Dec. 21, 1620 - William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Mayflower carried enough furniture for 19 cottages, as well as pigs, goats, guns, journals and Bibles.
Dec. 21, 1761 - Revolutionary War hero and faithful Patriot Robert Barnwell was born in Beaufort, S.C. At age 16, Barnwell enlisted as a private in the Patriot militia and reached the rank of lieutenant colonel by the end of the War of Independence. Having served the new nation loyally during the war, Barnwell became a successful politician in the political revolution that followed.
Dec. 21, 1809 – Baldwin County (in present-day Alabama) was created from land taken from Washington County. The county was named in honor of Senator Abraham Baldwin, though he never lived in what is now Alabama.
Dec. 21, 1835 – Col. James C. Neill received orders to take command at San Antonio de Bexar with its garrison of 104 men.
Dec. 21, 1848 – James Dellet, who was born in Philadelphia in 1788, died at Claiborne, Ala. and was buried in the garden of his residence. Dellet moved to Alabama in 1818 and practiced law with William B. Travis of Alamo fame. In 1819, he was elected to the first Alabama House of Representatives under state government. He served as its secretary, and he was re-elected in both 1821 and 1825. He was later elected as a Whig to the Twenty-sixth U.S. Congress and was again elected to the Twenty-eighth Congress.
Dec. 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Hudson, Mo.
Dec. 21, 1861 - Lord Lyons, the British minister to the United States, met with Secretary of State William Seward concerning the fate of James Mason and John Slidell. The two Confederate envoys were arrested near the Bahamas on Nov. 8 by the U.S. Navy aboard the British steamer Trent, triggering a major diplomatic crisis between Britain and the United States. The Lincoln administration released the two men a few days later.
Dec. 21, 1861 – Public Resolution 82, containing a provision for a Navy Medal of Valor, was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln.
Dec. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, the first of two days of skirmishing began in the Franklin Creek area of Jackson County, Miss. between Pascagoula and the Mississippi-Alabama state line.
Dec. 21, 1864 - General William T. Sherman reached Savannah, Georgia. Sherman telegraphed Lincoln and offered him Savannah as a Christmas present.
Dec. 21, 1868 – Former University of Alabama President Basil Manly Sr. died at the home of Basil Manly Jr. in Greenville, S.C. at the age of 70 and was buried in Springwood Cemetery in Greenville. He served as the University’s president from 1837 to 1855.
Dec. 21, 1872 – During what is known as the “Challenger Expedition,” the HMS Challenger, commanded by Captain George Nares, sailed from Portsmouth, England.
Dec. 21, 1873 – French admiral and explorer Francis Garnier, 34, was killed at Hanoi while leading a bayonet attack on a party of Black Flag soldiers. Garnier was best known for his exploration of the Mekong River in Southeast Asia.
Dec. 21, 1879 - Henrik Ibsen’s play “A Doll’s House” premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. The play had been published three weeks before, so most theatergoers already knew the story when they took their seats, but this didn’t hurt the box office: people turned out in droves, and every night of the play’s opening run was sold out.
Dec. 21, 1905 – Under the headline “NO PAPER NEXT WEEK,” The Monroe Journal reported that “it is a custom in many newspaper offices to issue no paper during Christmas week, thus affording the hard worked printer a brief interval of rest and recreation. While such has not been the custom of The Journal, we shall make an exception this season, omitting the regular issue next week. We do not expect, however, to waste the time in idleness or dissipation, but in filling orders for job printing and putting the office to rights for an even start with the new year.”
Dec. 21, 1905 - The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. J.B. Stallworth had moved to Opelika.
Dec. 21, 1911 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Josh Gibson was born in Buena Vista, Ga. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
Dec. 21, 1914 – The Evergreen Courant reprinted on its front page a letter from 77-year-old Confederate veteran Joseph R. Bass, who’d moved from Evergreen to Texas immediately after the end of the Civil War.
Dec. 21, 1914 – Monroe County native Dr. Leslie Powell Howard, who lived in Durham, N.C. at the time, was killed by a railroad train at Kingston, N.Y.
Dec. 21-23, 1914 - The periodical examination of applicants for licenses to teach in the Monroe County public schools was held in Monroeville, Ala., under the supervision of Superintendent Barnes and Prof. J.D. Forte. There were 30 applicants.
Dec. 21, 1915 - A Christmas play was scheduled to be held at the Jones Mill (Ala.) auditorium on Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. The program was to consist of a reading in two acts accompanied by vocal and instrumental music by Miss Shell for the benefit of the piano fund. Admission was 25 and 15 cents.
Dec. 21, 1932 – Essayist Edward Hoagland was born in New York City.
Dec. 21, 1933 – Greenlandic anthropologist and explorer Knud Rasmussen died in Copenhagen, Denmark at the age of 54 after contracting pneumonia during the Seventh Thule Expedition. Rasmussen has been called the "father of Eskimology” and was the first European to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled.
Dec. 21, 1941 - Ray McLean of the Chicago Bears performed a drop kick for an extra point in the NFL. The next one would not happen until Doug Floutie performed one 61 years later.
Dec. 21, 1945 - U.S. General George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.
Dec. 21, 1947 – NFL cornerback Nate Wright was born in Madison, Fla. He would go on to play for San Diego State, the Atlanta Falcons, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings.
Dec. 21, 1947 – Major League Baseball outfielder, third baseman and first baseman Elliott Maddox was born in East Orange, N.J. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the Texas Rangers, the New York Yankees, the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Mets.
Dec. 21, 1948 – Lillian W. Pizzano, a 27-year-old girl, was found bruised and unconscious by the side of Highway 31 just north of Four Points Service Station in Evergreen on this Tuesday night. She was found by a soldier who was also hitchhiking. Patrolman George Phillips of the Alabama Highway Patrol, who was called in to investigate, said that Miss Pizzano was on her way to visit an aunt in Buffalo, N.Y., who was her only known living relative, and had come from New Orleans to Evergreen. A man driving by himself picked her up across the street from the Pix Theatre. He immediately began to make advances and to handle her, and she leaped from the car. Patrolman Phillips said that she was carried to Carter’s Hospital in Repton in the Cope Funeral Home ambulance and was treated there. She suffered no broken bones, but was bruised quite badly. The girl was unable to give any means of identifying the man. She said that she had a billfold containing eight dollars in her pocket when she entered the car, but it could not be found. She was stranded in Evergreen without any funds as of Dec. 23.
Dec. 21, 1948 - About 300 fans saw Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team wind up their pre-holidays schedule with a 42-22 win over Lyeffion on this Tuesday night in the new Evergreen High Gym. Evergreen improved to 2-2 on the season with the win. Standout Evergreen players in that game included Guerry Moorer, Billy Mudge Lee, John Law Robinson and Dickey Bozeman. Dees and Watts scored seven points each to lead Lyeffion.
Dec. 21, 1951 - Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from Major League Baseball.
Dec. 21, 1954 - Alabama author Allen Woodman was born in Montgomery, Ala.
Dec. 21, 1956 - The Supreme Court ruling banning segregated seating on Montgomery’s public transit vehicles went into effect. The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks were among the first people to ride a fully integrated bus, ending the historic year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Dec. 21, 1959 - Tom Landry accepted the position of head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. Landry led the team to 22 consecutive winning seasons in his 29 years as coach.
Dec. 21-22, 1961 - The Conecuh County Invitational Basketball Tournament was scheduled to be played in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 21, 1966 - The first television version of Alabama author Truman Capote's book “A Christmas Memory” was broadcast.
Dec. 21, 1967 – Marine Corps PFC Larry Eugene Gonzalez of Atmore, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
Dec. 21, 1967 – The Monroe Journal reported that Sen. Roland Cooper of the 19th Alabama Senatorial District had announced that week that he had obtained a commitment from the State Highway Dept. to furnish all materials and labor to install the towers and guide cable across the Alabama River at the Old Davis Ferry landing for operation of a new ferry to be located there. It was estimated that approximately 1,500 feet of cable and approximately 360 feet of 10” H Beam piling would be installed at a cost of several thousand dollars. The ferry, which was a joint project between the Little River Community Action program and the Monroe County Commission, was to provide a short route for residents of the Packers Bend area into Monroe County.
Dec. 21, 1969 - Vince Lombardi coached his last game. His Washington Redskins lost to the Dallas Cowboys, 20-10. The Redskins ended that season at 7-5-2, which was the first winning season for the team in 14 years.
Dec. 21, 1972 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Keith Pugh, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Pugh of Evergreen, Ala., had been named to an end position on the offense of the Alabama Private School Association’s All State team. Pugh was a sophomore on the state championship Monroe Academy team and logged considerable playing time as a freshman last year. In addition to playing wideout, Keith was backup quarterback and filled in for All-State quarterback Rob Kelly when Kelly was injured. He also was the team’s place-kicker and played defensive halfback.
Dec. 21, 1975 - John Riggins became the first New York Jets player to gain 1,000 yards.
Dec. 21, 1975 - George Blanda, in his final regular-season game, became the first professional football player to reach 2,000 points. His total was 2,002 points over a 26-year career.
Dec. 21, 1979 - The Monroe County Hospital Board on this Friday accepted a low bid of $563,693 from a Bay Minette, Ala. firm to construct a 21-bed addition to the hospital, said hospital administrator Gerald Parton. Southern Regional Contractors Inc. was awarded the contract to construct a new wing and connecting corridor on the south side of the hospital, adding about 7,800 square feet, said Parton. Parton said construction on the new wing was to begin within the next two weeks with a tentative completion date set at September 1980.
Dec. 21, 1980 - Harold Carmichael ended his NFL streak of 127 consecutive game receptions.
Dec. 21, 1981 – “All the Way Home,” a television version of Alabama author James Agee's book “A Death in the Family,” was broadcast.
Dec. 21, 1985 – Weather reporter Earl Windham reported a low temperature of 23 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 21, 1990 - In a German television interview, Saddam Hussein declared that he would not withdraw from Kuwait by the UN deadline.
Dec. 21, 1997 – In “V for Vendetta,” Finch and Dominic reconstructed the Bishop’s murder.
Dec. 21, 1997 - The second television version of Alabama author Truman Capote's book “A Christmas Memory” was broadcast.
Dec. 21, 2004 – During the Iraq War, a suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.
Dec. 21, 2010 – The Florala Historic District in Covington County, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Dec. 21, 2012 – The world was predicted to end on December 21, 2012 according to some calendars.