Saturday, April 30, 2016

Today in History for April 30, 2016

John Crowe Ransom
April 30, 1006 - A new star, possibly the brightest supernova in recorded human history, appeared in the sky.

April 30, 1492 – Spain gave Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration.

April 30, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, several girls accused former Salem minister George Burroughs of witchcraft.

April 30, 1770 – English-Canadian cartographer and explorer David Thompson was born in Westminster, London, England.

April 30, 1776 - Samuel Adams wrote to the Rev. Samuel Cooper that he hoped for another battle between British and American troops, stating his belief that, "One battle would do more towards a Declaration of Independence than a long chain of conclusive arguments in a provincial convention or the Continental Congress."

April 30, 1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington took the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

April 30, 1803 – In what is now known as the “Louisiana Purchase,” the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation. The territory covered 828,000 square miles, stretching from present-day Louisiana north to Canada, and as far west as the border of Idaho, doubling the geographical area of the United States.

April 30, 1812 – The Territory of Orleans became the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.

April 30, 1859 – Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” was first published in serial form, appearing in the first issue of a new weekly journal, “All the Year Round,” which Dickens founded himself.

April 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Washita, in the Indian Territory, was abandoned by Federal forces.

April 30, 1862 – Kolb’s Battery (also known as the Barbour Light Artillery and 4th Battalion, Co. C, Hilliard’s Legion) mustered into Confederate service and then proceeded to Montgomery, Ala. where it was divided in two. The unit was organized at Eufaula, Ala. in April 1862 with a complement of about 325 officers and men. With two other companies, it organized as the artillery battalion of Hilliard's Legion.

April 30, 1862 – Lewis Lavon Peacock enlisted at the age of 17 in Kolb’s Battery, which became part of Hilliard’s Legion and later the 59th Alabama. He served in the campaigns in Kentucky and Tennessee, including Chickamauga, before the regiment was transferred to Virginia in the spring of 1864.

April 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate forces moved toward Staunton from Elk Run in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

April 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Cooked Creek and Hog Mountain, Ala.

April 30, 1863 - The Battle of Day's Gap was fought between the cavalry forces of Union Col. Abel Streight and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. The engagement was the first in a series of skirmishes between Streight and Forrest during Streight's Raid across north Alabama. The raid ended with Streight's surrender to Forrest just short of Streight's intended destination of Rome, Ga.

April 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians near Oak Camp, Calif.; at Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory; at Bloomfield, Va.; near Chancellorsville, Raccoon Ford and Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va.; and at Bridgeport, West Virginia. Federal forces also began crossing the Mississippi River from Louisiana to Mississippi near Bruinsburg, Miss., south of Vicksburg, Miss.

April 30, 1864 - Work began on the dams along the Red River. The work would allow Union General Nathaniel Banks' troops to sail over the rapids above Alexandria, La.

April 30, 1864 - At the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry in Arkansas, Union troops under General Frederick Steele fought off a Confederate army under General Edmund Kirby Smith as the Yankees retreated towards Little Rock, Arkansas. Jenkins’ Ferry came at the end of a major Union offensive in Arkansas, and Smith attacked Steele as the Yankees were trying to cross the flooded Saline River. The Union suffered 700 men killed, wounded, and missing out of 4,000, while the Confederates lost about 1,000 out of 8,000.

April 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Whitmore’s Mill, Ark., and a 10-day Federal operation between Memphis, Tenn. and Ripley, Miss. began.

April 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, CSA President Jefferson Davis’ son, Joseph, age five, fell to his death out of a second floor window of the Confederate White House in Richmond, Va. The exuberant five-year-old was, as boys that age often do, playing where he shouldn’t have been, on the second-floor balcony of the Presidential home, the Confederate White House in Richmond. Somehow he slipped, toppled over the railing, and fell to the brick pavement below.

April 30, 1865 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation took place in the vicinity of Brashear City, La.

April 30, 1866 – John Edward Witherington, who died at the age 77 in 1944, was born. While postmaster in the China community, he established the first rural postal route in Conecuh County, Ala.

April 30, 1875 – French explorer, lithographer and cartographer Jean-Frédéric Waldeck passed away at the claimed age of 109 years and 45 days. He supposedly died of a heart attack while eying a beautiful woman near the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

April 30, 1877 – American-French writer and author Alice B. Toklas was born in San Francisco, Calif.

April 30, 1885 – Governor of New York David B. Hill signed legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New York's first state park, ensuring that Niagara Falls would not be devoted solely to industrial and commercial use.

April 30, 1888 – Poet and critic John Crowe Rasom was born in Pulaski, Tenn. He was a member of the Fugitives - a group of Southern writers that also included Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, and Donald Davidson. And he was the founder of The Kenyon Review, and one of the most influential American literature professors of the 20th century.

April 30, 1889 - George Washington's inauguration became the first U.S. national holiday.

April 30, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that B.M. Miller, Esq. of Camden; the Hon. P.C. Walker and Jas. E. Stallworth, Esq., of Evergreen; and that the Hon. Jas. M. Davison of Brewton was in attendance during Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court that week.

April 30, 1900 - Hawaii was organized as an official U.S. territory.

April 30, 1900 – Casey Jones died in a train wreck in Vaughan, Miss., while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.

April 30, 1905 – Monroeville, Alabama’s town marshal raided and arrested six gamblers. They appeared in Monroeville’s mayor’s court the next day and were fined.

April 30, 1915 – The month of April 1915 was said to be the driest on record, according to the weather observer in Evergreen, Ala. During April, only .20 inches of rainfall was recorded. It was said that not since 1873 has there been an April in which less than an inch of rainfall was recorded.

April 30, 1922 - Charlie Robertson of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game against the Detroit Tigers.

April 30, 1928 – Birmingham, Ala. native Spud Davis made his Major League Baseball debut for the St. Louis Cardinals.

April 30, 1939 - Lou Gehrig played his last game with the New York Yankees, having played in 2,130 consecutive games.

April 30, 1943 – During World War II’s “Operation Mincemeat,” the submarine HMS Seraph surfaced in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain to deposit a dead man planted with false invasion plans and dressed as a British military intelligence officer.

April 30, 1945 – During World War II, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide after being married for one day. Soviet soldiers raised the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building. One week later Germany surrendered unconditionally.

April 30, 1945 – Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Annie Dillard was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. and is most famous for her 1974 book, “Pilgrim at Tinker Creek.”

April 30, 1947 – In Nevada, the Boulder Dam was renamed the Hoover Dam a second time.

April 30, 1955 – A square dance was scheduled to be held on this Saturday night, with music by Uncle Charlie and the Conecuh Play Boys, at the Evergreen Recreation Center (Old Armory), sponsored by the Evergreen (Ala.) Junior Chamber of Commerce. Admission was 75 cents. Also that night, another square dance was scheduled to be held at Lyeffion High School, admission 75 cents, at 8 p.m., sponsored by Quarterback Club.

April 30, 1957 – Supplementary Convention on the Abolition of Slavery entered into force.

April 30, 1961 - Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants hit four home runs against the Milwaukee Braves.

April 30, 1970 - Billy Williams of the Chicago Cubs became the first National League player to play in 1,000 straight games.

April 30, 1973 – During the Watergate scandal, U.S. President Richard Nixon announced that White House Counsel John Dean had been fired and that other top aides, most notably H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, had resigned.

April 30, 1975 – During the Fall of Saigon, Communist forces gained control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ended with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Dương Văn Minh.

April 30, 1976 – On this Friday, Sparta Academy’s baseball team slipped past Escambia, 7-6, with Jerry Peacock on the mound. Freddie Sellers had two hits and Ronnie Pugh one.

April 30, 1977 – Darlene Stevens, 21, and her two-year-old daughter, Christine Michelle, both of Conecuh County, Ala. were killed in a two-car collision on a Butler County road.

April 30, 1977 - Kathryn Tucker Windham of Selma told ghost stories during a program at the “Flea Market” event held at the L&N Depot in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday. The event was sponsored by the Murder Creek Historical Society.

April 30, 1979 – The Alston-Cobb House (now the Clarke County Historical Museum) in Grove Hill, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

April 30, 1983 – J.W. Coburn of Evergreen, Ala. won first place in the 1983 Jaycee Bass Tournament at the Camp McMillan Boy Scout Retreat Pond on U.S. Highway 31 near Brewton. Coburn received a trophy and a bass tackle box. Coburn won the tournament while fishing from the bank with a cane pole and wigglers against fishermen in bass boats with all types of rods, reels and lures.

April 30, 1988 - Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" fell out of the Billboard 200 chart for the first time in 725 weeks.

April 30, 1992 – Larry Morrison resigned as Evergreen (Ala.) Police Chief to become Repton’s police chief, a position he held prior to being named Evergreen’s chief on Nov. 5, 1991. Morrison replaced former Evergreen chief Leroy Hall, who resigned on Aug. 23, 1991. Evergreen Mayor Lee Smith named Lt. Earnest Section as “acting chief” to replace Morrison.

April 30, 1996 - The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles played the longest nine-inning game in Major League Baseball history. The game took four hours and 21 minutes.

April 30, 1997 - The Atlanta Braves set a Major League Baseball record when they got their 19th win in the month of April.

April 30, 1998 – Clarke Mills, a historic textile factory in Jackson, Ala.; the Grove Hill Courthouse Square Historic District in Grove Hill, Ala.; and the Whatley Historic District in Whatley, Ala.; were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

April 30, 1998 - The first Alabama Writers Symposium opened in Monroeville, Ala.

April 30, 2002 - Alex Rodriguez became the second youngest major league player to reach 250 home runs. He was 26 years and 277 days old.

April 30, 2004 - The Harper Lee Award for Alabama's Distinguished Writer was given to Alabama author Sonia Sanchez at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville, Ala.

April 30, 2004 – U.S. media released graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.

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