Saturday, March 5, 2016

Today in History for March 5, 2016

John C. Breckinridge
March 5, 1046 – Naser Khosrow began the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which he will later describe in his book “Safarnama.”

March 5, 1496 – King Henry VII of England issued letters patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorizing them to explore unknown lands.

March 5, 1512 – Gerardus Mercator was born in Rupelmonde, Flanders (now Belgium). He developed the world mapping technique that we still use today and call the "Mercator projection." He developed a method to accurately project the globe onto a flat surface so that longitude and latitude lines would always be at right angles to each other.

March 5, 1616 – Nicolaus Copernicus's book “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres” was added to the Index of Forbidden Books 73 years after it was first published.

March 5, 1658 – French explorer and politician Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who also served as the third Colonial Governor of Louisiana, was born in Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Grave, France.

March 5, 1750 – The first Shakespearan play was presented in America when “Richard III” was performed by the actors of Walter Murray and William Kean's troupe from Philadelphia.

March 5, 1766 – Antonio de Ulloa, the first Spanish governor of Louisiana, arrived in New Orleans.

March 5, 1770 – In what is now referred to as the “Boston Massacre,” five Americans, including Crispus Attucks, were fatally shot by British troops in an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War (also known as the American War of Independence) five years later. Two British troops were later convicted of manslaughter.

March 5, 1809 - Matthew Anderson was born. He served as a private in the Monroe County Militia Home Guard after being recruited for service as a farrier for Co. K of the 7th Alabama Cavalry. Anderson was an example of a man too old for combat duty yet having skills useful to the Confederate army. He died on Dec. 23, 1893 and was buried in Middleton Cemetery in Monroe County, Ala.

March 5, 1836 - Santa Anna announced to his officers that he planned to attack the Alamo in the morning and ordered them to prepare their troops for assault. Although evidence is lacking, tradition holds that Travis gathered his command together one final time to offer them the chance to leave. According to one account, Travis drew a line in the sand and asked the garrison to make a decision to stay or leave.  Only one man, Moses Rose, chose to leave.

March 5, 1836 – Samuel Colt patented the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber.

March 5, 1845 - The U.S. Congress appropriated $30,000 to ship camels to the western U.S.

March 5, 1850 – Early on this afternoon, the ill-fated Orline St. John docked at Bridgeport, on the river north of Camden, where it took on “an unusually large quantity of wood – right, light wood.” Then the pilot turned her bow back into the current, and the captain went up to his cabin to take a nap before they reached the next stop. By now “a very strong wind [was] blowing,” and combined with the current, it made progress upriver even more difficult.” (Rivers of History)

March 5, 1860 – President Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address was received in Evergreen, Ala. through the Western Union Telegraph Co. A.D. McInis was the telegraph operator.

March 5, 1864 – Elijah Byrd Jenkins began serving aboard the CSS Selma and was aboard when it was captured at the Battle of Mobile Bay. Jenkins was born in Wilcox County, Ala. on Dec. 13, 1842 to Thomas Jenkins and wife. At the age of 19, enlisted on Nov. 1, 1862 in Montgomery as a private with Co. K 1st Ala. Artillery. He re-enlisted on Feb. 11, 1863 at Port Hudson, La. with Co. K, 1st Ala. Artillery before joining the Confederate Navy and transferring to serve aboard the CSS Selma on March 5, 1864. He served on that ship until it was captured at the Battle of Mobile Bay. He was then imprisoned at Ship Island, Miss. for the rest of the war. He filed for his Confederate pension in Wilcox County on June 28, 1902. Elijah Jenkins is buried at New Hope Cemetery at Dottelle, Ala.

March 5, 1864 - General John C. Breckinridge took control of Confederate forces in the Appalachian Mountains of western Virginia. The native Kentuckian was a former U.S. senator, U.S. vice president and runner-up to Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election. Breckinridge took over the obscure Western Department of Virginia, where he managed forces until he was elevated to the Confederacy’s secretary of war in the closing weeks of the Civil War.

March 5, 1870 – Novelist Frank Norris was born Benjamin Franklin Norris in Chicago. His most popular novel, “McTeague,” was published in 1899 when he was just 29 years old.

March 5, 1873 – Norwegian skier and explorer Olav Bjaaland was born in Telemark, Norway.

March 5, 1891 – The issue of The Monroe Journal on this date was the first issue of the newspaper printed on a power press. Prior to this, the paper was printed on a hand press, a slow and laborious process.

March 5, 1902 - W. D. Harrigan Sr. of Rhinelander, Wisc. and Fredrick Herrick of Lac Du Flambeau, Wisc. purchased the Scotch Lumber Company in Fulton, Ala.

March 5, 1915 – Former Confederate soldier John A. McCants died and was buried at Bells Landing Presbyterian Cemetery at Tinela, Ala. Born on June 27, 1842, he served as a private with the Monroe Guards and enlisted on March 26, 1861 at Pineville in Monroe County. He was promoted to corporal and was present at all musters between May 13, 1861 and Dec. 31, 1861. He was wounded at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 and furloughed home for 30 days. He was admitted into Selma General Hospital while on furlough and remained on furlough until July 30, 1863. He was listed as a prisoner of war on May 5, 1864.

March 5, 1915 – The Arcade Theatre in Evergreen, Ala. began showing the “best episodes of the interesting series” of the “Million Dollar Mystery.”

March 5, 1915 – A fiddler’s convention was scheduled to be held at 8 p.m. at the Conecuh County, Ala. courthouse for the benefit of the Evergreen City School. Admission was 25 cents and 15 cents, and a prize was offered for the best fiddler.

March 5, 1916 - The first movie version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “To Have and To Hold” was released.

March 5, 1916 – The Rev. S.P. Lindsey “occupied the pulpit” at the Brooklyn Church in Conecuh County, Ala. on this Sunday morning and “was met by a good congregation.”

March 5, 1933 – The Nazi Party won 44 percent of the vote in German parliamentary elections, enabling it to join with the Nationalists to gain a slight majority in the Reichstag. Within three weeks, the Nazi-dominated Reichstag passed the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers and ended the Weimar Republic in Germany.

March 5, 1938 – NFL defensive back and actor Fred Williamson was born in Gary, Indiana. He would go on to play for Northwestern University, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raiders and the Kansas City Chiefs.

March 5, 1939 – NFL center Wayne Frazier born in Evergreen, Ala. He would go on to play for Auburn, the San Diego Chargers, the Houston Oilers, the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs. He started for the Chiefs in the first Super Bowl.

March 5, 1948 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, Al Snyder, a well-known jockey, and several of his friends departed Miami in a cabin cruiser to go fishing at Sandy Key. The yacht was later found, but the occupants had disappeared.

March 5, 1948 – Novelist Leslie Marmon Silko was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is best known for her 1977 novel, “Ceremony.”

March 5, 1956 - The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the ban on segregation in public schools.

March 5, 1964 - The Joint Chiefs of Staff ordered a U.S. Air Force air commando training advisory team to Thailand to train Lao pilots in counterinsurgency tactics. The mission of the American air commandos was to train the Laotian pilots in the conduct of close air support for the Royal Lao ground forces. Since Laos was officially neutral, the training efforts were conducted in Thailand with that government’s permission. The training did not result in sufficient numbers of trained Laotian pilots, so in December 1964, U.S. pilots in American planes began flying support missions for the Laotian ground troops as part of Operation Barrel Roll. The mission continued until February 1973.

March 5, 1966 - Marvin Miller was elected executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. During his tenure, Miller made baseball the first sport to institute collective bargaining and salary arbitration agreements, and oversaw the advent of free agency after a century-long struggle by players to sell their services on a free market.

March 5, 1966 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin was born in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He would go on to play for the University of Miami and the Dallas Cowboys. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.

March 5, 1971 - The U.S. 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, less its 2nd Squadron, withdrew from Vietnam. The “Blackhorse Regiment” (named for the black horse on the regimental shoulder patch) first arrived in Vietnam in September 1966 and consisted of three squadrons, each with three armored cavalry troops, a tank troop and a howitzer battery, making it a formidable fighting force. Upon arriving in Vietnam, the regiment had 51 tanks, 296 armored personnel carriers, 18 self-propelled 155-mm howitzers, nine flamethrower vehicles, and 18 helicopters.

March 5, 1971 - Premier Chou En-lai of the People’s Republic of China visited Hanoi. After lengthy consultations, Chou and North Vietnamese Premier Pham Van Dong issued a joint communique on March 10, which vowed continued Chinese support for the North Vietnamese struggle against the United States. This support was instrumental in providing the North Vietnamese with weapons and equipment needed for the major offensive they launched in the spring of 1972.

March 5, 1975 – The Homebrew Computer Club first met and it turned out to be an enormously influential hobby club: its existence made possible the personal computer.

March 5, 1976 – Major League Baseball first baseman Paul Konerko was born in Providence, R.I. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox.

March 5, 1978 – Weather reporter Earl Windham reported a low of 21 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

March 5, 1982 – Sparta Academy hosted a seven-team spring football jamboree at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Ala.

March 5, 1982 - The Russian space probe, Venera 14, after a four-month journey, plunged its descent vehicle into the Venusian atmosphere, sending back images of the planet's surface.

March 5, 1990 - The television program “A Son's Promise,” teleplay by Bill Stratton and Alabama author Robert Inman, was broadcast.

March 5, 2006 – 78th Academy Awards were held at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. “Capote” was nominated for Best Picture. Philip Seymour Hoffman (Truman Capote) won for Best Actor, and Catherine Keener (Harper Lee) was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

March 5, 2013 – The first winter ascent of Broad Peak was achieved by Maciej Berbeka, Adam Bielecki, Artur Małek and Tomasz Kowalski.

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