Saturday, February 6, 2016

Today in History for Feb. 6, 2016

Huntsville, Alabama's Gabby Street
Feb. 6, 1756 – Aaron Burr was born to Aaron Burr Sr. and Esther Burr in Newark, N.J.

Feb. 6, 1778 - New York became the third state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

Feb. 6, 1778 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce were signed in Paris by the United States and France, signaling official recognition of the new republic. They were the first two treaties signed by the U.S. Government and were ratified by the Continental Congress in May 1778. The eagerness of the French to help the United States was motivated both by an appreciation of the American revolutionaries’ democratic ideals and by bitterness at having lost most of their American empire to the British at the conclusion of the French and Indian Wars in 1763.

Feb. 6, 1788 – Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution.

Feb. 6, 1815 – New Jersey granted the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.

Feb. 6, 1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society departed New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia.

Feb. 6, 1834 – English explorer Richard Lemon Lander died at the age of 29 from injuries from a musket ball wound in Nigeria.

Feb. 6, 1852 – The Alabama Insane Hospital was established by the state legislature. Built in Tuscaloosa, it received first patient in 1861, with Dr. Peter Bryce as director. Applying modern methods, Bryce became renowned for humane treatment of his patients.

Feb. 6, 1861 – During the Civil War, the U.S. steamer, Brooklyn, arrived in Pensacola, Fla. with Federal reinforcements for Ft Pickens.

Feb. 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal naval operation to Florence, Ala., involving the river gunboats, USS Conestoga, USS Lexington, and USS Tyler, began. Federal reconnaissance of the Wright River in South Carolina also began.

Feb. 6, 1862 - General Ulysses S. Grant provided the first major Union victory of the war when he captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Ten days later, he captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, which gave the Federals control of northern Tennessee and paved the way for the occupation of Nashville. Confederate Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman surrendered the fort of about 90 men after sending the larger proportion of his forces to Fort Donelson, Tenn., 10 miles away on the Cumberland River. The capture of Fort Henry was primarily a Federal naval operation involving USS Carondelet, USS Cincinnati, USS Conestoga, USS Essex, USS Lexington, USS Saint Louis, and USS Tyler. Three vessels continue on southward.

Feb. 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance of Ft Pillow, Tenn. began. A skirmish was also fought at Dranesville, Millwood, and Wiggenton’s Mill, near Aquia Creek, Va.

Feb. 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hillsboro, Miss.; in the vicinity of Newport Barrracks, N.C.; at Bolivar, Tenn.; near Bugbee Bridge, Charles Harbor, S.C.; at Norton’s Ford, Barnett’s Ford and Culpeper’s Ford on the Rapidan River in Virginia; and at Bottom’s Bridge and Baltimore Store, Va.

Feb. 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal operation begain in the Sni Hills of Missouri. Federal operations began on John’s and James Islands, S.C. A 12-day Federal operation from Memphis, Tenn. to Wyatt, Miss. began. This was the cavalry phase of the Meridian Expedition.

Feb. 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation began in Ozark County, Missouri, and a two-day Federal operation began between Fairfax Courthouse and Brentsville, Va.

Feb. 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mud Springs, Nebraska, with Indians; near Barnwell, Cowpen Ford, Little Salkehatchie River, and Fishburn’s Plantation, S.C.; and in Franklin County, 12 miles from Hillsborough, Tenn.

Feb. 6, 1865 - Confederate General John Pegram, age 33, was killed at the Battle of Dabney's Mill (also known as Hatcher’s Run), Va.

Feb. 6, 1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis selected John C. Breckinridge to be Secretary of War.

Feb. 6, 1866 – German linguist and explorer Karl Sapper was born in Wittislingen, Germany.

Feb. 6, 1878 – The West Alabamian, Carrollton, Alabama’s only newspaper, published Henry Wells’s full confession of burning down the Pickens County Courthouse in 1876. The confession begins as an admission of guilt to a series of robberies around town. Wells also reveals his accomplice in these crimes as a man named Bill Burkhalter (spelled Buckhalter in some sources).

Feb. 6, 1878 – Walter B. Pitkin, one of the earliest self-help writers, was born in Ypsilanti, Mich.

Feb. 6, 1894 – Famous lexicographer Eric Partridge was born on a farm near Gisbone, New Zealand.

Feb. 6, 1895 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and pitcher George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born in Baltimore, Md. where his father worked as a saloon keeper on the waterfront. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Boston Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936.

Feb. 6, 1895 – William S. Thames, a member of Burnt Corn Masonic Lodge No. 489, passed away.

Feb. 6, 1896 – The issue of The Monroe Journal published on this date was edited and managed by a committee of women with the proceeds being donated to the Presbyterian Manse Fund.

Feb. 6, 1899 – During the Spanish–American War, the Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, was ratified by the United States Senate.

Feb. 6, 1909 - Alabama author Wyatt Blassingame was born in Demopolis, Ala.

Feb. 6, 1911 - Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.

Feb. 6, 1915 – Henry J. Beasley, 74, passed away on this Saturday night at his home at Brownville, near Owassa, Ala. He was buried the following day.

Feb. 6, 1915 – Basketball teams from Effie and Evergreen in Conecuh County, Ala. played one another.

Feb. 6, 1921 - The New York Yankees issued a press release to announce the purchase of 10 acres of property in the west Bronx. The land was used for the original Yankee Stadium.

Feb. 6, 1922 – In the fictional video game, “Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth,” private investigator Jack Walters takes up a missing person case at Innsmouth, a coastal town, and the site of the recent disappearance of Brian Burnham, a clerk that had been sent there to establish a local store for the First National Grocery chain.

Feb. 6, 1926 - The National Football League adopted a rule that made players ineligible for competition until their college class graduated.

Feb. 6, 1928 – Thirty-five-year-old French pilot Capt. Dieudonne Coste, a famous World War I hero who shot down eight German fighter planes, and navigator Lt. Commander Joseph LeBrix, another World War I ace, flew over Monroeville, Ala. as part of an around the world flight that ended in Paris on April 14, 1928.

Feb. 6, 1933 - The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment moved the start of presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January.

Feb. 6, 1937 - John Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men was published.

Feb. 6, 1951 - Major League Baseball catcher Gabby Street, a native of Huntsville, Ala., passed away at the age of 68 in Joplin, Mo. During his career, he played for the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Beaneaters, the Washington Senators, the New York Highlanders and the St. Louis Cardinals, and he went on to manage the Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns.

Feb. 6-13, 1955 – As the Boy Scouts of America observed its 45th Birthday, Evergreen’s boy scout troop celebrated its 28th birthday. The first troop in Evergreen, Ala. was formed by Scout Master Paul McMillan in 1927.

Feb. 6, 1958 - Ted Williams signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox that was worth $135,000, making him the highest paid player in Major League Baseball history.

Feb. 6, 1963 – The Coast Guard began its unsuccessful search for the missing Marine Sulphur Queen, a 425-foot freighter which disappeared with a crew of 39 four days earlier.

Feb. 6, 1966 - Accompanied by his leading political and military advisers, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky in Honolulu. The talks concluded with issuance of a joint declaration in which the United States promised to help South Vietnam “prevent aggression,” develop its economy, and establish “the principles of self-determination of peoples and government by the consent of the governed.” Johnson declared: “We are determined to win not only military victory but victory over hunger, disease, and despair.” 

Feb. 6, 1968 – Marine Cpl. Michael Wayne Johns of Andalusia, Ala. and Army Cpl. Richard Benjamin of Atmore, Ala. were killed in action in Vietnam.

Feb. 6, 1971 - Alan Shepard hit a few golf balls with a six iron on the surface of that gigantic golf ball known as the moon. The first ball landed in a nearby crater. The second was hit further, and in the one-sixth gravity of the moon, Shepard said it traveled "miles and miles and miles."

Feb. 6, 1973 - During the Vietnam War, supervisors from the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS), delegated to oversee the cease-fire, start to take up their positions. The cease-fire had gone into effect as a provision of the Paris Peace Accords. The ICCS included representatives from Canada, Poland, Hungary and Indonesia, and was supposed to supervise the cease-fire.

Feb. 6, 1976 – Princess Marie of Denmark was born in Paris, France.

Feb. 6, 1976 – Gymnast and coach Kim Zmeskal was born in Houston, Texas.

Feb. 6, 1983 – Former University of Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle was born in Rainbow City, Ala. He went on to play for Westbrook Christian, Alabama, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals.

Feb. 6, 2002 - A federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh to be held without bail pending trial. Lindh was known as the "American Taliban."

Feb. 6, 2005 - The New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX. It was the third win in four years for the Patriots. During halftime, MTV and MTV2 aired a 15-minute preview of MTV2's second re-launch. The relaunch took place at midnight on Feb. 7.

Feb. 6, 2014 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Ralph Kiner passed away at the age of 91 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. During his career, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.

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