Jan. 11, 1569 – Elizabeth I held England’s first recorded state lottery to raise funds to rebuild some harbors and make England more competitive in global trade. The prize was 5,000 pounds, part paid in cash and the rest paid in tapestries, plate, and good linen cloth. The winner's name has been lost to us, but governments learned a valuable lesson: the lottery - sometimes known as a "voluntary tax" - is a great way to bring in some extra revenue to fill state coffers.
Jan. 11, 1696 – French priest, missionary, and explorer Charles Albanel died at Sault Ste. Marie in present-day Ontario, Canada.
Jan. 11, 1746 – Botanist William Curtis was born in Alton, England.
Jan. 11, 1775 - Francis Salvador, the first Jew to hold an elected office in the Americas, took his seat on the South Carolina Provincial Congress on this day.
Jan. 11, 1805 - The Michigan Territory was created.
Jan. 11, 1842 – Philosopher and psychologist William James, the older brother of novelist Henry James, was born in New York City.
Jan. 11, 1861 – At the Alabama Secession Convention, 61 representatives voted for immediate secession and 39 voted against, and Alabama became the fourth state to secede from the Union. Alabama had a much closer vote than other states, due to strong Unionist sentiment in the northern part of the state. The vote resulted in the passage of an Ordinance of Secession that declared Alabama a “Sovereign and Independent State.” Pinckney D. Bowles also first entered Confederate service on this day as a first lieutenant at Sparta in Conecuh County, Ala.
Jan. 11, 1861 – During the Civil War, Forts Jackson and Saint Phillip, La., near the mouth of the Mississippi River, below New Orleans, were seized by Louisiana state troops, by order of Governor Thomas O. Moore. The surrender of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, S.C. was also demanded of Union Major Robert Anderson by the South Carolina Governor, Francis W. Pickens, and was refused.
Jan. 11, 1862 - Alabama author Martha Young was born on her family's plantation near Newbern, Ala.
Jan. 11, 1862 - Union General Ambrose Burnside took a force of 15,000 and a flotilla of 80 ships down to North Carolina's Outer Banks.
Jan. 11, 1863 - Union General John McClernand and Admiral David Dixon Porter captured Arkansas Post, a Confederate stronghold on the Arkansas River. Porter had started bombing the fort the night before. The victory secured central Arkansas for the Union and lifted Northern morale just three weeks after the disastrous Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia.
Jan. 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hartville, Mo. and at Lowry’s Ferry, Tenn. The USS Gramphus Number Two was also destroyed by Confederate forces on the Mississippi River in the vicinity of Memphis, Tenn.
Jan. 11, 1863 – The Confederate commerce raider CSS Alabama encountered and sunk the USS Hatteras off Galveston Lighthouse, off the coast of Galveston, Texas.
Jan. 11, 1864 – Gillchrist R. Boulware of the Conecuh Guards began working for the Confederate Secret Service Department and served with them until the end of the war in 1865. Boulware was born near Brooklyn on Aug. 15, 1842 and first entered Confederate service as a private at Sparta on April 1, 1861 with Co. E of the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment.
Jan. 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Lockwood’s Folly Inlet, N.C., resulting in the destruction of the Confederate blockade runner Ranger and the steamer Vesta. A Federal reconnaissance mission to Lexington, Tenn. was conducted, in combination with an operation from Maryville up the Little Tennessee River to Chilhowee, Tenn.
Jan. 11, 1865 - During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in Texas County, Mo.; near Lexington, Mo.; and at Beverly in Randolph County, West Virginia A 10-day Federal operation against Navaho Indians, between Fort Wingate and Sierra Del Datil in the New Mexico Territory, began. A Federal reconnaissance mission also began, from New Creek to Franklin, West Virginia.
Jan. 11, 1865 - A detachment from the 60th United States Colored Troops departed Helena, Ark. aboard the steamer Dover, and went to Harbert’s Plantation on the Mississippi side of the Mississippi River. There they found Mr. Harbert hiding in his corn crib. The 60th USCT was somewhat peeved at Mr. Harbert because he was a Negro enlisted Federal soldier who decided he had enough of the war and deserted back to his Mississippi plantation.
Jan. 11, 1875 – William R. Sawyer named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.
Jan. 11, 1876 – National Baseball Hall of Fame rightfielder Elmer Flick was born in Bedford, Ohio. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Philles, the Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Bronchos/Naps. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.
Jan. 11, 1887 – Writer and ecologist Aldo Leopold was born in Burlington, Iowa. He is best known for his 1949 book, “The Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There.”
Jan. 11, 1888 - Alabama journalist Grover C. Hall was born in Heleburg, Ala.
Jan. 11, 1890 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Max Carey was born in Terre Haute, Indiana. During his career, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Brooklyn Robins and he also managed the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961.
Jan. 11, 1894 – The Crimson White student newspaper was established at the University of Alabama.
Jan. 11, 1897 – German SS officer August Heissmeyer was born in Gellersen, nowadays part of Aerzen.
Jan. 11, 1903 – Former Union General Samuel Thomas died in New York and was burined in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York. After the Civil War, he became a railroad financier, and Thomasville, Ala. was named in his honor. He also donated $500 toward the construction of Thomasville’s first school.
Jan. 11, 1908 – On this Saturday morning, fire was discovered in the residence of T.A. Waller in Conecuh County, Ala. The household goods were saved, but the building was a total loss. The origin of the fire was unknown.
Jan. 11, 1908 - U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt declared the massive Grand Canyon in northwestern Arizona a national monument, an area that includes more than 800,000 acres. "Let this great wonder of nature remain as it now is," he declared. "You cannot improve on it. But what you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and all who come after you, as the one great sight which every American should see."
Jan. 11, 1916 – Prof. Dannelly of Montgomery visited Evergreen, Ala. on this Tuesday.
Jan. 11, 1916 – A state bond election was held and “passed off quietly” in Conecuh County, with cold weather keeping a “good many” voters from the polls, according to The Conecuh Record. The newspaper reported that the state bond issue was defeated with 384 voters in Conecuh voting in favor of the measure and 367 voting against.
Jan. 11, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Andrew E. Snow of Uriah, Ala. “died from disease” at Fort Logan H. Roots, Ark.
Jan. 11, 1924 - Alabama author H. E. Francis was born in Bristol, R.I.
Jan. 11, 1935 – Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California. In the first flight of its kind, Earhart departed Wheeler Field in Honolulu, Hawaii, on a solo flight to North America. Hawaiian commercial interests offered a $10,000 award to whoever accomplished the flight first. The next day, after traveling 2,400 miles in 18 hours, she safely landed at Oakland Airport in Oakland, California.
Jan. 11, 1954 - Alabama author Mary McNeil Fenollosa died in Montrose, Ala.
Jan. 11, 1956 – During the Civil War, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem issued Ordinance No. 6, allowing the internment of former Viet Minh members and others “considered as dangerous to national defense and common security.” The Viet Minh was a largely communist organization that overthrew French colonial rule in Vietnam and assumed control of the government in North Vietnam in October 1954. Diem’s internment of former Viet Minh members was an attempt to consolidate his control of South Vietnam. He had already subdued opposition from various religious sects and had launched a drive against Viet Minh who remained in the South. Although by the end of 1956, Diem had smashed 90 percent of the former Viet Minh insurgent agents in the Mekong Delta, his ruthless drive against all dissidents did little to enhance his popularity, and he lost many potential allies. He managed to stay in power until November 1963, when he was assassinated during a coup by South Vietnamese army generals.
Jan. 11, 1960 – Henry Lee Lucas, once listed as America's most prolific serial killer, committed his first known murder.
Jan. 11, 1964 – Monroe Journal employee Bruce Allen White passed away from a heart attack at the age of 30. A Marine Corps veteran who was critically wounded in WWII and was cited for gallantry in action on Saipan, he began working as a printer’s apprentice at The Journal in 1946. He went on to become an accomplished pressman and later the main make up man for the newspaper. Most of the ads that appeared in The Journal from 1955 through 1963 were his handiwork. The Monroe Journal’s 1966 Centennial Edition was dedicated in his memory.
Jan. 11, 1964 – Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry of Red Level, Ala. published the landmark report “Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States,” saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts.
Jan. 11, 1965 – During the Vietnam War, major cities – especially Saigon and Hue – and much of central Vietnam were disrupted by demonstrations and strikes led by Buddhists. Refusing to accept any government headed by Tran Van Huong, who they saw as a puppet of the United States, the Buddhists turned against U.S. institutions and their demonstrations took on an increasingly anti-American tone. Thich Tri Quang, the Buddhist leader, and other monks went on a hunger strike. A Buddhist girl in Nha Trang burned herself to death (the first such self-immolation since 1963). Although Huong tried to appease the Buddhists by rearranging his government, they were not satisfied. In the end, Huong was unable to put together a viable government and, on Jan. 27, the Armed Forces Council overthrew him in a bloodless coup and installed Gen. Nguyen Khanh in power. Khanh was ousted by yet another coup on Feb. 18, led by Air Commodore Nguyen Cao Ky and Maj. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu. A short-lived civilian government under Dr. Phan Huy Quat was installed, but it lasted only until June 12, 1965. At that time, Thieu and Ky formed a new government with Thieu as the chief of state and Ky as the prime minister. Thieu and Ky would be elected as president and vice-president in general elections held in 1967
Jan. 11, 1967 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, a Chase YC-122, carrying four persons en route to Grand Bahama from Palm Beach, Fla., vanished in the Gulf Stream at some point northwest of Bimini.
Jan. 11, 1968 – Estelle Bryant Cobb of Evergreen, Ala. celebrated her 102nd birthday. Cobb married the Dr. William Foster Cobb in 1895 in Barlow Bend. They lived there until they moved to Frisco City in 1916. Dr. Cobb practiced medicine in Clarke and Monroe counties for 50 years. She was a lifelong member of the Methodist Church and graduated from Alabama Conference Female College (now Huntingdon College, Montgomery) in 1888 when it was located at Tuskegee.
Jan. 11, 1973 - Owners of American League baseball teams voted to adopt the designated-hitter rule on a trial basis.
Jan. 11, 1977 – Former Alabama split end Shamari Buchanan was born in Atlanta, Ga.
Jan. 11, 1979 – Evergreen, Ala. native Naomi Rabb Winston, who is said to have designed the Great Seal of Alabama, died at the age of 84 in Virginia City Beach, Va. Born in Evergreen on April 17, 1894, she went on to study at the Art Students League in New York City and painted many oil paintings. She is buried in the Fairview Cemetery in Franklinton, N.C.
Jan. 11, 1983 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team beat Fort Dale, 63-61, in Evergreen, Ala. Sparta’s girls beat Fort Dale, 40-32. Russ Brown led Sparta’s boys with 23 points, and Cheri Johnson led Sparta’s girls with 16 points.
Jan. 11, 1986 – The first winter ascent of Kangchenjunga was achieved by Krzysztof Wielicki and Jerzy Kukuczka from Poland.
Jan. 11, 1996 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Hillcrest High School’s Kelvin Rudolph and Ryan Meeks were both named to all-state football honors this past season. Rudolph was named to the first team in the sports writers poll and honorable mention in The Birmingham News, and Ryan was named to honorable mention by the sports writers poll and Birmingham News. Meeks was the brother of former Denver Bronco’s player and Evergreen native Bob Meeks.
Jan. 11, 2000 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and manager Bob Lemon died at the age of 79 in Long Beach, California. He played his entire career for the Clevelad Indians before going on to manage the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.
Jan. 11, 2008 – New Zealand mountaineer and explorer Edmund Hillary died at the age of 88 in Auckland, New Zealand.
Jan. 11, 2010 - Mark McGwire admitted that he used steroids on and off for nearly a decade. The timeframe including the 1998 season when he broke the then single-season home run record.
Jan. 11, 2012 - Jordan van der Sloot, a longtime suspect in the unsolved 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, pleaded guilty to the murder of 21-year-old Stephany Flores, in Lima, Peru. Flores was killed on May 30, 2010, exactly five years to the day after Holloway went missing while on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island.
Jan. 11, 2013 – Vietnamese general Nguyễn Khánh, who served as the third President of South Vietnam, died at the age of 85 of pneumonia and end-stage renal failure at a hospital in San Jose, California.