Nov. 20, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War British forces landed at the Palisades and then attacked Fort Lee. The Continental Army started to retreat across New Jersey.
Nov. 20, 1780 - General Thomas Sumter was injured, and this led to him giving up his command.
Nov. 20, 1789 – New Jersey became the first U.S. state to ratify the Bill of Rights. New Jersey’s action was a first step toward making the first 10 amendments to the Constitution law and completing the revolutionary reforms begun by the Declaration of Independence.
Nov. 20, 1820 – An 80-feet-long, 80-ton sperm whale attacked the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. The whale's impact put a hole in the Essex causing the ship to capsize, though the crew managed to escape to another vessel. (Herman Melville's 1851 novel “Moby-Dick” was in part inspired by this story.)
Nov. 20, 1826 – Alabama's legislature convened in the new capital of Tuscaloosa for the first time. The capital had been moved there from Cahaba, the state's first permanent capital. In 1846, the legislature voted to change the capital again, this time moving it to Montgomery.
Nov. 20, 1836 – John T. Croxton was born in Paris, Ky. On April 3-4, 1865, Croxton’s cavalry brigade burned most of the University of Alabama's buildings, as well as much of Tuscaloosa's industry and warehouses. After the war, Ulysses S. Grant appointed Croxton as U.S. Minister to Bolivia and Croxton died there of consumption at the age of 37 on April 16, 1874. His remains were shipped home and he was buried in Paris Cemetery in Paris, Ky.
Nov. 20, 1842 – Confederate soldier Harrison Stacey was born on this day, and he later enlisted in Co. F. of the 36th Alabama Infantry. He was wounded at Missionary Ridge and captured. He spent the remaining years of the war at Camp Chase, Ohio. He passed away at the age of 74 on July 29, 1917 and was buried at Confederate Rest Cemetery at the site of the Alabama Confederate Veterans Home in Mountain Creek, Ala. After the war, he operated a logging train and was paralyzed when the train fell through a bridge washed out by heavy rains. The accident site was at a rail crossing of Escambia Creek near Wallace.
Nov. 20, 1861 – A secession ordinance was filed by Kentucky's Confederate government.
Nov. 20, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Brownsville, Ky.
Nov. 20, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Butler and Santa Fe, Mo.
Nov. 20, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate Col. William B. Wood announced to Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary of War, the full suppression the pro-Federal East Tennessee rebellion.
Nov. 20, 1862 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation between Van Buren and Fort Smith, Ark. began, and a seven-day Federal expedition from Camp Douglas to the Cache Valley in the Utah Territory began.
Nov. 20, 1862 – An affair at Matagorda, Texas took place in which a party from the U.S. mortar vessel, Henry James, was captured after they went ashore to purchase food for the crew.
Nov. 20, 1862 - The Confederate Army of Tennessee was constituted by Lieutenant General Braxton Bragg. The Army of Tennessee was to become one of the finest fighting forces on either side, although cursed with dubious leadership. The initial leadership consisted of the following Army Corps Commanders: Lieutenant General Edmund Kirby Smith, Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk and Lieutenant General William Joseph Hardee.
Nov. 20, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Camp Pratt and Vermillion Bayou, La.; and at Sparta, Tenn. Ft. Sumter, S.C. continued to hold on against the heavy continuous Federal shelling.
Nov. 20, 1864 - Union General William T. Sherman’s army moved toward central Georgia after nearly a week into his March to the Sea, destroying property and routing small militia units it its path. Advanced units of the army skirmished with scattered Rebel forces at Clinton, Walnut Creek, East Macon and Griswoldville, all in the vicinity of Macon. The march began on November 15 and ended on December 21, 1864.
Nov. 20, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians near Fort Zarah, Kansas and near Kabletown, West Virginia.
Nov. 20, 1869 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, manager and owner Clark Griffith was born in Clear Creek, Mo. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1946, he played for the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Reds, the Chicago Colts/Orphans, the Chicago White Stockings, the New York Highlanders, the Cincinnati Reds and the Washington Senators. He also managed the White Stockings, the Highlanders, the Cincinnati Reds and the Senators and he owned the Senators fro 1920 to 1955.
Nov. 20, 1889 – Astronomer Edwin Hubble was born in Marshfield, Mo.
Nov. 20, 1901 - The second Hay-Pauncefoot Treaty provided for construction of the Panama Canal by the U.S.
Nov. 20, 1915 – A “most brutal murder” occurred near Greenville on this Saturday afternoon, committed by an “unknown white man.” The victim was Sam Grant, a “highly esteemed young man of Greenville.” The story went that a stranger “engaged an automobile to make a trip into the country,” and Grant served as his driver. About five miles from Greenville, the stranger attacked Grant, striking him on the head several times with a piece of iron, “bursting the skull.” The stranger left Grant, who was found a short time later by the automobile, still alive. Grant remained alive until Mon., Nov. 22, but never regained consciousness. As of Nov. 24, 1915, the stranger had not been caught. It was believed at the time that the motive for the killing was that Grant was known to be a witness in the federal court case against the persons charged with the hold-up and robbery of train No. 37 on July 15, 1915 near Greenville.
Nov. 20, 1931 – In the second game of the season between the two schools, Conecuh County High School’s football team beat Wallace, 12-0, on mud and in the rain in Castleberry, Ala. Standout CCHS players in that game included senior Jim Garrett, who scored on a 40-yard punt return; “Red” Barlow, who scored on a 23-yard punt return; Kent Matthews; and Castleberry center J.C. Quimby, who blocked three punts and partially blocked another; and senior Albreast.
Nov. 20, 1931 – Miss Marie Barganier, a teacher in Conecuh, died at her home in Fort Deposit. Prior to her death, she had “taught very successfully” for three years in Conecuh County, and had began the 1931 school year as a teacher in the Green Street community, before having to resign due to “ill health.”
Nov. 20, 1934 - Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “The Children's Hour” opened on Broadway.
Nov. 20, 1936 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Don DeLillo was born in the Bronx.
Nov. 20, 1940 - Alabama author Bill Easterling was born.
Nov. 20, 1944 – Winston Pierce of Evergreen, Ala. was “slightly wounded” in his left arm above the elbow while serving in France.
Nov. 20, 1945 – During the Nuremberg trials, trials against 24 Nazi war criminals started at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.
Nov. 20, 1946 - Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “Another Part of the Forest” opened on Broadway.
Nov. 20, 1946 - William Stanley Howell Sr. passed away at his home in Castleberry at 10:30 p.m. following a long illness. He was born in Patsburg, Ala. on Oct. 18, 1893, and there he spent his earliest years. After returning home from service in World War I, he moved from Andalusia to his permanent home near Castleberry. He was the Worshipful Master of the Masonic lodge at Castleberry at the time of his death. Masonic services were held at the grave and interment was made in Hamden Ridge cemetery with Cope Funeral Home in charge. Pall bearers were all members of the Masonic Lodge and included R.A. Henderson, B.F. Barlow, C.S. Stacey, W.C. Booker, Wilbur Pierce and Ernest Brewton.
Nov. 20, 1953 – Evergreen High School’s varsity football team closed out the 1953 season with an 8-1-1 record by beating Georgiana, 25-0, in Evergreen, Ala. Captain Sam Cope, a 215-pound tackle, scored the final touchdown of the season, his first TD in five years of football at Evergreen.
Nov. 20, 1962 – The Cuban Missile Crisis ended. In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ended the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.
Nov. 20, 1962 - Mickey Mantle was named the American League Most Valuable Player for the third time.
Nov. 20, 1964 – Charles Elliott Bailey, 25, of Frisco City, Ala. was killed instantly in a two-vehicle accident about eight miles north of Atmore on State Highway 21 about 6:45 p.m.
Nov. 20, 1964 – On homecoming night in Repton, Ala., Repton High School defeated Coffee Springs, 49-0, in the season finale. Repton finished the season with a 5-1-3 overall record and shut out six of their opponents.
Nov. 20, 1967 - On this day in the United States, San Jose State College students demonstrated against the Dow Chemical Company, the maker of napalm. Police were sent in, but the students refused to disperse and several protest leaders were arrested. The next day the students defied California governor Ronald Reagan’s warning against further demonstrations and again staged an anti-Dow demonstration.
Nov. 20, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, The Plain Dealer published explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
Nov. 20, 1970 – Excel High School eighth-grade defensive tackle Rex McCants received the 1970 Camellia Bowl’s Most Outstanding Player Award even though Excel lost the game, 18-3, to Elmore County. The post-season game was played in Greenville, Ala.
Nov. 20, 1974 – Andrews Chapel in McIntosh, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Nov. 20, 1976 – A deer with the “most unusual feet” was killed in Murder Creek Swamp near Castleberry, Ala. on this Saturday morning. The deer had no hooves, but rather long, talon-like toes that were about 8-1/2 inches long. The deer got its talons hung in a dogwood bush and were killed by the dogs that were chasing it. Veteran game warden W.A. Thames said that he’d never seen anything like it. Taking part in the hunt were W.L. “Sonny” Barlow, Billy Wayne Godwin and Lamar Godwin, all of Castleberry.
Nov. 20, 1976 – Conecuh County Sheriff’s Investigator Leroy Ferrell arrested Rochelle Walker Jr. on charges of stemming from the alleged attempted robbery of Arthur Wilson’s Service Station in Castleberry, Ala. and the alleged shooting of Wilson during the robbery. Walker allegedly shot Wilson twice during the robbery, once in the shoulder and again in the elbow.
Nov. 20, 1976 – Dominique Dawes, gymnast and actress, was born in Silver Spring, Maryland.
Nov. 20, 1976 – Laura Harris, actress, was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Nov. 20, 1982 - The Cal football team won an improbable last-second victory over Stanford when they completed five lateral passes around members of the Cardinals’ marching band, who had wandered onto the field a bit early to celebrate the upset they were sure their team had won, and scored a touchdown. After catching the last pass of the series, Cal’s Kevin Moen careened through the confused horn section and made it safely to the end zone. Then he slammed into trombone player Gary Tyrell.
Nov. 20, 1990 - Saddam Hussein ordered another 250,000 Iraqi troops into the country of Kuwait.
Nov. 20, 1996 – Sometime after 8 p.m., Richard Cary, 52, Scott Williams, 39, and Timothy Bryan Cane, 13, were found shot to death inside Cary’s Store in the Brooklyn, Ala. community. Cary was killed by a blast from a shotgun to the head. Williams was apparently killed with a .357 caliber pistol and Crane died as a result of being shot with a .22 or .25 caliber weapon. Ethan Eugene Dorsey, 28, and Calvin Middleton, both of Andalusia, were charged with the crime.
Nov. 20, 2015 – In the quarterfinal round of the Class 3A state playoffs, Hillcrest High School’s football team, under head coach Clinton Smith, made school history by defeating rival T.R. Miller, 25-22, at Municipal Stadium in Brewton. Hillcrest had never even been to the quarterfinal round in school history, and they’d only beaten Miller once before, in 1997. Earlier in the season, Miller, the region champions, had beaten Hillcrest in Brewton by 10 points.