Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Today in History for Jan. 26, 2016

 John Albion Andrew
Jan. 26, 1500 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil by becoming the first European to set foot on Brazil.

Jan. 26, 1699 - Four French ships captained by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville appeared in Pensacola Bay. The Spanish governor refused to let the Frenchmen land, so the ships continued west along the coast. On Jan. 31, d'Iberville's ships anchored off Mobile Point, sounded the channel, and explored present-day Dauphin Island, naming it Île du Massacre (Massacre Island) for the 60 human skeletons they found there. The ships then sailed west and anchored in Mississippi Sound. While Iberville explored the Mississippi River, his men began construction of Fort Maurepas on Biloxi Bay.

Jan. 26, 1779 – During the American Revolution’s “Engagement at Burke County Jail,” a group of Patriots met at the Burke County Jail in Savannah, Ga. to determine how they would deal with any possible defections from the Patriot cause. They were worried by a recent British offer of immunity to those who would affirm their loyalty to the British king. After the meeting, the Patriots attempted to apprehend some Loyalists in the area as proof of their determination. The ensuing skirmish, fought on the banks of McIntosh Creek between 400 men loyal to Britain and Patriots led by Major General John Twiggs and Lieutenant Colonel William Few, was indecisive.

Jan. 26, 1809 - Alabama author J. H. Ingraham was born in Portland, Maine.

Jan. 26, 1837 - Michigan became the 26th state to join the United States.

Jan. 26, 1839 - Alabama's first state prison was established by legislative act. In 1842, at the Wetumpka State Penitentiary, the state's first inmate began serving time for harboring a runaway slave. The first female was incarcerated in 1850 for murder. Today, the Alabama Department of Corrections oversees a multi-facility state prison system.

Jan. 26, 1852 – Italian-French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza was born in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

Jan. 26, 1861 - Louisiana became the sixth state to secede from the Union. The state convention voted 113 to 17 in favor of the measure. Also on that day, Fort Jackson and Oglethorpe Barracks in Savannah, Ga. were seized by Georgia state troops.

Jan. 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted to Wilmington Narrows, or Freeborn’s Cut, Ga.

Jan. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, General Ambrose Burnside was relieved of command of the Army of the Potomac after the disastrous Fredericksburg campaign. He was replaced by Joseph Hooker.

Jan. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, Governor of Massachusetts John Albion Andrew received permission from Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent.

Jan. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mulberry Springs, Ark.; at Township, Fla.; and at Grove Church (near Morrisville), in the vicinity of Fairfax Courthouse, and at Middleburg, Va. The CSS Alabama also captured the Golden Rule off Santo Domingo.

Jan. 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Athens, Ala.; Caddo Gap, Ark.; with Indians in the San Andres Mountains, the New Mexico Territory; and at Flat Creek and Muddy Creek, in the vicinity of Dandridge, near Knoxville, and at Sevierville, Tenn.

Jan. 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Paint Rock, Ala. and in the vicinity of Pocotaligo, S.C. A six-day Federal reconnaissance also began from Pine Bluff toward Camden and Monticello, Ark. A 10-day Federal expedition began from Plaquemine to The Park, La. A 17-day Federal expedition began from Memphis, Tenn. into Southeastern Arkansas and Northwestern Louisiana.

Jan. 26, 1870 - The state of Virgina rejoined the Union.

Jan. 26, 1870 – County Court convened in Monroeville, Ala. with the Hon. J.W. Leslie presiding. Solicitor Duke represented the state.

Jan. 26, 1879 – Dr. William R. Strode, 46, died at Perdue Hill, Ala. Born in Culpepper County, Va. in 1833, he graduated from the Medical College of Philadelphia in 1853. He served as a surgeon in the Confederate Army and married Mary Gorin of Monroe County in October 1870.

Jan. 26, 1879 – Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) and daughter, Susan, joined the Mossy Grove Universalist Church at Ariton, Ala.

Jan. 26, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that “a gentleman from Canada, who has been prospecting in the northern part of our county, with a view to a home in our delightful climate, expresses himself as being very much pleased.”

Jan. 26, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville Library would be ready to open its doors to the public in a few days. “Nice rooms have been neatly fitted up in the old court house and a choice collection of standard works covering a wide range of literature gathered for the entertainment and instruction of patrons.” Miss Mann was the librarian.

Jan. 26, 1915 – The Rocky Mountain National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress.

Jan. 26, 1915 – Liston A. Hixon passed away at his home in Monroeville, Ala. on this Tuesday night. A former farmer and merchant, he was about 63 years old. He was buried in Hamilton Hill Cemtery.

Jan. 26, 1916 - Alabama author Amelie Rives's play “The Fear Market” opened on Broadway.

Jan. 26, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Adrien F. Hardy of Brewton, Ala. was killed in action.

Jan. 26, 1919 – William E. Molett was born in Orrville, Ala. He would go on to graduate from Evergreen High School and then joined the military, became a master navigator, recorded 6,000 hours as an aircraft navigator, including 91 flights over the North Pole. He also taught polar aviation for three years and returned as a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. In 1996, he wrote a book called “Robert Peary and Matthew Henson at the North Pole.”

Jan. 26, 1922 – The Rev. Eugene Clarke, the rector of St. James Episcopal Church at Perdue Hill, Ala., was scheduled to hold services in the Monroe County Courthouse at 7 p.m. on this Thursday.

Jan. 26, 1926 - Alabama author Elise Sanguinetti was born in Anniston, Ala.

Jan. 26, 1929 – Cartoonist, novelist and playwright Jules Feiffer was born in the Bronx.

Jan. 26, 1944 - Alabama author Angela Davis was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Jan. 26, 1946 – British playwright Christopher Hampton was born in Faial in the Azores archipelago.

Jan. 26, 1956 – Evergreen High School’s varsity basketball team was scheduled to make its first official appearance in South Alabama Conference competition when they were to play Luverne at Elba, Ala. in the first game of the SAC Tournament at 6 p.m. The only other game on tap in the first round of play was Enterprise vs. Greenville, at 7:15 p.m. Georgiana and Florala, who drew first round byes, were to meet in the first game of the quarterfinals at about 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 26, 1956 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the U.S. Naval Air Station in Pensacola would soon begin using the Evergreen Airport, Middleton Field, for an auxiliary field in training students. Presumably, pilots and ground crews would be flown up each day, in an operation similar to that of Camp Rucker, when a large number of students and instructors flew to Evergreen for touch and go landings.

Jan. 26, 1956 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Peace Pilgrim, who had walked over 7,600 miles on her pilgrimage for peace, passed through Evergreen over the weekend on her way to Montgomery. Peace Pilgrim began her 100-mile walk in Alabama at Castleberry, walking into Evergreen after dark. She spent the night at the bus station, The Rebel, and began her long trek about 7 a.m. the next morning. On Sun., Jan. 22, about 3:30 p.m., she was seen a few miles above Georgiana, and several people reported having seen her Mon., Jan. 23, the last in the afternoon, about two miles above the junction of the Ft. Deposit road and the new highway, at Priester’s.

Jan. 26, 1958 – Comedian Ellen DeGeneres was born in Metairie, La.

Jan. 26, 1966 - The most notorious unsolved crime in Australian history took place, when three children went missing while on a trip to Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, South Australia. The case saw numerous twists and turns, including failed input from psychics and a series of hoaxed letters alleged to have come from the missing Beaumont children.

Jan. 26, 1967 – Dr. R. Dale LeCount, a retired Presbyterian minister who was then assistant to the president of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Alabama, was to be the guest speaker at the annual Ladies Night Banquet of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce on this Thursday night at the Community House. The banquet was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. LeCount, a native of Syracuse, Ind., had been retired from the ministry since 1962.

Jan. 26, 1970 - U.S. Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez Jr. spent his 2,000th day in captivity in Southeast Asia. First taken prisoner when his plane was shot down on Aug. 5, 1964, he became the longest-held POW in U.S. history. Alvarez was downed over Hon Gai during the first bombing raids against North Vietnam in retaliation for the disputed attack on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin in August 1964. Alvarez was released in 1973 after spending over eight years in captivity, the first six months as the only American prisoner in North Vietnam. From the first day of his captivity, he was shackled, isolated, nearly starved, and brutally tortured. Although he was among the more junior-rank prisoners of war, his courageous conduct under horrendous conditions and treatment helped establish the model emulated by the many other POWs that later joined him. After retirement from the Navy, he served as deputy director of the Peace Corps and deputy administrator of the Veterans Administration during the Reagan administration, before founding his own military consulting firm.

Jan. 26, 1972 - Radio Hanoi announced North Vietnam’s rejection of the latest U.S. peace proposal. Revealing more details of the secret Paris peace talks, Henry Kissinger responded publicly, condemning the North Vietnamese announcement and criticizing Hanoi’s nine-point counter-proposal, which had been submitted during the secret talks. Kissinger took exception with the communist insistence on the end of all U.S. support for the South Vietnamese government. The communists maintained that “withdrawal” meant not only withdrawal of U.S. troops, but also the removal of all U.S. equipment, aid, and arms in the possession of the South Vietnamese army. Kissinger asserted that the abrupt removal of all U.S. aid would guarantee the collapse of the Saigon regime. With the peace talks at a virtual impasse, the North Vietnamese leadership decided to launch a massive invasion of South Vietnam in March 1972.

Jan. 26, 1979 - The first episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" aired on CBS.

Jan. 26, 1983 - Alabamians were shocked and saddened when retired University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant died suddenly from a heart attack. Bryant began coaching at Alabama in 1958 and went on to win six national championships with the team. In 1981 he became football's "winningest" coach with 315 victories.

Jan. 26, 1986 - In New Orleans, Louisiana, the Chicago Bears scored a Super Bowl record number of points to defeat the New England Patriots, 46-10, and win their first championship since 1963.

Jan. 26, 1989 – The Andalusia Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Jan. 26, 1997 - ZZ Top, James Brown and the Blues Brothers performed at the Super Bowl XXXI halftime show. The Green Bay Packers won, 35-21, over the New England Patriots. It was the third Super Bowl win for the Packers.

Jan. 26, 2003 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII. Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden became the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl. It was the first Super Bowl appearance for the Buccaneers.

Jan. 26, 2004 – A whale exploded in the town of Tainan, Taiwan. A build-up of gas in the decomposing sperm whale was suspected of causing the explosion.

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