Feb. 3, 1488 – Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias (Diaz) of Portugal landed in Mossel Bay on the southern extremity of Africa after rounding the Cape of Good Hope, becoming the first known European to travel so far south.
Feb. 3, 1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issued the first paper money in the Americas. The currency was used to pay soldiers that were fighting in the war against Quebec.
Feb. 3, 1781 – During the American Revolutionary War, British forces seized the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.
Feb. 3, 1781 - American General Nathanael Greene wrote to Baron von Steuben in which he observed that the Patriot’s "distribution of publick stores is enough to ruin a nation."
Feb. 3, 1781 - American General Nathanael Greene and his troops successfully crossed the Yadkin River to evade General Charles Cornwallis. Cornwallis was forced to march his men to the "Shallow Ford" due to high water and did not finish crossing the Yadkin until the morning of the February 7.
Feb. 3, 1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States.
Feb. 3, 1787 – Militia led by General Benjamin Lincoln crushed the remnants of Shays' Rebellion in Petersham, Mass.
Feb. 3, 1809 – The Territory of Illinois was created by the 10th United States Congress.
Feb. 3, 1811 – Newspaper magnate and politician Horace Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire.
Feb. 3, 1820 – Vietnamese emporer Gia Long died at the age of 57.
Feb. 3, 1821 – Elizabeth Blackwell, the first woman to graduate from medical school, was born in Bristol, England.
Feb. 3, 1824 – Explorer and educator Ranald MacDonald was born at Fort Astoria, Columbia District, British North America.
Feb. 3, 1836 – William Barrett Travis, who’d lived at Sparta and Claiborne in Alabama, arrived at the Alamo with 18 men.
Feb. 3, 1842 - Alabama author Sidney Lanier was born in Macon, Ga.
Feb. 3, 1857 – Early Conecuh County teacher, lawyer and judge Henry Franklin Stearns died at Claiborne.
Feb. 3, 1862 - Thomas Edison printed the "Weekly Herald" and distributed it to train passengers traveling between Port Huron and Detroit, Mich. It was the first time a newspaper had been printed on a train.
Feb. 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance began of Occoquan Village, Va.
Feb. 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near the Mulberry River, Ark. and in the Mingo Swamp of Missouri. Federal forces began cutting a path through a levee on the Yazoo River, near Yazoo Pass, for transporting troops north of Vicksburg, Miss. The Confederate steamers Baker, Berwick Bay and the Moro were captured by the Federal ram Queen of the West, near Vicksburg, Miss.
Feb. 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, Confederates attacked Ft Donelson and Cumberland Iron Works, Tenn. A three-day Federal operation that included Murfreesborough, Auburn, Liberty and Alexandria, Tenn. began.
Feb. 3, 1864 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal expedition from Brashear City, La., up Grand Lake into Lac Fausse Pointe and into Grant River, began. An action took place at Liverpool Heights on the Yazoo River, Miss. Also on that day, what would be called the Meridian (Miss.) Expedition began, and a simultaneous cavalry operation from Memphis, Tenn. also began. This operation would last until March 6. Confederates captured the US steamer, Levi, on the Kanawha River, at Red House Landing, West Va.
Feb. 3, 1865 - An eight-day Federal operation against Kiowa and Commanche Indians between Fort Larned to Buckner’s Branch, Kansas began. Skirmishes were fought in La Fayette County, Mo.; at River's Bridge, Dillingham's Cross Roads and Duck Branch, S.C.; and near Harper's Ferry, West Va
Feb. 3, 1865 - In Hampton Roads, Va., a peace conference between U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens took place. The conference ended in failure within just hours after Lincoln refused to grant the delegation any concessions.
Feb. 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, the first of what would be two days of skirmishing began at Ladd’s House, Jog Jaw Valley, Ala.
Feb. 3, 1870 – The Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing voting rights to citizens regardless of race.
Feb. 3, 1870 - The Clay County community known as County Line changed its name to Lineville. The area became known as County Line in 1856, when the federal government established a post office there. The name reflected the town's location on the Randolph County side of the border with Talladega County. In 1866, the Alabama state government formed Clay County from portions of Talladega and Randolph Counties, and as a result County Line was no longer located on a county line.
Feb. 3, 1872 – Georgiana, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality. (Ala. Leag. of Mun.)
Feb. 3, 1874 – Writer Gertrude Stein was born in Allegheny, Pa.
Feb. 3, 1876 - Albert Spalding and his brother started a sporting goods store. They manufactured the first official baseball, tennis ball, basketball, golf ball and football.
Feb. 3, 1894 – Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell was born in New York City.
Feb. 3, 1907 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist James Michener was born in Doylestown, Pa.
Feb. 3, 1912 - Professional football set some new rules. The field was shortened to 100 yards, touchdowns were to be worth six points instead of five, four downs would be allowed instead of three and the kickoff was moved from midfield to the 40-yard line.
Feb. 3, 1913 – The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, authorizing the Federal government to impose and collect an income tax.
Feb. 3, 1915 – Wade Brownlow, a convict on the Conecuh County (Ala.) road crew, attempted suicide on this morning by stabbing himself on the left side of his chest with a table fork. “The wound was not as serious as was at first thought and after a few days he was able to go to work again,” according to The Evergreen Courant.
Feb. 3, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant, under the headline “Baby Abandoned in Hotel,” reported that “a baby found in a room at the Sewell Hotel on Saturday morning has created more talk in Evergreen than the war across the water. On Friday night a man and a woman went to the hotel at a late hour and sought lodging, which they obtained. They came on train No. 3 and asked to be called for train No. 2, which was done. They were known to have a baby when they arrived and it was naturally supposed they took it away with them. But they did not, for some time during the morning, Mrs. Stephens went into the room which the couple had occupied and to her surprise and astonishment she beheld the form of a pretty little girl baby apparently about four weeks old. The news of the strange find spread over town and it was not long before everybody in town knew about the little stranger and many were curious enough to go up into the hotel to see it. It was on her hands and it must not be neglected, so Mrs. Stephens in a motherly way prepared and gave it nourishment and made it comfortable. On a slip of paper pinned to its clothing was instructions to deliver the child to the Baptist Orphans Home, but the institution could not accept it. This was no hindrance to get someone to care for it, however, as applications came thick and fast from the best of families for the custody of the little one. But Mr. Stephens got a clue as to the identity of the persons who left it on his hands and went to work to locate them. They were soon located in Butler County and Sheriff (A.A.) Williams went up on Sunday afternoon to Greenville and out in the country where they lived and caused the couple to return here yesterday to answer the charge of abandonment. They gave their names as Wm. Steen and wife. The child was given by them to the custody of Mr. and Mrs. J.D. Skinner of Belleville and the unnatural parents left on the afternoon train for their home. Mr. and Mrs. Skinner are very proud of their new possession.
Feb. 3, 1916 – Clarence Moore Dannelly Jr. was born in Evergreen, Ala., the son of Conecuh County Superintendent of Education C.M. Dannelly. He grew up in Montgomery and on Dec. 17, 1940, Navy Ensign Dannelly would be killed in an airplane crash during a training accident in Pensacola. Dannelly is considered to be the first casualty of World War II from Montgomery, and Dannelly Field (now Montgomery Regional Airport) was named in his honor in July 1943.
Feb. 3, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that W.R. James was “engaged in taking a census of the town of Evergreen. The work is being done under a recent act of the legislature, and Mr. James was appointed by the municipal authorities to do the work. It is an actual or general census and serves the two-fold purpose of determining the present population and the number of children within the school age.”
Feb. 3, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that J.T. Williams had been appointed to serve as a trustee of the Second District Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala.
Feb. 3, 1919 – Alabama became the first state to enact legislation calling for a memorial to commemorate its citizens who had served in World War I, also known as the Great War.
Feb. 3, 1920 – Robert Long of Evergreen, Ala. left for his semi-annual trip to New York and other eastern markets to purchase the spring and summer stock for his firm, I. Long & sons. He was accompanied by Althea Burke and Miss Diaz, who were to help Long select ladies goods for his store.
Feb. 3, 1924 - The 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, died at the age of 67 in Washington, D.C.
Feb. 3, 1927 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill that created the Federal Radio Commission.
Feb. 3, 1930 – The Communist Party of Vietnam was founded at a "Unification Conference" held in Kowloon, British Hong Kong.
Feb. 3, 1933 – Conecuh County High School’s boys and girls basketball teams were scheduled to play Lyeffion in Lyeffion, Ala. on this Friday.
Feb. 3, 1933 – Adolf Hitler announced that the expansion of Lebensraum into Eastern Europe, and its ruthless Germanisation, were the ultimate geopolitical objectives of Third Reich foreign policy.
Feb. 3, 1940 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton was born in Richmond, Va. He would go on to play for the University of Georgia, the Minnesota Vikings and the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Feb. 3, 1942 – Monroe County High School’s boys and girls basketball teams traveled to Excel, Ala. to take on Excel High School. MCHS’s boys won, 26-20, but Excel’s girls beat MCHS’s girls by one point.
Feb. 3, 1945 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Bob Griese was born in Evansville, Ind. He would go on to play for Perdue and the Miami Dolphins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Feb. 3, 1947 – The lowest temperature in North America, −63.9 °C (−83.0 °F), was recorded in Snag, Yukon.
Feb. 3, 1948 - Two men were killed and one injured in a head-on collision between a car and log truck nine miles north of Brewton, Ala. on this Tuesday. The dead were W.A. Griggers, 60, of Brooklyn, who was driving the car, and truck driver Anderson Smith, 41, of East Brewton. Reuben E. Blackwell of Brewton was riding in the cab of the truck but was thrown clear and escaped with injuries. According to information received from Highway Patrol Sgt. T.P. Melton, both vehicles were completely demolished and burned. Smith was pinned beneath the truck. It was believed that Griggers had suffered a heart attack and was unconscious at the time of the accident.
Feb. 3, 1951 - The Tennessee Williams play, "The Rose Tattoo," opened on Broadway in New York.
Feb. 3, 1955 – Around noon, Fred Edward Mills, 65, a “well known and highly esteemed merchant and business leader of Evergreen,” Ala., died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Mills died at his store, Mills Ready to Wear, as he was preparing to go to the weekly meeting of the Evergreen Rotary Club.
Feb. 3, 1955 - After months of prodding by U.S. advisors, South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem introduced the first in a series of agrarian reform measures. This first measure was a decree governing levels of rent for farmland. U.S. officials had strongly urged that Diem institute such reforms to win the support of the common people, but later critics maintained his land reform program began too late, progressed too slowly, and never went far enough.
Feb. 3, 1957 - A television version of Alabama author Borden Deal's story "A Bottle of Wine" was broadcast as part of the “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” series.
Feb. 3, 1957 - Joe F. Nettles, Monroeville, Ala. student at University Military School in Mobile, was promoted to the rank of sergeant in the University Military Band on this Sunday. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Nettles.
Feb. 3, 1966 - The unmanned Soviet Luna spacecraft made the first controlled landing on the moon.
Feb. 3, 1970 - The Senate Foreign Relations Committee opened hearings on the conduct of the war by the Nixon administration. Senator Charles Goodell (R-New York) said that Vietnamization (President Richard Nixon’s program to transfer war responsibility to the South Vietnamese) had been a “great public relations success.” Taking exception with Senator Goodell’s assessment, Senators Harold Hughes (D-Iowa), Thomas Eagleton (D-Missouri), and Alan Cranston (D-California) testified in support of a Senate resolution calling for the termination of the American commitment to South Vietnam unless the Saigon government took steps to broaden its cabinet, stop press censorship, and release political prisoners.
Feb. 3, 1971 – New York Police Officer Frank Serpico was shot during a drug bust in Brooklyn and survived to later testify against police corruption. Many believe the incident proved that NYPD officers tried to kill him.
Feb. 3, 1972 – The Monroe Journal reported that Gene T. Mixon of Old Texas had killed a 247-pound buck with an “unbelievable 39-point rack.” Mixon shot the deer in north Monroe County on Jan. 11, 1972.
Feb. 3, 1972 - Funeral rites for the Rev. Enoch Johnson, 88, were to be conducted on this Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. at the Excel Nazarene Church. Johnson, a resident of Monroe County for 57 years, had been a minister in Monroe County churches during all those years. He was active in establishing the Beulah Camp, a religious retreat in Monroe County, near Excel, and other religious and civic projects.
Feb. 3, 1979 - The Minnesota Twins traded Rod Carew to California for four players.
Feb. 3, 1982 - John Sharples of England finished a 371-hour marathon of disco dancing.
Feb. 3, 1984 – The Old Federal Road Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution was formed in Monroe County, Ala.
Feb. 3, 1990 - Darryl Strawberry of the New York Mets voluntarily entered an alcohol rehab center.
Feb. 3, 1994 - Nearly two decades after the fall of Saigon, U.S. President Bill Clinton announced the lifting of the 19-year-old trade embargo against Vietnam, citing the cooperation of Vietnam’s communist government in helping the United States locate the 2,238 Americans still listed as missing in the Vietnam War.
Feb. 3, 2000 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team saw their season come to an end with a 73-47 loss to Calvary School in the opening round of the AISA Class AA, East Area II Regional Tournament in Evergreen, Ala. Lee Booker, who was named to the all-tournament team, led Sparta in that game with 23 points. Sparta’s varsity girls beat Calvary School, 64-41, to advance to the tourney finals.
Feb. 3, 2000 – Paul Deason, 52, of Evergreen, Ala. allegedly murdered his son, Scott Deason. Conecuh County Sheriff’s deputies found Scott Deason with a shotgun wound to his “stomach area” at Paul Deason’s residence. Scott Deason was transported to Evergreen Medical Center and then to D.W. McMillan Hospital in Brewton, where he died during emergency surgery.
Feb. 3, 2001 - The XFL debuted. The Las Vegas Outlaws beat the New York-New Jersey Hitmen, 19-0, and the Orlando Rage beat the Chicago Enforcers, 33-29.
Feb. 3, 2002 - The New England Patriots won Super Bowl XXXVI, 20-17, over the heavily favored Los Angeles Rams. It was the first Super Bowl win for the Patriots. The game ended with a last second, 48-yard field goal by Patriots’ kicker Adam Vinatieri. Britney Spears performed the national anthem.
Feb. 3, 2007 – A Baghdad market bombing killed at least 135 people and injures a further 339.
Feb. 3, 2008 - The New York Giants stunned the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, by beating them 17-14 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Az.