Dec. 29, 1808 – Future U.S. President Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, N.C.
Dec. 29, 1809 – Prominent freemason Albert Pike was born in Boston, Mass. He would go on to become an attorney, a Confederate officer and a writer. He passed away at the age of 81 on April 2, 1891 in Washington, D.C.
Dec. 29, 1835 - The Cherokee Indian Treaty Party signed the Treaty of New Echota, ceding their lands east of the Mississippi River to the U.S. government. The Cherokees were to receive five million dollars and land in the western Indian Territory. Alabama created the new counties of Cherokee, DeKalb and Marshall from the ceded land and the Cherokees began their infamous “trail of tears.”
Dec. 29, 1841 – Coffee County, Ala. was established, formed from the western part of Dale County. It was named after John R. Coffee, a hero in the Creek War of 1813—14.
Dec. 29, 1845 - U.S. President James Polk and signed the “Joint Resolution for the Admission of the State of Texas into the Union,” making Texas the 28th state of the United States. In accordance with International Boundary delimitation, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas, following the manifest destiny doctrine. The Republic of Texas had been independent since the Texas Revolution of 1836.
Dec. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Hopoeithleyohola in the Indian Territory.
Dec. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Commerce and an attack was carried out on the steamboat “City of Alton” in Missouri.
Dec. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Braxton Courthouse, Clay, and Webster in West Virginia.
Dec. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, Union General William T. Sherman was thwarted in his attempt to capture Vicksburg, Miss., the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, when he ordered a frontal assault on entrenched Rebels. Union loses totaled some 1,770 men while the Confederates lost around 200. The attack was a mistake by Sherman, who should have never tried to go up against fortified Rebels across open ground.
Dec. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes occurred at Hillsborough and Pond Springs, Ala.
Dec. 29, 1878 - The first game was played between two teams of the first professional baseball league in Cuba, later known as the Cuban League. Representing the city of Havana, the Habana club faced off against their greatest rivals, a club from the neighboring suburb of Almendares. Habana, coached by Esteban Bellán, the first Cuban to play professional baseball in the United States, won that inaugural game 21-20.
Dec. 29, 1890 – The Wounded Knee Massacre on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation occurred as 300 Lakota were killed by the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment.
Dec. 29, 1910 – The Manistee & Repton Railway was officially incorporated.
Dec. 29, 1910 – The Conecuh Record reported that P.M. Skinner’s cotton gin in Castleberry, Ala. burned and was a total loss.
Dec. 29, 1914 – P.D. Jackson “killed a monster catamount” in Conecuh County’s Sandy Creek Swamp. Jackson had to shoot the large cat six times before killing it.
Dec. 29, 1914 - George H. Oswald was seriously injured when he fell from the roof of a two-story building he was working on in Evergreen, Ala. He later died from his injuries.
Dec. 29, 1915 – The Rev. C.A. Williams, the new pastor of the Monroeville, Ala. circuit, arrived on this Wednesday evening with his family and settled into the parsonage.
Dec. 29, 1937 – Babe Ruth returned to baseball as the new manager of the Class D De Land Reds of the Florida State League. Ruth had retired from baseball in 1935.
Dec. 29, 1939 – The first flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator took place.
Dec. 29, 1947 – The Loretto Saints handed Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team their first loss of the season, beating them 26-24 in Montgomery. Benton Carpenter led Evergreen with 10 points, and Bill Carr led Loretto with 10 points.
Dec. 29, 1949 – The Monroe Journal reported that a $250 reward had been posted by Rep. W.W. Garrett of Uriah for information leading to the conviction of the automobile driver responsible for the hit and run killing of 14-year-old Vivian Murphy in Uriah on the night of Dec. 20. The Murphy girl was struck down about 6:20 p.m. as she walked to a play rehearsal with two girl companions who leaped clear of the speeding automobile. A victim of infantile paralysis, Murphy had only recently undergone an operation which enabled her to remove one of the two braces she had worn since infancy.
Dec. 29, 1949 – The Monroe Journal reported that the five Monroe County high schools, following a two-week Christmas vacation, were scheduled to return to “hardwood warfare in earnest” the next week with all schools except Uriah scheduled to play two games. To date, Monroe County High had the best record of any county school – having racked up three victories against one defeat. The Tigers held wins over Beatrice, Excel and Greenville, and dropped their lone decision to T.R. Miller High in Brewton, 39-33.
Dec. 29, 1949 – The Monroe Journal reported that “improvement of recreational facilities at Little River State Park near Uriah” was on the agenda of the state Department of Conservation in 1950, according to Department Director Bert Thomas. “Pointing out that facilities at the park are used by various clubs and civic organizations for camping and recreational purposes and that facilities there are also used by Forestry students at Auburn, Mr. Thomas said that tables would be added, picnic space increased and various other improvements made during 1950.”
Dec. 29, 1953 - The “Beast of Bladenboro” case began on this night when a woman in Clarkton, N.C. chased away what appeared to be an abnormally large feline from her neighbor’s property. Next, on New Year’s Eve, Roy Fores, the Bladenboro police chief, was called to an area farm where two dogs had recently been killed.
Dec. 29, 1965 - CBS acquired the rights to the NFL regular-season games in 1966 and 1967, with an option for 1968, for $18.8 million per year.
Dec. 29, 1970 - The Old St. Stephen Site at St. Stephens in Washington County, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Dec. 29, 1972 – Eastern Airlines Flight 401 (a Lockheed L-1011) “disintegrated” over land within a short distance of the Miami airport with a loss of over 100 passengers and crew.
Dec. 29, 1976 – American actor, producer, and screenwriter Danny McBride was born in Statesboro, Ga.
Dec. 29, 1978 – The site of the H.L. Hunley submarine sinking was placed on National Register of Historic Places.
Dec. 29, 1980 - Three Texans suffered severe burns when they encountered a fire blasting diamond-shaped UFO. One of the victims in the Cash-Landrum Incident had injuries so severe, a doctor described it as comparable to being "3 to 5 miles from the epicenter of Hiroshima."
Dec. 29, 1982 - Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant ended his football coaching career at Alabama with 323 wins.
Dec. 29, 1982 – The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad merged with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad to form the Seaboard System Railroad.
Dec. 29, 1986 - The television program “Seasons of Belief,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was broadcast as part of the “Tales from the Darkside” series.
Dec. 29, 2000 – E. Elias Merhige’s “Shadow of the Vampire,” which was released on this day, tantalized audiences with the unsettling suggestion that the monstrous Nosferatu (Willem Dafoe), who assumed the title role in the classic film by F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich), was, in reality, actually portrayed by a real vampire, rather than an actor.
Dec. 29, 2000 - Alabama author Bill Easterling died in Huntsville, Ala.
Dec. 29, 2007 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys and varsity girls basketball teams captured first place trophies in the South Choctaw Holiday Tournament in Toxey.
Dec. 29, 2007 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Alabama Christian Academy, 67-59, during the Capital City Conference Christmas Basketball Tournament at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery, Ala.
Dec. 29, 2007 - The New England Patriots became the first NFL team in 35 years to finish the regular season undefeated (16-0) when they beat the New York Giants 38-35.
Dec. 29, 2015 – 1.15 inches of rainfall was recorded in Excel, Ala.