Dec. 22, 1775 - The Continental Congress created a Continental Navy, naming Esek Hopkins, Esq., as commander in chief of the fleet. Congress also named four captains to the new service: Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicholas Biddle and John Burrows Hopkins. Their respective vessels, the Alfred, Columbus, Andrew Doria and Cabot, became the first ships of the Navy’s fleet.
Dec. 22, 1813 – The Army departed Fort Deposit and took up the line of march through the pathless forest and late in the afternoon made their camp within 10 miles of the Holy Ground.
Dec. 22, 1814 – Early Monroe and Conecuh County, Ala. teacher and physician Dr. John L. Shaw was born in Robinson County, N.C.
Dec. 22, 1818 – The merchants of Blakeley in Baldwin County, Ala. petitioned the U.S. Congress for the privilege of becoming a “Port of Entry and Delivery.”
Dec. 22, 1858 – Composer Giacomo Puccini was born in Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.
Dec. 22, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at New Market Bridge, near Newport News, Va.
Dec. 22, 1862 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, manager and owner Connie Mack was born Cornelius Alexander McGillicuddy in East Brookfield, Massachusetts. He would go on to play for the Washington Nationals, the Buffalo Bisons and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also managed the Pirates and the Philadelphia Athletics. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.
Dec. 22, 1864 - Union General William T. Sherman presented the city of Savannah, Ga. to President Abraham Lincoln. Sherman captured the city after his famous “March to the Sea” from Atlanta. Savannah had been one of the last major ports that remained open to the Confederates. Sherman wired Lincoln with the message, “I beg to present you, as a Christmas gift, the city of Savannah, with 150 heavy guns and plenty of ammunition, and also about 25,000 bales of cotton.”
Dec. 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, a second day of skirmishing continued in the Franklin Creek area of Jackson County, Miss. between Pascagoula and the Alabama state line.
Dec. 22, 1882 - An Edison employee, Edward Johnson, first used electric bulbs to decorate a Christmas tree.
Dec. 22, 1894 - A “riot occurred at a negro fair” near Pine Apple, Ala. on this Saturday. Five people were reportedly killed and 13 more were “mortally wounded.” The Monroe Jouranl reported that “those killed were the three Vanmetten brothers and Alex and Ed Kayer. Whiskey was the cause.”
Dec. 22, 1895 - William Rontgen, a German professor of physics, took the first X-ray image. It was of his wife's left hand and showed the ring she was wearing.
Dec. 22, 1910 – The Conecuh Record in Evergreen, Ala. reported that Lum Dean found a boll weevil on his farm and experts in Montgomery verified that it was in fact a genuine boll weevil.
Dec. 22, 1916 - Charles Boswell, professional blind golfer, was born in Birmingham, Ala. After losing his vision fighting during World War II, Boswell learned to play golf, going on to win 17 national and 11 international blind golf tournaments. He received numerous honors along the way, including the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association award in 1957 and election to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1972.
Dec. 22, 1922 - American poet, translator, and critic Kenneth Rexroth was born in South Bend, Ind.
Dec. 22, 1933 - A falling tree brought almost instant death on this Friday to Hosie Oliver Lynch, 28-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Lynch, who lived three miles east of Castleberry, Ala. In company with his father, a brother and other workers, young Lynch was getting out black gum cross-ties in the woods three miles west of Castleberry when a pine tree, which had been lodged but was released by the cutting of another tree, struck him on the head. He died within 20 minutes.
Dec. 22, 1937 – The Lincoln Tunnel opened to traffic in New York City.
Dec. 22, 1943 - Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs.
Dec. 22, 1944 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton was born in Miami, Fla. He would go on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies, the San Francisco Giants, the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
Dec. 22, 1948 – Major League Baseball first baseman Steve Garvey was born in Tampa, Fla. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres.
Dec. 22, 1956 – Colo, the first gorilla to be bred in captivity, was born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio.
Dec. 22, 1961 - James Davis became the first U.S. soldier to die in Vietnam, while U.S. involvement was still limited to the provision of military advisers.
Dec. 22, 1962 - Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers, was on the cover of TIME magazine.
Dec. 22, 1966 – The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala. published its Centennial Edition.
Dec. 22, 1976 – Major League Baseball outfielder and pitcher Jason Lane was born in Santa Rosa, Calif. He would go on to play for the Houston Astros and the San Diego Padres.
Dec. 22, 1986 - Joe Paterno was named Sportsman of the Year by "Sports Illustrated" magazine. It was only the second time a coach had won the award.
Dec. 22, 1996 - Kordell Stewart of the Pittsburgh Steelers ran 80 yards for a touchdown against Carolina. It was the longest scoring run by a quarterback in NFL history.
Dec. 22, 1996 - Vinny Testaverde of the Baltimore Ravens became the eighth quarterback in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards and throw at least 30 touchdown passes in a single season.
Dec. 22, 2003 – Connie Gibson of Repton, Ala. told The Monroe Journal on this Monday that U.S. Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Mobile) and U.S. Rep. Terry Everette (R-Dothan) had agreed to personally deliver a petition to Washington, D.C., asking Congress to bestow the Medal of Honor on her son, Army Sgt. Troy Jenkins, who was killed in Iraq earlier that year.
Dec. 22, 2007 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team upset Wilcox-Central, ranked No. 4 in 5A, 51-47, in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 22, 2010 – Tuscaloosa, Ala. native Andy Phillips was introduced as the Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team's hitting coach beginning in 2011.