Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Today in History for Feb. 3, 2015

Baron von Steuben
Feb. 3, 1488 – Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias (Diaz) of Portugal landed in Mossel Bay on the southern extremity of Africa after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.

Feb. 3, 1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issued the first paper money in the Americas. The currency was used to pay soldiers that were fighting in the war against Quebec.

Feb. 3, 1781 – During the American Revolutionary War, British forces seized the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.

Feb. 3, 1781 - American General Nathanael Greene wrote to Baron von Steuben in which he observed that the Patriot’s "distribution of publick stores is enough to ruin a nation."

Feb. 3, 1781 - American General Nathanael Greene and his troops successfully crossed the Yadkin River to evade General Charles Cornwallis. Cornwallis was forced to march his men to the "Shallow Ford" due to high water and did not finish crossing the Yadkin until the morning of the February 7.

Feb. 3, 1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States.

Feb. 3, 1787 – Militia led by General Benjamin Lincoln crushed the remnants of Shays' Rebellion in Petersham, Mass.

Feb. 3, 1809 – The Territory of Illinois was created by the 10th United States Congress.

Feb. 3, 1811 – Newspaper magnate and politician Horace Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire.

Feb. 3, 1836 – William Barrett Travis, who lived in the early Alabama towns of Sparta and Claiborne, arrived at the Alamo with 18 men.

Feb. 3, 1842 - Alabama author Sidney Lanier was born in Macon, Ga.

Feb. 3, 1857 – Early Conecuh County, Ala. teacher, lawyer and judge Henry Franklin Stearns died at Claiborne, Ala.

Feb. 3, 1862 - Thomas Edison printed the "Weekly Herald" and distributed it to train passengers traveling between Port Huron and Detroit, Mich. It was the first time a newspaper had been printed on a train.

Feb. 3, 1865 - In Hampton Roads, Va., a peace conference between U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens took place. The conference ended in failure within just hours after Lincoln refused to grant the delegation any concessions.

Feb. 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, the first of what would be two days of skirmishing began at Ladd’s House, Jog Jaw Valley, Ala.

Feb. 3, 1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to citizens regardless of race.

Feb. 3, 1876 - Albert Spalding and his brother started a sporting goods store. They manufactured the first official baseball, tennis ball, basketball, golf ball and football.

Feb. 3, 1894 – Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell was born in New York City.

Feb. 3, 1912 - Professional football set some new rules. The field was shortened to 100 yards, touchdowns were to be worth six points instead of five, four downs would be allowed instead of three and the kickoff was moved from midfield to the 40 yard line.

Feb. 3, 1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.

Feb. 3, 1915 – Wade Brownlow, a convict on the Conecuh County, Ala. road crew, attempted suicide on this morning by stabbing himself on the left side of his chest with a table fork. “The wound was not as serious as was at first thought and after a few days he was able to go to work again,” according to The Evergreen Courant.

Feb. 3, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant, under the headline “Baby Abandoned in Hotel,” reported that “a baby found in a room at the Sewell Hotel on Saturday morning has created more talk in Evergreen than the war across the water. On Friday night a man and a woman went to the hotel at a late hour and sought lodging, which they obtained. They came on train No. 3 and asked to be called for train No. 2, which was done. They were known to have a baby when they arrived and it was naturally supposed they took it away with them. But they did not, for some time during the morning, Mrs. Stephens went into the room which the couple had occupied and to her surprise and astonishment she beheld the form of a pretty little girl baby apparently about four weeks old. The news of the strange find spread over town and it was not long before everybody in town knew about the little stranger and many were curious enough to go up into the hotel to see it. It was on her hands and it must not be neglected, so Mrs. Stephens in a motherly way prepared and gave it nourishment and made it comfortable. On a slip of paper pinned to its clothing was instructions to deliver the child to the Baptist Orphans Home, but the institution could not accept it. This was no hindrance to get someone to care for it, however, as applications came thick and fast from the best of families for the custody of the little one. But Mr. Stephens got a clue as to the identity of the persons who left it on his hands and went to work to locate them. They were soon located in Butler County and Sheriff (A.A.) Williams went up on Sunday afternoon to Greenville and out in the country where they lived and caused the couple to return here yesterday to answer the charge of abandonment. They gave their names as Wm. Steen and wife. The child was given by them to the custody of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Skinner of Belleville and the unnatural parents left on the afternoon train for their home. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner are very proud of their new possession."

Feb. 3, 1920 – Robert Long of Evergreen, Ala. left for his semi-annual trip to New York and other eastern markets to purchase the spring and summer stock for his firm, I. Long & sons. He was accompanied by Althea Burke and Miss Diaz, who were to help Long select ladies goods for his store.

Feb. 3, 1924 - The 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died at the age of 67 in Washington, D.C.

Feb. 3, 1927 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill that created the Federal Radio Commission.

Feb. 3, 1940 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton was born in Richmond, Va. He would go on to play for the University of Georgia, the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants.

Feb. 3, 1947 – The lowest temperature in North America, −63.9 °C (−83.0 °F), was recorded in Snag, Yukon.

Feb. 3, 1951 - The Tennessee Williams play, "The Rose Tattoo," opened on Broadway in New York.

Feb. 3, 1957 - A television version of Alabama author Borden Deal's story "A Bottle of Wine" was broadcast as part of the “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” series.

Feb. 3, 1966 - The unmanned Soviet Luna spacecraft made the first controlled landing on the moon.

Feb. 3, 1979 - The Minnesota Twins traded Rod Carew to California for four players.

Feb. 3, 1982 - John Sharples of England finished a 371-hour marathon of disco dancing.

Feb. 3, 1984 – The Old Federal Road Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in Monroe County, Ala.

Feb. 3, 1990 - Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets voluntarily entered an alcohol rehab center.

Feb. 3, 2001 - The XFL debuted. The Las Vegas Outlaws beat the New York-New Jersey Hitmen, 19-0, and the Orlando Rage beat the Chicago Enforcers, 33-29.

Feb. 3, 2002 - The New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI, 20-17, over the heavily favored Los Angeles Rams. It was the first Super Bowl win for the Patriots. The game ended with a last second, 48-yard field goal by Patriots’ kicker Adam Vinatieri. Britney Spears performed the national anthem.

Feb. 3, 2008 - The New York Giants stunned the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, by beating them 17-14 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Az.

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