Thursday, March 26, 2015

Today in History for March 26, 2015

Original Boston Gazette 'gerrymander' cartoon.
March 26, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, John Hathorne, Jonathan Corwin and Rev. John Higginson question Dorothy Good, now in jail.

March 26, 1776 - The Provincial Congress of South Carolina approved a new constitution. The legislature renamed itself the General Assembly of South Carolina and elected John Rutledge as president, Henry Laurens as vice president and William Henry Drayton as chief justice.

March 26, 1780 - The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor was published for the first time. It was the first Sunday newspaper in Britain.

March 26, 1804 - The U.S. Congress ordered the removal of Indians east of the Mississippi to Louisiana.

March 26, 1804 - The Louisiana Purchase was divided into the District of Louisiana and the Territory of Orleans.

March 26, 1812 – A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

March 26 ,1818 – William Wyatt Bibb, governor of the Alabama territory, sent a letter to Big Warrior at Coosada, a village north of Montgomery. The letter reported that “on Friday night, the thirteenth of this month, a family consisting of men, women and children, while sitting peacefully around their fire on the Federal Road about 65 miles this side of Claiborne, was attacked by a party of red men and eight killed. The next Friday, five men riding quietly along the road in the same neighborhood were fired on, three killed and one badly wounded.”

March 26, 1827 - Composer Ludwig van Beethoven passed away at the age of 56 in Vienna.

March 26, 1830 – The Book of Mormon was published in Palmyra, New York.

March 26, 1859 - Poet and classical scholar A.E. Housman was born in Fockbury, Worcestershire, England. He only published two books of poetry during his lifetime, but one of those was the 63-poem cycle “A Shropshire Lad” (1896). It includes the lines “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now / Is hung with bloom along the bough, / And stands about the woodland ride / Wearing white for Eastertide.”

March 26, 1864 - General James B. McPherson assumed command of the Union Army of the Tennessee. William T. Sherman had been elevated to commander of the Division of the Mississippi.

March 26, 1865 – Lt. Col. Andrew Barclay Spurling’s Union troops reached Pollard, in present-day Escambia County, Ala., around 6 p.m. Between Sparta and Pollard, Spurling captured 20 prisoners in skirmishes and reached Pollard without losing a single man.

March 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Muddy Creek, Ala. Muddy Creek was listed on a period map as being south of Bon Secour along what is the present day intercoastal canal. A skirmish was also fought in the vicinity of Spanish Fort, Ala.

March 26, 1874 – Poet Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, Calif. He would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times.

March 26, 1897 – The “Money Pit” at Oak Island claimed its second victim when Maynard Kaiser, a worker, fell to his death.

March 26, 1910 - Orville Wright piloted the first plane in Alabama, causing the Montgomery Advertiser to report “a strange new bird soared over the cotton fields west of Montgomery.” The Wright brothers came to Montgomery to set up a pilots’ training school. Several pilots were trained, but the brothers left the area by the end of May. Replacement parts for broken machinery were difficult to locate in the area and the flyers' efforts were frustrated by numerous spectators during their stay.

March 26, 1911 - Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, Miss. He would go on to write more than 24 full-length plays, including Pulitzer Prize-winners “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947) and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1955).

March 26, 1914 – The Evergreen Courant reported that “a northern gentleman, who is spending some time in Evergreen, says he saw the first shot fired on Fort Sumter.”

March 26, 1916 - A movie version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “Audrey” was released.

March 26, 1920 – “This Side of Paradise” was published, launching 23-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald to fame and fortune.

March 26, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Lone Babies” was released.

March 26, 1931 - Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston, Mass. He was best known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise.

March 26, 1942 – Novelist and poet Erica Jong was born in New York City. She is best known for her 1973 novel, “Fear of Flying.”

March 26, 1943 – Investigative journalist and non-fiction author Bob Woodward was born in Geneva, Ill.

March 26, 1945 – Pfc. Elly Cowart Jr., 25, of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in Germany while crossing the Rhine River. He is buried in Witherington Cemetery in Conecuh County.

March 26, 1960 – “Wild River,” a movie version of Alabama author Borden Deal's book “Dunbar's Cove” and Alabama author William Bradford Huie's book “Mud on the Stars,” was released.

March 26, 1960 – NFL running back and fullback Marcus Allen was born in San Diego, Calif. He would go on to play for the USC, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

March 26, 1964 – Evergreen High School’s Athletic Booster Club held the school’s annual “All Sports Banquet” in the school’s lunchroom. Coach Tom Jones of Lee High School in Montgomery was the invited guest speaker. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of letters by John Law Robinson and Henry Allman.

March 26, 1965 - A young truck driver, delivering a load of bananas to Scranton, Pa. lost control of his vehicle, and careened into town at 90 miles an hour, spilling bananas all along the way. The incident, which unfortunately ended in the driver's death, inspired the Harry Chapin song, “30,000 Pounds of Bananas.”

March 26, 1973 – Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler passed away at the age of 80 in Richmond Heights, Missouri. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators and the Boston Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.

March 26, 1982 – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was held in Washington, D.C..

March 26, 1997 - The 39 bodies of Heaven's Gate members are found in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. The group had committed suicide thinking that they would be picked up by a spaceship following behind the comet Hale-Bopp.

March 26, 1998 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a North Carolina family had hired the Jones Company, a private investigation firm in Asheville, to held find Betty Lou Dougherty, 57, of Asheville, whose car was found in Conecuh County in February 1998.

March 26, 2000 - The Seattle Kingdome was imploded to make room for a new football arena.

March 26, 2005 - William E. Molett passed away and is buried in West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis. He graduated from the State Secondary Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala. and then joined the military, became a master navigator, recorded 6,000 hours as an aircraft navigator, including 91 flights over the North Pole. He also taught polar aviation for three years and returned as a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. In 1996, he wrote a book called “Robert Peary and Matthew Henson at the North Pole.”

March 26, 2014 - The National Labor Relations Board ruled that college football players at Northwestern University could unionize.

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