Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Today in History for Aug. 2, 2016

USS Maddox
Aug. 2, 1610 – Henry Hudson sailed into what is now known as Hudson Bay thinking he had made it through the Northwest Passage and reached the Pacific Ocean.

Aug. 2, 1776 – Fifty-six delegates of the Second Continental Congress began adding their signatures to an enlarged copy of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Pa., although it is popularly believed to have been signed a month earlier on the Fourth of July. Although some signers of the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, wrote in the years after the signing that it had taken place in July, by the 1790s political historians began to doubt this date. For one thing, a number of the signers had not actually been present in Philadelphia earlier in the summer of '76, including eight delegates who hadn't even been elected to the Continental Congress until after they'd supposedly signed the Declaration.

Aug. 2, 1790 – The first United States Census was conducted.

Aug. 2, 1819 - The first Alabama constitution was adopted on this day, paving the way to statehood in December. Known today as the Constitution of 1819, to distinguish it from five subsequent constitutions, it was considered a model of democracy at the time. It granted, for example, suffrage to all adult white males without regard to property ownership or other qualifications.

Aug. 2, 1858 - In Boston and New York City, the first mailboxes were installed along streets.

Aug. 2, 1861 - The United States Congress passed the first income tax, calling for three percent on incomes over $800. The bill also provided for new and stiffer tariffs, and the revenues were intended for the war effort against the South. The tax was never enacted.

Aug. 2, 1861 – During the Civil War, Federal forces conducted a reconnaissance mission from Ironton to Centreville, Mo. A skirmish was also fought at Dug Springs, Missouri.

Aug. 2, 1861 - Fort Stanton, New Mexico Territory, was abandoned by Federal forces.

Aug. 2, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Jonesborough, Arkansas; on Totten’s Plantation, in Coahoma County, Mississippi; at the extinct town of Austin in Tunica County, Mississippi; along Clear Creek, in the vicinity of Taberville, Missouri; and at Orange Courthouse, West Virginia.

Aug. 2, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Harrison’s Landing, and Union troops reoccuppied Malvern Hill, Virginia.

Aug. 2, 1862 – During the Civil War, seven days of Federal operations began in the vicinity of Wyoming Courthouse, West Virginia, and four days of Federal operations began between Meadow Bluff and the Greenbrier River, West Virginia.

Aug. 2, 1863 – During the Civil War, Confederates scouted from Pocahontas Arkansas to Patterson, Missouri.

Aug. 2, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Stumptown, Missouri; at Cummings’ Point, South Carolina; and at Newtown, Virginia.

Aug. 2, 1864 – During the Civil War, a Federal naval expedition was conducted to McIntosh County, Georgia; and Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Berwick to Pattersonville, Louisiana.

Aug. 2, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at New Haven, Kentucky; at Hancock and Old Town, Maryland; along Norris Creek, in the vicinity of Holden, Missouri; at Murphy, North Carolina; and at Green Springs Run, West Virginia.

Aug. 2, 1864 – During the Civil War, there was a build-up of Federal Naval strength off the mouth of Mobile Bay, Ala.

Aug. 2, 1865 - The captain and crew of the C.S.S. Shenandoah, still prowling the waters of the Pacific in search of Yankee whaling ships, was finally informed by a British vessel that the South had lost the Civil War. Captain James I. Waddell then sailed the ship from the northern Pacific to Liverpool, England, without stopping at any ports. The ship was surrendered to British officials upon arrival at Liverpool on November 6.

Aug. 2, 1869 – Japan's samurai class system (Shinōkōshō) was abolished as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms.

Aug. 2, 1876 - "Wild Bill" Hickok was killed (shot from behind) while playing poker in Deadwood, South Dakota. Jack McCall was later hanged for the shooting.

Aug. 2, 1895 – The Monroeville mail was robbed two miles east of Belleville, Ala. The horse, vehicle and riffled mail pouch were found concealed in the bushes on the roadside, and the driver was missing, so it is presumed that he either robbed the mail himself or was “foully dealt with” by the real robber. The mail pouch contained eight registered packages, all of which were broken open and their contents extracted. Rumors circulated that “Railroad Bill” committed the robbery.

Aug. 2, 1897 – German SS officer Karl-Otto Koch was born in Darmstadt, Grand Duchy of Hesse.

Aug. 2, 1903 - Ardis Vardaman Culpepper was born at Rossers Ridge in Sumter County, Ala. Ironically nicknamed “Shorty” because he was nearly six and a half feet tall, Culpepper moved to Monroe County, Ala. in 1928 and served as the county’s Farm Service Extension Agent. For a number of years, Culpepper wrote a humorous weekly column for The Monroe Journal newspaper called “Taxes and Termites,” and his book by the same name is a collection of some of his funniest columns.

Aug. 2, 1915 – Charles Chaplin, the “funniest comedian on the screen,” was to be shown at the Arcade Theatre in Evergreen on this Monday night.

Aug. 2, 1920 - Alabama author Lonnie Coleman was born in Bartow, Ga.

Aug. 2, 1921 - Eight White Sox players were acquitted of throwing the 1919 World Series.

Aug. 2, 1923 - Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States, passed away while in office from a stroke at a hotel in San Francisco, Calif. at the age of 57. Harding was returning from a presidential tour of Alaska and the West Coast, a journey some believed he had embarked on to escape the rumors circulating in Washington of corruption in his administration. Harding was the great-grandson of Conecuh County’s Henchie Warren, who is said to have hid a chest of gold in Shipps Pond during the Civil War.

Aug. 2, 1923 – Vice President Calvin Coolidge became U.S. President upon the death of President Warren G. Harding. Coolidge was sworn in as president by his father, a notary public, in his family home in Plymouth, Vermont. For the rest of his first term, one of President Coolidge’s principal duties was responding to public outrage over the Teapot Dome oil-leasing scandals, the revelations of fraudulent transactions in the Veterans Bureau and Justice Department, and the reports of his predecessor’s multiple extramarital affairs

Aug. 2, 1924 – Novelist, essayist and activist James Baldwin, the author of “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” was born in Harlem, N.Y.

Aug. 2, 1925 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Horror at Red Hook,” which was originally published in the January 1927 issue of Weird Tales.

Aug. 2, 1932 – American physicist Carl Anderson discovered the first physical evidence of the existence of antimatter.

Aug. 2, 1934 – Adolf Hitler became Führer of Germany following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.

Aug. 2, 1936 - Alabama author Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews died in Syracuse, N.Y.

Aug. 2, 1938 - Bright yellow baseballs were used in a major league baseball game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals. It was hoped that the balls would be easier to see.

Aug. 2, 1939 – Horror film director Wes Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

Aug. 2, 1943 – Jewish prisoners staged a revolt at Treblinka, one of the deadliest of Nazi death camps where approximately 900,000 persons were murdered in less than 18 months.

Aug. 2, 1953 – The Evergreen Greenies, managed by Zell Murphy, beat the Florala State Liners, 8-7, in Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala. John Greel Ralls hit two home runs, and J.W. Windham got the pitching win.

Aug. 2, 1958 – Conecuh County’s 1958 Maid of Cotton Contest was scheduled to be held in conjunction with the County Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting. Peggy Harper won the Conecuh County Maid of Cotton title in 1957.

Aug. 2, 1964 – During the Vietnam War’s Gulf of Tonkin incident, North Vietnamese gunboats allegedly fired on the U.S. destroyer USS Maddox. The American ship had been cruising around the Tonkin Gulf monitoring radio and radar signals following an attack by South Vietnamese PT boats on North Vietnamese facilities on Hon Me and Hon Nhieu Islands (off the North Vietnamese coast) under Oplan 34A.

Aug. 2, 1965 - John Byron Carter of Monroeville, Ala. was approved as a new deputy sheriff at a salary of $325 per month by the Monroe County Commission during a special meeting on this Monday. The sheriff’s department had been authorized another deputy through a bill which was passed by the legislature during July 1965. With the hiring of Carter, the department had a chief deputy and two deputies.

Aug. 2, 1965 – George E. Scott Jr. of Monroeville, Ala. was fatally injured near Uriah when he collided with the rear end of a parked truck loaded with lumber. Scott was traveling north on Highway 21, about 2-1/2 miles south of Uriah when he ran into the rear of a truck that had run out of gas. The accident happened about 8:45 p.m.

Aug. 2, 1971 - The Nixon administration officially acknowledged that the CIA was maintaining a force of 30,000 ‘irregulars’ fighting the Communist Pathet Lao in Laos. The CIA trained and equipped this force of mountain tribesman, mostly from the Hmong tribe, to fight a secret war against the Communists and to sever the Ho Chi Minh Trail into South Vietnam. According to a once top-secret report released this date by the U.S. Defense and State Departments, U.S. financial involvement in Laos had totaled $284,200,000 in 1970.

Aug. 2, 1974 - John Dean was sentenced to one to four years in prison for his involvement in the Watergate cover-up.

Aug. 2, 1982 – NFL free safety Kerry Rhodes was born in Birmingham, Ala. He went on to play for Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer, Ala., the University of Louisville, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals.

Aug. 2, 1984 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Conecuh County Board of Education had officially closed Nichburg School. All students previously attending Nichburg School were to attend Repton High School during the 1984-1985 school year.

Aug. 2, 1990 – At 2 a.m. local time, Iraqi ground forces entered Kuwait, and President Bush immediately proclaimed that the invasion "would not stand" and vowed to help Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in their efforts to force the Iraqis from Kuwaiti land. Iraq claimed that Kuwait had driven down oil prices by exceeding production quotas set by OPEC.

Aug. 2, 1999 – After interviews with three final applicants, the Conecuh County Board of Education selected Nancy Deabler as principal of Repton Junior High School.

Aug. 2, 2012 – A powerful storm with high straight-line winds swept through Castleberry, Ala. around 12:30 p.m., damaging trees, utility lines and the town’s baseball field. The storm knocked over 15 trees, which resulted in a power outage throughout town. The trees blocked a number of major thoroughfares in the town, including U.S. Highway 31, Cleveland Avenue and the CSX railroad. The resulting power outage lasted between three and four hours.

Aug. 2, 2012 - Longtime Conecuh County businessman Frank James Chavers passed away at his home at the age of 78.

Aug. 2, 2012 – The Crosby Family Cemetery and the New Home Church of Christ Cemetery in Conecuh County were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.

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