Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today in History for Dec. 7, 2016

General Leonard Covington
Dec. 7, 1598 – Italian sculptor Bernini was born Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini in Naples.

Dec. 7, 1775 - John Paul Jones received a commission as a first lieutenant in the Continental Navy.

Dec. 7, 1775 - John Barry was appointed a Captain of the Continental Navy.

Dec. 7, 1776 - During his service as the Continental Congress' secret envoy to France, Silas Deane struck an agreement with French military expert, Baron Johann DeKalb, and his protege, the Marquis de Lafayette, to offer their military knowledge and experience to the American cause during the Revolutionary War. Deane also wrote to the U.S. Congress to ask that they ratify the commission of major general that he had promised Lafayette.

Dec. 7, 1776 - Patriots fired arrows over the city walls of Quebec City. The arrows had notes attached that demanded the surrender of Sir Guy Carleton.

Dec. 7, 1777 - British General William Howe engaged American forces on Edge Hill in Pennsylvania. American General Daniel Morgan retreated after an attack by General Charles Cornwallis' regiment.

Dec. 7, 1787 - Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution becoming the first state in the United States, doing so by unanimous vote.

Dec. 7, 1805 - Having spied the Pacific Ocean for the first time a few weeks earlier, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark crossed to the south shore of the Columbia River (near modern-day Portland) and began building the small fort that would be their winter home. For their fort, Lewis and Clark picked a site three miles up Netul Creek (now Lewis and Clark River), because it had a ready supply of elk and deer and convenient access to the ocean, which the men used to make salt. The men finished building a small log fortress by Christmas Eve; they named their new home Fort Clatsop, in honor of the local Indian tribe.

Dec. 7, 1815 – Claiborne, Ala. was named by the Mississippi Territorial Legislature as the place for holding courts in the newly created Monroe County.

Dec. 7, 1820 – The Alabama legislature declared Clarkesville as the county seat for Clarke County, and the first county courthouse was built there, located about eight miles west of Grove Hill, just north of Tattilaba Creek.

Dec. 7, 1820 – The Alabama legislature at Cahaba appointed a Board of County Commissioners for Butler County and passed an act authorizing the board to located a seat of justice for the county, lay off as many lots and dispose of the same in such manner, as they might think most expedient for the benefit of the county.

Dec. 7, 1821 – Covington County was created by an act of the Alabama State Legislature, and was named for General Leonard Covington of Maryland, who fought in the War of 1812.

Dec. 7, 1847 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher and third baseman Deacon White was born in Caton, N.Y. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

Dec. 7, 1862 - The Battle of Prairie Grove took place in Northwestern Arkansas and Southwestern Missouri. Union General James G. Blunt held off Confederates under General Thomas Hindman. Confederate losses amounted to more than 1,400 killed and wounded, while the Yankees lost more than 1,200.

Dec. 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Padre Island, Texas and at Hartsville, Tenn.

Dec. 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Independence and Okolona, Miss.; and at Rutledge and Eagleville, Tenn.

Dec. 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal operation began in Hampshire, Hardy, Frederick and Shenandoah Counties of West Virginia. The Columbia Iron Works in West Virginia, which were 15 miles west of Woodstock and an equal distance from Mount Jackson, Va., were also destroyed.

Dec. 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Paint Rock Bridge, Ala.

Dec. 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, a seven-day Federal expedition from Brownsville to Arkansas Post, Ark. began; a 20-day Federal operation against Fort Fisher, N.C. began; and a two-day Federal expedition from Devall’s Bluff to Augusta, Ark. began.

Dec. 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Buck Creek, Cypress Swamp, Jenk’s Bridge, Ogeechee River in Georgia; at Moselle Bridge, near Franklin, Mo.; and at Hickford, Va.

Dec. 7, 1866 – Clay County, Ala. was created by an act of the state general assembly. Bounded on the north by Cleburne County, on the east by Randolph County, on the south by Tallapoosa County and Coosa County, and on the est by Talladeg County. Named for Henry Clay (1777-1852), the great Kentucky statesman. Lineville was the temporary county seat uuntil 1867, when the courthouse was built at Ashland.

Dec. 7, 1873 – Novelist Willa Cather was born in Back Creek Valley, Va.

Dec. 7, 1878 – Judge Walter H. Crenshaw of Greenville, Ala. passed away from a stroke at the age of 61. He served as a state representative, Speaker of the State House, state senator, President of the State Senate, officer in the state militia and as the Butler County Criminal Court Judge.

Dec. 7, 1879 – Armstead Dudley Cary, who was Conecuh County, Alabama’s first probate judge, passed away at the age of 88. He also served as the Receiver of the Land Office for the Sparta District and as Conecuh County Circuit Court Clerk. He was buried in the Cary Cemetery at Brooklyn, Ala.

Dec. 7, 1899 – Major League Baseball pitcher Ed Morris was born in Foshee, an unincorporated community between Brewton and Pollard in Escambia Couty, Ala. He made his Major League debut on Aug. 5, 1922 with the Chicago Cubs and made his last Major League appearance on Sept. 21, 1931 with the Boston Red Sox. He was stabbed to death at a party on March 3, 1932 in Century, Fla.

Dec. 7, 1904 – The organizational charter was issued to Gantt Lodge No. 589 in Gantt, Ala. (Covington County)

Dec. 7, 1905 – Those aboard the yacht Valhalla, including two expert naturalists E.G.B. Meade-Waldo and Michael J. Nicholl, sighted a “sea monster” off Parahiba, Brazil. Meade-Waldo and Nicholl were fellows of the Zoological Society of Britain, who were taking part in a scientific expedition to the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. Meade-Waldo prepared a paper on the sighting, and he presented it to the society at its meeting on June 19, 1906.

Dec. 7, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. D.K. Smith was attending the session of the Grand Lodge in Montgomery, Ala.

Dec. 7-8, 1908 – Monroe County Court was in session on this Monday and Tuesday and a number of cases were disposed of, according to The Monroe Journal. “One of the cases was for violation of the new law regulating hunting and fishing. Several parties living in the southern part of the county were on trial for seining above tidewater. There being some doubt as to the effect of the tides at the point in question, his Honor let them go with the understanding that they ‘would fish no more.’”

Dec. 7, 1908 – The Hon. S.C. Jenkins of Bay Minette was in Monroeville on this Monday representing clients in Monroe County Court. Jenkins was a former principal of the Monroe Institute.

Dec. 7, 1914 – Conecuh County Court was in session “with quite a large number of cases” being on the docket before Judge Dean.

Dec. 7, 1915 – The Rev. W.T. Ellisor left Evergreen on this Wednesday for Brewton to attend the annual session of the Alabama conference. Ellisor had served the Evergreen church for the previous four years and under the laws of the church could not be returned, and was to be given a new assignment. “Evergreen people without regard to denominational lines will part with him and his charming wife with sincere regrets.”

Dec. 7, 1915 - Judge J.B. Brown, who was a member of the Alabama Court of Appeals, was in Evergreen on this Wednesday “in the interest of his candidacy for re-election.”

Dec. 7, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Dicodemus Daughtry of Andalusia, Ala. “died from disease.”

Dec. 7, 1928 – Linguist and writer Noam Chomsky was born in Philadelphia.

Dec. 7, 1939 - Lou Gehrig was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame. He was the first player to have the rule waived that required a player to be retired one year before he could be elected.

Dec. 7, 1939 – The Monroe Journal reported that Nell Whatley, the owner and operator of the Monroeville Beauty Shop, had purchased the Exclusive Dress Shop, which had been owned and operated by Mrs. W.J. Fountain.

Dec. 7, 1941 – Using nearly 200 warplanes, the Imperial Japanese Navy carried out a surprise attack on the United States Pacific Fleet and its defending Army and Marine air forces at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The attack resulted in the U.S. entering into World War II. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called December 7 “a date which will live in infamy” as more than 2,300 Americans died in the attack.

Dec. 7, 1947 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He would play his entire career, 1967-1983, for the Cincinnati Reds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989.

Dec. 7, 1956 – Novelist Susan Minot was born in Boston.

Dec. 7, 1960 – The Artic National Wildlife Refuge was created by Fred Seaton, the Secretary of the Interior.

Dec. 7, 1963 - CBS introduced the first-ever "Instant Replay" during the Army-Navy football game.

Dec. 7, 1964 - The situation worsened in South Vietnam, as the Viet Cong attacked and captured the district headquarters at An Lao and much of the surrounding valley 300 miles northeast of Saigon.

Dec. 7, 1965 - In a memorandum to President Lyndon B. Johnson, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stated that U.S. troop strength must be substantially augmented “if we are to avoid being defeated there.” Cautioning that such deployments would not ensure military success, McNamara said the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong “continue to believe that the war will be a long one, that time is their ally and their own staying power is superior to ours.”

Dec. 7, 1967 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen’s two fire trucks were “just about as up to date as fire trucks get so far as appearance and safety lights are concerned.” The Automotive Body Repair Class at Ed Reid State School had recently knocked out all the dents and painted both trucks, and City Electrical Department workers had installed new warning lights. Forrest Douglas was Evergreen’s fire chief at the time.

Dec. 7, 1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, was launched, and the crew took the famous photograph known as “The Blue Marble” as they left the Earth. The photograph was the first clear image of the Earth, because the sun was at the astronauts’ back, and so the planet appeared lit up and you can distinctly see blue, white, brown, even green. The crew of Apollo 17 was about 28,000 miles away from Earth when they took the photo, and it was the last time that astronauts, not robots, were on a lunar mission — since then, no people have gotten far enough away from Earth to take a photo like it.

Dec. 7, 1973 – NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens was born in Alexander City, Ala. He went on to attend Benjamin Russell High School, Chattanooga, the San Francisco 49ers, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys, the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals.

Dec. 7, 1974 – Evergreen, Ala. weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.0 inches of rain on this day.

Dec. 7, 1974 – Sometime after midnight on this Saturday morning, the home of Lester Brundage Sr. at Owassa, Ala. was burned by a suspected arsonist. The fire was investigated by the Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department as well as state and federal officials.

Dec. 7, 1976 – NFL guard Alan Faneca was born in New Orleans, La. He played college ball at LSU and in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals.

Dec. 7, 1982 - Charles Brooks Jr. earned the dubious distinction of being the first person ever executed by lethal injection. While the concept of lethal injection as a means of execution had been around since the late-1800's, it was not until the late 1970's when it became a viable option for executing death row inmates. Since Brooks' demise, lethal injection has become the predominant form of capital punishment in the United States.

Dec. 7, 1986 - Huey Lewis and the News sang the U.S. national anthem a capella before a San Francisco 49ers-New York Jets NFL football game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Calif.

Dec. 7, 1988 - The Texas Rangers signed free-agent pitcher Nolan Ryan to a one-year contract.

Dec. 7, 1995 – Effie Mae Tucker Park, located on Pineville Road near the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville, Ala., was dedicated.

Dec. 7, 1996 – Sandcut volunteer firefighter Judy Poole was named the 1996 recipient of the Lois E. Reeves Memorial Award as the Volunteer Firefighter of the Year at the annual banquet held on this Saturday night in the cafetorium of Hillcrest High School.

Dec. 7, 1996 - Sparta Academy’s varsity boys basketball team lost to Ashford Academy, 54-50, in a game played on this day at Sparta. Jason Robinson led the way for the Warriors with 23 points. Rod McIntyre was also in double figures with 13 points. Rounding out the scoring for the Warriors were Seth McIntyre with seven points; Chad Morris, four points; and Josh Pate, three points.

Dec. 7, 1996 - Sparta Academy’s varsity girls basketball team whipped Ashford Academy, 71-37, on this night at Sparta Academy. Andrea Ward scored 26 points to lead the Lady Warriors. Also in double figures were Nikki Jones with 20 points and Cass Ralls with 10 points. Shelley Bell had seven points; Jennifer Coker, five points; and Jill Pate and Sally Hartley, two points each, to round out the scoring for the Lady Warriors.

Dec. 7, 2011 - The Evergreen (Ala.) City Council voted unanimously to move forward with efforts to pave the way for a number of developments at the Fairview Commons Industrial Park, including a large FedEx warehouse off the busy interstate highway exit. During a city council meeting on this Tuesday night at Evergreen City Hall, economic developer Daryl Harper told the council that FedEx was “all in” regarding the construction of a 32,000 square foot warehouse on property near the intersection of I-65 and U.S. Highway 84 that’s being developed under the name of “Fairview Commons.” Construction of the warehouse was scheduled to begin in August 2012 and the warehouse was expected to open for business sometime in early 2013.

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