Saturday, January 7, 2017

Today in History for Jan. 7, 2017

Wallace Norman Wood
Jan. 7, 1610 - Galileo made his great discovery of Jupiter's major moons including Io, Europa and Ganymede.

Jan. 7, 1776 -From Philadelphia, Samuel Adams wrote to his friend Colonel James Warren that the idea of a confederation, or loose political union, among the colonies “is not dead, but sleepeth. To those who believed they would see the confederation completed long ago Adams wrote, I do not despair of it — since our Enemies themselves are hastening it.”

Jan. 7, 1781 – British Capt. Von Hanxleden was killed during a bayonet attack on Spanish Fort, in present-day Alabama, which prompted his men to retreat to Pensacola, Fla.

Jan. 7, 1789 – The United States held its first presidential election and George Washington was declared the unanimous winner.

Jan. 7, 1800 - Millard Fillmore, the 13th U.S. President, was born in Summerhill, N.Y.

Jan. 7, 1835 – The HMS Beagle dropped anchor off the Chonos Archipelago.

Jan. 7, 1837 – Confederate veteran Francis Marion Grice, a member of the Conecuh Guards, was born. He died on Oct. 31, 1910 and is buried in the Fort Crawford Cemetery in East Brewton in Escambia County, Ala.

Jan. 7, 1839 – Cyler Salter was appointed postmaster of Monroeville, Ala.

Jan. 7, 1839 - The Judson Female Institute in Marion, Ala. opened its doors for its first sessions, hosting six women and three men. A Baptist college dedicated to educating women, it was named for Ann Hasseltine Judson, one of the nation's first female foreign missionaries. The institution was granted an incorporation charter from the Alabama State Legislature on Jan. 9, 1841, and the first commencement was held in July 1841. The school was renamed Judson College in 1903, and Judson is the nation’s fifth oldest women’s college.

Jan. 7, 1858 – Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the man most responsible for reviving Hebrew as a spoken language, was born in Luzhki, part of the Russian Empire.

Jan. 7, 1861 – The Secession Convention of Alabama assembled in Montgomery.

Jan. 7, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Marion at Saint Augustine, Fla. was seized by Florida State Troops

Jan. 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Jennie's Creek (or Paintsville,) Ky.

Jan. 7, 1862 – During the Civil War, for two days the forces of “Stonewall” Jackson had been sitting on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, lobbing shells at the town of Hancock on the Maryland side of the waterway. Despite this firepower, the town declined to surrender, and Stonewall decided January was not a good time to try an invasion of what was still technically Northern territory. Therefore, on Jan. 7, the bombardment was discontinued and the Confederates headed on towards the town of Romney in what is now West Virginia. Unfortunately, a heavy ice storm, not uncommon in the mountains this time of year, developed and made even walking difficult. An unexpected skirmish at Hanging Rock Pass (Blue’s Gap,) near Romney, W.V., complicated matters further.

Jan. 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal reconnaissance mission from Big Spring Creek to Rocky Ford, Miss. began.

Jan. 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Ozark, Mo.

Jan. 7, 1863 – During the Civil War, a three-day combined arms expedition by the Federal army and navy from Yorktown to West Point and White House, Va. began.

Jan. 7, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Martin's Creek, Ark.; on Waccamaw Neck, near Charleston, S.C.; and at Warrenton, Va.

Jan. 7, 1864 - Caleb Blood Smith, the Secretary of the Interior in 1861 and 1862, died suddenly at the age of 55 while working at the federal courthouse in Indianapolis, Ind. He played a major role in managing relations with Native Americans during the Civil War. He resigned at the end of 1862 and was appointed a district judge in Indianapolis by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

Jan. 7, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in Johnson County, Ark. A three-day sustained Federal operation also began in the vicinity of Pine Bluff, Ark. A five-day operation also began against Indians at both Valley Station and Julesburg in the Colorado Territory. President Lincoln also removed Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler from active service in the U.S. Army.

Jan. 7, 1865 – Confederate 4th Cpl. Lewis Lavon Peacock returned to duty with Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia after a furlough of 137 days. He’d been originally given a 45-day furlough on Aug. 23, 1864 after being admitted earlier to the General Hospital at Howard’s Grove in Richmond, Va. for sickness after the Bermuda Hundred campaign.

Jan. 7, 1877 – Baseball player, coach and lawyer William Clarence Matthews was born in Selma, Ala. After studying at the Tuskegee Institute and the Phillips Academy, he enrolled in Harvard University in 1901 and became one of the school’s best baseball players, leading the team in batting average during the 1903, 1904 and 1905 seasons. In the summer of 1905, he joined the Burlington, Vermont baseball team of the Northern League, a pro baseball league of that time.

Jan. 7, 1885 – The body of an “unknown white man” was discovered at Gosport, Ala. He’d “evidently been coldly murdered and mutilated by cutting off both ears and the entire scalp, leaving a little hair around the edges of the back part of the head.” He’d been killed either late on Sun., Jan. 4, or early on Mon., Jan. 5, beside a campfire along the road then dragged about 30 paces into the woods, where he was “thrown behind a log and hastily covered with leaves and pine straw.”

Jan. 7, 1887 – Horace Hood, who bought The Monroe Journal in October 1875, sold The Journal to 18-year-old Q. Salter.  Salter would serve as editor and publisher until 1929.

Jan. 7, 1891 - Author Zora Neale Hurston is born in Notasulga, Ala. She grew up in Eatonville, Fla. and her most famous novel, “Their Eyes Were Watching God,” was published in 1937.

Jan. 7, 1895 - Work “on the interior improvement” of the Monroe County (Ala.) Courthouse was resumed “after several days’ suspension.” The Monroe Journal reported that “the walls will be ready in a few days for plasterers to begin work.”

Jan. 7, 1903 – The Monroeville (Ala.) Public High School, which was built in 1895, burned and wasn’t replaced until eight years later.

Jan. 7, 1908 – The trial of J.M. Knight, a young man who was arrested a few days prior and charged with the murder of Henry Burgess in October 1907, was held at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. After hearing the evidence in the case, Judge Atkinson discharged Knight from custody. The mystery surrounding Burgess’ murder remained unsolved.

Jan. 7, 1909 – Bowles Post Office, which opened on Feb. 17, 1887 at the residence of John Kelly 12-1/2 miles north of Evergreen, moved one mile south to the W.E. “Bill” Cook Store, where the post office remained until it permanently closed on March 21, 1911.

Jan. 7, 1913 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Johnny Mize was born in Demorest, Georgia. He went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Giants and the New York Giants. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1981.

Jan. 7, 1915 – A “Mrs. Watson” of Bermuda died in the Monroe County Jail in Monroeville, Ala. She’d been arrested for vagrancy and it was believed that she was a narcotics addict.

Jan. 7, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that two prisoners recently escaped from the Monroe County (Ala.) Jail after Jailor J.W. Urquhart “detailed them to carry fuel into the building for heating purposes.” One of the prisoners was caught during a foot chase, and the other turned himself back in the following day “after spending one night in the cold.”

Jan. 7, 1915 – The Conecuh Record reported that John Lasiter caught a large catamount in a trap a few days before on the Moorer Plantation.

Jan. 7, 1915 – The Conecuh Record reported that M.C. Reynolds had resigned as superintendent of the orphanage in Evergreen, Ala. and planned to move to Birmingham.

Jan. 7, 1915 – G.H. Oswald, a 45-year-old who was seriously injured in a fall from the roof of a two-story house in Evergreen, Ala. two days before, passed away on this night.

Jan. 7, 1915 - As Bolshevik groups worked to foment revolution among Russia’s peasants, Alexander Helphand, a wealthy Bolshevik businessman working as a German agent, approached the German ambassador to Turkey in Constantinople to let him know how closely German and Bolshevik interests were aligned, and this conversation marked the beginning of Germany’s growing interest in the fomentation of the Russian revolution—an interest that culminated in their facilitation, in April 1917, of the return of exiled Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin from Switzerland to Petrograd in a train that passed over German soil.

Jan. 7, 1916 – Chancery Court was held in Evergreen, Ala. on this Thursday with Chancellor Lewis of Tuskegee presiding.

Jan. 7, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. George T. Hurt of Thomasville, Ala. “died from disease” at the age of 23. He is buried in the Midway Baptist Church Cemetery in Clarke County, Ala.

Jan. 7, 1921 - A “big gun,” weighing 161 tons, passed through Evergreen, Ala. on this Friday night in route to Pensacola and “a number of citizens got a glimpse of it.” The train carrying it was required to travel at a slow rate of speed owing to its extreme weight. “The gun, it is said, is superior to the one used by the Germans during the late war to bombard Paris 76 miles away.”

Jan. 7, 1929 - The debut of "Buck Rogers 2429 A.D." occurred in newspapers around the U.S. The title of the comic strip was later changed to "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century."

Jan. 7, 1930 – Republican politician Ann Bedsole was born in Selma, Ala. and she would go on to be the first Republican woman elected to the State House and State Senate.

Jan. 7, 1938 – Major League Baseball first baseman Fred Whitfield was born in Vandiver, Ala. He attended Woodlawn High School in Birmingham and went on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cleveland Indians, the Cincinnati Reds and the Montreal Expos.

Jan. 7, 1941 - The NBC Blue radio network presented "The Squeaky Door" for the first time. The show was later known as "Inner Sanctum."

Jan. 7, 1943 - Scientific genius Nikola Tesla passed away in New York City at the age of 86.

Jan. 7, 1948 – Kentucky Air National Guard Capt. Thomas Mantel and several other pilots at Godman Field, Fort Knox, took their P-51 Mustangs up after a UFO “of tremendous size” observed during the daytime and approaching the base. As Mantel climbed toward the object, witnesses watched his plane disintegrate.

Jan. 7, 1952 – Marine Capt. Wallace Norman Wood of Butler County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea at the age of 28. Born on July 18, 1923, he was a veteran of World War II and a Purple Heart recipient. During the Korean War, he was the pilot of a F4U-4B Corsair fighter with Marine Fighter Squadron 323, Marine Air Group 12, 1st Marine Air Wing. On Jan. 7, 1952, while on a combat mission near Sibyon-ni, South Korea, his aircraft received a direct hit by anti-aircraft fire, went into a tight spin and crashed. He is buried in Liberty United Methodist Cemetery in Butler County, Ala. (but some records indicate that his remains were not recovered.)

Jan. 7, 1953 – Explorer, director and producer Osa Johnson was born in Chanute, Kansas.

Jan. 7, 1957 – Novelist and essayist Nicholson Baker was born in New York City.

Jan. 7, 1960 – Ralph Bunche High School of Andalusia beat Conecuh County Training School’s boys basketball team, 31-23, in Andalusia, Ala.

Jan. 7, 1965 – During the Vietnam War, Gen. Nguyen Khanh and the newly formed Armed Forces Council – the generals who had participated in a coup on Dec. 19, 1964 – restored civilian control of the South Vietnamese government, and Tran Van Huong was made the new premier.

Jan. 7, 1966 - Brent Thornley, a senior and co-captain of the 1965 football team at Evergreen High School, won both top awards at the Evergreen Quarterback Club’s annual football banquet on this Friday night at the EHS lunchroom. QB President Waynard Price was master of ceremonies and recognized special guests. The invocation was given by the Rev. Frank Scott. The featured speaker was Richard Williamson, University of Alabama assistant football coach. Evergreen Jaycee President Harold Ryals presented the Jaycees’ Most Outstanding Player of the Year Award to Thornley. EHS Principal Morris Ward presented the D.T. Stuart Football Sportsmanship Trophy to Thornley in behalf of the donor, Tal Stuart. Williamson was a receiver and defensive end on Alabama’s 1961 national championship team. Alabama safety and sideback John Moseley of Thomaston was expected to accompany Williamson to the banquet.

Jan. 7, 1971 – During the Vietnam War, accompanied by Admiral Thomas Moorer, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird arrived in South Vietnam to assess the military situation and to check on the progress of the “Vietnamization” effort.

Jan. 7, 1976 – Major League Baseball player Éric Gagné was born in Montreal, Quebec. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Texas Rangers, the Boston Red Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers. He won the National League Cy Young Award in 2008.

Jan. 7, 1976 – Major League Baseball left fielder and second baseman Alfonso Soriano was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. He went on to play for the New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers, the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs.

Jan. 7, 1977 – Sparta Academy’s boys basketball team recorded a 77-63 road win over South Butler Academy. Bobby Johnson led Sparta with 17 points. Tim Johnson had 15, and Jerry Peacock scored 12.

Jan. 7, 1979 – During the Third Indochina War (Cambodian–Vietnamese War), Phnom Penh fell to the advancing Vietnamese troops, driving out Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.

Jan. 7, 1982 – Actress Lauren Cohen was born in Cherry Hill, N.J. She is probably best known for her role as Maggie Greene in “The Walking Dead” television show.

Jan. 7, 1983 - The 100th episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard" was aired on CBS.

Jan. 7, 1990 – Pro Football Hall of Fame fullback Bronko Nagurski died at the age of 81 in International Falls, Minnesota. During his career, he played for the University of Minnesota and the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.

Jan. 7, 1991 - Pete Rose left an Illinois federal prison and checked into a halfway house in Cincinnati. He was completing a sentence for cheating on his taxes.

Jan. 7, 1992 – Work clothes manufacturer Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company in Frisco City, Ala., which was built in 1959, burned and was replaced by Medline Industries.

Jan. 7, 1992 – Steven Wayne Hall was released from the University of South Alabama Medical Center in Mobile, Ala. where he had been treated for gunshot wounds to his right leg and buttocks. Hall and an accomplice, Wayne Travis, were both shot by law enforcement officers on Dec. 15 during a chase through a wooded area of Monroe County. Both men were suspects in the Dec. 14, 1991 murder of 69-year-old Clarene Haskew in Conecuh County.

Jan. 7, 1993 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Amtrak officials were preparing to shut down the Gulf Breeze Line, the twice daily passenger train, which serviced Evergreen and other towns in South Alabama. The Gulf Breeze made two daily stops in Evergreen. It began its journey each day at 7:55 a.m., leaving Mobile headed north. Making stops in Bay Minette, Atmore and Brewton, the approximate arrival time at Evergreen’s Depot each morning is 9:43 a.m. Leaving Evergreen, it made stops in Greenville and Montgomery before ending its route in Birmingham at 1:30 p.m.

Jan. 7, 1994 – Episode No. 13 of “The X-Files” – entitled “Beyond the Sea” – aired for the first time.

Jan. 7, 2000 - Sparta Academy traveled to Montgomery on this Friday to take on the Calvary Watchmen. Sparta’s varsity girls won, 64-50, and Sparta’s JV girls won, 35-26. Sparta’s varsity boys lost, 63-46, and Sparta’s JV boys lost, 39-37. Katie Etheridge was the leading scorer for Sparta in the varsity girls game with 24 points. Also scoring in double figures was Jessica Bennett with 16 points. Rounding out the scoring were Mary Robinson with eight points, Callie Ezell with six points and Laura Wiggins and Jill Pate with five points each. Anna Aman was the leading scorer for Sparta in the JV girls with 14 points. She was followed by Katie Etheridge with nine points, Callie Ezell and Susan Ivey with five points each and Jessica Armuelles with two points. Lee Booker was the leading scorer for the Warriors in the varsity boys game with 15 points. Also scoring in double figures was John McKenzie with 10 points. Also putting points on the board were Derek Faulkner and Derrick Williams with five points each, Jake Adams with four points, Justin Tranum with three points, and Rusty Salter and Jimmy Hyde with two points each. Chris Garner was the leading scorer for the JV Warriors with 19 points. Rounding out the scoring were Wiley Cobb and Jeremy Anderson with six points each, Drew Davis was four points and Cole Commander with two points.

Jan. 7, 2002 – Vredenburgh native Mike Stewart’s third novel, “A Clean Kill,” was released.

Jan. 7, 2002 - George Seifert was fired as head coach of the Carolina Panthers after a 1-15 season.

Jan. 7, 2010 - Coach Nick Saban led the University of Alabama football team, including Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, to win the BCS National Championship in Pasadena, CA against the Texas Longhorns with a final score of 37 to 21. This was also Drew Davis’ final game at Alabama.

Jan. 7, 2011 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, beat 4A Area 2 rival Monroe County High School, 53-45, in Monroeville, Ala. Standout Hillcrest players in that game included Barron Smith and DeAundre Lyons. Hillcrest girls suffered a 44-22 loss to Monroe County High.

Jan. 7, 2013 - No. 2-ranked University of Alabama defeated No. 1-ranked Notre Dame, 42-14, to earn the BCS National Championship in Miami, making it the fourth national championship won by Coach Nick Saban.

Jan. 7-8, 2015 – Weather reporter Betty Ellis reported low temperatures of 13 degrees on both of these days in Evergreen.

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