Wednesday, May 24, 2017

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Dr. George H. Denny
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the May 24, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Pine Hill: Mr. Lucy Dunn has been to Mobile to stand examination for appointment in Army. Lucy reports having passed O.K.

Hon. S.D. Bloch has presented to Sheriff McDowell for Wilcox County a large United States flag, which gracefully floats from the courthouse front portico.

Any person desirous of enlisting in the army as a volunteer will be furnished transportation to recruiting station supply on to G.F. Dannelly, Postmaster.

Gastonburg: Mr. W.W. Goode left Monday for Fort McPherson where he is now in training.

The County High School Commencement: It was certainly gratifying, to the friends of Education in Wilcox County to witness the very great interest taken in the commencement exercises of our county high school.
The school this year, under the presidency of Prof. Hardy and his assistants, has been quite successful.
(Shouse Kimbrough won the declamation contest held on that Monday night, and Clarence Smith came in second. Albert Campbell won the medal for best composition. Morris Marcus came in second, and Martha L. Grier finished third. Helen Burford won the prize for best grade in the school.)

The dramatic entertainment on Thursday night was excellent. (Members of the cast included Will Albritton, Mackie Bodiford, Neal Bryant, Albert Campbell, Lillimae Chappell, Sam Cook, Martha Lee Grier, Leroy Harper, Tom Jenkins, Henry Kimbrough, Purnell Kimbrough, Shouse Kimbrough, Morris Marcus, Ervin Neville, William Palmer, Carol Rentz, Willie Sadler, William Simpson, Clarence Smith, Charles Tait, Marsh Tait, Luther Watson and Carrie Mae Williams.)

Friday night was the star evening. For on that occasion, the diplomas are awarded. Those receiving diplomas were as follows: William Laird Albritton, Neal Armistead Bodiford, Mackie Bodiford, John Albert Campbell (salutatorian), Samuel Clarence Cook, Lilliemae Chappel, Martha Lee Grier, Joseph Leroy Harper, Thomas Griffin Jenkins, Henry T. Kimbrough, Isaac Shouse Kimbrough, Morris Marcus (valedictorian), Richard Ervin Neville, William Palmer, Carol McDowell Rentz, Clarence Smith, William Gulley Simpson, Willia Elna Sadler, Charles Edwin Tait, Julian Marsh Tait, Purnell Kimbrough and Carrie Mae Williams.

The entire program of Friday evening was excellent. The presence of Dr. George H. Denny, President of our State University at Tuscaloosa, brought a very large number of our people to the auditorium, so much so that he remarked where did all these people come from.

'Forrest Gump' author's great-great-grandfather was born in Wilcox County, Alabama

"Forrest Gump" author Winston Groom.
A couple of months ago, my young son and I took a daytrip to Mississippi to visit the Vicksburg National Military Park. We spent a full day there touring the large park, which preserves the site of the epic Civil War battle and resulting siege that occurred there between May and July in 1863.

I’ve always been interested in the Civil War events at Vicksburg because my third-great-grandfather Benjamin Franklin Burge had fought there with the 38th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. During the tour of the battlefield park, we found several historical markers that mentioned his regiment, but I left the park with the deep realization of just little I really knew about Vicksburg’s Civil War history.

I decided to “read up” on Vicksburg, and the first book that I turned to was “Vicksburg, 1863” by Winston Groom. Groom, who lives in Point Clear in Baldwin County, is best known for his 1986 novel, “Forrest Gump,” which was made into an Academy Award-winning movie in 1994.

In addition to his novels, Groom has written more than a dozen nonfiction books, including several books about the Civil War. In his introduction to “Vicksburg, 1863,” which was published in 2010, Groom noted that in all of his previous war histories, he’d had a close relative in the conflict and that he “found these direct links with the past particularly gratifying while writing the books.” He went on to say that he undertook the book about Vicksburg with a “little trepidation” because he knew of no family link between himself and the Civil War events there.

However, that all changed when Groom received an e-mail from a distant cousin who was an expert on Groom family history. This cousin told Groom that his family moved in the 1830s from Virginia and North Carolina to Wilcox County, “about a hundred miles up the Alabama River from Mobile, in the heart of the black belt, at that time the greatest cotton-growing region in the nation – maybe in the world.”

“There, in 1832, at a place named Snow Hill, was born one James Wright Groom, who would become my great-great-grandfather,” Groom wrote in his introduction. “In 1862, one year into the Civil War, he rode a short distance over to Meridian, Mississippi, and joined the Fourth Mississippi Cavalry Regiment – the so-called East Mississippi Dragoons. Why he chose to enlist in Mississippi instead of Alabama is anybody’s guess, but the records show that’s what he did.”

As fighting around Vicksburg intensified, the Fourth Mississippi was sent there to reinforce the thousands of Confederates that were already there defending the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy.” Groom said he’s not sure what role his second-great-grandfather played in all this, but no records show that he was captured or wounded. “From all indications, he never rose higher than a private, but the records show he wasn’t a deserter or a coward, and he fought on till the bitter end.”

After the war, James Wright Groom moved to Mobile, where he became a marine engineer. According to the May 31, 1906 edition of The Mobile Register, “he won a high standing in this profession and was one of the best-known engineers on the river.” The newspaper also noted that he was a “highly respected citizen of Mobile.”

This coming Tuesday – May 30 – will mark the 111th anniversary of his death, for it was on May 30, 1906 that James Wright Groom died at his family home in Mobile at the age of 74. If you travel to Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile today, you’ll find there among the thousands of graves where he is buried beside his wife, Mary E. Groom, many miles from his birthplace in Wilcox County.

Today in History for May 24, 2017

Grave of Arthur L. Mims of Florala, Ala.
May 24, 1607 – One hundred English settlers disembarked in Jamestown, the first English colony in America.

May 24, 1626 – Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Indians.

May 24, 1686 – Physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, inventor of the mercury thermometer and the temperature scale of his namesake, was born in modern-day Poland.

May 24, 1738 – John Wesley was converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day and a church service is generally held on the preceding Sunday.

May 24, 1764 - Bostonian lawyer James Otis denounced "taxation without representation" and called for the colonies to unite in demonstrating their opposition to Britain’s new tax measures.

May 24, 1767 - The first Quartering Act expired. This act was enacted by the Parliament of Great Britain on May 3, 1765.

May 24, 1775 - John Hancock was elected president of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa.

May 24, 1819 - Queen Victoria was born at 4:15 a.m. at Kensington Palace in London She was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death on Jan. 22, 1901. From May 1, 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.

May 24, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Wheeling, Va.

May 24, 1828 – An Act of Congress was approved to establish an arsenal at Mount Vernon, Ala., which was garrisoned by federal troops until 1861, when it was seized by Alabama militia under the orders of Gov. Andrew B. Moore.

May 24, 1830 – The first passenger railroad service in the U.S. began when the first revenue trains in the United States begin service on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Baltimore, and Ellicott's Mills, Maryland.

May 24, 1840 – About seven weeks after Philadelphia Baptist Church was organized at Tunnel Springs, Ala., the first new members were added to the church roll, Robert Colvin and his wife, Sarah Colvin.

May 24, 1841 – Early Alabama soldier and pioneer Samuel Dale died in Daleville in Lauderdale County, Miss. at the age of 69 (possibly 68). (Some sources say he died on May 23.)

May 24, 1844 - Samuel Morse sent the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line.

May 24, 1845 – Confederate soldier John Pitts Anderson was born in Sparta, Ala. In September 1861, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Miller Guards at Sparta and was promoted to Second Sgt. of Co. E, 38th Alabama Regiment on June 11, 1862. He was on the muster roll at Camp Holt in Mobile on June 16, 1862. Between June 6, 1864 and June 22, 1864, he was listed as sick with febris continue at St. Mary’s Hospital in Dalton, Ga. He was listed as a prisoner of war at Fort Blakeley on April 9, 1865 and was forwarded to Ship Island Prison in Mississippi on April 16, 1865. He was forwarded to Vicksburg on May 1, 1865 and was paroled after taking the oath of allegiance. He would pass away near Sparta in Conecuh County on Sept. 1, 1914 and is buried at Hampden Ridge.

May 24, 1856 – John Brown and his men killed five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas.

May 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, Union troops occupied Alexandria, Virginia.

May 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, Sterling Price refused to disband his troops.

May 24, 1861 - Col. Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves was killed in the Marshall House Inn in Alexandria, Virginia, after he and his men removed a Confederate flag. He is generally regarded as the first officer killed while on duty in the American Civil War.

May 24, 1861 - Benjamin Butler used the term "contraband" to describe slaves who have crossed into the Northern camps.

May 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, actions occurred at Middleton and Newtown; and skirmishes were fought at Berryville and Linden and Seven Pines, Virginia.

May 24, 1863 - Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attacked a U.S. Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri.

May 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Woodbury, Tennessee and at Mound Plantation, Louisiana.

May 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi entered its sixth day.

May 24, 1864 - Union General Ulysses S. Grant moved his troops south toward Cold Harbor, Va. after a second attempt to dislodge the Rebels on the North Anna River around Hanover, Va.

May 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Holly Springs, Miss. and near Nashville, Tenn.

May 24, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Grand Review of Sherman's Army took place.

May 24, 1883 - After 14 years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was first officially opened to traffic.

May 24, 1886 - A primary election was held on this Monday in Monroe County, Ala., and “passed off very quietly,” according to the May 27, 1886 edition of The Journal. The Journal also reported that “there was a larger white democratic vote polled in Monroeville (during the election) than there has been since 1874.”

May 24, 1902 - Bill Bradley of the Cleveland Indians became the first American League player to hit home runs in four consecutive games.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Drs. Clarence Jones of Camden, A.G. Stacey of Activity, John J. Dailey of Tunnel Springs, E.G. Burson of Furman and Dr. Farish of Wilcox went before the Board of Censors of the Monroe County Medical Society that week undergoing examination for license to practice medicine. Jones had been in the quarantine service in Mexican waters for a year previous to this. The other young gentlemen were recently graduates of the Alabama Medical College.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the following cases, appealed from the Monroe County Circuit Court, had been passed upon by the supreme court during its recent term: George Untriner, murder in second degree, reversed and remanded: Frank Coker, murder, affirmed; Tom Snider, murder, reversed and remanded; Andrew Rogers, murder, affirmed; Sonny Coker, rape, affirmed. In Coker’s case, the penalty was fixed by the jury at death by hanging. It was said that admissions made by prosecutrix since the trial confirmed belief that the conviction was secured on false testimony. The case was likely to be appealed to the pardon board.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Chestnut community, that Messrs. B.C. Dawson, H.L., Mack and J.W. Dailey, and L.D. and W.M. Hestle made a business trip to Camden during the previous week.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Monday community, reported that H.W. Boulware of Repton visited Monday during the first of the week.

May 24, 1909 – Brewton, Ala. was hit by a “cyclone” on this night that did “considerable damage” to buildings and blew the roof off the Pine Belt News office. Trees were also uprooted and telegraph poles and wires were blown down.

May 24, 1915 – During World War I, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, joining the conflict on the side of the Allies.

May 24, 1915 - Active work on the construction of the Gulf, Florida and Alabama railroad was resumed and the portion of the railroad between Broughton and a point near Monroeville, Ala. was “being made ready for to laying of steel to facilitate the transportation of material and supplies while station contracts are being let for filling in the gaps between graded portions north of this place.”

May 24, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroe County High School graduated that year the largest class since its establishment, and the largest in fact of any county high school in the state, 26 in number. Nineteen of this number were out-of-town students, two being residents of Conecuh County. Diplomas were awarded to the following pupils: Willie Agee, Caroline Gaillard, Grady Daily, Perdue Hill; Owen Burgess, Clifford Farish, Vredenburgh; Eva Rikard, Clara McGill, Peterman; Mattie Middleton, Nelia Middleton, Roy; Myrtle Pearce, Sadie Garrett, Walter White, Jedo; George Harper, Uriah; John Harrengton, Tinela; Joe Langham, Chas. Kelly, Repton; Chas. Roberts, Carl Lazenby, Swanson Wiggins, Maude Yarborough, Sarah Slaughter, Sarah Deer, N.B. Kearley, Orlando Simmons, Monroeville; Annie Mae Ryland, Wait; Lucile Porter, Excel.

May 24, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that no apparent progress seemed to have been made in the previous two weeks in the solution of the water supply problem for Monroeville. Citizens were forced to rely entirely upon the inadequate and in some instances contaminated water furnished by surface wells.

May 24, 1917 - Driven by the spectacular success of the German U-boat submarines and their attacks on Allied and neutral ships at sea, the British Royal Navy introduced a newly created convoy system, whereby all merchant ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean would travel in groups under the protection of the British navy.

May 24, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Arthur L. Mims of Florala, Ala. was killed in action. He was buried in the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial, Bony, Departement de l'Aisne, in Picardie, France.

May 24, 1918 - Cleveland defeated the New York Yankees, 3-2, in the 19th inning.

May 24, 1921 – H.P. Lovecraft’s mother, Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft, passed away at Butler Hospital of complications from a gall bladder operation. She’d been admitted to Butler Hospital in 1919 after a nervous breakdown and had never emerged.

May 24, 1922 – Graduation exercises were scheduled to be held at Beatrice High School at 8 p.m.

May 24, 1929 - The Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox, 6-4, in 21 innings.

May 24, 1930 - Babe Ruth hit home runs in both games of a double header.

May 24, 1935 - The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, on this night in 1935 in Major League Baseball’s first-ever night game, played courtesy of recently installed lights at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. The switch for the floodlights was thrown by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

May 24, 1940 – The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. was officially opened to traffic.

May 24, 1940 - The first movie version of Alabama author James H. Street's story "The Biscuit Eater" was released.

May 24, 1940 - The first night game at St. Louis's Sportsman Park was played.

May 24, 1940 – Poet Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad, Russia. He would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987.

May 24, 1941 – Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota.

May 24, 1951 - Willie Mays began playing for the New York Giants.

May 24, 1958 – United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.

May 24, 1962 - The officials of the National Football League ruled that halftime of regular season games would be cut to 15 minutes.

May 24, 1963 – Novelist Michael Chabon was born in Washington, D.C.

May 24, 1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona), running for the Republican Party nomination in the upcoming presidential election, gave an interview in which he discussed the use of low-yield atomic bombs in North Vietnam to defoliate forests and destroy bridges, roads, and railroad lines bringing supplies from communist China.

May 24, 1965 – Two Evergreen High School baseball players – Mike Fields and Steven Baggett – played in the Lions Club East-West All-Star Game in Montgomery, Ala. on this Monday night as the East won, 3-0. Fields, a catcher and outfielder, and Baggett, a third baseman, both played on the West Team. Henry Allmon was Evergreen’s head baseball coach.

May 24, 1967 - The AFL granted a franchise to the Cincinnati Bengals.

May 24, 1971 - At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, an antiwar newspaper advertisement signed by 29 U.S. soldiers supporting the Concerned Officers Movement resulted in controversy.

May 24, 1980 – Monroeville, Alabama’s Babe Ruth Baseball Field was officially named “Ronnie Dees Babe Ruth Field” in honor of former Monroe County High School coach Ronnie Dees.

May 24, 1982 – During the Liberation of Khorramshahr, Iranians recaptured the port city of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War.

May 24, 1983 - The Brooklyn Bridge's 100th birthday was celebrated.

May 24, 1984 - The Detroit Tigers won their 17th straight road game.

May 24, 1989 – “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was first released in theaters.

May 24, 1989 - Lee Gutterman of the New York Yankees set a record for pitching 30-2/3 innings before giving up his first run of the season.

May 24, 1990 - Andre Dawson was intentionally walked five times during a game.

May 24, 2000 – “The Ballad of Little River: A Tale of Race and Restless Youth in the Rural South” by Paul Hemphill was released.

May 24, 2001 – Temba Tsheri, a 16-year-old Sherpa, became the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

May 24, 2005 – Natalee Ann Holloway, 18, graduated from Mountain Brook High School. Six days later, she would disappear while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba.

May 24, 2006 - The fifth season of "American Idol" ended, and Birmingham, Ala. native Taylor Hicks was voted the winner.

May 24, 2012 – Dutch-German SS officer Klaas Carel Faber died at the age of 90 in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., May 24, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 1.80 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 2.50 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  9.90 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 16.35 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 36.75 inches.

Notes: Today is the 144th day of 2017 and the 66th day of Spring. There are 221 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for May 23, 2017

Congressman Lister Hill
MAY 23, 2002

The Castleberry Town Council was notified by Mayor Pro-Tem Douglas Graham that the council needed to fill the vacancy in the mayor’s office due to the death of Mayor Curtis Wolfe. Graham asked the council at their meeting Tues., May 14, to think about the matter and they would take nominations at their next meeting.

These young men and women will be graduating from Hillcrest High School this Friday night. Graduation exercises will be held at Brooks Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in the gymnasium at Hillcrest High School.

Marie Ann Lanier, daughter of Glenn and Sarah Lanier of Castleberry, is the valedictorian of Hillcrest High School’s Class of 2002.

Avington Rebecca Hart, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Hart of Evergreen, is the salutatorian of Hillcrest High School’s Class of 2002.

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported .01 inches of rain on May 13 and .88 inches on May 17. He reported highs of 89 degrees on May 13 and May 16 and lows of 48 on May 18 and May 19.

Bill Robbins was program chairman for last week’s Kiwanis Club meeting and was the speaker. Bill turned the big “60” this past April and showed the club a video he made celebrating his birthday. To celebrate this event, Bill and his daughter, Ellie, went skydiving. This was Bill’s first jump and he shared with the club what he went through.

MAY 26, 1977

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported .38 of an inch of rain on May 23, .08 on May 21 and .02 on May 20. He reported highs of 94 degrees on May 16 and May 20 and lows of 58 on May 16, May 18 and May 21.

Piggly Wiggly opens new store Monday: The Piggly Wiggly will begin operations in its new building on McGee Street at eight o’clock Monday morning, according to T.L. Sims, manager. He said that the supermarket will operate in its present building on the corner of Cooper and Court Streets until closing time Saturday night.
The new building is located on the lot where the old Aid Conecuh Commodity Building once stood and has a large parking area.

Tal Stuart Jr. was presented the coveted Rotarian of the Year Award by the Evergreen Rotary Club at its meeting last Thursday. Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key, chairman of the selection committee, presented the plaque. The award is presented to a member of the club who rendered outstanding service to the club and community and exemplified the spirit of Rotary in his daily life. Judge Key commented on Stuart’s vast contributions to the Rotary Fish & Wildlife Camp as just one of the award winner’s many contributions to young people.

Pinckney D. Bowles Chapter of the U.D.C. held its last meeting of the year at the beautiful cabin of Mrs. Pansy Ashcraft in Belleville. The 16 members present enjoyed a delicious picnic supper in this historic old cabin.

MAY 22, 1952

Identical twin sisters, Faye and Gaye Nall, are the scholastic leaders of the senior class at Repton High School, it is announced this week by Prof. E.H. Penny, principal.
Faye Nall leads the senior class with a scholastic average of 95 for the high school years. Gaye Nall is a close second with an average of 94.58.

Repton High School will graduate 27 students at exercises Friday night, May 30, in the high school auditorium, according to Principal E.H. Penny. Dr. Walter B. Jones, State Geologist, will make the commencement address and Mr. Penny will award diplomas.

Evergreen High School Will Graduate Sixth Students Friday Night: Commencement activities dominate the scene at Evergreen High School during the coming week as preparations are made to graduate 60 members as the Class of 1952. Plans for commencement activities are announced this week by C.W. Claybrook, principal.
Commencement activities will be climaxed by the Graduation Exercises on Friday night, May 30, in Memorial Gymnasium at eight o’clock. Dr. R.W. Montgomery, head of Vocational Agricultural Education at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, will deliver the address on this occasion.
Diplomas will be presented to the graduates by Prof. J.J. Finklea, former principal who left at mid-term to accept a position as City Recreation Director in Americus, Ga.

MAY 26, 1927

SSAS Commencement Ends Wed. Night: The commencement program of the State Secondary Agricultural School came to a close Wednesday night when diplomas were awarded to the 25 members of the senior class, after a very eloquent and forceful baccalaureate address was delivered by Hon. Lister Hill, Congressman from the Second District.
During the program Wednesday evening, Mr. (W.B.) Sexton introduced to the audience Prof. Paul Fisher of Abbeville, who is to succeed him as principal of the S.S.A.S. Mr. Fisher is at present teacher of Vocational Agriculture at Abbeville. He will move here about July 1.
Diplomas were awarded to the following students: Flossie Allen, Pauline Black, Ernestine Chapman, McLean Dreaden, Jno. Tom Gaillard, Addie B. Garvin, Stanley Fountain, William Hairston, Jno. Hanks, Lindsey Hart, Myra Hart, Jno. C. Holman, Lucinda Horton, Oris Jones, Mrs. Vernice K. Kelley, Joeffy Lundy, Reuben Millsap, Flowers Northcutt, Myrtle Quarles, Julien Relfe, Gladys Reynolds, Winston Stillwell, Entys Thomas, Hazel Williams and Helen Williams.

City School Closes With Program Monday: With the graduating program at the City School auditorium Monday morning at 10 o’clock, the curtain was rung down on the 1926-27 session of the City School. The graduating class numbered 29 this year. These boys and girls will enter next year, the Junior High department of the City School where they will do two years of work, before going to high school.

MAY 28, 1902

The Conecuh Guards recently received a supply of canteens, haversacks, blanket bags, straps, etc. and it is expected they will soon receive a supply of blankets and overcoats.

REPTON SWEPT BY MAD FLAMES: A telegram from R.H. Ellis of Repton to James S. Sims of this place, yesterday morning contained the news of the destruction by fire of the principal business block of that place.
It was not stated and could not be learned how the fire originated or the extent of the damage done. The message stated that every store from J.W. Gaston’s to the store of C.S. Kelly were destroyed. This includes the stores of James M. Sims, T.R. Higdon and Jesse Jay, all general stocks.

Commencement Exercises: The commencement exercises of the Southwest Alabama Agricultural School, beginning next Sunday are as follows:
Sermons Sunday morning and evening will be preached by Dr. L.O. Dawson of Tuscaloosa.
Wednesday morning, graduation exercises will be held and the commencement address to be delivered by Prof. A.A. Persons of the University, graduates will deliver their essays and orations, and diplomas conferred.
Wednesday evening, exercises of the week will close with an entertainment by the elocution and physical culture class.

(The graduates included Julia Stanly Wilson, Robert Bragg Hagood, Alma Belle Shields and James Leonidas Murphy.)

Today in History for May 23, 2017

Cecil Clayton Schofield of Andalusia. 
May 23, 1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged in London, England.

May 23, 1777 - At Sag Harbor, New York, Connecticut raiders and local men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Return Jonathan Meigs captured several British vessels and burned Redcoat supplies. This was the only successful Patriot attack on Long Island between the British takeover in 1776 and their departure in 1783.

May 23, 1786 – Hungarian explorer Maurice, Count de Benyovszky was shot in the chest during a skirmish with French forces at Madagascar and he died from the fatal wound at the age of 39.

May 23, 1788 – South Carolina ratified the United States Constitution as the eighth American state.

May 23, 1790 – French admiral and explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville was born at CondĂ©-sur-Noireau in Lower Normandy.

May 23, 1810 – Writer, literary critic and woman of letters Margaret Fuller was born in Cambridgeport, Mass.

May 23, 1811 - The Mobile Centinel, Alabama's first newspaper, produced its first issue.

May 23, 1841 – Early Alabama soldier and pioneer Samuel Dale died in Daleville, Miss. at the age of 69 (possibly 68). Born in 1772 in Rockbridge County, Va., he was buried in the Samuel Dale Memorial Park Cemetery in Daleville, Lauderdale County, Miss. (Some sources say he died on May 24.)

May 23, 1846 – As part of the Mexican–American War, President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.

May 23, 1855 – English lieutenant and explorer Charles Robert Malden passed away at the age of 57 at Brighton, East Sussex, England.

May 23, 1861 - Virginia ratified the Secessionist Convention referendum by a vote of 132,201 to 37,451.

May 23, 1861 - John Floyd was commissioned a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army.

May 23, 1861 - Thomas Jackson struck the B&O Railroad, capturing 56 locomotives.

May 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at New Bridge, Va. and at Buckton Station, Va. An affair also occurred at Fort Graig, New Mexico, and an action took place at Lewisburg, West Virginia.

May 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, in the Battle of Front Royal, Va., the forces of Confederate General Thomas Jackson soundly defeated the 800 Union soldiers under Col. John Kenly, capturing many of them. The victory put Jackson’s 16,000 men in a position to cut Gen. Nathaniel Banks’ army off from reinforcements from Winchester. It also put them in a great position to attack Washington, DC, at least in the opinion of many nervous residents of the capital. This battle also featured opposing units from the same state--Maryland had representatives on both sides.

May 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Siege of Vicksburg, Miss. entered its fifth day.

May 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Antioch Church, Warrenton and Barber's Cross Roads, Va.

May 23, 1864 - Fighting began on the North Anna River around Hanover Junction, Virginia. Union General Ulysses S. Grant moved his troops south the next day after a second unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the Rebels.

May 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, combat took place at Jericho Bridge, Va., and a skirmish was fought at Stilesborough, Ga.

May 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac took place.

May 23, 1867 – Assisted by his friends, Dallas County, Ala. banker John McGee Parkman, 29, attempted to escape from the former Castle Morgan prison in Cahaba, but he was killed. Born on Jan. 12, 1838, he was buried at Live Oak Cemetery in Selma.

May 23, 1876 - Boston’s Joe Borden pitched the very first no-hitter in the history of the National League.

May 23, 1879 - The first state-sponsored veterinary school was established at Iowa State College.

May 23, 1888 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Zack Wheat was born in Hamilton, Mo. He went on to play for the Brooklyn Superbas/Dodgers/Robins and the Philadelphia Athletics. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1959.

May 23, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. Jas. M. McDaniel, a full graduate of the State Medical College in Mobile, had begun practicing medicine in Monroeville, Ala.

May 23, 1896 - On this night, there was to be, at the city hall at Perdue Hill, Ala., a contest for a medal to be awarded to the best orator among the advanced male students of Perdue Hill High School. On the following Friday night (May 29), the annual exhibition, consisting of charades, drills, etc., was to take place. J.N. Ivey was the school’s principal.

May 23, 1896 - John Hassell returned to Monroeville, Ala. on this Saturday from a trip to Tuscaloosa, having carried two patients to the asylum.

May 23, 1896 – Russian-German SS officer Felix Steiner was born in Stallupönen, Province of East Prussia, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire (now Nesterov, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russian Federation).

May 23, 1900 – Civil War hero Sgt. William Harvey Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner in 1863. He was the first African American to receive the Medal of Honor.

May 23-Aug. 31, 1905 – All stores in Monroeville, Ala. began closing for the summer months at 7 p.m.

May 23, 1907 – Atmore, Ala. became an incorporated municipality.

May 23, 1910 – Margaret Wise Brown, the author of the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon,” was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

May 23, 1911 – The New York Public Library was officially dedicated.

May 23, 1914 – Wealthy Brewton, Ala. resident Thomas Richard Miller, president of the T.R. Miller Mill Co. and Citizens Bank, died at the age of 74 in Atlanta around 3:15 p.m. Born in Brooklyn on April 7, 1843, he was buried in the Union Cemetery in Brewton.

May 23, 1915 - Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, entering World War I on the side of the Allies—Britain, France and Russia, opening up a new front in World War I, stretching 600 kilometers—most of them mountainous—along Italy’s border with Austria-Hungary.

May 23, 1917 - Alabama author Celestine Sibley was born in Holley, Fla.

May 23, 1917 – Mathematician and meteorologist Edward Norton Lorenz was born in West Hartford, Conn. He is known for his studies in chaos theory and for coining the term, “the butterfly effect.”

May 23, 1917 - The Evergreen Courant reported that at a recent meeting of the trustees of the Evergreen City School Miss Ethel King was elected principal of the school, with Misses Willie Cunningham, Sue Stallworth and Mae Simmons as assistants.

May 23, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported, under the headline “To Call Alabama Guardsmen Aug. 5,” that all National Guard organizations would be called into Federal service between July 15 and Aug. 5. Governors had been authorized to recruit all organizations to war strength. Arrangements for formally incorporating the guard into the armies of the United States, terminating for the war period, their status as militia or state troops, were understood to be based upon the possibility of supplying full war equipment for the troops. It was understood also that the 16 divisional cantonment camps for the guard would be in the southeastern, southern and western departments. Dates upon which various state units were to be moved to the big camps for state mobilization points, would depend upon completion of the quarters and supply system at the cantonment camps.

May 23, 1922 - "Daylight Saving Time" was debated in the first debate ever to be heard on radio in Washington, D.C.

May 23, 1926 - Hack Wilson became the first player to hit a home run off the Wrigley Field scoreboard.

May 23, 1932 – U.S. Senator Hugo L. Black, a native of Ashland, spoke in Monroeville, Ala.

May 23, 1932 - Alabama sportswriter Bozeman Bulger died in Lynbrook, N.Y.

May 23, 1934 - In Bienville Parish, La., Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers. The bank robbers were riding in a stolen Ford Deluxe.

May 23, 1935 – Evergreen’s baseball team was scheduled to play Andalusia on this Thursday in Andalusia, Ala.

May 23, 1935 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mrs. Ely Bradley and her 12-yer-old son, Ely Bradley Jr. remained in the Conecuh County Jail on charges stemming from the killing of Hobson Mason on May 10 at the Bradley home on the Lawrence farm on the “old Castleberry road.” Mason supposedly attempted to force his way inside the home, and when Mrs. Bradley fired a warning shot at him, her son fired a shot that killed him.

May 23, 1939 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank off the coast of New Hampshire during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians. The remaining 32 sailors and one civilian naval architect were rescued the following day.

May 23, 1945 – During World War II, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the Schutzstaffel, committed suicide while in Allied custody.

May 23, 1947 – Poet Jane Kenyon was born in Ann Arbor, Mich.

May 23, 1948 - Joe DiMaggio hit three consecutive home runs.

May 23, 1955 - American journalist Dorothy Kilgallen reported from London, claiming "the scientific and aeronautic authorities of Great Britain, after having examined the remains of a mysterious airship of conventional form - have come to the conclusion that these strange flying objects do not represent optical illusions, nor are they Soviet inventions, but that we have to deal with objects that really fly and that originate from some other planet."

May 23, 1957 – A T-28B trainer plane flown by Navy Ensign Richard Frank Polich of Chicago, Ill. crashed and exploded at night on the farm of M.M. Cardwell, about five miles west of Evergreen, Ala. on the Loree Road. Polich, who was stationed at Whiting Field near Milton, Fla., parachuted to safety after the plane’s engine caught fire in midair. This was the first crash of a Navy plane in the county since the Navy Air Training Command at Pensacola began using Middleton Field as a training site.

May 23, 1958 – Graduation exercises were scheduled to be held at Evergreen High School on this Friday at 8 p.m. in Memorial Gymnasium. C.W. Claybrook was principal.

May 23, 1962 - Joe Pepitone of the New York Yankees set a Major League Baseball record by hitting two home runs in one inning.

May 23, 1963 - NBC purchased the 1963 AFL championship game TV rights for $926,000.

May 23, 1963 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Alva Nann Cary had been named valedictorian of Conecuh County High School with an average of 94 for the past four years. Judy Worrells had been named salutatorian of Conecuh County High School with an average of 93 for the past four years.

May 23, 1963 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Evergreen Aggies had selected the winners of the baseball team’s three awards for the 1963 season, Coach Henry Allmon announced that week. Selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player was Jimmy Weaver, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Weaver. The first member of the Evergreen Baseball Hall of Fame was Donnie Jones, son of Mr. and Mrs. E.L. Jones. The winner of the Batting Championship Trophy was Sid Lambert, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Lambert, with an average of .370. Lambert barely edged out Weaver, who hit .367. Weaver and Jones were chosen by a vote by the team. Jones was a senior and both Lambert and Weaver were juniors.

May 23, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that Eddie Phillippi, an eight-year-old resident of Peterman, Ala. had caught a three and one-fourth pound eel. The eel measured 31 inches and was caught at Hardee’s pond near Beatrice, Ala.

May 23, 1967 – A public controversy over the M-16, the basic combat rifle in Vietnam, began after Representative James J. Howard (D-New Jersey) read a letter to the House of Representatives in which a Marine in Vietnam claimed that almost all Americans killed in the battle for Hill 881 died as a result of their new M-16 rifles jamming.

May 23, 1969 – The Vela Hotel 6911 satellite was launched, over 10 years before it detected the mysterious “double-flash” event, known as the Vela Incident, on Sept. 22, 1979. At the time of the event, the satellite was more than two years beyond its so-called “design lifetime.”

May 23, 1970 – Army SFC Cecil Clayton Schofield, 37, of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in a mortar attack on an artillery position south of Saigon in Vietnam. He began his tour of duty in Vietnam on April 28, 1970 and was killed less than a month later. He was a mortarman in Co. E, 1st Bn., 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). Born on April 29, 1933, he was buried in Paxton Cemetery in Walton County, Fla. He attended Paxton High School and joined the Army in 1952 with plans to retire in 1972. He had already served two tours of duty in Germany and four in Korea.

May 23, 1971 - North Vietnamese demolition experts infiltrated the major U.S. air base at Cam Ranh Bay, blowing up six tanks of aviation fuel, which resulted in the loss of about 1.5 million gallons. U.S. commander Creighton Abrams criticized the inadequate security.

May 23, 1972 - Heavy U.S. air attacks that began with an order by President Richard Nixon on May 8 were widened to include more industrial and non-military sites.

May 23, 1977 - Alabama author Florence Glass Palmer died in Pensacola, Fla.

May 23, 1978 - The American League approved the transfer of Jean Yawkey of the Boston Red Sox for $15 million.

May 23, 1980 – Texas Rangers pitcher Fergie Jenkins claimed win No. 250 out of 284 in his career, a two-hit defeat of the Athletics in Texas. The only run he allowed in the 3-1 victory was unearned, as he struck out eight and was supported by Al Oliver’s two-run single.

May 23, 1984 - The Detroit Tigers won their 16th straight road game, tying the American League record.

May 23, 1984 – “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” was first released in theaters.

May 23, 1987 - A television version of Alabama author Paul Hemphill's book “Long Gone” was broadcast.

May 23, 1988 – Old Scotland Presbyterian Church in Monroe County, Ala. was added to Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

May 23, 1991 - The New York Yankees played their fourth straight extra inning game.

May 23, 1995 - The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was demolished.

May 23, 1999 - Gerry Bloch, at age 81, became the oldest climber to scale El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He broke his own record that he set in 1986 when he was 68 years old.

May 23, 2008 – New York Met Marlon Anderson of Montgomery, Ala. seriously injured his hamstring in a game against the Colorado Rockies on a groundout.

May 23, 2008 - Nearly 120 Conecuh County seniors were scheduled to receive their high school diplomas on this Friday night at Hillcrest High School and Sparta Academy in Evergreen, Ala. Hillcrest’s graduation exercises were to be held at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen, and Sparta’s graduation exercises were to be held at Richard Brown Gymnasium in Evergreen. Claude B. Nielsen was to be the guest speaker at Sparta. Both ceremonies were set to start at 7 p.m. During the commencement ceremonies both schools planned to honor their respective valedictorians and salutatorians. Pia Marie A. Cumagun was the valedictorian at Sparta, and Jonarius Antoine Stallworth was the valedictorian at Hillcrest. Hayden Armuelles was the salutatorian at Sparta, and Willie Keontra McCaskill was the salutatorian at Hillcrest. Sparta Academy’s honor graduates were Amanda Nolin, Pia Cumagun, Hayden Armuelles, Hope Burleson, Myles Wiggins, Keary Watts and Casey Pierce.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., May 23, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.70 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.70 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  8.10 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 14.55 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 34.95 inches.

Notes: Today is the 143rd day of 2017 and the 65th day of Spring. There are 222 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for May 23, 2017

Danny Covin in 1977.
MAY 23, 2002

Basketball Camp: NBA star Wesley Person of the Cleveland Cavaliers will put on a youth basketball camp in Evergreen for all boys and girls interested in playing basketball, age nine to 18. The camp will be held June 3-5 at Hillcrest High School.

Discussion of Carver ends council meeting: The Evergreen City Council meeting ended abruptly Tuesday night, as it has several times in the past year, with council members walking out of the meeting. The meeting ended this time over the closing of Carver Recreation Center.
After conducting a portion of the business on the agenda for the evening, Councilwoman Tanisha Booker requested that Carver Recreation Center be added to the agenda for the meeting. Mayor Lomax Cassady said that he had changed the procedure for the meetings and the council members could not add anything to the agenda without a vote of the council.
Councilwoman Booker said she wanted Carver Recreation Center added to the agenda because she wanted to know why the center was going to be closed for the summer without it being discussed by the council. The Mayor said that they had not passed a budget and there was not funding for the center to be opened for the summer.
At one point, Councilwoman Booker made a motion to add the item to the agenda. Her motion was seconded by Councilwoman Maxine Harris but failed to pass when Councilmen Lynn Blackmon and Homer Chavers along with Mayor Cassady voted against the motion. Councilwoman Joye Fordham abstained from voting because she said she did not want to get in the middle of the argument. She later requested that the Carver Recreation Center be placed on the agenda for the next meeting and the mayor agreed to do so.
During the discussion, Booker told the other council members that they did not care enough about the children to discuss it. Councilman Blackmon said that he and Councilman Chavers had been over to the park three times last summer and there were just over a hundred kids at the center.
“To heck with Carver as far as I’m concerned,” said Blackmon.
“We just paid one million dollars to the hospital, but we can’t spend any money for Carver,” Booker said.
The exchange of words continued as the mayor attempted to move on with the agenda. After approving several items, the mayor made a motion to adjourn and he and several council members left the room.

MAY 26, 1977

Junior League ball is cancelled this summer: The Evergreen Junior Baseball League will not be in operation this summer, according to President Matthew Davis, because of problems with insurance.
Davis explained that Greif Bros., owners of the Evergreen Heading Co. property where the League’s Ward Alexander Memorial Park is located, required the league to secure a large amount of liability insurance. He said that the league had been unable to secure the insurance.
Davis said that league officials regret very much having to cancel this summer’s activities, but found the insurance matter beyond their control. He said that efforts would be continued to try to arrange for play in future years.

Davis is chosen all-star team: Kelvin Davis of Lyeffion High School has been chosen by the coaches in Region 1 to represent this area in the yearly all-star game. Davis won this honor by his all-around play this season. He will travel to Tuscaloosa on July 23, and will play in the Memorial Coliseum at the University of Alabama.
This past year, Davis won the Most Valuable Player in the County Tournament, when he and his team defeated the Evergreen Aggies, 44-39. He also has made all-tournament teams in three tournaments.
Davis says he is very thankful to his teammates because without them he wouldn’t have gotten this award.
He is the son of Mrs. Verba Davis and the grandson of Miss Rachel Rodgers.

The Lyeffion High School Girls Track Team won the championship of the first county track meet in history.

Nine Sparta athletes earn all-district honors this year: Nine Sparta Academy athletes – five girls and four boys, earned all-district honors in various sports and were honored at the Alabama Private Schools Athletic Association District III All-Sports Honors Banquet held here last Thursday night at the Holiday Inn.
Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan, Auburn University’s all-time winningest coach, was the featured speaker at the banquet. Coach Jordan, generally considered one of the finest gentlemen ever associated with major athletics, charmed his audience with his wit and humor and also gave them some inspirational and educational thoughts from his lifetime in athletics. Coach Jordan retired at the end of the 1975 season.
Donna Salter of the girls basketball team, Bobby Johnson, Jerry Peacock and Johnny Cook of the football team, Tim Johnson of the basketball team, and Janice Pugh, Donna Miller, Nancy Price and Cheryl Hutcherson of the state championship track team of Sparta were all honored as all district.

Head Coach Danny Covin of Lyeffion High School was named Conecuh County Basketball Coach of the Year by the County Coaches Association. Covin’s team had an outstanding record this year. The Yellow Jackets won 20 and lost only six and won three tournaments, Repton High’s Thanksgiving Tournament, Lyeffion High’s Christmas Tournament and the County Tournament. The Jackets finished second in the Area losing to Frisco City in the finals. They also defeated Evergreen for the first time in 17 years.

Dick Longo, director of the Southern Region of the Physical Fitness Institute of America, presented the program at the meeting of the Evergreen Rotary Club last Thursday. Longo, former head basketball coach at Tulane University, gave an exhibition of the exercises the Institute developed for the physical fitness program for the Apollo astronauts. A similar program is now available to the public that requires only six minutes of exercise a day for the cardiovascular and body contouring purposes. A number of overfed Rotarians signed up for the program after the meeting.

Evergreen Rugby Team wins 10-6: The newly-formed Evergreen Rugby Team got off to a roaring start Sunday afternoon by winning its first game, 10-6, over the University of West Florida in Pensacola.
The local team is composed of Player-Coach Jim Andrews, Bruce Hutcheson, Darwin Cook, Walker Scott, Stan Johnson, Greg Still, Joe Andrews, Homer Holland, James Holland and Greer Horton.

MAY 22, 1952

MAY 26, 1927

Coach N.C. Henderson leaves Thursday for his home in Starkville, Miss. We are sorry Mr. Henderson is not coming back here next year. He has accepted a position with Investors Syndicate Co. and will be located in Texas.

Today in History for May 22, 2017

May 22, 1724 – French cartographer and explorer March-Joseph Marion du Fresne was born in St Malo, Brittany, France. He made important discoveries in the south Indian Ocean, in Tasmania and in New Zealand. Du Fresne was killed by Maori in 1772.

May 22, 1762 – Trevi Fountain in Rome was officially completed and inaugurated by Pope Clemens XIII.

May 22, 1781 - Patriots began a siege of Ninety Six, South Carolina. They retreated on June 18. This was the longest battle of American Revolutionary War.

May 22, 1783 – Anderson Crenshaw, who lived near Manningham in Butler County from 1821 to his death in 1847 and was the first attorney to settle in Butler County, was born in Newbury District, S.C. He was the first graduate of what is now the University of South Carolina. He moved to Cahawba in 1819. There, he was appointed a judge of the circuit court from 1821–1838, of the state supreme court from 1832, and as chancellor of the southern division of the state's courts. After his death in 1847, Crenshaw County was named in his honor.

May 22, 1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially began as the Corps of Discovery departed from St. Charles, Missouri.

May 22, 1807 – A grand jury indicted former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr on a charge of treason.

May 22, 1814 – British explorer Erasmus Ommanney was born in London, England He went on to become a Royal Navy officer and an Arctic explorer of the Victorian era.

May 22, 1819 – The SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The ship arrived at Liverpool, England, on June 20.

May 22, 1826 – The HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.

May 22, 1843 – One thousand pioneers headed west on the Oregon Trail in what is now known as the “Great Migration.”

May 22, 1846 – The Associated Press was formed in New York City, born out of the collective desire of five New York City newspapers to be the first to spread the news of the Mexican-American War northward.

May 22, 1848 – Slavery was abolished in Martinique.

May 22, 1849 – Future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for an invention to lift boats over obstacles in a river, making him the only U.S. President to ever hold a patent.

May 22, 1856 – Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina savagely beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner with a cane in the hall of the United States Senate for a speech Sumner had made attacking Southerners who sympathized with the pro-slavery violence in Kansas. In his speech, Sumner made comments about South Carolina Senator Andrew D. Butler, Brooks' cousin, in Butler's absence. The comments were related to the controversial Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, which allowed the two new territories to decide the slave issue by vote.

May 22, 1859 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of fictional character “Sherlock Holmes,” was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.

May 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at the Trenton and Pollocksville Cross Roads, N.C.; and at Winchester, Tenn.

May 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, during the Siege of Port Hudson, Union forces began to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.

May 22, 1863 - The War Department established the Bureau of Colored Troops to recruit and assemble black regiments.

May 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, after 10 weeks, the Union Army's Red River Campaign ended with the Union unable to achieve any of its objectives.

May 22, 1864 – Early Conecuh County settler Chesley Crosby died at his home between Belleville and Sparta.

May 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, the second assault against Vicksburg, Miss. was carried out as the Siege of Vicksburg entered day four.

May 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Port Gibson, Miss. took place.

May 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bentonville, Ark.; and at Middleton and on Yellow Creek, Tenn.

May 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, the last day of the Union Demonstration against Kinston, North Carolina took place.

May 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln offered command of the Army of the Potomac to Darius Couch. Couch refused, but recommended George Meade.

May 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Mount Pleasant, Miss., and an affair took place near Devall's Bluff, Ark.

May 22, 1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis was imprisoned at Fortress Monroe in Virginia.

May 22, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Valley Mines, Mo.

May 22, 1868 - Near Marshfield, Indiana, the "Great Train Robbery" took place. The robbery was worth $96,000 in cash, gold and bonds to the seven members of the Reno gang.

May 22, 1872 – During Reconstruction, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed the Amnesty Act into law restoring full civil and political rights to all but about 500 Confederate sympathizers.

May 22, 1900 - The Associated Press was incorporated as a non-profit news cooperative in New York.

May 22, 1901 - U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt announced that he would support the International Court at the Hague in its settlement of the U.S.'s debt dispute with Mexico.

May 22, 1902 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Al Simmons was born in Milwaukee, Wisc. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Chicago White Sox, the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the Boston Braves, the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953.

May 22, 1905 – The James Shelby Show gave two exhibitions in Monroeville, Ala. at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission was 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children.

May 22, 1906 – The Wright brothers were granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine."

May 22, 1907 – Sir Laurence Olivier, one of the greatest English-speaking actors of the 20th century, was born in Dorking, Surrey.

May 22, 1917 - With hunger and discontent spreading among the civilian and military populations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a crisis mounts within its government, as Hungarian Prime Minister Istvan Tisza resigned at the request of the Austrian emperor, Karl I.

May 22, 1927 – Writer Peter Matthiessen was born in New York City.

May 22, 1941 – During the Anglo-Iraqi War, British troops took Fallujah.

May 22, 1942 – During World War II, Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlisted in the United States Marine Corps as a flight instructor.

May 22, 1942 - Theodore John Kaczynski, aka “The Unabomber,” was born in Chicago.

May 22, 1942 - Monroe County High School’s graduation exercises were scheduled to be held on this day. The following students were receive diplomas: Charles Baggett, Courtney Belcher, Richard Carter, Ted Easley, Robert English, Carl Falkenberry, Aubrey James, Landis McMillon, Calvin Stevens, William Walding, Robert Wiggins, Erin Andrews, Agnes Biggs, Nancie Brantley, Myrtle Brantley, Ruth Casey, Naomi Chandler, Mildred Feagin (salutatorian), Edna Green, Eunice McKenzie, Corinne Nettles (valedictorian), Willie B. Parnell, Margaret Salter, Edna Earl Shirley, Dorothy Simmons, Salina Wiggins and Fannie Williams.

May 22, 1954 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Chief Bender passed away at the age of 70 in Philadelphia, Pa. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Baltimore Terrapins, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1953.

May 22, 1960 - The Great Chilean Earthquake was the most powerful quake ever recorded, with a magnitude of 9.5.

May 22, 1961 - The Space Needle (built for the 1962 World's Fair) opened its revolving restaurant, now called SkyCity, on this day.

May 22, 1963 - The Evergreen Aggies wound up their baseball season in Red Level on this Wednesday afternoon with an 11-5 victory over the host Tigers to give them an 8-5 record for the season. The game ended on a sour note however as Aggie right fielder Donnie Jones ran into a light pole while chasing a fly ball and had to be taken to the Conecuh County Hospital in Evergreen. Jones’ twin brother, Ronnie was the winning pitcher as he pitched a three-hitter until the fifth inning when the game was called after Jones sustained the injury. Other players on Evergreen’s team that season included Johnny Brown, Scott Cook, Paul Deason, Mike Fields, Ronnie Jackson, Jimmy Raines and Willie Mack Pate.

May 22, 1964 - In a major speech before the American Law Institute in Washington, D.C., Secretary of State Dean Rusk explicitly accused North Vietnam of initiating and directing the aggression in South Vietnam.

May 22, 1967 – “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” debuted on public television.

May 22, 1968 – The nuclear-powered submarine the USS Scorpion sank with 99 men aboard 400 miles southwest of the Azores.

May 22, 1968 - Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit three home runs, a single and a double.

May 22, 1969 - Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, at the 18th plenary session of the Paris peace talks, said he found common ground for discussion in the proposals of President Richard Nixon and the National Liberation Front.

May 22, 1972 – Army Staff Sgt. Charles Donnette Gipson, 29, of Brewton, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam. Born on May 8, 1943, he was buried in the Zion Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Escambia County, Ala. (Some sources say that he died on May 26.)

May 22, 1973 – The Auburn University Chapel was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Auburn Players Theater. Built in 1851, it’s the second-oldest building and oldest building in its original location on the campus of Auburn University. During the Civil War, the building briefly served as a Confederate hospital for wounded soldiers, and legend says that the building is haunted by the ghost of Sydney Grimlett, an Englishman and Confederate soldier who died in the chapel during the time it served as a hospital.

May 22, 1975 - Joe Namath refused a $4 million offer to play for Chicago in the World Football League.

May 22, 1975 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Lefty Grove passed away at the age of 75 in Norwalk, Ohio. He played for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Sox. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947.

May 22, 1980 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen High School head basketball coach Charles Branum had been named the 1980 “Coach of the Year” by his fellow coaches in the Southwest Alabama Basketball Conference. EHS went 31-2 during the 1979-80 season and advanced to the semi-final round of the 3A state tournament in Tuscaloosa. Branum was also selected to coach the South 3A-4A team, which including Evergreen’s Perona Rankins, in the 1980 All State Game in Tuscaloosa in early August.

May 22, 1980 – Sparta Academy’s graduation exercises were scheduled for this Thursday night at 8 p.m. Alice Stevens was to deliver the commencement address, and diplomas were to be presented by Sparta headmaster Jack Miller. Selina Garvin was the valedictorian, and Lesa Ralls was the salutatorian.

May 22, 1980 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Melinda Litts was the valedictorian of the 1980 graduating class at Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, and Dwayne Godwin was the salutatorian.

May 22, 1985 - Pete Rose passed Hank Aaron as National League run scoring leader with 2,108.

May 22, 1986 – The Commercial Hotel (later known as the Hart Hotel and Flomaton Hotel) in Flomaton, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

May 22, 1991 - The NFL owners agreed to add two new teams in 1994.

May 22, 1992 – Sparta Academy’s annual commencement exercises were scheduled to be held at 7:30 p.m. in the gymnasium. Honor graduates were Ashley Earnest, Michelle Ferrell, Kimberli Griffin (salutatorian), Chris Owens (valedictorian), Steven Gall and Stacey White.

May 22, 2002 - Mark Prior became only the 14th Chicago Cubs player since 1920 to win his major league debut. The Cubs beat the Pirates, 7-4.

May 22, 2002 – In Washington, D.C., the remains of the missing Chandra Levy were found in Rock Creek Park.

May 22, 2002 – A jury in Birmingham, Ala. convicted former Ku Klux Klan member Bobby Frank Cherry of murder for his part in the bombing of Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Cherry was the last living suspect to be prosecuted for the Sept. 15, 1963, blast that killed 11-year-old Denise McNair, and 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and Addie Mae Collins.

May 22, 2002 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 583rd career home run. He tied Mark McGwire for fifth on the all-time list.

May 22, 2008 – The C.L. Hybart House and Monroe County Library, both in Monroeville, Ala., were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage

May 22, 2010 – Town of Oak Grove, Ala. dedicated a historical marker at the site of the Hodges meteorite site.

May 22, 2015 – Ukrainian-Canadian SS officer Vladimir Katriuk died at the age of 93 in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, Quebec, Canada.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., May 22, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): Trace.

Week to Date Rainfall: Trace.

Month to Date Rainfall:  7.40 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 13.85 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 34.25 inches.

Notes: Today is the 142nd day of 2017 and the 64th day of Spring. There are 223 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

125-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from May 1892

The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of editor and proprietor Q. Salter, likely published four editions 125 years ago during the month of May 1892. Three of those issues, which were dated May 5, May 12 and May 19, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those editions. Enjoy.

MAY 5, 1892

Cora Andrews, colored, charged with burning Mr. W.H. Betts’ residence at Burnt Corn, was discharge last Saturday, the grand jury having found no bill against her.

Capt. Thos. S. Wiggins, Mr. J.F. Fore and Capt. T.A. Rumbley are off on a fishing and hunting expedition down in South Monroe.

Capt. W.B. Kemp, Monroe’s nominee for state senate, has received the endorsement of Escambia County for the position. While the expression of choice of a nominee by Monroe practically settled the question, the concurrence of Escambia is none the less gratifying to Capt. Kemp and his friends.

From the Clarke County Democrat we learn that the Republican district convention held at Jackson last week nominated Toney Davison of Monroe for congress and Wesley Bettis of Clarke for presidential elector. P.D. Barker of Mobile and Wm. Mathews of Marengo are delegates to the national convention.

We are gratified to learn that our esteemed friend and former townsman, Thomas L. Sowell of Jasper, has been nominated for the legislature in Walker County. Mr. Sowell is an able and successful lawyer and will make a most creditable record in the next house. He selection for this position speaks well for the wisdom and intelligence of the people among whom he has cast his lot.

The success of the Ladies’ Bazaar last week was highly creditable to those who conducted it and gratifying to the friends of the object in view. About $85 were realized.

MAY 12, 1892

The county commissioners have ordered a large new fireproof safe for the Treasurer’s office.

Commissioners court was in session Monday and Tuesday, there being a full attendance of the board.

Messrs. Wiggins, Fore and Rumbley returned from their hunting and fishing expedition Saturday. They were not overloaded with game, but reported an enjoyable time.

MASONIC – Monroe Chapter No. 4 will hold a convocation in Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill on the first Thursday in June. – W.J. McCants, Secretary.

A fine rain visited this section Monday evening and was gratefully welcomed by farmers, affording them an opportunity for the transplanting of sweet potatoes.

BUENA VISTA: Memorial Day, with its exercises and pleasures, is past but not forgotten. After cleaning off the cemetery grounds, the graves were beautifully decorated with evergreens and flowers. An appropriate address was delivered by our pastor, Rev. W.N. Huckabee, after which a delightful dinner was made ready on the grounds and much enjoyed by all.
Our school, under the efficient management of Prof. Claude Hardy and his accomplished assistant, Miss Dovie Finklea, is larger for the time of year than any previous session. The session will close the first of June with examinations during the day and concert at night.

MAY 19, 1892

Prof. McWilliams’ school at the Academy will close Friday, the 20th.

Monday was military day and there was a very good attendance of the soldier boys.

Our physicians report considerable sickness prevailing in the vicinity of Monroeville.

Mr. Jno. I. Watson is having his hotel repainted and otherwise improved.

Dr. W.W. McMillan and daughter, Miss Beth, are occupying apartments at the Watson House.

Messrs. Hatter & Son have finished repairing the recent break at their mill and it is again in operation.

Mr. E.D. Conover is preparing to erect a handsome residence at the Thompson place a few miles southeast of town.

Capt. Thos. S. Wiggins returned Tuesday from a visit to Garland, accompanied by his daughter, Miss Kittie, who recently closed a prosperous school at that place.

Messrs. W.W. McConnico and Richard Jones of Wilcox, representing the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Co. of Newark, N.J., were in Monroeville this week.

Bishop Jackson preached here Thursday and at night confirmed five applicants into the Episcopal Church.

Miss Hattie Hines is visiting her grandfather at Walker Springs.