Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today in History for June 18, 2015

Mexican General Pancho Villa
June 18, 1178 – Five Canterbury monks saw “two horns of light” on the moon’s surface, what was possibly the Giordano Bruno crater being formed. It is believed that the current oscillations of the Moon's distance from the Earth (on the order of meters) are a result of this collision.

June 18, 1621 - The first duel in America took place in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

June 18, 1684 – The charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was revoked via a scire facias writ issued by an English court.

June 18, 1767 – Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

June 18, 1778 – During the American Revolutionary War, 15,000 British troops under General Sir Henry Clinton abandoned Philadelphia, Pa., the former U.S. capital, after nine months of occupation.

June 18, 1812 – The U.S. Congress declared war on Great Britain, Canada, and Ireland, marking the start of the War of 1812 as President James Madison signed the declaration of war into law. The American war declaration, opposed by a sizable minority in Congress, had been called in response to trade restrictions and the British economic blockade of France, the induction of American seaman into the British Royal Navy against their will, and the British support of hostile Indian tribes along the Great Lakes frontier. Unknown to the United States, Britain had agreed to repeal the offending trade orders two days before, but the news didn't reach our shores for nearly a month.

June 18, 1815 – During the Napoleonic Wars, the Battle of Waterloo in Belgium resulted in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte by the Duke of Wellington and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher forcing him to abdicate the throne of France for the second and last time. Napoleon and Michel Ney led the French army of around 69,000 troops against the Duke of Wellington and about 67,000 multinational - British, Dutch, Belgian, and German - troops, with the added forces of Gebhard von Blücher's 48,000-strong Prussian army, which arrived near the end of the day. Napoleon had surrendered the previous year, and was exiled to the Island of Elba off the coast of Italy; he escaped in March 1815 and regained control of his empire, and the allied forces reassembled to depose him once again.

June 18, 1842 – Monroe County, Alabama’s joint ownership of the Masonic Hall building at Claiborne, Ala. was sold off during a public sale on this date.

June 18, 1842 – Richard Francis Burton sailed for India as an ensign in the British East India Company army.

June 18, 1864 - Union hero Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was wounded at Petersburg, Va. while leading an attack against a Confederate position. His wound was pronounced fatal, and Union General Ulysses S. Grant promoted him to brigadier general. However, he survived until 1914 when he died from an infection from the wound he suffered in Petersburg. Grant refrained from futher frontal assaults after the heavy losses the Union suffered on this day.

June 18, 1886 – Mountaineer George Mallory was born in Mobberley, Cheshire, England. He took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s.

June 18, 1906 – The Grimes School House in Monroe County, Ala. first opened with Miss Annie B. Murphy as teacher.

June 18, 1911 – Len Baggett, the son of J.T. Baggett of Castleberry, Ala., was killed at Jessika, La. Few details about the killing were available.

June 18, 1914 – A shootout occurred on this day around daylight between Handy Randolph and Ed Pleasant, who were both armed with shotguns, near Old Town, Ala. Randolph was shot in the throat and side of the face and was killed instantly. Pleasant was shot just above the knee, shattering the bone.

June 18, 1916 - The National Guard's 4th Alabama Infantry assembled in Montgomery in response to a call for troops from President Woodrow Wilson. The 4th Alabama, under the command of William P. Screws, was one of four state units dispatched to the Mexican border to guard American interests while Gen. John Pershing attempted to capture Mexican revolutionary and bandit Pancho Villa.

June 18, 1917 - Author Mary Ward Brown was born in Hamburg, Ala.

June 18, 1923  - Checker Taxi put its first taxi on the streets. The boxy yellow cars were used in many American cities, but they became closely identified with New York City. The last Checker cab was retired in 1999 with almost a million miles on its odometer.

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

June 18, 1928 – Aviator Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly in an aircraft across the Atlantic Ocean as she completed a flight from Newfoundland to Wales. She was a passenger. Wilmer Stultz was the pilot and Lou Gordon was the mechanic.

June 18, 1928 – Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, 55, disappeared in the Barents Sea with a crew of five while flying on a rescue mission in the Arctic, seeking missing members of the airship Italia that had crashed while returning from the North Pole. The search for Amundsen and his team was called off in September 1928 by the Norwegian Government and the bodies were never found. Amundsen led the Antarctic expedition (1910–12) that was the first to reach the South Pole on Dec. 14, 1911.

June 18, 1932 – English poet and literary critic Geoffrey Hill was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

June 18, 1937 - Author Gail Godwin was born in Birmingham, Ala.

June 18, 1939 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Lou Brock was born in El Dorado, Ark. He went on to play for the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.

June 18, 1942 – Paul McCartney was born in Liverpool, England.

June 18, 1953 - Seventeen major league baseball records were tied or broken in a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers.

June 18, 1954 - Albert Patterson, Democratic Party nominee for state attorney general, was assassinated in his hometown of Phenix City, Ala. State and local officials were implicated in the crime, but only Russell County Chief Deputy Albert Fuller was convicted. The murder drew national attention because of Patterson's promise to rid Phenix City, called the "wickedest city in America," of corruption and organized crime. Adding to the drama, John Patterson was elected attorney general in his father's stead, and therefore had charge of the prosecutions in the case.

June 18, 1960 - Tom Sheehan of the San Francisco Giants became the oldest first-time manager in major league baseball. Sheehan was 66 years, two months and 18 days old.

June 18, 1961 - "Gunsmoke" was broadcast for the last time on CBS radio.

June 18, 1961 - Author Angela Johnson was born in Tuskegee, Ala.

June 18, 1975 - Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox hit three home runs, a triple and a single in a game against the Detroit Tigers. He collected 10 RBIs.

June 18, 1986 - Don Sutton won his 300th game in Major League Baseball.

June 18, 1996 – Ted Kaczynski, suspected of being the Unabomber, was indicted on 10 criminal counts.

June 18, 1997 - Sirhan Sirhan was denied parole for the 10th time. He had assassinated presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in 1968.

June 18, 2003 – National Baseball Hall of Fame center fielder and manager Larry Doby passed away at the age of 79 in Montclair, N.J. He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians, the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

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