Thursday, January 14, 2016

Today in History for Jan. 14, 2016

Matthew Fontaine Maury
Jan. 14, 1331 – Italian explorer Odoric of Pordenone, who was around 45 years old, died at Udine, Patriarchate of Aquileia, Holy Roman Empire. He’d been travelling towards the papal court at Avignon, but fell ill at Pisa, and turning back to Udine, the capital of his native province, died there.

Jan. 14, 1639 – The "Fundamental Orders," the first written constitution that created a government, was adopted in Connecticut.

Jan. 14, 1699 - The colony of Massachusetts held a day of fasts in protest of wrongly persecuted witches.

Jan. 14, 1705 – French sailor and explorer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier was born.

Jan. 14, 1741 - Benedict Arnold, the American general during the Revolutionary War who betrayed his country and became synonymous with the word “traitor,” was born in Norwich, Colony of Connecticut, British America.

Jan. 14, 1772 – During the British occupation of Alabama, explorer Bernard Romans visited St. Stephens in present-day Washington County and recorded – “Stout sloops and schooners may come up to this rapid; therefore I judge some considerable settlement will take place.”

Jan. 14, 1784 – At the Maryland State House in Annapolis, the Continental Congress ratified the Second Treaty of Paris with Great Britain ending the Revolutionary War. The document, negotiated in part by future President John Adams, contained terms for ending the Revolutionary War and established the United States as a sovereign nation. The treaty outlined America’s fishing rights off the coast of Canada, defined territorial boundaries in North America formerly held by the British and forced an end to reprisals against British loyalists.

Jan. 14, 1806 - Matthew Fountaine Maury was born at Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Maury was a Commander in the CSA Navy, a diplomat for the CSA Government in Europe, one of the era's most distinguished scientists, and father of oceanography and meteorology.

Jan. 14, 1819 – A “train of emigrants,” consisting of 52 horses and 12 wagons from South Carolina, stopped for the night on the present site of Greenville, Ala. to “rest themselves from the fatigue of the day.” The next day, after further investigation, they decided to settle the location which was wilderness at the time. The group included James Dunklin, Joseph Dunklin, John Dunklin, Dr. Hilary Herbert, Webster Gilbert, John Bolling, William Graydon, John Graydon, William Payne, Thomas Coleman and Dr. George Herbert.

Jan. 14, 1861 - The House Committee of Thirty Three, which was chaired by Thomas Corwin of Ohio, submitted a proposed constitutional amendment that would protect slavery in all areas where it already existed. The plan also called for the enforcement of fugitive slave laws and repealed state personal liberty laws. The committee was made up of one representative from each state, but the proposed measure was not enough to stem the tide of seceding states.

Jan. 14, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Taylor in Key West, Fla. was occupied from Federal forces. This location would prove to be valuable for Federal blockaders as a coaling station. Fort Pike, near present day Slidell, La. was also seized by Louisiana State troops.

Jan. 14, 1862 – During the Civil War, U.S. gunboat reconnaissance was conducted to Columbus, Ky., and Confederate positions were shelled along the way.

Jan. 14, 1862 – On this day during the Civil War, General Ambrose Burnside was supposed to be leading an invasion force of nearly 100 ships to Hatteras Inlet, N.C. Instead he was spending his time on continuous rescue missions as the ships of his fleet were torn by fierce winds and storm. Many were being driven onto shoals and sandbars as their anchor lines were dragged or broke entirely. All of this chaos was going on within the relative shelter of the inlet; many of the ships of the mission had not made it even that far, could not attempt the entrance as long as the wind blew, and were at the mercy of the storm on the open ocean. As this was taking place in the dead of winter the storm was probably not a hurricane in the technical sense. However, few of those feeling its force cared to debate the finer points of weather related terminology.

Jan. 14, 1863 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal expedition to South Bend, Ark. began. A skirmish was also fought along Bayou Tech, in the vicinity of New Iberia, La.

Jan. 14, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Confederate commerce raider, CSS Alabama, captured and burned the Emma Jane off the coast of Malabar, Indian, now having destroyed over 60 such Federal vessels.

Jan. 14, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Shoal Creek in Shelby County, Ala. Skirmishes were also fought in Bollinger County, Mo. and at Dandridge and Middleton, Tenn.

Jan. 14, 1864 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation began around Baldwin’s Ferry, on the Big Black River in Mississippi, intent upon the destruction of all john boats, pirogues, flatboats, ferries or any other means of crossing the Big Black River. A Federal operation also took place between Collierville and Quinn’s Mill, Tenn.

Jan. 14, 1865 – Fifteen days of sustained a Federal operation against Indians along the Overland Stage Coach Road between Julesburg and Denver in the Colorado Territory began. Federal forces also advanced from Beaufort to Pocotaligo, S.C.

Jan. 14, 1865 – During the Civil War, the combined arms land and sea attack on Ft. Fisher, near Wilmington, N.C., entered its second day. Navy gunboats were firing at a rate of 100 shells per minute. Confederate defenders suffered 300 dead and were unable to bury them due to the severity of the shrapnel. The Federal fire was so intense that only one gun on the landward side of the fort was still operational, all the others having been dismounted by shellfire. This was ample proof of the overall improvement in gunnery since the war began. While the Navy handled their part of the operation, the Army prepared for a possible attack by Braxton Bragg‘s Confederates and continued preparation in its move against the fort.

Jan. 14, 1891 – James K. Kyser became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Jan. 14, 1896 – Novelist John Dox Passos was born in Chicago.

Jan. 14, 1905 – Writer Emily “Mickey” Hahn was born in St. Louis, Mo.

Jan. 14, 1908 – While unloading a shotgun, the 10-year-old son of Bob Mosley accidentally shot and killed his sister, age 12, at their home on this date, according to the Jan. 16 edition of The Conecuh Record. “The full charge of the gun struck the girl between the shoulders, completely severing the spinal column. Death was almost instantaneous.”

Jan. 14, 1911 – Roald Amundsen's South Pole expedition made landfall on the eastern edge of the Ross Ice Shelf.

Jan. 14, 1912 – The “bird man,” R.G. Fowler of San Francisco reached Evergreen on this Sunday afternoon and attracted a large crowd. He circled Evergreen at least 1,000 feet above the ground, and the crowd below could hear his aircraft’s little motor. He circled the city several times and landed about two miles east of Evergreen and north of the L&N Railroad tracks. He remained until Tuesday, waiting for favorable weather, and took off for other points around 3 p.m. Fowler’s landing in Evergreen is believed to have been the first plane landing ever in Conecuh County.

Jan. 14, 1915 – Kady Brownell, the “only woman Civil War veteran,” passed away in New York City, age 72 or 73. She went with her husband when he joined a Rhode Island regiment. Kady trained with the soldiers. She fought in battle and helped the injured. At the First Battle of Bull Run, she held the flag high even as Confederate bullets were flying.

Jan. 14, 1923 – On this Sunday, three prisoners escaped from the Escambia County Jail in Brewton, Ala. around noon. Two of the three escapees were in jail on murder charges.

Jan. 14, 1926 – In Lovecraftian fiction, a total solar eclipse occurred and Nyarlathotep was only stopped by the nearest of margins.

Jan. 14, 1938 – Jay (Fla.) High School beat Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team, 11-6.

Jan. 14, 1938 – Lyeffion High School’s boys basketball team beat Conecuh County High School, 20-18, in Castleberry, Ala. Brooklyn’s girls basketball team beat CCHS, 20-15, that same night in Castleberry.

Jan. 14, 1943 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, age 60, completed the first airplane journey by a sitting president when he flew to the Casablanca Conference in Morocco to discuss stategy with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Roosevelt left Florida in a Boeing 314 Flying Boat, nicknamed the Dixie Clipper, and the journey took four days due to frequent refueling stops.

Jan. 14, 1948 - Plastic helmets were prohibited in the National Football League.

Jan. 14, 1951 - The first National Football League Pro Bowl All-Star Game was played in Los Angeles, Calif.

Jan. 14, 1952 – Bruce Dale Jones was born. On March 9, 1972, at the age of 20, he was killed at Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Gia Dinh, South Vietnam, where he was serving as a sergeant in the Air Force’s 377th Security Police Squadron.

Jan. 14, 1953 – Army 1LT Charles Smith of Covington County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.

Jan. 14, 1954 – Actress Marilyn Monroe and baseball legend Joe DiMaggio were married, but the marriage only lasted nine months.

Jan. 14-15, 1960 – The Conecuh County Basketball Tournament, featuring varsity and B-teams, was scheduled to be held at Lyeffion High School. In the varsity division on the opening night, Conecuh County High School was scheduled to play Repton High School at 7 p.m., and Evergreen High School was scheduled to play Lyeffion at 8:15 p.m. The next night, the B-team title game was set for 7 p.m., and the varsity title game was set for 8:15 p.m.

Jan. 14, 1963 - George Wallace began serving his first term as Alabama governor, and during his inauguration he promised his followers, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!" His first term would end on Jan. 16, 1967, but he would later serve three other terms as Alabama’s governor.

Jan. 14, 1964 – During the Vietnam War, Lt. Gen. William Westmoreland was appointed deputy to Gen. Paul Harkins, chief of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV). It was generally accepted that Westmoreland would soon replace Harkins, whose insistently optimistic views on the progress of the war had increasingly come under criticism. On June 20, 1964, Harkins departed and Westmoreland did assume command of MACV. His initial task was to provide military advice and assistance to the government of South Vietnam. However, with the commitment of U.S. ground troops, General Westmoreland assumed the added responsibility of commanding America’s armed forces in combat in Vietnam. One of the Vietnam War’s most controversial figures, Westmoreland received many honors (including being named Time Man of the Year in 1965) when the fighting was going well, but many Americans blamed him for the problems in Vietnam when the war turned sour. Having provided continually optimistic reports about the war, Westmoreland came under particularly heavy criticism in 1968, when the communists launched the massive surprise Tet Offensive on Jan. 30. In July 1968, Westmoreland was appointed Chief of Staff of the Army, and General Creighton W. Abrams Jr. replaced him as commander of MACV.

Jan. 14, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, U.S. joint-service Operation Niagara was launched to support the U.S. Marine base at Khe Sanh. The Khe Sanh base was the westernmost anchor of a series of combat bases and strongholds that stretched from the Cua Viet River on the coast of the South China Sea westward along Route 9 to the Laotian border. Intelligence sources revealed that the North Vietnamese Army was beginning to build up its forces in the area surrounding Khe Sanh. Operation Niagara was a joint U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps air campaign launched in support of the marines manning the base. Using sensors installed along the nearby DMZ and reconnaissance flights to pinpoint targets, 24,000 tactical fighter-bomber sorties and 2,700 B-52 strategic bomber sorties were flown between the start of the operation and March 31, 1968, when it was terminated. This airpower played a major role in the successful defense of Khe Sanh when it came under attack on January 21 and was subsequently besieged for 66 days until finally broken on April 7.

Jan. 14, 1969 – Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl was born in Warren, Ohio.

Jan. 14, 1971 – Army Spc. Donald Wayne Smith of Brewton, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.

Jan. 14, 1972 – The President’s Mansion at the University of Alabama was added to the National Register of Historic Places due to its architectural and historical significance.

Jan. 14, 1973 - The Miami Dolphins became the first NFL team to go undefeated in a regular season when they beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII.

Jan. 14, 1974 - The World Football League was founded.

Jan. 14, 1976 – In connection with the “Amityville Horror” case, George and Kathy Lutz, with their three children and their dog, Harry, left their home at 112 Ocean Ave., leaving all of their possessions behind.

Jan. 14, 1976 - Ted Turner completed the purchase of the Atlanta Braves.

Jan. 14, 1990 - "The Simpsons" began airing regularly on television.

Jan. 14, 1990 - Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers set an NFL record when he threw his 30th and 31st post-season touchdown passes. Terry Bradshaw held the previous record of 30.

Jan. 14, 1993 - NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue announced the establishment of the "NFL World Partnership Program."

Jan. 14, 1996 - Fox aired the San Francisco 49ers-Dallas Cowboy NFC championship game, and the game pulled a 34.2/57 Nielsen rating.

Jan. 14, 2002 - Barry Bonds signed a contract with the San Francisco Giants worth $90 million for five years.

Jan. 14, 2004 - In St. Louis, a Lewis and Clark Exhibition opened at the Missouri History Museum. The exhibit featured 500 rare and priceless objects used by the Corps of Discovery.

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