|General Irvin McDowell|
July 21, 356 BC – The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was destroyed by arson. The fire was set by Herostratus, who committed the act in a quest for fame.
July 21, 1775 - Patriot minutemen in whaleboats, commanded by Major Joseph Vose, raided Nantasket Point, also known as Little Brewster Island, in Boston Harbor, Mass. The raiders temporarily drove off the island’s British guard and confiscated lamps, oil, gunpowder and boats, before burning the wooden parts of the point’s lighthouse.
July 21, 1793 –French admiral, explorer, and politician Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux died of scurvy at the age of 55, off the Hermits. He is perhaps best known for his exploration of the Australian coast in 1792, while searching for the La Pérouse expedition.
July 21, 1796 – Scottish poet and prominent Freemason Robert Burns passed away at the age of 37 in Dumfries, Scotland. It is believed that in May 1785 he wrote “Epistle to William Simson” to the William Simson (Simpson), who eventually became a trustee at the school in Belleville, Ala..
July 21, 1861 – The First Battle of Bull Run (also known as First Manassas) began in Prince William County, Va., near the city of Manassas, not far from Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the U.S. Civil War, and the Confederates won the battle. The Union Army was led by General Irvin McDowell, and Confederate forces were led by P.T. Beauregard.
July 21, 1861 – Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson earned the nickname "Stonewall" during the First Battle of Bull Run. During the battle, Confederate General Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. led his Confederates to reinforce Jackson on Henry Hill and was reported to have characterized Jackson as “standing like a stone wall.” Bee died minutes later, but the nickname “Stonewall” stuck as Jackson’s men held their ground.
July 21, 1861 - Nearly 400 Confederate soldiers were killed at the First Battle of Bull Run, including six members of the Conecuh Guards - Dr. Samuel H. Wimberly, First Sergeant Louis Gatch, First Cpl. William Thomas, Jesse Peacock, John Robbins and James Strickland. Members of the Conecuh Guards known to have been wounded in the battle included 1st. Lt. Archibald D. McInnis, 2nd Lt. John G. Guice, First Sergeant Andrew J. Mosley (wounded in head and arm), Sgt. James M. Andrews (survived war and returned to Conecuh County), Fourth Cpl. Joseph A. Thomas, Blake Beard (wounded and honorably discharged), J.B. Bonnett (wounded and honorably discharged), John Mason (dropped from roll in 1862 and returned to live in Conecuh County), Evander McIver (wounded in two places, honorably discharged in September 1861 and moved to Texas after war), Owen Perry (honorably discharged, rejoined the army later, was captured and died in prison), and Theodosius Turk (honorably discharged under act of Congress in 1862). Capt. Pinckney D. Bowles had his canteen shattered at First Bull Run by a rifle ball fired by Union troops. Casualties at Bull Run shocked the nation. The Union count came to 2,800, including 460 killed, and the Confederates had 1,900, with nearly 400 dead. Although future battles would make these numbers appear small, they were a wake-up call to a public, in both the North and the South, unprepared for such a bloody conflict.
July 21, 1862 - Former U.S. President Martin Van Buren, who served as the nation’s eighth president between 1837 and 1841, slipped into a coma. Three days later, he passed away.
July 21, 1864 – A four-day Federal operation from Barrancas, Fla. toward Pollard, Ala. began with skirmishes at Camp Gonzales, Fla. and near Pollard, Ala.
July 21, 1864 – Col. Samuel Adams, an attorney, educator and state representative who lived in both Conecuh and Butler counties, was shot through the breast and killed instantly while superintending the erection of fortifications near Atlanta while serving with the 33rd Alabama. His remains were returned to Greenville, Ala., where he was buried.
July 21, 1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Missouri, Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first western showdown. The two men had a falling out over a woman and a gambling debt, and finally agreed to settle their differences in a duel. At a distance of about 75 paces, they fired simultaneously, and Tutt’s shot went wild, but Hickok’s hit Tutt through the heart.
July 21, 1873 - The first U.S. train robbery took place in Adair, Iowa when the James-Younger Gang held up the Rock Island Express and stole $3,000.
July 21, 1879 – Charles Roberts shot and killed D.W. Rankin at Perdue Hill, Ala. That same day, Jonathan L. Marshall, a Justice of the Peace in Monroe County, issued an arrest warrant for Roberts, who was charged with murder. Roberts was arrested and brought before Marshall. During the ensuing investigation, Marshall ruled that Roberts wasn’t guilty of murder, but second-degree manslaughter instead. Marshall set Roberts’ bail at $400, which Roberts paid and was released from custody.
July 21, 1887 – A rain of ants occurred in Nancy, France.
July 21, 1899 – Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Ill.
July 21, 1899 – Harold Hart Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio.
July 21, 1911 – Two freight trains wrecked near Garland, Ala. on this Thursday afternoon, leaving both engines and a number of cars damaged. Merchandise was scattered along the tracks, but both crews escaped without serious injuries.
July 21, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Auburn University chemistry professor H.S. Gentry was working as the prescription clerk at the Peoples Drug store until September, relieving J.M. Northcutt, who had taken some time off.
July 21, 1918 – During World War I, Army Cpl. Will F. Alexander of Georgiana, Ala. was killed in action.
July 21, 1930 - The Veterans Administration of the United States was established.
July 21, 1932 – Evergreen’s baseball team beat Greenville, 5-4, at Black’s Field in Greenville, Ala.
July 21, 1933 – Novelist, poet and teacher John Gardner was born in Batavia, N.Y.
July 21, 1941 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the approval of the City of Evergreen’s contract with Alabama Power Company for the purchase of electricity at wholesale rested with the Alabama Public Service Commission. The PSC promised a ruling prior to Sept. 1, which was the expiration date of the city’s contract with the Alabama Electric Cooperative. Hearings on the contract change were held on July 14 and July 18, and the contract change was opposed by the Southern Pine Electric Cooperative and the Alabama Electric Cooperative.
July 21, 1943 – Poet Tess Gallagher was born in Port Angeles, Wash.
July 21, 1944 – During World War II, Claus von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators were executed in Berlin, Germany, for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
July 21, 1959 – Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate. He came in as a pinch runner for Vic Wertz and stayed in as shortstop in a 2–1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
July 21, 1962 - The federal district court in Montgomery, Ala. rejected the Alabama legislature's plan to reapportion itself, ordering it instead to implement the court's plan. Although Alabama's Constitution of 1901 mandated reapportionment every ten years, the state's legislative districts had not been redrawn since 1901, with the result that less-populated districts came to dominate the legislature in violation of the principle of "one man/one vote."
July 21, 1967 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Jimmie Foxx passed away in Miami, Fla. at the age of 59. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.
July 21, 1978 – The Griffin House in Arlington in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
July 21, 1983 - The world's lowest temperature in an inhabited location, -128.6° F, was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica.
July 21, 1997 – On this Monday evening, Vince Doerr, chief of the Ochopee, Fla. Fire Central District, told the Miami Herald that he had seen a “brown-looking tall thing” run across the road ahead of him. He was certain that the thing was not a bear.
July 21, 1997 - The U.S.S. Constitution, which defended the United States during the War of 1812, set sail under its own power for the first time in 116 years.
July 21, 2004 - White House officials were briefed on the September 11 commission's final report. The 575-page report concluded that hijackers exploited "deep institutional failings within our government." The report was released to the public the next day.
July 21, 2006 - Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees collected his 2,000th career hit and became the youngest player to reach the 450 home run mark.
July 21, 2007 - The seventh and last book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was released.
July 21, 2012 – Erden Eruç completed the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.
July 21, 2014 – “Guardians of the Galaxy” premiered in Hollywood. It was released in theaters on Aug. 1, 2014 in the United States in 3D and IMAX 3D.