Monday, July 11, 2016

Today in History for July 11, 2016

Salomon August Andrée
July 11, 1405 – Ming admiral Zheng He set sail to explore the world for the first time.

July 11, 1576 – Martin Frobisher sighted Greenland.

July 11, 1616 – Samuel de Champlain returned to Quebec.

July 11, 1656 - Ann Austin and Mary Fisher, two Englishwomen, became the first Quakers to immigrate to the American colonies when the ship carrying them landed at Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The pair came from Barbados, where Quakers had established a center for missionary work.

July 11, 1767 – John Quincy Adams, the son of the second U.S. President, John Adams, was born in Braintree, Mass. He would go on to become the sixth president of the United States in 1825.

July 11, 1780 - In South Carolina, Philadelphia lawyer Captain Christian Huck and 130 Loyalist cavalry arrived at William Bratton's plantation. The next morning at neighboring Williamson's plantation they were attacked and defeated by 500 Patriot militiamen led by William Bratton.

July 11, 1782 - The British evacuated Georgia as British Royal Governor Sir James Wright, several civil officials and military officers left the city of Savannah and headed toward Charleston, S.C. As part of the British evacuation, a group consisting of British regulars led by General Alured Clarke traveled to New York, while Colonel Thomas Brown led a mixed group of rangers and Indians to St. Augustine, Florida. The remaining British soldiers were transported to the West Indies aboard the frigate HMS Zebra and the sloop of war HMS Vulture.

July 11, 1789 - Lafayette proposed a declaration of rights to the French National Assembly that he had modeled on the American Declaration of Independence. He would visit Claiborne, Ala. in April 1825.

July 11, 1798 - The U.S. Marine Corps, which had been disbanded after the American Revolutionary War, was formally re-established when "An Act for Establishing a Marine Corps" was passed by the U.S. Congress. The act also created the U.S. Marine Band. The Marines were first commissioned by the Continental Congress on Nov. 10, 1775.

July 11, 1804 – Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded his long-time political antagonist, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, during an “affair of honor” at 7 a.m. on the dueling grounds near Weehawken, N.J. Hamilton, a leading Federalist and the chief architect of America’s political economy, died the following day. Charged with murder in New York and New Jersey, Burr, still vice president, returned to Washington, D.C., where he finished his term immune from prosecution.

July 11, 1831 – The Federal government granted an 80-acre tract of land to Monroe County Probate Judge Henry W. Taylor for a town to be established at the Crossroads. Monroeville’s present-day town square rests in about the center of this original land grant.

July 11, 1834 – Artist and painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler was born in Lowell, Mass.

July 11, 1843 – Jack M. Williams was born and he would go on to become the first postmaster at Awin in Wilcox County, Ala. The local explanation for the name “Awin” is that Williams, after asking for suggestions for a name for the post office, wrote “A win” beside the one the majority of residents favored, and post office officials took his comment to be the chosen name. The post office was established here in 1881.

July 11, 1861 - Union troops under General George B. McClellan scored another major victory in the struggle for western Virginia at the Battle of Rich Mountain. The Yankee success secured the region and ensured the eventual creation of West Virginia.

July 11, 1862 - U.S. President Lincoln handed over the job of general-in-chief to General Henry W. “Old Bains” Halleck.

July 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Big Creek Bluffs and Sears' House in Missouri. Federal reconnaissance was also conducted from Harrison’s Landing toward Williamsburg, Virgina.

July 11, 1863 - Union General Quincy Gillmore attacked Battery Wagner on Morris Island near Charleston, S.C. The attack was easily repulsed. A much larger assault took place on July 18, but the Confederates did not evacuate until Sept. 7, 1863.

July 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Pekin, Indiana; at Hagerstown and Jones's Cross Roads in Maryland; and at Stockton, Missouri.

July 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal reconnaissance began from Cowan to Anderson, Tenn., and a four-day Federal reconnaissance began in the vicinity of Ashby’s Gap, Virginia.

July 11, 1864 – During the American Civil War, at the Battle of Fort Stevens, Confederate forces under General Jubal Early attempted to invade Washington, D.C. They turned back the next day. President Lincoln observed the fighting near Fort Stevens. The 1st and 2nd Divisions, 6th US Army Corps, and an advanced detachment of the 19th US Army Corps arrived at Washington, D.C.

July 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation from Gunter’s landing to Warrenton, Alabama took place.

July 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, the U.S. Navy destroyed the Confederate salt works near Tampa, Florida.

July 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Magnolia and Frederick, Maryland.

July 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, the District of Columbia militia was called into service to assist in the defense of Washington, D.C.

July 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, two days of skirmishing began in the vicinity of Pontotoc, Mississippi.

July 11, 1882 – American miner, explorer and park ranger James Larkin White was born in Mason County, Texas. He is best remembered as the discoverer, early promoter and explorer of what is known today as Carlsbad Caverns in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico.

July 11, 1886 – Members of the Masonic Fraternity were invited to attend the funeral of Bro. Nathan Bell on this Sunday at 10 a.m. from Masonic Hall at Monroeville, Ala. F.M. Jones was the Monroeville lodge’s Secretary.

July 11, 1897 – Future U.S. Representative from Alabama George M. Grant was born in Louisville, Ala.

July 11, 1897 – Salomon August Andrée left Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North Pole by balloon. He later crashed and died.

July 11, 1899 – Elwyn Brooks White, better known as E.B. White, was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y. His best known book is 1952’s “Charlotte’s Web.”

July 11, 1906 – The murder of Grace Brown by Chester Gillette took place in the United States, and served as the inspiration for Theodore Dreiser's “An American Tragedy.”

July 11, 1909 – Owassa’s baseball team won both games of a doubleheader against Sugar Hill.

July 11, 1914 - In his Major League Baseball debut, George Herman "Babe" Ruth pitched seven strong innings to lead the Boston Red Sox over the Cleveland Indians, 4-3. Ruth gave up just five hits over the first six innings. In the seventh, the Indians managed two runs on three singles and a sacrifice and Ruth was relieved. His hitting prowess, however, was not on display that first night – he went 0-for-2 at the plate.

July 11, 1914 – The Franklin baseball team played a double header against the Gulf, Florida and Alabama Railroad baseball team. Franklin won both games, 3-1 and 6-1.

July 11, 1915 – The “new” Methodist Church was dedicated at Burnt Corn, Ala. Bishop J.H. McCoy delivered the dedicatory sermon and officiated in the ceremonies before an “immense congregation.” During the event, the congregation presented a “beautiful loving cup” as a gift to the church’s pastor, the Rev. D.F. Ellisor.

July 11, 1915 – The Hon. M.F. Brooks, Escambia County, Alabama’s probate judge, died on this Sunday at his home in Brewton, “following a long and painful illness.”

July 11, 1916 - Mr. W.P. Deer of Claiborne visited Monroeville, Ala. on this Tuesday and reported “a big river with many adjacent farm under water.”

July 11, 1916 - Jas. K. Kyser of Burnt Corn was in Monroeville, Ala. on this Tuesday attending the meeting of the Board of Revenue. Kyser reported the storm damage to growing crops severe in his community.

July 11, 1916 - Prof. Lewis left Evergreen, Ala. on this Tuesday morning for his home in Blocton. After a short visit there, he planned to go to Chicago and other northern cities. He was expected to return to Evergreen in the fall.

July 11, 1919 – Around 5 p.m. on this Friday, a hail storm and “cloud burst” passed over Leeman L. Lee’s farm, six miles northwest of Castleberry, Ala. and severely damaged his corn and cotton crop. Estimated damages totaled $4,000 to $5,000. The hail was so heavy that it “actually bursted melons open.”

July 11, 1930 - The thermometer at the Evergreen, Ala. weather observation station registered high mark of 107.5 degrees on both July 11 and July 12, 1930.

July 11, 1930 – Literary critic Harold Bloom was born in New York City.

July 11, 1934 - U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first American chief executive to travel through the Panama Canal while in office.

July 11, 1944 - Count Claus von Stauffenberg, a German army officer, transported a bomb to Adolf Hitler’s headquarters in Berchtesgaden, in Bavaria, with the intention of assassinating the Fuhrer. Stauffenberg had been summoned to Berchtesgaden to report to Hitler on the current military situation. The plan was to use the bomb on July 15, but at the last minute, Hitler was called away to his headquarters at Rastenburg, in East Prussia.

July 11, 1947 – Forty-one men were formally inducted into the Monroeville, Ala. Kiwanis Club on its first ever Charter Night nearly two months after the club was formed.

July 11, 1955 - The U.S. Air Force Academy was dedicated in Colorado at Lowry Air Base.

July 11, 1960 – J.B. Lippincott & Co. published Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” The novel has sold more than 30 million copies since it was published, and has been translated into 40 languages.

July 11, 1966 - A Harris survey taken shortly after the bombing raids on the Hanoi-Haiphong area showed that 62 percent of those interviewed favored the raids, 11 percent were opposed, and 27 percent were undecided. Of those polled, 86 percent felt the raids would hasten the end of the war. The raids under discussion were part of the expansion of Operation Rolling Thunder, which had begun in March 1965.

July 11, 1967 – Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri was born Nilanjana Sudeshna Lahiri in London.

July 11, 1967 - In Senate debates about U.S. policy in Southeast Asia, Senator Mike Mansfield (D-Montana) warned against further escalation of the war. Convinced that a military solution to the situation in South Vietnam was impossible, he urged an alternative to expansion of the U.S. effort in Vietnam. His alternative included putting the issue of the confrontation between North and South Vietnam before the United Nations and containing the conflict by building a defensive barrier south of the Demilitarized Zone to separate North Vietnam from South Vietnam. Senator George Aiken (R-Vermont) suggested that the Johnson administration pay more attention to people like Mansfield who were questioning the wisdom of further escalation of the war, rather than relying on “certain military leaders who have far more knowledge of weapons than they have of people.” Nevertheless, Senate Republican leader Everett Dirksen (Illinois), asked if he favored an increase in U.S. troops in Vietnam, replied “If General Westmoreland says we need them, yes, sir.”

July 11, 1969 - South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu, in a televised speech, made a “comprehensive offer” for a political settlement. He challenged the National Liberation Front to participate in free elections organized by a joint electoral commission and supervised by an international body. Following the speech, South Vietnamese Foreign Minister Tran Chanh Thanh, seeking to clarify the Thieu proposal, said communists could never participate in elections in South Vietnam “as communists” nor have any role in organizing elections–only by the South Vietnamese government could organize the elections.

July 11, 1972 – On his afternoon, eight-year-old Terry Harrison of Louisiana, Mo. described seeing a “monster” that was “at least seven feet tall with a pumpkin-shaped head… covered with shaggy black hair” and was said to have startled the boy with a “low, throaty growl.” His sister, Doris, looked at a bathroom window and saw it standing “up the hill from the house.” Their parents found a stamped down circle, but no other evidence of the giant forest creater, which became known as “Momo,” short for the “Missouri Monster.” Later that night, about 50 people at the Harrison home heard “the thing roar.”

July 11, 1972 - From his wheelchair, George C. Wallace of Alabama, who’d been shot five times and paralyzed in May 1972, spoke at the Democratic National Convention in Miami Beach, Fla.

July 11, 1975 – Former NFL and Auburn University offensive tackle Willie Anderson was born in Mobile, Ala. During his career, he played for Vigor High School, Auburn, the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens.

July 11, 1976 – NBA power forward and small forward Eduardo Najera was born in Ciudad Meoqui, Chihuahua, Mexico. During his career, he played for the University of Oklahoma, the Dallas Mavericks, the Golden State Warriors, the Dever Nuggets, the New Jersey Nets and the Charlotte Bobcats.

July 11, 1979 – America's first space station, the abandoned Skylab, was destroyed as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere, scattering debris over the Indian Ocean and sparsely populated Western Australia.

July 11, 1979 – Evergreen, Ala. weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.90 inches of rain on this day.

July 11, 1980 – In a D.B. Cooper copycat incident, Glenn K. Tripp seized Northwest flight 608 at Seattle-Tacoma Airport, demanding $600,000, two parachutes and the assassination of his boss. After a 10-hour standoff, he was apprehended, but on January 21, 1983—while still on probation—he hijacked the same Northwest flight, this time en route, and demanded to be flown to Afghanistan. When the plane landed in Portland he was shot and killed by FBI agents.

July 11, 1985 – The Tristram Bethea House (also known as Pleasant Ridge) at Canton Bend in Wilcox County, Ala., was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

July 11, 1985 - Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros became the first major league pitcher to earn 4,000 strikeouts in a career.

July 11, 1987 - Bo Jackson signed a contract to play football for the L.A. Raiders for five years. He was also continued to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals.

July 11, 1990 - Against the Orioles, Bo Jackson performed his famous "wall run," when he caught a ball approximately two to three strides away from the wall. As he caught the ball at full tilt, Jackson looked up and noticed the wall and began to run up the wall, one leg reaching higher as he ascended. He ran along the wall almost parallel to the ground, and came down with the catch, to avoid impact and the risk of injury from the fence.

July 11, 1995 - Mickey Mantle made his final public appearance. It was to increase awareness of organ donation programs.

July 11, 1999 - A U.S. Air Force jet flew over the Antarctic and dropped off emergency medical supplies for Dr. Jerri Nelson after she had discovered a lump in her breast. Nelso was at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Research Center.

July 11, 2000 - The video "Jaws," the Anniversary Collector's Edition, was released.

July 11, 2005 – The Ward-Witherington Cemetery and the Witherington Cemetery in Conecuh County, Ala. were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

July 11, 2008 – “Hellboy II: The Golden Army” was released in theatres.

July 11, 2009 – Alabama Marine Police Officer Jeremy Alford spotted a 3- to 4-foot-long bull shark in the Alabama River about 80 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, shortly after he and follow officer Daniel Boutwell checked a boater south of the Claiborne Lock & Dam in Monroe County. The shark was swimming along the surface in the water, about seven feet deep, just south of the dam.

July 11, 2009 – Bear Grylls was officially made Chief Scout at Gilwell 24 in a handover event featuring Peter Duncan in front of a crowd of over 3,000 Explorer Scouts. Grylls was the tenth person to hold the position and the youngest Chief Scout since the role was created for Robert Baden-Powell in 1920.

July 11, 2009 - Alabama author Paul Hemphill died in Atlanta, Ga.

July 11, 2010 - After a two-year manhunt, 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore of Washington state was arrested following a high-speed boat chase in the Bahamas. Harris-Moore was suspected of stealing an airplane in Indiana and crash-landing it in the Bahamas the week before. Nicknamed the “Barefoot Bandit” for going shoeless during some of his alleged crimes, the teen was a suspect in scores of other burglaries in the United States and Canada, where he was accused of swiping everything from potato chips to credit cards, small planes, boats and cars. 

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