Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Today in History for Feb. 2, 2016

Chappel painting of Steele Tavern.
Feb. 2, 1046 - Monks recorded the onset of a severe cold snap, which may have been the start of the Little Ice Age.

Feb. 2, 1536 - The Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Pedro de Mendoza of Spain.

Feb. 2, 1653 - New Amsterdam, now known as New York City, was incorporated.

Feb. 2, 1709 – Alexander Selkirk was rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe.

Feb. 2, 1781 - American General Nathanael Greene received two bags of coins from Elizabeth Maxwell Steele at her tavern in Salisbury, N.C. The event was later memorialized in a painting by Alonzo Chappel. She gave him the money to supply him and his army after learning he was penniless.

Feb. 2, 1803 - Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston was born in Washington, Ky. Johnston was considered one of the best Confederate commanders until he was killed at the Battle of Shiloh, Tenn., the first major engagement in the West.

Feb. 2, 1833 - Lewis Sewall became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Feb. 2, 1834 - Itinerant Methodist minister and author Lorenzo Dow passed away in Georgetown, Washington, D.C. at the age of 56. Passing down the Old Federal Road through Conecuh and Monroe Counties, he is believed to have delivered the first Methodist sermon in what is now Alabama in 1803.

Feb. 2, 1836 – At the ill-fated Alamo, Col. Jim Bowie and Col. James C. Neill vowed “…we will rather die in these ditches than give it up to the enemy.” Lt. Col. William B. Travis arrived on this day with with 30 men.

Feb. 2, 1839 – Linden, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality.

Feb. 2, 1848 - The Mexican War was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. The treaty turned over portions of land to the U.S., including Texas, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, California and parts of Colorado and Wyoming. The U.S. gave Mexico $15,000,000 and assumed responsibility of all claims against Mexico by American citizens. Texas had already entered the U.S. on Dec. 29, 1845.

Feb. 2, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in Morgan County, Tenn.

Feb. 2, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Vine Prairie and at the mouth of the Mulberry River, Ark.; and near Mingo Swamp, Mo. The Vicksburg and Warrenton, Miss. batteries were also passed by the Federal vessel, Queen of the West. A Federal operation began, aimed at the destruction of the Confederate salt works at Wale’s Head, Currituck Beach, N.C. A four-day Federal reconnaissance of the area in the vicinity of Saulsbury, Tenn. began.

Feb. 2, 1863 - Samuel Langhorne Clemens used the pseudonym “Mark Twain” for the first time.

Feb. 2, 1864 – During the Civil War, Federal operations began in the vicinity of Whitesburg, Ala., and the Federal steamer, Mill Boy, was wrecked nine miles above Jacksonport, Ark. Skirmishes were also fought on Halcolm Island, Mo.; at Bogue Sound Blockhouse and Gale's Creek, N.C.; at La Grange, Tenn.; near Aldie and Strasburg, Va.; and at Patterson's Creek, West Va.

Feb. 2, 1865 – During the Civil War, Indians attacked the Overland Stage Station at Julesburg, Colorado Territory. Federal operations began against Indians on the North Platte River in the Colorado and Nebraska Territories. Federal operations began along the St John’s River in Fla., with the intention of destroying the Confederate salt works. Skirmishes were fought at Barker’s Mill, near Whippy Swamp, at Duck Brank (near Loper’s Crossroads, along the Salkehatchie River, and Lawtonville, S.C.

Feb. 2, 1870 - The "Cardiff Giant" was revealed in court to be nothing more than carved gypsum. The discovery in Cardiff, N.Y., was alleged to be the petrified remains of a human.

Feb. 2, 1876 - The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs (now known as the National League) was formed in New York. The teams included were the Chicago White Stockings, Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Mutual of New York, St. Louis Brown Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Louisville Grays.

Feb. 2, 1882 – Novelist and short-story writer James Joyce was born in Dublin, Ireland.

Feb. 2, 1887 - Groundhog Day was first observed in Punxsutawney, Pa.

Feb. 2, 1895 – Pro Football Hall of Fame end, coach and owner George Halas was born in Chicago, Ill. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.

Feb. 2, 1901 – Andalusia, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality.

Feb. 2, 1901 – The funeral of Queen Victoria was held.

Feb. 2, 1908 – The sanctuary at Evergreen Baptist Church in Evergreen, Ala. was dedicated.

Feb. 2, 1913 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Wilbur Whateley of Dunwich was born to Lavinia Whateley and an unknown father. He first appeared in “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft.

Feb. 2, 1915 – W.M. Robinson, who lived near Paul, Ala., shot and killed John Holmes. Sheriff A.A. Williams arrested Robinson and transported him to Evergreen, Ala.

Feb. 2, 1916 – A “cold wave struck” Evergreen, Ala. on this Wednesday morning, and thermometers registered 18 degrees on the following Thursday morning, according to The Conecuh Record.

Feb. 2, 1916 – The “negro school building, located opposite the cemetery… burned to the ground” on this Wednesday night in Evergreen, Ala. The cause of the fire was unknown.

Feb. 2, 1916 – Vietnamese poet and author Xuân Diệu was born in Bình Định, Vietnam.

Feb. 2, 1917 – Đỗ Mười, the fifth Prime Minister of Vietnam, was born in Dong Phu, Thanh Trì, Hanoi.

Feb. 2, 1920 – According to The Evergreen Courant, on this day the “groundhog surely failed to see his shadow,” and “we shall now see if this portends an early spring or the end of winter, whichever it means, if it means anything.”

Feb. 2, 1922 – “Ulysses” by James Joyce was first published.

Feb. 2, 1923 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Red Schoendienst was born in Germantown, Ill. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Giants and the Milwaukee Braves and he went on to manage the Cardinals three different times. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Feb. 2, 1925 –  During what is now known as the “Serum Run to Nome,” Dog sleds reached Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

Feb. 2, 1933 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mr. and Mrs. F.M. Yarbrough and family had returned to Evergreen, Ala. to live and planned to occupy the old Feagin home on Belleville Street.

Feb. 2, 1933 - The local post of the American Legion was scheduled to meet at the Conecuh County (Ala.) Courthouse to discuss veterans affairs. Similar meetings were being held all over the state at this time. All members and eligible veterans were urged to attend.

Feb. 2, 1933 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Esko Dunn of the Wilcox community was in St. Margaret’s Hospital due to “serious injuries” caused by the train.

Feb. 2, 1933 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Bank of Evergreen was showing “substantial and steady growth” as evidenced by a comparison of a statement of the bank’s condition at the close of business on Jan. 30 compared with earlier statements. The bank opened for business on Sept. 1, 1932, “just a little over a month after Evergreen’s old bank was closed for liquidation. In opening so quickly after the other institution closed it is believed that the city has made a record. So far as has been observed, no other city in this section of the country has been able to open a new bank as quickly as this. In fact, so far as has been observed few have been able to get one opened at all.”

Feb. 2, 1934 - Alabama author Wade H. Hall was born in Union Springs, Ala.

Feb. 2, 1936 – Babe Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Feb. 2, 1940 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Georgiana, 11-9.

Feb. 2, 1940 – E.B. Aycock of Evergreen, Ala. was seriously injured when he became pinned beneath the trunk of a falling tree while working near Brewton. He was operating a skidder when the accident occurred, and it was reported that the tree to which the machine was anchored broke in two and caught him in falling. He suffered severe internal injuries, including fractures of the pelvis bones, and was carried to the hospital in Atmore.

Feb. 2, 1942 – The Osvald Group was responsible for the first, active event of anti-Nazi resistance in Norway, to protest the inauguration of Vidkun Quisling.

Feb. 2, 1952 – A British York transport, carrying 33 passengers and crew, vanished on the northern edge of the Bermuda Triangle while on its way to Jamaica.

Feb. 2, 1955 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball beat Lyeffion, 86-24, at Memorial Gym in Evergreen, Ala. Center Randy White led Evergreen with 35 total points.

Feb. 2, 1959 – The Dyatlov Pass incident occurred in the northern Ural mountains.

Feb. 2, 1962 - The first U.S. Air Force plane was lost in South Vietnam. The C-123 aircraft crashed while spraying defoliant on a Viet Cong ambush site. The aircraft was part of Operation Ranch Hand, a technological area-denial technique designed to expose the roads and trails used by the Viet Cong. 

Feb. 2, 1963 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, the Marine Sulphur Queen, a 425-foot freighter, vanished without message, clues or debris while en route to Norfolk, Va. from Beaumont, Texas with all hands. The ship was last heard from near the Dry Tortugas.

Feb. 2, 1968 – Marine PFC Allen Twiggs Merritt IV of Atmore, Ala. and Army Warrant Officer Horace Gilbert Giddens Jr. of Andalusia, Ala. were killed in action in Vietnam.

Feb. 2, 1970 - Antiwar protestors took legal action in an attempt to prove that the Dow Chemical Company was still making napalm. Dow had claimed that it had stopped making napalm. Members of the antiwar movement filed suit against the Dow Chemical Company in a Washington, D.C., court. The plaintiffs were trying to force the company to disclose all government contracts to prove that the company was still making napalm.

Feb. 2, 1978 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Lyeffion High School’s Yellow Jackets basketball team was “knocking off opponents right and left and working toward competing for the state championship in Class A.” Players on the team included Charles Watts, Ricky Hall, Kenny Nevlous, Ricky Johnson, Joe Salter, James Riley, Willie Hunter, Adrian Woods, Harold Kyser and Erick Finklea. Ronnie Williams was head coach, Jim McKinnon was assistant coach and Steve Searcy was manager.

Feb. 2, 1980 - The Murder Creek Historical Society was scheduled to hold a “flea market” at the historic L&N Depot in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday. The Murder Creek Historical Society was making final plans to “really fix up the old depot.”

Feb. 2, 1982, Alabama author Annie Vaughan Weaver died in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Feb. 2, 1988 - Alabama author Richard Chase died in Claremont, Calif.

Feb. 2, 1993 – During a meeting on this Tuesday night at Evergreen City Hall, the Evergreen City Council recognized the accomplishments and the dedication of a former city council member who died recently. A special resolution was signed and presented to the widow of former councilman, businessman and civic leader, T.L. Sims. After a moment of silence in memory of the late councilman, who had perished in a recent automobile accident, Councilman Jerry Caylor praised Mr. Sims’ work for the city, and the business community and the people of Evergreen and Conecuh County.

Feb. 2, 2000 – Jason Watkins, a senior at Hillcrest High School in Evergreen, Ala., signed a full football scholarship with the University of West Alabama in Livingston. Watkins was recruited to play fullback at UWA. Watkins was the son of James and Hazel Watkins.

Feb. 2, 2003 - Alabama author Mildred Lee died in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Feb. 2, 2014 – Philip Seymour Hoffman passed away at the age of 46 in Manhattan, N.Y. He portrayed Truman Capote in 2005’s “Capote” and won the Academy Award for Best Actor for role.

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