Sunday, January 10, 2016

Today in History for Jan. 10, 2016

Adam J. Slemmer
Jan. 10, 1775 – William Rabb Sr., who settled in Conecuh County in 1819, was born in Fairfield District, South Carolina. He was one of Conecuh’s first store owners and farmers.

Jan. 10, 1776 - While in exile aboard a warship in Cape Fear, North Carolina’s Royal Governor Josiah Martin issued a proclamation calling on the king’s loyal subjects to raise an armed force to combat the rebels, raise the royal standard and restore the province to its former glorious freedom. These North Carolina Loyalists were to march to the sea, where General William Howe intended to provision them with arms and supplement their numbers with troops from Boston and Ireland. Only 1,500 men answered Martin’s call for a march to the sea, and when they reached their destination, they were met not by Howe, but by Patriot troops.

Jan. 10, 1780 – German physician and explorer Martin Lichtenstein was born in Hamburg.

Jan. 10, 1842 – Thomas Hill Watts of Butler County, Ala., who would eventually become Alabama’s governor, married Eliza B. Allen, the daughter of Wade Allen, Esq., then a prominent and wealthy citizen of Montgomery, Ala.

Jan. 10, 1843 – Alexander Franklin “Frank” James was born in Clay County, Missouri. He grew up to become a Confederate soldier, guerrilla and outlaw. He was the older brother of outlaw Jesse James and was also part of the James–Younger Gang.

Jan. 10, 1861 - Florida became the third state to secede from the Union when a state convention voted 62 to 7 in favor of the measure. U.S. troops are transferred from Barrancas Barracks to Fort Pickens, Santa Rosa Island, Pensacola, Fla.

Jan. 10, 1861 – Lt. Adam J. Slemmer destroyed over 20,000 pounds of gunpowder at Fort McRee, spiked the guns at Fort Barrancas, and evacuated with 51 soldiers and 30 sailors to Fort Pickens.

Jan. 10, 1861 – During the Civil War, the U.S. Arsenal at Baton Rouge, La. was seized by Louisiana state troops who were lead by Braxton Bragg. Fort Caswell was also seized by the citizens of Smithville and Wilmington, N.C.

Jan. 10, 1861 - William Seward, a native of New York, accepted President-elect Abraham Lincoln's invitation to become Secretary of State. Seward became one of the most important members of Lincoln's cabinet and engineered the purchase of Alaska after the Civil War. The assassination that killed Lincoln nearly resulted in Seward's death as well. Lewis Powell, an accomplice to John Wilkes Booth, stabbed Seward as he lay in bed recovering from a carriage accident. Seward survived, and after a summer convalescing, returned to the State Department.

Jan. 10, 1862 – During the Civil War, an 11-day Federal operation into Kentucky from Cairo, Ill. began. An engagement also occurred at Middle Creek near Prestonburg, Ky. Romeny, West Virginia was also evacuated by Federal forces and wa subsequently occupied by the Confederates.

Jan. 10, 1863 - Union Rear Admiral David D. Porter began bombing Arkansas Post, which was also known as Fort Hindman. Other commanders at this engagement included Union Major General John A. McClernand and Confederate Brigadier General Thomas J. Churchill. McClernand took a 30,000-man Corps with naval support against the Confederate garrison. Union losses were about 1,000; the Southerners lost roughly 5,500. From Fort Hindman, at Arkansas Post, Confederates had been disrupting Union shipping on the Mississippi River. McClernand, therefore, undertook a combined force movement on Arkansas Post to capture it. Union boats began landing troops near Arkansas Post in the evening of Jan. 9, 1863. The troops started up river towards Fort Hindman. Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's corps overran Rebel trenches, and the enemy retreated to the protection of the fort and adjacent rifle-pits. Porter, on Jan. 10, moved his fleet towards Fort Hindman and bombarded it withdrawing at dusk. Union artillery fired on the fort from artillery positions across the river on Jan. 11, and the infantry moved into position for an attack. Union ironclads commenced shelling the fort and Porter's fleet passed it to cut off any retreat. As a result of this envelopment, and the attack by McClernand's troops, the Confederate command surrendered in the afternoon. Although Union losses were high and the victory did not contribute to the capture of Vicksburg, it did eliminate one more impediment to Union shipping on the Mississippi.

Jan. 10, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Carrolton, Ark. and at Clifton, Tenn.

Jan. 10, 1863 – During the Civil War, Union Major General Fitz John Porter was court marshaled and cashiered out the Federal army following the Military Court’s decision that he deliberately failed to follow lawful orders at the Battle of Second Manassas, Va. Porter’s guilt was questionable. An often purposefully overlooked historical fact is the president of that particular military court was James A. Garfield, future President of the United States.

Jan. 10, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at King's River, Ark.; in the vicinity of Mossy Creek, Tenn.; at Loudoun Heights, Va.; and at Petersburg, West Va. A six-day Federal expedition also began from Vicksburg, Miss. aboard the steamers, “Era,” “Madison” and “Northerner,” up the Mississippi River to Sunnyside Landing, Ark. A two-day Federal operation between Dandridge to Clark’s Ferry, Tenn. Also began. Federal reconnaissance to Sperryville, Va. was also conducted.

Jan. 10, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in Texas County and at Glasgow, Mo.

Jan. 10, 1899 – The Town of Repton, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality.

Jan. 10, 1912 – The Conecuh County Jail caught fire around 8 p.m. and a large crowd proceeded to the scene. An inmate caused the fire by setting a blanket on fire, but little damage was done.

Jan. 10, 1912 – Austrian SS guard Maria Mandl was born in Münzkirchen, Upper Austria, then part of Austria-Hungary, the daughter of a shoemaker.

Jan. 10, 1913 – The steamboat “James T. Staples” was destroyed by a boiler explosion on the Tombigbee River, about four miles from Bladon Springs, at Powes Landing. Twenty-six people were killed and 21 were injured. (Other sources say this occurred on Jan. 9.)

Jan. 10, 1916 – The birthday of that “celebrated soldier and model Christian gentleman” Robert E. Lee was observed as a holiday in Alabama on this Wednesday, according to The Conecuh Record.

Jan. 10, 1923 - Four years after the end of World War I, President Warren G. Harding ordered U.S. occupation troops stationed in Germany to return home.

Jan. 10, 1925 – Harold R. Betts became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Jan. 10, 1928 – The Monroe County Courthouse, believed to have been built in 1854, burned. It was located between the two present-day courthouses on the square in Monroeville, Ala.

Jan. 10, 1928 – Philip Levine, who became known as “the Whitman of the industrial heartland,” was born in Detroit, Mich. He would go on to win the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and was named Poet Laureate of the United States.

Jan. 10, 1929 – “The Adventures of Tintin,” one of the most popular European comic books, was first published in Belgium.

Jan. 10, 1936 – Best-selling historian Stephen Ambrose was born in Lovington, Ill.

Jan. 10, 1938 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Willie McCovey was born in Mobile, Ala. He went on to play for the San Francisco Giants, the San Diego Padres and the Oakland Athletics. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

Jan. 10, 1944 - A radio version of Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “Watch on the Rhine” was broadcast as part of “The Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre” series.

Jan. 10, 1957 - Six pre-dawn bombings in Montgomery, Ala. damaged four black churches and two ministers' homes, including that of Montgomery Bus Boycott leader Ralph Abernathy. The violence came on the heels of several shooting incidents in which recently desegregated city buses were fired upon.

Jan. 10, 1959 – Joseph Ross Glass, a member of Greening Lodge. No. 53 in Evergreen, passed away.

Jan. 10, 1961 - Dashiell Hammett, the author of “The Maltese Falcon,” passed away from lung cancer at the age of 66 in New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital. A veteran of two World Wars, he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Jan. 10, 1962 - The NFL entered into a single-network agreement with CBS for telecasting all regular-season games for $4.65 million annually.

Jan. 10, 1962 – On this Wednesday morning, temperatures dipped to 12 degrees in Evergreen, Ala. and two inches of snow were reported in northern Conecuh County. All county schools were dismissed on Jan. 10 and were to remain closed until the morning of Fri., Jan. 12.

Jan. 10, 1963 - The Chicago Cubs became the first baseball club to hire an athletic director when they hired Robert Whitlow to fill the position.

Jan. 10, 1964 – A UFO was reported to have zipped into the tracking range during the firing of a Polaris missile and for 14 minutes the radar followed the erratic course of the UFO before getting back on the target missile.

Jan. 10, 1967 – During the Vietnam War, President Lyndon Johnson, in his annual State of the Union message to Congress, asked for enactment of a six-percent surcharge on personal and corporate income taxes to help support the Vietnam War for two years, or “for as long as the unusual expenditures associated with our efforts continue.” Congress delayed for almost a year, but eventually passed the surcharge. The U.S. expenditure in Vietnam for fiscal year 1967 would be $21 billion.

Jan. 10, 1972 - Former Vice President Hubert Humphrey criticized President Richard Nixon, saying that it was taking longer for President Nixon to withdraw U.S. troops from Vietnam than it did to defeat Hitler. Humphrey called for an immediate end to the war, declaring: “Had I been elected, we would now be out of that war.” Humphrey ran against Nixon in the 1968 election, winning the Democratic nomination for president over Senator Eugene McCarthy (D-Minnesota) after President Lyndon Johnson declined to run for re-election. In the race, Humphrey had tried to distance himself from Johnson and his war policy, but Republican nominee Nixon, promising to “to end the war and win the peace,” won the election by less than one percent of the popular vote.

Jan. 10, 1976 – Major League Baseball second baseman Adam Kennedy was born in Riverside, Calif. He went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Anaheim Angles/Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Oakland Athletics, the Washington Nationals, the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Jan. 10, 1979 - Alabama author Sara Mayfield died in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Jan. 10, 1982 - San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Dwight Clark made a leaping catch in the end zone on a pass from quarterback Joe Montana with 51 seconds left in the National Football Conference (NFC) championship game against the Dallas Cowboys. "The Catch" set up a successful extra point kick by Ray Wersching that lifted the 49ers to a 28-27 victory and a trip to Super Bowl XVI.

Jan. 10, 1990 - The NCAA approved a random drug testing program among college football players and harsh penalties for drug use.

Jan. 10, 1999 - The animated series "Batman Beyond" debuted on the WB network.

Jan. 10, 2007 – Explorer, photographer and cartographer Bradford Washburn died of heart failure at the age of 96 in a retirement home in Lexington, Mass.

Jan. 10, 2008 – The Kyser Cemetery in Conecuh County was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

Jan. 10, 2011 - SEC champion Auburn University, led by Coach Gene Chizik and Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, defeated the PAC-10 champions, the University of Oregon, in the BCS National Championship game in Glendale, Arizona, with a final score of 22-19.

Jan. 10, 2012 – Football player and coach Vince Gibson, a native of Birmingham, Ala., died at the age of 78 in Kenner, La. After playing guard at Florida State in the 1950s, he went on to serve as the head coach at Kansas State, Louisville and Tulane.

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