|Father Abram J. Ryan|
Feb. 5, 1777 - Georgia formally adopted a new state constitution and became the first U.S. state to abolish the inheritance practices of primogeniture and entail. Primogeniture ensured that the eldest son in a family inherited the largest portion of his father’s property upon the father’s death. The practice of entail, guaranteeing that a landed estate remain in the hands of only one male heir, was frequently practiced in conjunction with primogeniture.
Feb. 5, 1778 - South Carolina became the second state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.
Feb. 5, 1783 - Sweden recognized the independence of the United States.
Feb. 5, 1799 – Under the terms of the Treaty of San Lorenzo, Americans took possession of St. Stephens, which is in present-day Washington County, Ala.
Feb. 5, 1838 - Alabama author Father Abram J. Ryan was born in Hagerstown, Md.
Feb. 5, 1840 – The Evergreen Male and Female Academy was incorporated by Alabama legislature.
Feb. 5, 1842 – William Harrison Snowden of the Conecuh Guards was born at Brooklyn, Ala. He first entered Confederate service at Sparta as a private in the spring of 1861 with Co. E of the 4th Alabama Infantry. He was later wounded at Richmond, Va. and sent home.
Feb. 5, 1846 - "The Oregon Spectator," based in Oregon City, became the first newspaper published on the Pacific coast.
Feb. 5, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal forces captured Fort Heiman, on the heights about Fort Henry, Tenn.
Feb. 5, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Threlkeld’s Ferry and in the vicinity of Fan Buren, Ark.; in Pope County, Ark.; in Johnson County, Mo. on Bear Creek; and in the vicinity of Williamsburg, Va., near Olive Branch Church.
Feb. 5, 1863 – During the Civil War, an eight-day Federal operation began between Fayetteville to the Arkansas River, and a three-day Federal operation began between Rappahannock Bride and Grove Church, Va. A four-day reconnaissance began from Camp Piatt to the vicinity of Boone Courthouse, West Va.
Feb. 5, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 12-day Federal operation began from Houston, Mo. into Arkansas.
Feb. 5, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on Crooked Creek, in northwestern Ark.; in the vicinity of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; at Clinton, Jackson and Baker's Creek, Miss., as Union Major General William T. Sherman occupied Jackson, Miss., enroute to Meridian, Miss.; and at Aldie and Winchester, Va.
Fe. 5, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Braddock's Farm, Fla.; with Indians at Mud Springs, Nebraska; at Combahee Ferry and Duncanville, S.C.; out from McMinnville, Tenn.; and at Charlestown, West Va.
Feb. 5, 1865 – The Battle of Hatcher's Run (Dabney’s Mill) began during the Siege of Petersburg, Va. The 59th Alabama Infantry Regiment lost a number of men during this battle. The battle lasted for three days, and neither sided ended with a significant advantage after producing about 3,000 casualties.
Feb. 5, 1886 – Richard Francis Burton was awarded a knighthood (KCMG) by Queen Victoria.
Feb. 5, 1915 – Nobel Prize-winning physicist Robert Hofstadter was born in New York City.
Feb. 5, 1916 – The Rev. Matthew Caleb Kirkland, “one of Conecuh’s most highly respected citizens,” died at his home near Castleberry, Ala. on this Saturday at the age of 87. Kirkland, a pastor and shoemaker, was born on Sept. 20, 1828 and grew up in Columbia in Henry County. He was elected captain of Henry County’s 77th Regiment of the Alabama Militia on Dec. 3, 1853. He went on to serve in the 38th Alabama Inf. Reg. in the Civil War, was wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga and was discharged in 1863. The father of at least 10 children, Kirkland is buried in the Cedar Creek Baptist Cemetery in Castleberry.
Feb. 5, 1918 – During World War I, Army Sgt. Willie M. Holladay of Brewton, Ala. “died from disease.”
Feb. 5, 1928 – Confederate veteran L.W. Carter of Evergreen, Ala. passed away.
Feb. 5, 1929 – Major League pitcher Al Worthington was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to play for the New York-San Francisco Giants, Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins.
Feb. 5, 1934 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Hank Aaron was born at Possum Bend near Camden, Ala. He would go on to play for the Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves and the Milwaukee Brewers. He is best known for breaking Babe Ruth's legendary record of 714 homers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.
Feb. 5, 1936 – Charlie Chaplin’s film, “Modern Times,” opened in New York City, and it was the last film in which his beloved and iconic character, “The Little Tramp,” appeared.
Feb. 5, 1938 – Playwright John Guare, who is best known for his play “Six Degrees of Separation” (1991), was born in New York City.
Feb. 5, 1939 - Alexander A. Autrey, “one of the pioneer citizens of Conecuh County,” died at the home of his nephew, George M. Jones on Bellview Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. on this Sunday afternoon, at the advanced age of 83 years. Autrey was the son of the late Enoch George Autrey and Elizabeth Amanda (Johnston) Autrey, and was born at Old Sparta on May 19, 1855. When quite young, he moved to the Johnstonville community, where he resided until his death. He was a lifelong member of the Brooklyn Baptist Church, from which funeral services were held Monday afternoon, conducted by Dr. J.G. Dickinson and Rev. Raines, his pastor.
Feb. 5, 1942 – The Monroe Journal reported that Hugh Dickson had opened the new Standard Service Station just south of the square in Monroeville, Ala., on the Frisco City highway, during the previous week and planned to handle Standard gas, oil and greases. The new station was equipped with the latest machinery for the proper lubrication and care for all make of cars and trucks. Bernard Petty was in charge of the service department.
Feb. 5, 1942 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He went on to play for Navy, where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1963, and the Dallas Cowboys from 1969 to 1979. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Feb. 5, 1943 - Alabama author Howell Raines was born in Birmingham, Ala.
Feb. 5, 1948 – The Evergreen Courant reported that, in their first encounter of the season with county opposition, Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Lyeffion, 50-20. Gillis “Crip” Jones led Evergreen with 16 points while Georgie Brown and Mickey Logue scored 10 points each. V. Dees led Lyeffion with 10 points.
Feb. 5, 1948 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen Troop 40 of the Boy Scouts of America planned to join in a nationwide celebration of Boy Scout Week, Feb. 9-12. The troop was organized 21 years before, in February 1927, by Prof. W.P. (Mr. Mac) McMillan, who was at that time and was still the principal of the Evergreen Grammar School. McMillan was still Scoutmaster of the local troop in February 1948 and was just as active in scouting. Up to that point, the local troop had 11 members to reach the rank of Eagle Scout. Local Eagle Scouts were W.N. “Bill” McGehee, Cyrus Wells, Robert Key, John Deming, Deming Jones, L.W. “Sonny” Price Jr., George Huey, George Kelly, L.D. “Bud” King Jr., Vernon Millsap and Knud Nielsen Jr.
Feb. 5, 1948 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Castleberry Panthers had lost the first game of the season on their home court to a fast-passing W.S. Neal cage squad by a 23-16 score. “Phil” Dees, Castleberry forward, was held to seven points by the close guarding East Brewton team. Clark with four, Beasley with three and Pate with two rounded out the Panther scoring.
Feb. 5, 1948 – Writer and director Christopher Guest was born in New York City.
Feb. 5, 1954 – Repton High School’s varsity boys basketball team, under head coach Albert Arnold, improved to 12-1 on the season by beating Beatrice, 51-46. Harry Giles led Repton with 17 points, and Paul Brantley followed with 16 points. Other top Repton players in that game included Ray Blackwell, Roger Kearley and Eddie Kelly.
Feb. 5, 1954 – Monroe County High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Evergreen, 48-46, on this Friday night in Monroeville, Ala. Bobby White led MCHS with 11 points, and Johnny Finklea and Paul Fowler followed with 10 points each. Randy White led Evergreen with 16 points. Other top Evergreen players in that game included Ward Alexander Jr., Wayne Douglas, Hosea King and Jimmy Frazier.
Feb. 5, 1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Ga., never to be recovered.
Feb. 5, 1960 - The South Vietnamese government requested that Washington double U.S. Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG-Vietnam) strength from 342 to 685.
Feb. 5, 1963 - The relentless Conecuh County High School Blue Devils blasted Beatrice’s Tigers, 79-51, in Castleberry on this Tuesday night for their 20th straight win of the season. They were undefeated. Donnie Kast scored 25 points to lead CCHS. Henry Foster added 20 and Larry Janes, 10. Garreth Raines led Beatrice with 19 points, and Rojene Booker added 17. Coach Wayne Pope’s Blue Devils seemed headed for the No. 1 seed in the First District Class A Tournament to be held in Evergreen, Ala. two weeks later. Most of CCHS’s wins had come over district foes which was the basis for the seeding of teams. Other players on CCHS’s team that season included James Glass, Dudley Jones, Thomas Shipp, Wayne Sims, Tommy Johnson, Bobby Ellis and Pete Findley.
Feb. 5, 1965 – Jerry Bryan, assistant sports editor of The Birmingham News, presented the Repton High School football team with its Class A Football Championship Trophy during an 8 a.m. assembly program. “The Bulldogs won the trophy with their best season last year. It was the first year for their new coach, Gene Madison.” Walter Hudson was the principal at Repton.
Feb. 5, 1968 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He would go on to play for the San Diego Padres, the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles, the Cleveland Indians, the New York Mets, the Chicago White Sox and the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
Feb. 5, 1974 - The Mariner 10 took the first close-up images of Venus.
Feb. 5, 1975 - A television version of Alabama author Mildred Lee's book “The Skating Rink” was broadcast as an “ABC Afterschool Special.”
Feb. 5, 1981 - In Brisbane, Australia, two men created the world's largest Jell-O, filling a tank with 7,700 gallons of pink gelatin.
Feb. 5, 1985 – Weather reporter Earl Windham reported 2.25 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala.
Feb. 5, 1990 - NBC-TV obtained the television rights to all of Notre Dame's home football games for the next five years. Notre Dame was the first school to sell its games to a major TV network.
Feb. 5-6, 2000 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported low temperatures of 24 degrees on both of these days in Evergreen, Ala.
Feb. 5, 2003 - U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell presented evidence to the United Nations concerning Iraq's material breach of U.N. Resolution 1441.
Feb. 5, 2006 - The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10, in Super Bowl XL. It was the fifth Super Bowl victory for the Steelers. Jerome Bettis announced his retirement after the game.