|James Murray Mason|
Dec. 26, 1620 - The Pilgrim Fathers landed at New Plymouth, Mass. to found the Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor.
Dec. 26, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, in the Battle of Trenton, at approximately 8 a.m. on the morning, General George Washington’s Continental Army reached the outskirts of Trenton, New Jersey, and descended upon the unsuspecting Hessian force guarding the city. Trenton’s 1,400 Hessian defenders were still groggy from the previous evening’s Christmas festivities and had underestimated the Patriot threat after months of decisive British victories throughout New York. The troops of the Continental Army quickly overwhelmed the German defenses, and by 9:30 a.m. Trenton was completely surrounded.
Dec. 26, 1799 – Four thousand people attended George Washington's funeral where Henry Lee III declared him as "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen."
Dec. 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Chustenahlah, Indian Territory, between some Confederates and some Pro-Federal Creek Indians lead by Hopoeithleyohola.
Dec. 26, 1861 – During the Civil War’s “Trent Affair,” Confederate diplomatic envoys James M. Mason and John Slidell were freed by the United States government, thus heading off a possible war between the United States and United Kingdom. The two men were aboard the British mail steamer Trent on Nov. 8 when they were pulled over by the U.S.S. San Jacinto. They were headed to London to lobby for recognition of the Confederacy.
Dec. 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou began in Warren County, Miss.
Dec. 26, 1862 - Union General Rosecrans moved his forces south to meet Confederate troops at Stones River. The actual battle began on Dec. 31.
Dec. 26, 1862 - In Mankato, Minnesota, 38 Dakota Indians were executed for their role in an uprising that ended with 500 white settlers and 150 Sioux warriors dead. It was the largest mass execution in American history. U.S. President Lincoln commuted about 260 sentences.
Dec. 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board the USS Red Rover became the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.
Dec. 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Munford, Nolin and in Powell County, Ky.; and at Franklin, Knob Gap, La Vergne and Nolensville, Tenn.
Dec. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Sand Mountain, Ala.
Dec. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians near Fort Gaston, Calif.; near Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory; at Port Gibson, Miss.; and at Salem, Mo. An eight-day Federal operation began between Forsyth, Mo. and Batesville, Ark.
Dec. 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, a seven-day Federal operation against Indians began in Central Arizona, and a two-day Federal operation between Fairfax Courthouse and Hopewell Gap, Va. began. A skirmish was also fought at Sugar Creek, Tenn.
Dec. 26, 1891 – Novelist Henry Valentine Miller was born in Manhattan.
Dec. 26, 1893 – Communist leader Mao Zedong was born in Hunan province, China.
Dec. 26, 1900 – A relief crew arrived at the lighthouse on the Flannan Isles of Scotland, UK, only to find the previous crew has disappeared without a trace.
Dec. 26, 1902 - Alabama author Andrew Lytle was born in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Dec. 26, 1905 - The regular term of Conecuh County (Ala.) Court was scheduled to be held on this day.
Dec. 26, 1915 – The Rev. H.S. Ellison preached his first sermon at the Methodist church in Evergreen, Ala. on this Sunday morning. “The sermon, the prayers and the songs all breathed the Christmas spirit and the service was greatly enjoyed by all. The new preacher at the evening service was greeted by an unusually large congregation, the Baptist people and others joining in the service.”
Dec. 26, 1919 – Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox was sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, allegedly establishing the Curse of the Bambino superstition.
Dec. 26, 1922 – Sgt. Henry Smith Skinner died at the age of 83 in Belleville. Born in Carroll County, Mo. on Sept. 8, 1839, Skinner enlisted at Milton, Fla. on Sept. 17, 1861 in Co. C of the 3rd Battalion of the Florida Cavalry. He was promoted to Fifth Sgt. on Dec. 1, 1862 and to Third Sgt. on May 1, 1864. He was paroled in Montgomery on June 14, 1865. He is buried in the Belleville United Methodist Church Cemetery.
Dec. 26, 1927 - The East-West Shrine football game featured numbers on both the front and back of players’ jerseys.
Dec. 26, 1924 - W.A. Sims, the “veteran rural carrier of Jones Mill Route 1,” was a business visitor to Monroeville, Ala. on this Saturday.
Dec. 26, 1933 - Mayor W.A. Gunter of Montgomery, Coach Chet Wynne and Prof. John Pitts of Auburn were guests on this Tuesday of Mr. C.A. Jones of Conecuh County, being among those who attended the annual camp hunt.
Dec. 26, 1933 - China Industrial School’s boys basketball team was entertained on this Tuesday afternoon by their coach, Evelyn A. Brown, at her home on Cary Street in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 26, 1939 – Alabama native W.C. Handy recorded the classic "St. Louis Blues."
Dec. 26, 1939 - Work was started on this day on the construction of a city hall for the Town of Monroeville, Ala. The Hall, a two-story brick building, was a Federal WPA project, and the building was to cost around $21,000. The building was to occupy a lot 90 x 280 feet and was to be located just north of Dr. W.H. Hines’ Veterinary Hospital. The building was to house the offices of the various city officials and was to contain a large auditorium. The building would also house the city fire department.
Dec. 26, 1944 - Tennessee Williams' first major play, "The Glass Menagerie," was first performed publicly, at the Civic Theatre in Chicago, Ill.
Dec. 26, 1947 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk was born in Bellows Falls, Vermont. He would go on to play for the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.
Dec. 26, 1947 – Estelle Taylor, nine-year-old daughter of Mrs. Albert Taylor, died at the Carter Hospital in Repton, Ala. on this night as a result of injuries sustained when she fell from a moving automobile that morning. The accident occurred in the Sandcut community.
Dec. 26, 1954 - "The Shadow" aired on radio for the last time.
Dec. 26, 1954 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith was born in Mobile, Ala. He would go on to play for the San Diego Padres and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.
Dec. 26, 1956 – Humorist David Sedaris was born near Binghamton, N.Y.
Dec. 26, 1962 – Conecuh County, Ala. native Dr. Edwin White Hagood passed away at the age of 76 in a Dothan hospital. He was the youngest and last survivor of nine children reared by the Hagoods. Several of them were Baptist ministers and a brother, the late Dr. Hagood, practiced medicine in Evergreen for many years.
Dec. 26, 1963 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the State Highway Department had accepted bids on the stretch of Interstate Highway 65 from the Atmore intersection south to the Stockton area. Bob Kendall, assistant director of the State Highway Dept., said that the bids were accepted and it was assumed the contracts would be signed with construction to begin early in 1964. Kendall also said that plans were “on the boards” for the section of I-65 from Montgomery south to Ft. Deposit and that those contracts would be let in 1964. The former Conecuh representative and senator also said that the state planned to get the I-65 segment from Georgiana north to Ft. Deposit under construction in 1965. “By the end of Gov. George Wallace’s administration, we expect to have the Interstate Highway open from Montgomery to Mobile with the exception of a temporary route by Bay Minette on in to Mobile,” Kendall said.
Dec. 26, 1963 – The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" were released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.
Dec. 26, 1967 - Laotian Premier Souvanna Phouma reported that North Vietnamese troops had started a general offensive against government forces in southern Laos.
Dec. 26, 1971 - In the sharpest escalation of the war since Operation Rolling Thunder ended in November 1968, U.S. fighter-bombers began striking at North Vietnamese airfields, missile sites, antiaircraft emplacements, and supply facilities.
Dec. 26, 1972 – Former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, a 33rd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, passed away in Kansas City, Missouri.
Dec. 26, 1972 – During the Vietnam War, as part of Operation Linebacker II, 120 American B-52 Stratofortress bombers attacked Hanoi, including 78 launched from Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, the largest single combat launch in Strategic Air Command history.
Dec. 26, 1973 – “The Exorcist,” a horror film starring the actress Linda Blair as a girl possessed by an evil spirit, made its debut in theaters. It would go on to earn a reputation as one of the scariest movies in history. “The Exorcist” was based on William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel of the same name.
Dec. 26, 1975 – British explorer Ed Stafford was born in Peterborough, England.
Dec. 26, 1977 – Weather reporter Earl Windham reported a low of 20 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 26, 1980 - The first night of the Bentwaters UFO incident took place. Multiple witnesses at the UK military base reported seeing a luminous triangular shaped craft, pulsating fog and strange entities.
Dec. 26, 1982 – Alabama running back Kenneth Darby was born in Huntsville, Ala. During his career, he played at S.R. Butler High School in Huntsville, the University of Alabama, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the St. Louis Rams.
Dec. 26, 1985 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Army Pvt. Alexander Booker of Evergreen, Ala. had arrived for duty with the 204th Signal Battalion in South Korea.
Dec. 26, 1996 – Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, Colorado.
Dec. 26, 1998 – Iraq announced its intention to fire upon U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones.
Dec. 26, 1999 - Weather observer Harry Ellis reported a low temperature of 25 degrees on this day in Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 26, 2004 – A tsunami devastated coastlines along the Indian Ocean. It was triggered by an earthquake in the middle of the ocean, 160 miles west of Sumatra, with a magnitude of between 9.1 and 9.3, the third strongest ever recorded on a seismograph, and it lasted for up to 10 minutes. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that the quake released energy equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima-type atomic bombs, and an estimated 230,000 people from 14 different countries died; half a million more were injured.
Dec. 26, 2004 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White died at the age of 43 in Cornelius, N.C. During his career, he played for Tennessee, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.