Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today in History for April 23, 2015

John Paul Jones
April 23, 1348 - The first English order of knighthood, the Order of the Garter, was founded by King Edward III, announcing it on St. George's Day.

April 23, 1500 - Pedro Cabal claimed Brazil for Portugal.

April 23, 1564 – Poet and playwright William Shakespeare is believed to have been born n this day in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. He wrote 38 plays and more than 150 sonnets.

April 23, 1635 – The first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, was founded in Boston.

April 23, 1778 - Commander John Paul Jones launched a surprise attack on the two harbors at Whitehaven, England. He burned the southern fort. This was the only American raid on English shores during the American Revolution.

April 23, 1778 - Commander John Paul Jones, aboard the USS Ranger, captured the British ship HMS Drake.

April 23, 1781 - Reinforcements arrived for Spanish General Bernardo de Galvez's siege of Pensacola, Fla.

April 23, 1789 - U.S. President George Washington moved into Franklin House in New York. It was the first executive mansion.

April 23, 1791 - James Buchanan, the 15th U.S. President, was born in Cove Gap, Pa.

April 23, 1861 - Arkansas troops seized Fort Smith.

April 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Bridgeport, Ala.

April 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Dickson Station, Tuscumbia, Florence and Leighton, Ala.

April 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Mumford’s Station, Ala.

April 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, day one of a three-day Federal reconnaissance from Pulaski, Tenn. to Rogersville, Ala. began.

April 23, 1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis wrote to his wife "Panic has seized the country."

April 23, 1899 – Vladimir Nabokov, who wrote the controversial novel “Lolita” in 1953, was born in St. Petersburg, Russia.

April 23, 1900 – Pro Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Jim Bottomley was born in Oglesby, Ill. He went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Browns. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

April 23, 1908 - U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt signed an act creating the U.S. Army Reserve.

April 23, 1910 - The first movie version of Alabama author Augusta Jane Evans Wilson's book “St. Elmo” was released.

April 23, 1910 – American President Theodore Roosevelt made his "The Man in the Arena" speech.

April 23, 1911 – On this night, a large meteor, emitting sparks, illuminated the sky in Evergreen, Ala. “as bright as day and was a beautiful sight.” It fell “somewhere in the state,” the local newspaper reported.

April 23, 1914 – The first Major League Baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park in Chicago, was played. The Federals defeated Kansas City, 9-1.

April 23, 1915 – On this Friday night, in the grove in front of the Evergreen City School, the “Whites” entertained the “Golds.” All “leaguers” were invited to attend.

April 23, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Frank C. Brooks of Coy, Ala. “died in an accident.”

April 23, 1921 – Pro Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn was born in Buffalo, N.Y. He went on to play for the Boston/Milwaukee Braves, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.

April 23, 1927 – Virgil Murphy was executed in Alabama’s electric chair at 12:30 a.m. at Kilby Prison in Montgomery. Murphy had been convicted of killing his wife, but he contended “to the last that he had no recollection of the crime and that he was insane with drink when he killed his wife.” He was pronounced dead at 12:44 a.m. by Dr. R.A. Burns, physician inspector for the convict department, and Dr. J.F. Sewell of Wetumpka.

April 23, 1942 - Alabama author Barry Hannah was born in Meridian, Miss.

April 23, 1942 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen Rotary Club had elected its new slate of officers, including W.O. Henderson, president; D.T. Stuart Jr., vice-president; and P.L. Pace, secretary-treasurer. Old officers included E.C. Page Jr., president; W.N. McGehee, vice-president; H.J. Kinzer, secretary-treasurer.”

April 23, 1943 – Grady Gaston of Frisco City, Ala., a ball turret gunner on the “Little Eva,” was rescued when found walking on the beach by an aborigine.

April 23, 1945 – During World War II, Adolf Hitler's designated successor Hermann Göring sent him a telegram asking permission to take leadership of the Third Reich, which caused Hitler to replace him with Joseph Goebbels and Karl Dönitz.

April 23, 1954 - Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit his first Major League home run.

April 23, 1957 - An earthquake with its epicenter near Guntersville, Ala. affected parts of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, but caused little damage. The Montgomery Advertiser reported that "thousands of light sleepers were awakened by the shock" at about 3:30 a.m.

April 23, 1963 - At the outset of his one-man march against segregation, William Moore was slain alongside an Etowah County, Ala. highway when he was shot by a rifle fired at close range. Moore, a white postal worker from Binghamton, N.Y. had begun his march in Chattanooga intending to travel to Jackson, Mississippi. A white store owner from DeKalb County was implicated in the shooting but never indicted.

April 23, 1964 - Ken Johnson of the Houston Astros threw the first no-hitter for a loss. The game was lost, 1-0, to the Cincinnati Reds due to two errors.

April 23, 1972 – Prominent Conecuh Countian and Evergreen Livestock Co. operator James Henry Witherington, 76, passed away in a Mobile, Ala. hospital.

April 23, 1976 - A movie version of Alabama author Charles Gaines's book “Stay Hungry” was released.

April 23, 1977 – Major League Baseball outfielder and designated hitter Andruw Jones was born in Willemstad, Curaçao. He went on to play for the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Texas Rangers, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.

April 23, 1982 - The Unabomber mailed a pipe bomb from Provo, Utah to Penn State University.

April 23, 1985 - The Coca Cola company unveiled their New Coke formula for their signature beverage. The result was outrage from Coke drinkers across the country, who bombarded the company with demands to return to the original formula. Less than three months later, 'old Coke' was re-introduced as 'Coca Cola Classic' and New Coke became known as the modern-day equivalent to the Edsel.

April 23, 1998 - James Earl Ray died in Nashville, Tenn. at age 70 while serving a life sentence for the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Ray had confessed to the crime and then later insisted he had been framed.

April 23, 2014 – Eight members of the “Three River Adventurers” departed on historic 139-mile canoe trip from Travis Bridge in Conecuh County, Ala. to Pensacola, Fla. The group included Dalton Campbell of Owassa, Frank Murphy of Herbert, Sam Peacock of Repton, John Potts of Flat Rock, Ed Salter of Repton, Joel Williams of Evergreen, Marc Williams of Evergreen and Evergreen native Larry Yeargan of Coosada. On April 28, they arrived at Swamp House Landing near Pensacola.

April 23, 2014 – Meb Keflezighi threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park in Boston. The first American male to win the Boston Marathon in more than 30 years, Keflezighi was a natural choice to throw out the first pitch before the Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway. He wore his marathon medal and a jersey emblazoned with No. 26.2 – a nod to the mileage of the marathon event.

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