Thursday, December 29, 2016

Today in History for Dec. 29, 2016

Andrew Johnson
Dec. 29, 1427 – The Ming army began its withdrawal from Hanoi, ending the Chinese domination of Đại Việt.

Dec. 29, 1778 - British Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell and his force of between 2,500 and 3,600 troops, which included the 71st Highland regiment, New York Loyalists, and Hessian mercenaries, launched a surprise attack on American forces defending Savannah, Georgia, causing American Major General Robert Howe and his paltry force of between 650 and 900 men to evacuate the city.

Dec. 29, 1808 – Future U.S. President Andrew Johnson was born in Raleigh, N.C.

Dec. 29, 1809 – Prominent freemason Albert Pike was born in Boston, Mass. He would go on to become an attorney, a Confederate officer and a writer. He passed away at the age of 81 on April 2, 1891 in Washington, D.C.

Dec. 29, 1835 - The Cherokee Indian Treaty Party signed the Treaty of New Echota, ceding their lands east of the Mississippi River to the U.S. government. The Cherokees were to receive five million dollars and land in the western Indian Territory. Alabama created the new counties of Cherokee, DeKalb and Marshall from the ceded land and the Cherokees began their infamous “trail of tears.”

Dec. 29, 1841 – Coffee County, Ala. was created by act of the state general assembly, formed from the western part of Dale County. Bounded on the north by Pike County, on the east by Dale County, on the south by Geneva County and on the west by Covington and Crenshaw County. It was named after John R. Coffee (1772-1833), a hero and general in the War of 1812 and the Creek War of 1813-14 and later a surveyor for the state. Its seat of justice was at Wellborn until 1852 when it was moved to Elba.

Dec. 29, 1845 - U.S. President James Polk and signed the “Joint Resolution for the Admission of the State of Texas into the Union,” making Texas the 28th state of the United States.

Dec. 29, 1847 – Choctaw County, Ala. was created by act of the state general assembly from portions of Washington County and Sumter County. Bordered on the north by Sumter County, on the east by Marengo County and Clarke County, on the south by Washington County and on the west by Mississippi. Name is that of the Indian tribe who lived in southeast Mississippi and southwest Alabama. It is derived from the Choctaw term chahta, whose meaning is unknown. Buter is the county seat.

Dec. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Hopoeithleyohola in the Indian Territory.

Dec. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Commerce and an attack was carried out on the steamboat “City of Alton” in Missouri.

Dec. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Braxton Courthouse, Clay, and Webster in West Virginia.

Dec. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, Union General William T. Sherman was thwarted in his attempt to capture Vicksburg, Miss., the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River, when he ordered a frontal assault on entrenched Rebels. Union loses totaled some 1,770 men while the Confederates lost around 200. The attack was a mistake by Sherman, who should have never tried to go up against fortified Rebels across open ground.

Dec. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Boston, Johnson’s Ferry and Rolling Fork, Ky.; and at Huntingdon, Lizzard, near Murfreesborough, Wilkinson Crossroads and Moccasin Gap, Tenn.

Dec. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Waldron, Ark.; at Coldwater, Miss.; and at Cleveland, La Vergne, Mossy Creek and Talbott’s Station, Tenn.

Dec. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes occurred at Hillsborough and Pond Springs, Ala.

Dec. 29, 1878 - The first game was played between two teams of the first professional baseball league in Cuba, later known as the Cuban League. Representing the city of Havana, the Habana club faced off against their greatest rivals, a club from the neighboring suburb of Almendares. Habana, coached by Esteban Bellán, the first Cuban to play professional baseball in the United States, won that inaugural game 21-20.

Dec. 29, 1890 – The Wounded Knee Massacre on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation occurred as 300 Lakota were killed by the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment.

Dec. 29, 1910 – The Manistee & Repton Railway was officially incorporated.

Dec. 29, 1910 – The Conecuh Record reported that P.M. Skinner’s cotton gin in Castleberry, Ala. burned and was a total loss.

Dec. 29, 1914 – P.D. Jackson “killed a monster catamount” in Conecuh County’s Sandy Creek Swamp. Jackson had to shoot the large cat six times before killing it.

Dec. 29, 1914 - George H. Oswald was seriously injured when he fell from the roof of a two-story building he was working on in Evergreen, Ala. He later died from his injuries.

Dec. 29, 1915 – The Rev. C.A. Williams, the new pastor of the Monroeville, Ala. circuit, arrived on this Wednesday evening with his family and settled into the parsonage.

Dec. 29, 1916 – James Joyce published his first novel, “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.”

Dec. 29, 1937 – Babe Ruth returned to baseball as the new manager of the Class D De Land Reds of the Florida State League. Ruth had retired from baseball in 1935.

Dec. 29, 1939 – The first flight of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator took place.

Dec. 29, 1939 – Pro Football Hall of Fame middle linebacker Ray Nitschke was born in Elmwood Park, Ill. He would go on to play for Illinois and the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

Dec. 29, 1940 - On this evening during World War II, on the 114th straight night of “The Blitz,” German forces began firebombing the city of London with such intensity that the fires that erupted became known as "The Second Great Fire of London."

Dec. 29, 1947 – The Loretto Saints handed Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team their first loss of the season, beating them 26-24 in Montgomery. Benton Carpenter led Evergreen with 10 points, and Bill Carr led Loretto with 10 points.

Dec. 29, 1949 – The Monroe Journal reported that a $250 reward had been posted by Rep. W.W. Garrett of Uriah for information leading to the conviction of the automobile driver responsible for the hit and run killing of 14-year-old Vivian Murphy in Uriah on the night of Dec. 20. The Murphy girl was struck down about 6:20 p.m. as she walked to a play rehearsal with two girl companions who leaped clear of the speeding automobile. A victim of infantile paralysis, Murphy had only recently undergone an operation which enabled her to remove one of the two braces she had worn since infancy.

Dec. 29, 1949 – The Monroe Journal reported that the five Monroe County high schools, following a two-week Christmas vacation, were scheduled to return to “hardwood warfare in earnest” the next week with all schools except Uriah scheduled to play two games. To date, Monroe County High had the best record of any county school – having racked up three victories against one defeat. The Tigers held wins over Beatrice, Excel and Greenville, and dropped their lone decision to T.R. Miller High in Brewton, 39-33.

Dec. 29, 1949 – The Monroe Journal reported that “improvement of recreational facilities at Little River State Park near Uriah” was on the agenda of the state Department of Conservation in 1950, according to Department Director Bert Thomas. “Pointing out that facilities at the park are used by various clubs and civic organizations for camping and recreational purposes and that facilities there are also used by Forestry students at Auburn, Mr. Thomas said that tables would be added, picnic space increased and various other improvements made during 1950.”

Dec. 29, 1953 - The “Beast of Bladenboro” case began on this night when a woman in Clarkton, N.C. chased away what appeared to be an abnormally large feline from her neighbor’s property. Next, on New Year’s Eve, Roy Fores, the Bladenboro police chief, was called to an area farm where two dogs had recently been killed.

Dec. 29, 1962 - Saigon announced that 4,077 strategic hamlets had been completed out of a projected total of 11,182.

Dec. 29, 1965 - CBS acquired the rights to the NFL regular-season games in 1966 and 1967, with an option for 1968, for $18.8 million per year.

Dec. 29, 1966 - Assistant Secretary of Defense Arthur Sylvester admited that the North Vietnamese city of Nam Dinh had been hit by U.S. planes 64 times since mid-1965, and that the air strikes were directed only against military targets: railroad yards, a warehouse, petroleum storage depots, and a thermal power plant.

Dec. 29, 1966 - Student-body presidents from 100 U.S. colleges and universities signed an open letter to President Lyndon B. Johnson expressing anxiety and doubt over U.S. involvement in Vietnam.

Dec. 29, 1970 - The Old St. Stephen Site at St. Stephens in Washington County, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Dec. 29, 1972 – Eastern Airlines Flight 401 (a Lockheed L-1011) “disintegrated” over land within a short distance of the Miami airport with a loss of over 100 passengers and crew.

Dec. 29, 1976 – American actor, producer, and screenwriter Danny McBride was born in Statesboro, Ga.

Dec. 29, 1978 – The site of the H.L. Hunley submarine sinking was placed on National Register of Historic Places.

Dec. 29, 1980 - Three Texans suffered severe burns when they encountered a fire blasting diamond-shaped UFO. One of the victims in the Cash-Landrum Incident had injuries so severe, a doctor described it as comparable to being "3 to 5 miles from the epicenter of Hiroshima."

Dec. 29-30, 1980 – Monroe Academy’s boys basketball team won Sparta Academy’s Holiday Tournament in Evergreen, and Fort Dale Academy’s girls won the girls division. In the opening round, Sparta’s boys defeated Wilcox Academy’s Wildcats handily, 76-64, as Jeff Johnson scored 30 points and Vince Watts scored 20. Joe McInvale had eight; Ed Carrier and Terry Shipp, seven each; Scotty Grace, three; and Andy Hammonds, one. Monroe’s Vols outshot the Warriors, 75-60, in the championship game in spite of Terry Shipp hitting for 19 points and Jeff Johnson 17. Joe McInvale added eight; Vince Watts, six; Andy Hammonds, four; Wes Brown, three; and Ed Carrier, two. Cathy Cope was the only Warrior girl in double figures as she meshed 10 points in a game won by Fort Dale, 39-29, in the championship tilt. Karen Brown had seven points; Cheri Johnson, six; Julie Saunders, four; and Missy Price, two. Julie Saunders, Karen Brown and Jeff Johnson were named to the All Tournament teams.

Dec. 29, 1982 - Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant ended his football coaching career at Alabama with 323 wins.

Dec. 29, 1982 – The Seaboard Coast Line Railroad merged with the Louisville & Nashville Railroad to form the Seaboard System Railroad.

Dec. 29, 1986 - The televison program “Seasons of Belief,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was broadcast as part of the “Tales from the Darkside” series.

Dec. 29, 2000 – E. Elias Merhige’s “Shadow of the Vampire,” which was released on this day, tantalized audiences with the unsettling suggestion that the monstrous Nosferatu (Willem Dafoe), who assumed the title role in the classic film by F.W. Murnau (John Malkovich), was, in reality, actually portrayed by a real vampire, rather than an actor.

Dec. 29, 2000 - Alabama author Bill Easterling died in Huntsville, Ala.

Dec. 29, 2007 – Sparta Academy’s varsity boys and varsity girls basketball teams captured first place trophies in the South Choctaw Holiday Tournament in Toxey.

Dec. 29, 2007 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Alabama Christian Academy, 67-59, during the Capital City Conference Christmas Basketball Tournament at Trinity Presbyterian School in Montgomery.

Dec. 29, 2007 - The New England Patriots became the first NFL team in 35 years to finish the regular season undefeated (16-0) when they beat the New York Giants 38-35.

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