Monday, March 2, 2015

Today in History for March 2, 2015

General Earl Van Dorn
March 2, 1498 – Vasco da Gama's fleet visited the Island of Mozambique.

March 2, 1770 - British soldiers and Bostonian laborers fought at John Hancock's wharf. The soldiers were confined to their barracks after the incident.

March 2, 1776 - General George Washington ordered artillery forces to begin bombarding Boston from their positions at Lechmere Point.

March 2, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, Patriot militia units arrested the Royal Governor of Georgia James Wright and attempted to prevent the capture of supply ships in the Battle of the Rice Boats.

March 2, 1793 - Sam Houston, the first President of the Republic of Texas, was born in Rockbridge County, Va.

March 2, 1807 – The U.S. Congress passed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves, disallowing the importation of new slaves into the country. The act prohibited “the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States... from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.”

March 2, 1819 - President James Monroe signed the Alabama enabling act.

March 2-3, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette stayed in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was reunited with Colonel William Polk who had fought beside him at the Battle of Brandywine where both had been wounded.

March 2, 1836 - The siege at the Alamo continued. Unbeknownst to defenders of the Alamo, the provisional Texas government at Washington-on-the-Brazos declared independence from Mexico.

March 2, 1836 - Texas declared its independence from Mexico and an ad interim government was formed.

March 2, 1855 - Congress appropriated $30,000 on this day to install camels in the American Southwest, as part of the U.S. Army. Though they proved successful as pack animals, after the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, the camels became all but forgotten about.

March 2, 1861 - The U.S. Congress created the Territory of Nevada.

March 2, 1862 - The Confederate forces under General Ben McCulloch, General Earl Van Dorn and General Sterling Price joined together in preparation to advance on Union General Samuel Curtis' army.

March 2, 1864 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation began between Larkin’s Landing and Guntersville, Ala.

March 2, 1865 - Union General George Custer's troops defeated Confederate General Jubal Early's forces at the Battle of Waynesboro, Virginia. The battle brought an end to fighting in the Shenandoah Valley.

March 2, 1867 - The United States Congress passed the First Reconstruction Act, which divided the South into five military districts.

March 2, 1871 - James Osgood Andrew passed away in Mobile at the age of 76. He was the first native of Georgia to enter the Methodist ministry, and the Andrews Chapel in McIntosh, Ala. was named in his honor.

March 2, 1877 – Just two days before his inauguration, the U.S. Congress declared Rutherford B. Hayes the winner of the 1876 election even though Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote on Nov. 7, 1876.

March 2, 1899 - Mount Rainier National Park in Washington was established by the U.S. Congress.

March 2, 1900 - – Astronomer Morris K. Jessup, the author of “The Case for the UFO,” was born near Rockville, Indiana. He was heavily involved in early research of the “Philadelphia Experiment.”

March 2, 1901 - Trustees of the Alabama Department of Archives and History met in Gov. William J. Samford's office to organize the nation's first state archival agency. Charged with, among other responsibilities, "the care and custody of official archives [and] the collection of materials bearing upon the history of the State," the department was housed in the capitol until 1940. In that year it moved across Washington Avenue to the War Memorial Building, which had been constructed for the Archives.

March 2, 1904 - The "Official Playing Rules of Professional Base Ball Clubs" were adopted.

March 2, 1904 – Theodor Geisel, also known as “Dr. Seuss,” was born in Springfield, Mass. His most famous books included “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” (1937), “The Cat in the Hat” (1957) and “Green Eggs and Ham” (1960).

March 2, 1915 - The Monroeville, Ala. Lodge of the Knights of Pythias held a meeting under special permit for the election of officers. The former officers were elected for a semi-annual term.

March 2, 1925 - State and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker.

March 2, 1927 - Babe Ruth signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees worth $70,000 a year.

March 2, 1931 – Journalist and novelist Tom Wolfe was born in Richmond, Va. His most famous books include “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Flake Streamline Baby” (1965), “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” (1968), “The Right Stuff” (1979) and “The Bonfire of the Vanities” (1987).

March 2, 1933 – The film “King Kong” opened at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

March 2, 1935 – Confederate officer Thomas Mercer Riley died and was buried at Turnbull Cemetery near Riley Crossing in Monroe County, Ala. He was born on July 2, 1840 at Turnbull in Monroe County. He enlisted in the Monroe Guards on March 15, 1861 and served as 2nd Captain. He enlisted in the 5th Alabama on May 13, 1861 and was elected 2nd Lt. He was appointed a 1st Lt. by the State of Alabama on Oct. 13, 1861. Co. D, 5th Alabama reorganized and became Co. C, 5th Alabama on April 27, 1862 and he was named captain on that date. He was wounded on June 2, 1864 and sent home on a 30-day furlough. He commanded Co. C, 5th Alabama and assumed command of the entire regiment during the battle. He surrendered the regiment at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865. After the war, he averted a financial disaster within Monroe County in his position as head of the Bank of Beatrice. The post-war Riley home stands today just north of Riley Crossing on the west side of State Highway 21.

March 2, 1936 – The Clarke-Washington Electric Membership Corporation was organized by some 83 members from Clarke and Washington counties. This was the first rural electrical co-op organized in state under an executive order signed by Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1935.

March 2, 1942 – Novelist John Irving was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. His most famous books include “The World According to Garp” (1978), “The Cider House Rules” (1978) and “A Prayer for Owen Meany” (1989).

March 2, 1950 – The J.U. Blacksher High School building at Uriah, Ala. burned.

March 2, 1961 - President John F. Kennedy appointed Red Level, Ala. native Dr. Luther Leonidas Terry U. S. Surgeon General. Terry was born in Red Level in 1911 and graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1931. As Surgeon General he issued a landmark report on smoking and health that raised awareness among policymakers and the public about the dangers of smoking. The report, “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States,” was released on Jan. 11, 1964 and concluded that lung cancer and chronic bronchitis are causally related to cigarette smoking. Terry served as Surgeon General until Oct. 1, 1965.

March 2, 1972 – A tornado struck Evergreen, Ala. and demolished a lumber shed at the Conecuh Lumber Co. and a number of other buildings. No injuries were reported.

March 2, 1982 – NFL quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was born in Lima, Ohio. He would go on to play for Miami (Ohio) and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

March 2, 1985 – NFL running back Reggie Bush was born in Spring Valley, Calif. He would go on to play for Southern Cal, the New Orleans Saints, the Miami Dolphins and the Detroit Lions.

March 2, 1991 – The Battle at Rumaila Oil Field brought an end to the 1991 Gulf War.

March 2, 1992 - Ryne Sandberg signed a five-year contract with the Chicago Cubs worth $30.5 million.

March 2, 2004 - The Indianapolis Colts signed Peyton Manning to a seven-year, $98-million deal with a $34.5 million signing bonus. It was the largest package to date in the NFL.

March 2, 2004 – During the War in Iraq, Al-Qaeda carried out the Ashoura Massacre in Iraq, killing 170 and wounding over 500.

March 2, 2011 – The James Landing Cemetery in Clarke County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

March 2, 2011 – The Lamb Cemetery and the James Whitley Family Cemetery in Butler County, Ala. were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

March 2, 2012 – The Yancey-Crane Cemetery in Baldwin County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register. 

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