June 15, 1502 – Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Martinique on his fourth voyage.
June 15, 1542 – English captain and explorer Richard Grenville was born in Bideford, Devon, England. He took part in the early English attempts to settle the New World, and also participated in the fight against the Spanish Armada.
June 15, 1607 - Colonists in North America completed James Fort in Jamestown, Va.
June 15, 1648 – Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
June 15, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Cotton Mather wrote a letter requesting the court not use spectral evidence as a standard and urging that the trials be speedy. The Court of Oyer and Terminer paid more attention to the request for speed and less attention to the criticism of spectral evidence.
June 15, 1752 – Benjamin Franklin is believed to have performed his famous kite experiment and proved that lightning is electricity.
June 15, 1763 – Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa was born in Kashiwabara, Japan.
June 15, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army by the Second Continental Congress. John Adams formally nominated Washington for the position, and Washington accepted the next day.
June 15, 1776 - The Assembly of the Lower Counties of Pennsylvania declared itself independent of British and Pennsylvanian authority. This act created the state of Delaware.
June 15, 1780 - Thomas Sumter was elected commander in chief of the South Carolina militia and was appointed Brigadier General.
June 15, 1792 – Scottish-Australian colonel and explorer Thomas Mitchell was born in Grangemouth, Scotland. In 1827 he took up an appointment as Assistant Surveyor General of New South Wales. The following year he became Surveyor General and remained in this position until his death. Mitchell was knighted in 1839 for his contribution to the surveying of Australia.
June 15, 1804 – New Hampshire approved the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratifying the document.
June 15, 1808 – Joseph Morgan Wilcox, 18, of Killingworth, Conn. entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. He would graduate at the top of his class on Jan. 3, 1812 and was commissioned a first lieutenant in the Amry’s 3rd Infantry. Wilcox County, Ala. was later named in his honor.
June 15, 1816 – At the Villa Diodati in the village of Cologny, Switzerland, Lord Byron read “Fantasmagoriana” to his four house guests — Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Claire Clairmont and John Polidori — and challenged each guest to write a ghost story, which culminated in Mary Shelley writing the novel “Frankenstein,” John Polidori writing the short story “The Vampyre,” and Byron writing an unfinished vampire novel “Fragment of a Novel” and the poem “Darkness.”
June 15, 1821 – The official charter was issued to Alabama Masonic Lodge No. 3 in Monroeville.
June 15, 1830 – Prominent Greenville, Ala. businessman W.W. “Billy” Wilkinson, who was known as the “farmer’s friend,” was born in Dale County, Ala.
June 15, 1836 – Arkansas was admitted as the 25th U.S. state.
June 15, 1843 – Norwegian composer Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in Bergen, Norway.
June 15, 1849 - The eleventh president of the United States, James Knox Polk, passed away at the age of 53 in Nashville, Tenn.
June 15, 1861 – The Jefferson County Volunteers were organized at Enon Camp Ground at Elyton and soon became Co. B, 10th Alabama Regiment, C.S.A.
June 15, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate forces abandoned Harper’s Ferry, WV, falling back into the Shenandoah Valley. Federal forces also occuppied Jefferson City, Missouri.
June 15, 1862 - Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart returned from his ride around the Army of the Potomac. Robert E. Lee had sent him on a reconnaissance of Union positions. On June 12, Stuart began his ride in which he circled the entire Union force.
June 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at St. Marks in Wakulla County, Fla.
June 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Seven Pines, Va. and at Big Creek Gap, Tenn. Federal reconnaissance was also conducted near New Market, Virginia.
June 15, 1863 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln put out an emergency call for 100,000 troops from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia, wanting them to help protect Washington, D.C., America’s capital city. The call was not needed because the Confederates did not move toward Washington. Although the troops were not needed, and the call could not be fulfilled in such a short time, it was an indication of how little the Union authorities knew of Lee’s movements and how vulnerable they thought the Federal capital was.
June 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg, Miss. entered Day 28.
June 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Trenton, Tenn. and near Williamsport, Md.
June 15, 1864 – During the American Civil War, the Second Battle of Petersburg began as Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Potomac and Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia collided for the last time as the first wave of Union troops attacked Petersburg, a vital Southern rail center 23 miles south of the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va. The two massive armies would not become disentangled until April 9, 1865, when Lee surrendered and his men went home.
June 15, 1864 – Arlington National Cemetery was established when 200 acres around Arlington Mansion (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) were officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
June 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near White Hare, Mo.; near Malvern Hill and Smith‘s Store, Va.; in Georgia along Noonday Creek, at Brush Mountain, Gilgal, Golgotha Church, and near Allatoona; at Ratliffs, Como and Magnolia Landing, La.; at Moscow, Tenn.; and at Beulah Landing, Miss.
June 15, 1878 - Eadweard Muybridge used a series of cameras set on trip wires to film a running horse. Legend has it that his goal was to win a bet over whether or not horses had all four feet up at some point during their gait. His ingenious solution to this wager is credited as being the birth of the motion picture industry.
June 15, 1891 – Richard Francis Burton was laid to rest in the sandstone tent tomb in Mortlake, London.
June 15, 1895 – A regular communication of Monroeville Masonic Lodge No. 153 was scheduled for this day to elect officers and handle other business. F.M. Jones was the lodge’s secretary.
June 15, 1898 - The U.S. House of representatives approved the annexation of Hawaii.
June 15, 1902 – Psychologist and psychoanalyst Erik Erickson was born in Frankfurt, Germany.
June 15, 1906 – Belgian SS officer Léon Degrelle was born in Bouillon, Wallonia, Belgium.
June 15, 1909 - Benjamin Shibe patented the cork center baseball.
June 15, 1914 – Cartoonist Saul Steinberg was born near Bucharest, Romania.
June 15, 1915 – The first telephone line between Evergreen, Ala. and the community of Brooklyn, Ala. was scheduled to be in operation on this date, according to Manager Jones of the local telephone exchange.
Junt 15, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that J. Frank Davis, who had been appointed postmaster at Andalusia, was a Conecuh County boy, the son of the late M.A. Davis of Old Town beat. He moved to Andalusia several years before and had been engaged in the mercantile business. He succeeded J.F. Brawner, who was another native of Conecuh, son of Wm. Brawner, and was born in Evergreen, moving to Andalusia when a small boy.
June 15, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that Mrs. W.C. Crumpton had left for Chicago, where she was to spend the summer months with her brother and sister, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Carter. While in Chicago, Crumpton planned to study at the American Conservatory under the famous piano teacher, Silvio Scionti, and was to also take a special course in the newer methods of piano teaching. In the fall, Crumpton planned to return to Evergreen and again take charge of the music classes in the two schools.
June 15, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that the following officers of Monroe Lodge No. 458 had been elected for the ensuing Masonic year: A.H. Johnson Jr., worshipful master; J.B. DuBose, senior warden; J.W. Rutherford, junior warden; A. Massey, treasurer; J.D. McKinley, secretary; C.L. Johnson, senior deacon; H.T. Rachels, junior deacon; J.E. Norwood, tiler. There was to be a public installation of officers at Franklin on July 7. The brethren of other lodges were earnestly requested to attend.
June 15, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that the following officers of Monroeville Lodge No. 153 had been elected for the ensuing year: A.B. Coxwell, worshipful master; W.T. Bayles, senior warden; J.T. Newberry, junior warden; D.J. Hatter, treasurer; J.A. Lazenby, secretary; Ivison Ryland, senior deacon; M.R. Sowell, junior deacon; L.L. Hendrix, tyler; C.A. Williams, chaplain.
June 15, 1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.
June 15, 1918 – During World War I, Army 1LT Billy G. Rushing of Atmore, Ala. “died from an accident.”
June 15, 1920 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Cats of Ulthar,” which was originally published in Issue No. 11 of The Tryout in November 1920.
June 15, 1921 – The Evergreen Courant reported, in news from the Holly Grove community, that the young men of Holly Grove had organized a baseball team and had procured their equipment. “This they intend to pay for as soon as necessary funds can be raised,” The Courant said. “The opponents of this team will find that they have been playing ball before they finish nine periods with this team.”
June 15, 1921 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Dr. H.T. Fountain of Burnt Corn attended the dedication of the White House of the Confederacy and was among those who represented Conecuh County.
June 15, 1921 – The Evergreen Courant reported, under the headline, “Irish Potato Season at Repton Closes,” that Repton had about finished shipping Irish potatoes for the season, having shipped something like 30 cars from Repton and that vicinity. Each car contained about 500 bushels. The price received was about $1 per bushel on an average. This was the first time Repton had planted Irish potatoes, but the experiment had clearly demonstrated the fact that Repton could compete with any place in the state growing Irish potatoes.
June 15, 1925 - The Philadelphia Athletics defeated the Cleveland Indians, 17-15. The Athletics had been down 11 runs heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.
June 15, 1934 – The U.S. Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded.
June 15, 1935 – Advertising executive and writer Ilene Beckerman was born in Manhattan.
June 15, 1937 – A German expedition led by Karl Wien lost 16 members in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat. It is the worst single disaster to occur on an 8000-meter peak.
June 15, 1938 - Johnny Vandemeer of the Cincinnati Reds pitched his second straight no-hitter.
June 15, 1938 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Billy Williams was born in Whistler, Ala. He went on to play for the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.
June 15, 1939 – The Monroe Journal announced that a new newspaper in Frisco City, Ala. called The Frisco City Sun, had begun publication with Eugene C. Thomley as editor.
June 15, 1945 – William Faulk Jr., 17, and John Quates, 15, drowned in the Evergreen, Ala. Golf Course pond during the afternoon.
June 15, 1945 - Alabama author Amelie Rives died in Charlottesville, Va.
June 15, 1947 – The Evergreen Greenies were scheduled to play Monroeville on this Sunday in Monroeville, Ala.
June 15, 1947 – Science writer Dava Sobel was born in New York City.
June 15, 1949 - Eddie Waitkus of the Philadelphia Phillies was seriously injured when obsessed female fan, Ruth Ann Steinhagen, entered his hotel room at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel and shot him.
June 15, 1951 - Downing Lodge No. 580, A.F. and A.M., of Castleberry held their annual meeting on this Friday night at the Masonic Hall with Benjamin Barlow presiding. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: William Stanley Howell, worshipful master; William James Ellis, senior warden; Alton W. Thompson, junior warden; C.N. Jackson, treasurer; C.U. LeCroy, secretary; S.A. McGraw, senior deacon; C.W. Albreast, junior deacon; and C.A. Poole, tyler.
June 15, 1952 - The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the New York Giants, 14-12, after being down 11-0 in the fifth inning.
June 15, 1952 – On this Sunday, the temperature reached 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
June 15, 1953 – Army Pvt. Lawrence Grantham of Covington County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.
June 15, 1958 – National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Wade Boggs was born in Omaha, Neb. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005.
June 15, 1961 – The Evergreen Courant reported that three Conecuh County, Ala. teachers had announced their retirements after the end of the recent school year. They were Frances Shaver of Evergreen High School, Eleaner Dean Holland of Brockton School and Mary Bradley of Castleberry.
June 15, 1962 – As part of Lyeffion High School’s summer “Recreation Hour” program, a color film of the 1962 Senior Bowl was shown in the Lyeffion gym.
June 15, 1963 - Juan Marichal of the San Francisco Giants threw a no-hitter. It was the first Giants no-hitter since Carl Hubbell in 1929.
June 15, 1964 – Actress, producer and director Courteney Cox was born in Birmingham, Ala.
June 15, 1964 - At a meeting of the National Security Council, McGeorge Bundy, President Lyndon B. Johnson’s national security advisor, informed those in attendance that President Johnson had decided to postpone submitting a resolution to Congress asking for authority to wage war.
June 15, 1965 - U.S. planes bombed targets in North Vietnam, but refrained from bombing Hanoi and the Soviet missile sites that surrounded the city.
June 15, 1966 – Aviation pioneer Robert G. Fowler passed away at the age of 81. He landed in Evergreen, Ala. on Jan. 15, 1912 during the first ever west to east cross-country flight across the United States.
June 15, 1968 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Sam Crawford passed away at the age of 88 in Hollywood, Calif. During his career, he played for the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1957.
June 15, 1970 – Charles Manson went on trial for the Sharon Tate murders.
June 15, 1971 – The Sparta Academy Quarterback Club sponsored a barbecue chicken dinner, which was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at the Old Louisville & Nashville Depot in Evergreen, Ala. The club’s newly elected officers included President Pete Taylor, Vice President Bob Owens and Secretary-Treasurer Ralph Clubreth.
June 15, 1977 - The New York Mets dealt Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds.
June 15, 1983 – Alabama Lt. Gov. George McMillan visited Conecuh County, Ala. and spoke at the County Courthouse as part of his gubernatorial campaign.
June 15, 1988 – “Bull Durham” was released in theatres.
June 15, 1988 – Poole Truck Line founder Walter Poole retired from the company to participate in a business venture with his son, Pat.
June 15, 1989 - Nirvana's first album "Bleach" was released.
June 15, 1991 – Evergreen 14-&15-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars were announced. Team members included Sedrick Fluker, Shannon Sims, Eric Owens, Matthew Jones, Marlo McDaniel, Rhett Wilson, Willie Womack, Robert Ball, Isaac McMillan, Shannon Shufford, Britt Ward, Bryant Robinson, Steven Bledsoe and Robert Rabren. Rhett Wilson was named the MVP of the 14&15-year-olds, and Shannon Sufford was the runner-up.
June 15, 1991 – Evergreen’s 13-year-old Babe Ruth All-Stars were announced. Team members were Reggie Boykin, Tommy Byrd, Josh Scott, Lavon Merrills, Detrick Womack, James Johnson, Kevin Riley, Chad Wilson, Joey Griffin, Henry Holt, Lewis Lowe and Gabriel Potts. – Detrick Womack was named the Most Valuable Player of the Evergreen 13-year-old Babe Ruth Baseball League and Reggie Boykin was the runner-up.
June 15, 1991 – Eight people were injured in a two-vehicle accident that occurred on this Saturday afternoon on County Road 29, about three miles from Evergreen, Ala.
June 15, 1991 – Lizbeth McMillan of Evergreen, Ala. passed away at the age of 88 (or 87 years) at Evergreen Nursing Home. Known as “Miss Lib,” she taught school for 46 years and for 43 of those years she taught the fifth grade in the same classroom at Evergreen City School, before retiring in 1969. The sister of former City School principal W.P. (Paul) McMillan, she is buried in Bethel Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Bullock County, Ala.
June 15, 1993 - Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 100th career home run making him the sixth youngest to reach 100.
June 15, 1999 – Will Clark of the Baltimore Orioles got his 2000th hit versus the Kansas City Royals.
June 15, 2003 - In northeast London, a trailer was stolen that contained thousands of copies of J.K. Rowling's book "Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix." The empty trailer was discovered two days later.
June 15, 2005 - More than two weeks after Alabama teen Natalee Holloway vanished while on a high school graduation trip to the Caribbean island of Aruba, police there search the home of 17-year-old Joran Van der Sloot, one of the last known people to see the young woman alive. Although Van der Sloot would emerge as a prime suspect in the case, he was never charged. Holloway’s disappearance generated massive media attention in the United States; however, her body never has been found, and in 2012 she was declared legally dead.
June 15, 2005 - The New York Yankees announced plans for a new $800 million stadium. The plans called for the building to be next to Yankee Stadium and be ready by the 2009 season.
June 15, 2012 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to successfully tightrope walk over Niagara Falls.