|William Jennings Bryan in 1902|
March 19, 1590 - William Bradford, the founder and governor of the Plymouth Colony, was born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England.
March 19, 1628 - The Massachusetts colony was founded by Englishmen.
March 19, 1687 – French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, or Robert de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, was murdered by his own men near present-day Huntsville, Texas. He was 43 years old.
March 19, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Abigail Williams denounced Rebecca Nurse as a witch.
March 19, 1734 - Thomas McKean was born in Chester County, Pa. He served as president of the state of Delaware, president of the U.S. Congress under the Articles of Confederation and chief justice of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.
March 19, 1809 – Russian writer Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol was born in Great Sorochintsy, Ukraine. His works include “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka” (1831) and “The Government Inspector” (1836).
March 19, 1813 – Scottish explorer and medical missionary David Livingston was born in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland.
March 19, 1819 – The Selma Land Company was formed by George Caleb Tate.
March 19, 1821 – Sir Richard Francis Burton was born at 9:30 p.m. to Captain Joseph Netterville Burton and Martha Baker Burton in Torquay, Devon, England. He would grow up to be an English geographer, explorer, translator, writer, soldier and all-around adventurer. His books include “A Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Al-Medinah and Meccah” (1855), and he wrote the definitive English translation of “A Thousand Nights and a Night,” which is mostly commonly referred to as “The Arabian Nights.”
March 19, 1822 - The city of Boston, Mass. was incorporated.
March 19, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Savannah, Georgia.
March 19, 1831 - The first reported bank robbery in U.S. history occurred at the City Bank at 52 Wall Street in New York City. Using a set of duplicate keys, shoe salesman Edward Smith committed the robbery and stole $245,000 in bank notes and Spanish doubloons.
March 19, 1848 - Wyatt Earp was born in Monmouth, Warren County, Illinois. He would grow up to become a gambler, sheriff and Deputy Town Marshal of Tombstone, Az., where he took part in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
March 19, 1860 – U.S. politician William Jennings Bryan was born in Salem, Ill. On April 8, 1918, Bryan, a famed orator, congressman, three-time Democratic Presidential nominee, spoke at the Old Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. in favor of national prohibition.
March 19, 1863 – The SS Georgiana, said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was destroyed on her maiden voyage with a cargo of munitions, medicines and merchandise then valued at over $1,000,000.
March 19, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Bentonville began in Johnston County, N.C. Union General William T. Sherman defeated Confederate General Joseph Johnston in the battle, and by the end of the battle two days later, Confederate forces had retreated from Four Oaks, North Carolina. The Union lost 194 men killed, 1,112 wounded, and 221 missing, while the Confederates lost some 240 killed, 1,700 wounded, and 1,500 missing.
March 19, 1865 – Lt. Col. Andrew B. Spurling led his forces out of Ft. Barrancus in Florida and moved them to the east side of Blackwater Bay, completing the move by March 21 thanks to help from the steamer, Metamoras. Advanced elements of Spurling’s troops reached Milton, Fla. on March 19.
March 19, 1894 – Comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley was born in Brevard, N.C.
March 19, 1900 - Archeologist Arthur John Evans began the excavation of Knossos Palace in Greece.
March 19, 1905 - French explorer S. de Segonzac was taken prisoner by Moroccans.
March 19, 1914 - Editor and author Thomas Cooper De Leon died in Mobile, Ala.
March 19, 1918 – The U.S. Congress established time zones and approved daylight saving time.
Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. in favor of national prohibition.
March 19, 1919 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Ralph McCreary had reached home during the past week from France, where he’d landed in October, but too late to see active service at the front. McCreary said that “the Huns knew his outfit was about to get in the mixup and they were anxious for the armistice before that happened.”
March 19, 1927 – Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder Richie Ashburn was born in Tilden, Neb. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs and the New York Mets. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995.
March 19, 1933 – Novelist Philip Roth was born in Newark, New Jersey. His first book, “Goodbye Columbus,” won the National Book Award, and his book “Portnoy’s Complaint” was the best-selling book of 1969.
March 19, 1935 – Lester and Bob Atkinson of Andalusia unearthed 113 rare, old coins, including a $5 gold piece, in an old corn field near River Falls. Some of the coins dated from as far back as 1600.
March 19, 1945 – During World War II, Adolf Hitler issued his "Nero Decree," ordering all industries, military installations, shops, transportation facilities and communications facilities in Germany to be destroyed before they could fall into Allied hands as German forces were retreating.
March 19, 1945 - The commander of the German Home Army, Gen. Friedrich Fromm, was shot by a firing squad for his part in the July plot to assassinate the Fuhrer. The fact that Fromm’s participation was half-hearted did not save him.
March 19, 1950 - Author James Redfield was born near Birmingham, Ala.
March 19, 1953 – Army PFC James P. Westry of Wilcox County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.
March 19, 1953 - Tennessee Williams' "Camino Real" premiered in New York City.
March 19, 1954 - A judge issued an injunction calling for Wilhelm Reich’s orgone energy accumulators to be destroyed and the banning of Reich's books containing statements about this energy. Reich was a psychiatrist and scientist who believed he'd discovered a form of energy, which he called "orgone."
March 19, 1962 – Highly influential artist, Bob Dylan released his first album, “Bob Dylan,” on Columbia Records label.
March 19, 1964 – The Evergreen Courant reported that John Nielsen had been named Evergreen’s Outstanding Young Man of the Year by the Evergreen Jaycees. Nielsen was an executive at Knud Nielsen Co. and was extremely active in civic and church affairs. He was also the vice-president and president-elect of the Rotary Club, Republican Chairman of Conecuh County and deacon of Evergreen Baptist Church.
March 19, 1964 - Sean Connery began shooting his role in the James Bond movie "Goldfinger."
March 19, 1965 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000 and said to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser, was discovered by teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence, exactly 102 years after its destruction.
March 19, 1991 - NFL owners voted to take the 1993 Super Bowl away from the city of Phoenix because Arizona didn't recognize Martin Luther King Day.
March 19, 2003 - U.S. President George W. Bush announced that U.S. forces had launched a strike against "targets of military opportunity" in Iraq. The attack, using cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs, were aimed at Iraqi leaders thought to be near Baghdad.
March 19, 2010 – The Wiley Estis Cemetery and the Willis Estis Cemetery in Clarke County, Ala. were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
March 19, 2013 – The Bear Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.