Saturday, September 24, 2016

Today in History for Sept. 23, 2016

Montgomery Blair
Sept. 23, 63 B.C. – Roman emperor Caesar Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus in Rome. The great-nephew of Julius Caesar, Augustus was named as the childless statesman's heir upon his assassination.

Sept. 23, 1215 – Mongol emperor Kublai Khan was born simply Kublai (the word Khan means ruler) somewhere in Mongolia. The grandson of the empire's founder, Genghis Khan, Kublai Khan inherited rule over a territory of North China as a young man. When his older brother, the emperor, died on a raid, Kublai Khan fought his little brother for succession and ultimately took control of most of the Empire, stretching across modern-day Mongolia and China.

Sept. 23, 1641 – The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure worth over a billion US dollars, was lost at sea off Land's End.

Sept. 23, 1642 – The first commencement exercises were held at Harvard College.

Sept. 23, 1779 – During the American Revolution, John Paul Jones, commander of the American warship USS Bonhomme Richard, won the Battle of Flamborough Head, a hard-fought engagment against the British warships Serapis and Countess of Scarborough off the eastern coast of England. After inflicting considerable damage to the Bonhomme Richard, Richard Pearson, the captain of the Serapis, asked Jones if he had struck his colors, the naval signal indicating surrender. From his disabled ship, Jones replied, “I have not yet begun to fight,” and after three more hours of furious fighting it was the Serapis and Countess of Scarborough that surrendered.

Sept. 23, 1780 – During the American Revolution, British Major John André was arrested as a spy by American soldiers and was captured with papers revealing that Benedict Arnold had change of sides and was going to surrender West Point, N.Y. to the British.

Sept. 23, 1806 - Amid much public excitement, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis, Missouri, from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the “Corps of Discovery,” had set off more than two years before to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase.

Sept. 23, 1845 - The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York, the first baseball team to play under modern rules, was formed by Alexander Joy Cartwright.

Sept. 23, 1846 – English-Australian explorer John Ainsworth Horrocks died at the age of 28 in Penwortham, South Australia from gangrene after being accidentally shot a month earlier. He was one of the first settlers in the Clare Valley in 1839 and established the town of Penwortham.

Sept. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Albany, KY.

Sept. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Confederates descended on Romney, West Va. and skirmishes were fought at Mechanicsburg Gap, Cassville and Hanging Rock Pass, West Va.

Sept. 23, 1861 - John Charles Fremont, military governor of St. Louis and the Missouri district, was failing to heed the old saying that when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. He had enraged half of Missouri with his highhanded orders, including an emancipation of slaves and threats to confiscate the property of, and then execute, Confederate sympathizers. Then he got the Union supporters just as angry by playing politics instead of going in support of the beleaguered Federal force in Lexington. On this day the St. Louis Evening News pointed out some of these facts to their readership. Fremont's response was to lock down the newspaper printing facility and have the editor placed in jail.

Sept. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at McGuire Ferry, Ark.; with Sioux Indians at Fort Abercrombie in the Dakota Territory; with Sioux Indians at Wood Lake, near Yellow Medicine, Montanna; and at Wolf Creek Bridge, near Memphis, Tenn.

Sept. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal operation began near Eureka, Mo.

Sept. 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln met with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, several cabinet members and military planners to discuss the situation in Chattanooga, Tenn. The decision was made to ship General Joseph Hooker and his men to relieve General William Rosecrans' army.

Sept. 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Bayou Meto Bridge in Ark.; at Cumberland Gap and Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; near Liberty Mills and at Robertson’s Ford on the Rapidan River in Virginia. The first of three days of skirmishing also began in front of Chattanooga, Tenn., and an affair took place opposite Donaldsonville, La.

Sept. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Athens, Ala. that involved Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Sept. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Fort Smith, Ark.; near Rocheport, Mo.; and at Edenburg, Front Royal, Mount Jackson, and Woodstock, Va. The second day of skirmishing also took place at Rolling Fork, Miss.

Sept. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 10-day Federal operation into the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia began.

Sept. 23, 1864 - The Blair family name runs through the history of the Civil War on the Union side. Some of their efforts were military (Frank Blair Jr. was one of the best of those who achieved general’s rank without benefit of military training) but far more important was the family’s political activities. High on the list was the name of Montgomery Blair, wheeler-dealer, consummate behind-the-scenes politician and staunch ally of Abraham Lincoln. His only official title was Postmaster General, a job he had filled well during a time when so much mail was in motion that a nationwide paper shortage occurred. But he was also a leader of the moderate faction of the Democratic Party, which made him anathema to the Radical Republicans. To pacify them, Lincoln was forced on this day to ask for Blair’s resignation. He gave it, gracefully.

Sept. 23, 1865- Baroness Emmuska Orczy was born Baroness Emma Magdalena Rosália Mária Josefa Borbára Orczy at her family's estate in Hungary. She is best known for her 1905 novel, “The Scarlet Pimpernel.”

Sept. 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought with Indians in the Harney Lake Valley of Oregon. This was the last reported hostilities occurring during the era of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Ironically, the last encounter reported has the Federals being routed, luckily escaping with only one injury.

Sept. 23, 1869 – Irish immigrant Mary Mallon, aka “Typhoid Mary,” was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland. A "healthy carrier" of typhoid fever, she unwittingly spread the deadly disease around New York.

Sept. 23, 1875 – Silver City, New Mexico police arrested 15-year-old Billy the Kid for the first time after they caught him with a bag of stolen clothes. He was thrown in jail, but escaped two days later. From that day forward Billy would be on the wrong side of the law, though he would soon be guilty of crimes far more serious than hiding a stolen bag of laundry.

Sept. 23, 1896 – The name of the Behrman Post Office in Clarke County, Ala. was changed to Fulton, supposedly after Fulton, N.Y.

Sept. 23, 1897 - The first recorded traffic fatality in Great Britain occurred, two years before the first fatality in the U.S.

Sept. 23, 1901 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jaroslav Seifert was born in a suburb of Prague.

Sept. 23, 1907 – German SS officer Herbert Kappler was born in Stuttgart, German Empire.

Sept. 23, 1908 - A game between the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs ended in 1-1 tie after a controversial call at second base that resulted in the Cubs winning the National League penant. The officials ruled that Giants first baseman Fred Merkle was out because he failed to touch second base, and the game was called with the score 1-1 due to darkness. Because the game could not end in a tie, it was replayed on October 8, 1908. In the makeup game, the Cubs beat their rivals to secure the National League pennant and went on to beat the Detroit Tigers for their third consecutive World Series.

Sept. 23, 1909 – “The Phantom of the Opera,” a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, was first published as a serialization in Le Gaulois.

Sept. 23, 1911 – Pilot Earle Ovington made the first official airmail delivery in America under the authority of the United States Post Office Department

Sept. 23, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that D.L. Neville had been appointed game warden for Monroe County, Ala.

Sept. 23, 1927 - Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. became the site of the very first football game played “under the lights” in the South with Cloverdale taking on Pike Road High School. An estimated crowd of 7,200 attended the game.

Sept. 23, 1936 – The First ascent of Siniolchu was accomplished by a German team.

Sept. 23, 1942 - A radio version of Alabama author T. S. Stribling's story "A Passage to Benares" was broadcast as part of the “Suspense” series.

Sept. 23, 1943 – During World War II, the Nazi puppet state known as the Italian Social Republic was founded.

Sept. 23, 1946 – Construction began on new bridge over Murder Creek on the Loree Road in Conecuh County, Ala.

Sept. 23, 1952 – Butler County, Ala. native and country music legend Hank Williams did his last recording session.

Sept. 23, 1952 – Major League Baseball third baseman and second baseman Jim Morrison was born in Pensacola, Fla. He would go on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Detroit Tigers and the Atlanta Braves.

Sept. 23, 1965 - The South Vietnamese government executed three accused Viet Cong agents held at Da Nang.

Sept. 23, 1968 – The Fall Term of Conecuh County Court was scheduled to open in Evergreen, Ala. on this Monday morning with Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key presiding. Attorneys for the state included District Attorney Ralph L. Jones of Monroeville and County Solicitor Henry J. Kinzer of Evergreen. There were 16 cases on the docket, according to Conecuh County Circuit Clerk Leon A. Salter.

Sept. 23, 1969 - The trial for eight antiwar activists charged with the responsibility for the violent demonstrations at the August 1968 Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago. The defendants included David Dellinger of the National Mobilization Committee (NMC); Rennie Davis and Thomas Hayden of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, founders of the Youth International Party (“Yippies”); Bobby Seale of the Black Panthers; and two lesser known activists, Lee Weiner and John Froines.

Sept. 23, 1978 – Major League Baseball outfielder Lyman Bostock, a 27-year-old native of Birmingham, Ala., was shot and killed in Gary, Ind. During his career, he played for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels.

Sept. 23, 1986 – Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros set a major-league record by striking out the first eight batters of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This record was tied by Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets on September 15, 2014 against the Miami Marlins.

Sept. 23, 1988 – José Canseco of the Oakland Athletics became the first member of the 40–40 club.

Sept. 23, 1988 – Hungarian-Serbian explorer and author Tibor Sekelj died at the age of 76 in Subotica, Yugoslavia.

Sept. 23, 1990 - Iraq publicly threatened to destroy Middle East oil fields and to attack Israel if any nation tried to force it from Kuwait.

Sept. 23, 1991 - U.N. weapons inspectors found documents in Baghdad detailing Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program, which triggered a standoff with authorities in Iraq.

Sept. 23, 1996 – Thomas Booker served his final day as Evergreen, Alabama’s police chief before taking another job in Spanish Fort.

Sept. 23, 1998 – In “V for Vendetta,” there had been no activity from V for six months. Finch had been detached from his job since returning from holiday. Dominic speculated that V’s vendetta was over. V and Evey were now reunited, and V offered Evey a chance to avenge Gordon’s death. Transformed by her experience, Evey declined. Rosemary continued to suffer.

Sept. 23, 2001 - Barry Bonds hit his 65th and 66th home run of the season to tie Sammy Sosa for the second most home runs in a season.

Sept. 23, 2001 - In Brookwood, Ala., 13 miners were killed in two explosions at the Blue Creek No. 5 mine.

Sept. 23, 2004 - Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi gave a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Afterward, U.S. President George W. Bush and Allawi gave a joint news conference.

Sept. 23, 2008 - Alabama author Ellen Tarry died in New York.

Sept. 23, 2011 – Sparta Academy’s Dalton Baggett rushed for 263 yards and four touchdowns in Sparta's 38-30 homecoming victory over Lowndes Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Ala. Mike Bledsoe was Sparta’s head coach.

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