|Baseball's Deacon White|
Dec. 7, 1775 - John Paul Jones received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy.
Dec. 7, 1775 - John Barry was appointed a Captain of the Continental Navy.
Dec. 7, 1776 - During his service as the Continental Congress' secret envoy to France, Silas Deane struck an agreement with French military expert, Baron Johann DeKalb, and his protege, the Marquis de Lafayette, to offer their military knowledge and experience to the American cause during the Revolutionary War. Deane also wrote to the U.S. Congress to ask that they ratify the commission of major general that he had promised Lafayette.
Dec. 7, 1776 - Patriots fired arrows over the city walls of Quebec City. The arrows had notes attached that demanded the surrender of Sir Guy Carleton.
Dec. 7, 1777 - British General William Howe engaged American forces on Edge Hill in Pennsylvania. American General Daniel Morgan retreated after an attack by General Charles Cornwallis' regiment.
Dec. 7, 1787 - Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution becoming the first state in the United States, doing so by unanimous vote.
Dec. 7, 1805 - Having spied the Pacific Ocean for the first time a few weeks earlier, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed to the south shore of the Columbia River (near modern-day Portland) and began building the small fort that would be their winter home. For their fort, Lewis and Clark picked a site three miles up Netul Creek (now Lewis and Clark River), because it had a ready supply of elk and deer and convenient access to the ocean, which the men used to make salt. The men finished building a small log fortress by Christmas Eve; they named their new home Fort Clatsop, in honor of the local Indian tribe.
Dec. 7, 1815 – Claiborne, Ala. was named by the Mississippi Territorial Legislature as the place for holding courts in the newly created Monroe County.
Dec. 7, 1820 – The Alabama legislature declared Clarkesville as the county seat for Clarke County, and the first county courthouse was built there, located about eight miles west of Grove Hill, just north of Tattilaba Creek.
Dec. 7, 1820 – The Alabama legislature at Cahaba appointed a Board of County Commissioners for Butler County and passed an act authorizing the board to located a seat of justice for the county, lay off as many lots and dispose of the same in such manner, as they might think most expedient for the benefit of the county.
Dec. 7, 1821 – Covington County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature, and was named for General Leonard Covington of Maryland, who fought in the War of 1812.
Dec. 7, 1847 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher and third baseman Deacon White was born in Caton, N.Y. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
Dec. 7, 1862 - The Battle of Prairie Grove took place in Northwestern Arkansas and Southwestern Missouri. Union General James G. Blunt held off Confederates under General Thomas Hindman. Confederate losses amounted to more than 1,400 killed and wounded, while the Yankees lost more than 1,200.
Dec. 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Paint Rock Bridge, Ala.
Dec. 7, 1873 – Novelist Willa Cather was born in Back Creek Valley, Va.
Dec. 7, 1878 – Judge Walter H. Crenshaw of Greenville passed away from a stroke at the age of 61. He served as a state representative, Speaker of the State House, state senator, President of the State Senate, officer in the state militia and as the Butler County Criminal Court Judge.
Dec. 7, 1879 – Armstead Dudley Cary, who was Conecuh County, Alabama’s first probate judge, passed away at the age of 88. He also served as the Receiver of the Land Office for the Sparta District and as Conecuh County Circuit Court Clerk. He was buried in the Cary Cemetery at Brooklyn, Ala.
Dec. 7, 1904 – The organizational charter was issued to Gantt Lodge No. 589 in Gantt, Ala. (Covington County)
Dec. 7, 1905 – Those aboard the yacht Valhalla, including two expert naturalists E.G.B. Meade-Waldo and Michael J. Nicholl, sighted a “sea monster” off Parahiba, Brazil. Meade-Waldo and Nicholl were fellows of the Zoological Society of Britain, who were taking part in a scientific expedition to the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Meade-Waldo prepared a paper on the sighting, and he presented it to the society at its meeting on June 19, 1906.
Dec. 7, 1914 – Conecuh County (Ala.) Court was in session “with quite a large number of cases” being on the docket before Judge Dean.
Dec. 7, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Dicodemus Daughtry of Andalusia, Ala. “died from disease.”
Dec. 7, 1928 – Linguist and writer Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia, Pa.
Dec. 7, 1939 - Lou Gehrig was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame. He was the first player to have the rule waived that required a player to be retired one year before he could be elected.
Dec. 7, 1939 – The Monroe Journal reported that Nell Whatley, the owner and operator of the Monroeville (Ala.) Beauty Shop, had purchased the Exclusive Dress Shop, which had been owned and operated by Mrs. W.J. Fountain.
Dec. 7, 1941 – Using nearly 200 warplanes, the Imperial Japanese Navy carried out a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet and its defending Army and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack resulted in the U.S. entering into World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy” as more than 2,300 Americans died in the attack.
Dec. 7, 1947 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He would play his entire career, 1967-1983, for the Cincinnati Reds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.
Dec. 7, 1956 – Novelist Susan Minot was born in Boston, Mass.
Dec. 7, 1960 – The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was created by Fred Seaton, the Secretary of the Interior. Over 8 million acres were declared federally protected in an effort to preserve an area of northeastern Alaska that, in just 200 miles (about the size of South Carolina), comprised a pristine environment featuring six different ecosystems, 200 species of bird, 42 species of fish, and 45 mammal species, including 120,000 head of caribou.
Dec. 7, 1963 - CBS introduced the first-ever "Instant Replay" during the Army-Navy football game.
Dec. 7, 1967 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen, Alabama’s two fire trucks were “just about as up to date as fire trucks get so far as appearance and safety lights are concerned.” The Automotive Body Repair Class at Ed Reid State School had recently knocked out all the dents and painted both trucks, and City Electrical Department workers had installed new warning lights. Forrest Douglas was Evergreen’s fire chief at the time.
Dec. 7, 1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched, and the crew took the famous photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth. The photograph was the first clear image of the Earth, because the sun was at the astronauts’ back, and so the planet appeared lit up and you can distinctly see blue, white, brown, even green. The crew of Apollo 17 was about 28,000 miles away from Earth when they took the photo, and it was the last time that astronauts, not robots, were on a lunar mission — since then, no people have gotten far enough away from Earth to take a photo like it.
Dec. 7, 1974 – Evergreen, Ala. weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.0 inches of rain on this day.
Dec. 7, 1974 – Sometime after midnight on this Saturday morning, the home of Lester Brundage Sr. at Owassa, Ala. was burned by a suspected arsonist. The fire was investigated by the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department as well as state and federal officials.
Dec. 7, 1976 – NFL guard Alan Faneca was born in New Orleans, La. He played college ball at LSU and in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals.
Dec. 7, 1986 - Huey Lewis and the News sang the U.S. national anthem a capella before a San Francisco 49ers-New York Jets NFL football game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif.
Dec. 7, 1988 - The Texas Rangers signed free-agent pitcher Nolan Ryan to a one-year contract.
Dec. 7, 1995 – Effie Mae Tucker Park, located on Pineville Road near the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville, Ala., was dedicated.