Monday, February 22, 2016

Today in History for Feb. 22, 2016

U.S. President James Buchanan
Feb. 22, 1512 – Italian cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci died at the age of 57 in Seville, Crown of Castile, in present-day Spain.

Feb. 22, 1627 – Dutch explorer Olivier van Noort died at the age of 68 or 69.

Feb. 22, 1732 - George Washington, the first President of the United States, was born in Westmoreland County, Va.

Feb. 22, 1777 – Revolutionary War leader and Georgia’s first Provisional Governor Archibald Bulloch died under mysterious circumstances just hours after Georgia's Council of Safety granted him the powers of a dictator in expectation of a British invasion. The cause of his death remains unknown but there had been rumors that he had been poisoned. Archibald Bulloch has gone down in history as one of the American Revolution's great leaders, and he is also known as the great-great-grandfather of America's 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt.

Feb. 22, 1819 - Spanish minister Do Luis de Onis and U.S. Secretary of State John Quincy Adams signed the Florida Purchase Treaty, in which Spain agreed to cede the remainder of its old province of Florida to the United States. Formal U.S. occupation began in 1821, and General Andrew Jackson, the hero of the War of 1812, was appointed military governor. Florida was organized as a U.S. territory in 1822 and was admitted into the Union as a slave state in 1845.

Feb. 22, 1836 – The advance of Santa Anna’s Army reached the heights of the Alazan, overlooking the city of San Antonio.

Feb. 22, 1847 – During the Mexican–American War, the Battle of Buena Vista took place at the Angostura Pass in Mexico, and 5,000 American troops defeated 15,000 Mexicans.

Feb. 22, 1851 - Alabama author Kate Upson Clark was born in Camden, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1855 - The U.S. Congress voted to appropriate $200,000 for continuance of the work on the Washington Monument. The next morning the resolution was tabled, and it would be 21 years before the Congress would vote on funds again. Work was continued by the Know-Nothing Party in charge of the project.

Feb. 22, 1859 - U.S. President James Buchanan approved the Act of February 22, 1859, which incorporated the Washington National Monument Society "for the purpose of completing the erection now in progress of a great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government."

Feb. 22, 1860 - Organized baseball’s first game was played in San Francisco, Calif.

Feb. 22, 1861 - President-Elect Abraham Lincoln delivered speeches at Harrisburg, Pa. Due to death threats, Lincoln left for Washington City, incognito, under the protection of the well known detective, Allen Pinkerton. Lincoln arrived unceremoniously in Washington the next morning.

Feb. 22, 1862 – Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Va. He was previously inaugurated as a provisional president on February 18, 1861.

Feb. 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Independence and Post Oak, Mo.; at Kearnstown, Va. and at Arkansas Bay, Texas. A Federal expedition was conducted to Vienna and Flint Hill, Va.

Feb. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal cavalry attacked Tuscumbia, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on the Manchester Pike, Tenn. and at Coombs Ferry, Kentuck.

Feb. 22, 1864 – After getting captured by the Union at Campbell’s Station, Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) was admitted to Asylum General Hospital in Nashville and was transferred to Louisville Military Prison six days later.

Feb. 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Luna Landing, Ark.; at Dalton and Whitemarsh Island, Ga.; at near Okolona, Miss. (At Ivey’s Farm); on the Tallahatchie River in Mississippi; at Lexington and Warrensburg, Mo.; along Calfkiller Creek and Powell’s Bridge, Tenn.; in the vicinity of Indianola, Texas; at Gibsons’s and Wyerman’s Mills, both on Indian Creek, Va. Confederates also raided Mayfield, Ky.

Feb. 22, 1864 – At the Battle of West Point, Miss., Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest routed a Union force three times the size of his army, helping to end Union General William T. Sherman's expedition into Alabama. Union General William Sooy Smith retreated back to Memphis due to another Confederate force blocking his way to Meridian. This battle forced Union General Sherman to return to Vicksburg. The Confederates suffered 144 men killed, wounded, or missing, while the Union lost 324. ‘

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Tuscumbia, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation between Pine Bluff and Meto, Ala. began.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation from Barrancas to Milton, Fla. began

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Northeast Ferry and Smith’s Creek, N.C. and at Camden and along the Wateree River, S.C.

Feb. 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, the last major port of the Confederate States of America was effectively lost as Wilmington, N.C. was evacuated by Confederate forces. Every available railroad car and engine was pressed into service as the Confederates removed every scrap of military material that could be hauled. Finally, burning the stores that could not be removed, Gen. Braxton Bragg and his soldiers abandoned the town. As fast as they were leaving, Federal forces under Brig. Gen. Terry began occupying the city.

Feb. 22, 1869 – The Escambia County (Ala.) Commission held its first ever meeting at Pollard, the county seat at that time.

Feb. 22, 1874 – National Baseball Hall of Fame umpire Bill Klem was born in Rochester, N.Y. Known as the “Father of Baseball Umpires,” he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953.

Feb. 22, 1875 – Sir Charles Lyell, the “Father of Modern Geology,” died in London, England. A close friend of Charles Darwin, Lyell visited Claiborne, Ala. in 1846 to study the Eocene fossil beds there.

Feb. 22, 1878 – Frank Woolworth opened the first of his “five cent” stores, “Woolworth’s Great Five Cent Store,” in Utica, N.Y.

Feb. 22, 1885 - The Washington Monument was officially dedicated in Washington, D.C. It opened to the public in 1889.

Feb. 22, 1889 – United States President Grover Cleveland signed a bill admitting North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington as U.S. states.

Feb. 22, 1892 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay was born in Rockland, Maine.

Feb. 22, 1893 - The first Alabama-Auburn football game was played in Birmingham, Alabama's Lakeview Park before a crowd of 5,000 spectators. Auburn won this first match-up 32-22. The rivalry continued until 1907 when the games were stopped, with the renewal of the series not coming until 1948.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Jones Mill community, that Middleton Bros. had disposed of their old saw mill which was located one mile south of Jones Mill and were in the process of constructing a new one at Lufkin.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Sniders Crossing expected to soon have the first telegraph operator between Manistee and the Junction.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Buena Vista community, that the store belonging to Wash Watson and sons had burned and was a total loss. The fire was allegedly started by two arsonists, including a black man who had been “whipped” by the “Watson boys” for a misdemeanor several months before. The guilty parties were arrested, but one of them, a young white man, escaped while being transported to the jail in Camden.

Feb. 22, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the store of Julius Farish in Beatrice, Ala. had been burglarized during the previous week.

Feb. 22, 1909 – W. Hicks was jailed for the nighttime murder of John Askew of Andalusia, Ala. near Travis Bridge in eastern Conecuh County, Ala.

Feb. 22, 1912 – Around 3 a.m., Evergreen, Ala. was struck by an “embryo cyclone” that did considerable damage. E.C. Lee was picked up by the wind and thrown into an outbuilding, breaking one of his arms. Large trees in Evergreen were uprooted and fences were blown away. The Agricultural School was also badly damaged.

Feb. 22, 1916 – Both of Evergreen, Alabama’s banks, as well as the post office, were closed on this Tuesday in observance of George Washington’s birthday.

Feb. 22, 1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

Feb. 22, 1925 – Poet Gerald Stern was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Feb. 22, 1928 – “Rope,” a dramatic version of Alabama author T. S. Stribling's book “Teeftallow,” opened on Broadway.

Feb. 22, 1932 - The U.S. War Department announced the creation of the "Order of the Purple Heart." The announcement was made on George Washington's 200th birthday. On August 7, 1782, George Washington had created the "Purple Heart" with the "Badge of Military Merit."

Feb. 22, 1934 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman and manager Sparky Anderson was born in Bridgewater, S.D. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies and managed the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Feb. 22, 1937 – Bolling “Bo” Herbert, the Route One, Evergreen mail carrier, lost control of his automobile and crashed into the home of Maury Thames on Cary Street in Evergreen, Ala. He suffered minor injuries, mostly bruises, and was “severely shaken up.”

Feb. 22, 1939 – Former Confederate soldier Hugh Ellis Courtney died in Montgomery, Ala. and was buried in Pine Crest Cemetery in Mobile, Ala. He was born on Feb. 13, 1842 in Mississippi and enlisted at Pineville in Monroe County, Ala. on March 15, 1861. He re-enlisted on May 13, 1861 and was listed as sick at Hugunot Springs on July 15, 1861. He was wounded at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 and was as admitted to the 2nd Div. Ala. General Hospital at Richmond, Va. on June 6, 1863. He was listed as a POW at the Wilderness on May 5, 1864 before being forwarded to Point Lookout, Md. on May 18, 1864 and to Elmira Prison, N.Y. on Aug. 15, 1864. He took the Oath of Allegiance on April 30, 1865 and stated that he desired to “return to Bell Landing, where his relatives resides.” He was paroled on June 14, 1865. He was almost 5-8 with a fair complexion, auburn hair and blue eyes.

Feb. 22, 1943 – Construction of the USS Eldridge began at the Federal Shipbuilding and Drydock Co. in Newark, N.J.

Feb. 22, 1943 – During World War II, members of the White Rose resistance, Sophie Scholl, Hans Scholl and Christoph Probst were executed in Nazi Germany.

Feb. 22, 1947 - Alabama author Richard North Patterson was born in Berkeley, Calif.

Feb. 22, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported that chances were good that the construction of the proposed Conecuh County hospital under the Hill-Burton Act would get underway that year or early in 1952. This statement was made that week by Clay H. Dean, Director of the hospital planning division of the State Department of Public Health in a letter to the Conecuh County Hospital Association.

Feb. 22, 1957 – Ngô Đình Diệm of South Vietnam survived a communist shooting assassination attempt in Buôn Ma Thuột.

Feb. 22-25, 1961 – The Class A District I Basketball Tournament was held at T.R. Miller High School in Brewton, Ala. Sixteen teams participated in the tourney, including Castleberry, Chatom, Coffeeville, Excel, Fairhope, Lyeffion, Miller, Monroeville, Repton and Silas.

Feb. 22, 1962 – “A Gift of Time,” a dramatic version of Alabama author Lael Tucker Wertenbaker's book “Death of a Man,” opened on Broadway.

Feb. 22, 1965 - General William Westmoreland, commander of Military Assistance Command Vietnam, cabled Washington, D.C., to request that two battalions of U.S. Marines be sent to protect the U.S. airbase at Da Nang. Ambassador Maxwell Taylor, aware of Westmoreland’s plan, disagreed and cabled President Lyndon B. Johnson from Saigon to warn that such a step would encourage South Vietnam to “shuck off greater responsibilities.” The Joint Chiefs of Staff, however, supported Westmoreland’s request and on Feb. 26, White House officials cabled Taylor and Westmoreland that the troops would be sent, and that Taylor should “Secure GVN [Government of South Vietnam] approval.” General Westmoreland later insisted that he did not regard his request as “the first step in a growing American commitment,” but by 1969 there were over 540,000 American troops in South Vietnam

Feb. 22, 1967 – The Conecuh County Training School played the Mobile County Training School in Bay Minette, Ala. with the winner to advance to the state basketball tournament.

Feb. 22, 1967 - Operation Junction City was launched to ease pressure on Saigon. It was an effort to smash the Viet Cong’s stronghold in Tay Ninh Province and surrounding areas along the Cambodian border northwest of Saigon. The purpose of the operation was to drive the Viet Cong away from populated areas and into the open, where superior American firepower could be more effectively used. In the largest operation of the war to date, four South Vietnamese and 22 U.S. battalions were involved–more than 25,000 troops. The first day’s operation was supported by 575 aircraft sorties, a record number for a single day in South Vietnam. The operation was marked by one of the largest airmobile assaults in history when 240 troop-carrying helicopters descended on the battlefield. There were 2,728 enemy casualties by the end of the operation on March 17.

Feb. 22, 1968 - The American war effort in Vietnam was hit hard by the North Vietnamese Tet Offensive, which ended on this day in 1968. Claims by President Lyndon Johnson that the offensive was a complete failure were misleading. Though the North Vietnamese death toll was 20 times that of its enemies, strongholds previously thought impenetrable had been shaken. The prospect of increasing American forces added substantial strength to the anti-war movement and led to Johnson’s announcement that he would not seek re-election.

Feb. 22, 1973 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team, led by head coach Charles Branum, beat Monroeville, 60-44, in the 3A Region 1, Area 2 tournament.

Feb. 22, 1975 – Evergreen, Alabama’s new “Avenue of Flags” was to be seen for the first time on this Saturday, when the flags were to fly to honor the birthday of the nation’s first president, George Washington. The project was led by the Pilot Club which set a goal of 50 flags to fly in the park area between West Front Street and the L&N Railroad in downtown Evergreen. Actually, a total of 72 flags, costing $25 each, were donated.

Feb. 22, 1987 – Vickie Lynn Pittman of East Brewton, Ala. was murdered. Her body was discovered near Brooklyn, Ala. in March 1987 and she was buried in the Elim Cemetery in Escambia County.

Feb. 22, 1995 - The NFL and CBS Radio agreed to a new four-year contract for an annual 53-game package of games.

Feb. 22, 2006 – Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat was murdered at the age of 29 in Samarra.

Feb. 22, 2010 - A copy of "Action Comics #1," which featured the first appearance of Superman, sold at auction for $1 million.

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