Sunday, April 19, 2015

Today in History for April 19, 2015

Captain James Cook
April 19, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Giles Corey and Mary Warren were examined. Deliverance Hobbs confessed to practicing witchcraft. Mary Warren reversed her statement made in early April and rejoined the accusers.

April 19, 1764 - The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.

April 19, 1770 - Captain James Cook, who at the time held the rank of lieutenant, sighted the eastern coast of what is now Australia and is credited with discovering New South Wales, Australia. Cook originally named the land Point Hicks.

April 19, 1775 – The American Revolutionary War began with an American victory in Concord during the battles of Lexington and Concord. The first shots of the war were fired when British regulars encountered a group of American militiamen at Lexington.

April 19, 1782 – John Adams secured the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy.

April 19, 1802 - The Spanish reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.

April 19, 1840 – Confederate solider Joseph Franklyn Watson was born in Wilcox County, Ala. He was taken prisoner at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863 and forwarded to Point Lookout, Md. He was paroled on Feb. 14, 1865. He died in Brewton on June 18, 1926 and was buried in Union Cemetery in Brewton.

April 19, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Baltimore riot of 1861 occurred as a pro-Secession mob in Baltimore attacked United States Army troops marching through the city. Four Union soldiers and nine civilians were killed.

April 19, 1861 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation of Blockade against southern ports. The blockade kept the rural South from being able to stay well supplied for the duration of the war.

April 19, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Dickson Station, Ala.

April 19, 1864 – A Confederate operation against Unionists began in Marion County, Ala.

April 19, 1865 – The funeral service for Abraham Lincoln was held in the East Room of the White House. His body then began a two-week journey back to his hometown of Springfield, Illinois.

April 19, 1897 - The first Boston Marathon was held. It was the first race of its type in the U.S. John J. McDermott of New York won with a time of 2:55:10.

April 19, 1899 - Author James Saxon Childers was born in Birmingham, Ala.

April 19, 1904 – J.B. Barnett Sr. opened Monroe County Bank for the first time on the ground floor of the old pre-Civil War courthouse, between two present day courthouses in Monroeville, Ala. The bank moved to southwest corner of the square in 1909.

April 19, 1909 – The Rev. S.O.Y. Ray, the newly elected financial secretary of the Orphans Home in Evergreen, Ala., delivered a sermon at the Baptist Church.

April 19, 1914 – Around 3:30 a.m. (on a Sunday morning), a wood frame house belonging to Mrs. C.S. Rabb on Perryman Street near the cemetery in Evergreen, Ala. caught fire and burned down. Flames spread quickly and the home’s occupants barely escaped with their lives, all contents were destroyed, building a total loss.

April 19, 1915 – Castleberry, Ala. Mayor J.M. Thomas visited Evergreen on business.

April 19, 1927 – The Greenville (Ala.) Grammar School was “gutted by fire” early on this Sunday morning. Nearly 400 students attended the school, which was located on Commerce Street, between Church and Pine Streets. The cause of the fire was unknown.

April 19, 1927 – Actress Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in prison for her role in the play “Sex,” which she also wrote and directed.

April 19, 1931 – Poet Etheridge Knight was born in Corinth, Miss.

April 19, 1939 - Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.

April 19, 1949 – The fourth annual Conecuh County Fat Calf Show was held in Evergreen, Ala.

April 19, 1957 – Wayne Davis, a small boy from New Brunswick, N.J who was visiting his grandparents near Evergreen, Ala., was killed on this night when he ran into the path of a car 5.3 miles north of Evergreen on Highway 83.

April 19, 1958 - The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played the first Major League Baseball game on the West Coast. This was also the first game in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

April 19, 1959 – Astronomer Morris K. Jessup contacted Dr. Manson Valentine and arranged to meet with him the next day, claiming to have made a breakthrough regarding an event known as the Philadelphia Experiment. Jessup would be found dead the next day.

April 19, 1960 – Major League Baseball uniforms began displaying player's names on their backs.

April 19, 1960 – Decatur, Ala. native Marv Breeding made his Major League debut, taking the field for the Baltimore Orioles

April 19, 1966 – The California Angels opened Anaheim Stadium against the Chicago White Sox.

April 19, 1968 - In Chicago, the National League approved expansion to Montreal and San Diego. Dallas-Fort Worth failed in its bid for a National League franchise.

April 19, 1981 – NFL strong safety Troy Polamalu was born in Garden Grove, Calif. He went on to play at Southern California and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

April 19, 1987 – “The Simpsons” premiered as a short cartoon on “The Tracey Ullman Show.”

April 19, 1993 – The 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidian building outside Waco, Texas ended when a fire broke out. Eighty-one people die, including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.

April 19, 1995 – The Oklahoma City bombing occurred as the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed, killing 168, including 19 children. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing on June 2, 1997.

April 19, 1996 - Dateline NBC conducted an interview with former astronaut Edgar Mitchell during which he discussed meeting with officials from three countries who claimed to have had personal encounters with extraterrestrials. He offered his opinion that the evidence for such "alien" contact was "very strong" and "classified" by governments, who were covering up visitations and the existence of alien beings' bodies in places such as Roswell, New Mexico. He further claimed that UFOs had provided "sonic engineering secrets" that were helpful to the U.S. government.

April 19, 1999 - Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his 19-year career. He was suffering from a back problem.

April 19-20, 2002 – The Mockingbird Players of Monroeville performed “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Saenger Theatre in Mobile, sponsored by the Mobile Bar Association.

April 19, 2003 – Raoul Finelon established the first ever geocache in Monroe County, “Boo Radley’s Surprise,” on The Square in downtown Monroeville, Ala.

April 19, 2003 – Army Sgt. Troy Jenkins, 25, assigned to B Co., 3rd Bat., 187th Inf. Reg. based in Fort Campbell, Ky.; was wounded by an explosion while on a dismounted patrol with other soldiers in Iraq. He died five days later.

April 19, 2005 – The baseball field at Monroe County High School in Monroeville, Ala. was renamed the “Ronald M. ‘Ronnie’ Dees Baseball Field” in honor of former coach Ronnie Dees.

April 19, 2006 – The Monch Riley Home in Andalusia, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

April 19, 2009 – The Lifetime Movie Network aired “Natalee Holloway,” a television film based on Beth Holloway's book “Loving Natalee.” Starring Tracy Pollan as Beth Holloway-Twitty, Grant Show as George "Jug" Twitty, Amy Gumenick as Natalee Holloway and Jacques Strydom as Joran van der Sloot, the film retells events leading up to the night of Holloway's disappearance in 2005, and the ensuing investigation in the aftermath.

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