Feb. 11, 1776 - Georgia's royal governor, Sir James Wright, escaped from his residence in Savannah to the safety of a waiting British warship, the HMS Scarborough, anchored at the mouth of the Savannah River, and returned to London. Wright had been taken into custody and placed under house arrest nearly a month earlier on Jan. 18, 1776 by Patriots under the command of Major Joseph Habersham of the Provincial Congress.
Feb. 11, 1790 – The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery.
Feb. 11, 1794 – The first session of the United States Senate opened to the public.
Feb. 11, 1805 – Explorer Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was born in Fort Mandan in present-day Washburn, North Dakota.
Feb. 11, 1815 - British forces take Fort Bowyer on return from defeat at New Orleans, then abandon upon learning that the war is over.
Feb. 11, 1820 - Alabama journalist and poet Theodore O'Hara was born in Frankfort, Ky.
Feb. 11, 1850 – The Alabama & Florida Railroad was incorporated.
Feb. 11, 1856 - Alabama author Caroline Lee Hentz died in Marianna, Fla.
Feb. 11, 1858 – The first groundbreaking held for the Alabama & Florida Railroad occurred on this day.
Feb. 11, 1858 - The apparitions at Our Lady of Lourdes began. A 14-year old French girl, Bernadette Soubirous saw the appearance of a "lady" in a cave-- the first of 18 visions of what many believe was the Virgin Mary. Soubirous was eventually canonized as a saint, and a sanctuary was built on the site, where water from a spring is said to have remarkable healing power.
Feb. 11, 1861 – During the Civil War, the United States House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state.
Feb. 11, 1861 – Confederate President-elect Jefferson Davis left his home at Brierfield Plantation, Miss. for his inauguration at Montgomery, Ala.
Feb. 11, 1861 - U.S. President-elect Abraham Lincoln left his home in Springfield, Illinois on his journey to Washington.
Feb. 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Confederate evacuation of Bowling Green, Ky. began.
Feb. 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Springfield, Mo. and Aransas Pass, Texas.
Feb. 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal land and naval forces moved toward Fort Donelson, Tenn. Repeating the pairing that had been successful in the attack on Fort Henry, Gen. McClernand set out at the head of Grant’s land forces as Flag Officer Foote’s gunboats took the longer water route. The boats had to go back down the Tennessee River to Paducah, up the Ohio a brief way, then up the Cumberland River to Donelson. The land route was only about 10 miles, which sounded unimpressive until the soldiers saw what awful land it was to try to traverse.
Feb. 11, 1864 - Union Brigadier General William Sooy Smith’s cavalry departed Collierville, Tenn. on his way to join up with Major General William T. Sherman as part of the Meridian Expedition.
Feb. 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lake City, Fla.; near Madisonville, La.; at Raiford's Plantation near Byhalia, Miss.; and at Lamar, Texas.
Feb. 11, 1864 - President Jefferson Davis sent an urgent letter to General Joseph Johnston, imploring that the Federal advance into Mississippi be stopped at all costs. His fear was that Sherman would get through to the Gulf and establish a base. Sherman in fact had no such plan, but he was moving on Meridian, Miss., while General William Sooy Smith’s column was moving toward Meridian, Miss. from the Memphis, Tenn. area.
Feb. 11, 1864 – A Confederate operation was conducted between Kearneysville and Duffield Depot, West Va.
Feb. 11, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Clear Creek and near Pine Bluff Ark.; in the vicinity of Sugar Loaf, N.C.; at Williamsburg, Va.; at Aiken, Orangeburg, Battery Simkins and Johnson‘s Station, S.C. A five-day Federal operation began between Bermuda Hundred and Smithfield, Va.
Feb. 11, 1895 – By order of Capt. T.B. Nettles, every member of the Monroe County Corps, Co. M, First Regiment of the Alabama State Troops, was to appear in uniform in Monroeville, Ala. at 9:30 a.m. for the unit’s regular monthly drill and “to attend to other matters of importance.”
Feb. 11, 1895 – During their regular quarterly meeting, Monroe County, Ala. commissioners established a “new public road leading from Tekoa intersecting Perdue Hill and Repton road.”
Feb. 11, 1895 – Due to heavy snow, the “largest mail ever handled by Monroeville (Ala.) post office” was received on this day, “the accumulated matter of four or five days – delivery to local patrons and dispatch over the various star routes radiating from this place. Postmaster Ricou proved himself equal to the occasion, however, and accomplished the task with great facility.”
Feb. 11, 1908 – English geologist and explorer Vivian Fuchs was born in Freshwater, Isle of Wight.
Feb. 11, 1912 – On this Saturday afternoon, Martin Sheffield allegedly shot and killed Charles Perdue during an argument near Herbert, Ala. Sheffield was placed in the Conecuh County Jail and was later released on $2,000 bond.
Feb. 11, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that there were 35 county convicts employed on the public roads in the county and that “another portable cage has been purchased for the safekeeping of the convicts.”
Feb. 11, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that “an epidemic of measles has prevailed among the juvenile population of this community during the last two weeks.”
Feb. 11, 1915 - Mrs. Charles Boone of Steadham (believed to be in Escambia County, Ala.) gave birth to triplets, all three being boys. They were named Oscar Underwood, William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson.
Feb. 11, 1918 - A movie version of Alabama author Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews' book “The Unbeliever” was released.
Feb. 11, 1941 - Alabama author Linda Cline was born in New York, N.Y.
Feb. 11, 1943 – Pensacola, Fla. firefighter Henry C. Mandel was killed in the line of duty.
Feb. 11, 1948 - Dr. T.E. Nettles, Monroeville physician, announced on this Wednesday that he planned to erect within the immediate future a 22-bed hospital on Claiborne Street next to the residence of Ed Gardner in Monroeville, Ala. It was to be the first hospital ever to be constructed in Monroe County, and Dr. Nettles said its facilities, though privately owned, would be available to all doctors of the county. Dr. Nettles said construction work on the hospital was to get underway within the next 90 days.
Feb. 11, 1950 - Alabama author Rodney Jones was born in Hartselle, Ala.
Feb. 11, 1954 – In this day’s edition of The Evergreen Courant, the Journalism Club of Evergreen High School made a plea to the public for donations of items of historical interest in the field of education in Evergreen, Ala. These items were to be kept in the newly formed Evergreen High School Museum “for many years to come and will help to show to posterity a way of life in Conecuh County.” M.B. Campbell, Farmers Bonded Warehouse, had given glass cases in which the articles donated were to be kept at the school. The initial contribution, consisting of three pictures, was made by Mrs. Katie McCreary. One of the pictures was of Miss Willie Cunningham, the beloved lady who contributed so much to education in Conecuh County. Another picture showed the baseball team of 1894, featuring such players as Edmund Finch, Henderson Cook, Ted Gantt and Donnie Bruner. Miss Mary Cunningham also donated a picture of a “Thom Thum” commencement wedding in which she was a winsome bridesmaid and Mary Dent Salter (Mrs. Fred Mills) was a flower girl.
Feb. 11, 1954 – In this day’s edition of The Evergreen Courant, several personnel changes were announced by D.T. (Tal) Stuart of Stuart Motor Co. Zell Murphy, popular Evergreen, Ala. resident who was well-known and liked throughout the county, was placed in charge of their parts department. Warren Bolton had been named general manager and service manager.
Feb. 11-12, 1955 – A new Ferguson 35 Tractor was displayed at the J&W Tractor Co. on North Court Square in Evergreen, Ala.
Feb. 11, 1961 – Robert Wayne Ballard, 16, of Miami was killed in an automobile accident around 5:15 a.m. on Conecuh County Road 6, about six miles east of Castleberry, Ala. Ballard was driving a disabled 1950 Ford that was being pushed by another car driven by another teenager. Ballard lost control of the car he was driving and the car plunged down an embankment.
Feb. 11, 1962 - Nine U.S. and South Vietnamese crewmen were killed in a SC-47 crash about 70 miles north of Saigon. The aircraft was part of Operation Farm Gate, a mission that had initially been designed to provide advisory support in assisting the South Vietnamese Air Force to increase its capability.
Feb. 11, 1963 - C.P. Wilkerson was re-elected president of the Monroe County (Ala.) Rescue Squad for the fourth consecutive year at the squad’s monthly meeting on this Monday night. Other officers were D.C. McLaurin, executive vice president, Frisco City; O.A. Browning, secretary and treasurer, Frisco City; Wilbur Pickens, Monroeville vice president; Edgar Bailey, Uriah vice president; and Charles Walston, Excel vice president.
Feb. 11, 1966 - Willie Mays became the highest paid player in baseball when he signed a two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants for $130,000 a year.
Feb. 11, 1967 – Vietnamese general and diplomat Trần Tử Bình died in Hanoi at the age of 60.
Feb. 11, 1973 – During the Vietnam War, the first release of American prisoners of war from Vietnam took place.
Feb. 11, 1976 – NBA basketball player Tony Battie was born in Dallas, Texas. He went on to play for Texas Tech, the Denver Nuggets, the Boston Celtics, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic, the New Jersey Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers.
Feb. 11, 1976 – Actor, producer and screenwriter Brice Beckham was born in Long Beach, Calif.
Feb. 11, 1986 - The single, "Superbowl Shuffle," by the Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew was certified gold by the RIAA.
Feb. 11, 1988 – The Magee Farm at Kushla, near Mobile, Ala. was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Feb. 11-12, 1989 – The famous UFO incident in Fyffe, Ala. occurred. The incident began when a woman called police reporting something strange in the sky, which was later seen by over 50 witnesses, including the town’s police chief and assistant police chief as well as officers from two other towns and an Alabama State Trooper. Over 100 media outlets descended on the town, including the New York Times.
Feb. 11, 1990 – Nelson Mandela was released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner because of his involvement with the African National Congress.
Feb. 11, 1994 – Episode No. 16 of “The X-Files” – entitled “Young at Heart” – aired for the first time.
Feb. 11, 1997 – Alabama native Neil Bonnett, who won 18 NASCAR events in the 1970s and 1980s, was killed in a practice session accident at Daytona International Speedway. He was a member of the Alabama Gang, a group of successful stockcar racers centered in the Hueytown area who first gained national attention in the 1960s.
Feb. 11, 2008 - In the latest of a series of legal battles involving J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” and film adaptations made of the books, several of Tolkien’s heirs joined a group of publishers in filing a $150 million lawsuit against New Line Cinema in Los Angeles Superior Court.