Oct. 7, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition passed through in Indian village of Humati, which was probably situated on the west bank of the Alabama River, just north of Camden, in present-day Wilcox County, Ala.
Oct. 7, 1542 – Explorer Cabrillo discovered Santa Catalina Island off of the California coast.
Oct. 7, 1691 – The English royal charter for the Province of Massachusetts Bay was issued.
Oct. 7, 1763 - In the aftermath of the French and Indian War, Britain's King George III established the colonies of East and West Florida by royal proclamation. West Florida's northern boundary was set at the 31st parallel, which today forms most of Alabama's boundary with Florida.
Oct. 7, 1763 – King George III of the United Kingdom issued the Royal Proclamation of 1763, closing aboriginal lands in North America north and west of Alleghenies to white settlements.
Oct. 7, 1765 - Nine American colonies sent a total of 28 delegates to New York City for the Stamp Act Congress. The delegates adopted the "Declaration of Rights and Grievances."
Oct. 7, 1777 – During the American Revolutionary War, an American force under General Benedict Arnold defeated a British reconnaissance force in the Second Battle of Saratoga, also known as the Battle of Bemis Heights.
Oct. 7, 1780 – During the American Revolutionary War at the Battle of Kings Mountain, American Patriot militia under Col. William Campbell defeated Loyalist irregulars led by British major Patrick Ferguson in North Carolina, near the border with Blacksburg, S.C. The Loyalists suffered 157 killed, 163 wounded and 698 captured, while Campbell’s force suffered just 28 killed and 60 wounded. The Patriot success was the first against the British in the South, and convinced General Cornwallis to stop his march through the territory.
Oct. 7, 1835 – Former Georgia senator and U.S. federal judge Charles Tait passed away at the age of 67 near Claiborne, Ala. and was buried in Dry Forks Cemetery on his country estate in Wilcox County, Ala.
Oct. 7, 1849 – Around 5 a.m., horror writer Edgar Allan Poe died at the age of 40 at the Washington Medical College in Baltimore, Md.
Oct. 7, 1850 – George O. Miller acquired the Tristram Bethea House (also known as Pleasant Ridge) at Canton Bend in Wilcox County, Ala. after Bethea moved to Mobile. Miller paid $2,800 for the house, which was built in 1842, and 157 acres.
Oct. 7, 1861 – During the Civil War, the following were appointed Confederate Major Generals: William Joseph Hardee, Theophilius Hunter Holmes, Benjamin Huger, Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, James “Pete” Longstreet, Mansfield Lovell and John Bankhead Magruder.
Oct. 7, 1861 – During the Civil War, a Federal reconnaissance operation was conducted from Cairo, Illinois, to Lucas Bend, Missouri.
Oct. 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Brown Hill and Perryville, Ky.; near Box Ford on the Hatchie River, near Ripley and Ruckersville, Miss.; near New Franklin and Newtonia, Mo.; and near La Vergne, Tenn.
Oct. 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federals captured Governor Milton of Florida.
Oct. 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Evening Shade, Ferry’s Ford and Spring River, Ark.; with Indians in the Choctaw Nation of the Indian Territory; near Warsaw, Mo.; at Farmington, Blue Springs and near Shelbyville, Tenn.; at Mitchell’s Ford and Utz’s Ford on the Rapidan River and another on the Hazel River, Va.; and at Charlestown and Summit Point, West Virginia.
Oct. 7, 1864 - Union troops turned back General Robert E. Lee's assault at the Battle of Darbytown Road (Johnson's Farm) near Richmond, Virginia. The Confederates lost 700 men while the Yankees lost only 400, and no ground was gained. Lee did not make another attempt to regain lost ground in the area and focused instead on setting up defenses closer to Richmond.
Oct. 7, 1864 - The Union warship USS Wachusett illegally captured the Confederate raider CSS Florida. The Rebel ship was in port at Bahia, Brazil in violation of Brazilian neutrality.
Oct. 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Jefferson City, Moreau Creek, Tyler’s Mill, and Big River, Mo.; at Dallas, Ga.; with Indians on Elk Creek in the Nebraska Territory; and at Strasburg, Columbia Furnace, near New Market, Va.
Oct. 7, 1885 – Noble Prize-winning Danish physicist Niels Bohr was born in Copenhagen.
Oct. 7, 1889 – Two people were convicted of “disturbing religious worship” and were fined $80 in Monroe County Court in Monroeville, Ala.
Oct. 7, 1890 – Jesse Hildreth, George Ford and Frank Marshall helped John S. McDuffie of Monroe County and Jefferson Davis “Dixie” Carter of Myrtlewood capture wanted train robber Rube Burrow at Ford’s cabin at Boneyville, about two miles east of Myrtlewood in Marengo County, Ala. From there, McDuffie and Carter took Burrow to Linden, Ala.
Oct. 7, 1892 – In Monroe County, Ala. “perhaps the most brutal crime ever in the county occurred on the west side of the river in the King neighborhood” on this night. Richard L. Johnson, “an aged gentleman from the north who moved into the community a short time previously, was called to the door and brained with an axe, his daughter outraged and the bodies of both consumed in their burning home.” Four men were arrested, confronted with evidence against them, confessed and were put in jail. “In the dead hours of night, a mob stormed the prison, took the miscreants there from and meted out punishment.”
Oct. 7, 1904 – English historian and explorer Isabella Bird died in Edinburgh at the age of 72. With Fanny Jane Butler, she founded the John Bishop Memorial hospital in Srinagar. She was also the first woman to be elected Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Oct. 7, 1905 – William Gandy, about 18 years old, was crushed to death by a falling tree near Mexia, Ala. Gandy, his father and another man were in a wagon on a public road when they saw a large pine in the act of falling. Gandy urged the horses on, but was caught beneath the tree and crushed by “the ponderous weight of the trunk.” The father and other man jumped from the wagon, and the father was slightly injured.
Oct. 7, 1914 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Editor Abe Lehman had sold The Greenville Living Truth to V.R. Thagard, who changed the name of the paper to The Greenville Ledger.
Oct. 7, 1916 – Georgia Tech defeated Cumberland University, 222–0, in the most lopsided college football game in American history. Georgia Tech carried the ball 978 yards and never threw a pass.
Oct. 7, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Hance F. Stokes of Jackson, Ala. “died from disease.”
Oct. 7, 1923 – German SS officer Irma Grese was born in Wrechen, Free State of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Germany.
Oct. 7, 1925 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson died of tuberculosis at the age of 45 in Saranac Lake, New York. During his career, he played for the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds and he also managed the Reds for two seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936.
Oct. 7, 1928 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Randolph Carter vanished in the ruins of his family’s ancestral mansion outside Arkham. Carter first appeared in “The Statement of Randolph Carter” by H.P. Lovecraft.
Oct. 7, 1931 – Tommy Lewis of Alabama football fame was born in Greenville, Ala. Lewis is best remembered for his second quarter off-the-bench tackle of Rice halfback Dicky Moegle on a running play that started at the Rice five-yard line in the 1954 Cotton Bowl. Moegle took the handoff and raced along the sideline near the Alabama bench. As Moegle passed midfield, Lewis sprang from the bench to tackle Moegle. The referee awarded Rice a 95-yard touchdown on the play. Rice won the game, 28-6. Incidentally, Lewis, a fullback, scored Alabama’s only touchdown that day.
Oct. 7, 1933 – W.Y. Fleming, the principal of the Second District Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala., announced in Montgomery that he would not enter the race for State Superintendent of Education as had been rumored.
Oct. 7, 1935 – Australian author Thomas Keneally was born in Sydney.
Oct. 7, 1948 – Poet and author Diane Ackerman was born Diane Fink in Waukegan, Ill.
Oct. 7, 1955 - Alabama author Jo S. Kittinger was born in Miami, Fla.
Oct. 7, 1955 – American poet Allen Ginsberg, age 29, performed his poem “Howl” for the first time at the Six Gallery in San Francisco.
Oct. 7, 1956 - Al Carmichael of the Green Bay Packers returned a kickoff 106 yards to set a National Football League record.
Oct. 7, 1956 – On this Sunday morning, ground was broken for a new Sunday School Annex to the Education Building at the Evergreen Methodist Church in Evergreen, Ala. The annex was to contain seven classrooms and two bathrooms.
Oct. 7, 1965 – The Evergreen Jaycees announced the selection of Brent Thornley as the Outstanding Player of the Week for his performance in Evergreen’s football game against W.S. Neal on Oct. 1. This was Thornley’s second time to receive the honor during the 1965 season, having also been named as the Outstanding Player after Evergreen’s game against Atmore on Sept. 10.
Oct. 7, 1966 – Monroe County High School beat Excel, 48-14, in Monroeville, Ala. Roger Brown and Randy McDonald were the big guns for the Tigers as they scored a total of 24 points between them and ran up 176 yards total rushing and combined on two pass plays for 46 yards and a touchdown. Other standout MCHS players in that game included Butch Andress, Danny Ikner, Kenneth Kilpatrick, Rusty Pitts, Benny Ray Powell, Harvey Tait and Wayne Turberville. Standout Excel players in that game included Amos Stacey and Stanley Wilson.
Oct. 7, 1966 – Monroe County High School’s student body elected Charlotte Tatum, a 17-year-old senior, as MCHS’s homecoming queen. Other members of the homecoming court included sophomores Kay Adam and Elise Jones and juniors Kay Tomlinson and Elizabeth Harper.
Oct. 7, 1969 - At his departure from Saigon following a four-day inspection of South Vietnam, General Earle Wheeler, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reported that “progress in Vietnamization is being steadily and realistically achieved,” but that U.S. forces would have to assist the South Vietnamese “for some time to come.”
Oct. 7, 1970 - In a televised speech, President Richard Nixon announced a five-point proposal to end the war, based on a “standstill” cease-fire in place in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.
Oct. 7, 1976 – American Idol winner Taylor Hicks was born in Birmingham, Ala.
Oct. 7, 1976 – Heisman Trophy-winning free safety Charles Woodson was born in Fremont, Ohio. He went on to play college ball for Michigan and in the NFL for the Oakland Raiders and the Green Bay Packers.
Oct. 7, 1977 - Ninety sets of Swedish identical twins disembarked from a cruise ship to go on a shopping trip in Felixstowe, England. The twins were taking part in studies by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on the links between environment and behavior.
Oct. 7, 1980 – “Beulah Land,” a television version of Alabama author Lonnie Coleman's books “Beulah Land” and “Look Away Beulah Land,” was broadcast.
Oct. 7, 1984 - Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton became the NFL’s all-time rushing leader, breaking the record Cleveland’s Jim Brown set in 1965. In front of 53,752 people at Soldier Field, Payton carried the ball 154 yards and finished the game with a new career rushing record -12,400 yards, 88 more than Brown.
Oct. 7, 1986 – The Evergreen City Council voted 3-2 to hire long-time city employee Laurice A. Harold as the new city clerk to replace Miller T. Sellers, who retired on Sept. 30, 1986 after 30 years with the city. Harold had worked for the city for 28 years prior to being hired as city clerk.
Oct. 7, 1987 – Darron L. Spencer, 14, of Franklin was killed and Willie J. Primm, 15, of Franklin was injured in a one-vehicle accident on State Highway 41 at around 6:40 p.m., about three miles north of Franklin. Spencer was driving a 1974 Pinto at the time of the accident, and Primm was a passenger.
Oct. 7, 1991 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and manager Leo Durocher passed away at the age of 86 in Palm Springs, Calif. During his career, he played for the New York Yankees, the Cincinnati Reds, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he went on to manage the Dodgers, the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs and the Houston Astros. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
Oct. 7, 1994 - U.S. President Bill Clinton dispatched an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf when Iraqi troops were spotted moving toward Kuwait. The U.S. Army was also put on alert.
Oct. 7, 1998 – Rikard’s Mill, north of Beatrice, Ala., was added to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Oct. 7, 1998 – The Gafford-Hartley-Mullins House near Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Oct. 7, 2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 73rd home run of the season and set a new major league record.
Oct. 7, 2001 – The Global War on Terrorism began as a result of the September 11 attacks. The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan initiated with an air assault and covert operations on the ground.
Oct. 7, 2002 - U.S. President George W. Bush gave a national address to outline his case against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's regime. In the speech Bush called Hussein a "murderous tyrant" that may be plotting attacks on the United States.
Oct. 7, 2003 - In California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected governor in the recall election of Governor Gray Davis.
Oct. 7, 2008 – The Major Edward Preston Price House near Forest Home, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Oct. 7, 2009 – A bronze statue of Helen Keller was added to the National Statuary Hall Collection in the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol to represent Alabama. The statue, by Edward Hlavka, depicts Keller in her youth at the water pump at her childhood home in Tuscumbia, Ala.