|Union General David B. Birney|
June 17, 1462 – Vlad III the Impaler attempted to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.
June 17, 1579 – Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called Nova Albion (modern California) for England.
June 17, 1596 – The Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz discovered the Arctic archipelago of Spitsbergen.
June 17, 1631 – Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, spent the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal in Agra.
June 17, 1673 – French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reached the Mississippi River and became the first Europeans to make a detailed account of its course.
June 17, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Chris Anzivino landed in Massachusetts, bringing with him Italian ideas on witchcraft.
June 17, 1703 – Preacher and religious leader John Wesley, who is considered to be the founder of Methodism, was born in Epworth, England.
June 17, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Battle of Bunker Hill began outside of Boston, and the colonists inflicted heavy casualties on British forces. The British suffered nearly 1,000 casualties and the Patriots suffered 370. Dr. Joseph Warren, an early American Revolution leader was killed in the battle.
June 17, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette laid the cornerstone of the Bunker Hill Monument during the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill at Charlestown near Boston, Mass. He was accompanied by Daniel Webster, who gave a rousing speech.
June 17, 1837 - Union Colonel Strong Vincent was born in Waterford, Pa. At the age of 26, he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg while defending Little Round Top on July 2, 1863. He died from his wounds on July 7, and he was posthumously promoted to brigadier general. Before that, he’d fought at Yorktown, Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.
June 17, 1856 - The Republican Party opened its first national convention in Philadelphia, Pa.
June 17, 1861 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln witnessed Dr. Thaddeus Lowe demonstrate the use of a hydrogen balloon.
June 17, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Vienna occurred in Fairfax County, Va.
June 17, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Boonville, Mo. Gen. Nathaniel Lyon had been chasing Gov. Claiborne Jackson across his state of Missouri for some time prior to this. He had chased him out of the capital of Jefferson City without a shot being fired. On this day, he did the same, albeit with some minor use of weaponry, in Boonville. Boonville, Mo. is not one of those great place-names like Sharpsburg or Manassas, but its effect was larger than its population. The town gave the Union control of the Missouri River, and thereby most of the north and east of the state.
June 17, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Conrad's Ferry, Maryland and at Vienna, Virginia.
June 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, Congress freed all slaves in territories of the United States.
June 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, the commands of U.S. General John C. Fremont and U.S. General Nathanael Banks were consolidated under U.S. General John Pope. Fremont resigned.
June 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, an engagement was fought at St. Charles, Arkansas. Skirmishes were also fought at Eminence, Missouri and at Pass Manchac, Louisiana.
June 17, 1862 – During the Civil War, General John Pope was ordered to head East on this day to command a new entity called the Army of Virginia. This was a consolidation of the armies of Fremont and Banks. Fremont was so vexed at having to serve under Pope that he resigned. His replacement was Major General Franz Sigel, who was not, alas, a great commander either. He was, however, utterly beloved by the German immigrants who made up such a large part of the Union armies. Elsewhere, Braxton Bragg was named to command the Confederate forces previously under P.G.T. Beauregard, who was ill.
June 17, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Aldie, part of the Gettysburg Campaign, was fought in Loudon County, Va.
June 17, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Wartburg, Tenn.; at Thoroughfare Gap, Va.; near Wellington, Mo.; and at Catoctin Creek and Point of Rocks, Md. On the way to Gettysburg, Union and Confederate forces also skirmished at Point of Rocks and Catoctin Creek in Maryland.
June 17, 1863 – During the Civil War, the CSS Atlanta, an ironclad in Warsaw Inlet, engaged the USS Weehawken and USS Nahant before surrendering.
June 17, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg, Miss. entered Day 30.
June 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Newport Cross Roads, Louisiana.
June 17, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lynchburg, Bermuda Hundred and Diamond Hill, Va. After three days of heavy fighting, some of the surprise factor was wearing off the Union army's attempt to capture Petersburg. Robert E. Lee was at last convinced that Grant was attacking there instead of Richmond, and sent the rest of the Army of Northern Virginia to its defense. The command of the Second Corps went to David Birney after Hancock was incapacitated by a reopening of the wound he had received a year earlier at Gettysburg. The attacks failed anyway.
June 17, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Dead Man's Fork, Nevada.
June 17, 1865 – During the Civil War, fire-eater Edmund Ruffin died of his own hand at his plantation Redmoor, Amelia County, Virginia.
June 17, 1882 – Avant-garde composer Igor Stravinsky was born in Oranienbaum, near St. Petersburg, Russia.
June 17, 1885 - The Statue of Liberty, a gift from France to the people of the United States, arrived in New York City's harbor on this day in 1885. The dismantled 151-foot-tall statue was enclosed in more than 200 packing cases.
June 17, 1897 – George Bradley assaulted Richard Rumbley in his store near Pleasant Ridge in Monroe County, Ala. on this night, and Rumbley died from his injuries a few hours later. Bradley was tried on Aug. 9 and sentenced to death. He was executed on Sept. 17, and this was the second hanging in Monroe County, Ala. since the Civil War.
June 17, 1901 – The College Board introduced its first standardized test, the forerunner to the SAT.
June 17, 1912 – Greening Masonic Lodge in Evergreen, Ala. elected officers for the ensuing year and selected Dr. W.F. Betts as Worshipful Master. Other elected officers included H.L. Tucker, Senior Warden; Dr. J.W. Hagood, Junior Warden; H.H. Floyd, Treasurer; F.J. Dean, Secretary; W.B. James, Senior Deacon; Dr. T.B. McDonald, Junior Deacon; J.H. Stamps, Tiler; W.S. Oliver and A.A. Williams, Stewards; and Rev. D.J. Wrights, Chaplain.
June 17, 1914 - LaSalle "Sallie" Corbell Pickett, the widow of Confederate Gen. George Edward Pickett, who led Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, delivered a lecture on the “Battle of Gettysburg” in Greenville, Ala. The lecture was sponsored by the Father Ryan Chapter of the U.D.C. in Greenville, and all Confederate veterans received complimentary tickets.
June 17, 1915 – Baseball teams from Evergreen and Andalusia played a doubleheader in Evergreen, Ala. Evergreen won the first game, 3-1, but Andalusia won the second, 5-4.
June 17, 1923 – Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback and end Elroy Hirsch was born in Wausau, Wisc. He went on to play for Wisconsin, Michigan, the Chicago Rockets and the Los Angeles Rams. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.
June 17, 1927 - At the regular annual meeting of the members of Castleberry’s Downing Lodge No. 580 A.F.&A.M., held on this Friday at 2 p.m., the following new officers were elected: Robert H. Meachan, Worshipful Master; Allen T. Weaver, Senior Warden; Ernest B. Brewton, Junior Warden; Coleman T. Kirkland, Treasurer; Edward A. White, Secretary; Joseph R. Glass, Senior Deacon; Edward L. Conner, Junior Deacon; Martin L. Conner, Tyler.
June 17, 1928 - Amelia Earhart began the flight that made her the first woman to successfully fly across the Atlantic Ocean.
June 17, 1936 – Stage and film actor Henry Brazeale Walthall, a native of Shelby County, Ala., passed away at the age of 55 in Monrovia, Calif. He is best known for his role of the “Little Colonel” in D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film, “The Birth of a Nation.”
June 17, 1937 – Evergreen’s baseball team suffered an 11-3 loss to Century in Century, Fla. Bob Kendall and Mack Binion pitched for Evergreen.
June 17, 1940 - Artist Frank Fleming was born in the community of Bear Creek in Marion County, Ala. He is internationally known for his fanciful sculptures in ceramic and bronze. Before pursuing a career as an artist, Fleming worked as a technical illustrator and produced engineering drawings related to the Saturn V rocket program. In recognition of his work, he was chosen as a Distinguished Artist in 1999 by the Alabama State Council on the Arts.
June 17, 1940 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker and defensive end Bobby Bell was born in Shelby, N.C. He went on to play for Minnesota and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.
June 17, 1942 – Avant-garde poet, essayist and translator Ron Padgett was born in Tulsa, Okla.
June 17, 1943 - Joe Cronin of the Boston Red Sox pinch hit a home run in both games of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia A's.
June 17, 1946 – The USS Eldridge was placed out of commission in reserve.
June 17, 1951 – On this Sunday afternoon in Conecuh Amateur League play, the Centerville Rookies beat the Loree Dollies, 25-4, at Loree. Loree sent Bernard Powell and Roger Kearlee to the mound in an attempt to slack the powerful hitting of the Rookies, but neither of them could get the Centerville team out.
June 17, 1951 – On this Sunday afternoon in Conecuh Amateur League play, the Paul Aces beat the Shreve Eagles, 6-5, at Paul. The Aces came through with a clutch run in the last of the ninth inning to win their game with the Eagles. The Eagles had tied the score at 5-5 with two runs in their half of the eighth. J.W. Windham was the winning pitcher. He relieved Harold Godwin in the seventh inning. Joe McClain did the catching for Paul. The Shreve battery was composed of Ray Yancy and Russel. Yancy was the losing pitcher. For Paul, J.W. Windham was the leading hitter with three hits in four trips including a third inning double. Wilton Sanford rapped out two hits in four trips to pace the Eagles.
June 17, 1951 - Mr. and Mrs. Lauris Jones arrived in Evergreen, Ala. on this Sunday from Cambridge, Mass., where he attended Harvard University receiving his Masters Degree in Public Health Engineering. They planned to spend this week with his mother, Mrs. Ralph McCreary.
June 17, 1960 - Ted Williams hit his 500th career home run.
June 17, 1961 – John O. Leu, 22, of Nashville, Tenn. and Gene McGill, 18, of Mobile, Ala. died in a Cessna 182 crash at Uriah, Ala. The wreckage was not discovered until Dec. 30, 1964.
June 17, 1963 – A day after South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm announced the Joint Communiqué to end the Buddhist crisis, a riot involving around 2,000 people broke out. One person was killed.
June 17, 1964 - A floating trade fair from Japan docked in London, featuring such futuristic products as a telephone booth that transmitted pictures.
June 17, 1965 – Pro Football Hall of Fame center Dermontti Dawson was born in Lexington, Ky. He went on to play for Kentucky and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.
June 17, 1966 – NFL running back Kenneth R. “Ken” Clark was born in Evergreen, Ala. He went on to play for the University of Nebraska and then played three seasons for the Indianapolis Colts. The son of Carolyn Clark, he was an all-state player at Omaha Bryan High School. Clark passed away at the age of 46 on Feb. 16, 2013 in Minneapolis, following a massive heart attack.
June 17, 1969 - U.S. intelligence reported that an estimated 1,000 North Vietnamese troops had reoccupied Ap Bia Mountain (Hill 937), one mile east of the Laotian border.
June 17, 1971 - Don Kessinger of the Chicago Cubs went 6-for-6 against St. Louis.
June 17, 1972 – In connection with the Watergate scandal, five White House operatives were arrested for burgling the offices of the Democratic National Committee in an attempt by some members of the Republican party to illegally wiretap the opposition.
June 17, 1976 – The 17th Annual Evergreen Rotary Club Wildlife Camp was scheduled to end on this day at Tal Stuart’s Pond near Belleville, Ala. Over 40 Conecuh County boys participated in the camp, and James Ansley was the camp director.
June 17, 1976 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Conecuh County Deputy Leroy Ferrell destroyed approximately 30 marijuana plants found growing off the Brooklyn Road in Conecuh County, Ala.
June 17, 1983 – Evergreen, Ala. received 1.33 inches of rain and 1.11 inches of rain the next day.
June 17, 1994 – Following a televised low-speed highway chase, O. J. Simpson was arrested for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.
June 17, 2005 – Police arrested a fourth person, later identified as disc jockey Steve Gregory Croes, in connection with the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, 18, of Mountain Brook, Ala. He was later released on June 26, 2005.
June 17, 2006 – Evergreen’s professional Minor League football team, the Jaguars, was scheduled to start preseason play against the Port City Monarchs at 7:30 p.m. at Archbishop Oscar H. Lipscomb Complex in Mobile, Ala. The Jaguars, under head coach Victor Calhoun, was part of the North American Football League.
June 17, 2008 – The Shiloh Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery in Monroe County, the Mancill Cemetery in Covington County, the Kettler Plantation Cemetery in Butler County and the Camden Cemetery in Wilcox County were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
June 17, 2013 – Evergreen, Ala. received 2.18 inches of rain.
June 17, 2015 – Nine people were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.