Feb. 7, 1775 - Benjamin Franklin published "An Imaginary Speech" in defense of American courage while in London, England.
Feb. 7, 1781 - General Charles Cornwallis finished crossing the Yadkin River in pursuit of American General Nathanael Greene. Greene had a two-day lead in his race to the Dan River and Patriot-held Virginia.
Feb. 7, 1783 – During the American Revolutionary War, French and Spanish forces lifted the Great Siege of Gibraltar.
Feb. 7, 1795 - The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.
Feb. 7, 1812 - The New Madrid earthquake hit. At a magnitude estimated to be 8.2, it was the largest recorded earthquake in the contiguous United States. The town of New Madrid, Missouri was destroyed, and the Mississippi River was said to run backward for several hours.
Feb. 7, 1817 – Shelby County, Ala. was created, and Shelbyville, located 12 miles northeast of Montevallo, served as the first county seat.
Feb. 7, 1862 - Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston ordered 15,000 reinforcements to Fort Donelson one day after the fall of Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. This fort lay on the Cumberland River just a few miles from Fort Henry. Johnston's decision turned out to be a mistake, as many of the troops were captured when the Fort Donelson fell to the Yankees on Feb. 16.
Feb. 7, 1862 - Union General Ambrose Burnside landed 10,000 troops on Roanoke Island in North Carolina. The Confederates surrendered the next day.
Feb. 7, 1864 - Union General Quincy Gilmore dispatched General Seymour to Jacksonville, Florida. Seymour was defeated in the Battle of Olustee on Feb. 20.
Feb. 7, 1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln ordered a disabled 14-year old boy to be released from the 55th Kentucky regiment. Perry Harris had joined the army a month earlier without his parent's permission. The request for the discharge had been requested from the boy's father. The discharge was effective April 15.
Feb. 7, 1867 – Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of 1935’s “Little House on the Prairie,” was born just north of Pepin, Wisc.
Feb. 7, 1885 – Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis was born in Sauk Centre, Minn.
Feb. 7, 1895 – Monroe Masonic Chapter No. 4 held a regular convocation at 7:30 p.m. at Perdue Hill, Ala.
Feb. 7, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that John S. Harrengton was “again in harness as Sheriff of Monroe, Mr. I.B. Slaughter having engaged him to discharge the duties of that office, pressing private affairs rendering it impossible for him to give the necessary personal attention to the office. Mr. Harrengton will give to the office the same efficient personal attention that characterized his former administration.”
Feb. 7, 1895 – The temperature dropped to 10 degrees in Monroeville, Ala. on this day, the “lowest point within the memory of the oldest citizens. Rain, snow and ice is reported everywhere.”
Feb. 7, 1895 – Around 8 a.m., the steamer Nettie Quill nearly sank at Cobb’s Landing in Wilcox County. High winds pushed the boat into an underwater snag that tore a large hole (four feet by 20 inches) in the boat’s starboard side. Water rushed into the hold and while passengers and freight were put ashore, carpenters worked in cold, waistdeep water to make repairs. The boat was eventually repaired and arrived back in Mobile, 225 miles away, at 6 a.m. on Feb. 9.
Feb. 7, 1915 – Confederate veteran Henry J. Beasley passed away at the age of 72 in Conecuh County, Ala. Born on April 26, 1842, Beasley was a member of Co. H, 23rd Ala. Regiment and mustered into Confederate service on Nov. 16, 1861 in Montgomery. He served as 2nd Cpl. of the guard and remained with the company and regiment until he was captured at the Battle of Nashville, Tenn. He was a prisoner of war until June 27, 1865.
Feb. 7, 1916 – State Highway Director Keller was scheduled to hold a “road institute” meeting in Brewton, Ala. on this Monday and was set to visit Evergreen later that afternoon.
Feb. 7, 1920 – Russian admiral and explorer Alexander Kolchak was executed by firing squad at the age of 45 in Irkutsk, Russia.
Feb. 7, 1932 - Alabama author Gay Talese was born in Ocean City, N.J.
Feb. 7, 1935 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team beat Brewton, 12-7, in Brewton, Ala. Horne led Evergreen with four points.
Feb. 7, 1935 - The Evergreen Courant reported that Alabama Gov. Bibb Graves had appointed Charles S. Kelly of Atmore as warden of Atmore Prison (also known as Moffat Farm). Kelly was a native of Repton, and his brothers were County Health Officer, Dr. E.L. Kelly, and J.E. Kelly, a former state representative from Conecuh County and the president of the Union Bank in Repton.
Feb. 7, 1939 – In a game said to have been witnessed by the “largest crowd in Evergreen basketball history,” the Virgil Trucks Dr. Pepper team, which featured Bill Fowler, beat the Green Hawks, 35-31, on this Tuesday night in Evergreen. Before that game, Evergreen High School’s varsity boys team beat Monroe County High School.
Feb. 7, 1949 – The “new” hospital built in Monroeville, Ala. was opened by Dr. Thomas Earl Nettles on West Claiborne Street. This hospital closed when Monroe County Hospital opened in 1962.
Feb. 7, 1949 - Joe DiMaggio signed a contract with the New York Yankees that was worth $100,000. It was the first six-figure contract in major league baseball.
Feb. 7, 1952 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tackle Pete Henry died at the age of 54 in Washington, Pa. During his career, he played for the Canton Bulldogs, the New York Giants and the Pottsville Maroons, and he also served as the head coach for the Bulldogs, the Maroons and Washington & Jefferson College. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.
Feb. 7, 1957 – The Monroe Journal reported that Thomas “Tommy” Black of Beatrice, Ala. had been elected vice-president of the Peoples Exchange Bank, Beatrice, at a recent stockholders meeting. He had served as cashier for the previous 10 years. James E. Black was named new cashier, after serving as assistant cashier for the previous six years. Other officers were re-elected. They included P.S. Jackson, president; Lindsey Finklea and A.A. Nettles, vice-presidents; and R.A. Wible, G.L. Nettles, Thomas Black, J.F. Nettles, P.S. Jackson and A.A. Nettles, directors.
Feb. 7, 1958 - The Dodgers officially became the Los Angeles Dodgers, Inc.
Feb. 7, 1959 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman and manager Nap Lajoie died at the age of 84 in Daytona Beach, Fla. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Naps and he also managed the Naps from 1905 to 1909. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1937.
Feb. 7, 1963 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Byron Warren Jr. had returned to the University of Alabama for his Junior year.
Feb. 7, 1963 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Conecuh County native John Henry Evans had recently observed his 100th birthday in Texas. Evans was born in the Mill Beat community on Feb. 3, 1863 to John Bell Evans and Elizabeth Roberts Evans. Evans left Conecuh County at the age of 16 and moved to Texas, where he had lived since that time. He was married and his wife was 98 years old in 1963. They had four children and lived in Rising Star, Texas.
Feb. 7, 1965 - As part of Operation Flaming Dart, 49 U.S. Navy jets from the 7th Fleet carriers Coral Sea and Hancock dropped bombs and rockets on the barracks and staging areas at Dong Hoi, a guerrilla training camp in North Vietnam. Escorted by U.S. jets, a follow-up raid by South Vietnamese planes bombed a North Vietnamese military communications center. These strikes were in retaliation for communist attacks on the U.S. installation at Camp Holloway and the adjacent Pleiku airfield in the Central Highlands, which killed eight U.S. servicemen, wounded 109, and destroyed or damaged 20 aircraft.
Feb. 7, 1970 – Conecuh County Sheriff James M. “Shorty” Brock qualified for reelection. William Troy Smith of Evergreen also qualified to run for Conecuh County.
Feb. 7, 1971 - Operation Dewey Canyon II ended, but U.S. units continued to provide support for South Vietnamese army operations in Laos. Operation Dewey Canyon II began on January 30 as the initial phase of Lam Son 719, the South Vietnamese invasion of Laos that was to commence on February 8. The purpose of the South Vietnamese operation was to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail, advance to Tchepone in Laos, and destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps in the area.
Feb. 7, 1972 – The Richards DAR House in Mobile, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places. (haunted)
Feb. 7, 1979 – German SS officer and physician Josef Mengele drowned at the age of 67 while swimming off the coast of Bertioga, Sao Paula, Brazil.
Feb. 7, 1983 - Alabama journalist Buford Boone died in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Feb. 7, 1985 - A television version of Alabama author William March's book “The Bad Seed” was broadcast as part of the “Twilight Zone” series.
Feb. 7, 1985 - "Sports Illustrated" released its annual swimsuit edition. It was the largest regular edition in the magazine’s history at 218 pages.
Feb. 7, 1994 - Michael Jordan signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox to play baseball.
Feb. 7, 1995 - U.S. President Bill Clinton invited the two sides of the Major League Baseball strike to the White House in an effort to reach an agreement. The two sides did not resolve the issue that day.
Feb. 7, 1997 - Jim Kelly of the Buffalo Bills announced his retirement from the NFL. He was the only quarterback to date to guide the same team to four losing Super Bowls.
Feb. 7, 2002 – The Monroe Journal reported that 17-year-old Hunter Parden, a senior at Excel School, would enter the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., that summer, the first step toward realizing his childhood dream of becoming a Marine Corps fighter pilot. Parden and his family spent the first weekend of November 2001 visiting the Naval Academy, located about 30 minutes from Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md. Parden, who celebrated his 18th birthday on June 4, 2002, was scheduled to report to the Naval Academy on June 28, 2002.