Saturday, October 31, 2015

Today in History for Oct. 31, 2015

Arthur Conan Doyle
Oct. 31, 1776 - In his first speech before British Parliament since the leaders of the American Revolution came together to sign of the Declaration of Independence that summer, King George III acknowledged that all was not going well for Britain in the war with the United States. In his address, the king spoke about the signing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the revolutionary leaders who signed it, saying, “for daring and desperate is the spirit of those leaders, whose object has always been dominion and power, that they have now openly renounced all allegiance to the crown, and all political connection with this country.” The king went on to inform Parliament of the successful British victory over General George Washington and the Continental Army at the Battle of Long Island on August 27, 1776, but warned them that, “notwithstanding the fair prospect, it was necessary to prepare for another campaign.”

Oct. 31, 1776 - General George Washington chose to withdraw his forces to New Jersey before British General Howe could plan another attack with his newly arrived reinforcements.

Oct. 31, 1789 – In Lovecraftian fiction, preacher James Boon and his congregation attempted a ceremony contained within Ludwig Prinn’s “De Vermis Mysteriis.” On that night, all of the people of Jerusalem’s Lot vanished and were never seen again.

Oct. 31, 1795 – Romantic poet John Keats was born in London.

Oct. 31, 1843 - Alabama author Idora McClellan Moore was born on her family's plantation near Talladega, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1861 - Union General Winfield Scott stepped down as general in chief citing failing health, and George B. McClellan was elevated to the position. Scott, a hero of the Mexican War, recognized early in the Civil War that his health and advancing years were a liability in the daunting task of directing the Federal war effort. His resignation on October 31 did not end his influence on the war, however, as President Abraham Lincoln occasionally sought his counsel, and many of his former officers commanded forces and executed the same maneuvers that he had used in Mexico.

Oct. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Barton’s Station, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Shoal Creek, Ala. as Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood, CSA, prepared to move his Confederate Army in Tennessee, assuming Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, USA, would pursue him. Instead, Sherman moved in the opposite direction toward Savannah, GA, and the sea.

Oct. 31, 1864 - Nevada became the 36th state to join the United States.

Oct. 31, 1876 – Hugh T. Fountain was named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1892 - On this day, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published. The book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.

Oct. 31, 1893 - Alabama author Hudson Strode was born in Cairo, Ill.

Oct. 31, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that C.W. Zimmerman of the Bear Creek Mill Co. had visited Monroeville during the preceding week and informed the newspaper that the company had completed and was operating about three miles of its railroad.

Oct. 31, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that in Monroe County Circuit Court, Lazarus James had been sentenced to work four years “in the coal mines” for burning J.H. Moore’s warehouse some months before. Albert Jackson was also sentenced to 25 years in the penitentiary, and Mose Hall was given a three-year sentence.

Oct. 31, 1906 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a “handsome new organ” had been placed in the Evergreen Methodist Church.

Oct. 31, 1908 – The members of Camp William Lee, No. 338, were scheduled to meet at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday “for the transaction of business in connection with the state reunion to be held at Mobile” on Nov. 24-26, 1908. G.R. Boulware was the camp’s commander and J.C. Travis was the camp’s adjutant.

Oct. 31, 1913 – The Lincoln Highway, the first automobile road to traverse the entire continental United States, was officially dedicated. The highway ran from New York City’s Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park and was the first national memorial to Abraham Lincoln, predating Washington, D.C.'s Lincoln Memorial by nine years.

Oct. 31-Nov. 4, 1914 – The four-part “Photo-Drama of Creation” was shown for free at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala.

Oct. 31, 1926 – Magician Harry Houdini, 52, died of gangrene and peritonitis resulting from a ruptured appendix. His appendix had been damaged 12 days earlier when he had been punched in the stomach by a student unexpectedly. During a lecture Houdini had commented on the strength of his stomach muscles and their ability to withstand hard blows.

Oct. 31, 1926 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Lavinia Whateley, the albino daughter of Wizard Whateley and mother of Wilbur by an unknown father, vanished, perhaps killed by Wilbur. She first appeared in “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft.

Oct. 31, 1939 – South African cyclist Rowan Peacock was born in Wynberg, Cape Town, South Africa. He competed in the team pursuit at the 1960 Summer Olympics.

Oct. 31, 1941 - Mount Rushmore was declared complete after 14 years of work. At the time, the 60-foot busts of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln were finished.

Oct. 31, 1943 – Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo was born in Pittsfield, Mass.

Oct. 31, 1951 – During the Korean War, Army Pfc. Leonard E. Worrell of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in action.

Oct. 31, 1954 - Martin Luther King Jr. of Atlanta was installed as minister of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala. A little more than a year later, on the first day of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, he was named president of the Montgomery Improvement Association, a role which made him a national civil rights figure.

Oct. 31, 1956 - Rear Admiral G.J. Dufek became the first person to land an airplane at the South Pole. Dufek also became the first person to set foot on the South Pole.

Oct. 31, 1959 - Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine from Fort Worth, Texas, announced that he would never return to the U.S. At the time he was in Moscow, Russia.

Oct. 31, 1963 – Major League Basebal first baseman Fred McGriff was born in Tampa, Fla. He would go on to play for the Toronto Blue Jays, the San Diego Padres, the Atlanta Braves, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oct. 31, 1968 – Thomas Charles Littles of Brooklyn, Ala. was inducted into the U.S. Army. He would be fatally wounded in Vietnam.

Oct. 31, 1980 – On homecoming night at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Sparta Academy lost to South Butler Academy, 13-12. Andy Hammonds scored both of Sparta’s touchdowns, the first on a four-yard run and the second on a 23-yard touchdown reception from Jeff Johnson. Karen Brown was crowned Miss Homecoming, and she was escorted by Mike Raines. Jeena Simpson was crowned Miss Football, and she was escorted by Scott Baggett. Jack Miller was Sparta’s headmaster.

Oct. 31, 1982 – An air show, sponsored by the Conecuh County (Ala.) Rescue Squad, was scheduled to be held Sunday afternoon from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Evergreen’s Middleton Field Municipal Airport.
Oct. 31, 1988 - Debbie Gibson held a séance at her Halloween party to contact the spirits of Liberace and Sid Vicious.
Oct. 31, 1992 – Auburn University officially retired Bo Jackson’s No. 34 football number during a halftime ceremony.
Oct. 31, 1998 - Iraq announced that it was halting all dealings with U.N. arms inspectors. The inspectors were investigating the country's weapons of mass destruction stemming from Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

Oct. 31, 1999 - Bryan White sang the National Anthem at the Adelphia Coliseum in Nashville prior to the game between the Tennessee Titans and the St. Louis Rams. Following the game, White gave his second annual Howl-O-Ween concert at the north end of the coliseum.

Oct. 31, 2001 - In Miami Beach, Fla., Jose Canseco was involved in a nightclub brawl. Canseco later violated his probation and was sentenced to two years of house arrest and three years probation.

Oct. 31, 2001 - Evergreen weather reporter Harry Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of October 2001 was 3.50 inches.

Oct. 31, 2003 – Two Mobile, Ala. residents lost their lives in a four-car accident on Interstate Highway 65 at the Owassa exit in Conecuh County, Ala.

Oct. 31, 2003 – Sparta Academy wrapped up the 2003 football season with a 26-16 win over Ashford Academy in Evergreen, Ala. Quarterback Will Ivey led Sparta’s offense with 17 carries for 170 yards and completed three passes for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Other outstanding Sparta players in that game included Brandon Burleson, Paul Castleberry, Perry Castleberry, Patrick Cumagun and Cody Lowery.

Oct. 31, 2007 – The episode of CSI: NY first broadcast on this date was a Halloween edition based on “The Amityville Horror.: Entitled "Boo," it featured a house in Amityville where a family has died in circumstances similar to the DeFeo murders.

Oct. 31, 2010 - For the first time in Major League Baseball history, two former presidents attended the same World Series Game. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush both attended Game 4 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Oct. 31, 2010 – “The Walking Dead” TV series debuted on AMC.

Oct. 31, 2012 – Searcy Hospital at Mount Vernon, Ala. closed permanently. 

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