|Tennessee Governor Isham Harris|
April 16, 1582 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founded the settlement of Salta, Argentina.
April 16, 1705 - Queen Anne of England knighted Isaac Newton.
April 16, 1738 - Henry Clinton was born in Newfoundland, Canada. In 1778, he was promoted to commander in chief of Britain's North American forces.
April 16, 1787 – Royall Tyler’s “The Contrast,” the “first America play” opened at the John Street Theater in New York City.
April 16, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, after stopping briefly at Duncan's Point, eight miles below Baton Rouge, La., the Marquis de Lafayette was received in Baton Rouge for a reception and banquet, leaving just before nightfall.
April 16, 1844 – Nobel Prize-winning novelist Anatole France was born in Paris.
April 16, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Washita, in the Indian Territory, was abandoned by Federal forces. Fort Caswell, at the mount of the Cape Fear River and Fort Johnston, at Smithville, N.C., were taken over by North Carolina state troops.
April 16, 1861 - Following Lincoln’s call to the state governors for the raising of militia, reactions were mixed. Even within some states, especially border states, there were conflicts. Tennessee had voted against secession by a margin of 10,000, but Gov. Isham Harris refused to send troops and asked the Confederacy for admission. Newspaper editor William Brownlow of Knoxville wrote he would “fight the Secessionist leaders till Hell froze over, and then fight them on the ice.”
April 16, 1862 – During the Civil War, Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Ala. was occupied by Federal forces.
April 16, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on Whitemarsh Island, Ga.; near Blackwater Creek, Mo.; at Savannah, Tenn.; and at Columbia Furnace, Lee’s Mill and Liberty Church, Va. Federal reconnaissance to the Rappahannock River, Va. was conducted. U.S. Navy Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut positioned his fleet below Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip, La.
April 16, 1862 - The Confederate government prepared legislation to draft all able bodied men 18 to 35 years old. In the wake of Fort Sumter, men on both sides had flocked to the colors. That initial enthusiasm had worn thin. Jefferson Davis signed a bill establishing a draft. This covered all able-bodied white men between the ages of 18 and 35. It allowed for no exemptions based on occupation, but did allow for the hiring of substitutes. Men were to be assigned to units from their home states, and allowed to elect their officers at the company, battalion and regimental levels.
April 16, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle at Lee's Mills was fought in York County and Newport News, Virginia.
April 16, 1862 – During the Civil War, the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, became law.
April 16, 1863 – During the Civil War Siege of Vicksburg, Miss. 12 ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter moved through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi. Porter only lost one ship and two barges, and the operation speeded General Ulysses S. Grant’s movement against Vicksburg. Within six weeks, Grant had locked up Vicksburg from the east and the siege began. Vicksburg would surrender on July 4, 1863.
April 16, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hill’s and Rodman’s Point, N.C.; at Eagleville, Tenn.; and near West Point, Va. A six-day Federal operation between New Berne and Kinston, N.C. also began.
April 16, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Camden, Liberty Post Office, and on the Osage Branch of King’s River in Arkansas; in the vicinity of Salyersville, Ky.; at Rheatown, Tenn.; and at Catlett’s Station, Va.
April 16, 1864 - Although few land battles took place in Florida, there was naval action going on there for most of the war. The Army transport General Hunter fell victim to this action on this day when it struck a floating mine in the St. John’s River and was sunk. It was the second victim of a number of explosives that had been planted by the Confederates late in March 1864; the transport Maple Leaf had been destroyed earlier.
April 16, 1865 – At 10 a.m., Union Col. O.H. LaGrange, with a large detachment of Wilson’s Raiders, attacked and captured Fort Tyler, a Confederate fort on the west bank of the Chattahoochee River, just east of Lanett in Chambers County, Ala.
April 16, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Crawford, Girard and Opelika, Ala.
April 16, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Columbus and near West Point, Ga.
April 16, 1866 - A leaking crate of nitroglycerin in San Francisco exploded, leveling a Wells Fargo office and all surrounding buildings.
April 16, 1874 - John T. Croxton died in La Paz in Bolivia at the age of 37. A native of Paris, Ky., Croxton’s cavalry brigade burned most of the University of Alabama's buildings, as well as much of Tuscaloosa's industry and warehouses on April 3-4, 1865. After the war, Ulysses S. Grant appointed Croxton as U.S. Minister to Bolivia, where Croxton died. His remains were shipped home and he was buried in Paris Cemetery in Paris, Ky.
April 16, 1889 – Filmmaker and actor Charlie Chaplin was born in London, England.
April 16, 1890 – Gertrude Chandler Warner, the creator of the “Boxcar Children” series, was born in Putnam, Conn.
April 16, 1903 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Paul Waner was born in Harrah, Okla. He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves and the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952.
April 16, 1908 – Natural Bridges National Monument was established in Utah.
April 16, 1915 – In Monroe County’s Weatherford community, H.M. Godwin and his work crew “laid the last timbers and drove the finishing bolt” into the new bridge across the “old Joiner ford” on Little River, which separated Monroe and Baldwin counties. “The material used for the entire construction was gotten within a mile of the site cut by a six horse power Witte engine and just one month from the day the work began, the bridge was turned over to the Commissioners.”
April 16, 1916 - John Ingram Deens, “one of the most widely known citizens of this section of Alabama,” died at his home in Red Level on this Sunday morning, from a stroke of paralysis which he had on Wed., April 12. Born on July 8, 1851, Deens was a retired banker and merchant and was about 65 years old. He was a prominent member of the Presbyterian church. He buried in the Mitchell Cemetery in Covington County.
April 16, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. David F. Wilson of Florala, Ala. was killed in action.
April 16, 1921 – A fire did slight damage to the home of G.W. Stuckey on this Sunday afternoon, according to The Evergreen Courant.
April 16, 1922 – English novelist Kingsly Amis was born in Clapham, South London, England.
April 16, 1927 – Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Dick “Night Train” Lane was born in Austin, Texas. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Rams, the Chicago Cardinals and the Detroit Lions. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.
April 16, 1930 – Essayist and short-story writer Carol Bly was born in Duluth, Minn.
April 16, 1935 – Lamar County, Ala. native Terry Moorer made his Major League debut with the St. Louis Cardinals, taking the field as an outfielder.
April 16, 1936 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the South Alabama (Baseball) League had been reorganized during a meeting in Brewton, Ala. and Esco McCloud of Flomaton, Ala. had been elected league president. Representatives agreed to begin the 40-game season on April 23 with games on Thursdays and Sundays, weather permitting. Attending the meeting from Evergreen were Bill Hanna, R.C. Snowden and L.M. Chapman. L.D. King Jr. was to serve as Evergreen’s manager with Hanna as his assistant.
April 16, 1936 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Glenn H. Lawrence, a well known farmer who lived four miles south of Evergreen, Ala. had been awarded the Purple Heart “for meritorious service” in World War I with the 30th Division, 119th Infantry. His division was attached to the British and while in the line of duty on Aug. 1, 1918, Lawrence’s skull was severely fractured by a trench mortar shell on the Ypres front in Belgium. Lawrence received the Purple Heart late because his service records had either been misplaced or overlooked.
April 16, 1940 – Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox, 1–0.
April 16, 1942 – Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Lonborg was born in Santa Maria, Calif. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Philadelphia Phillies.
April 16, 1943 - Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman accidentally discovered the hallucinogenic effects of LSD.
April 16, 1945 – The United States Army liberated the Nazi Sonderlager (high security) prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).
April 16, 1947 – German SS officer Rudolf Höss was hanged at the age of 45 in Oświęcim, Poland.
April 16, 1949 – General Welch, 67, retired after 35 years as the porter at the Louisville & Nashville Depot in Evergreen, Ala.
April 16, 1949 – Open house for both Lustrons houses in Jackson, Ala. were held. Believed to possibly have been the first two built in the state, they were later added to the National Register of Historic Places on Feb. 24, 2000.
April 16, 1951 - A 725-pound black Angus-Hereford crossbreed owned and shown by Dennis Bailey Jr. won the Grand Champion of the Sixth Annual Conecuh County 4H-FFA Fat Calf Show held at the Conecuh Cooperative Stockyard. The Reserve Champion was owned and shown by Dudley Ellis. An estimated crowd of 1,000 people attended the event.
April 16, 1951 – The Four Point Service Station, which was owned and operated by J.S. Thornley, was burglarized between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. The burglar got inside the building by prying the lock off the front door, blew open the small iron safe and stole about $400 in cash. The burglary was discovered around 8 p.m. by Mr. and Mrs. W.A. Fore, who were driving by and noticed that the station’s door was open.
April 16, 1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while incarcerated in Birmingham, Ala. for protesting against segregation.
April 16, 1967 – Miller Baldwin allegedly shot and killed Ruth Boykin at her home and also shot John H. Stallworth at the same time. Baldwin was charged with first-degree murder and assault to murder and went to trial in Conecuh County, Ala. on Sept. 25, 1967.
April 16, 1968 - Major League Baseball's longest night game was played when the Houston Astros defeated the New York Mets, 1-0. The 24-inning game took six hours, six minutes to play.
April 16, 1968 - At a series of meetings in Honolulu, President Johnson discussd recent Allied and enemy troop deployments with U.S. military leaders. He also conferred with South Korean President Park Chung Hee to reaffirm U.S. military commitments to Seoul and assured Park that his country’s interests would not be compromised by any Vietnamese peace agreement.
April 16, 1972 - In an effort to help blunt the ongoing North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive, the United States resumed the bombing of Hanoi and Haiphong after a four-year lull. In the first use of B-52s against both Hanoi and Haiphong, and the first attacks against both cities since November 1968, 18 B-52s and about 100 U.S. Navy and Air Force fighter-bombers struck supply dumps near Haiphong’s harbor. Sixty fighter-bombers hit petroleum storage facilities near Hanoi, with another wave of planes striking later in the afternoon.
April 16, 1979 - Alabama native Edward O. Wilson won the Pulitzer Prize in the General Non-Fiction category for his book, “On Human Nature.” Wilson was born in Birmingham, and lived in Mobile, Brewton, and Decatur, before attending the University of Alabama, where he studied biology. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and went on to an internationally recognized career in the sciences, receiving more than sixty other awards and honors, including another Pulitizer Prize in 1991 for “The Ants.”
April 16, 1985 - Mickey Mantle was reinstated after being banned from baseball for several years.
April 16, 1989 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and umpire Jocko Conlan passed away at the age of 89 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
April 16, 1994 - Alabama author Ralph Ellison died in New York, N.Y.
April 16, 2003 - Alabama author John Craig Stewart died in Pisgah Forest, N.C.
April 16, 2007 - Alabama author Natasha Trethewey was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for her book, “Native Guard.”
April 16, 2007 - A combined Aruban–Dutch team began pursuing the investigation of the disappearance of Mountain Brook, Alabama’s Natalee Holloway in Aruba.
April 16, 2007 – Cynthia Tucker of Monroeville, Ala. received Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for her work at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Received for “her courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community.”
April 16, 2007 - Alabama journalist Brett Blackledge of The Birmingham News was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting for exposure of corruption in the state’s two-year college system.
April 16, 2009 - Opening Day took place at the new Yankee Stadium.