|Confederate General George Pickett|
July 3, 1754 – During the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to French forces.
July 3, 1767 – Pitcairn Island was discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret.
July 3, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, U.S. Gen. George Washington rode out in front of the American troops gathered at Cambridge common in Massachusetts and drew his sword, formally taking command of the Continental Army. Washington, a prominent Virginia planter and veteran of the French and Indian War, had been appointed commander in chief by the Continental Congress two weeks before. In agreeing to serve the American colonies in their war for independence, he declined to accept payment for his services beyond reimbursement of future expenses.
July 3, 1778 – During the American Revolutionary War, British forces killed 360 people in the Wyoming Valley massacre.
July 3, 1795 - Alabama author and theatrical manager Noah Ludlow was born in New York, N.Y.
July 3, 1848 – Slaves were freed in the Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands) by Peter von Scholten in the culmination of a year-long plot by enslaved Africans.
July 3, 1849 – The dispensation (organizational) meeting for Dean Lodge No. 112 at Brooklyn was held, and the lodge’s charter was officially issued on Dec. 8, 1850.
July 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, a cavalry skirmish was fought near Russellville, Ala.
July 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, the final day of the Battle of Gettysburg culminated with Pickett's Charge as troops under Confederate General George Pickett began a massive attack against the center of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge. The majority of the force consisted of Pickett’s division, but there were other units represented among the 15,000 attackers. After a long Confederate artillery bombardment, the Rebel force moved through the open field and up the slight rise of Cemetery Ridge, but by the time they reached the Union line, the attack had been broken into many small units, and they were unable to penetrate the Yankee center. Union General Alexander Stewart Webb commanded troops defending the center of the Union line on Cemetery Ridge, and Confederate General Lewis Armistead was mortally wounded while leading a brigade in Pickett's division during the charge at Gettysburg.
July 3, 1863 – A number of the members of the Conecuh Guards were killed or wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg. Capt. William Lee died from wounds he received at Gettysburg. Third Sergeant Robert Richey, William Coleman and William B. Long were killed at Gettysburg. First Lt. Archibald D. McInnis, who was promoted to captain on this day, was also wounded that same day at Gettysburg. William Quinley, who’d been wounded earlier at Gaines’s Farm and deserted to the enemy in 1865, was wounded at Gettysburg. Mich. B. Salter, who was wounded earlier at Gaines’ Farm, was wounded at Gettysburg and had his right arm amputated. He was honorably discharged and returned to Conecuh County. Evans Sheffield, who had been wounded earlier at Gaines’ Farm, was wounded at Gettysburg. He returned to Conecuh County after war and was killed by a falling tree. Fourth Cpl. Joseph A. Thomas and the Rev. George A. Wood, who moved to Georgia after the war, were wounded at Gettysburg. Fourth Sgt. James Cotton was taken prisoner at Gettysburg, remained in prison until the end of the war and died in Texas after war.
July 3, 1881 – Charles J. Waldrop was hanged for murdering Lobina Knight Mitchell on June 30, 1881 in Cragford, Ala.
July 3, 1883 – Czech writer Franz Kafka was born in Prague. He was the author of such influential works as “The Metamorphosis” (1915), which began: "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect."
July 3, 1886 – The New-York Tribune became the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.
July 3, 1890 – Idaho was admitted as the 43rd U.S. state.
July 3, 1895 – Escambia County, Ala. Sheriff E.S. McMillan formed a posse to capture Railroad Bill and later that night at Bluff Springs an immense gun battle ensued and McMillan was shot in the chest and died while Bill escaped once again.
July 3, 1901 - The Wild Bunch, led by Butch Cassidy, committed its last American robbery near Wagner, Montana. They took $65,000 from a Great Northern train.
July 3, 1911 – W.H. Grant, a freight conductor on the L&N Railroad committed suicide in Flomaton, Ala. “Temporary insanity” was supposed to have been the cause.
July 3, 1912 - Rube Marquard of the New York Giants set a baseball pitching record when earned his 19th consecutive win.
July 3, 1913 – Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenacted Pickett's Charge. Upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they are met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.
July 3, 1915 – A picnic was scheduled to be held at the Varner Bridge on the Sepulga River with a baseball game to be played that afternoon.
July 3, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Jesse V. Emmons of Andalusia, Ala. “died from wounds.”
July 3, 1920 - William Crawford Gorgas, U.S. Surgeon General, 1915-1918, and world-renowned expert on tropical diseases, died in London while en route to South Africa. Gorgas was born in Mobile, Ala. in 1854 and served as the Chief Sanitation Officer in Havana, Cuba, during the Spanish-American War and during the building of the Panama Canal, 1904-1914. In those tropical climates Gorgas saved hundreds of lives by successfully eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and thereby controlling the spread of yellow fever.
July 3, 1927 - Grover C. Hall Sr., editor of the Montgomery Advertiser, published the cornerstone editorial in a series of pieces that won him the 1928 Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. The editorials, directed against the Ku Klux Klan, called for Alabama politicians and citizens to take a stand against Klan violence. Hall especially reprimanded Gov. Bibb Graves, a Klan member, urging him to take measures to end the countless floggings of white and black men and women across the state.
July 3, 1928 – In Lovecraftian fiction, noted occultist and horror fiction author Halpin Chalmers was found dead in his apartment in Patridgeville, N.Y. and his apparent murder has never been solved. The Chalmers character first appeared in “The Hounds of Tindalos” (1931) by Frank B. Long.
July 3, 1937 – Playwright Tom Stoppard was born Tomas Straussler in Zlin, Czechoslovakia.
July 3, 1938 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lighted the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.
July 3, 1947 - The Cleveland Indians purchased the contract of Larry Doby from the Neward Eagles of the Negro National League. Doby became the first black player to play in the American League.
July 3, 1958 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the “new” Evergreen Swimming Pool was now open four nights a week from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Coach Jeff Moorer was the Recreation Director.
July 3, 1962 - Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
July 3, 1966 - Tony Cloninger of the Atlanta Braves became the first National League pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game.
July 3, 1967 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Roland Franklyn, the leader of a cult in Brichester, England in the mid-1960s, died and was buried in Brichester’s Mercy Hill cemetery. He first appeared in 1969’s “Cold Print” by Ramsey Campbell.
July 3, 1967 - The Doors released the song "Light My Fire" in the U.S.
July 3, 1971 – Doors singer Jim Morrison, 27, died of heart failure in Paris, France.
July 3, 1972 – Ellis Wayne Golson of Lyeffion, Ala. was scheduled to report to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.
July 3, 1974 - Los Angeles Dodger Mike Marshall set a major league record for most games pitched in consecutively when he relieved starting pitcher Tommy John to pitch in his 13th consecutive game. Marshall was remarkable for his ability to pitch every day without experiencing the soreness and injury that plagued other pitchers, like Tommy John.
July 3, 1978 – Evergreen, Ala. received 1.07 inches of rain.
July 3, 1991 - U.S. President George H.W. Bush formally inaugurated the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
July 3, 1993 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale died of a heart attack at the age of 56 in Room 2518 of Le Centre Sheraton in Montreal, Quebec. He played his entire professional career (1956-1969) for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
July 3, 1996 – The Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland.
July 3, 1997 – The Old Washington County Courthouse at St. Stephens, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
July 3, 2001 - American Brigadier General William Lee Davidson's wallet was brought back the United States from England where it had been held in the Public Records Office in London since the Revolutionary War. Davidson died in combat while attempting to prevent General Charles Cornwallis’ army from crossing the Catawba River in Mecklenburg County, NC.
July 3, 2006 – Mark Childress’ sixth novel, “One Mississippi,” released by Little, Brown & Co.
July 3, 2009 – John Keel, the author of “The Mothman Prophecies,” passed away at the age of 79 in New York City.
July 3, 2014 – A Piper PA-24 Comanche plane crash occurred on Gardner Road in Excel at 11:15 a.m. that left two Daniel Reid and Vance Alexander, both of Birmingham, with injuries. Reid and Alexander were transported to Monroe County Hospital after the accident, but were released a short time later. They departed Shelby County Airport at 10:02 a.m.