Thursday, November 24, 2016

Today in History for Nov. 24, 2016

George Smith Houston
Nov. 24, 1434 – The River Thames in London, England froze over, and the freeze lasted until February 1435. The last time the Thames froze over was during the brutal winter of 1962, now known as the “Big Freeze.”

Nov. 24, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition visited the ancient Indian town of Cabusto (Zabusta), located probably on the west bank of the Black Warrior River at St. Stephens Bluff in Greene County, Ala.

Nov. 24, 1642 – Abel Tasman became the first European to discover the island Van Diemen's Land (later renamed Tasmania).

Nov. 24, 1713 – Novelist Laurence Sterne was born in Clonmel, Ireland. He is best remembered for his 1760 book, “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.”

Nov. 24, 1784 - Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, was born in Barboursville, Virginia.

Nov. 24, 1807 - Mohawk Chief Thayendanegea, also known by his English name, Joseph Brant, died at his home in Burlington, Ontario. Before dying, Brant, an educated Christian and Freemason, reportedly said, “Have pity on the poor Indians. If you have any influence with the great, endeavour to use it for their good.”

Nov. 24, 1841 – Arthur P. Bagby of Claiborne, Ala. was elected to succeed Clement C. Clay, who had resigned, in the U.S. Senate. Bagby would serve in the senate until June 16, 1848, when he resigned.

Nov. 24, 1859 - Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, published "On the Origin of Species," the paper in which he explained his theory of evolution through the process of natural selection.

Nov. 24, 1859 – Architect Cass Gilbert was born in Zanesville, Ohio.

Nov. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, the USS Jacinto delivered Confederate Commissioners Mason and Slidell to Fort Warren in Boston Harbor, Mass.

Nov. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, Federal forces, with the assistance of the USS August, Flo, Pocahontas, Savannah and Seneca, occupied Tybee Island on the Savannah River near Savannah, Ga. and in proximity to Fort Pulaski.

Nov. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, wealthy 40-year-old Memphis merchant Nathan Bedford Forrest set forth with the regiment he raised and commanded on their first mission into Kentucky, headed to Caseyville and Eddyville. With his philosophy of “get there first, with the most men,” Forrest became one of the most feared Confederate commanders of the Western theater.

Nov. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Johnstown and Lancaster, Mo.

Nov. 24, 1862 – Confederate General Joseph Eggleston Johnston was appointed to overall command of an immense territory in the Western part of the Confederacy. His command included all of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, as well as western North Carolina, northern Georgia and eastern Louisiana. Fortunately for Johnston, most of these areas were peaceful and productive and gave him no trouble. Unfortunately he also faced one of the biggest problems in the war: preventing Union forces, including one U.S. Grant, from retaking control of the Mississippi River. His primary assistants in this endeavor were Gen. Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee, which was now moving in the direction of Murfreesboro south of Nashville, and Gen. John C. Pemberton, who was in overall charge of defending Vicksburg in northern Mississippi.

Nov. 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Tompkinsville, Ky.; at Beaver Creek, Mo.; and at Newtown, West Virginia.

Nov. 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal expedition from Sharpsburg, Md. to Shepherdstown, West Virginia began. A three-day Federal expedition from Greenfield into Jasper and Barton Counties, Mo. began. A six-day Federal expedition from Summerville to Cold Knob Mountain, West Virginia began.

Nov. 24, 1863 – During the Battle of Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant captured Lookout Mountain southwest of Chattanooga and began to break the Confederate siege of the city led by General Braxton Bragg. The Confederates abandoned the mountain by late afternoon.

Nov. 24, 1863 – George Anderson of the Conecuh Guards was killed at the Battle of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, Tenn. William Hodges of the Conecuh Guards (wounded at Gaines’s Farm) was taken prisoner at Lookout Mountain and died near Washington, Ga. in 1865.

Nov. 24, 1863 – During the Battle of Lookout Mountain, Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) was shot in the left leg, just below the knee, during an engagement at Knoxville while serving with Co. F, 15th Alabama Infantry, Army of Tennessee. He was apparently sent to recuperate at Campbell’s Station, but was captured by the Union there on Dec. 8.

Nov. 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Clarkville, Ark. and near Cunningham’s Bluff, S.C.

Nov. 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal expedition from Salem to Busby and Pigeon Creek, Gladen Valley and Dry Fork, Mo. began.

Nov. 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal raid on the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad began, with skirmishes at Charleston and Cleveland, Tenn.

Nov. 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at the foot of Missionary Ridge, Tenn. as Union Major General William T. Sherman prepared to take the ridge; near Kingston and Sparta, Tenn.; and at Little Boston and Woodville, Va.

Nov. 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Saint Charles, Ark.; at Campbellsville, Columbia and Lynnville, Tenn.; and at Prince George Courthouse and Parkin’s Mill, Va.

Nov. 24, 1864 – During the Civil war, the long March to the Sea continued through Georgia on this day, as the last of Sherman’s men pulled out of the capital of Milledgeville. The man designated to lead the defense on this play got a message from the head coach on this day: “When the purpose of the enemy shall be developed,” wrote Jefferson Davis to Gen. W. J. Hardee, “every effort must be made to obstruct the route on which he is moving, and all other available means must be employed to delay his march, as well to enable our forces to be concentrated as to reduce him to want of the necessary supplies.” Hardee could be forgiven for a growl at being told the obvious. He had no idea what route Sherman would take, out of several possible roads; and concentrating every man he had would still not have been enough to block even one.

Nov. 24, 1869 - By joint resolution of the legislature, Alabama ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed the right to vote to blacks, including former slaves.

Nov. 24, 1871 - The National Rifle Association was incorporated in the United States.

Nov. 24, 1874 - George Smith Houston, a Democrat, was inaugurated governor, signaling the end of Reconstruction in Alabama. In addition to defeating the incumbent Republican governor, Democrats won control of the state legislature, leading them to claim "redemption" for Alabamians from the rule of "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags." It would be more than 100 years before another Republican would be elected governor of Alabama.

Nov. 24, 1877 – Anna Sewell's animal welfare novel “Black Beauty” was published.

Nov. 24, 1878 – John Lemuel Bowden was born at Claiborne, Ala. and he would become Monroe County (Ala.) Sheriff in 1923.

Nov. 24, 1885 – German SS officer Christian Wirth was born in Oberbalzheim, Württemberg, German Empire.

Nov. 24, 1886 – Margaret Anderson, the publisher and editor of The Little Review magazine, was born in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Nov. 24, 1893 - Mathew Anderson, who established the Anderson Stage Stop on the Old Federal Road along the Conecuh-Monroe county line, passed away.

Nov. 24, 1902 - A dramatic version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “Audrey” opened on Broadway.

Nov. 24, 1906 – A 13-6 victory by the Massillon Tigers over their rivals, the Canton Bulldogs, for the "Ohio League" Championship, led to accusations that the championship series was fixed and resulted in the first major scandal in professional football.

Nov. 24-26, 1908 – The annual state reunion of the Alabama Division of the United Confederate Veterans was scheduled to be held in Mobile, Ala.

Nov. 24, 1911 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Joe Medwick was born in Carteret, New Jersey. He went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants and the Boston Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1968.

Nov. 24, 1914 – W.H. Snowden, a prominent citizen of Brooklyn, Ala., passed away at the age of 73. He was born and raised at Brooklyn and lived there his entire life. He enlisted in 1861 with Co. E (Conecuh Guards) of the 4th Alabama Infantry and served with General Robert E. Lee in all of his Virginia campaigns. Snowden was “permanently disabled” during a skirmish at Lenior Station, Tenn. on Dec. 16, 1863. He was a member of Camp Wm. Lee, No. 338, UCV. (Some sources say he died on Nov. 25, 1914.)

Nov. 24, 1915 – An oyster supper and dance were scheduled to be held at the Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill, Ala. on this Wednesday night as a fundraiser for the “benefit of the school.”

Nov. 24, 1915 – The fall term of the Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court adjourned on this Wednesday evening. “The docket was unusually light and all cases were disposed of either by trial or continuance.” Judge Turner and Solicitor McDuffie were to travel from Monroeville to Clarke County, Ala. where court was scheduled to convene on Nov. 29.

Nov. 24, 1932 – On this Thanksgiving Day, in what was called the “outstanding football game of the season,” Excel High School beat Frisco City High School, 14-2.

Nov. 24, 1938 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Depew “Pete” Meredith, who had been The Courant’s advertising manager since that August, was leaving to become the editor and business manager of The Brundidge Sentinel, effective Dec. 1.

Nov. 24, 1945 – Novelist Nuruddin Farah was born in Baidoa, Somalia.

Nov. 24, 1947 - John Steinbeck's novel "The Pearl" was published for the first time.

Nov. 24, 1959 – Booker Prize-winning novelist and essayist Arundhati Roy was born in Shillong, India. She is best known for her 1997 book, “The God of Small Things.”

Nov. 24, 1963 - Two days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson confirmed the U.S. intention to continue military and economic support to South Vietnam.

Nov. 24, 1963 – In the first live, televised murder, Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy, was murdered on national television two days after the Kennedy assassination, by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters.

Nov. 24, 1965 - U.S. casualty statistics reflected the intensified fighting in the Ia Drang Valley and other parts of the Central Highlands. In their first significant contacts, U.S. forces and North Vietnamese regulars fought a series of major battles in the Highlands that led to high casualties for both sides. A record 240 American soldiers were killed and another 470 were wounded during the previous week.

Nov. 24, 1969 - U.S. Army officials announced 1st Lt. William Calley would be court-martialed for the premeditated murder of 109 Vietnamese civilians at My Lai.

Nov. 24, 1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker who became known as Dan “D.B.” Cooper hijacked a Northwest Orient Boeing 727 plane in the airspace between Portland, Oregon and Seattle and extorted $200,000 in ransom and then parachuted from the plane to an uncertain fate. Despite an extensive manhunt and an ongoing FBI investigation, the perpetrator has never been located or positively identified. The case remains the only unsolved air piracy in American aviation history.

Nov. 24, 1996 – “In Cold Blood,” a two-part TV miniseries based on Truman Capote’s book, “In Cold Blood,” originally aired on CBS. The second episode aired on Nov. 26, 1996.

Nov. 24, 1996 - Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions set an NFL record when he recorded his eighth straight 1,000-yard season.

Nov. 24, 1999 - Jared Stacey, 18, killed a 235-pound buck in the Springhill community near Repton. The buck had 10 points, a 22-1/2 inch inside spread and 24-inch outside spread.

Nov. 24, 2000 – In this day’s issue of The New York Times, Margaret Mittelbach and Michael Crewdson reported on the city’s vampire scene “that had been going strong since the mid-90s” and the many nightclubs that cater to the “daylight-challenged” in their article, “Vampires: Painting the Town Red.”

Nov. 24, 2003 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn passed away at the age of 82 in Broken Arrow, Okla. During his career, he played for the Boston/Milwaukee Braves, the New York Mets and the San Francisco Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.

Nov. 24, 2012 – Major League Baseball’s James Franklin “Jimmy” Stewart passed away at the age of 73 in Tampa, Fla. Born in Opelika, Ala. on June 11, 1939, Stewart graduated from Lafayette High School in 1957 and went on to play for the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago White Sox, the Cincinnati Reds and the Houston Astros. 

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