|Louis Antoine de Bougainville|
Aug. 31, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition reached the Indian town of Hoithlewalli on the right bank of the Tallapoosa River in present day Elmore County, Ala.
Aug. 31, 1777 - On the Ohio frontier, Patriot Captain Samuel Mason survived a devastating Indian attack on Fort Henry in present-day West Virginia.
Aug. 31, 1803 – Lewis and Clark started their expedition to the west by leaving Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 11 in the morning.
Aug. 31, 1811 – French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville passed away at the age of 81 in Paris, France. A contemporary of the British explorer James Cook, he took part in the Seven Years' War in North America and the American Revolutionary War against Britain. Bougainville later gained fame for his expeditions, including circumnavigation of the globe in a scientific expedition, the first recorded settlement on the Falkland Islands, and voyages into the Pacific Ocean.
Aug. 31, 1813 – Lt. Montgomery sent out a mounted patrol that reported that Fort Mims had fallen and the river swamp was full of Indians.
Aug. 31, 1824 – During his extended tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette left Boston, traveled through and made stops at Lexington, Concord, Salem, Marblehead, and Newburyport, Mass.
Aug. 31, 1831 – Dr. John Watkins married Mary Thomas Hopkins Howard Hunter at Belleville in Conecuh County, Ala. She was the daughter of William and Sarah Goodwin Howard and was descended from the distinguished Howard family of Baltimore.
Aug. 31, 1837 - Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his famous “American Scholar” address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard. He told the students to think for themselves rather than absorb thought, to create rather than repeat, and not to look to Europe for cultural models.
Aug. 31, 1850 – John Watkins became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.
Aug. 31, 1861 – U.S. Representative James Adam Stallworth died in Evergreen, Ala. of enteritis.
Aug. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, Richmond announced that no less than five men were being named as full generals, the promotions being effective on different dates so that these five would know who was superior to each other. In order they were: Samuel Cooper, Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, and Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard. The only full General the North would name wouldn’t get the job for almost three years: U.S. Grant.
Aug. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Little River Turnpike, Va.
Aug. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Stevenson, Ala. in Jackson County, Ala.
Aug. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Will's Valley, Ala. in Etowah County, Ala.
Aug. 31, 1864 – Samuel C.H. Dailey commissioned for a second term as Monroe County, Alabama’s Sheriff.
Aug. 31, 1864 - At the Battle of Jonesboro, Ga., U.S. General William T. Sherman launched the attack that finally secured Atlanta, Ga., for the Union, and sealed the fate of Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, which was forced to evacuate the area. The entrenched Yankees lost 178 men, while the Confederates lost nearly 2,000.
Aug. 31, 1873 – Eliza Allen Watts, the wife of Thomas Hill Watts of Butler County, Ala., who served as Alabama’s governor, passed away, leaving a family of 10 children.
Aug. 31, 1888 - Prostitute Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper," was found murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel's Buck's Row.
Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 1905 – The Monroe County Masonic Conference was scheduled to be held at the Monroeville, Ala. Lodge.
Aug. 31, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that M.E. Hudson was preparing to erect an up-to-date ginnery in Monroeville, Ala. The ginnery was to be located on the vacant lot just north of the “school grounds” and was to be equipped with a large gasoline engine and “other improved appliances.”
Aug. 31, 1907 – William Shawn, the longtime editor of The New Yorker, was born William Chon in Chicago. In 1965, he first published Truman Capote's “In Cold Blood” as a series of articles.
Aug. 31, 1908 – Pulitzer-Prize winning Armenian-Ameican writer William Saroyan was born in Fresno, Calif.
Aug. 31, 1911 – Freight and passenger service on the Manistee & Repton Railroad was discontinued.
Aug. 31, 1920 - The first news program to be broadcast on radio was aired. The station was 8MK in Detroit, Mich.
Aug. 31, 1925 – Evergreen’s Agricultural School and City School opened for the 1925-26 school year. Public schools throughout the county opened on Oct. 5.
Aug. 31, 1931 – The first service was held in current Monroeville Methodist Church building on Pineville Road with the Rev. R.K. Jones delivering the sermon.
Aug. 31, 1935 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder, left fielder and manager Frank Robinson was born in Beaumont, Texas. He went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds, the Baltimore Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the California Angels and the Cleveland Indians and managed the Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
Aug. 31, 1946 - Superman returned to radio on the Mutual Broadcasting System after being dropped earlier in the year.
Aug. 31, 1947 – Locke Thompson and A.B. Blass, both of Monroeville, Ala., members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry in Japan with postwar occupational forces, summitted 12,388-foot Mount Fuji. Of the 44 who started the climb, only seven reached the top.
Aug. 31, 1950 – Army Cpl. Elven J. Hobbs of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.
Aug. 31, 1950 - Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit four home runs in a single game off of four different pitchers.
Aug. 31, 1958 – The Orpheus Club of Evergreen, Ala. celebrated its 50th anniversary with a “Silver Tea” at the Evergreen City School. The club was organized in 1908 and was federated in 1909.
Aug. 31, 1959 - Brooklyn Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax struck out 18 batters, setting a new National League record for most strikeouts in a single game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won, 5-2. Koufax’s total of 18 strikeouts in the game broke Dizzy Dean’s 26-year-old National League record, and tied the major league record held by Cleveland Indian ace Bob Feller. Koufax also broke the record for strikeouts over two consecutive games, fanning 31 men combined, having struck out 13 batters in his previous start.
Aug. 31, 1968 – Marine Lance Cpl. Henry Beall Smith Jr. of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
Aug. 31, 1973 – Monroe Academy lost its first ever football game, falling to Central Alabama Academy, 14-9, in Montgomery. This loss snapped the school’s streak of 39 straight games without a loss.
Aug. 31, 1978 – W.S. Neal High School beat Evergreen High School, 31-0. Outstanding Evergreen players in that game included Sanford Moye, Wendell Parker and Keith Rabb. Charles Branum was Evergreen’s head coach.
Aug. 31, 1985 - The "Night Stalker" killer, Richard Ramirez, was captured by residents in Los Angeles.
Aug. 31, 1995 – MCHS graduate Kenny Croft was the football team’s honorary team captain for a game against Paramount in Monroeville, Ala. Monroeville won the toss, elected to receive and Chris Kirkland returned the kick 90 yards for a touchdown. MCHS won, 28-18.
Aug. 31, 1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris, France. The television audience for Diana's funeral, broadcast around the world, was believed to be around 2.5 billion viewers. Conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana's death emerged almost immediately and, despite official inquiries by both the French and UK governments, the accident remains shrouded in suspicion.
Aug. 31, 2006 – Marlon Anderson of Montgomery, Ala. was traded by the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers after scoring the winning run in a 6-5 thriller against the Phillies in Washington. At the time, Washington had been struggling for much of the season and was not a playoff factor while the Dodgers appeared to be headed for the playoffs with the NL West division crown. Anderson was brought in hopes to assist in the Dodgers' playoff push. He was intended to be a pinch hitter, but Anderson won the starting job in left field when rookie Andre Ethier struggled towards the end of the season.