|William E. Molett|
Jan. 26, 1500 - Vicente Yáñez Pinzón discovered Brazil by becoming the first European to set foot on Brazil.
Jan. 26, 1699 - Four French ships captained by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville appeared in Pensacola Bay. The Spanish governor refused to let the Frenchmen land, so the ships continued west along the coast. On Jan. 31, d'Iberville's ships anchored off Mobile Point, sounded the channel, and explored present-day Dauphin Island, naming it Île du Massacre (Massacre Island) for the 60 human skeletons they found there. The ships then sailed west and anchored in Mississippi Sound. While Iberville explored the Mississippi River, his men began construction of Fort Maurepas on Biloxi Bay.
Jan. 26, 1779 – During the American Revolution’s “Engagement at Burke County Jail,” a group of Patriots met at the Burke County Jail in Savannah, Ga. to determine how they would deal with any possible defections from the Patriot cause.
Jan. 26, 1809 - Alabama author J. H. Ingraham was born in Portland, Maine.
Jan. 26, 1831 – Children’s book author and editor Mary Mapes Dodge was born Mary Mapes in New York City.
Jan. 26, 1837 - Michigan became the 26th state to join the United States.
Jan. 26, 1839 - Alabama's first state prison was established by legislative act. In 1842, at the Wetumpka State Penitentiary, the state's first inmate began serving time for harboring a runaway slave. The first female was incarcerated in 1850 for murder. Today, the Alabama Department of Corrections oversees a multi-facility state prison system.
Jan. 26, 1852 – Italian-French explorer Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza was born in Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.
Jan. 26, 1861 - Louisiana became the sixth state to secede from the Union. The state convention voted 113 to 17 in favor of the measure. Also on that day, Fort Jackson and Oglethorpe Barracks in Savannah, Ga. were seized by Georgia state troops.
Jan. 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted to Wilmington Narrows, or Freeborn’s Cut, Ga.
Jan. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, General Ambrose Burnside was relieved of command of the Army of the Potomac after the disastrous Fredericksburg campaign. He was replaced by Joseph Hooker.
Jan. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, Governor of Massachusetts John Albion Andrew received permission from Secretary of War to raise a militia organization for men of African descent.
Jan. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mulberry Springs, Ark.; at Township, Fla.; and at Grove Church (near Morrisville), in the vicinity of Fairfax Courthouse, and at Middleburg, Va. The CSS Alabama also captured the Golden Rule off Santo Domingo.
Jan. 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Athens, Ala.; Caddo Gap, Ark.; with Indians in the San Andres Mountains, the New Mexico Territory; and at Flat Creek and Muddy Creek, in the vicinity of Dandridge, near Knoxville, and at Sevierville, Tenn.
Jan. 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Paint Rock, Ala. and in the vicinity of Pocotaligo, S.C. A six-day Federal reconnaissance also began from Pine Bluff toward Camden and Monticello, Ark. A 10-day Federal expedition began from Plaquemine to The Park, La. A 17-day Federal expedition began from Memphis, Tenn. into Southeastern Arkansas and Northwestern Louisiana.
Jan. 26, 1870 - The state of Virginia rejoined the Union.
Jan. 26, 1870 – County Court convened in Monroeville, Ala. with the Hon. J.W. Leslie presiding. Solicitor Duke represented the state.
Jan. 26, 1879 – Dr. William R. Strode, 46, died at Perdue Hill, Ala. Born in Culpepper County, Va. in 1833, he graduated from the Medical College of Philadelphia in 1853. He served as a surgeon in the Confederate Army and married Mary Gorin of Monroe County in October 1870.
Jan. 26, 1879 – Noah Dallas Peacock (Lewis Lavon Peacock’s older brother) and daughter, Susan, joined the Mossy Grove Universalist Church at Ariton, Ala.
Jan. 26, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that “a gentleman from Canada, who has been prospecting in the northern part of our county, with a view to a home in our delightful climate, expresses himself as being very much pleased.”
Jan. 26, 1904 - Irish statesman, co-founder of Amnesty International, and winner of the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize, Sean MacBride, was born in Paris.
Jan. 26, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville Library would be ready to open its doors to the public in a few days. “Nice rooms have been neatly fitted up in the old court house and a choice collection of standard works covering a wide range of literature gathered for the entertainment and instruction of patrons.” Miss Mann was the librarian.
Jan. 26, 1907 – Hungarian endocrinologist Hans Selve was born in Vienna, Austria-Hungary.
Jan. 26, 1915 – The Rocky Mountain National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress.
Jan. 26, 1915 – Liston A. Hixon passed away at his home in Monroeville, Ala. on this Tuesday night. A former farmer and merchant, he was about 63 years old. He was buried in Hamilton Hill Cemetery.
Jan. 26, 1916 - Alabama author Amelie Rives's play “The Fear Market” opened on Broadway.
Jan. 26, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Adrien F. Hardy of Brewton, Ala. was killed in action.
Jan. 26, 1918 - Soon after the Bolsheviks seized control in immense, troubled Russia in November 1917 and moved towards negotiating peace with the Central Powers, the former Russian state of Ukraine declared its total independence.
Jan. 26, 1919 – William E. Molett was born in Orrville, Ala. He would go on to graduate from Evergreen High School and then joined the military, became a master navigator, recorded 6,000 hours as an aircraft navigator, including 91 flights over the North Pole. He also taught polar aviation for three years and returned as a Lt. Col. in the Air Force. In 1996, he wrote a book called “Robert Peary and Matthew Henson at the North Pole.”
Jan. 26, 1922 – The Rev. Eugene Clarke, the rector of St. James Episcopal Church at Perdue Hill, Ala., was scheduled to hold services in the Monroe County Courthouse at 7 p.m. on this Thursday.
Jan. 26, 1926 - Alabama author Elise Sanguinetti was born in Anniston, Ala.
Jan. 26, 1929 – Cartoonist, novelist and playwright Jules Feiffer was born in the Bronx.
Jan. 26, 1944 - Alabama author Angela Davis was born in Birmingham, Ala.
Jan. 26, 1946 – British playwright Christopher Hampton was born in Faial in the Azores archipelago.
Jan. 26, 1956 – Evergreen High School’s varsity basketball team was scheduled to make its first official appearance in South Alabama Conference competition when they were to play Luverne at Elba, Ala. in the first game of the SAC Tournament at 6 p.m. The only other game on tap in the first round of play was Enterprise vs. Greenville, at 7:15 p.m. Georgiana and Florala, who drew first round byes, were to meet in the first game of the quarterfinals at about 8:30 p.m.
Jan. 26, 1956 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the U.S. Naval Air Station in Pensacola would soon begin using the Evergreen Airport, Middleton Field, for an auxiliary field in training students. Presumably, pilots and ground crews would be flown up each day, in an operation similar to that of Camp Rucker, when a large number of students and instructors flew to Evergreen for touch and go landings.
Jan. 26, 1956 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Peace Pilgrim, who had walked over 7,600 miles on her pilgrimage for peace, passed through Evergreen over the weekend on her way to Montgomery. Peace Pilgrim began her 100-mile walk in Alabama at Castleberry, walking into Evergreen after dark. She spent the night at the bus station, The Rebel, and began her long trek about 7 a.m. the next morning. On Sun., Jan. 22, about 3:30 p.m., she was seen a few miles above Georgiana, and several people reported having seen her Mon., Jan. 23, the last in the afternoon, about two miles above the junction of the Ft. Deposit road and the new highway, at Priester’s.
Jan. 26, 1958 – Comedian Ellen DeGeneres was born in Metairie, La.
Jan. 26, 1966 - The most notorious unsolved crime in Australian history took place, when three children went missing while on a trip to Glenelg Beach near Adelaide, South Australia. The case saw numerous twists and turns, including failed input from psychics and a series of hoaxed letters alleged to have come from the missing Beaumont children.
Jan. 26, 1966 - The Pine Belt Conference basketball tournament, hosted by the J.U. Blacksher High Bulldogs, got under way on this Wednesday night with three games being played at the coliseum in Monroeville, Ala. The tournament was to continue through that Saturday night when the championship game was to be played. Teams in the tourney included Blacksher, Chatom, Coffeeville, Excel, Frisco City, Grove Hill, Jackson, Leroy, Millry, Monroeville, Repton, Silas and Thomasville.
Jan. 26, 1967 – Dr. R. Dale LeCount, a retired Presbyterian minister who was then assistant to the president of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Alabama, was to be the guest speaker at the annual Ladies Night Banquet of the Monroeville Chamber of Commerce on this Thursday night at the Community House. The banquet was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. LeCount, a native of Syracuse, Ind., had been retired from the ministry since 1962.
Jan. 26, 1970 - U.S. Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez Jr. spent his 2,000th day in captivity in Southeast Asia.
Jan. 26, 1972 - Radio Hanoi announced North Vietnam’s rejection of the latest U.S. peace proposal.
Jan. 26, 1978 - Rhonda Griffin was chosen ‘Miss Rubicon” for 1978 at the annual pageant at Evergreen High School on this Thursday. The Rubicon was the school’s annual and was to feature Rhonda and Katrinka Rankins, first alternate, and Melissa Johnson, second alternate, in the annual’s beauty section.
Jan. 26, 1978 - The Evergreen Chamber of Commerce held its first Executive Board meeting of the year on this Thursday at Evergreen City Hall. The new board members were installed by the past-president, Ed Smith. New officers were elected as follows: President, Gary Robinson; Vice President, Coston Bowers; Treasurer, Claude Jernigan. Mrs. Doris Sexton will continue to serve as Executive Secretary for the Chamber.
Jan. 26, 1979 - The first episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" aired on CBS.
Jan. 26, 1983 - Alabamians were shocked and saddened when retired University of Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant died suddenly from a heart attack. Bryant began coaching at Alabama in 1958 and went on to win six national championships with the team. In 1981 he became football's "winningest" coach with 315 victories.
Jan. 26, 1986 - In New Orleans, Louisiana, the Chicago Bears scored a Super Bowl record number of points to defeat the New England Patriots, 46-10, and win their first championship since 1963.
Jan. 26, 1988 – Frisco City High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Excel, 54-48. Top Frisco City players in that game included Cleveland Banks, Robert Byrd, Lorenzo Lawson, Terry Tucker and Clifton Tucker.
Jan. 26, 1989 – The Andalusia Commercial Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Jan. 26, 1997 - ZZ Top, James Brown and the Blues Brothers performed at the Super Bowl XXXI halftime show. The Green Bay Packers won, 35-21, over the New England Patriots. It was the third Super Bowl win for the Packers.
Jan. 26, 2003 - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Oakland Raiders, 48-21, in Super Bowl XXXVII. Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden became the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl. It was the first Super Bowl appearance for the Buccaneers.
Jan. 26, 2004 – A whale exploded in the town of Tainan, Taiwan. A build-up of gas in the decomposing sperm whale was suspected of causing the explosion.