June 21, 1631 – English admiral and explorer John Smith died at the age of 51 in London, England. He was considered to have played an important part in the establishment of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America. He was a leader of the Virginia Colony (based at Jamestown) between September 1608 and August 1609, led an exploration along the rivers of Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay and was the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay area and New England.
June 21, 1779 - Spain declared war on Great Britain, creating a de facto alliance with the Americans.
June 21, 1788 – New Hampshire ratified the Constitution of the United States and was admitted as the ninth state in the United States.
June 21, 1803 – Paleontologist Timothy Abbott Conrad was born near Trenton, N.J. He studied the fossil beds at Claiborne, Ala. for two years with Charles Tait and published the first geologic map of Alabama. Conrad shipped cases full of fossils back to Philadelphia for identification.
June 21, 1817 – Citizens of Murder Creek (Sparta area) sent a petition to General Edmund P. Gaines, Commandant at Camp Montgomery, in Baldwin County, praying for protection from the Indians and protesting the theft of their cattle, hogs and grain.
June 21, 1821 – The Claiborne Masonic Lodge united with eight other lodges in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Alabama and was given the serial number three, a designation retained today by the lodge in Monroeville, Ala. Alabama governor John Murphy was the lodge’s first Worshipful Master.
June 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, there was criticism directed at the War Department in Washington, D.C. that it had not prevented Confederate batteries from being emplaced along the Potomac River.
June 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces skirmished at the Chickahominy Creek and at Fair Oaks Station in Virginia. Skirmishes were also fought at Simmons’ Bluff, S.C.; at Battle Creek and another at Rankin’s Ferry in the vicinity of Jasper, Tenn.; and along the Coldwater River in Mississippi.
June 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Upperville, Haymarket and Thoroughfare Gap in Virginia; at Frederick, Md.; at Brashear City, La.; at Hudsonville, Miss. and along the Helena Road; at Powder Springs Gap, Tenn.; and on Dixon’s Island, S.C.
June 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, in the second day of fighting, Confederate troops failed to dislodge a Union force at the Battle of LaFourche Crossing.
June 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg, Miss. entered Day 34.
June 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road began as Union General Ulysses S. Grant continued to stretch his lines around Petersburg, Va. The Confederates were able to halt Grant's attempt to cut off their control of the Weldon Railroad.
June 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman sent Union General Andrew J. Smith on an expedition to destroy Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry. Smith left LaGrange, Tenn. on this day.
June 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Noonday Creek, Ga.; at White House and Tunstall’s Station, Va.; and in the Shenandoah Valley at Salem and Catawba Mountain. A Confederate flotilla also bombarded the Union squadron on the James River, Va.
June 21, 1865 - President Andrew Johnson appointed Lewis Parsons provisional governor of Alabama. Parsons, the grandson of Great Awakening leader Jonathan Edwards, was born in New York and moved to Talladega in 1840. Although a Unionist, Parsons followed moderate policies as he reorganized Alabama's state government under Johnson's reconstruction plan. His term ended in December 1865.
June 21, 1898 – Naturalist and writer Donald Peattie was born in Chicago.
June 21, 1905 – Philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris.
June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that during a recent regular communication of Monroe Lodge No. 485 the following officers were elected for the ensuing Masonic year: R.W. McCants, Worshipful Master; J.G. Lambrecht, Senior Warden; A.J. McKinley, Junior Warden; J.R. McCants, Treasurer; H.P. Farrish, Secretary; J.D. McKinley, Senior Deacon; A. Masey, Junior Deacon; G.C. Nettles, Tyler.
June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that during a recent meeting of Burnt Corn Lodge No. 489 the following officers were elected for the following year: James K. Kyser, Worshipful Master; Johnnie F. Salter, Senior Warden; Herbert S. Ellis, Junior Warden; Henry H. Brantley, Treasurer; Ajax O. Brantley, Secretary; Hugh C. Fountain, Senior Deacon; George C. Dean, Junior Deacon; Anderson M. Stoke, Tyler; I.S. Ridgway, Chaplain.
June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the case of Thomas Stevenson of Monroe County, Ala. had been reversed and he was to have another chance to escape the sentence of 37 years fixed by the lower court. It was held by the supreme court that it was a question for the jury whether the expression and demonstration of the deceased were such as to justify the belief on the part of the defendant that his life was in imminent peril. Stevenson had killed a man known as Judge Askew.
June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that A.T. Simmons, who had been attending the Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn, was spending vacation with his parents at Monroeville, Ala.
June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. J.A.B. Lovett visited Monroeville, Ala. during the previous week and addressed citizens on behalf of his candidacy for Commissioner of Agriculture. Lovett had been for the previous seven years president of the ninth district agricultural school at Blountsville.
June 21, 1912 – Author Mary McCarthy was born in Seattle, Wash.
June 21, 1915 – The weather bureau thermometer in Evergreen, Ala. on this Monday reached 100 degrees during a heat wave that hit Conecuh County.
June 21, 1927 – The Evergreen Courant Publishing Co. purchased the entire holdings of The Conecuh Record from Mrs. Alice Whitcomb, who had been its owner and publisher since the death of her husband, J.C. Whitcomb, about two years before. The owners of The Courant planned to move all of The Record’s equipment and stock to The Courant’s offices and to combine the two papers into one paper, The Everreen Courant. Beginning with the June 23, 1927 edition, subscribers to The Record were placed on the subscription list of The Courant. The Record had been in the hands of the Whitcomb family for over 25 years, ever since J.C. Whitcomb purchased it from Judge P.C. Walker around 1901. When J.C. Whitcomb died, Alice Whitcomb, assisted by her daughter and granddaughter, had ran the paper.
June 21, 1930 – “The Social Lion,” a movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Marco Himself,” was released.
June 21, 1930 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Mike McCormack was born in Chicago, Ill. He went on to play for Kansas, the New York Yanks, the Dallas Texans and the Cleveland Browns, and he also coached the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Colts and the Seattle Seahawks. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.
June 21, 1933 - Author Gerald W. Barrax was born in Atalla, Ala.
June 21, 1936 – In Alabama State Baseball League action, either Ripper Williams or Bill Seales was scheduled to pitch for the Evergreen Merchants on this Sunday when the Merchants were scheduled to make their next to final appearance on the Evergreen field before the end of the first half of the season.
June 21, 1938 – Monroeville, Ala. held its first ever Monroe Mills Day.
June 21, 1939 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig quit baseball due to illness.
June 21, 1940 – The first successful west-to-east navigation of the Northwest Passage began at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
June 21, 1948 – Novelist Ian McEwan was born in Aldershot, England.
June 21, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported, under the headline “Local Masonic Lodge Elects New Officers,” that at a recent meeting of Greening Lodge No. 53, A.F.A.M., new officers for the ensuing year were elected. They were Alfred Long, worshipful master; Lloyd G. Hart, senior warden; A.B. Hansen, junior warden; F.L. Cardwell, treasurer; Robert Glass, secretary; Robert Quarles, senior deacon; Clarence Carrier, junior deacon; Ed Carrier, tyler; E.A. Brown, marshall; Sam Granade, chaplain; Loftin Shell and Frank Britt, stewards.
June 21, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Edward Evers and James Hassell had represented Evergreen High School at Boys State at the University of Alabama.
June 21, 1952 – Alabama Gov. Gordon Persons named prominent Evergreen attorney Robert E.L. Key as Circuit Solicitor of the 21st Judicial Circuit, which included Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties. Key was to fill the unexpired term of Archie Elliott, who’d been named Circuit Judge to fill the unexpired term of the late Judge F.W. Hare. Key was the first circuit court official from Conecuh County in three decades, the last being the late Col. G.O. Dickey, who had served as Circuit Solicitor for a number of years.
June 21, 1953 – Strong winds ripped the screen into hundreds of pieces at the Moonlite Drive-In Theatre four miles outside of Evergreen, Ala. on the Brooklyn Highway. Owned by Bert Gorum, the winds caused damaged estimated at $1,200 and put the theatre out of business for a week.
June 21, 1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, were murdered in Neshoba County, Miss. by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their bodies were found on Aug. 4, 1964 in an earthen dam, and eight Ku Klux Klan members later went to federal prison on conspiracy charges.
June 21, 1966 – As part of Operation Rolling Thunder, U.S. planes struck North Vietnamese petroleum-storage facilities in a series of devastating raids.
June 21, 1967 – The annual Evergreen Rotary Club Fish and Wildlife Camp began at Tal Stuart’s Pone near Belleville, Ala. Sixty-one boys participated in the two-day camp, which wrapped up on the following day.
June 21, 1969 - Approximately 600 communist soldiers stormed a U.S. base near Tay Ninh, 50 miles northwest of Saigon and 12 miles from the Cambodian border.
June 21, 1976 – NFL defensive end Antonio Cochran was born in Montezuma, Ga. He went on to play for Georgia, the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals.
June 21, 1982 – A jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
June 21, 1983 – Former Conecuh County Tax Assessor James L. Lee passed away in a Brewton, Ala. nursing home at the age of 96. He was a native and longtime resident of Conecuh County and held the office of tax assessor longer than any person had held an elected office in the history of Conecuh County.
June 21, 1985 - Scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.
June 21, 1989 - The television program “Lover Come Hack to Me,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was broadcast as part of the “Tales from the Crypt” series.
June 21, 2003 - The fifth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published by J.K. Rowling. Amazon.com shipped out more than one million copies on this day making the day the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history. The book set sales records around the world with an estimated 5 million copies were sold on the first day.