Sunday, December 11, 2016

Today in History for Dec. 11, 2016

George Washington Harris
Dec. 11, 1719 - The first recorded display of the Aurora Borealis in the United States took place on this date in New England.

Dec. 11, 1777 - General George Washington began marching 12,000 soldiers of his Continental Army from Whitemarsh to Valley Forge, Pa. for the winter. As Washington’s men began crossing the Schuylkill River, they were surprised by a regiment of several thousand British troops led by General Charles Cornwallis. Cornwallis came across the continental forces by chance as he followed General William Howe’s orders to forage for supplies in the hills outside Philadelphia.

Dec. 11, 1816 - Indiana was admitted to the Union as the 19th American state.

Dec. 11, 1833 – Methodist minister Joseph Tarpley Peacock, the father of Lewis Lavon Peacock, married James Dean to Rachel Davis in Wilkinson County, Ga. This was one of two documented wedding ceremonies he conducted in Wilkinson County.

Dec. 11, 1854 – Outlaw train robber Reuben Houston “Rube” Burrow was born in Lamar County, Ala. (Other sources say he was born in 1855.)

Dec. 11, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Bertrand, Mo.

Dec. 11, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Dam No. 4 on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Va.

Dec. 11, 1862 - Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest left Columbus, Tenn. to raid Union supply lines. He defeated a Union force at Lexington, Tenn. on December 18.

Dec. 11, 1862 - The Union Army of the Potomac occupied Fredericksburg, Va. as General Ambrose Burnside continued to execute his plan to capture the Confederate capital at Richmond, Va. However, the occupation did not happen until three weeks after Burnside’s army had arrived at Falmouth, Va., just across the river from Fredericksburg. Due to a logistical error, pontoon bridges had not been available, so the army could not cross; the delay allowed Confederate General Robert E. Lee ample time to post his Army of Northern Virginia along Marye’s Heights above Fredericksburg.

Dec. 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, a nine-day Federal expedition from New Berne to Goldsborough, North Carolina began; and a five-day Federal reconnaissance from Yorktown to Gloucester, Matthews, King and Queen, and Middlesex Counties, Virginia began.

Dec. 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on the Kinston Road, North Carolina; and near Nashville on the Wilson’s Creek Pike, at Franklin, and at La Vergne, Tennessee.

Dec. 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, this day marked the beginning of a seven-day Federal reconnaissance from Pulaski, Tenn. to Florence, Ala.

Dec. 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal reconnaissance began from Waldron to Dallas, Arkansas.

Dec. 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, the salt works at St. Andrew’s Bay, Florida was destroyed. Acting Master W.R. Browne of the USS Restless, along with two other ships, had found the outpost and launched an attack on it. Artillery fire hit one of the houses of the workers, and wind had spread the flames until nearly the whole compound was incinerated. Brown wrote in his report, “It was in fact a complete village...employing many hands and 16 ox and mule teams constantly to haul salt to Eufaula Sound and from thence conveyed to Montgomery, at which place it is selling at fabulous prices--$40 and $50 per bushel.” The operation included 22 large steam boilers and 300 kettles averaging 200 gallons each, used to evaporate sea water to harvest the salt.

Dec. 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Big Sewell, Marling’s Bottom Bridge, and Meadow Bluff, West Virginia.

Dec. 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Federal investment of Savannah, Georgia began. Four Union Army corps under Gen. William T. Sherman had marched from Atlanta to the Sea--almost. They were on the outskirts of Savannah, and out in the Atlantic awaited the Navy vessels carrying their new supply source. The only thing standing in the way was an installation called Fort McAllister, and the only way to reach it was over the 1000-foot long King’s Bridge over the Ogeechee River. This, understandably, had been destroyed by the Confederate defenders of McAllister. Gen. Sherman had set his engineers to work on the problem, and they reported on this day that the rebuilding work was nearly completed.

Dec. 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, operations continued against Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

Dec. 11, 1864 – During the Cviil War, nine days of Federal operations began in the vicinity of the Broadwater Ferry and along the Chowan River, Virginia

Dec. 11, 1869 - Alabama author George Washington Harris died in Knoxville, Tenn.

Dec. 11, 1884 – On this night, Richard Cunningham, who lived at Pine Orchard in Monroe County, was shot and killed by “some unknown person,” a crime that The Monroe Journal called a “cowardely and brutal assassination.” Cunningham, who had just returned from Evergreen, was sitting in his house by the fire with his son and another man when the shooter came to the open back door. The shooter shot Cunningham in the back with a double-barrelled shotgun, killing him instantly.

Dec. 11, 1886 – Rube Burrow and his gang committed their first train robbery around 11:30 a.m., robbing a southbound train at Bellevue, Texas.

Dec. 11, 1900 – The Alabama legislature placed the Mount Vernon Cantonment and Arsenal in the hands of the newly created Mount Vernon Hospital, which later became Searcy Hospital.

Dec. 11, 1908 – Austrian Nazi war criminal Amon Goeth was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary.

Dec. 11, 1911 – Noble Prize-winning Egyptian poet Naguib Mahfouz was born in Cairo.

Dec. 11, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Jim Crosby of Evergreen, Ala. “died from disease.”

Dec. 11, 1918 – Nobel Prize-winning Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia.

Dec. 11, 1919 – The boll weevil monument was dedicated in Enterprise, Ala. The monument honors the insect that killed cotton plants and forced local farmers to diversify by planting more profitable crops such as peanuts. Even though the monument was in appreciation of the boll weevil, the weevil statue was not added to the monument until 30 years later. It's the one and only monument to an agricultural pest.

Dec. 11, 1920 – Walter Solomon of Excel was given a preliminary trial before Judge Dean, charged with the killing of Sherman English of Repton on Dec. 8. Both men were operating taxis, and the killing appeared to have resulted during an argument over transporting a passenger.

Dec. 11, 1922 – American short-story writer Grace Paley was born in New York City.

Dec. 11, 1923 - R.G. Scott of Eliska visited The Monroe Journal office on this day and reported that the post office at Eliska had been discontinued and the community was now being served by rural delivery.

Dec. 11, 1923 - Prof. and Mrs. H.G. Green of Jones Mill were in Monroeville on this Tuesday. Prof. Green was arranging a series of minstrel entertainments to be given in the following few weeks.

Dec. 11, 1926 – Former Evergreen Courant publisher and editor Robert Gaston Bozeman Jr. was born. He would be inducted into the Alabama Press Association Hall of Honor in 1999. A former U.S. Marine, he was twice wounded in the Pacific during World War II.

Dec. 11, 1937 – Poet and novelist Jim Harrison, whose novels include “Legends of the Fall” (1979), was born in Grayling, Mich.

Dec. 11, 1939 – Writer Thomas McGuane was born in Wyandotte, Mich.

Dec. 11, 1941 - Germany and Italy declared war on the United States, following the Americans' declaration of war on the Empire of Japan in the wake of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States, in turn, declared war on them.

Dec. 11, 1947 – The first Catholic church in Monroe County, Annunciation Church in Monroeville, was dedicated. The Rev. Frank Giri was the founding pastor.

Dec. 11, 1951 - Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees announced his retirement from Major League Baseball. DiMaggio only played for the Yankees during his 13-year career.

Dec. 11, 1952 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team was scheduled to face Frisco City on this night in their first home game of the 1952-53 season. Wendell Hart was head coach of Evergreen’s varsity team, and Ralph Law was head coach of the B team. Players on Evergreen’s varsity team included Ward Alexander, Pace Bozeman, John Henry Brantley, Clayton Cobb, Wayne Douglas, Cullen Edson, Shirley Frazier, Hugh Ellington and Charles King.

Dec. 11, 1952 – The Martin Theatres Football Trophies were to be awarded at a ceremony on the stage of the Pix Theatre in Evergreen, Ala. at 8 p.m. One trophy was to be awarded to the most outstanding player of Evergreen High School’s varsity team, and another trophy was to be given to the most outstanding player on the EHS junior high team. Gladys Barron was the manager of the Pix Theatre, and fans voted on both awards in the theatre lobby.

Dec. 11, 1952 – A crowd of over 500 persons were present in Vanity Fair Park on this Thursday for the dedication ceremonies of Monroeville’s new Community House, which began at 1 p.m. The distinguished roster of guest speakers on the program, which lasted over two hours, included Thomas Martin of Birmingham, Alabama Power Co. executive; C.B. Gilmore, Grove Hill attorney; Congressman Frank W. Boykin; J.E. Barbey, president of Vanity Fair Mills; L. William Dilts of New York, vice president in charge of sales for Vanity Fair; and Miss Ruth Mills of New York, program director for Vanity Fair. P.S. Jackson, local banker, acted as master of ceremonies and introduced the speakers.

Dec. 11, 1959 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Jim Bottomley died at the age of 59 in St. Louis, Mo. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Browns, and he also managed the Browns for one season. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Dec. 11-13, 1959 – Bolton’s Texaco station in Evergreen, Ala. held its grand opening.

Dec. 11, 1961 - The ferry carrier, USNS Core, arrived in Saigon with the first U.S. helicopter unit. This contingent included 33 Vertol H-21C Shawnee helicopters and 400 air and ground crewmen to operate and maintain them. Their assignment was to airlift South Vietnamese Army troops into combat.

Dec. 11, 1969 - Paratroopers from the U.S. Third Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, departed from Vietnam.

Dec. 11, 1972 - Miami Dolphins coach Don Shula was on the cover of "Time" magazine.

Dec. 11, 1975 – Robert H. Spence was inaugurated as the third president of Evangel College during a ceremony at the college in Springfield, Mo. Spence was the son of the Rev. Thomas H. Spence of Owassa, who attended the inauguration, and delivered the inaugural prayer. Spence’s mother was also a native of Conecuh County.

Dec. 11, 1976 - The Evergreen (Ala.) Rotary Club was scheduled to hold its annual charity ball on this Saturday evening at Ft. Dave Lewis National Guard Armory from 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. The Lucky Boreland Orchestra of Montgomery was to be the entertainment for the night.

Dec. 11, 1976 – NBA power forward/small forward Shareef Abdur-Rahim was born in Marietta, Ga. He went on to play for Cal, the Vancouver Grizzlies, the Atlanta Hawks, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Sacremento Kings.

Dec. 11, 1985 - The single "The Super Bowl Shuffle" by Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew was released.

Dec. 11, 1997 – During a special meeting in the Monroeville Police Department Annex, the Monroeville City Council appointed interim police chief Rudolph Munnerlyn to the position of full-time police chief, allowing him to finish out the remainder of retired chief Bill Dailey’s contract. Munnerlyn, a native of Peterman, graduated from J.F. Shields High School and held a bachelor’s of science and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Troy State University. He joined the Monroeville Police Department in 1987. He was promoted to captain and named interim chief after Dailey retired in July 1997.

Dec. 11, 1997 – J.U. Blacksher High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat 1A Area 3 rival Frisco City, 49-42, at Uriah. Standout Blacksher players in that game included Anthony Adams, Tony Dean, Larry Nichols, Josh Qualls and Anthony Tucker. Mark Chaney was Blacksher’s head coach.

Dec. 11, 1999 - Sparta Academy’s JV girls basketball team traveled to Canoe and participated in the Escambia Academy JV Tournament. In their first game, Sparta defeated Escambia Academy, 32-17. Katie Etheridge was the leading scorer for Sparta with 16 points. In the championship game, the Sparta beat Monroe Academy, 28-19. The leading scorer for Sparta was Katie Etheridge with 18 points. Named to the All Tournament Team were Callie Ezell and Susan Ivey. Katie Etheridge was named tournament Most Valuable Player. Other outstanding Sparta players in those games included Anna Aman and Jessie Armuelles.

Dec. 11, 2001 - It was announced that Little League Baseball Inc. would require more detailed documentation of the eligibility of its players. Four months before, the Rolando Paulino Little League team from the Bronx, NY, had its third-place finish taken away after pitcher Danny Almonte was found to be too old to play.

Dec. 11, 2001 - U.S. Attorney General Ashcroft announced the first federal indictment directly related to the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Zacarias Moussaoui was charged with six conspiracy charges. Moussaoui was in custody at the time of the attacks.

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