July 9, 1540 – As the DeSoto Expedition approached, the chieftain of the ancient Indian village of Tali tried in vain to send the women and children across the Tennessee River in canoes to safety only to have them turned back by DeSoto. The village was located on McKee’s Island near Guntersville in Marshall County.
July 9, 1706 – Canadian captain and explorer Pierre Le Moyne d’Iberville died suddenly, perhaps of yellow fever, at the age of 44 in Havana, Cuba. In addition to being a ship captain and explorer, d’Iberville was a soldier, colonial administrator, knight of the order of Saint-Louis, adventurer, privateer, trader, member of Compagnies Franches de la Marine and founder of the French colony of Louisiana of New France.
July 9, 1776 – George Washington ordered the Declaration of Independence to be read out loud to members of the Continental Army in New York, New York for the first time.
July 9, 1777 - New York elected Brigadier General George Clinton, who was friends with George Washington, as the first governor of the independent state of New York. Clinton would go on to become New York’s longest-serving governor, as well as the longest-serving governor in the United States, holding the post until 1795 and again from 1801 to 1804. In 1805, he was elected vice president of the United States, a position he held under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, until his death in 1812.
July 9, 1777 - Colonel William Barton of the Rhode Island Patriot militia led his men toward Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The next day, shortly after midnight, he captured British General Richard Prescott.
July 9, 1793 – The Act Against Slavery was passed in Upper Canada and the importation of slaves into Lower Canada was prohibited.
July 9, 1811 – Explorer David Thompson posted a sign at the confluence of the Columbia and Snake Rivers (in modern Washington state), claiming the land for the United Kingdom.
July 9, 1850 – Kentucky native Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, died suddenly at the age of 55 from an attack of cholera in Washington, D.C., having served only 16 months as president. Vice President Millard Fillmore became President upon Taylor's death.
July 9, 1853 – Former Monroe Journal publisher Horace Hood, who also founded and edited the Montgomery Journal, was born at Madisonville, Tenn. He moved to Monroe County, Ala. in 1875 and published The Monroe Journal for a decade.
July 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Siege of Port Hudson ended.
July 9, 1864 – Confederates under General Jubal Early attacked Union forces at the Battle of Monocacy near Frederick, Maryland. The battle delayed Early's advance toward Washington long enough for Union reinforcements to arrive. Early’s expedition towards the Union capital was designed to take pressure off Robert E. Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia around Petersburg, Virginia.
July 9, 1868 – The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.
July 9, 1877 – The Wimbledon tennis tournament began when the All England Croquet and Lawn Tennis Club begins its first lawn tennis tournament at Wimbledon.
July 9, 1878 - The corncob pipe was patented by Henry Tibbe.
July 9, 1896 – William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech advocating bimetallism at the 1896 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
July 9, 1914 – Confederate veteran Crocket Janes of Conecuh County, Ala. passed away at his son’s home. Believed to have been about 100 years old, he enlisted in the army in 1861 at the age of 46, served four years and was wounded three times. A native of Georgia, he moved to Alabama after the war and lived the rest of his life there.
July 9, 1915 – On this Friday night, shortly after midnight, four masked bandits held up the No. 37 New York and New Orleans fast mail train a few miles south of Greenville and robbed the mail car of all money and valuables. No passengers were harmed by Capt. Phil McCrea, conductor in charge of the train, died "from a weak heart" due to the excitement.
July 9, 1918 - The Great Train Wreck of 1918 took place in Nashville, Tenn. An inbound train collided head-on with an outbound express, killing 101 and injuring 171 people. It's considered the deadliest rail accident in U.S. history.
July 9, 1918 – Noble Prize-winning author William Faulkner of Oxford, Miss. joined the Royal Air Force on this day, but will never see combat because World War I would end before he completed his training. Faulkner joined the RAF after his high school sweetheart, Estelle, married another man. He quit his hometown, Oxford, Mississippi, visited friends in the North, and headed to Canada, where he joined the Royal Air Force.
July 9, 1933 – Neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks was born in London.
July 9, 1945 – Horror writer Dean Koontz was born in Everett, Pa.
July 9, 1948 – Mobile, Ala. native Leroy “Satchel” Paige, age 42, made his Major League debut, pitching two innings for the Cleveland Indians in a 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Browns. The game came 21 years after the great pitcher’s first Negro League appearance.
July 9, 1951 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder and first baseman Harry Heilmann passed away at the age of 56 in Southfield, Mich. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1952.
July 9, 1951 - Southern writer Larry Brown was born in Oxford, Miss. His books include “Dirty Work” (1989) and “Facing the Music” (1988).
July 9, 1958 - The tallest wave ever recorded-- 1,720 feet (500 ft. taller than the Empire State Building) hit Lituya Bay in the Gulf of Alaska. The tsunami was triggered by a massive landslide/earthquake.
July 9, 1963 – The Union Bank of Repton, Ala. was robbed of $34,070 at 12:22 p.m. by a middle-aged white man. Bank cashier Carl W. Ryals was alone in the bank when the bandit walked in about 12:22 p.m. Two women employees were out for lunch, and the bank president, A.E. (Bill) Kelly, had stepped next door.
July 9, 1968 - The first All-Star baseball game to be played indoors took place at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.
July 9, 1968 – The Battle of Khe Sanh began in Vietnam. Luther Upton was there with the U.S. Marine Corps.
July 9, 1976 – Actor, director and producer Fred Savage was born in Highland Park, Ill.
July 9, 1979 – A car bomb destroyed a Renault motorcar owned by the famed "Nazi hunters" Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. A note purportedly from ODESSA claimed responsibility.
July 9, 1985 - Herschel Walker of the New Jersey Generals was named the Most Valuable Player in the United States Football League (USFL).
July 9, 1985 - Joe Namath signed a five-year pact with ABC-TV to provide commentary for "Monday Night Football.”
July 9, 1993 - British forensic scientists announced that they had positively identified the remains of Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II; his wife, Czarina Alexandra; and three of their daughters. The scientists used mitochondria DNA fingerprinting to identify the bones, which had been excavated from a mass grave near Yekaterinburg in 1991.
July 9, 2002 - The major league baseball All-Star game ended in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings. Baseball commission Bud Selig called the game after both team managers informed him that they had run out of players.