Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Today in History for July 6, 2016

Roger C. Donlon
July 6, 1415 – Czech priest Jan Hus was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church for heresy because he supported many of the reforms urged by John Wycliffe, who believed that the Bible, not the Catholic Church, was the supreme authority in spiritual matters.

July 6, 1484 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão found the mouth of the Congo River.

July 6, 1535 – Sir Thomas More was beheaded in the Tower of London for refusing to recognize his longtime friend King Henry VIII as the head of the Church.

July 6, 1699 - Captain William Kidd, the pirate, was captured in Boston, Mass. and deported back to England.

July 6, 1747 - John Paul Jones, the United States' first well known naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War, was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.

July 6, 1775 - One day after restating their fidelity to King George III and wishing him “a long and prosperous reign” in the Olive Branch Petition, Congress issued a declaration setting “forth the causes and necessity of their taking up arms” against British authority in the American colonies. The declaration also proclaimed their preference “to die free men rather than live as slaves.”

July 6, 1777 – During the American Revolutionary War’s Siege of Fort Ticonderoga, after a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreated from Fort Ticonderoga, New York. General St. Clair led American forces away from the fort, and the British took the fort without firing a single shot.

July 6, 1779 – During the Battle of Grenada, the French defeated British naval forces during the American Revolutionary War.

July 6, 1785 – The dollar was chosen as the monetary unit of the United States.

July 6, 1846 - Author Howard Weeden was born in Huntsville, Ala.

July 6, 1854 – The first official convention of the Republican Party was held in Jackson, Michigan.

July 6, 1861 – A Mississippi riverboat pilot named Samuel Clemens traveled to Nevada with his brother Orion, who had been appointed the territorial secretary of Nevada.

July 6, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Middle Fork Ridge, West Virginia.

July 6, 1861 – During the Civil War, at a Cuban port, CSS Sumter, deposited seven prizes taken in her first Federal commerce raiding foray.

July 6, 1862 - Writing under the name of Mark Twain, 25-year-old Samuel Clemens began publishing news stories in the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada.

July 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bayou Cache and at Grand Prairie, Arkansas; and at Salem, Missouri.

July 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation began between Blackwater and Chapel Hill, Missouri. A three-day Federal operation also began between Waynesville and Big Piney, Missouri.

July 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, from North Carolina, Union Major General A.E. Burnside sailed with reinforcements for the Army of the Potomac on the James River in Virginia.

July 6, 1863 - During the Civil War, at Huntington, Indiana, the Knights of the Golden Circle, a Copperhead group, forced their way in the depot and seized weapons and ammunition.

July 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, Morgan’s raiders briefly occuppied Garnettsville, Kentucky.

July 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Boonsborough, Hagerstown and Williamsport in Maryland and near Trenton, N.C. Skirmishes were also fought at Jones’ and Messigner’s Ferry as Union Major General William T. Sherman marched his Federal forces toward Jackson, Mississippi.

July 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren relieved Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont. The transfer came after considerable friction between Du Pont and the Secretary of the Navy Welles over responsibility for the failure of the attack on Charleston, South Carolina. It marked the end of the Du Pont’s naval career.

July 6, 1864 - Confederate General Julbal Early's troops crossed the Potomac River and captured Hagerstown, Maryland. After demanding and receiving $20,000, Early's troops moved toward Washington where they were turned away by troops from Grant's army. Early had sought to threaten Washington, D.C., and thereby relieve pressure on General Robert E. Lee, who was fighting to keep Ulysses S. Grant out of Richmond, Virginia.

July 6, 1864 - Union General-in-Chief Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant dispatched two brigades under Brig. Gen. James B. Ricketts in reaction to a raid by Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early. This lead to the Battle of Monocacy on July 9.

July 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, an action against Indians took place at Fort Goodwin, in Southeastern Arizona.

July 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Benton, Arkansas; near Antietam, Maryland; near the Little Blue, Jackson County, Missouri; near Aldie, Virginia, at Mount Zion Church; and at Big Cacapon Bridge and at Sir John’s Run, West Virginia.

July 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, cavalry and reconnaissances continued on the Atlanta Front, with skirmishing at Sandtown and Nickajack Creek.

July 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 25-day Federal operation began in Western Missouri.

July 6, 1879 – According to The Camden Banner newspaper in Wilcox County, Old Aunt Harriet Kaster died on this day at the age of 106. She’d been a family servant for Mrs. M.A. Kaster of Camden for 33 years. Known in Camden as “Old Aunt Ghosty,” she weighed just 44 pounds at the time of her death.

July 6, 1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his rabies vaccine on a nine-year-old boy named Joseph Meister who’d been bitten by a rabid dog.

July 6, 1901 – Charlie “Ches” (Goatman) McCartney was born in Milledgeville, Baldwin County, Georgia. McCartney became a somewhat famous American itinerant wanderer who traveled up and down the eastern United States from 1930 to 1987 in a ramshackle wagon pulled by a team of goats. He claimed to have covered more than 100,000 miles and visited all states except Hawaii.

July 6, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.W. Fore was nursing a bruised hand “as the result of a too vigorous encounter with a baseball.”

July 6, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that the following officers had been elected at Monroe Lodge No. 485 at Tinela: R.W. McCants, W.M.; J.G. Lambriecht, S.W.; T.G. Reynolds, J.W.; J.R. McCants, Treasurer; J.D. McKinley, Secretary; J.F. Rowell, S.D.; C.G. Reynolds, J.D.; A.P. Najors, Chaplain; G.C. Nettles, Tyler. The lodge held regular communications each month on the Friday before the second Sunday in each month at 10 a.m.

July 6, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that a new post office had been established about eight miles west of Atmore by the name of Poarch. J.S. Nall was postmaster.

July 6, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that in Clarke County, Sellers Creighton, who was about 15 years old, had been placed in jail on charges of poisoning two of Sam Cobb’s children with “Paris Green.”

July 6, 1909 – As part of a Fourth of July celebration, Evergreen’s baseball team beat Gantt, 8-0, in Evergreen, Ala.

July 6, 1911 - Downing Lodge at Castleberry, Ala. elected the following officers: E. Downing Jr., Worshipful Master; R.T. Holland, Senior Warden; L.A. Kirkland, Junior Warden; J.W. Thurmond, Secretary; J.T. Buffington, Treasurer; R.E. Buffington, Senior Deacon; R.A. Baird, Junior Deacon; J.A. Davis, Tyler; G.W. Jones, Chaplain; J.I. Monk and J.M. Branch, stewards.

July 6, 1915 – A Conecuh County, Ala. jury found John Salter and Robert Watkins guilty of the murder of Martha Lassiter (on June 23, 1915) and sentenced them to death by hanging on Aug. 6, 1915. The trial began at 1 p.m., the taking of testimony and arguments by the state and the defense ended at 2:55 p.m. and the jury returned a verdict at 3:20 p.m. The trial was held before a large crowd and the main witness against Salter and Watkins was Wiley House, who was nearly murdered along with Lassiter.

July 6, 1915 – Geo. W. Johnson brought George Salter Jr., the editor of The Evergreen Courant, a cucumber that was nearly 12 inches long.

July 6, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that the following officers had been elected to serve Alabama Lodge No. 3 for the ensuring year: J.F. Gaillard, worshipful master; G.W. Gaillard, senior warden; G.R. Vaught, junior warden; J.H. Moore, treasurer; L.N. Lambert, secretary; W.A. Farr, senior deacon; W.E. Deer, junior deacon; A.J. Locklin, R.P. Wiggins, stewards; H.J. Coxwell, chaplain; J.L. Marshall, marshal.

July 6, 1916 – Congressman Thomas J. Heflin was scheduled to speak at Perdue Hill, Ala. on this day during an event sponsored by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

July 6, 1917 – During World War I, Arabian troops led by T. E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") and Auda ibu Tayi captured the port of Aqaba (in present-day Jordan) from the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.

July 6, 1918 – During World War I, Army Sgt. Henry C. Lord of Andalusia, Ala. “died from disease.”

July 6, 1928 - "The Lights of New York" was previewed in New York's Strand Theatre. It was the first all-talking movie.

July 6, 1933 – The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played in Chicago's Comiskey Park. The American League defeated the National League, 4–2.

July 6, 1933 – “Mother” Nettles, who was born in January 1859, passed away. Her headstone is one of the three Isaac Nettles Gravestones in the Mount Nebo Baptist Church Cemetery near Carlton in rural Clarke County, Ala.

July 6, 1935 – The 14th Dalai Lama was born in Taktser, Tibet.

July 6, 1939 – The residence of E.R. Green at Burnt Corn, Ala. was completely destroyed by fire, but Green saved his automobile and school bus, which were parked in a garage near the dwelling.

July 6, 1941 – Nazi Germany launched its offensive to encircle several Soviet armies near Smolensk.

July 6, 1942 – Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the "Secret Annexe" above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

July 6, 1944 – Vredenburgh, Ala. native and former NFL running back Moses Denson was born. He went on to play for the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL and the Washington Redskins.

July 6, 1944 - Known as 'The Day the Clowns Cried,' the worst tragedy in the annals of circus history occurred. One hundred and sixth-eight people were killed and many more were injured when the Big Tent became engulfed in flames during a performance of the Ringling Brothers Circus in Hartford, Conn.

July 6, 1944 – National Baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial.

July 6, 1946 - George Walker Bush, the 43rd President of the United States, was born in New Haven, Conn.

July 6, 1947 – The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.

July 6, 1953 – Birmingham, Ala. native Al Worthington made his Major League debut, taking the mound for the New York Giants.

July 6, 1955 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem declared in a broadcast that since South Vietnam had not signed the Geneva Agreements, South Vietnam was not bound by them. Although Diem did not reject the “principle of elections,” he said that any proposals from the communist Viet Minh were out of the question “if proof is not given us that they put the higher interest of the national community above those of communism.” The Geneva Conference had begun on April 26, 1954, to negotiate an end to the First Indochina War between the French and the Viet Minh forces of Ho Chi Minh.

July 6, 1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time, as teenagers at the Woolton Village Fete in Liverpool, England, three years before forming the Beatles.

July 6, 1964 - At Nam Dong in the northern highlands of South Vietnam, an estimated 500-man Viet Cong battalion attacked an American Special Forces outpost. During a bitter battle, Capt. Roger C. Donlon, commander of the Special Forces A-Team, rallied his troops, treated the wounded, and directed defenses although he himself was wounded several times. After five hours of fighting, the Viet Cong withdrew. The battle resulted in an estimated 40 Viet Cong killed; two Americans, one Australian military adviser, and 57 South Vietnamese defenders also lost their lives. At a White House ceremony in December 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Captain Donlon with the first Medal of Honor of the Vietnam War.

July 6, 1969 – In an incident attributed to the Bermuda Triangle, the “Vagabond,” a 12-meter owner-operated yacht was found adrift but otherwise shipshape west of the Azores with no sign of its owner, Capt. Wallace P. Williams, or its crew.

July 6, 1978 – Sunnyside Farm, also known as the Witherington House, in Conecuh County, Ala. was added to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

July 6, 1978 – Pine Flat Methodist Church at Forest Home in Butler County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

July 6, 1980 – Mobile, Ala. native Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants made his final Major League appearance.

July 6, 1982 – NFL and Auburn University running back Brandon Jacobs was born in Houma, La. He went on to play for Auburn, Southern Illinois, the New York Giants and the San Francisco 49ers.

July 6, 1983 - Fred Lynn of the California Angels hit the first grand slam in an All-Star game. The American League defeated the National League, 13-3.

July 6, 1994 - A movie version of Alabama author Winston Groom's book “Forrest Gump” was released.

July 6, 2000 - A jury awarded former NHL player Tony Twist $24 million for the unauthorized use of his name in the comic book Spawn and the HBO cartoon series. Co-defendant HBO settled with Twist out of court for an undisclosed amount.

July 6, 2005 - Alabama author James Haskins died in Gainesville, Fla.

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