Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Today in History for Feb. 25, 2015

James W. Fannin
Feb. 25, 1692 – During the events leading up to the Salem witchcraft trials, Mary Sibley, a neighbor of the Samuel Parris family, told John Indian, the husband of Tituba, the recipe to make a "witch cake" of rye meal and the girls' urine to feed to a dog in order to discover who is bewitching the girls, according to English folk "white magic" practices.

Feb. 25, 1779 - The British surrendered Fort Sackville in present-day Indiana, marking the beginning of the end of British domination in America's western frontier.

Feb. 25, 1793 - The department heads of the U.S. government met with U.S. President George Washington for the first Cabinet meeting on U.S. record.

Feb. 25, 1836 – Samuel Colt received U.S. Patent No. 138 (later 9430X) for a "revolving-cylinder pistol,” better known as the “Colt revolver.”

Feb. 25, 1836 - A two-hour engagement occured when Santa Anna’s troops attempted to occupy jacales (picket and thatch huts) located near the southwest corner of the Alamo compound. Members of the garrison ventured out and burned the jacales on this night.  Santa Anna’s soldiers constructed artillery batteries south of the Alamo. James W. Fannin left Goliad with a relief column bound for the Alamo.

Feb. 25, 1862 - The U.S. Congress passed the Legal Tender Act. The act authorized the use of paper notes to pay the government's bills. This ended the policy of using only gold or silver in transactions.

Feb. 25, 1862 – The USS Monitor was commissioned. Designed by Swedish engineer John Ericsson, the Monitor had an unusually low profile, rising from the water only 18 inches. The flat iron deck had a 20-foot cylindrical turret rising from the middle of the ship; the turret housed two 11-inch Dahlgren guns. The ship had a draft of less than 11 feet so it could operate in the shallow harbors and rivers of the South.

Feb. 25, 1864 – Maj. Edmund W. Martin of Sparta, Ala. was wounded by a shell fragment at the Battle of Dalton, Ga.

Feb. 25, 1864 – At the Battle of Dalton, Georgia, Union General George Thomas ceased his attack on Confederate Joseph Johnston's troops. The Union had begun the offensive the prevoius day.

Feb. 25, 1865 – Union Brigadier General James Veatch assumed command of Federal forces on Dauphin Island, Ala.

Feb. 25, 1865 – After getting captured by the Union on Dec. 8, 1863, Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) was exchanged at City Point, Va.

Feb. 25, 1865 – Joseph G. Sanders, aka “The Turncoat of Dale County,” was ordered to take 20 men and proceed to the East Pass at Santa Rosa Island, where he was to recruit new soldiers for his regiment, as well as “confiscate” cattle and horses belonging to “Rebel” civilians in nearby Walton and Holmes counties. He was given 14 days to perform this mission, after which he was ordered to return to Pensacola. But instead of obeying this directive, Sanders and his men made their way into the Forks of the Creek Swamp near Campbellton, where they hid out and waited for an opportunity to attack the small town of Newton, which was then the county seat of Dale County. Sanders knew that the courthouse there contained records of his former Confederate service (and those of other men in his unit), and he apparently wished to destroy them.

Feb. 25, 1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, Calif. discovered what is now called the Calaveras Skull, human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons and elephants had co-existed.

Feb. 25, 1900 – Around 4:05 a.m., a northbound “double-header” train loaded with Mardi Gras revelers derailed due to damaged rail switch north of Flomaton, Ala. Fireman Sol Abner was crushed to death during the incident as he tried to jump between the two engines. Engineer Henry Copeland was only slightly injured.

Feb. 25, 1913 - The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized a graduated income tax.

Feb. 25, 1914 – It snowed in Monroeville and Jeddo in Monroe County, Ala.

Feb. 25, 1917 – English novelist Anthony Burgess was born in Manchester, England. He would publish “A Clockwork Orange” in 1962.

Feb. 25, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. John C. Sawyer of Roy (present-day Frisco City, Ala.) “died from disease.”

Feb. 25, 1919 – Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin was born in Haleburg, Ala. in Henry County near Dothan. He grew up in Orange, N.J. and went on to play for the New York Giants and the Chicago Cubs.

Feb. 25, 1930 – In Lovecraftian fiction, all of the inhabitants of Stillwater, Manitoba disappeared and only one body from the town was ever found. The town first appeared in 1933’s “The Thing That Walked on the Wind” by August Derleth.

Feb. 25, 1932 – Adolf Hitler obtained German citizenship by naturalization, which allowed him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

Feb. 25, 1937 – Evergreen High School’s boys and girls basketball teams played Lyeffion in Lyeffion, Ala.

Feb. 25, 1937 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the fund for erecting a memorial marker over the grave of Philip “Old Phil” Samuel was “progressing rapidly” with contributions coming in from four different states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana. The article described Samuel as an “aged Evergreen eccentric.”

Feb. 25, 1939 – Major League Baseball pitcher Denny Lemaster was born in Corona, Calif. He would go on to play for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, the Houston Astros and the Montreal Expos.

Feb. 25, 1940 – Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Ron Santo was born in Seattle, Wash. He would go on to play for the Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox.

Feb. 25, 1942 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Carl Eller was born in Winston-Salem, N.C. He would go on to play for the Minnesota Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks.

Feb. 25, 1951 – Major League Baseball center fielder Cesar Cedeno was born in Santo Domingo, Domician Republic. He would go on to play for the Houston Astros, the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Feb. 25, 1957 - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 6-3, that baseball was the only professional sport exempt from antitrust laws.

Feb. 25, 1958 – The Washington Senators traded Mobile, Alabama’s Milt Bolling to the Cleveland Indians for Pete Mesa. It didn't work out, however, as a month later the Indians swapped him with the Detroit Tigers for Pete Wojey and $20,000. He became teammates with his brother, Frank Bolling, a five-year veteran for the Tigers as their starting second baseman.

Feb. 25, 1960 - Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “Toys in the Attic” opened on Broadway.

Feb. 25, 1969 – Army SFC James Kenneth Sutton of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.

Feb. 25, 1985 – Troy State University athletic trainer Marshall Smith was the guest speaker at the Evergreen High School Quarterback Club meeting, which began at 7 p.m. in the Old Armory behind the school. He presented a program on knees, knee injuries and knee braces.

Feb. 25, 1987 – Southern Methodist University's football program became the first college football program to receive the death penalty by the NCAA's Committee on Infractions. It was revealed that athletic officials and school administrators had knowledge of a "slush fund" used to make illegal payments to the school's football players as far back as 1981.

Feb. 25, 1989 - Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, fired head coach Tom Landry after a 29-year career.

Feb. 25, 1990 - The television program “Far Below,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was broadcast as part of the “Monsters” series.

Feb. 25, 1991 – During the Gulf War, an Iraqi scud missile hit an American military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia killing 28 U.S. Army Reservists from Pennsylvania.

Feb. 25, 1995 - Major league baseball announced that regular season games would be played in Hawaii for the first time.

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