Jan. 23, 1622 – English explorer and navigator William Baffin died from a gunshot at Qeshm, Ormus. He was around 38 years old.
Jan. 23, 1737 – American Revolutionary Patriot John Hancock was born in Braintree (now Quincy), Province of Massachusetts Bay.
Jan. 23, 1775 - London merchants petitioned Parliament for relief from the hardships created by the curtailment of trade with the North American colonies.
Jan. 23, 1783 – French novelist and essayist Stendhal was born Marie-Henri Beyle in Grenoble, France.
Jan. 23, 1789 – Georgetown University, originally called Georgetown College, was officially founded by John Carroll, the country’s first Catholic bishop.
Jan. 23, 1845 – Conecuh County attorney George Robert Farnham was born near Belleville, Ala. He joined the Monroe Guards at the age of 16, enlisting at Pineville on March 15, 1861. Brigaded as Co. D under Capt. Giles Goode with the 5th Ala. Inf. Sent to northern Virginia. Farnham was sick at Manassas and hospitalized and did not participate in the 1st Battle of Manassas (Bull Run to the Federals). Farnham was discharged on Dec. 23, 1861. He later served as Evergreen Baptist Church’s Sunday School Superintendent. He was President of the 1880 State Sunday School Convention and also served as a state senator.
Jan. 23, 1846 – Slavery in Tunisia was abolished.
Jan. 23, 1855 - The first permanent bridge across the Mississippi River opened, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, connecting Minneapolis on the west bank of the Mississippi to Nicollet Island.
Jan. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, the blockade runner, Calhoun, was captured by the Federal Navy near the mouth of the Mississippi River. Also on that day, a third set of obstacles were sunk at the entrance to Charleston Harbor, S.C., in an attempt to deny usage to blockade runners.
Jan. 23, 1863 - A five-day Federal operation began between Fayetteville and Van Buren, Ark. A Federal expedition up the St Mary’s River from Beaufort, S.C. also began. A skirmish was also fought along the Bradyville Pike, in the vicinity of Murfreesborough and at Carthage, Tenn.
Jan. 23, 1863 - Union General Ambrose Burnside abandoned an offensive, known as the Mud March, against General Robert E. Lee. The attack started on Jan. 20 and was ended due to several days of heavy rain. As the Army of the Potomac continued to slog back to camp, U.S. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was quite depressed about the lack of successful conclusion to the project. Burnside sent a request to Lincoln that Generals Joseph Hooker, William B. Franklin, W. F. Smith and others be fired, demoted or transferred. Burnside wanted Hooker removed from the service altogether. Lincoln quietly ignored Burnside‘s tirade. Although it was little consolation to either Burnside or his wet, exhausted and shivering troops, the movement that became known to history as the “Mud March” had caused considerable alarm among Confederate commanders.
Jan. 23, 1864 - A six-day Federal operation began in North Alabama and a skirmish occurred at Woodville, Ala.
Jan. 23, 1864 - During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bailey’s on Cooked Creek, Burrowsville and Rolling Prairie, Ark.; at Cowskin Bottom in the Indian Territory; at Newport, Tenn.; and at Cowskin Bottom, in Newton County, Mo. A Federal operation also began between La Grange, Tenn. and Ripley, Miss. A five-day Federal operation also began between Patterson, Mo. to Cherokee Bay, Ark. A three-day Federal operation also began between Charlestown, West Virginia and Woodstock, Va. This operation moved through the towns of Berryville, Millwood, White Post, Newton, Middletown and Strasburg.
Jan. 23, 1865 - During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Thompson’s Plantation, in the vicinity of Donaldsonville, La. and at Fort Brady, located along the James River in Virginia. A five-day Federal operation began in the Cumberland Gap, Tenn. area. A makeshift Confederate fleet departed Richmond, Va., sailing down the James River to attack the Federal supply depot at City Point. This attempt was unsuccessful.
Jan. 23, 1865 - Confederate General John Bell Hood was officially removed as commander of the Army of Tennessee. He had requested the removal several weeks before, and the action closed a sad chapter in the history of the Army of Tennessee. Hood lost a leg at Chickamauga in September 1863.
Jan. 23, 1866 – English author and poet Thomas Love Peacock died at the age of 80 from injuries sustained in a fire in which he had attempted to save his library in Lower Halliford, Shepperton, Surrey, England.
Jan. 23, 1870 – Famous architect Henry Mather Greene was born in Brighton, Ohio.
Jan. 23, 1882 – Brewton was made the county seat of Escambia County, Ala. Previously, the county seat had been located at Pollard.
Jan. 23, 1887 – Rube Burrow and his gang committed their second train robbery, robbing an eastbound Texas & Pacific train around 2:28 a.m.
Jan. 23, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that The Evergreen Record had reported that there was “a movement on foot to construct a telephone line from Evergreen to Perdue Hill, via Belleville and Monroeville.”
Jan. 23, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that it had received word from W.J. Newberry, informing the paper that his mill at Mexia, which had been shut down for a number of weeks for repairs, would be back in operation within a few days.
Jan. 23, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Wild Fork and Excel communities, that three schools were open in the Wild Fork area, but that Prof. Nash planned to close his school at Excel in two weeks.
Jan. 23, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the “approaching February term of the Commissioners Court promises more than usual interest. The settlement of the stock law question in Precincts 3 and 5, to which considerable opposition has developed in the former, will be the principal subject of consideration.”
Jan. 23, 1897 – Elva Zona Heaster was found dead in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
Jan. 23, 1908 – The Conecuh Record reported that Dr. A.A. McKittrick had died.
Jan. 23, 1914 – The Rev. William Allen Parker, a native of Choctaw County, Ala., passed away at the age of 65 at Mt. Enterprise in Rusk County, Texas. He left Alabama about two years prior to his death and prior to that he was a Baptist minister in Washington, Clarke, Perry and Marengo counties for about 40 years. He was licensed to preach in October 1877 and was ordained a minister in May 1878 at Nannafalla Church in Yantley, Ala. He preached at Faunsdale and Dayton in 1897.
Jan. 23, 1918 – Nobel Prize-winning pharmacologist Gertrude Elion was born in New York City.
Jan. 23, 1920 - The Dutch government refused demands by the Allies for the extradition of Wilhelm II, the former kaiser of Germany, who had been living in exile in the Netherlands since November 1918.
Jan. 23, 1922 – A 14-year-old Canadian boy with diabetes became the first patient to receive treatment by insulin injection.
Jan. 23, 1927 – Swedish-American businessman and explorer Lars-Eric Lindblad was born in Solna north of Stockholm, Sweden.
Jan. 23, 1929 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team beat Georgiana, 19-10.
Jan. 23, 1930 - Clyde Tombaugh first photographed Pluto.
Jan. 23, 1930 – Nobel Prize-winning poet and playwright Dereck Walcott was born in Castries, Saint Lucia.
Jan. 23, 1931 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Miskatonic University’s Pabodie Antarctic Expedition found the last Antarctic city of the Elder Things.
Jan. 23, 1936 – Advertising began for bids for the construction of the overhead bridge in Evergreen, Ala.
Jan. 23, 1936 – The Monroe Journal reported that Aaron Finklea was being held in the Monroe County Jail in Monroeville, Ala. on murder charges in connection with the death of Fred McCants on the afternoon of Sun., Jan. 19. The two men were alleged to have become involved in a disagreement over a small amount of money, when the Finklea man struck the other over the head with such force as to produce almost instant death.
Jan. 23, 1936 – The Monroe Journal reported that the cash receipts on which the rating of a post office was based were $8,858.52 at the Monroeville Post Office during the year ending Dec. 30, 1935, according to Miss Emma E. Yarbrough, postmistress. Those receipts exceeded by several hundreds of dollars those recorded for the year ending Dec. 30, 1934, when a total of $8,397.99 was received in the local office.
Jan. 23, 1941 – Charles Lindbergh testified before the U.S. Congress and recommended that the United States negotiate a neutrality pact with Adolf Hitler.
Jan. 23, 1950 - NFL owners approved the unlimited substitution rule that had been used on a trial basis for 1949.
Jan. 23, 1951 – T.R. Miller High School’s boys basketball team beat Frisco City, 74-30, in Brewton, Ala.
Jan. 23, 1951 - Two Biloxi, Miss. teenage boys were returned to their parents on this Tuesday after being picked up by county highway patrolmen near Frisco City early that week. The two youths, Paul Lewis, 14, and Billy Moran, 13, left their homes in Biloxi on the night of Fri., Jan. 19, without telling their parents where they were going. They traveled the greater part of the distance from Mississippi to Frisco City on a small motor “scooter” bike. County officers said the youths decided to leave home on Friday night, hitchhiked to Ocean Springs, Miss., where they picked up the “scooter” and road on into Mobile on Friday night. On the night of Sat., Jan. 20, they came on up to the home of Bennie Whatley of Frisco City Route, an uncle of the Lewis youth. They were picked up there by patrolmen.
Jan. 23, 1957 - Wham-O produced the first Frisbees. The name was derived from students throwing around empty pie tins from the Frisbie Pie Company. The first version of the Frisbee was marketed as the Pluto Platter to cash in on the public craze over space and UFOs.
Jan. 23, 1964 – The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, was ratified.
Jan. 23, 1973 - President Nixon announced that Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the chief North Vietnamese negotiator, had initialed a peace agreement in Paris “to end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.”
Jan. 23, 1974 - Mike Oldfield’s "Tubular Bells" opened the credits of the movie, "The Exorcist."
Jan. 23, 1976 – Major League Baseball pitcher Brandon Duckworth was born in Kearns, Utah. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Houston Astros and the Kansas City Royals.
Jan. 23, 1977 – The miniseries “Roots” premiered on ABC.
Jan. 23, 1982 - Diana Ross performed the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XVI.
Jan. 23, 1985 - O.J. Simpson became the first Heisman Trophy winner to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Jan. 23, 1986 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Barry Stuart had killed an eight-point buck that weighed 210 pounds and had a 20-1/2 inch antler spread, measuring 133.5 on the Boone-Crockett Scale.
Jan. 23, 1988 - Nirvana recorded a 10-song demo tape with producer Jack Endino. The Melvin's Dale Crover was on drums.
Jan. 23, 1996 – During a meeting on this Tuesday morning, the Monroe County Commission hoped to increase tourist dollars by appointing a tourism board. The commission made the move on advice from a representative of the Ala-Tom Resource Conservation and Development Council during its regular meeting on this Tuesday morning. Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs nominated Kathy McCoy, director of the Monroe County Heritage Museums, as chairwoman of the board.
Jan. 23, 1998 – The Jackson Historic District in Jackson, Ala., which is spread over 180 acres and includes 140 buildings, was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The district is roughly bounded by College Avenue, Forest Avenue, Carroll Avenue, Cedar Street, Florida Street, Commerce Street, Clinton Street, and Spruce Street.
Jan. 23, 2002 – "American Taliban" John Walker Lindh returned to the United States in FBI custody.
Jan. 23, 2006 – Gardendale, Alabama’s historical society was formally established.
Jan. 23, 2009 – Sparta Academy’s varsity girls basketball team, ranked No. 2 in the state, beat Sumter Academy, 61-20, in Evergreen. Sparta’s varsity boys beat Sumter, 48-33.
Jan. 23, 2013 – The Brushey Creek Baptist Church Cemetery in Butler County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
Jan. 23, 2015 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks died at the age of 83 in Chicago, Ill. He played his entire career for the Chicago Cubs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.