Thursday, April 9, 2015

Today in History for April 9, 2015

April 9, 1585 – The expedition organised by Sir Walter Raleigh departed England for Roanoke Island (now in North Carolina) to establish the Roanoke Colony.

April 9, 1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River, claimed all lands that touched it for France and named it Louisiana.

April 9, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Kevin O'Brady, Michael Cote and Curtis Flannery were accused of witchcraft by local Daniella DiIorio.

April 9, 1770 - Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.

April 9, 1778 - Jeremiah Wadsworth was named commissary general of purchases for the Continental Army at the recommendation of General George Washington.

April 9, 1782 – During the American War of Independence, Battle of the Saintes began off the coast of Dominica in the West Indies.

April 9, 1821 – Poet Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris.

April 9, 1859 – Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, received his steamboat pilot’s license at the age of 23.

April 9, 1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Greenville, Ala. native Thomas Hill Watts as Attorney General of the Confederate States, an office that Watts filled until Oct. 1, 1863.

April 9, 1865 – The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of Wilmer McClean’s home, and one of the last battles of the American Civil War. Grant allowed Rebel officers to keep their sidearms and permitted soldiers to keep their horses and mules. Though there were still Confederate armies in the field, the war was officially over. The four years of fighting had killed 360,000 Union troops and 260,000 Confederate troops. 

April 9, 1865 – A 10-day Union expedition from Blakely to Claiborne, Ala. began and included a skirmish at Mount Pleasant, Ala. The Federals also began bombarding and the subsequent reduction of Battery Huger and Battery Tracy, near Mobile, Ala.

April 9, 1902 – French explorer and scholar Théodore Monod French explorer and scholar was born in Rouen, France.

April 9, 1903 – Gregory Pincus, one of the inventors of the birth control pill, was born in Woodbine, N.J.

April 9, 1912 - The first exhibition baseball game was held at Fenway Park in Boston. The game was between Red Sox and Harvard.

April 9, 1913 - The Brooklyn Dodgers' Ebbets Field opened.

April 9, 1918 – The USS Herbert, a Wickes-class destroyer, was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. at Camden, N.J. Named after Greenville, Ala. native and former Secretary of the Navy Hilary A. Herbert it was launched on May 8, 191 by Herbert’s daughter, Mrs. Benjamin Micou.

April 9, 1922 – German entomologist and explorer Hans Fruhstorfer was born in Passau, Germany.

April 9, 1925 – An estimated crowd of 12,000 attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Marquis de Lafayette’s visit to Claiborne, believed to be the single largest event ever held in the entire county.

April 9, 1926 – Hugh Hefner was born in Chicago, Ill. He would go on to become the founder, editor-in-chief, and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy magazine.

April 9, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Married Bachelors” was released.

April 9, 1931 - The Scottsboro Boys, eight young men ranging in age from 13 to 21, were sentenced to die for the alleged rape of two white women on a freight train between Chattanooga, Tenn. and Scottsboro, Ala. The conviction by an all-white jury and the subsequent appeals were widely publicized and led to major protests around the world. Four of the men were freed in 1937, while the others endured lengthy prison sentences. The final prisoner was released in 1950.

April 9, 1944 – Lt. Winton D. McIntyre, who graduated from Evergreen High School in 1940, was killed in New Guinea. Funeral services for McIntyre were held July 14, 1948 at Memorial Cemetery in Mobile with full military honors. McIntyre, son of Mr. and Mrs. O.R. McIntyre, were former residents of Conecuh County, but later of Prichard. McIntyre was well known in Evergreen.

April 9, 1945 - National Football League officials decreed that it was mandatory for football players to wear socks in all league games.

April 9, 1945 – NFL defensive end Alden Roche was born in New Orleans, La. He went on to play for Southern University, the Denver Broncos, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.

April 9, 1946 – Major League Baseball first baseman Nate Colbert was born in St. Louis, Mo. He went on to play for the Houston Astros, the San Diego Padres, the Detroit Tigers, the Montreal Expos and the Oakland Athletics.

April 9, 1964 – Sports reporter Lisa Guerrero was born in Chicago, Ill.

April 9, 1965 - The Houston Astrodome held its first baseball game, which was the first indoor baseball game ever played.

April 9, 1968 - Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was buried.

April 9, 1972 – Richard Floyd McCoy Jr., who staged the best-known of the so-called D.B. Cooper "copycat" hijackings on April 7, 1972, was arrested with the ransom cash in his possession, and after trial and conviction, received a 45-year sentence.

April 9, 1981 - Nature published part of the longest scientific name in history. With 16,569 nucleotides, the systematic name for human mitochondrial DNA is said to be 207,000 letters long.

April 9, 1985 – Major League Baseball pitcher David Robertson was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to pitch for the New York Yankees (2008-2014).

April 9, 1990 - Annie Pearl Oliver, 57, of Evergreen, Ala. was killed and Ernestine Roach of Evergreen was injured in a two-vehicle accident around 3:45 p.m. on U.S. Highway 84, about four miles west of River Falls, Ala.

April 9, 1991 - Bert Holldobler and Alabama author Edward O. Wilson were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for their book “The Ants.

April 9, 1991 - Alabama journalists Ron Casey, Harold Jackson and Joey Kennedy of The Birmingham News were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for editorials analyzing Alabama's tax system and proposing reforms.

April 9, 1992 - Australia unveiled a massive chocolate Easter egg. It weighed 10,482 lbs. and stood over 23 feet tall.

April 9, 1993 - A movie version of Alabama author Tobias Wolff's book “This Boy's Life” was released.

April 9, 1998 - The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in Andersonville, Ga. at the site of an infamous Civil War camp.

April 9, 2001 – Pro Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder and first baseman Willie Stargell passed away at the age of 61 in Wilmington, N.C. He played his entire career for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

April 9, 2002 - Alabama author Diane McWhorter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for her book “Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.

April 9, 2003 – During the Invasion of Iraq, Baghdad fell to American forces and Iraqis turned on symbols of their former leader Saddam Hussein, pulling down a grand statue of him and tearing it to pieces.

April 9, 2006 – Former Auburn and major league baseball player James Paulus “Jimmy” Outlaw passed away in Jackson, Ala. at the age of 93.

April 9, 2006 – Major League Baseball third baseman, second baseman and shortstop Billy Hitchcock passed away at the age of 89 in Opelika, Ala. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Athletics. He would later manage the Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.

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