Dec. 14, 1287 – The St. Lucia Flood, which resulted in the deaths of at least 50,000 people, occurred in the Netherlands. It's one of the largest floods in recorded history, and it was the result of a storm tide: an extreme low-pressure system that coincides with the high tide.
Dec. 14, 1503 - Physician, astrologer and clairvoyant Nostradamus was born at St. Remy, Provence, France.
Dec. 14, 1542 – Mary Stuart ascended the throne of Scotland.
Dec. 14, 1690 – In Lovecraftian fiction, reputed Salem witch Abigail Prinn died mysteriously before the witch trials began. Prinn is believed to have cursed Salem before she died; perhaps to avert her anger, the colonists buried her with a stake through her chest. She first appeared in 1937’s “The Salem Horror” by Henry Kuttner.
Dec. 14, 1775 – Scottish admiral and adventurer Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald was born in Annsfield, near Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was a daring and successful captain of the Napoleonic Wars, leading the French to nickname him “The Wolf of the Seas.” His life and exploits inspired the naval fiction of 19th- and 20th-century novelists, particularly the figures of C. S. Forester's Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O'Brian's protagonist Jack Aubrey.
Dec. 14, 1777 - The Continental Congress named Irish-born Thomas Conway to the post of inspector general of the United States.
Dec. 14, 1799 - The first president of the United States and prominent Freemason, George Washington, passed away at the age 67 at Mount Vernon, Va.
Dec. 14, 1819 – Alabama became a state. The Alabama Territory had been created in 1817 when Mississippi became a state. By November 1818, the population had grown sufficiently to apply for statehood. The Alabama constitutional convention met in July 1819, and William Wyatt Bibb was elected governor. In December, President James Monroe signed the resolution admitting Alabama to the Union as the 22nd state.
Dec. 14, 1821 – Sparta, Ala. attorney Eldridge S. Greening was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Alabama.
Dec. 14, 1849 - On the 30th anniversary of Alabama statehood, the capitol in Montgomery was destroyed by fire. The building had been erected only two years earlier, after Montgomery succeeded Tuscaloosa as the seat of state government. Construction of the new capitol was completed in 1851.
Dec. 14, 1857 – The Articles of Incorporation for the Claiborne Male and Female Institute were filed with the office of Monroe County Probate Judge M. McCorvey. The school’s trustees included William P. Leslie, John Gaillard, Samuel M. Pettibone, George W. Foster, John N. McClure, Nathan Agee, Rufus C. Torrey, Cornelius E. Thames and Andrew J. Henshaw.
Dec. 14, 1863 - The Battle of Bean's Station occurred in Grainger County, Tenn. The 59th Alabama Infantry Regiment was there as well, and it’s possible that Lewis Lavon Peacock was there too.
Dec. 14, 1863 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln announced that he had granted amnesty for Mrs. Emilie Todd Helm, Mrs. Lincoln's half sister and the widow of a Confederate general, Benjamin Helm of Kentucky, who was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. The pardon was one of the first under Lincoln’s Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which he had announced less than a week before. The plan was the president’s blueprint for the reintegration of the South into the Union.
Dec. 14, 1865 – The county seat of Dallas County, Ala. was officially moved from Cahaba to Selma.
Dec. 14, 1874 – On his deathbed, John Douglas confessed to kidnapping four-year-old Charley Ross of Philadelphia with the late William Mosher, but Douglas died before he could reveal what became of the boy. Ross was the primary victim of the first kidnapping for ransom in America to receive widespread attention from the media. The fate of Charley Ross remains unknown.
Dec. 14, 1900 – Physicist Max Planck published his theory of quantum mechanics, which is often considered one of the most radical scientific discoveries of the 20th century.
Dec. 14, 1903 - Orville Wright made the first attempt at powered flight with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, N.C. The engine stalled during take-off and the plane was damaged in the attempt. Three days later, after repairs were made, the modern aviation age was born when the plane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 102 feet.
Dec. 14, 1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. He reached the destination 35 days ahead of Captain Robert F. Scott. Amundsen's team was comprised of himself, Olav Bjaaland, Helmer Hanssen, Sverre Hassel and Oscar Wisting.
Dec. 14, 1912 – English lieutenant and explorer Belgrave Edward Sutton Ninnis died at the age of 25 on the Ninnis Glacier, Antarctica. A member of Sir Douglas Mawson's 1911 Australasian Antarctic Expedition, Ninnis fell through a snow-covered crevasse and was never seen again.
Dec. 14, 1915 - The Monroe County, Ala. board of revenue held an all-day session at the courthouse on this Tuesday, all members of the board being present.
Dec. 14, 1916 – Horror writer Shirley Jackson was born in San Francisco, Calif.
Dec. 14, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Lazarus B. Rabb of Castleberry, Ala. “died from disease.”
Dec. 14, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. John Boone of Greenville, Ala. “died from disease.”
Dec. 14, 1924 - Alabama journalist and author Ann Wood Waldron was born in Birmingham, Ala.
Dec. 14, 1924 – James Leroy Stacey was born.
Dec. 14, 1925 – Benjamin Franklin Riley, the author of “History of Conecuh County, Alabama” and other books, passed away in Birmingham, Ala.
Dec. 14, 1927 – Long-time Monroe Journal columnist and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton was born in Marengo County, Ala.
Dec. 14, 1930 – The Presbyterian church building on North Mount Pleasant Ave. in Monroeville, Ala. was dedicated during morning worship service. Rev. T.C. Delaney was pastor at the time.
Dec. 14, 1942 – Little Eva crew members Lt. Norman Crosson and Sgt. Loy Wilson arrived on foot at Escott Station 12 days after surviving a plane crash.
Dec. 14, 1944 - Country music singers Hank Williams and Audrey Sheppard were married in a Texaco station in Andalusia, Ala. by a justice of the peace.
Dec. 14, 1944 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mr. and Mrs. Guy Booker had been notified that their son, Guy Dawson Booker Jr., was missing in action in the Pacific theater. Assigned to a U.S. Navy submarine that was rescuing victims from a sunken vessel, he was lost.
Dec. 14, 1949 – Former Major League Baseball first baseman William Joseph “Bill” Buckner was born in Vallejo, Calif. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, California Angels and the Kansas City Royals. Buckner is best remembered for a fielding error during Game 6 of the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets, a play that has since become prominently entrenched in New England sports lore.
Dec. 14, 1952 - The Brooklyn Dodgers signed pitcher Sandy Koufax.
Dec. 14, 1958 – The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition became the first to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility.
Dec. 14, 1965 – Two Atmore, Ala. men were arrested as law enforcement officials raided a “king-size” moonshine still on the road between Lenox and Range in Conecuh County, Ala. The still had a capacity of about 1,000 gallons. ATU agents, ABC agents and Conecuh County Sheriff James “Shorty” Brock conducted the raid.
Dec. 14, 1965 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman and catcher Craig Biggio was born in Smithtown, N.Y. He played his entire career, 1988-2007, for the Houston Astros. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.
Dec. 14, 1967 – The original motion picture adaptation of Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” was released in theaters. Directed by Richard Brooks, the movie starred Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe and Paul Stewart.
Dec. 14, 1968 – Monroe County’s Junior Miss pageant was cheduled to be held on this Saturday night in Monroeville, Ala. Junior Miss contestants that year included Bobbie Gail Jones, Patty Kress, Carolyn Ward, Melissa Moore, Linda Byrd, Linda Black, Gayle Mason, Delilah Myrick, Sharon Jaye, Ramona Hyde and Sharon Pelham.
Dec. 14, 1968 – Monroe County High School’s varsity basketball team was scheduled to play the J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs in a “big Saturday night game” at the coliseum in Monroeville, Ala. Players on MCHS’s team included Al Bentley, Ronnie Taylor, Kenny Stacey, Wendell Simmons, Butch Andress, Johnny Tatum, Mike Colquett, Jim Stallworth, Mike Kimberl and Ronnie Philen.
Dec. 14, 1972 – James Douglas Indindoli, who graduated from Evergreen (Ala.) High School in 1952, died in Salisbury, Md. At the time of his death, Indindoli was a librarian at the Eastern Shore Division of the University of Maryland at Princess Anne. His father, James “Doc” Indindoli, taught at Evergreen High School for several years.
Dec. 14, 1974 – Monroe Academy football standout Keith Pugh signed a football scholarship with the University of Alabama.
Dec. 14, 1976 – Actress Tammy Blanchard was born in Bayonne, New Jersey.
Dec. 14, 1976 – Bounty hunter Leland Chapman was born in Groom, Texas. His visibility with his family team shot upward as the family business became subjects of a reality show, on A&E TV's Dog the Bounty Hunter.
Dec. 14, 1977 – English rugby player Jamie Peacock was born in Leeds, England.
Dec. 14, 1984 - Howard Cosell retired from the NFL's Monday Night Football.
Dec. 14, 1984 - A movie version of Alabama author James Haskins' book “The Cotton Club” was released.
Dec. 14, 1985 – Former Major League Baseball right fielder Roger Maris passed away at the age of 51 in Houston, Texas.
Dec, 14, 1986 - Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins set an NFL record with his seventh 400-yard game.
Dec. 14, 1987 – On this Monday afternoon in Castleberry, Ala., twin brothers John Miller and Sean Miller, age 20, Thomas Miller, 19, and Wayne McDuffie, 20, were killed instantly when the 1984 Mercury Topaz they were riding in went out of control and crashed sideways into a tractor-trailer rig driven by Gerald Douglas Stodghill of Cumming, Ga. The truck belonged to the A&P Tea Co. Sean and Thomas Miller were red shirt freshmen on Troy State’s national championship football team, which defeated Portland State, 31-17, on Dec. 12 in Florence. Sean was an offensive guard while Thomas started at outside linebacker. John Miller was a starting offensive guard for the Albany State University football team, and Wayne Stallworth was on the Albany State baseball team. It was believed that the weather was a major factor in the accident. Funeral services for the four youths was to be held on Dec. 19 at 1 p.m. in the W.S. Neal High School Gymnasium.
Dec. 14, 1987 - Pat Cassady, Alabama’s Math Teacher of the Year and winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence, was honored by the Conecuh County Board of Education with a reception on this Monday morning at the central office in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 14, 1988 - CBS won the exclusive rights to Major League Baseball's 1990-94 seasons for $1.1 billion.
Dec. 14, 1989 - The play “Tru,” compiled from the words and works of Alabama author Truman Capote, opened on Broadway. Written by Jay Presson Allen, it premiered in the Booth Theatre, where it ran for 297 performances with Robert Morse starring as Truman Capote.
Dec. 14, 1991 – Clarene Haskew, 69, of Conecuh County, Ala. was murdered.
Dec. 14, 1997 - Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions ran for more than 100 yards for his 13th consecutive game.
Dec. 14, 1998 - Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers caught a pass in a game against the Detroit Lions. It was his 191st consecutive game with a reception.
Dec. 14, 1999 - In a public ceremony at the Panama Canal, Panama's President Mireya Moscoso de Grubar and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, representing the United States, exchanged documents that transferred control of the canal from the U.S. to the Republic of Panama.
Dec. 14, 2002 – Evergreen, Ala. held its annual Christmas parade on this Saturday, and 45 entries participated in the parade. First Baptist Church of South Main Street took first place honors in the Groups and Organizations division of the float contest with their float, “A True Christmas Story.” First place in the Business category went to Evergreen Medical Center’s “Frosty Winter Wonderland.”
Dec. 14-15, 2002 – On both of these days, Evergreen, Ala. weather observer Harry Ellis reported low temperatures of 28 degrees.
Dec. 14, 2003 - U.S. President George W. Bush announced the American public that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had been capture by U.S. forces.
Dec. 14, 2008 – Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then-U.S. President George W. Bush during a press conference in Baghdad, Iraq.