April 10, 837 – Halley's Comet made its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 3.2 million miles.
April 10, 1606 – The Virginia Company of London was established by royal charter by James I of England with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.
April 10, 1710 – The first law regulating copyright in the world was issued in Great Britain, making it possible for authors to truly own their own work.
April 10, 1778 - At Brest, France, Commander John Paul Jones and his crew aboard the USS Ranger left port to head to the Irish Sea to raid British warships.
April 10, 1778 – Portrait painter, journalist, lecturer and essayist William Hazlitt was born in Maidstone, England.
April 10, 1799 – The boundary marker known as “Ellicott’s Stone” was placed in modern-day northern Mobile County by a joint U.S.-Spanish survey party headed by Andrew Ellicott.
April 10, 1815 - The Tambora volcano in the East Indies had a major eruption, altering the global climate, and leading to a "year without a summer."
April 10, 1849 - The versatile safety pin was patented by Joseph Hunt.
April 10, 1857 – The monument in the Marion City Cemetery to “Harry,” the 23-year-old slave who gave his life awakening sleeping Howard College students in Marion when their dormitory caught on fire, was erected and dedicated with much fanfare in a ceremony conducted in conjunction with the 1857 Baptist State Convention.
April 10, 1861 - Benjamin Faneuil Porter, a doctor and lawyer who lived in Claiborne for about six years, before becoming a state legislator, judge and Mayor of Greenville, was proposed by The Selma Sentinel for Governor of Alabama.
April 10, 1862 – A gathering of men at the courthouse square in Monroeville, Ala. enlisted in the Confederate army and traveled to Claiborne, where they boarded a steamboat to travel downriver to Mt. Vernon in Mobile County. One month later, they were brigaded as Co. F of the 36th Alabama Regiment of Volunteers.
April 10, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Fernandina, Fla.
April 10, 1862 - Union Brigadier General Quincy Adams Gillmore moved artillery onto Tybee Island to attack Fort Pulaski, which was on Cockspur Island, near the mouth of the Savannah River in Georgia. And it was no ordinary artillery, either. Ft. Pulaski was built of heavy brick, so instead of regular, smoothbore artillery new, long-range rifled guns, with penetrating shells, were being installed instead. Gillmore would soon demonstrate the superiority of rifled artillery over masonry fortifications.
April 10, 1862 - Union forces under the command of Capt. Quincy Gilmore began the bombardment of Fort Pulaski in Georgia along the Tybee River. Confederate Colonel Charles Olmstead surrendered the next day.
April 10, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Humboldt to Cottonwood, Kansas, and a skirmish was fought on Folly Island, S.C. An engagement also occurred in the vicinity of Franklin, Tenn. and the Harpeth River. A two-day Federal reconnaissance also began, originating from La Grange, Tenn., and including Hudsonville, Lockhart’s Mill, Mount Pleasant, and Early Grove, Miss.
April 10, 1863 - President Jefferson Davis kicked off a campaign on this day which would be copied many times in later years by other presidents during other conflicts. He issued a call to his people to plant what a later generation would call “victory gardens” on land which would normally be devoted to cotton, tobacco and other items usually sold for export. He pointed out that the Federal blockade prevented most exports, and the army as well as the people needed the food. The campaign was largely successful.
April 10, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Prairie D’Ane, Ark.; and in the vicinity of Cypress Swamp, Tenn. Federal reconnaissance was conducted to Dedmon’s Trace, Ga. Federal forces withdrew from Pleasant Hill, La. to Grand Ecore, La., ending any further advance of the Red River Campaign.
April 10, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Benton and Lowndesborough, Ala.
April 10, 1865 – During the Civil War, a day after his surrender to Union forces, Confederate General Robert E. Lee addressed his troops for the last time at Appomattox, Va. This closed the book on one of the most remarkable armies in history. The Army of Northern Virginia had fought against long odds for four years and won most of the battles in which it engaged the Union’s Army of the Potomac.
April 10, 1865 – In a report dated Tensaw post office (in Baldwin County, Ala.), Union Brigadier General T.J. Lucas said, “I have information of 300 or 400 rebel infantry and three pieces of artillery at Claiborne sent there from Mobile to defend that place. I moved my command immediately forward, intending to reach the point by morning and surround the town, hoping to capture this force. The roads are good, but forage scarce.”
April 10, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Boonville, Moccasin Swamp, and in the vicinity of Nahunta Station, N.C.; and near Burke’s Station and Arundel’s Farm, Va.
April 10, 1897 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Ross Youngs was born in Shiner, Texas. He would go on to play his entire career for the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972.
April 10, 1904 – British mystic Aleister Crowley transcribed the third and final chapter of “The Book of the Law.”
April 10, 1905 – On this Monday around 4 p.m. in Beuna Vista, Ala., Everett Jones, the 15-year-old son of Tom Jones, shot and instantly killed a negro boy named “Jack,” who was a farm hand in the employ of Ollie Finklea. Everett Jones, who was armed with a shotgun, entered the “Kearly field” where Jack, another negro and Lacy Courtney were at work. Everett and Jack got into an argument, and Everett shot Jack in the head, killing him instantly.
April 10, 1905 - The spring term of Conecuh County (Ala.) Circuit Court convened at 1 p.m. on this Monday with Judge J.C. Richardson presiding, and his son, T.M. Richardson, representing the State in place of Solicitor Bricken, who was ill. The grand jury was organized with C.K. Lee of Castleberry as foreman. D.W. Howell was bailiff for the grand jury.
April 10, 1911 – While rabbit hunting on a Sunday, Sidney Johnson of Conecuh County, Ala. was bitten on the face by a large rattle snake. He was brought to Evergreen and apparently survived.
April 10, 1912 – The RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England on her maiden and only voyage.
April 10, 1914 – Confederate veteran J.C. Johnson passed away in Conecuh County, Ala. at the age of 67. Born on March 11, 1847, he enlisted as a private in the Confederate army on Feb. 1, 1863 and served with Co. B, 3rd Alabama Cavalry and was wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain.
April 10, 1921 – Major League Baseball first baseman and actor Chuck Connors was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He would go on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs and starred in the ABC television show, “The Rifleman.”
April 10, 1921 - Author Aileen Kilgore Henderson was born in Cedar Cove, Ala.
April 10, 1924 - Alabama author Selma Boyd was born in Chicago, Ill.
April 10, 1925 – “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published in New York City by Charles Scribner's Sons.
April 10, 1930 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the harvesting and marketing of the 1930 strawberry crop was fast getting underway in Conecuh County, Ala. Express shipments had been going out for over a week but no carlot shipments were made until the latter part of last week at which time several cars were shipped from Castleberry. Evergreen shippers loaded their first cars on April 8.
April 10, 1930 – Activist and labor leader Dolores Huerta was born in the mining town of Dawson, New Mexico.
April 10, 1936 – Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach John Madden was born in Austin, Minn. He went on to serve as head coach of the Oakland Raiders from 1969 to 1978 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
April 10, 1938 – NFL quarterback Don Meredith was born in Mount Vernon, Texas. He played his entire career for the Dallas Cowboys.
April 10, 1941 – Travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux was born in Medford, Mass. His most famous book is 1975’s “The Great Railway Bazaar.”
April 10, 1946 – Major League Baseball first baseman and left fielder Bob "Bull" Watson was born in Los Angeles, Calif. He would go on to play for the Houston Astros, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Atlanta Braves.
April 10, 1947 - Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey announced that he had purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals. Robinson was the first African-American player of the modern era.
April 10, 1948 – Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount was born in Vidalia, Ga. He went on to play for Southern University and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.
April 10, 1950 – Major League Baseball outfielder Ken Griffey Sr. was born in Donora, Pa. He would go on to play for the Cincinnati Reds, the New York Yankees, the Atlanta Braves and the Seattle Mariners.
April 10, 1952 – Monroeville radio station WMFC, with the on dial frequency of 1220 AM, began operations with 250 watts of power. First song played was Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.”
April 10, 1953 – A “Play Day” for every child in Conecuh County, Ala. schools was scheduled to be held at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen. The event was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. and each student was expected to actively engage in at least one activity which they had learned in the physical education classes in their local school.
April 10, 1954 – Writer Anne Lamott was born in San Francisco, Calif.
April 10, 1956 - Nat King Cole was beaten up by a group of racial segregationists in Birmingham, Ala.
April 10, 1961 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy threw out the first pitch as 26,724 watched the Washington Senators lose to Chicago White Sox, 4-3, at Griffith Stadium in the franchise's first game.
April 10, 1970 - A Gallup Poll showed that 48 percent of the public approved of President Nixon’s policy in Vietnam, while 41 percent disapproved. In January, Nixon had a 65 percent approval rating. The drop reflected the growing dissatisfaction with Nixon’s failure to end the war in Vietnam.
April 10, 1972 – Tombs containing bamboo slips, among them Sun Tzu's Art of War and Sun Bin's lost military treatise, were accidentally discovered by construction workers in Shandong.
April 10, 1972 – Although the U.S. command refused to confirm publicly the location of targets, U.S. B-52 bombers reportedly began bombing North Vietnam for the first time since November 1967. The bombers struck in the vicinity of Vinh, 145 miles north of the Demilitarized Zone. It was later acknowledged publicly that target priority during these attacks had been given to SAM-2 missile sites, which had made raids over North Vietnam increasingly hazardous.
April 10, 1973 - Marshall Kierce of Owassa, Ala. was presented the 50-year Masonic Membership Pin from the Grand Lodge of Ohio at a meeting of Greening Lodge F&AM in Evergreen, Ala. Kierce was made a Master Mason in Ohio and maintained his membership in that state.
April 10, 1975 - A radio version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "The Damned Thing" was broadcast as part of the series the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre.
April 10, 1975 – Evergreen, Ala.’s newly organized Lions Club met at the Evergreen Jaycees’ Hut. Prior to this, Evergreen, Ala. had not had a Lions Club since the 1930s.
April 10, 1981 – Sparta Academy’s baseball team beat Fort Dale Academy, 12-7, in Greenville, Ala. Sparta’s Mike Mixon was the winning pitcher, and he had four hits, including a triple. Sparta’s Andy Hammonds also hit a home run.
April 10, 1981 - Alex Johnson of Conecuh County, Ala. killed a 15-1/4 pound turkey with a 10-3/8 inch beard and 3/4-inch spurs.
April 10, 2000 - Ken Griffey Jr. became the youngest player in baseball history to reach 400 home runs. He was 30 years, 141 days old.
April 10, 2003 - On Iraqi television, U.S. President George W. Bush said, "Your nation will soon be free."
April 10, 2005 – Former Troy University defensive lineman Al Lucas died from a game-related spinal cord injury while playing for the Los Angeles Avengers. Lucas was a 26-year-old native of Macon, Ga. After college, he played for the Carolina Panthers, the Tampa Bay Storm and the Avengers.
April 10, 2009 – Second baseman Marlon Anderson of Montgomery, Ala. made his last Major League Baseball appearance for the New York Mets. Later that week, he was released by the Mets.
April 10, 2001 – Former University of Alabama offensive coordinator Homer Smith died at the age of 79 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.