April 5, 1588 – Author and political philosopher Thomas Hobbes was born in Westport, Wilshire, England. His most famous book is 1651’s “Leviathan.”
April 5, 1621 – The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Mass. on a return trip to England.
April 5, 1722 – The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.
April 5, 1774 - In London, Benjamin Franklin wrote an open letter to Great Britain's prime minister, Frederick, Lord North. Franklin's satirical letter suggested that the British impose martial law upon the colonies and appoint a "King's Viceroy of all North America." The letter was published in The Public Advertiser on April 15.
April 5, 1778 - North Carolina became the tenth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.
April 5, 1792 – U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power was used in the United States. He vetoed ameasure for apportioning representatives among the states.
April 5, 1810 - Alabama author Philip Henry Gosse was born in Worcester, England.
April 5, 1825 – During his historic tour of the United States, Lafayette arrived in Selma, Ala.
April 5, 1837 – Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne was born in London.
April 5, 1856 - Booker T. Washington, African-American educator, author and leader, was born on a farm near Hale's Ford, Franklin County, Virginia. Born a slave, Washington worked his way through school and in 1881 was selected to head the newly established Normal School for Colored Teachers at Tuskegee, Alabama. He guided the development of the institution until his death in 1915. (The date of his birth was unknown even to Washington; based on evidence submitted after his death, the Board of Trustees of Tuskegee Institute adopted April 5, 1856, as "the exact date of his birth.")
April 5, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Yorktown began as Union forces under General George McClellan established siege lines at Yorktown.
April 5, 1865 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee pulled his troops from Amelia Court House and retreated.
April 5, 1869 - Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the U.S. Revolutionary War, died at the age of 109 and was buried in Sandusky Cemetery in Freedom, New York.
April 5, 1871 – Croation explorer Mirko Seljan was born in Karlovac, Croatia.
April 5, 1887 - Anne Sullivan taught Helen Keller the meaning of the word "water" as spelled out in the manual alphabet.
April 5, 1900 – Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discovered a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B.
April 5, 1906 – J.D. Deming and his wife, Fannie D. Deming, sold their bank building to the Peoples Bank of Evergreen, Ala.
April 5, 1909 – On a Sunday night, an unknown number of burglars entered the residence of Conecuh County Tax Collector W.S. Oliver and stole his pants, which contained money and other valuables.
April 5, 1911 – During “one of the worst storms” in years, over six inches of rain fell in Evergreen as “rain fell in torrents and the wind reached a high velocity.”
April 5, 1915 – Conecuh County Circuit Court convened with Judge Gamble presiding. E.C. Lee of Evergreen was the foreman of the grand jury, and Solicitor Bricken was also on hand to represent the state.
April 5, 1916 – Gregory Peck, who portrayed Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” was born in La Jolla, Calif.
April 5, 1917 – Crime and suspense writer Robert Block was born in Chicago. He is best known for his 1959 novel, “Psycho.”
April 5, 1923 – Baseball player John Ottis Johnson was born.
April 5, 1925 – The Woman’s Club of Perdue Hill, Ala. presented Alabama Lodge No. 3 with the desk that LaFayette spoke from during his visit to Claiborne in 1825. The desk has a sliver plate attached to it to commemorate his visit.
April 5, 1937 – Evergreen received 6.92 inches of rain during a 36-hours period that resulted in 8.65 inches of rain between Sat., April 3, and Mon., April 5.
April 5, 1937 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Jim Hanvey, Detective” was released.
April 5, 1938 – Work began on the new athletic stadium at the Evergreen High School. It would eventually be named Brooks Stadium, and later Brooks Memorial Stadium, in honor of J.R. Brooks, who was mayor of Evergreen, Ala. when the work began.
April 5, 1939 - Author Thomas R. Atkins was born in Mobile, Ala.
April 5, 1944 – 1st Lt. Laula M. Middleton of Conecuh County, Ala. was declared dead. He was declared missing in action a year earlier over North Africa in World War II while serving with the 310 Bomber Group Allied Air Force. He went MIA when the bombing plane of which he was crew member was lost in combat over the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and Tunisia. A marker in his memory was placed in the Belleville United Methodist Church Cemetery and Evergreen’s airport was named Middleton Field in his honor.
April 5, 1945 – An early morning fire destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. H.C. Gilmore on Magnolia Street in Evergreen.
April 5, 1950 – NFL punter Marv Bateman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He would go on to play for the University of Utah, the Dallas Cowboys and the Buffalo Bills.
April 5, 1951 – Major League Baseball second baseman Rennie Stennett was born in Colon, Panama. He would go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants.
April 5, 1951 – NFL linebacker Brad Van Pelt was born in Owossa, Mich. He would go on to play for Michigan State, the New York Giants, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Cleveland Browns.
April 5, 1951 – Army PFC Ralph Sasser of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.
April 5, 1956 – A B-25, converted to a civilian cargo-carrying plane, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with three aboard in the vicinity of the Tongue of the Ocean, a mile-deep underwater canyon to the east of Andros Island in the Bahamas.
April 5, 1965 - The color of National Football League penalty flags used by officials was changed from white to bright gold.
April 5, 1994 – Modern rock icon Kurt Cobain, 27, of Nirvana committed suicide with a shotgun on this day in 1994. His body was discovered inside his home in Seattle, Washington, three days later by Gary Smith, an electrician, who was installing a security system in the suburban house. Despite indications that Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana, killed himself, several skeptics questioned the circumstances of his death.
April 5, 1999 - Barry Bonds was walked intentionally for the 270th time of his career. He passed Hank Aaron on the all-time list.