Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Today in History for Nov. 21, 2016

James Alexander Seddon
Nov. 21, 1620 – Plymouth Colony settlers signed the Mayflower Compact. Pilgrim leaders, including William Bradford and William Brewster, drafted the 200-word compact in part to ease tensions between the Puritan Separatists and the other passengers, and every adult male passenger had to sign the compact before going ashore. The compact was the first attempt at forming a democratic government in what would become the United States of America, and it remained in use until the Massachusetts Bay Colony absorbed the Plymouth Colony in 1691.

Nov. 21, 1643 – French-American explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle was born in Rouen, Normandy, France. He explored the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. La Salle claimed the entire Mississippi River basin for France.

Nov. 21, 1694 – Prominent Freemason and writer François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) was born in Paris, France.

Nov. 21, 1776 – In what proved a fateful decision, Continental Commander in Chief General George Washington wrote to General Charles Lee in Westchester County, New York, to report the loss of Fort Lee, New Jersey, and to order Lee to bring his forces to New Jersey. Lee wanted to stay in New York, so he dawdled in departing and crossing the small state of New Jersey to the Delaware River, where Washington impatiently awaited the arrival of his reinforcements. On Dec. 13, Lee left his army, still dallying on its way to join Washington, and rode—with minimal guard–in search of female sociability at Widow White’s Tavern in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and it was there that British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and the 16th Queen’s Light Dragoons captured him on the morning of Dec. 15.

Nov. 21, 1789 – North Carolina ratified the United States Constitution and was admitted as the 12th U.S. state.

Nov. 21, 1814 – General Andrew Jackson left Mobile, Ala. for New Orleans.

Nov. 21, 1818 – The site of the first Alabama state capital at Cahaba was approved with Huntsville to serve as a temporary capital while the new site was being developed.

Nov. 21, 1818 - Autauga County was created by an Act of the Alabama territorial legislature, almost one year before Alabama became a state. The county was named for the Autauga Indians, members of the larger Creek Confederacy, who once lived in the area. Autauga County's proximity to the cotton-growing Black Belt made it a manufacturing giant during the 19th century.

Nov. 21, 1836 – Thirty-three-year-old David Moniac of Alabama, the first Native American graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, was killed at the Battle of Wahoo Swamp in Sumter County, Fla. He is buried in the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Fla.

Nov. 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Judah Benjamin as his Secretary of War. Benjamin’s appointment came after the Battle of First Bull Run, Va. in July 1861, Confederate Secretary of War Leroy Walker resigned amid criticism that the Confederate army did not pursue the defeated Yankees. Although Benjamin had no military experience, his appointment allowed Davis to dominate Confederate military affairs by placing his trusted friend in the position of secretary of war.

Nov. 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, 10,000 Confederate volunteers were called out in Mississippi for the defense of Columbus, Ky. by Confederate Gen. Albert Sidney Johnston.

Nov. 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederates destroyed stores and munitions at Warsaw, Mo.

Nov. 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate Brig. Gen. Lloyd Tilghman was assigned to the command of Forts Henry and Donnelson, on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers in Tennessee.

Nov. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Petite Anse Island and Bayou Bonfouca, La.

Nov. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed James A. Seddon as the Secretary of War.

Nov. 21, 1863 – Anthologist and writer Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch was born in Cornwall.

Nov. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Jacksonport, Ark. and at Liberty, Va. A two-day Federal operation from Fort Pillow, Tenn. began, and a Federal expedition from Bealeton toward Thoroughfare Gap, Va. began.

Nov. 21, 1863 - The Union army began maneuvering into position in the Chattanooga, Tenn. area. The Union armies that had been bottled up in Chattanooga since the battle of Chickamauga had reached its disastrous conclusion were about to be idle no longer. U.S. Grant was on the scene and settling the last details of the breakout battle with his commanders. Sherman was to engage in a complicated movement requiring not one but two crossings of the Tennessee River to get to the Confederate right flank. Thomas was to strike the center, a formation known as Missionary Ridge. Hooker, who was doing much better since his reassignment to the west, was to move into the valley below Lookout Mountain then attack the Confederate left.

Nov. 21, 1863 - President Abraham Lincoln was confined to bed with a mild case of smallpox. He believed his recent speech at Gettysburg, Pa. was a failure.

Nov. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, legend holds that it was on this day that U.S. President Abraham Lincoln composed a letter to Lydia Bixby, a widow and mother of five men who had been killed in the Civil War. A copy of the letter was then published in the Boston Evening Transcript on Nov. 25 and signed “Abraham Lincoln.” The original letter has never been found.

Nov. 21, 1864 - The Confederate Army of Tennessee, under the overall command of Lieut. Gen. John Bell Hood, set out from Florence, Ala. for Tennessee under the following commands: Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Cheatham’s Army Corps; Lieut. Gen. Stephen Dill Lee’s Army Corps; Lieut. Gen. Alexander peter Stewart’s Army Corps; and Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Cavalry Corps.

Nov. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Clinton, Eatonton, Gordon, Griswoldville and Macon, Ga.; and in the vicinity of Fulton, Mo.

Nov. 21, 1870 - Alabama author Mary Johnston was born in Buchanan, Va.

Nov. 21, 1877 – Thomas Edison announced his invention of the hand cranked cylinder phonograph dubbed the "talking machine.” “Mary Had a Little Lamb” was the first recording made for it.

Nov. 21, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that the McCreary & Co. store at Turnbull, Ala. had been burglarized one night during the preceding week. The burglars stole a new suit of clothes, a barrel of flour, a side of bacon and a few smaller articles.

Nov. 21, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Ada Thames of Perdue Hill, Ala. was teaching a flourishing school at Packers’ Bend. There were 16 regular attending pupils enrolled in the school.

Nov. 21, 1902 – The Philadelphia Football Athletics defeated the Kanaweola Athletic Club of Elmira, New York, 39–0, in the first ever professional football night game.

Nov. 21, 1904 – Nobel Prize-winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer was born in Leoncin, Poland.

Nov. 21, 1904 – Jazz saxophonist and pioneer Coleman Hawkins was born in St. Joseph Mo. He is best remembered for his 1939 record, “Body and Soul,” was was entered into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry in 2004.

Nov. 21, 1916 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sid Luckman was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He would go on to play for Columbia and the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1965.

Nov. 21, 1919 – The USS Herbert, which was named after Greenville, Ala. attorney and former Secretary of the Navy Hilary A. Herbert, was officially commissioned with Lt. Commander E.A. Logan in command.

Nov. 21, 1920 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman and outfielder Stan Musial was born in Donora, Pa. He would go on to play his entire professional career with the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1969.

Nov. 21, 1931 - The University of Southern California surprised Notre Dame with a last-minute game-winning field goal at the new Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend. The victory won USC the national championship and snapped Notre Dame’s 26-game winning streak.

Nov. 21, 1931 - Milton Ladd, Dr. Townsend and Stanley Fountain, all of Mobile, Ala., participated in a dove hunt near Belleville, Ala. and were joined by Dr. H.C. Fountain and Mr. W.D. Lewis of Evergreen, Ala.

Nov. 21, 1933 – Work began on Wheeler Dam, 16 miles north of Wilson Dam in Florence, Ala.

Nov. 21, 1934 - The New York Yankees purchased the contract of Joe DiMaggio from San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League.

Nov. 21, 1940 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen High School’s basketball team, which won the 1940 county championship, had begun practice for the coming season under new head coach James C. Smith. Players on the team included D.C. “Papa” Garner, Edsen Johnson, Marvin Hanks, Derrill Moorer, Randy Moorer, Judson Murphy, Knud Nielsen and Fred Owens.

Nov. 21, 1941 - Senator Lister Hill advised The Monroe Journal in a telegram on this Friday that President Roosevelt had approved a paving project for the town of Monroeville in the amount of $72,275. Monroeville Mayor Hendrix told The Journal that these funds, when available, would be added to the $30,000 borrowed by the town of Monroeville some months ago, and would be applied on material and labor for paving the streets of the town. The mayor also stated that county road machines would be used on the project and work would probably begin on the street running north from the J.A. Lazenby property.

Nov. 21, 1946 – Evergreen High School, under Coach Wendell Hart, beat Pike County High School (Brundidge), 54-0, in Evergreen, Ala. on a rain-soaked field. Standout Evergreen players in that game included Brantley, Billy Carpenter, Davis, Ivey, Logue, Glenn McIntyre, Pierce, Robinson, Ryan.

Nov. 21, 1947 – Evergreen High School closed out the 1947 season with a 6-1-2 record by battling to a 0-0 homecoming tie with T.R. Miller High School at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala.

Nov. 21, 1953 - The British Natural History Museum announced that the "Piltdown Man" skull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, was a hoax.

Nov. 21, 1955 – At a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce in Monroeville, it was reported that carrier mail delivery service for municipal Monroeville was to begin around the middle of January 1956. Commerce officials stated the tentative time for the beginning of the service was obtained from the Post Office Department and was pending completion of a number of details, including the erection of letter boxes and the possible procurement of a delivery truck.

Nov. 21, 1958 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Mel Ott died in New Orleans, La. at the age of 49, a week after being involved in an automobile accident in Bay Saint Louis, Miss. He played his entire career for the New York Giants and also managed the Giants from 1942 to 1948. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.

Nov. 21, 1959 - Major League Baseball lifted the ban on inter-league trades.

Nov. 21, 1963 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, arrived in San Antonio, Texas. They were beginning an ill-fated, two-day tour of Texas that would end in Dallas with Kennedy’s assassination.

Nov. 21, 1966 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman was born in West Covina, Calif. He would go on to play for Oklahoma, UCLA and the Dallas Cowboys. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.

Nov. 21, 1967 – During the Vietnam War, American General William Westmoreland told news reporters: "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing."

Nov. 21, 1968 – Deaf-mute five-year-old Samuel Moore of Repton, Ala. was killed in a car accident when he ran in front of a 1967 Datsun driven by Ronald W. Howington of Range around 5:30 p.m. in Repton.

Nov. 21, 1969 – National Baseball Hall of Fame centerfielder Ken Griffey Jr. was born in Donora, Pa. He would go on to play for the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

Nov. 21, 1970 – During the Vietnam War’s Operation Ivory Coast, a joint United States Air Force and Army team raided the Sơn Tây prisoner-of-war camp in an attempt to free American prisoners of war thought to be held there.

Nov. 21, 1971 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan was born in Houston, Texas. He went on to play for Texas Southern and the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of fame in 2014.

Nov. 21, 1973 - U.S. President Richard M. Nixon's attorney, J. Fred Buzhardt, announced the presence of an 18½-minute gap in one of the White House tape recordings related to the Watergate case.

Nov. 21, 1974 - The Freedom of Information Act was passed into law.

Nov. 21, 1975 - Bob Atheney began bowling for 265 hours spread over 11 days.

Nov. 21, 1977 - Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears ran for an NFL record 275 yards against the Minnesota Vikings.

Nov. 21, 1977 – Milwaukee Brewers President Bud Selig fired his team’s manager, Birmingham, Ala. native Alex Grammas, and General Manager Jim Baumer. Grammas ended his managerial career with a record of 137-191.

Nov. 21, 1981 – Alabama offensive tackle Wesley Britt was born in Cullman, Ala. He went on to play for Cullman High School, the University of Alabama and the New England Patriots.

Nov. 21, 1982 - The National Football League resumed its season following a 57-day player's strike.

Nov. 21, 1983 – The Evergreen City Council appointed James Powell as the city’s permanent police chief. He’d been serving as acting chief for a number of months prior to this date.

Nov. 21, 1985 – Eddie Salter, Evergreen’s World Champion Turkey Caller, was scheduled to be interviewed on the 5:30 p.m. news on WAKA TV, Channel 8, Selma. Salter had won numerous turkey calling contests over the Southeast and was marketing his own turkey caller. He was generally recognized as one of the top turkey hunters in the state and was named to the State’s Top Ten in 1984.

Nov. 21, 1985 - The TG&Y Family Center in Evergreen, Ala. was scheduled to hold a grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9 a.m. after a period extensive remodeling. TG&Y opened its Evergreen center on June 8, 1978.

Nov. 21, 1986 – In the Class 5A state playoffs, Eufaula High School beat Monroe County High School, 7-0, in Eufaula. Outstanding MCHS players in that game included Jerome Betts, Sidney Carmichael, George Coker, Robert Howard, Willie Kidd, Torey Kimberl, Cale Lindsey, Tony McPherson, Art Owens, Steve Ramer, Allen Richardson, John Tomlinson, Manning Williams and Mark Williams. Howard Busby was MCHS’s head coach.

Nov. 21, 1987 – Two-term Alabama governor James “Big Jim” Folsom passed away at the age of 79 in Cullman, Ala. He was buried in the Cullman City Cemetery.

Nov. 21, 1988 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell passed away at the age of 85 in Scottsdale, Az. He played his entire career, 1928-1943, for the New York Giants. He was incuded into the Hall of Fame in 1947.

Nov. 21, 2004 – The Paris Club agreed to write off 80 percent (up to $100 billion) of Iraq's external debt.

Nov. 21, 2007 - With Aruban investigators citing what was described as newly discovered evidence, Joran van der Sloot and Satish and Deepak Kalpoe were rearrested on suspicion of involvement in "manslaughter and causing serious bodily harm that resulted in the death of (Alabama’s Natalee) Holloway."

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