adams and the grandson of John Quincy Adams, he would publish his most famous book, “The Education of Henry Adams” in 1918.

Feb. 16, 1861 - Presidents Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln were sworn in at Montgomery, Ala. and Washington City.

Feb. 16, 1862 – During the Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River in Tennessee. About 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered during the incident, and this victory gave the Union control of northern Tennesee and paved the way for the occupation of Nashville. The battle earned Grant the nickname "Unconditional Surrender."

Feb. 16, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Federal Navy initiated operations against the forts at the mouth of Mobile Bay, Ala.

Feb. 16, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Gurley's Tank, Ala.

Feb. 16, 1874 – The Silver Dollar became legal U.S. tender.

Feb. 16, 1878 - Pamela Colman Smith, the artist who drew the images on the Rider-Waite Tarot card deck, was born in Pimlico, Middlesex.

Feb. 16, 1894 - Infamous gunslinger John Wesley Hardin, who lived in Pollard, Ala. for about 18 months, was pardoned after spending 15 years in a Texas prison for murder. Hardin, who was reputed to have shot and killed a man just for snoring, was 41 years old at the time of his release.

Feb. 16, 1895 - Alabama formally adopted a state flag for the first time. The legislature dictated "a crimson cross of St. Andrew upon a field of white," which was the design submitted by John W. A. Sanford Jr., who also sponsored the bill. This flag remains Alabama's flag today.

Feb. 16, 1895 - Alabama author Florence Glass Palmer was born in Uniontown, Ala.

Feb. 16, 1900 – Passenger service was established on the L&N railroad through Monroeville.

Feb. 16, 1922 – In the fictional video game, “Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth,” confined in Arkham Asylum once again, private investigator Jack Walters hangs himself, unable to handle the reality of himself and what he witnessed in Innsmouth.

Feb. 16, 1923 - Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.

Feb. 16, 1938 – The first ever meeting of the Evergreen Rotary Club was held on this day in the Evergreen Hotel.

Feb. 16, 1951 – Army SFC Howard W. Hall of Clarke County, Ala. died of wounds in Korea.

Feb. 16, 1960 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Triton began Operation Sandblast, setting sail from New London, Connecticut, to begin the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe. The trip ended on May 10.

Feb. 16, 1966 – For his actions on this day in Vietnam, Capt. Clinton O. “Neal” Hyde Jr. of Evergreen was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for Heroism. Hyde was a senior advisor with a paramilitary strike force unit that was conducting a search and destroy operation in the Tion Phuoc District in Vietnam. On two occasions after his force made contact with the Viet Cong, Hyde organized a fire and maneuver tactic that forced the insurgents to withdraw from their positions. While pursuing the enemy, Hyde and his counterpart, along with the lead element of the friendly force, became pinned down by intense hostile automatic weapons fire. With complete disregard for his safety, Hyde exposed himself to deadly fire to move to the rear to radio for an air evacuation of friendly casualties. After the medical evacuation, Hyde further exposed himself to enemy fire while moving to the front of the force to adjust mortar fire on hostile emplacements. His accurate adjustment of supporting fire drove the Viet Cong from their positions and allowed the friendly patrol to continue their mission. Hyde, the son of Mr. and Mrs. C.O. Hyde of Evergreen, was a graduate of Evergreen High School and West Point Military Academy.

Feb. 16, 1968 - The first-ever 911 call was placed in Haleyville, Ala. State Representative Rankin Fite made the call fom the mayor's office and it was answered at the police station by Congressman Tom Bevill. The system was put into operation within weeks of AT&T's announcement that it planned to establish 911 as a nationwide emergency number. The Alabama Telephone Company, in a successful attempt to implement the number before AT&T, determined that Haleyville's equipment could be quickly converted to accommodate an emergency system.

Feb. 16, 1969 – Army Sgt. Ralph Gerald Dunn of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.

Feb. 16-20, 1970 – Evergreen High School hosted the 10-team District 1, Region 2, Class 3A Basketball Tournament at Memorial Gymnasium in Evergreen. On Feb. 16, Atmore High School played W.S. Neal High School at 6:30 p.m., and Marshall High School of Evergreen played Jackson High School at 8 p.m. On Feb. 17, Marengo County-Dixon Mills played Escambia County Training School at 6:30 p.m. and Evergreen High School played Camden Academy at 8 p.m. On Feb. 18, Union High School of Monroeville played the winner of the Atmore-Neal game at 6:30 p.m., and Monroeville High School played the winner of the Marshall-Jackson game at 8 p.m. Semifinal round games were played at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Feb. 19, and the championship game was played on Feb. 19.

Feb. 16, 1972 – NFL running back Jerome Bettis was born in Detroit, Mich. He would go on to play for Notre Dame, the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Feb. 16, 1977 – NFL running back Ahman Green was born in Omaha, Neb. He would go on to play for Nebraska, the Seattle Seahawks, the Green Bay Packers and the Houston Texans.

Feb. 16, 1980 - One of the world's worst traffic jams took place on a stretch of road in France from Lyon to Paris. Cars were backed up for 109 miles.

Feb. 16, 1989 - Roger Clemens of the Boston Red Sox signed a three-year contract worth $7,500,000.

Feb. 16, 1991 – Hillcrest High School’s Dameion Fantroy, who competed in the 175-pound weight class, set a state record by benchpressing 360 pounds at the state powerlifting meet in Eufaula. The previous state record of 340 pounds was set in 1988.

Feb. 16, 1991 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported a low temperature of 17 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

Feb. 16, 1991 – Yellow ribbons were placed on the fence along the railroad tracks in downtown Evergreen, Ala. by the loved ones of military personnel who were serving in the Persian Gulf War.

Feb. 16, 1996 – The Avant House on Sanford Road in Andalusia, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Feb. 16, 1999 - O.J. Simpson's 1968 Heisman Trophy was sold for $230,000. A court judgment ordered the trophy to be sold to help settle a $33.5 million civil judgment against Simpson for the deaths of his ex-wife and her friend.

Feb. 16, 2004 - Baseball commissioner Bud Selig approved the swap of Alex Rodriguez of the Texas Rangers and Alfonso Soriano of the New York Yankees. The Rangers would also get a minor league player in the deal.

Feb. 16, 2013 – Evergreen native and NFL running back Ken Clark died in Minneapolis, Minn. 

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