Dec. 19, 1606 – The Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery departed England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.
Dec. 19, 1732 - Benjamin Franklin began publishing "Poor Richard's Almanac."
Dec. 19, 1741 – Along with 28 of his men, Danish-Russian hydrographer and explorer Vitus Bering died, reportedly from scurvy, at the age of 60, near the Kamchatka Peninsula on Bering Island, Russia. He is known for his two explorations of the north-eastern coast of the Asian continent and from there the western coast on the North American continent. The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, the Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge have since all been (posthumously) named in his honour.
Dec. 19, 1776 – Thomas Paine published one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled "The American Crisis,” and George Washington had the pamphlet read aloud to his men at McKonkey’s Ferry on the Delaware River, opposite Trenton, N.J. Reciting Paine’s impassioned words, the beleaguered troops mustered their remaining hopes for victory and crossed the icy Delaware River to defeat hung-over Hessians on Christmas night and on January 2, the British army’s best general, Earl Cornwallis, at the Battle of Princeton.
Dec. 19, 1777 – During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington's Continental Army went into winter quarters at Valley Forge, Pa., 22 miles from British-occupied Philadelphia. Washington chose a site on the west bank of the Schuylkill River that could be effectively defended in the event of a British attack. The particularly severe winter of 1777-1778 proved to be a great trial for the American army, and of the 11,000 soldiers stationed at Valley Forge, hundreds died from disease.
Dec. 19, 1817 - Confederate General James Archer was born in Harford County, Maryland. When the Civil War broke out, he joined General John Bell Hood’s Texas Brigade in the Confederate army and fought with the Army of Northern Virginia throughout the war. He was captured at Gettysburg, and was held in prisons in Ohio and Delaware, before being exchanged in August 1864.
Dec. 19, 1836 – Educator Maria Sanford was born in Saybrook, Conn.
Dec. 19, 1843 - Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" was first published in England.
Dec. 19, 1855 – Joseph Tarpley Peacock, who was Lewis Lavon Peacock’s father, bought 160.28 acres of federal land in Dale County, Ala. for $20.04. This land forms a square west of Alabama Highway 123, a few miles below Newton and near the Little Choctawhatchee River.
Dec. 19, 1859 – Larkin H. Dailey completed the construction of the Monroe County Jail in Monroeville, Ala., and the building was accepted on this day by county commissioners. Dailey had been award the contract for the building’s construction in February 1859 for $6,740 with the building to be completed by Jan. 1, 1860. The original building was a single story structure constructed of hand-formed bricks made from local clay deposits.
Dec. 19, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Point of Rocks, Md. on the Potomac River.
Dec. 19, 1861 – Writer Italo Svevo was born in Trieste, Italy. He is best known for his 1923 book, “Confessions of Zeno,” which is considered one of the greatest Italian novels of the 20th century.
Dec. 19, 1868 – Novelist and short-story writer Eleanor Hodgman Porter was born in Littleton, New Hampshire. She is best known for her 1913 novel, “Pollyanna.”
Dec. 19, 1870 – George A. Green was named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.
Dec. 19, 1871 - The City of Birmingham was incorporated by the state legislature. The act called for the governor to appoint the first mayor and eight aldermen and allowed the mayor to require all male inhabitants ages 18-45 to work five days each year on the streets and roadways of the city. Birmingham owes its founding to the geological uniqueness of the Jones Valley, the only place on Earth where large deposits of the three raw materials needed to make iron-—coal (for conversion into coke), iron ore, and limestone--existed close together. The new city boomed so quickly that it came to be known as the "Magic City."
Dec. 19, 1910 – James Smith, the son of Ben Smith, was shot and killed at Georgiana, Ala. His remains were brought to Evergreen the following day, and he was buried near the China community in Conecuh County.
Dec. 19, 1915 – French singer Edith Piaf was born Édith Giovanna Gassion in Paris, France.
Dec. 19, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James G. Ezell of Georgiana, Ala. “died from disease.”
Dec. 19, 1918 - Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" column in "The New York Globe".
Dec. 19, 1928 – Confederate soldier John S. Crawford of Evergreen passed away at the age of 88 and was buried at Old Bethany Baptist Church at Burnt Corn. During the Civil War, he served with Co. B, 3rd Alabama Cavalry Regiment, CSA.
Dec. 19, 1934 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Al Kaline was born in Baltimore, Md. He played his entire career, 1953-1974, for the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
Dec. 19, 1941 – During World War II, Adolf Hitler became the Supreme Commander-in-chief of the German Army.
Dec. 19, 1950 – Frisco City High School’s boys basketball team beat Evergreen High School, 44-42, in Memorial Gym in Evergren, Ala. Center B.B. Barnes led Coach Wallace Joiner’s Frisco City team. Gwyn Daniels led Evergreen with 20 points.
Dec. 19, 1950 – In the early morning hours, a fire of “undetermined origin,” destroyed the home of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Potts, who had four children, on Owassa Road, about four miles from Evergreen, Ala. The home was owned by D.T. Stuart.
Dec. 19, 1955 - A fire on this night completely destroyed a house on the Loree Road, about two miles from Evergreen, Ala. The house was occupied by Willie Houston Lee and family.
Dec. 19, 1955 - The Williams Store, about a mile from Repton, Ala. on the Range Road, was broken into and robbed on this night. About $25 in currency, eight cartons of cigarettes and an automobile battery were taken during the burglary.
Dec. 19, 1957 – The Evergreen Courant reported that pupils entering Conecuh County, Ala. schools would be required to take a series of immunization shots in the future, according to Superintendent of Education Guy S. Kelly. The program was approved by unanimous vote by the Conecuh County Board of Education at its previous meeting. Immunizations to be required prior to entry in public schools were for diptheria, pertussis and tetanus, smallpox and typhoid.
Dec. 19, 1959 – Penn State’s Nittany Lions beat Alabama, 7-0, in the first Liberty Bowl football game.
Dec. 19, 1959 - Walter Williams died in Houston, Texas at the age of 117. He was said to be the last surviving veteran of the U.S. Civil War.
Dec. 19, 1961 - A television version of Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “The Children's Hour” was broadcast.
Dec. 19, 1964 - ABC used an overhead camera for the first time. The event was the Liberty Bowl.
Dec. 19, 1972 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Warren Sapp was born in Orlando, Fla.
Dec/ 19, 1972 - The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans and Harrison Schmitt, returned to Earth.
Dec. 19, 1975 – George and Kathy Lutz and their three children moved into the house at 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, N.Y.
Dec. 19, 1985 – Weather reporter Earl Windham reported a low temperature of 24 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 19, 1985 - Jan Stenerud announced his retirement from the NFL. The football kicker held the record for the most career field goals with 373.
Dec. 19, 1985 - ABC Sports announced that it was severing ties with Howard Cosell and released ‘The Mouth’ from all TV commitments. Cosell continued on ABC Radio for another five years.
Dec. 19, 1986 - Michael Sergio was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and fined $500. Sergio, a Mets fan, had parachuted into Shea Stadium during Game 6 of the World Series.
Dec. 19, 1988 - The NCAA placed the Oklahoma Sooners football program on probation for violations.
Dec. 19, 1990 – Alabama native Bo Jackson of the Los Angeles Raiders became the first athlete to be chosen for All Star Games in two sports.
Dec. 19, 1991 - Pitcher Steve Howe of the New York Yankees was arrested for cocaine possession.
Dec. 19, 1994 - A television version of Alabama author Truman Capote's book “One Christmas” was first broadcast. Directed by Tony Bill, the movie starred Katherine Hepburn and Henry Winkler.
Dec. 19, 1994 – Olive Evelyn Stacey died on this Monday at her residence in Frisco City, Ala. at the age of 94. Funeral services were held on Wed., Dec. 21, at 10:30 at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. The Rev. Clayton Barnes officiated, and she was buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery. She was survived by one son, James L. Stacey of Frisco City; two grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Dec. 19, 1998 - A four-day bombing of Iraq by British and American forces ended.
Dec. 19, 1999 - Orlando Brown of the Cleveland Browns was ejected from a game for pushing referee Jeff Triplette to the ground. Triplette had accidentally hit Brown in the eye with a weighted penalty flag.
Dec. 19, 2000 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported a low of 15 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 19, 2000 – Conecuh County, Ala. native Wade Dees Nobles Jr., 80, died at Thomas Hospital in Baldwin County, Ala. He was born Dec. 3, 1920 in Conecuh County, served in the Army for 35 years and was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.
Dec. 19, 2000 - The U.N. Security Council voted to impose sanctions on Afghanistan's Taliban rulers unless they closed all terrorist training camps and surrender U.S. embassy bombing suspect Osama bin Laden.
Dec. 19, 2003 - The baseball that was deflected by a fan in the stands during a Chicago Cubs game was sold for $106,600 at auction. The foul ball appeared to be headed for the glove of left fielder Moises Alou in Game 6 of the National League Championship series. The Florida Marlins ended up winning the game, 8-3. The Cubs then lost Game 7.
Dec. 19, 2007 – The body of Calvin Mitchell of Belleville, Ala. was found and investigators ruled his death a homicide. Henry Peters, 33, of Belleville was charged with Mitchell’s murder in January 2008.
Dec. 19, 2014 – Excel High School’s varsity boys basketball team claimed third place in the Hub City Classic Tournament by beating J.F. Shields High School, 76-68, in Monroeville, Ala. Quamie Penn led Excel with 21 points.