Thursday, March 3, 2016

Today in History for March 3, 2016

John Ward Montgomery
March 3, 1753 – George Washington was passed to the degree of fellowcraft after being initiated a Mason on Nov. 4, 1752 at Masonic Lodge No. 4 in Fredericksburg, Va. He would be raised to Master Mason on Aug. 4, 1753. In 1788, shortly before becoming the first president of the United States, Washington was elected the first Worshipful Master of Alexandria Lodge No. 22.

March 3, 1776 - Silas Deane, Connecticut delegate to the Continental Congress, left for France on a secret mission. The Committee of Congress for Secret Correspondence, consisting of Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Harrison, John Dickinson, John Hay and Robert Morris, instructed Deane to meet with French Foreign Minister Charles Gravier, comte de Vergennes, to stress America’s need for military stores and assure the French that the colonies were moving toward “total separation.”

March 3, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, the first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps began the Battle of Nassau.

March 3, 1776 - Colonel Lachlan McIntosh successfully defendeded Savannah from a British attack in the Battle of the Rice Boats. (March 2-3)

March 3, 1779 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was routed at the Battle of Brier Creek near Savannah, Georgia.

March 3, 1791 - The U.S. Congress passed a resolution that created the U.S. Mint.

March 3, 1800 – Eldridge Swepson Greening, the namesake of Greening Masonic Lodge in Evergreen, Ala., was born in Sumter, S.C.

March 3, 1802 – Beethoven’s “Moonlight” Sonata was published. Its real name is the slightly less evocative "Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor, Opus 27, No. 2.” In 1832, five years after Beethoven's death, a German critic compared the sonata to the effect of moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne, and the interpretation became so popular that, by the end of the century, the piece was universally known as the "Moonlight Sonata."

March 3, 1805 – Some months before the convention of Washington, the U.S. Congress established a post road from Washington City, by Athens in Georgia, Montgomery in Alabama, to New Orleans. The post riders followed the Indian trails and passed through Burnt Corn Creek.

March 3, 1817 – With St. Stephens as its capital, the Alabama Territory was created when Congress passed the enabling act allowing the division of the Mississippi Territory and the admission of Mississippi into the union as a state. Alabama would remain a territory for over two years before becoming the 22nd state in December 1819.

March 3, 1817, Congress created the Alabama Territory out of the eastern half of the Mississippi Territory. William Wyatt Bibb of Georgia was named as governor of the new territory of Alabama. The town of St. Stephens, on a bluff overlooking the Tombigbee River, served as the capital of the Alabama Territory between 1817 and 1819.

March 3, 1835 – John Murphy of Monroe County ended his two-year term as U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District.

March 3, 1836 – At the Alamo, William Barrett Travis received a letter from his friend Major Robert M. “Three-Legged Willy” Williamson carried in by James B. Bonham that detailed efforts to send aid to the Alamo. In the letter, Williamson asked Travis to hold out a little longer until help arrives. Santa Anna receives 1,100 reinforcements. Travis sent out his last known appeals for assistance, stating, “I am determined to perish in the defense of this place, and may my bones reproach my country for her neglect.”

March 3, 1845 - Florida became the 27th U.S. state.

March 3, 1847 – Scottish inventor Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh.

March 3, 1849 - The U.S. Congress created the territory of Minnesota, which became the 32nd state in 1858.

March 3, 1860 – National Baseball Hall of Fame infielder and pitcher John Montgomery Ward was born in Bellefonte, Pa. During his career, he played for the Providence Grays, the New York Gothams/Giants, the Brooklyn Ward’s Wonders and the New York Giants, and he also managed the Grays, the Gothams/Giants, the Wonders and the Grooms. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.

March 3, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate Brigadier General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard assumed command of Confederate forces at Charleston, S.C.

March 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal reconnaissance to Berryville, Ark. began, and Amelia Island, Fla. was abandoned by Confederate forces. Skirmishes were found at Cuberao in the New Mexico Territory and at Martinsburg, W.V. Confederate General Robert E. Lee was called to Richmond, Va. by President Jefferson Davis to act as military advisor.

March 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, the campaign down the Mississippi River continued on this day. Forts Henry and Donelson being secured, the scene shifted to New Madrid, Mo. This town, which had been the epicenter of the strongest earthquake ever recorded in North America (in 1811), now was blessed with the attention of Federal forces commanded by Gen. John Pope, who began an 11-day siege.

March 3, 1863 - During the Civil War, the U.S. Congress passed a conscription act that produced the first wartime draft of U.S. citizens in American history. The act called for registration of all males between the ages of 20 and 45, including aliens with the intention of becoming citizens, by April 1. Exemptions from the draft could be bought for $300 or by finding a substitute draftee. This clause led to bloody draft riots in New York City, where protesters were outraged that exemptions were effectively granted only to the wealthiest U.S. citizens. During the Civil War, the government of the Confederate States of America also enacted a compulsory military draft.

March 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Union navy attacked Fort McAlister, below Savannah, Ga. Skirmishes were also fought in the vicinity of Franklin, Bear Creek and Spring Hill, Tenn. A Confederate raid on Granby, Mo. also took place. A Federal expedition from Belle Plain to Machodee Creek, Va. took place.

March 3, 1863 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal expedition from Concord Church to Chapel Hill, Tenn. began. A six-day Federal expedition from Murfreesborough to Woodbury, Tenn. began. A six-day Federal expedition from Belle Pain to Coan River and Machodee Creek, Va. began. The U.S. Government created the Idaho Territory from an area previously part of the Washington Territory.

March 3, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Jackson and another near Baton Rouge, La.; at Liverpool and Brownsville, Miss., both in Hinds County, Miss.; near Petersburg, West Va.

March 3, 1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill that created the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. The federal agency, known as the Freedmen's Bureau, oversaw the transition of blacks from slavery to freedom. The Freedmen’s Bureau, born out of abolitionist concern for freed slaves, was headed by Union General Oliver O. Howard for the entire seven years of its existence. The bureau was given power to dispense relief to both white and black refugees in the South, provide medical care and education, and redistribute “abandoned” lands to former slaves.

March 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Decatur, Ala.

March 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Tunnel Hill, Ga.; and in the vicinity of Big Black Creek, Cheraw, Juniper Creek Thompson’s Creek, Hornsborough and Blakeny’s, S.C. A five-day Federal operation between Bloomfield and into Dunklin County, Mo. began. A three-day Federal operation began from Cumberland Gap, Tenn. toward Jonesville, Va., with skirmishes at Ball’s Bridge, Tenn. and Tazewll, Tenn.

March 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, a nine-day Federal operation from Memphis, Tenn. into northern Mississippi began. Federal forces occuppied Charlottesville, Va. Federal operations began in the vicinity of Warrenton, Bealton Station, Sulphur Springs, Salem and Centreville, Va. Federals also began a movement up the Shenandoah Valley to Winchester, with skirmishes at Harrisonburg, Mount Jackson and Rude’s Hill, Va.

March 3, 1875 – The opera “Carmen” appeared on stage for the first time at the Opéra-Comique in France.

March 3, 1879 - Congress established the United States Geological Survey, an organization that played a pivotal role in the exploration and development of the West.

March 3, 1887 - Anne Sullivan began teaching six-year-old Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing after a severe illness at the age of 19 months. Under Sullivan’s tutelage, including her pioneering “touch teaching” techniques, the previously uncontrollable Keller flourished, eventually graduating from college and becoming an international lecturer and activist. Sullivan, later dubbed “the miracle worker,” remained Keller’s interpreter and constant companion until the older woman’s death in 1936.

March 3, 1915 - Director D.W. Griffith’s controversial Civil War epic “The Birth of a Nation” opened in New York City, a few weeks after its West Coast premiere in Los Angeles. A 40-piece orchestra accompanied the silent film. The movie, at 2 hours and 40 minutes, was unusually long for its day and used revolutionary–for the time–filmmaking techniques, including editing, multiple camera angles and close-ups.

March 3, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Mack M. Stallworth of Buena Vista, Ala. “died from disease.”

March 3, 1923 – Robert L. Mosley was appointed to another term as postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

March 3, 1923 - The first issue of Time magazine was published. On the cover of the first issue was retired Speaker of the House Joseph G. Gannon.

March 3, 1924 – H.P. Lovecraft married Sonia Haft Greene.

March 3, 1926 – Poet James Merril was born in New York City. His several collections of poetry include “The Changing Light at Sandover” (1982), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

March 3, 1931 - The "Star Spangled Banner" was adopted as the American national anthem. The song was originally known as "Defense of Fort McHenry."

March 3, 1932 – Ed Morris, Boston Red Sox pitcher, was killed by a knife during a fight at a fish fry in Brewton, Ala. (Other sources say he died in Century, Fla.)

March 3, 1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

March 3, 1945 - Superman encountered Batman and Robin for the first time on the Mutual Broadcasting System.

March 3, 1958 – Nuri al-Said became Prime Minister of Iraq for the eighth time.

March 3, 1959 - The San Francisco Giants had their new stadium officially named Candlestick Park.

March 3, 1959 - "This American Life" host Ira Glass was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

March 3, 1960 – The first organizational meeting was held by the Monroe County Rescue Squad with about 15 men attending at the Vocational Agriculture Building at Frisco City High School in Frisco City, Ala.

March 3, 1965 - More than 30 U.S. Air Force jets struck targets along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos. Since such raids had become common knowledge and were being reported in the American media, the U.S. State Department felt compelled to announce that these controversial missions were authorized by the powers granted to President Johnson in the August 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution.

March 3, 1967 – Joe Green allegedly shot Jack Manual to death with a pistol near Castleberry, Ala. Green was charged with second-degree murder and went to trial on Sept. 25, 1967.

March 3, 1969 - Sirhan Sirhan testified in a Los Angeles court that he killed Robert Kennedy.

March 3, 1971 - The U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) departed South Vietnam. The Special Forces were formed to organize and train guerrilla bands behind enemy lines. President John F. Kennedy, a strong believer in the potential of the Special Forces in counterinsurgency operations, had visited the Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg to review the program and authorized the Special Forces to wear the headgear that became their symbol, the Green Beret.

March 3, 1978 - The remains of Charles Chaplin were stolen from his grave in Cosier-sur-Vevey, Switzerland. The body was recovered 11 weeks later near Lake Geneva.

March 3, 1980 - The submarine Nautilus was decommissioned. The vessel’s final voyage had ended on May 26, 1979.

March 3, 1982 - Alabama author Lella Warren died in Washington, D.C.

March 3, 1984 – NFL wide receiver and punt returner Santonio Holmes was born in Belle Glade, Fla. He went on to play for Ohio State, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the Chicago Bears.

March 3, 1993 – Walter “Johnny D” McMillian was released from Alabama death row, where he was sent after being convicted of the 1986 murder of Rhonda Morrison in Monroeville, Ala.

March 3, 1994 - Kurt Cobain of Nirvana lapsed into a coma in Italy after taking a combination of Valium and champagne.

March 3, 1995 – Sparta Academy was scheduled to open its 1995 baseball and softball seasons against Monroe Academy in Monroeville, Ala. The rest of their 1995 season schedule was as follows: March 7, v. Fort Dale; March 10, at Escambia Academy; March 13, at Greenville Academy; March 17, at Crenshaw Christian; March 20, at Wilcox Academy; March 21, at Fort Dale; March 24, v. Greenville Academy; April 4, v. Monroe Academy; April 7, v. Crenshaw Christian; April 18, v. Escambia Academy; April 22-29, Region Tournament. All regular season games were scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.

March 3, 2001 - Author E. B. Sledge died in Montevallo, Ala.

March 3, 2005 - Author Pauline Boyd died in Huntsville, Ala.

March 3, 2005 - Steve Fossett became the first person to fly a non-stop solo flight around the world, without refueling. Sadly, he would later go missing in 2007 during a solo flight in the Nevada desert.

March 3, 2006 - In Tokyo, Japan, the opener of the World Baseball Classic took place.

March 3, 2008 – Clarke Prep’s baseball team beat Sparta Academy, 11-1, in Grove Hill, Ala.

March 3, 2009 – The New Hope Church Cemetery in Covington County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

March 3, 2003 – Explorer, photographer and linguist Luis Marden died at the age of 90 in Arlington, Va.
March 3, 2013 – Alabama native Bo Jackson won ESPN's Sport Science "Greatest Athlete of All Time" bracket, defeating Roger Federer, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan in the semifinal, and Jim Brown to claim the title.

March 3, 2014 – Sparta Academy in Evergreen, Ala. named Justin Chandler as head football coach, replacing Buck Quarles.

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