Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Today in History for Aug. 4, 2015

1987 Faulkner Postage Stamp.
Aug. 4, 1181 - Chinese and Japanese astronomers first observed and recorded a supernova in the constellation Cassiopeia. The phenomenon was visible in the night sky for around six months.

Aug. 4, 1526 – Spanish explorer and navigator Juan Sebasti├ín Elcano died at the age of 49 or 50 of malnutrition in the Pacific Ocean while on the Loaisa Expedition. Elcano was a Spanish Basque explorer who completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. After Magellan's death in the Philippines, Elcano took command of the nau Victoria from the Moluccas to Sanl├║car de Barrameda in Spain.

Aug. 4, 1577 – “Black Shuck” reportedly appeared at churches in Bungay and Blythburgh in Suffolk. The churches included the Holy Trinity Church at Blythburgh and St. Mary’s Church at Bungay. At Holy Trinity, he killed a man and boy and caused the steeple to collapse and killed two people kneeled in prayer at St. Mary’s.

Aug. 4, 1735 - Freedom of the press was established with an acquittal of John Peter Zenger. The writer of the New York Weekly Journal had been charged with seditious libel by the royal governor of New York. The jury said that "the truth is not libelous."

Aug. 4, 1753 – George Washington, a 21-year-old Virginia farmer, was declared a Master Mason in a Masonic ritual performed by his fellow Freemasons during a secret ceremony at Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Va. Washington had been initiated into the Masons at age 20 on November 4, 1752. The following year, on March 3, 1753, he was passed as a "Fellow Craft," and five months later, Washington was raised to the rank of Master Mason. In 1788, shortly before becoming the first president of the United States, Washington was elected the first Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22.

Aug. 4, 1782 - The British playwright and general, John Burgoyne, died in England. His humiliating surrender to Patriot forces at Saratoga on October 17, 1777, left a black mark on his military career, but his successful play “The Heiress,” released in 1786, secured his literary reputation. The striking Patriot victory over Burgoyne is commonly thought to be the turning point in the War of Independence in the Patriots’ favor.

Aug. 4, 1790 – A newly passed tariff act created the Revenue Cutter Service, which was the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard.

Aug. 4, 1792 – Poet and essayist Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in Field Place, Sussex, England.

Aug. 4, 1808 - Alabama author Henry W. Hilliard was born in Fayetteville, N.C.

Aug. 4, 1821 – The Saturday Evening Post was published for the first time as a weekly newspaper.

Aug. 4, 1824 – Col. Thomas Levingston Bayne, who lived in Butler County, Ala. as a young man, was born at Clinton, Jones County, Ga. Was the valedictorian at Yale in 1843, later served as City Attorney for New Orleans, fought with the Fifth Co. of the Washington Artillery of New Orleans and was severely wounded at the Battle of Shiloh.

Aug. 4, 1830 – The plans for the city of Chicago were laid out on this date. The filing of the plans marked the first official recognition of the municipality of Chicago. It was incorporated as a city on March 4, 1837.

Aug. 4, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Woodville, Alabama.

Aug. 4, 1864 – The Union operation against Confederate defenses around Atlanta, Georgia, stalled when infighting erupted between Yankee generals. The problem arose when Union General William T. Sherman began stretching his force—consisting of the Army of the Ohio, the Army of the Tennessee, and the Army of the Cumberland—west of Ezra Church, the site of a major battle on July 28, to Utoy Creek, west of Atlanta.

Aug. 4, 1864 – Union Admiral David Farragut ordered the “Chickasaw,” under Lt. Commander George H. Perkins to shell Fort Powell, a Confederate fort on a sandbar just north of Heron Island, two miles north of Dauphin Island, near the mouth of Mobile Bay.

Aug. 4, 1867 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Jake Beckley was born in Hannibal, Mo. He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, the Pittsburgh Burghers, the Pittsburg Pirates, the New York Giants,the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.

Aug. 4, 1879 – The first bale of the new cotton crop reached Mobile, Ala. and was raised by R.H. Hines of Wilcox County. The 560-pound bale was classed low middling and brought 12 cents a pound at auction.

Aug. 4, 1879 – The Monroe Journal reported that Jonathan L. Marshal had resigned from his position as Justice of the Peace at Beat 2.

Aug. 4, 1879 – The Monroe Journal reported that a black man who worked for Jo. Boyles Jr. was shot and fatally wounded at Mount Pleasant, Ala. a few days after July 5. The man had been walking from his house to his corncrib after supper when an unknown gunman shot him in the thigh with a shotgun.

Aug. 4, 1879 – W.H. Nettles, a wanted murderer who had escaped from the Dallas County Jail, was spotted by several parties in Kempville in Monroe County, Ala. Armed with two derringers and a “navy six,” he swapped horses, “took dinner with an old countryman, secured whiskey from P. McGlinn, got drunk and told “an old college mate” Charlie McClure “all about killing Powell in Selma some time ago.” Nettles claimed that he’d meant to kill Powell’s brother instead, but killed the wrong man. Nettles, who was using the alias “Ledger,” said he was headed for Jacksonville, Fla.

Aug. 4, 1892 – Andrew and Abby Borden, the father and stepmother of Lizzie Borden, were found murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts home. Lizzie, Andrew's daughter, was accused of the killings but was later acquitted.

Aug. 4, 1901 – Jazz musician Louis Armstrong was born in the Storyville neighborhood of New Orleans.

Aug. 4, 1903 – L.T. Rutland entered the hardware business in Evergreen, Ala. when he joined the Dunn Hardware Co. as a clerk. A few years later, he purchased an interest in the store and in 1917 he bought the store and changed its name to Rutland Hare Co.

Aug. 4, 1913 – Poet and teacher Robert Hayden was born Asa Bundy Sheffey in Detroit, Mich.

Aug. 4, 1914 - Britain declared war on Germany in World War I, and the United States proclaimed its neutrality.

Aug. 4, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Ed Jackson killed a rattlesnake on the farm of I.L. Mills, three miles from Evergreen, Ala., that measured five feet, six inches in length, 7-1/4 inches in circumference, weighed five pounds and had 20 rattles. The snake had just bitten a dog and was ready to spring at Jackson when he saw the snake and shot him.

Aug. 4, 1934 - Mel Ott became the first major league baseball player to score six runs in a single game.

Aug. 4, 1937 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “The Outer Gate” was released.

Aug. 4, 1942 – Major League Baseball left fielder Cleon Jones was born in Mobile, Ala. He went on to play for the New York Mets and the Chicago White Sox. In 1969, Jones caught the final out of the "Miracle Mets" World Series Championship over the Baltimore Orioles.

Aug. 4, 1944 – A tip from a Dutch informer led the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse, where they found and arrested Jewish diarist Anne Frank, her family and four others. Anne Frank’s famous diary would be published after her death.

Aug. 4, 1953 – L.T. Rutland observed the 50th anniversary of his entry into the hardware business by entertaining the owners and employees of Canterbury Hardware, Inc. with a party at his home.

Aug. 4, 1953 – The Repton Gin ginned a bale of cotton for Leon Jordan of Excel, Ala. that weighed 611 pounds and sold for 45 cents a pound. The Evergreen Gin ginned a bale for Fairview farmer Brown Hawkins that weighed 385 pounds.

Aug. 4, 1961 – Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States, was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Aug. 4, 1964 – Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were found dead in Mississippi after disappearing on June 21.

Aug. 4, 1972 – Arthur Bremer, who attempted to assassinate George C. Wallace, was sentenced to 63 years in prison, later reduced to 53 years. Bremer served 35 years and was released on parole on November 9, 2007.

Aug. 4, 1983 - New York Yankee outfielder Dave Winfield threw a baseball during warm-ups and accidentally killed a seagull. After the game, Toronto police arrested him for "causing unnecessary suffering to an animal."

Aug. 4, 1985 - Tom Seaver of the Chicago White Sox recorded his 300th pitching victory.

Aug. 4, 1985 - Rod Carew of the California Angels got his 3,000th major league hit.

Aug. 4, 1986 - The United States Football League called off its 1986 season. This was after winning only token damages in its antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League.

Aug. 4, 1987 - A new 22-cent U.S. stamp honoring noted author William Faulkner, went on sale in Oxford, Miss. Faulkner had been fired as postmaster of that same post office in 1924.

Aug. 4, 1987 - The Fairness Doctrine was rescinded by the Federal Communications Commission. The doctrine had required that radio and TV stations present controversial issues in a balanced fashion.

Aug. 4, 1990 - The European Community imposed an embargo on oil from Iraq and Kuwait. This was done to protest the Iraqi invasion of the oil-rich Kuwait.

Aug. 4, 1998 – Monroeville minister Thomas James Williams Jr., 33, died at USA Medical Center in Mobile, Ala. after a collision with a train at King’s Crossing in Evergreen, Ala. on Aug. 2, 1998.

Aug. 4, 2012 - Local weather reporter Betty Ellis reported 1.70 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala.
Aug. 4, 2014 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity football team officially began fall football practice at 5 p.m. under head coach Larry Boykin. 

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