July 14, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition reached the ancient Indian town of Tasqui on the Choccolocco Creek, about nine miles from its junction with the Coosa River, in Talladega County.
July 14, 1769 – An expedition led by Gaspar de Portolá established a base in California and set out to find the Port of Monterey (now Monterey, California).
July 14, 1789 – Alexander Mackenzie finally completed his journey to the mouth of the great river he hoped would take him to the Pacific, but which turned out to flow into the Arctic Ocean. Later named after him, the Mackenzie is the second-longest river system in North America.
July 14, 1789 – Thousands of Parisian revolutionaries and mutinous troops stormed the Bastille Prison in Paris, an event that began the decade-long French Revolution. Frustrated by a severe food shortage, high taxation, and the frivolous spending of Queen Marie Antoinette, a crowd that grew to 10,000 stormed the prison in search of gunpowder. Bastille Day became an official holiday in France in 1880.
July 14, 1798 – The Sedition Act becames law in the United States making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the United States government. The act allowed the prosecution of people who voiced or printed malicious remarks about the president or government of the United States.
July 14, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette attended a banquet held in his honor at Sansay House in Morristown, New Jersey.
July 14, 1860 – Owen Wister, the man who wrote “The Virginian,” the first big cowboy novel, was born in Germantown, Pa.
July 14, 1861 – During the Civil War, the blockade at Wilmington, North Carolina, was set by the USS Daylight. Federal reconnaissance was also conducted from Alexandria to Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia.
July 14, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Cotton Plant, Batesville and Helena, Arkansas; with Indians at Angel’s Ranch on the Mad River, California; at Cynthia, Kentucky; near Corinth, Mississippi, along the Memphis and Charleston Railroad; at Fayetteville, Tennessee; and at Gaines’ Crossroad, Virginia.
July 14, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Grand River to Fort Gibson, Tahlequak and Park Hill in the Indian Territory. A Federal raid was also conducted on the Mobile and Ohio Railroad in Tennessee.
July 14, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Falling Waters, Maryland and another near Williamsport, Maryland; near Iuka, Mississippi; at Camp Dennison, near Cincinnati, Ohio; on Morris Island, South Carolina; at Elk River Bridge, Tennessee; and near Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.
July 14, 1863 – During the Civil War, draft riots continued in New York, New York.
July 14, 1864 - Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest suffered his biggest defeat when Union General Andrew J. Smith routed his force at the Battle of Tupelo, Mississippi. Union losses stood at 674, while Forrest and Confederate General Stephen Lee lost over 1,300 soldiers.
July 14, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bayou des Arc, or Farr’s Mill, Arkansas; at Pollesville, Maryland, as Jubal Early’s force crossed the Potomac back into Virginia; near Bloomfield and another near Fredericksburg, Missouri; near Carmargo Crossroads, near Tupelo, Mississippi; at Versailles, Missouri; and at Malvern Hill, Virginia.
July 14, 1864 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation in Webster and Union Counties, Kentucky began.
July 14, 1865 – The first ascent of the Matterhorn was accomplished by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom died on the descent.
July 14, 1881 - Sheriff Pat Garrett shot 21-year-old Henry McCarty, popularly known as Billy the Kid, to death at the Maxwell Ranch, outside Fort Sumner, in New Mexico. Billy had escaped from the county jail and killed the two guards on duty. He headed for the home of his friend Pete Maxwell, but Garrett, who’d been tracking the gunslinger for three months, was waiting inside the door and shot him once above the heart. No legal charges were brought against Garrett since the killing was ruled a justifiable homicide.
July 14, 1882 - John Ringo, the famous gun-fighting gentleman, is found dead in Turkey Creek Canyon, outside of Tombstone, Arizona. It looked as if Ringo had shot himself in the head and the official ruling was that he had committed suicide. Some believed, however, that he had been murdered either by his drinking friend Frank “Buckskin” Leslie or a young gambler named “Johnny-Behind-the-Deuce.” To complicate matters further, Wyatt Earp later claimed that he had killed Ringo, so the truth remains obscure to this day.
July 14, 1903 – Playwright and novelist Irving Stone was born in San Francisco, Calif.
July 14, 1905 - Dr. Samuel W. Yarbrough, a dental surgeon, died at his home in Monroeville, Ala. on this Thursday evening after an illness of several weeks. He was buried at the Baptist cemetery in Monroeville the following day with Masonic honors.
July 14, 1912 – Folk singer Woody Guthrie was born in Okemah, Okla.
July 14, 1913 – Future U.S. President Gerald Rudolph Ford was born Leslie Lynch King Jr. in Omaha, Nebraska. The young Ford went on to become the first vice president to assume office after a president resigned, after President Richard M. Nixon stepped down during the Watergate burglary scandal on Aug. 9, 1974. His career included service on the Warren Commission that investigated President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.
July 14, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Sheriff Williams was making preparations to execute John Satler and Robert Watkins on Aug. 6.
July 14, 1915 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “The Honeymoon Baby” was released.
July 14, 1917 – Playwright Arthur Laurents was born in Brooklyn.
July 14, 1918 – Swedish director and writer Ingmar Bergman was born in Uppsala.
July 14, 1919 – Army Pvt. Charles Frances McDonald Jr. of Monroeville, Ala. “died from disease” during World War I at General Hospital No. in Spartanburg, S.C. Born on Aug. 25, 1890 to Charles Frances McDonald Sr. and Annie Strock, McDonald enlisted June 4, 1917 in Mobile. He was sent to France on May 7, 1918, served with HQ Detachment, 1st Field Artillery Brigade, 1st Division, AEF and with the Army of Occupation-Germany. He later reported sick to hospital and was shipped to Fort Gordon, Ga. on April 28, 1918. He is buried in Old Salem Cemetery near Mexia, Ala.
July 14, 1922 – German SS officer Elfriede Rinkel was born in Leipzig, Germany.
July 14, 1928 – The New Vietnam Revolutionary Party was founded in Huế amid providing some of the communist party's most important leaders in its early years.
July 14, 1933 – In Germany, all political parties are outlawed except the Nazi Party.
July 14, 1933 – The Nazi eugenics began with the proclamation of the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring that called for the compulsory sterilization of any citizen who suffered from alleged genetic disorders.
July 14, 1935 - Author C. Terry Cline was born in Birmingham, Ala.
July 14, 1942 – “The Pride of the Yankees” was released in theaters for the first time.
July 14, 1948 – Funeral services for Lt. Winton D. McIntyre, who graduated from Evergreen High School in 1940, were held at Memorial Cemetery in Mobile, Ala. with full military honors. He was killed in New Guinea on April 9, 1944. McIntyre, son of Mr. and Mrs. O.R. McIntyre, were former residents of Conecuh County, but later of Prichard. McIntyre was well known in Evergreen, where he finished high school in 1940.
July 14, 1948 - At the National Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, half of the Alabama delegation walked out in protest of the party's stand for civil rights. Three days later those delegates and other southerners formed the States' Rights party, or "Dixiecrats," at a convention in Birmingham, nominating Strom Thurmond of South Carolina for president.
July 14, 1952 – NFL linebacker Ken Hutcherson was born in Anniston, Ala. He went on to play for Anniston High School, Livingston University, the Dallas Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.
July 14, 1958 – During the Iraqi Revolution, the monarchy was overthrown by popular forces led by Abd al-Karim Qasim, who becomes the nation's new leader.
July 14, 1960 – The Evergreen Courant reported that John W. Crutchfield, son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Crutchfield of Lenox, had enlisted in the Regular Army recently under the Graduate Specialist Program. Master Sergeant Gerald Horne was the US Army Recruiter for the Evergreen area.
July 14, 1964 - U.S. military intelligence publicly charged that North Vietnamese regular army officers command and fight in so-called Viet Cong forces in the northern provinces, where Viet Cong strength had doubled in the past six months. Only the day before, South Vietnamese Gen. Nguyen Khanh had referred to the “invasion” by North Vietnamese Army (NVA) forces.
July 14, 1967 - Eddie Mathews of the Houston Astros hit his 500th career home run.
July 14, 1968 – Atlanta Braves slugger Henry "Hank" Aaron hit the 500th home run of his career in a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants. With 499 career home runs under his belt, Aaron hit a three-run shot in the third inning off Giants’ pitcher Mike McCormick. Aaron was mobbed at home plate by his teammates and presented with an award by Braves President Bill Bartholomay honoring him as the seventh man in baseball history to hit 500 home runs.
July 14, 1968 - Defense Secretary Clark Clifford visited South Vietnam to confer with U.S. and South Vietnamese leaders. Upon his arrival in Saigon, Clifford stated that the United States was doing all that it could to improve the fighting capacity of the South Vietnamese armed forces and intended to provide all South Vietnamese army units with M-16 automatic rifles. This effort would increase in 1969 after Richard Nixon became president.
July 14, 1969 - U.S. President Nixon signed a baseball from the baseball Hall of Fame that had the signatures of nine other U.S. Presidents.
July 14, 1969 - Though technically still legal tender, the United States withdrew the large denomination bills of $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 from circulation on this day.
July 14, 1970 - U.S. President Nixon threw out the first ball at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
July 14, 1981 - The Major League Baseball All-Star Game was postponed because of a 33-day-old baseball players strike. The game was held on August 9.
July 14, 1981 - U.S. President Ronald Reagan met with Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates to discuss sickle cell anemia and funding for the National Institute of Health.
July 14, 1981 – Snow Hill Institute at Snow Hill in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
July 14, 1990 - The Evergreen Saddle Club was scheduled to hold a free horse show on this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Horse Arena at the Evergreen Municipal Park in Evergreen, Ala.
July 14, 2003 – In an effort to discredit U.S. Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, who had written an article critical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Washington Post columnist Robert Novak revealed that Wilson's wife Valerie Plame was a CIA "operative".
July 14, 2003 - The U.S. government finally admitted the existence of Area 51.
July 14, 2005 – Marine Corps Cpl. Christopher Winchester of Escambia County, Ala. was killed during Operation Iraqi Freedom. A memorial marker placed in his honor at baseball fields in East Brewton. Winchester was born on Nov. 13, 1981.
July 14, 2006 – Right-handed pitcher Christopher Scottie Booker of Monroeville, Ala. was returned to the Washington Nationals by the Kansas City Royals.
July 14, 2014 - Olympic gold medal winner Alice Coachman passed away. At age 16, Coachman enrolled in the high school program at Tuskegee Institute. She was a mainstay on Tuskegee's powerful track squad, which won 11 of 12 AAU championships between 1937 and 1948 under legendary coach Cleve Abbott. Coachman won 10 straight championships in the high jump between 1939 and 1948, as well as 25 indoor and outdoor 50- and 100-meter championships. In 1948, she finally had her chance at the Olympics (the 1940 and 1944 Olympic Games were cancelled because of World War II). Despite being past her prime at age 25 and suffering from back troubles, Coachman set an Olympic record in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 6-1/8 inches—a feat that stood for eight years. Coachman was the first black female athlete of any nation to win an Olympic gold medal and also was the first American female to win an Olympic medal in track and field. Image shows Coachman during the medal ceremony for the high jump at the 1948 Summer Olympics in London.