Feb. 6, 1778 - New York became the third state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.
Feb. 6, 1778 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce were signed in Paris by the United States and France, signaling official recognition of the new republic.
Feb. 6, 1788 – Massachusetts became the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
Feb. 6, 1815 – New Jersey granted the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.
Feb. 6, 1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society departed New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia.
Feb. 6, 1834 – English explorer Richard Lemon Lander died at the age of 29 from injuries from a musket ball wound in Nigeria.
Feb. 6, 1852 – The Alabama Insane Hospital was established by the state legislature. Built in Tuscaloosa, it received its first patient in 1861, with Dr. Peter Bryce as director. Applying modern methods, Bryce became renowned for the humane treatment of his patients.
Feb. 6, 1861 – During the Civil War, the U.S. steamer, Brooklyn, arrived in Pensacola, Fla. with Federal reinforcements for Fort Pickens.
Feb. 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal naval operation to Florence, Ala., involving the river gunboats, USS Conestoga, USS Lexington, and USS Tyler, began. Federal reconnaissance of the Wright River in South Carolina also began.
Feb. 6, 1862 - General Ulysses S. Grant provided the first major Union victory of the war when he captured Fort Henry on the Tennessee River. Ten days later, he captured Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River, which gave the Federals control of northern Tennessee and paved the way for the occupation of Nashville. Confederate Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman surrendered the fort of about 90 men after sending the larger proportion of his forces to Fort Donelson, Tenn., 10 miles away on the Cumberland River. The capture of Fort Henry was primarily a Federal naval operation involving USS Carondelet, USS Cincinnati, USS Conestoga, USS Essex, USS Lexington, USS Saint Louis and USS Tyler. Three vessels continued on southward.
Feb. 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance of Fort Pillow, Tenn. began. A skirmish was also fought at Dranesville, Millwood and Wiggenton’s Mill, near Aquia Creek, Va.
Feb. 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hillsboro, Miss.; in the vicinity of Newport Barrracks, N.C.; at Bolivar, Tenn.; near Bugbee Bridge, Charles Harbor, S.C.; at Norton’s Ford, Barnett’s Ford and Culpeper’s Ford on the Rapidan River in Virginia; and at Bottom’s Bridge and Baltimore Store, Va.
Feb. 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal operation began in the Sni Hills of Missouri. Federal operations began on John’s and James Islands, S.C. A 12-day Federal operation from Memphis, Tenn. to Wyatt, Miss. began. This was the cavalry phase of the Meridian Expedition.
Feb. 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation began in Ozark County, Missouri, and a two-day Federal operation began between Fairfax Courthouse and Brentsville, Va.
Feb. 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mud Springs, Nebraska, with Indians; near Barnwell, Cowpen Ford, Little Salkehatchie River and Fishburn’s Plantation, S.C.; and in Franklin County, 12 miles from Hillsborough, Tenn.
Feb. 6, 1865 - Confederate General John Pegram, age 33, was killed at the Battle of Dabney's Mill (also known as Hatcher’s Run) in Virginia.
Feb. 6, 1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis selected John C. Breckinridge to be Secretary of War.
Feb. 6, 1866 – German linguist and explorer Karl Sapper was born in Wittislingen, Germany.
Feb. 6, 1878 – The West Alabamian, Carrollton, Alabama’s only newspaper, published Henry Wells’s full confession of burning down the Pickens County Courthouse in 1876. The confession began as an admission of guilt to a series of robberies around town. Wells also reveals his accomplice in these crimes as a man named Bill Burkhalter (spelled Buckhalter in some sources).
Feb. 6, 1878 – Walter B. Pitkin, one of the earliest self-help writers, was born in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Feb. 6, 1886 – Mrs. I.R. Marshall lost her house near Perdue Hill, Ala. and its contents to a fire on this Saturday night. “The fire originated in the kitchen, from a box of ashes and had made such progress before it was discovered that it was impossible to extinguish it,” according to The Monroe Journal. “Nothing was saved from the fire but that was so badly damaged as to render it useless. Mrs. Marshall’s residence was one of the finest in the county and her loss is estimated at about $8,000.”
Feb. 6, 1894 – Famous lexicographer Eric Partridge was born on a farm near Gisbone, New Zealand.
Feb. 6, 1895 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and pitcher George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born in Baltimore, Md. where his father worked as a saloon keeper on the waterfront. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Boston Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936.
Feb. 6, 1895 – William “Willie” S. Thames, a member of Burnt Corn Masonic Lodge No. 489, passed away at the age of 25. Born on Oct. 24, 1869, he was buried in the Ramah Baptist Church Cemetery at Pine Orchard.
Feb. 6, 1896 – The 12-page special edition of The Monroe Journal published on this date was edited and managed by a committee of women with the proceeds being donated to the Presbyterian Manse Fund.
Feb. 6, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, under “River Ridge Items,” that the River Ridge community was “in a quiet boom.” The Presbyterian church there was under construction, and “when finished, will be one of the nicest in the country.”
Feb. 6, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported, under “Mexia Dots,” that work had begun on the large new store of Mr. D.W. Davis, and the contractor said he would have it completed in a short time. The Mexia correspondent also reported that the community could also “boast of a market too, our butcher comes around every Friday, he always has a big supply of beef and mutton.”
Feb. 6, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that a “series of rains” fell in the Nero community during the previous week, “causing the river at this point to rise almost out of its banks.”
Feb. 6, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Knights of Pythias planned to organize a lodge in the Tinela community.
Feb. 6, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that G.W. Gailliard and J.F. Gailliard were busy at their new mill at Perdue Hill, sawing lumber.
Feb. 6, 1896 - W.H. Louiselle of the Bear Creek Mill Co. visited The Monroe Journal on this Thursday. Louiselle reported that his company was progressing rapidly with its railroad and had reached a point about four miles south of Monroeville.
Feb. 6, 1899 – During the Spanish–American War, the Treaty of Paris, a peace treaty between the United States and Spain, was ratified by the United States Senate.
Feb. 6, 1906 - D.W. Davis died at his home in Monroeville, Ala. on this Tuesday night, aged 62 years. “The announcement of his death was a profound shock to the entire community,” The Monroe Journal reported. “His body was laid to rest with Masonic honors at the Methodist cemetery Thursday (Feb. 8) afternoon.”
Feb. 6, 1909 - Alabama author Wyatt Blassingame was born in Demopolis, Ala.
Feb. 6, 1911 - Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois.
Feb. 6, 1913 – British paleoanthropologist Mary Douglas Leakey was born Mary Douglas Nicol in London.
Feb. 6, 1915 – Confederate veteran Henry James Beasley, 74, passed away on this Saturday night at his home at Brownville, near Owassa, Ala. He was buried the following day in the Brown Beasley Cemetery. He was born on April 26, 1842.
Feb. 6, 1915 – Basketball teams from Effie and Evergreen in Conecuh County, Ala. played one another.
Feb. 6, 1916 – The Rev. J.M. Shofner, the president of the Downing Industrial School in Brewton, was scheduled to occupy the pulpit at the Monroeville Methodist Church on this Sunday morning.
Feb. 6, 1917 - Just three days after U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s speech of Feb. 3, 1917—in which he broke diplomatic relations with Germany and warned that war would follow if American interests at sea were again assaulted—a German submarine torpedoed and sank the Anchor Line passenger steamer California off the Irish coast.
Feb. 6, 1921 - The New York Yankees issued a press release to announce the purchase of 10 acres of property in the west Bronx. The land was used for the original Yankee Stadium.
Feb. 6, 1922 – In the fictional video game, “Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth,” private investigator Jack Walters took up a missing person case at Innsmouth, a coastal town, and the site of the recent disappearance of Brian Burnham, a clerk that had been sent there to establish a local store for the First National Grocery chain.
Feb. 6, 1926 - The National Football League adopted a rule that made players ineligible for competition until their college class graduated.
Feb. 6, 1928 – Thirty-five-year-old French pilot Capt. Dieudonne Coste, a famous World War I hero who shot down eight German fighter planes, and navigator Lt. Commander Joseph LeBrix, another World War I ace, flew over Monroeville, Ala. as part of an around the world flight that ended in Paris on April 14, 1928.
Feb. 6, 1933 - The 20th Amendment to the Constitution was declared in effect. The amendment moved the start of presidential, vice-presidential and congressional terms from March to January.
Feb. 6, 1937 - John Steinbeck’s novel “Of Mice and Men” was published.
Feb. 6, 1951 - Major League Baseball catcher Gabby Street, a native of Huntsville, Ala., passed away at the age of 68 in Joplin, Mo. During his career, he played for the Cincinnati Reds, the Boston Beaneaters, the Washington Senators, the New York Highlanders and the St. Louis Cardinals, and he went on to manage the Cardinals and the St. Louis Browns.
Feb. 6-13, 1955 – As the Boy Scouts of America observed its 45th Birthday, Evergreen, Alabama’s boy scout troop celebrated its 28th birthday. The first troop in Evergreen was formed by Scout Master Paul McMillan in 1927.
Feb. 6, 1958 - Ted Williams signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox that was worth $135,000, making him the highest paid player in Major League Baseball history.
Feb. 6, 1963 – The Coast Guard began its unsuccessful search for the missing Marine Sulphur Queen, a 425-foot freighter which disappeared with a crew of 39 four days earlier.
Feb. 6, 1966 - Accompanied by his leading political and military advisers, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson met with South Vietnamese Premier Nguyen Cao Ky in Honolulu.
Feb. 6, 1968 – Marine Cpl. Michael Wayne Johns, 20, of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action in Quang Nam, Vietnam. Born on Sept. 26, 1947 in Andalusia, is was buried in the Cold Water Church Cemetery in Covington County. He was a member of H&S Co., 1st Tank Bn., 1st Marine Division.
Feb. 6, 1968 – Marine Cpl. Army Cpl. Richard Benjamin of Atmore, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam.
Feb. 6, 1971 - Alan Shepard hit a few golf balls with a six iron on the surface of that gigantic golf ball known as the moon. The first ball landed in a nearby crater. The second was hit further, and in the one-sixth gravity of the moon, Shepard said it traveled "miles and miles and miles."
Feb. 6, 1973 - Supervisors from the International Commission of Control and Supervision (ICCS), delegated to oversee the cease-fire, start to take up their positions.
Feb. 6, 1976 – Princess Marie of Denmark was born in Paris, France.
Feb. 6, 1976 – Gymnast and coach Kim Zmeskal was born in Houston, Texas.
Feb. 6, 1983 – Former University of Alabama quarterback Brodie Croyle was born in Rainbow City, Ala. He went on to play for Westbrook Christian, Alabama, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals.
Feb. 6, 2002 - A federal judge ordered John Walker Lindh to be held without bail pending trial. Lindh was known as the "American Taliban."
Feb. 6, 2005 - The New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 24-21, in Super Bowl XXXIX. It was the third win in four years for the Patriots. During halftime, MTV and MTV2 aired a 15-minute preview of MTV2's second re-launch. The relaunch took place at midnight on Feb. 7.
Feb. 6, 2014 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Ralph Kiner passed away at the age of 91 in Rancho Mirage, Calif. During his career, he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975.