July 12, circa 100 B.C. – Gaius Julius Caesar was born in Rome. He was the great military leader who managed to capture for the Roman Empire most of what became France and Great Britain.
July 12, 1389 – King Richard II appointed poet Geoffrey Chaucer to the position of Chief Clerk of the King’s Works in Westminster. Chaucer is best remembered for his greatest work, “The Canterbury Tales.”
July 12, 1493 – Hartmann Schedel's “Nuremberg Chronicle,” one of the best-documented early printed books, was published.
July 12, 1562 – Fray Diego de Landa, acting Bishop of Yucatán, burned the sacred books of the Maya.
July 12, 1584 – English navigator and explorer Steven Borough passed away at the age of 58 and was buried at Chatham.
July 12, 1776 – Captain James Cook began his third voyage.
July 12, 1780 – In what is known as the Battle of Huck’s Defeat, Philadelphia lawyer Captain Christian Huck and 130 Loyalist cavalry, belonging to British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton’s legion, suffered defeat at the hands of 500 Patriot militiamen at Williamson’s Plantation in South Carolina. The British lost between 25 and 50 men killed, including Huck, at least twice as many wounded and 29 captured. Only one Patriot died, and Continental morale received a significant a boost.
July 12, 1804 - In Weehawken, N.J., former U.S. Secretary of the Treasurery Alexander Hamilton died from a wound he suffered in a duel with Aaron Burr the day before. Hamilton was either 47 or 49 years old.
July 12, 1817 – Author, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, tax resister and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Mass.
July 12, 1838 – Confederate soldier Charles G. Albrest (name sometimes spelled Albrest or Albreast) was born on this day near Brewton, Ala. He enlisted at Sparta on April 7, 1862 and served as a private in Co. E, 38th Alabama Regiment (The Miller Guards). He was discharged due to disability on Dec. 31, 1862 in Mobile, and he returned home to Sparta. At the time of the 1907 Confederate Census, he was living at Castleberry. He died on Jan. 31, 1917 and was buried in the Albrest Cemetery in Conecuh County.
July 12, 1861 - Special Confederate commissioner Albert Pike completed treaties with the members of the Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, giving the new Confederate States of America several allies in Indian Territory. Some of these tribes even sent troops to serve in the Confederate army, and one Cherokee, Stand Watie, rose to the rank of brigadier general.
July 12, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Newport News, Virginia.
July 12, 1861 – During the Civil War, Beverly, West Virginia was occupied by Federal forces. Federal forces maneuvered against Confederates in the Valley of the Great Kanawha, West Virginia.
July 12, 1862 – The Medal of Honor was created when President Abraham Lincoln signed into law a measure calling for the awarding of a U.S. Army Medal of Honor, in the name of Congress, "to such noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection."
July 12, 1862 - The Confederate ironclad Arkansas was completed and steered down the Yazoo and into the Mississippi River. The ship lasted only 23 days before running aground and being blown up by the crew on August 6 to avoid capture.
July 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal operation began in the vicinity of Decatur, Ala. with a skirmish near Davis Gap.
July 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought with Indians at Weaverville Crossing, California.
July 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, Morgan’s raiders captured Lebanon, Kentucky, which caused excitement in Cincinnati, Ohio, and in Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky.
July 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, Union forces captured Hamilton, North Carolina.
July 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted to Culpeper, Orange and Madison Courthouses in Virginia.
July 12, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Vernon, Indiana; near Donaldsonville, Louisiana, on the La Fourche Plantation; near Canton, Mississippi; near Switzler’s Mill, in Chariton County, Missouri; and at Ashby’s Gap, Virginia.
July 12, 1863 – During the Civil War, a nine-day Federal expedition began from Vicksburg to Yazoo City, Mississippi, aboard the USS Baron De Kalb, Kenwood, New National, and Signal. The Baron De Kalb struck a torpedo and sank.
July 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation began in Lincoln County, Tennessee.
July 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, the governor of New Jersey called out volunteers for the defense of Washington, D.C.
July 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, fighting occurred near Fort Stevens and along the northern defenses of Washington, D.C. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was present to witness a portion of the battle where Union forces repelled Jubal Early's army on the outskirts of Washington, D.C.
July 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on Turkey Creek at Lee’s Mills, near Ream’s Station, in Virginia; and at Warwick Swamp, Virginia.
July 12, 1892 – Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr., the inventor of the modern game of baseball, passed away in Honolulu, O'ahu, Kingdom of Hawai'I at the age of 72.
July 12, 1901 - Cy Young of the Boston Red Sox got his 300th career victory. He ended his career with 511 wins.
July 12, 1904 – Poet Pablo Neruda was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Parral, Chile.
July 12, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that three new passenger stations were to be built on the Mobile & Montgomery division of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, costing in the aggregate $36,500. Those buildings were to be erected at Brewton, Flomaton and Tyson. The new station at Flomaton was expected to cost $28,000 and was to be modern in every respect.
July 12, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Harp community, that merchant, J.L. Tatum, accompanied by his sister, Miss Lucy, had just returned home from the picnic at Poplar Springs. Both reported a nice time.
July 12, 1912 – Evergreen’s baseball team beat Pollard, 1-0, in Evergreen, Ala.
July 12, 1915 – Wiley House returned home to Burn Corn on this Monday after spending several days with his sister Mrs. C.A. Sinquefield. He was fully recovered from the pistol and knife wounds he received from John Salter and Robert Watkins on June 23, 1915.
July 12, 1915 – Freemason Simeon F. Daniel passed away at his home in Century, Fla. at the age of 84, and he was buried with Masonic honors in Monroeville, Ala. on July 13. Daniel was a Monroe County native and had lived there most of his life before moving to Atmore and Century prior to his death.
July 12, 1916 - Chancery court was in session in Evergreen, Ala. on this Wednesday.
July 12, 1918 – Croatian explorer Dragutin Lerman died at the age of 54 in Kreševo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where his gravestone is still visible. He was a member of the 1882 Henry Morton Stanley expedition to Congo and was one of Stanley's most trusted men.
July 12, 1930 – The thermometer at the Evergreen, Ala. weather observation station registered a high mark of 107.5 degrees on this day and the day before.
July 12, 1931 - A Major League Baseball record for doubles was set as the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs combined for a total of 23.
July 12, 1945 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the finishing touches were being administered to the Laula Middleton Airport by Nolan and Dickerson, general contractors, and it was expected that within the next few days it would be ready to turn over to the Navy. Warren Brothers Road Co., who had sub-contracted to lay the bituminous surface on the tremendous runways and auxiliary runways, completed their work the week before and were this week moving all equipment to Savannah, Ga., where they were beginning work on another contract. The contractor was completing final grading and sodding on the grounds adjacent to the runways.
July 12, 1946 - "The Adventures of Sam Spade" was heard on ABC radio for the first time.
July 12, 1951 - The Monroe County Masonic Conference was scheduled to be held in Monroeville, Ala. on this Thursday with the local Alabama Lodge No. 3 as host. The program, beginning at 9:30 a.m., was to be as follows: Address of welcome, Rev. A.C. Lee; response, Rev. J.F. Bilbro; introduction grand officers and visitors; conference business.
July 12, 1954 - The Major League Baseball Players Association was organized in Cleveland, Ohio.
July 12, 1956 – Retired farmer and merchant Leon Ogborne Norris died at the age of 88 at Uriah and was buried in the Norris Family Cemetery near Uriah. He was born on Oct. 7, 1867 in Brazil. Leon Norris was the son of Samuel Leonidas Norris, a former Confederate soldier, (and Emma Ogborne) who was part of group who fled Monroe County after the surrender at Appomattox and settled in Brazil. The Monroe County group headed by William H. Norris became known collectively with other immigrants from southern states as Los Confederados.
July 12, 1960 – Evergreen Mayor Zell Murphy was swept back into office by a majority vote in an election on this Tuesday that was full of surprises (for some) and one oddity. Carrying every box, Murphy romped to victory in his bid for a second term, piling up 52 votes more than the combined total of his opponents, former Mayor J.H. (Hub) Robison and former Councilman Guy Mason. The voters returned two members of the City Council to office, turned down the bid of the other and put in three new men. Henry Sessions was the leader in the council voting as he piled up heavy totals in all four boxes for 522 votes. Right behind him was Jack Wild with 503. Both were making their first bids for office. Incumbent Councilman Aubrey Griffin was next with 440 votes. Newcomer Walter Poole took fourth place with a 398 total. Dr. Joseph Hagood, present mayor pro-tem, won the final spot with a 387 vote total. Bob Bozeman received 378 votes, Cumbie Snowden, an incumbent, 310, and John Raines, 289. The oddity occurred in the council race with six of the eight candidates receiving a clear majority of the votes cast. The fifth and sixth men, Dr. Hagood and Bob Bozeman, were separated by only nine votes.
July 12, 1965 - Viet Cong ambushed Company A of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, led by U.S.M.C. Lt. Frank Reasoner of Kellogg, Idaho. The Marines had been on a sweep of a suspected Viet Cong area to deter any enemy activity aimed at the nearby airbase at Da Nang. Reasoner and the five-man point team he was accompanying were cut off from the main body of the company. He ordered his men to lay down a base of fire and then, repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, killed two Viet Cong, single-handedly wiped out an enemy machine gun emplacement, and raced through enemy fire to rescue his injured radio operator. Trying to rally his men, Reasoner was hit by enemy machine gun fire and was killed instantly. For this action, Reasoner was nominated for America’s highest award for valor. When Navy Secretary Paul H. Nitze presented the Medal of Honor to Reasoner’s widow and son in ceremonies at the Pentagon on Jan. 31, 1967, he spoke of Reasoner’s willingness to die for his men: “Lieutenant Reasoner’s complete disregard for his own welfare will long serve as an inspiring example to others.” Lieutenant Reasoner was the first Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam.
July 12, 1966 - The National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) and American socialist Norman Thomas appealled to North Vietnamese President Ho Chi Minh on behalf of captured American pilots. The number of American captives was on the increase due to the intensification of Operation Rolling Thunder, the U.S. bombing campaign against North Vietnam.
July 12, 1973 – A fire destroyed the entire sixth floor of the National Personnel Records Center of the United States.
July 12, 1978 – The Wilson-Finlay House (also known as Mist Lady, the Joshua Wilson House and the Finlay House) in Gainestown in Clarke County, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
July 12, 1979 – The infamous “Disco Demolition” night was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago, which led to at least nine injuries, 39 arrests and the cancellation and forfeiture of the second game of a doubleheader between the White Sox and the Detroit Tigers.
July 12, 1980 – Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported a high temperature of 101 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
July 12, 1980 – Brenda Joy Yancey, 34, drowned in the Sepulga River at Cobb’s Landing at about 8:30 p.m.
July 12, 1982 - "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" broke all box-office records by surpassing the $100-million mark of ticket sales in the first 31 days of its opening.
July 12, 1984 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the members of the Evergreen Little League All Star team were Richard Melton, Keith Richardson, Broderick Gross, Bryan Garrett, Ryan Burt, Mickey Jones, Michael Floyd, Kevin Townson, Jamie Deason, Greg Stanton, Jamie Shipp, Scott Jones, Richard Byrd and Kenny Meeks. The coaches were Willie Byrd and Earnest Boykin.
July 12, 1984 - Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies recorded his 100th strikeout for the 18th consecutive season.
July 12, 2000 - The movie "X-Men" premiered in New York.
July 12, 2007 – U.S. Army Apache helicopters performed airstrikes in Baghdad, Iraq. Footage from the cockpit was later leaked to the Internet.
July 12, 2010 – The Wiggins Cemetery at Mexia, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
July 12, 2010 – Alabama native Bo Jackson threw the ceremonial first pitch before the 2010 Home Run Derby at Angel Stadium in Anaheim California and participated in the celebrity softball game.