|William Rufus King|
March 24, 1664 - A charter to colonize Rhode Island was granted to Roger Williams in London.
March 24, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne examined Rebecca Nurse and Dorothy Good.
March 24, 1755 – Rufus King, one of the signers of the U.S. Constitution, was born in Scarborough, Mass. (now Maine).
March 24, 1765 – During the American Revolution, the British Parliament passed the Quartering Act, which required the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops. The act also required the American colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings and outlined the conditions and locations in which British soldiers were to find room and board in the American colonies.
March 24, 1824 – William Weatherford (Red Eagle) died at his plantation in Baldwin County. (Some sources say he died on March 4, 1824.)
March 24, 1832 - In Washington, D.C., representatives of the Creek Indians signed a treaty ceding "to the United States all their land, East of the Mississippi," which included large portions of east Alabama. Known as the Treaty of Cusseta, it was negotiated in the wake of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Approximately 20,000 Creeks were removed to the Oklahoma Indian Territory by 1840, although some remained, including the ancestors of the Poarch Band of Creeks, who are concentrated near Atmore, Alabama.
March 24, 1834 – John Wesley Powell, a U.S. soldier, geologist and explorer of American West, was born in Mount Morris, N.Y. He is famous for the 1869 Powell Geographic Expedition, a three-month river trip down the Green and Colorado rivers, including the first known passage by Europeans through the Grand Canyon.
March 24, 1853 - William Rufus King of Selma was inaugurated as Vice President of the United States near Havana, Cuba. Elected the previous fall on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Pierce, King had been in the warm Cuban climate since January in an attempt to recover his failing health. When it became apparent that he would be unable to travel to Washington for the inauguration, Congress passed a special act to allow him to take the oath of office in Cuba. When his health did not improve, King returned to Alabama, where he died April 18, 1853, never formally serving as Vice President.
March 24, 1854 – Slavery was abolished in Venezuela.
March 24, 1862 - Abolitionist orator Wendell Phillips was booed while attempting to give a lecture in Cincinnati, Ohio. The angry crowd was opposed to fighting for the freedom of slaves, as Phillips advocated. He was pelted with rocks and eggs before friends whisked him away when a small riot broke out. The incident demonstrated the fierce resistance that existed in the Northern states to the proposition of fighting a war to free the slaves.
March 24, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Dannelly’s Mill, Ala.
March 24, 1865 – Spurling’s Raid continued in Conecuh County, Ala. as Union trooped destroyed the railroad at Gravella/Owassa. Evergreen and Sparta were also attacked on this day, and Willie McCreary of Belleville was taken prisoner.
March 24, 1874 – Magician and escape artist Harry Houdini, who was also a Freemason, was born in Budapest, Austria-Hungary.
March 24, 1886 – Walter Taylor, one of the founders of the United Methodist Church in Jackson, Ala., passed away at the age of 69. He built the Taylor House in Jackson around 1841 and it was moved to Leroy in 1985.
March 24, 1893 – Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler was born in Manchester, Ohio. He would go on to play for the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators and the Boston Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.
March 24, 1894 – Outlaw Wyatt Tate killed constable William Ikner, who was trying to serve process on Tate. In response to the killing, Monroe County, Ala. Sheriff J.D. Foster organized a posse to capture Tate and proceeded to his home on April 3. Foster assured Tate of protection, but instead of surrendering, Tate escaped through a trapdoor, ambushed Foster and shot him. Foster died a few hours later. Tate, who was considered heavily armed, remained at large with a high reward on his head until May 12 when he was found at the “Marshall place” near Finchburg and killed by Murdoch M. Fountain. I.B. Slaughter was appointed to fulfill the remainder of Foster’s term, and former Sheriff J.S. Harrengton was made his chief deputy.
March 24, 1896 – A. S. Popov made the first radio signal transmission in history.
March 24, 1905 – Jules Verne, the “Father of Science Fiction,” passed away at the age of 77 in Amiens, France.
March 24, 1914 - The movie “The Peacock Feather Fan,” screenplay written by Alabama author Marie Stanley under her maiden name Marie Layet, was released.
March 24, 1915 – Former North Carolina governor Robert Broadnax Glenn spoke on “behalf of the prohibition cause” at 2 p.m. at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. Glenn was the 51st Governor of North Carolina, serving from 1905 to 1909.
March 24, 1915 – Monroe County, Ala. Circuit Court adjourned. The case of the State vs. J.R. Bailey, charged with murder, resulted in an acquittal. This case was tried more than a year before and resulted in conviction and a five-year sentence. The defendant appealed, and the case was reversed by the supreme court.
March 24, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Claud Franklin of Brewton, Ala. “died from disease.”
March 24, 1919 – Poet and bookseller Lawrence Ferlinghetti was born in Bronxville, N.Y. Ferlinghetti’s books include “A Coney Island of the Mind” (1958), “The Secret Meaning of Things” (1969), “A Far Rockaway of the Heart” (1997), and “Time of Useful Consciousness” (2012).
March 24, 1932 - Belle Baker hosted a radio variety show from a moving train. It was the first radio broadcast from a train.
March 24, 1937 – Award winning pilot and author of “The Spirit’s Journey,” David McKenzie born in Linden, Ala.
March 24, 1944 – Retired U.S. Marine Corps drill instructor and actor R. Lee Ermey was born in Emporia, Kansas. He is best known for his role as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket,” which earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
March 24, 1955 - Tennessee Williams' play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" debuted on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre, two days before Williams’s 44th birthday. The play earned Williams his second Pulitzer Prize for drama.
March 24, 1960 - A U.S. appeals court ruled that the novel, "Lady Chatterly’s Lover" by D.H. Lawrence, was not obscene and could be sent through the mail.
March 24, 1962 – Edward Brian McCleary and four friends were reportedly attacked by a sea serpent while diving near the ruins of the sunken Massachusetts in Pensacola Bay, Fla. McCleary was the long survivor, and his tale was retold in the May 1965 issue of Fate Magazine.
March 24, 1962 – Swiss physicist, inventor and explorer Auguste Piccard passed away at the age of 78 in Lausanne, Switzerland.
March 24, 1976 – NFL quarterback Peyton Manning was born in New Orleans, La. He would go on to play for Tennessee, the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos.
March 24, 1985 - A naturally occurring pocket of methane gas in the La Brea tarpits area of Los Angeles exploded, injuring 21 patrons of a nearby Ross Dress For Less store.
March 24, 1995 – The Grove Hill Courthouse Square Historic District added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. (Boundaries are roughly Cobb, Court, Jackson and Main Streets.)
March 24, 1995 – Mount Zion School in Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
March 24, 1997 - Alabama journalist and author Lael Tucker Wertenbaker died in Keene, N.H.
March 24, 1998 - A former FBI agent said papers found in James Earl Ray's car supported a conspiracy theory in the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
March 24, 2003 – The Arab League voted, 21–1, in favor of a resolution demanding the immediate and unconditional removal of U.S. and British soldiers from Iraq.
March 24, 2009 – Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman George Kell passed away at the age of 86 in Swifton, Ark. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Detroit Tigers, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.