Saturday, February 18, 2017

Today in History for Feb. 18, 2017

James Dellet of Claiborne, Ala.
Feb. 18, 1776 - In Norfolk, Va., Royal Governor John Murray sent a note to William Legge and expressed his "inexpressible mortification" that British Major General Sir Henry Clinton had been ordered to the "insignificant province of North Carolina to the neglect of this the richest and powerfully important province in America."

Feb. 18, 1791 – Congress passed a law admitting the state of Vermont to the Union, effective March 4, 1791. Prior to this, Vermont had existed for 14 years as a de-facto independent largely unrecognized state.

Feb. 18, 1788 – Future U.S. Congressman James Dellet was born in Camden, New Jersey. His family moved to Columbia, South Carolina in 1800, and Dellet graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1810, studied law and became an attorney in 1813, also serving as a Chancellor in Equity, a judicial office. In 1818, he moved to Claiborne, Ala., where he continued his law practice and served as Judge of the Circuit Court. In 1819, Alabama organized its first House of Representatives, to which Dellet was elected, and which he led as Speaker. He served again in the Alabama House from 1821 to 1822, 1825 to 1826 and 1830 to 1832, and was an unsuccessful candidate for Congress in 1833. In 1838, he was the successful Whig nominee for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and served one term, 1839 to 1841. In 1842, he was again elected to one term in the U.S. House, serving from 1843 to 1845. After leaving Congress he resumed his Claiborne law practice, owned a plantation, and became wealthy by speculating in land. One of Barrett's law students was William Barret Travis, the commander of the ill-fated Alamo.

Feb. 18, 1817 - Confederate General Lewis Armistead was born in New Bern, N.C. Armistead was mortally wounded on July 3, 1863 when he led Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Feb. 18, 1859 – Novelist, playwright and short story writer Sholem Aleichem, who is known as the Mark Twain of Yiddish literature, was born Solomon Rabinowitz in Pereyaslave, Ukraine.

Feb. 18, 1861 - After being welcomed to Montgomery with great fanfare, Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as president of the Confederate States of America on the portico of the Alabama capitol. Davis, a former U.S. senator from Mississippi, lived in Montgomery until April, when the Confederate government was moved from Montgomery to its new capital of Richmond, Virginia.

Feb. 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, a third demand was made by Confederate authorities for the surrender of Fort Pickens in Pensacola, Fla. and was refused by U.S. Lieutenant Adam Slemmer.

Feb. 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas, near Key West, Fla. was garrisoned by Federal forces.

Feb. 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, Brevet Major General David E. Twiggs surrendered all Federal posts and public property to Texas authorities and agreed the Federal troops may retain their weapons and leave Texas. Because of Twiggs Southern sympathy many Federals considered his action to be treason.

Feb. 18, 1862 – During the Civil War, an action occurred at Bentonville, Ark. and a skirmish was fought at Independence and Mount Vernon, Mo. A two-day Federal expedition to Winton, N.C. began.

Feb. 18, 1862 – This day marked the first day of the official First Congress of the Confederate States of America, which convened for the first time in Richmond, Va. It consisted of an upper and lower house and in fact looked quite remarkably like the Congress of the United States. Unfortunately, what should have been a happy celebration of the progress of the young nation was marred by the receipt of the news of the fall of Fort Donelson in Tennessee. The loss of the fort led to the failure of Confederate efforts in Kentucky, and left Tennessee threatened.

Feb. 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal operations began in Central Kentucky, and the South Carolina militia was called into active service. A skirmish was fought at Moscow, Tenn. Two divisions of Longstreet’s Confederate Corps were moved from the vicinity of Fredericksburg, Va. to the defense of Richmond, Va.

Feb. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Ringgold, Ga.; at Aberdeen and Okolona, Miss.; near the head waters of the Piney River, Mo.; near Maryville, Mifflin, Ooltewah and Sevierville, Tenn.

Feb. 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, the United States forces of Gen. William T. Sherman continued destroying Meridian, Miss. Sherman had told them to wreck every bit of public property or any items which could be of benefit to the Confederate cause. As Meridian was not a particularly large metropolitan area, there was really not much left to destroy there by this date. So, the Federal efforts were redirected at points outside the city limits. In particular, railroads or anything involved with railroad traffic was considered a prime target. Among these targets was Quitman, Miss.

Feb. 18, 1865 – During the Civil War, the attack on Fort Jones, Ky. occurred, and skirmishes were fought at Fort Anderson, near Wilmington, and Orton Pond, N.C. Charleston, S.C. was also occupied by Federal forces.

Feb. 18, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Ashby’s Gap, Va. A two-day Federal operation began in Prince William County, Va., and a two-day Federal expedition from Camp Averell (near Winchester) into Loudoun County, Va. began.

Feb. 18, 1865 – During the Civil War, Union forces under Major General William T. Sherman set the South Carolina State House on fire during the burning of Columbia.

Feb. 18, 1883 – Greek writer Nikos Kazantzakis was born in Heraklion, Crete.

Feb. 18, 1885 - Mark Twain's "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" was published for the first time.

Feb. 18, 1886 - The February term of the Chancery Court of Monroe County adjourned on this evening “after dispatching an unusual amount of business for one day,” according to The Monroe Journal. “Chancellor Foster seems to be so familiar with his duties that he is enabled to make his decisions with great promptness and at the same time with correctness. Among the visiting attorneys were S.J. Cumming, Esq., of Camden, who is always on time. J.C. Richardson, Esq., of Greenville and who is a law partner of Hon. John Gamble and C.J. Torrey, Esq., of Mobile.”

Feb. 18, 1909 – Novelist Wallace Stegner was born in Lake Mills, Iowa.

Feb. 18, 1913 – Former Confederate General George Washington Custis Lee, the son of Robert E. Lee, passed away at the age of 80 in Fairfax County, Va.

Feb. 18, 1913 - Raymond Poincare, a conservative politician who had been elected president of the French Republic over the objections of Georges Clemenceau and the French Left a month earlier, took office on this day.

Feb. 18, 1915 – Outlaw Frank James passed away at the age of 71 at his boyhood home Clay County, Mo.

Feb. 18, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that A.C. Lee “spent several days in Montgomery last week undergoing examination for admission to the practice of law.”

Feb. 18-19, 1915 – A farmers institute meeting was scheduled to be held in Belleville, Ala. and was described “as one of the most important meetings for farmers that has perhaps ever been held” in Conecuh County.

Feb. 18, 1916 – A fiddlers convention was scheduled to be held at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. on this night. All fiddlers were invited, and suitable prizes were to be offered. Admission was 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for children with the proceeds to go to the Orphans Home.

Feb. 18, 1922 – Samuel Anthony Lowrey, a 72-year-old former teacher and superintendent of education, died at his home near Bay Minette, Ala. A native of Conecuh County, who was born on July 2, 1850, his remains were conveyed to Puryearville church near Burnt Corn for burial.

Feb. 18, 1925 – Poet Jack Gilbert was born in Pittsburg, Pa.

Feb. 18, 1929 – British novelist Len Deighton was born in Marylebone, London.

Feb. 18, 1930 – While studying photographs taken in January, Clyde Tombaugh discovered the dwarf planet Pluto.

Feb. 18, 1930 – Elm Farm Ollie became the first cow to fly in a fixed-wing aircraft and also the first cow to be milked in an aircraft. The milk was sealed in paper containers and dropped by parachute over St. Louis.

Feb. 18, 1931 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison was born Chloe Wofford in Lorain, Ohio.

Feb. 18, 1936 - Alabama author Paul Hemphill was born in Birmingham, Ala.

Feb. 18, 1942 - The Lois Bowden conference was scheduled to meet with the Monroeville Chapter No. 155, Order of the Eastern Star, on this Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Feb. 18, 1943 – During World War II, Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, the leaders of the German youth group Weisse Rose (White Rose), were arrested by the Gestapo for opposing the Nazi regime.

Feb. 18, 1944 - Alabama author Cassandra King was born near Pinckard in Dale County, Ala.

Feb. 18, 1947 – During the First Indochina War, the French gained complete control of Hanoi after forcing the Viet Minh to withdraw to mountains.

Feb. 18, 1952 - The Constitution for the Monroeville (Ala.) Little League was signed and sent to the National Little League Organization in Williamsport, Pa. The first officers of Monroeville’s Little League were President Curtis Wideman of Vanity Fair; Vice President L.Reed Polk, pastor of the Monroeville First Baptist Church; and Secretary Joe Tucker of Vanity Fair MIlls. In the league’s first session, 102 boys came to tryouts.

Feb. 18, 1957 – American novelist, producer and scriptwriter George Pelecanos was born in Washington, D.C.

Feb. 18, 1960 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team had beaten Repton, 44-43. Bateman led Evergreen with 13 points, and Sims led Repton with 17 points.

Feb. 18, 1965 - Frank Gifford announced his retirement from football for a career in broadcasting.

Feb. 18, 1965 - The State Department sent secret cables to U.S. ambassadors in nine friendly nations advising of forthcoming bombing operations over North Vietnam, and instructed them to inform their host governments “in strictest confidence” and to report reactions.

Feb. 18, 1967 – The Conecuh County Training School’s boys basketball team, led by Head Coach James “Buddy” Stallworth, won the South Alabama AA District Championship for the second straight year by beating Beatrice, 98-89, in Atmore, Ala. Louis Meeks led CCTS with 34 points. CCTS beat Booker T. Washington of Brewton, 67-47, in the semifinal round, and they beat Thomasville, 92-62, in the quarterfinals.

Feb. 18, 1969 - The Monroe County Board of Education on this Tuesday named Charles Pouncey of Monroeville, Ala. as the new county superintendent of education to replace R.H. Vickery, who was to retire on June 30. The appointment was to become effective July 1 and was to be for the one year of the unexpired four-year term to which Vickery was appointed. At the same time, the board selected James Allen, principal of Monroe County High School in Monroeville, to succeed Pouncey in his position as coordinator of federal funds for the Monroe County school system.

Feb. 18, 1981 – Major League Baseball outfielder Alex Rios was born in Coffee, Ala. His parents, Israel and Maritza, left when he was just a couple of months old, and he grew up in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. He went on to play for the Toronto Blue Jays, the Chicago White Sox and the Texas Rangers.

Feb. 18, 1982 – In the semifinal round of the 1A, Area 2 tournament at Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, Lyeffion beat Excel, 67-48.

Feb. 18, 1983 - Alabama author Robert Payne died in Bermuda.

Feb. 18, 1994 – Episode No. 17 of “The X-Files” – entitled “E.B.E.” – aired for the first time.

Feb. 18, 2001 - NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed in a crash during the Daytona 500 race.

Feb. 18, 2001 – National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman Eddie Matthews died at the age of 69 in La Jolla, Calif. During his career, he played for the Boston/Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, the Houston Astros and the Detroit Tigers and he also managed the Braves for two seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1978.

Feb. 18, 2005 – Hillcrest High School’s varsity boys basketball team, who’d just won the 4A Area 2 tournament, were scheduled to play Daleville in the sub-regional round of the Class 4A playoffs in Evergreen, Ala. Tommy Dukes was Hillcrest’s head coach. Players on Hillcrest’s team that season included Maurice Bradley, Chris Hines, Jerry Jackson, Cleveland Knight, Nick Lovelace, P.K. Riley and Frank Williams.

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