|The Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse|
May 9, 1502 - Christopher Columbus left Spain for his final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
May 9, 1671 – Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempted to steal England's Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. King Charles was so impressed with Blood’s audacity that he pardoned him, restored his estates in Ireland, and gave him an annual pension of 500 pounds. Blood became a colorful celebrity all across the kingdom, and when he died in 1680, his body had to be exhumed in order to persuade the public that he was actually dead.
May 9, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne examined George Burroughs and Sarah Churchill. Burroughs was moved to a Boston jail.
May 9, 1754 - The first newspaper cartoon in America showed a divided snake "Join or die" in "The Pennsylvania Gazette."
May 9, 1781 – Spain won possession of West Florida by military conquest when the British surrendered to the Spanish on this day.
May 9, 1791 - Francis Hopkinson died suddenly of a seizure at the age of 53 in Philadelphia, Pa. He was an American author and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. He later served as a federal judge in Pennsylvania and played a key role in the design of the first American flag.
May 9, 1860 - Journalist, novelist, playwright and “Peter Pan” creator James Matthew Barrie was born in Angus, Scotland.
May 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederates evacuated Pensacola, Fla.
May 9, 1864 – During the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, Va., a number of the members of the Conecuh Guards were wounded. First Sgt. Andrew J. Mosley was wounded there but survived war and eventually moved to Falls County, Texas. Thomas Perry was wounded there but survived and returned to live in Monroe County after the war. William Morrow, who’d been wounded earlier at Second Manassas, was wounded there but survived and returned to live in Mobile County after war. Pinckney D. Bowles had his cap knocked out of his hand by a missile from a Yankee gun during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.
May 9, 1864 - Union troops secure a crucial pass in Georgia – Snake Creek Gap - during the Atlanta campaign. In the spring and summer of 1864, Union General William T. Sherman and Confederate General Joseph Johnston conducted a slow and methodical campaign to seize control of Atlanta. Pushing southeast from Chattanooga, Tennessee, toward Atlanta, Sherman continually tried to flank Johnston, but Johnston countered each move. On May 3, 1864, two of Sherman’s corps moved against Confederate defenses at Dalton, Ga., while another Yankee force under James McPherson swung wide to the south and west of Dalton in an attempt to approach Johnston from the rear. It was along this path that McPherson captured Snake Creek Gap, a crucial opening in a long elevation called Rocky Face Ridge.
May 9, 1864 - Troops under Confederate General John A. McCausland won the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain in Pulaski County, Va. McCausland was promoted to brigadier general for the victory.
May 9, 1895 – The Lower Warehouse at Claiborne, Ala. was destroyed by fire, resulting in a heavy loss to J.H. Moore, the proprietor, and several other merchants.
May 9, 1900 – Daily passenger service on the Louisville & Nashville railroad in the Monroeville, Ala. area began.
May 9, 1909 - Author Augusta Jane Evans Wilson died in Mobile, Ala.
May 9, 1911 – Conecuh County Sheriff Ely Hines captured Britt Nelson, who allegedly murdered the Manuel Rankin, a preacher who lived a short distance from Evergreen, Ala. in November 1910. Hines arrested Nelson near Ohatchie and brought him back to Evergreen.
May 9, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Timothy O. Porties of Fulton in Clarke County, Ala. “died from disease.”
May 9, 1920 – Author Richard Adams was born in Newbury, England. He’s best known for his first novel, “Watership Down” (1972), in which he wrote about a band of rabbits and their epic journey to find a new den.
May 9, 1926 – Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claimed to have flown over the North Pole, becoming the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole. Later discovery of Byrd's diary appeared to cast some doubt on the claim.
May 9, 1936 - Alabama author Mary Johnston dies near Warm Springs, Va.
May 9, 1938 – Poet and essayist Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
May 9, 1941 - Author Martha Young died in Greensboro, Ala.
May 9, 1960 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Tony Gwynn was born in Los Angeles, Calif. He played his entire career (1982-2001) for the San Diego Padres. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
May 9, 1961 - Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles set a Major League Baseball record when he hit a grand slam home run in two consecutive innings. The game was against the Minnesota Twins.
May 9, 1973 – “Paper Moon,” a movie version of Alabama author Joe David Brown's book “Addie Pray,” was released.
May 9, 1973 - Johnny Bench hit three home runs in a game off Steve Carlton. It was the second time he had achieved the feat.
May 9, 1984 - The Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, in 25 innings. The game took eight hours and six minutes to complete.
May 9, 1987 - Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles became the first player to switch hit home runs in two consecutive games.
May 9, 1989 - Rick Cerone of the New York Mets committed his first error in 159 games as catcher.
May 9, 1989 - Kevin Elster of the New York Mets committed his first error in 88 games as shortstop.
May 9, 1992 – A horse show was scheduled to be held at Evergreen Municipal Park, beginning at 4 p.m.
May 9, 1995 - The Cleveland Indians tied a record when they recorded eight runs before making an out. They beat the Minnesota Twins, 10-0.
May 9, 1997 - The San Diego Padres retired pitcher Randy Jones’s No. 35 jersey.
May 9, 1999 - Marshall McDougall of Florida State hit six consecutive home runs and knocked in 16 runs. Both records were set in the 25-2 victory over Maryland.
May 9, 2009 – Bo Jackson delivered the commencement speech at Auburn University's graduation ceremony. His speech was centered on the benefits of stepping out of one's comfort zone.