|J.R.R. Tolkien in 1916.|
Sept. 21, 1645 – Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet was born near Quebec City, Canada. Jolliet is best known for his discoveries in North America. Jolliet and Jesuit Father Jacques Marquette, a Catholic priest and missionary, were the first non-Natives to explore and map the Mississippi River in 1673.
Sept. 21, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Robert Mailea was accused of being a witch.
Sept. 21, 1776 - The Great Fire of New York destroyed 10 to 25 percent of the city, shortly after the city was occupied by British forces during the American Revolution.
Sept. 21, 1776 - Nathan Hale was captured while sailing Long Island Sound en route to American-controlled territory. He was executed the next day for spying.
Sept. 21, 1779 - Louisiana governor and Spanish military officer Bernardo de Galvez, with the aide of American troops and militia volunteers, captured the British post and garrison at Baton Rouge, located in what was then British-controlled West Florida. In a cunning and brilliant move, de Galvez included in the terms of the British surrender of Baton Rouge that the British also surrender Fort Panmure at Natchez to Spanish control. Defeated and on the verge of utter annihilation, the British had no other choice but to accept the terms.
Sept 21, 1780 – During the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold met with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word “traitor.”
Sept. 21, 1784 - "The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser" was published for the first time in Philadelphia. It was the first daily paper in America.
Sept. 21, 1820 - Union Civil War General John Fulton Reynolds was born in Lancaster, Pa. Reynolds commanded the left wing of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg, Pa. campaign and on the morning of July 1, he rode into Gettysburg and placed his force in front of advancing Confederates, forcing Union General George Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac, to fight. The 42-year-old Reynolds was killed that day, most likely by a Confederate volley, and was buried in Lancaster, his birthplace.
Sept. 21, 1823 - Joseph Smith Jr. reported his initial visitation with the Angel Moroni. Smith said the angel led him to gold plates buried near his home in western New York; some of the plates he later translated into the Book of Mormon.
Sept. 21, 1841 – Former Alabama governor John Murphy of Monroe County, Ala. died at his plantation in Clarke County and was buried at Gosport. He was 54 or 55 years old.
Sept. 21, 1858 – Arthur P. Bagby passed away in Mobile, Ala. Born in Louisa County, Va., in 1794, he arrived at Claiborne in 1818 with his worldly belongings tied in a handkerchief and affixed to a stick over his shoulder. He would go on to become a prominent lawyer, congressman and Alabama governor.
Sept. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at San Pedro Crossing, Arizona; on the Yreka Road, near Forth Crook, California; at Cassville, Missouri; at Van Buren, Tennessee; and at Donaldsonville, La.
Sept. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal expedition began from Carrollton to Donaldsonville, Louisiana.
Sept. 21, 1863 - Federal General George Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga” as he would come to be known as soon as the newspaper stories were written up, continued in that role on this day. Having held the core of the Union army together the day before on Snodgrass Hill, he had retired towards Chattanooga after nightfall. On this day he again held the defenses of the city with the remnants of the Army of the Cumberland. His commanding officer, Rosecrans, was frantically preparing the city for siege. Bragg, commanding the Confederates, issued orders for a pursuit before the defenses could be completed, then cancelled the order. Yet another chance to annihilate the Union forces was lost.
Sept. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Rossville, Lookout Church and Dry Valley, Ga.; at Jonesborough, Tennessee; at Fisher's Hill, White’s Ford and Madison Court House, Virginia; and at Moorefield, West Virginia.
Sept. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation that started from Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia into Loudoun County, Virginia began.
Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Athens, Ala.
Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Council Grove, Kansas; and at Fisher's Hill, Front Royal, and Strasburg, Virginia.
Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal expedition from Vicksburg into the Mississippi Delta as far as Deer Creek, Mississippi began.
Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, the pursuit of Jubal Early’s Confederate force “up” the Shenandoah Valley continued on this day. Having resisted the move back to Lee in Petersburg for as long as he could, Early now was in a desperate race to do exactly that. The impediment was the Union forces of General Phil Sheridan, who accomplished two things on this day. First, there was the fighting: Early had fortified Fisher’s Hill, and Sheridan had to advance slowly there. Additional actions took place at Strasburg, and at Front Royal, where the Confederates managed to keep Sheridan’s men out of the Luray Valley for one more day. After nightfall, Sheridan detached Gen. Crook and one corps to move around the left flank of Early.
Sept. 21, 1866 – Herbert George “H.G.” Wells, pioneer of science fiction, was born on this day in Bromley, England.
Sept. 21, 1897 - The New York Sun ran the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial. It was in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon.
Sept. 21, 1902 – Sir Allen Lane, the creator of Penguin Books, was born Allen Williams Lane in Bristol, England.
Sept. 21, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that L.N. Parson was the winner of a recent one-hour cotton-picking contest at Jones Mill. He picked 53 pounds in one hour, beating J. Driscoll, who picked 48 pounds in that time.
Sept. 21, 1908 – The Sixteenth Annual Session of the Second District Agricultural School was scheduled to open for the 1908-1909 school year on this day in Evergreen, Ala. Henry T. Lile was the president of the school, which was scheduled to end the year on June 4, 1909.
Sept. 21, 1912 – Around 5:30 a.m., the No. 2 passenger train and a freight train collided a few hundred feet above the north switch on the L&N Railroad in Evergreen, Ala. The Courant described it as “one of the worst train wrecks that has been on this division of the L&N in a long while” and that “it was nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed.”
Sept. 21, 1914 – The new Conecuh County High School opened in Castleberry, Ala. for the first time in a building that cost $10,000 to construct. Members of the building committee included Elisha Downing, Dr. R.T. Holland and P.M. Skinner. Miss Sarah E. Luther was principal and had the distinction of being the only female principal of a high school in the state. The faculty included C.E. Williams (a science and manual training teacher and director of boys’ athletics) and Lucile M. Cobb of Tuskegee (teacher of English, expression and physical culture). The school’s opening ceremonies included a big barbecue, an exhibition drill by the Conecuh Guards and a baseball doubleheader with Garland. “It was a history-making day, and it will be pointed to in the years to come as one of the greatest occasions in the history of Castleberry.” Speeches were made by Mayor E. Downing, Supt. R.E.L. Key, C.S. Rabb and State Superintendent W.F. Feagin and members of the school faculty, the principal speech being made by Feagin.
Sept. 21, 1914 – The Evergreen (Ala.) City School opened to begin the 1914-15 school year.
Sept. 21, 1914 – Monroeville, Ala. held its municipal elections and L.J. Bugg was elected mayor. G.C. Watson, J.A. Lazenby, T.E. Dennis, G.B. Barnett and J.R. Lyon were elected city councilmen. I.B. Slaughter, M.M. Fountain, J.M. Coxwell, A.R. Boulware and A.T. Sowell were elected to the school board.
Sept. 21, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Will Dickson of Repton, Ala. “died from disease.”
Sept. 21, 1934 – Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal.
Sept. 21, 1937 - J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Hobbit" was first published.
Sept. 21, 1939 – Brutus H. Bailey of Franklin, Ala. was bit by a snake, believed to have been either a rattlesnake or copperhead, just before noon while surveying a piece of land with several other men near Franklin.
Sept. 21, 1941 - Alabama author Fannie Flagg was born in Irondale, Ala.
Sept. 21, 1942 – Conecuh County, Ala. schools were scheduled to begin the 1942-43 school year after a delay of about two weeks to the school year. School was originally supposed to begin on Sept. 7, but the Conecuh County Board of Education decided on Aug. 21to postpone the start of school because farmers were dependent on their children for help in gathering their cotton and peanut crops during a labor shortage.
Sept. 21, 1942 – During the Holocaust, on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Nazis sent over 1,000 Jews of Pidhaitsi (west Ukraine) to Bełżec extermination camp.
Sept. 21, 1942 – In Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, Nazis murdered 2,588 Jews.
Sept. 21, 1947 – Horror novelist Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine.
Sept. 21, 1951 – In high school football, Brantley High School beat Repton High School, 33-0, in Brantley, Ala.Feb.
Sept. 21, 1957 – “Crazy in Alabama” author Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Ala.
Sept. 21, 1961 - The U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Special Forces were formed to organize and train guerrilla bands behind enemy lines. The 5th S.F. Group was sent to Vietnam in October 1964, to assume control of all Special Forces operations in Vietnam, and in February 1971, the 5th Special Forces Group was withdrawn as part of the U.S. troop drawdown.
Sept. 21, 1967 – Evergreen High School’s Elliott “Buck” Quarles was named the Outstanding Player of the Week by the Evergreen Jaycees for his performance against Monroe County High School on Sept. 15.
Sept. 21, 1967 - General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, welcomed 1,200 Thai troops as they arrived in Saigon.
Sept. 21, 1968 - "All Along the Watchtower" was released by Jimi Hendrix.
Sept. 21, 1970 - "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV. The game was between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns won, 31-21.
Sept. 21, 1970 – The New York Times premiered a new section called the “Op. Ed. Page,” a section opposite the traditional editorial page that was to be devoted to the columns of outside writers and to illustrations and political cartoons.
Sept. 21, 1971 - The American League approved the move of the Washington Senators to Arlington, Texas.
Sept. 21, 1972 – Liam Gallagher, the founder and lead singer of the rock band Oasis, was born in Burnage, Manchester, England.
Sept. 21, 1980 - The Giants retired Mobile, Ala. native Willie McCovey’s uniform number 44, which he wore in honor of Hank Aaron, a fellow Mobile native.
Sept. 21, 1981 - Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton struck out the 3,118th batter of his career to break Bob Gibson’s National League record for career strikeouts. Despite Carlton’s 10 shutout innings and 12 strikeouts, the Phillies lost the marathon game to the Montreal Expos in the 17th inning, 1-0.
Sept. 21, 1982 - National Football League (NFL) players began a 57-day strike. It was their first regular-season walkout.
Sept. 21, 1989 - Ronald Faulkner of 220 Bruner Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. killed a “monster water moccasin” on this Thursday on Highway 31 South. The snake, which was five feet long and weighed an estimated 20 to 25 pounds, was crawling across the highway when Faulkner killed it.
Sept. 21, 1993 - Nirvana's album "In Utero" was released.
Sept. 21, 1996 - Hank Williams III made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 23.
Sept. 21, 2003 - After eight years studying the Jovian system, the Galileo space probe was terminated, crashing into Jupiter's atmosphere.
Sept. 21, 2008 - The New York Yankees played their last game at Yankee Stadium. The new Yankee Stadium opened across the street in 2009.
Sept. 21, 2015 – Former Alabama wide receiver and running back Richard Williamson, a native of Fort Deposit, died at the age of 74 in Charlotte, N.C. He played at Alabama from 1959 to 1962 and went on to serve as head coach for Memphis and for the Tampa Bay Bucs.