Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Today in History for April 12, 2016

James Alexander Tyng
April 12, 1606 - England adopted the original Union Jack as its flag.

April 12, 1633 – Galileo Galilei was put on trial by the Inquisition for supporting the theory that the Earth revolves around the sun.

April 12, 1770 - The British government repealed most of the clauses of the Townshend Act. The act placed import taxes on many of the British products bought by Americans, including lead, paper, paint, glass and tea.

April 12, 1771 – In Lovecraftian fiction, a party of raiders led by a secret committee of Providence, Rhode Island’s most powerful men marched on the Pawtuxet farm of Joseph Curwen, a wealthy trader and sorcerer. What exactly happened during the raid is unclear, but following this action, Curwen was seen no more.

April 12, 1776 – During the American Revolution, with the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorized its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain. In other words, North Carolina became the first state to vote in favor of independence from Britain.

April 12, 1782 - In the Indian Ocean, the Battle of Providien between the British and French took place.

April 12, 1806 – Congress appropriated $6,400 to build 1,152-mile long post road from Georgia to Mobile, Ala.

April 12, 1839 – The first meeting was held after the organization of the board of trustees of the Evergreen Academy in Evergreen, Ala.

April 12, 1839 – Russian geographer and explorer Nikolay Przhevalsky was born in Kimborovo, Smolensk Governorate, Russian Empire (Now Russia).

April 12, 1857 – Flaubert’s first novel, “Madame Bovary,” was published.

April 12, 1861 – The Civil War began when Confederate shore batteries under the command of General Pierre G.T. Beauregard opened fire at 4:30 a.m. on Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Beauregard began firing based on orders telegraphed to him from Montgomery, Ala. Beauregard fired 4,000 shells from 50 cannons between April 12-14.

April 12, 1861 – During the Civil War, Federal reinforcements from Fortress Monroe, Va. and a detachment of marines landed on Santa Rosa Island near Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Fla.

April 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal reconnaissance to Bear Creek, Ala. began.

April 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Andrews Raid, which is also known as the “Great Locomotive Chase” occurred, starting from Big Shanty, Ga. (now Kennesaw).

April 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Little Blue River, Mo. and at Monterey, Va. A Federal operation was also conducted in Marion County, West Virginia.

April 12, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along the Amite River and in the vicinity of Centreville, La.; at Long Island, S.C.; at Stewartsborough, Tenn.; and along the Edenton, Providence Church and Somerton Roads in Virginia.

April 12, 1863 – During the Civil War, a 12-day Federal operation between Camp Babbit and Keysville, Calif. began. Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Gloucester Point to the vicinity of Hickory Forks, Va. Another Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Winchester up Cedar Creek Valley, Va.

April 12, 1863 - Repeatedly for three years, Abraham Lincoln had implored his generals to attack the enemy. Their notion of the way to do that, based on what they had learned at West Point, was to take the attack to the enemy’s capital. Lincoln’s idea was to attack the enemy’s armies, primarily that of Robert E. Lee. On this day, Gen. Joseph Hooker sent his new plan to his commander in chief. It consisted of an end run around Lee to attack Richmond.

April 12, 1864 - Confederate Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's troops overwhelmed Fort Pillow and 580 Union troops on the Mississippi River. It was believed by many that the Union defenders were trying to surrender and were needlessly massacred. Fort Pillow is located in western Tennessee in Lauderdale County.

April 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation down the Tennessee River from Bridgeport, Ala. to near Triana, Ala. began. A skirmish was also fought near Florence, Ala.

April 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Van Vuren, Ark.; with Indians in the vicinity of Fremont’s Orchard in the Colorado Territory; at Blair’s Landing (or Pleasant Hill,) La.; at Fort Bisland, La.; at Pleasant Hill Landing, Tenn.; and in Matagorda Bay, Texas. A three-day Federal operation between Pont Lookout, Md. to Westmoreland County, Va. began.

April 12, 1865 – During the Civil War, Mobile, Ala., the last major Confederate port city, fell to the Union Army.

April 12, 1865 – Union raiders destroyed Montgomery, Ala. as the local militia refused to attempt to defend the former capital of the Confederacy. A skirmish was also fought in the vicinity of Montgomery, Ala. on the Columbus Road.

April 12, 1865 – Around 3 a.m., Montgomery, Ala. mayor W.L. Coleman and a party of prominent citizens rode out to Union lines under a flag of truce. There, to the delight of Wilson and his men, they surrendered the city. The general immediately posted guards at key streets and buildings, and when everything was secured the entire force, with the band playing and their commander at their head, rode four abreast into the capital.

April 12, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians in the vicinity of Tallahassa Mission in the Indian Territory; and at Swift Creek, N.C. A two-day Federal operation between Port Hudson and Jackson, La. began. Four days of Federal operations against Indians in the Nebraska Territory began. A 13-day Federal operation against Indians in the New Mexico Territory began. Federal forces occupied Raleigh and Salisbury, N.C.

April 12, 1869 – The Mobile Bar Association, which organized on March 29, 1869, filed its Declaration of Incorporation.

April 12, 1877 - A catcher's mask was used in a baseball game for the first time by James Alexander Tyng.

April 12, 1880 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Addie Joss was born in Woodland, Wisc. He would go on to play for the Cleveland Broncos/Naps. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

April 12, 1887 - Alabama industrialist Henry DeBardeleben and his partners sold the first lots for the new city of Bessemer. Located 12 miles southwest of Birmingham and named after Henry Bessemer, the British inventor of the Bessemer steel process, the community was envisioned as a steelmaking center. Within a year Bessemer had a population of 3,500 and boasted a large industrial complex.

April 12, 1905 - Author Howard Weeden died in Huntsville, Ala.

April 12, 1905 – On this Wednesday evening, Capt. Richmond Pearson Hobson, the hero of the “Merrimac,” delivered a lecture on “American Naval Supremacy” at the courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. The courthouse was “filled with the county’s most prominent and intelligent citizens” to hear the lecture.

April 12, 1905 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mrs. A.L. Rumph of Perote was spending some time in Evergreen, Ala., visiting her sisters, Mrs. J.B. Murphy and Mrs. J.G. Lundy. Rumph was the director of the Children of the Confederacy, Alabama Division, U.C.V.

April 12, 1905 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Luther Jackson was “having a residence erected on Bruner Avenue, which will be an ornament to that portion of town.”

April 12, 1905 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Repton, Ala. would “shortly have another brick building.” Carter Bros. was erecting a “nice brick store.”

April 12, 1905 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Dr. H.B. Williamson had moved his office to the apartments he formerly occupied over the bank.

April 12, 1916 – Children’s book author Beverly Cleary was born in McMinnville, Oregon. Her books include “Henry Higgins” (1950), “Ramona the Pest” (1968), “Ramona the Brave” (1975) and “Ramona Forever” (1984).

April 12, 1920 – Conecuh County (Ala.) Circuit Court began on this Monday afternoon for a two-week term. Judge Leigh organized the grand jury with T.M. Mills as foreman.

April 12, 1925 – In Lovecraftian fiction, rescuers found Gustaf Johansen, the only survivor of the Emma’s crew.

April 12, 1926 - Alabama author Amelie Rives's play “Love-in-a-Mist” opened on Broadway.

April 12, 1933 – Major League Baseball catcher Charlie Lau was born in Romulus, Mich. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Athletics.

April 12, 1934 – The strongest surface wind gust in the world at 231 mph, was measured on the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire.

April 12, 1934 – The “big store” at Buena Vista, Ala, which was built by J.J. “Jack” Finklea, burned down.

April 12, 1934 - F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel "Tender Is the Night" was first published.

April 12, 1940 – Major League Baseball pitcher Woody Fryman was born in Ewing, Ky. He would go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Detroit Tigers, the Montreal Expos, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs.

April 12, 1942 – Around 11 p.m., John T. Brown,“the last Confederate veteran in Conecuh County,” passed away at the age of 95 at his home in the Welcome community after a brief illness of only a few days. A native of South Carolina, he moved to Conecuh County, Ala. about six years before his death.

April 12, 1944 – Major League Baseball second baseman and shortstop Terry Harmon was born in Toldeo, Ohio. He would go on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies.

April 12, 1944 - Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “The Searching Wind” opened on Broadway.

April 12, 1945 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away at the age of 63 from a cerebral Hemorrhage at a resort in Warm Springs, Ga. Harry Truman was sworn in as president.

April 12, 1947 - Espionage and military thriller author Tom Clancy, whose books included “The Hunt for Red October” and “Patriot Games,” was born in Baltimore, Md.

April 12, 1951 – The Evergreen (Ala.) Golf Club’s Sixth Annual Invitational Tournament was scheduled to be played.

April 12, 1952 – Poet Gary Soto was born in Fresno, Calif.

April 12, 1960 – Around 11 a.m., Conecuh County Sheriff James “Shorty” Brock, Evergreen Police Chief Johnny Andrews, Deputy Sheriff Mancel Pearce and Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Melton captured convicted murderer Russell Lee Harris, 32, formerly of Brewton, in front of Olen’s Department Store in downtown Evergreen, Ala. Harris was an escaped prisoner from the Georgia State Prison at Leesburg.

April 12, 1961 - Walt W. Rostow, senior White House specialist on Southeast Asia and a principal architect of U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine, delivered a memorandum to President John F. Kennedy asserting that the time had come for “gearing up the whole Vietnam operation.” Rostow’s proposals, almost all of which eventually became policy, included: a visit to Vietnam by the vice president; increasing the number of American Special Forces; increasing funds for South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem; and “persuading Diem to move more rapidly to broaden the base of his government, as well as to decrease its centralization and improve its efficiency.”

April 12, 1963 - Police used dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, Ala.

April 12, 1965 - A meeting for all persons interested in the Evergreen Pony League was scheduled to be held at 7 p.m. on this Monday at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala.

April 12, 1966 - Emmett Ashford became the first African-American major league umpire.

April 12, 1975 - In Cambodia, the U.S. ambassador and his staff left Phnom Penh when the U.S. Navy conducted its evacuation effort, Operation Eagle. On April 3, 1975, as the communist Khmer Rouge forces closed in for the final assault on the capital city, U.S. forces were put on alert for the impending embassy evacuation. An 11-man Marine element flew into the city to prepare for the arrival of the U.S. evacuation helicopters. On April 10, U.S. Ambassador Gunther Dean asked Washington that the evacuation begin no later than April 12.

April 12, 1976 – NBA center and power forward Brad Miller was born in Kendallville, Indiana. He went on to play for Purdue, the Charlotte Hornets, the Chicago Bulls, the Indiana Pacers, the Sacremento Kings, the Houston Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

April 12, 1981 - The New York Giants drafted University of North Carolina linebacker Lawrence Taylor as their first-round pick and the second selection overall in the NFL Draft. Taylor went on to revolutionize the linebacker position and revitalize the Giants football franchise.

April 12, 1981 – Boxing great Joe Louis, aka “The Brown Bomber,” a native of LaFayette, Ala., died of a heart attack at the age of 66 in Las Vegas.

April 12, 1988 - The Evergreen (Ala.) City Council met on this Tuesday night in a special announced meeting to make appointments to the Evergreen Gas Supply Board. The following appointments were made: T.L. Sims, two-year term; Jones Sasser, four-year term; and Willie Willis, six-year term. The council was scheduled to meet the following Tuesday night for its regular meeting.

April 12, 2002 - A first edition version of Beatrix Potter's "Peter Rabbit" sold for $64,780 at Sotheby's. A signed first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" sold for $66,630. A copy of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," signed by J.K. Rowling sold for $16,660. A 250-piece collection of rare works by Charles Dickens sold for $512,650.

April 12, 2004 - The Philadelphia Phillies played their first game at Citizens Bank Park.

April 12, 2004 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 660th home run to tie Willie Mays for third on baseball's career list.

April 12, 2007 – A suicide bomber penetrated the Green Zone and detonated in a cafeteria within a parliament building, killing Iraqi MP Mohammed Awad and wounding more than 20 other people.

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