Saturday, March 26, 2016

Today in History for March 26, 2016

James B. McPherson
March 26, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, John Hathorne, Jonathan Corwin and Rev. John Higginson questioned Dorothy Good, who was in jail.

March 26, 1776 - The Provincial Congress of South Carolina approved a new constitution. The legislature renamed itself the General Assembly of South Carolina and elected John Rutledge as president, Henry Laurens as vice president and William Henry Drayton as chief justice.

March 26, 1780 - The British Gazette and Sunday Monitor was published for the first time. It was the first Sunday newspaper in Britain.

March 26, 1804 - The U.S. Congress ordered the removal of Indians east of the Mississippi to Louisiana.

March 26, 1804 - The Louisiana Purchase was divided into the District of Louisiana and the Territory of Orleans.

March 26, 1812 – A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coined the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

March 26 ,1818 – William Wyatt Bibb, governor of the Alabama territory, sent a letter to Big Warrior at Coosada, a village north of Montgomery. The letter reported that “on Friday night, the thirteenth of this month, a family consisting of men, women and children, while sitting peacefully around their fire on the Federal Road about 65 miles this side of Claiborne, was attacked by a party of red men and eight killed. The next Friday, five men riding quietly along the road in the same neighborhood were fired on, three killed and one badly wounded.”

March 26, 1827 - Composer Ludwig van Beethoven passed away at the age of 56 in Vienna.

March 26, 1830 – The Book of Mormon was first published in Palmyra, New York.

March 26, 1859 - Poet and classical scholar A.E. Housman was born in Fockbury, Worcestershire, England. He only published two books of poetry during his lifetime, but one of those was the 63-poem cycle “A Shropshire Lad” (1896). It includes the lines “Loveliest of trees, the cherry now / Is hung with bloom along the bough, / And stands about the woodland ride / Wearing white for Eastertide.”

March 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought between Federals and Confederates near Denver City, Colorado; in the vicinity of Boonville, Mo., at Gouge’s Mill, another at Humansville and Warrensburg, Mo.; and near Apache Canyon in the New Mexico Territory.

March 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Palatka, Fla.; at Madisonville, Ky.; with Apache Indians on the Rio Bonito River in the New Mexico Territory; and on the Woodbury Pike in Tennessee.

March 26, 1864 - General James B. McPherson assumed command of the Union Army of the Tennessee after William T. Sherman was elevated to commander of the Division of the Mississippi, the overall leader in the West.

March 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Quitman, Ark.; at Campti, La.; at Clinton, Miss.; and out from Greenville, S.C. at Black Jack Church.

March 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, a nine-day Federal operation between Camp Douglas and the Cedar Mountains in the Utah Territory began against the Goshute Indians, who were suspected of receiving aid from the Mormons. Union Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant also joined the Federal Army of the Potomac, whose headquarters was in the field at Culpepper Courthouse, Va.

March 26, 1865 – Lt. Col. Andrew Barclay Spurling’s Union troops reached Pollard, in present-day Escambia County, Ala., around 6 p.m. Between Sparta and Pollard, Spurling captured 20 prisoners in skirmishes and reached Pollard without losing a single man.

March 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Muddy Creek, Ala. Muddy Creek was listed on a period map as being south of Bon Secour along what is the present day intercoastal canal. A skirmish was also fought in the vicinity of Spanish Fort, Ala.

March 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in Bath County, Ky.; and a four-day Federal operation between Bonnet Carre to the Amite River, La. began.

March 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, under the watching eyes of President Lincoln, the cavalry forces of Gen. Phil Sheridan crossed the James River, 15,000 strong. On his way to join Grant’s forces around Petersburg, Sheridan took advantage of the fact that Lincoln was on a tour of the City Point area to review the troops and consult with the generals. The aggressive Sheridan would assist Grant in pressuring the Petersburg line.

March 26, 1874 – Poet Robert Frost was born in San Francisco, Calif. He would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times.

March 26, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Jones Mill community, that there was “a flourishing literary school” at New Hope a few miles from the mill.

March 26, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Tinela community, that the community now had two stores, a post office and a blacksmith shop, besides three churches and Knights of Pythias Castle Hall.

March 26, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Manistee community, that “a certain gentleman near this place ploughed up two acres of land last week and killed 69 rattlesnakes and hit at the 70th one.”

March 26, 1897 – The “Money Pit” at Oak Island claimed its second victim when Maynard Kaiser, a worker, fell to his death.

March 26, 1908 – Austrian-German SS officer Franz Stangl was born in Altmünster, Austria-Hungary.

March 26, 1910 - Orville Wright piloted the first plane in Alabama, causing the Montgomery Advertiser to report “a strange new bird soared over the cotton fields west of Montgomery.” The Wright brothers came to Montgomery to set up a pilots’ training school. Several pilots were trained, but the brothers left the area by the end of May. Replacement parts for broken machinery were difficult to locate in the area and the flyers' efforts were frustrated by numerous spectators during their stay.

March 26, 1911 - Tennessee Williams was born in Columbus, Miss. He would go on to write more than 24 full-length plays, including Pulitzer Prize-winners “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947) and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1955).

March 26, 1914 – The Evergreen Courant reported that “a northern gentleman, who is spending some time in Evergreen, says he saw the first shot fired on Fort Sumter.”

March 26, 1916 - A movie version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “Audrey” was released.

March 26, 1916 – Dr. W.B. Sanders of Troy, a candidate for congress, spent this day in Evergreen, Ala.

March 26, 1920 – “This Side of Paradise” was first published, launching 23-year-old F. Scott Fitzgerald to fame and fortune.

March 26, 1922 – The German Social Democratic Party was founded in Poland.

March 26, 1923 – Confederate veteran James T. Fincher died on this Monday afternoon at his home in Evergreen, Ala. after about two weeks’ illness, aged 81 years. Fincher had lived in Conecuh County “for many years and was held in high esteem by all who knew him as an upright, honorable citizen. He served four years in the Confederate army and his record as a soldier was without blemish. At the time of his death, and for several years previous, he was Commander of the local camp of Confederate Veterans. In his passing we have another striking reminder that the thin gray line is becoming fewer in numbers.”

March 26, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Lone Babies” was released.

March 26, 1930 – Beat poet Gregory Corso was born on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village.

March 26, 1931 - Leonard Nimoy was born in Boston, Mass. He was best known for his role as Mr. Spock of the Star Trek franchise.

March 26, 1931 – The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union was founded in Vietnam.

March 26, 1941 – Around 10:30 p.m. on this Wednesday night, flying cadet J.D. Eiland Jr. of Maxwell Field crash landed an “advance trainer” plane at the Evergreen, Ala. airport. On only his second cross-country night flight ever, Eiland became lost and began running low on fuel when he discovered he was over Evergreen and headed for the airport. The plane’s left wheel, propeller and left wing were damaged, but Eiland was not injured.

March 26, 1942 – Novelist and poet Erica Jong was born in New York City. She is best known for her 1973 novel, “Fear of Flying.”

March 26, 1943 – Investigative journalist and non-fiction author Bob Woodward was born in Geneva, Ill.

March 26, 1945 – Pfc. Elly Cowart Jr., 25, of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in Germany while crossing the Rhine River. He is buried in Witherington Cemetery in Conecuh County.

March 26, 1953 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen City Clerk John Hunter Thornley had tendered his resignation to the City Council and Mayor Vernon B. Millsap said the resignation had been accepted. Thornley agreed to serve on in the post of city clerk until some time in April so that city officials could have adequate time to hire a replacement. Thornley became city clerk in September of 1945 and had served continuously in that post until his resignation.

March 26, 1953 - The Louisville & Nashville Railroad Co. discontinued its Montgomery and New Orleans trains No. 7 and No. 8. Both of these trains were “locals” and had been handling the mail service for all the local stops between Montgomery and New Orleans.

March 26, 1960 – “Wild River,” a movie version of Alabama author Borden Deal's book “Dunbar's Cove” and Alabama author William Bradford Huie's book “Mud on the Stars,” was released.

March 26, 1960 – Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Marcus Allen was born in San Diego, Calif. He would go on to play for the USC, the Los Angeles Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2003.

March 26, 1964 – Evergreen High School’s Athletic Booster Club held the school’s annual “All Sports Banquet” in the school’s lunchroom. Coach Tom Jones of Lee High School in Montgomery was the invited guest speaker. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of letters by John Law Robinson and Henry Allman.

March 26, 1965 - A young truck driver, delivering a load of bananas to Scranton, Pa. lost control of his vehicle, and careened into town at 90 miles an hour, spilling bananas all along the way. The incident, which unfortunately ended in the driver's death, inspired the Harry Chapin song, “30,000 Pounds of Bananas.”

March 26, 1969 - A group called Women Strike for Peace demonstrated in Washington, D.C., in the first large antiwar demonstration since President Richard Nixon’s inauguration in January. The antiwar movement had initially given Nixon a chance to make good on his campaign promises to end the war in Vietnam. However, it became increasingly clear that Nixon had no quick solution. As the fighting dragged on, antiwar sentiment against the president and his handling of the war mounted steadily during his term in office.

March 26, 1970 – South Vietnamese President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu implemented a land reform program to solve the problem of land tenancy.

March 26, 1973 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler passed away at the age of 80 in Richmond Heights, Missouri. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Browns, the Washington Senators and the Boston Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939.

March 26, 1975 – Don L. McInnis was accepted as a recruit by the Alabama State Troopers.

March 26, 1975 - The city of Hue, in northernmost South Vietnam, fell to the North Vietnamese. Hue was the most recent major city in South Vietnam to fall to the communists during their new offensive. The offensive had started in December 1974, when the North Vietnamese had launched a major attack against the lightly defended province of Phuoc Long, located north of Saigon along the Cambodian border. The communists overran the provincial capital of Phuoc Binh on January 6, 1975.

March 26, 1976 – Actress Amy Smart was born in Topanga, Calif.

March 26, 1981 - Tammy Michelle Elliott, a fifth-grader at Southside Elementary School, won the Conecuh County Spelling Bee at the Conecuh County Board of Education office in Evergreen, Ala.

March 26, 1982 – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was held in Washington, D.C.

March 26, 1983 - Sparta Academy was scheduled to begin the 1983 baseball season against Hooper Academy in Evergreen, Ala. The rest of Sparta’s schedule was as follows: March 29, at Fort Deposit; April 1, v. South Butler; April 2, Monroe Academy Tournament; April 5, at Monroe Academy; April 8, v. Greenville Academy; April 12, v. Escambia Academy; April 14, at Fort Dale; April 16, at Hooper; April 19, v. Wilcox Academy; April 23-26, District Playoffs; May 9, Regional Playoffs.
March 26, 1997 - The 39 bodies of Heaven's Gate members are found in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. The group had committed suicide thinking that they would be picked up by a spaceship following behind the comet Hale-Bopp.

March 26, 1998 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a North Carolina family had hired the Jones Company, a private investigation firm in Asheville, to held find Betty Lou Dougherty, 57, of Asheville, whose car was found in Conecuh County, Ala. in February 1998.

March 26, 2000 - The Seattle Kingdome was imploded to make room for a new football arena.

March 26, 2005 - William E. Molett passed away and was buried in West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery in Memphis. He graduated from Evergreen High School and then joined the military, became a master navigator, recorded 6,000 hours as an aircraft navigator, including 91 flights over the North Pole. He also taught polar aviation for three years and returned as a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. In 1996, he wrote a book called “Robert Peary and Matthew Henson at the North Pole.”

March 26, 2014 - The National Labor Relations Board ruled that college football players at Northwestern University could unionize.

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