Dec. 9, 1531 - On this morning, an Indian peasant in Tepeyac, Mexico City named Juan Diego was said to have encounterd a blinding light and unearthly music. Before him appeared the apparition that was to become known as the Virgin of Guadalupe. Later the image of the Virgin was found imprinted inside Juan's cloak.
Dec. 9, 1608 – John Milton, who is best known for his epic poem “Paradise Lost,” was born in London, England.
Dec. 9, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, Virginia and North Carolina militias defeated 800 slaves and 200 redcoats serving John Murray, earl of Dunmore and governor of Virginia, at Great Bridge outside Norfolk, ending British royal control of Virginia. The Tory survivors retreated first to Norfolk then to Dunmore’s ship, the Otter, where the majority died of smallpox.
Dec. 9, 1793 - "The American Minerva," founded by Noah Webster, was published for the first time, and it was the first daily newspaper in New York City. The paper was produced on Wall Street, near the Tontine Coffee-House, which was the birthplace of the New York Stock Exchange. The American Minerva ran for 744 issues, from 1793 until 1796.
Dec. 9, 1803 - The 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. With the amendment, Electors were directed to vote for a President and for a Vice-President rather than for two choices for President.
Dec. 9, 1815 – Fort Claiborne became the recognized county seat of Monroe County, in present-day Alabama.
Dec. 9, 1835 – During the Texas Revolution, the Texian Army captured San Antonio, Texas.
Dec. 9, 1841 – The Grand Lodge of Alabama issued the charter to Greening Masonic Lodge No. 53 in Evergreen.
Dec. 9, 1845 – Writer and folklorist Joel Chandler Harris was born in Eatonton, Ga. He is best known for his 1880 best-seller, “Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings.” (Some sources say he was born in 1848.)
Dec. 9, 1854 - Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem, "The Charge of the Light Brigade," was first published in England.
Dec. 9, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at what was later known as Tulsa, Okla. between pro-Confederate Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw and Pro-Federal Creek Indians.
Dec. 9, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Union Mills, Mo.
Dec. 9, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War was established by the U.S. Congress to monitor both military progress and the Lincoln administration. The War Committee, as it was called, was created in the aftermath of the disastrous Battle of Ball's Bluff in October 1861 and was designed to provide a check over the executive branch's management of the war. The committee was stacked with Radical Republicans and staunch abolitionists, however, and was often biased in its approach to investigations of the Union war effort.
Dec. 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal reconnaissance from Corinth, Miss. to Tuscumbia, Ala. began with skirmishes occurring at Cherokee Station and Little Bear Creek, Ala.
Dec. 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mudtown, Ark.; and in the vicinity of La Vergne and near Brentwood, Tenn.
Dec. 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, a seven-day Federal operation from Ozark, Mo. into Marion County Ark. began, resulting in the destruction of the extensive Confederate salt works.
Dec. 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, on the heights opposite Fredericksburg, Va., the Grand Divisions of the Army of the Potomac were being prepared for the strife to come. Orders were issued to the division commanders on this day to supply their men with 60 rounds of ammunition apiece, and to prepare three days’ supply of cooked-in-advance rations. Aside from these preparations there was little going on. The Confederate defenders had burned the bridges over the Rappahannock River, and the waterway was far too deep, not to mention cold, to wade across this time of year. Action had to wait on the arrival of pontoon bridges, which were on the way from Washington, but moving slowly.
Dec. 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal reconnaissance mission began from Waldron to Dutch Creek, Ark.
Dec. 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, the mutiny of black troops at Fort Jackson, La. took place, after two black troops are punished by whipping. There were few dedicated abolitionists like Robert Gould Shaw who were proud to command units of the United States Colored Troops, but many more found it mortifying. One of these latter was in command at Ft. Jackson, Louisiana, downriver from New Orleans. His loathing for this posting was translated into cruel and abusive treatment of the black soldiers under his command. On this day they decided this was behavior with which they would no longer tolerate. There was a mutiny. Other white officers at the installation managed to halt the uprising before blood was shed.
Dec. 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Okolona, Miss.; at Bean’s Station and at Cumberland Mountain, in the vicinity of Crossville, Tenn.; and at Lewinsville, Va.
Dec. 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal scouts departed from Houston, Mo. in pursuit of Rebel partisans.
Dec. 9, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Cuyler’s Plantation, between Eden and Pooler Stations, Monteith Swamp and Ogeechee Canal, Ga.
Dec. 9, 1864 – During the Civil War, the USS Otesgo and the tugboat, Brazely, were sunk by Confederate torpedoes on the Roanoke River, close to Jamesville, N.C.
Dec. 9, 1864 – U.S. General George H. Thomas did not get his nickname of “Old Slow Trot” for nothing. It was not his decision making or command in battle that was slow, as reflected in his other nickname “The Rock of Chickamauga” commemorating his solid defense during that battle which allowed the rest of the Union force to retreat to Chattanooga and safety. But he was not going to attack before he was ready, in this case Hood’s forces outside of Nashville. U.S. Grant had actually written out the orders relieving Thomas of command on this day and his replacement by Schofield. However, protocol required that Grant send this order through Gen. Halleck, while Halleck said it had to come straight from Grant. While this was being settled a heavy ice and sleet storm struck Nashville, making fighting impossible. Thomas’ career remained in the balance.
Dec. 9, 1864 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal reconnaissance to Hatcher’s Run, Va. began.
Dec. 9, 1865 – The organizational charter was issued to Georgiana Masonic Lodge No. 285 in Georgiana, Ala.
Dec. 9, 1871 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and manager Joe Kelley was born in Cambridge, Mass. He went on to play for the Boston Beaneaters, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Baltimore Orioles, the Brooklyn Superbas, the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Doves, and he also managed the Reds and the Doves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971.
Dec. 9, 1873 - The Colored Normal School at Huntsville, Ala. was created by legislative act. Founded by ex-slave William Hooper Councill, the school educated black teachers for the public schools. It became a land-grant institution in 1891, eventually evolving into Alabama A&M University.
Dec. 9, 1887 – Famous Alabama outlaw Rube Burrow, who would rob a train near Flomaton, Ala. and eventually got gunned down in Linden, Ala., and his gang committed their fifth train robbery near Genoa, Arkansas around 6 p.m.
Dec. 9, 1899 – Jean de Brunhoff, the man who created Babar, the beloved elephant of children’s literature, was born in Paris, France.
Dec. 9, 1901 – Florala was officially incorporated as a municipality. (Ala. League of Mun.)
Dec. 9, 1906 – Grace Hopper, who helped invent the modern computer, was born in New York City.
Dec. 9, 1914 – The Evergreen Courant reported that The City Grocery in Evergreen, Ala. had closed due to “voluntary bankruptcy.”
Dec. 9, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. A.B. Coxwell had attended the session of the Masonic Grand Lodge in Montgomery during the previous week.
Dec. 9, 1915 – Turkstan postmistress Jennie C. Turk, the oldest daughter of John Turk, died at the age of 21. Sixteen months before, John Turk lost his wife and baby. Jennie was the postmistress at Turkstan and the office was moved to the store of Mr. W.H. Chase, who was appointed to fill the vacancy. Jennier Turk was buried at Indian Springs Baptist Cemetery, and according to her headstone, she was born on Jan. 3, 1894 and she died on Dec. 31, 1915.
Dec. 9, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Roy I. Smith of Evergreen, Ala. “died from wounds.”
Dec. 9, 1920 – In Conecuh County, Ala., George Ruston, charged with the killing of Will Yates, was given a preliminary trial on this day before Judge Dunn. Ruston was discharged because the evidence proved justifiable homicide.
Dec. 9, 1930 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, manager and owner Rube Foster died at the age of 51 in Kankakee, Illinois. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.
Dec. 9, 1932 – A fiddlers convention was scheduled to be held at the Effie School building on this Saturday night. Everyone was invited, and admission was free.
Dec. 9, 1934 – James B. Stanley, the founder and longtime editor of The Greenville Advocate, passed away in Greenville, Ala. at the age of 90. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Greenville.
Dec. 9, 1935 – Walter Liggett, American newspaper editor, investigative journalist and muckraker, was killed in a gangland murder in Minneapolis, Minn. His murder has never been solved.
Dec. 9, 1935 – The Downtown Athletic Club Trophy, later renamed the Heisman Trophy, was awarded for the first time. The winner was halfback Jay Berwanger of the University of Chicago.
Dec. 9, 1937 - Alabama author and dramatist Francis Nimmo Greene died in Birmingham, Ala.
Dec. 9, 1938 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive end Deacon Jones was born in Eatonville, Fla. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Rams, the San Diego Chargers and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1980.
Dec. 9, 1940 - The Longines Watch Company signed for the first FM radio advertising contract with experimental station W2XOR in New York City.
Dec. 9, 1942 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus was born in Chicago, Ill. He went on to play for Illinois and the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.
Dec. 9, 1942 – Evergreen High School’s basketball team improved to 4-0 on the season with a 38-17 win over Conecuh County High School in Castleberry. Johnson led Evergreen with 19 points, and Garrett led CCHS with nine points.
Dec. 9, 1946 – The "Subsequent Nuremberg trials" began with the "Doctors' trial," prosecuting physicians and officers alleged to be involved in Nazi human experimentation and mass murder under the guise of euthanasia.
Dec. 9, 1948 – Evergreen High School played its first ever game in its new “Memorial Gym,” suffering a 47-32 loss to Pensacola High School. The gym’s playing court was 84x50 feet, and the gym could seat up to 700 fans. About 350 fans turned out for the first game and saw Guerry Moorer lead Evergreen with 12 points.
Dec. 9, 1951 - Bob Waterfield of the Los Angeles Rams became the first professional football player to kick five field goals in one game.
Dec. 9, 1953 – The fourth annual Conecuh County Christmas Carnival was scheduled to be held in downtown Evergreen, Ala.
Dec. 9, 1956 - A radio version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" was broadcast as part of the “Suspense” series.
Dec. 9, 1962 - "Lawrence of Arabia" by David Lean had its world premiere in London.
Dec. 9, 1965 – What is known as the “Kecksburg UFO Incident” occurred when a fireball was seen from Michigan to Pennsylvania. Witnesses reported something crashing in the woods near Pittsburgh. In 2005 NASA admitted that it examined the object.
Dec. 9, 1965 - The Cincinnati Reds traded outfielder Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles, in exchange for the pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and the outfielder Dick Simpson. The trade is widely regarded as one of the worst in Major League Baseball history.
Dec. 9, 1965 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, manager and executive Branch Rickey died at the age of 83 in Columbia, Mo. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Browns and the New York Highlanders, and he also managed the Browns and the St. Louis Cardinals. He also served as the general manager for the Browns, Cardinals, Brooklyn Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1967.
Dec. 9, 1965 - An article in the New York Times asserted that the U.S. bombing campaign had neither destabilized North Vietnam’s economy nor appreciably reduced the flow of its forces into South Vietnam.
Dec. 9, 1967 - Jim Morrison of The Doors was arrested onstage in New Haven, Conn. and charged with breach of peace and resisting arrest.
Dec. 9, 1971 - For the first time since the Paris peace talks began in May 1968, both sides refused to set another meeting date for continuation of the negotiations.
Dec. 9, 1973 - Jim Bakken of the St. Louis Cardinals kicked six field goals against the Atlanta Falcons.
Dec. 9, 1976 – Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher Christopher “Scottie” Booker born in Monroeville, Ala. He graduated from Monroe County High School in 1995 and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1995 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut for the Cincinnati Reds on Sept. 5, 2005. He would go on to play for the Kansas City Royals and the Washington Nationals. His final MLB appearance was on July 25, 2007 for the Washington Nationals.
Dec. 9, 1979 – The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.
Dec. 9, 1984 - Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams became only the second pro football player to run for more than 2,000 yards in a season. O.J. Simpson held the previous record at 2,003.
Dec. 9, 1984 - Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears ran six plays as quarterback. He ran the ball four times and threw two interceptions.
Dec. 9, 1984 - Iranian security men seized control of the plane ending a five-day hijacking of a Kuwaiti jetliner, which was parked at the Tehran airport.
Dec. 9, 1985 - Jerry Rice of the San Francisco 49ers began a streak of over 100 consecutive games with receptions.
Dec. 9, 1989 – NBA guard Eric Bledsoe was born in Birmingham, Ala. After graduating from Birmingham’s Parker High School, he went on to play one year at the University of Kentucky, where he aveaged 11.3 points per game. He went on to play in the NBA for the Los Angeles Clippers and the Phoenix Suns.
Dec. 9, 1990 - The first American hostages to be released by Iraq began arriving in the U.S.
Dec. 9, 1991 - Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins reached the 20-touchdown mark for an NFL record ninth season.
Dec. 9, 1996 – United Nations Secretary General Boutros-Ghali approved a deal allowing Iraq to resume its exports of oil and easing the UN trade embargo imposed on Iraq in 1990.
Dec. 9, 1997 – In the first game between the two schools in six years, Class 5A Monroe County High School beat J.U. Blacksher, 78-73, 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. 9, 1999 - Alabama author Marian Cockrell died in Roanoke, Va.