Friday, March 10, 2017

Today in History for March 10, 2017

John Dennis Forte
March 10, 1496 - Christopher Columbus concluded his second visit to the Western Hemisphere when he left Hispaniola for Spain.


March 10, 1656 - In the American colony of Virginia, suffrage was extended to all free men regardless of their religion.

March 10, 1709 – German botanist, zoologist, physician and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller was born in Windsheim, near Nuremberg in Germany,

March 10, 1769 – David Holmes was born in Hanover, Pa. On June 5, 1815, as the Territorial Governor of Mississippi, he would establish Monroe County, in present-day Alabama, by proclamation.

March 10, 1776 - "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine was published.

March 10, 1778 - Congress made this day the official deadline for states to ratify the Articles of Confederation. Virginia was the only state to make the ratification prior to the deadline.

March 10, 1778 - Massachusetts became the ninth state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

March 10, 1785 - Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.

March 10, 1792 - John Stuart, 3rd earl of Bute and advisor to the British king, George III, died in London after playing a significant role in the politics of the British empire that spawned the American Revolution.

March 10, 1804 - In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony was conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

March 10, 1848 - The U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican–American War.

March 10, 1849 - Abraham Lincoln applied for a patent for a device to lift vessels over shoals by means of inflated cylinders.

March 10, 1858 – Lexicographer Henry Fowler was born in Tonbridge, England.

March 10, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in Lafayette County, Mo.; in the vicinity of Jacksborough, Tenn.; and at Burke’s Station, Va.

March 10, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Plymouth, N.C. and in the vicinity of Murfreesborough, Tenn. Two days of skirmishing also began at Rutherford’s Creek, Tenn.

March 10, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal operations against Indians in the Humboldt Military District of California began, and Federal forces reoccupied Jacksonville, Fla. A five-day Federal operation between La Fayette and Moscow, Tenn. also began. An offer of amnesty was also granted to all Federal military personnel who were absent without proper authorization if they would report back to their unit by April 1.

March 10, 1864 - President Abraham Lincoln signed a brief document officially promoting then-Major General Ulysses S. Grant to the rank of lieutenant general of the U.S. Army, tasking the future president with the job of leading all Union troops against the Confederate Army.

March 10, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in White County, Tenn.; in the vicinity of Charlestown and Kabletown, West Virginia; and at Clinton and Mayfield, Ky. A two-day Federal operation encompassing Batesville, Wild Haws and Strawberry Creek, Ark. began. U.S. Major General Nathaniel P. Banks began to concentrate Federal troops at New Orleans for what would became known as the Red River Campaign, which would not end until May 22.

March 10, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred in the vicinity of Woodville Station, Ala.

March 10, 1865 - Confederate General William Henry Chase Whiting, a native of Biloxi, Miss., died at age 40 in prison at Governors Island in New York from the wounds he had suffered at during the fall of Fort Fisher, North Carolina.

March 10, 1865 – During the Civil War, a three-day Federal operation between Little Rock and Clear Lake, Ark. began. A cavalry skirmish was fought at Monroe’s Crossroads, S.C. A skirmish was also fought at South Quay, Va.

March 10, 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call. He spoke to his assistant, electrical designer Thomas Watson, who was in the next room. He said, “Mr. Watson — come here — I want to see you.”

March 10, 1890 - Juliet Opie Hopkins died at the age of 71 in Washington, D.C. Hopkins served as the Superintendent of Civil War Hospitals established in Richmond by the State of Alabama during the Civil War. She became a Confederate heroine for her efforts and her portrait even appeared on Alabama state bank notes during the Civil War years.

March 10, 1903 – Jazz cornetist Bix Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa.

March 10, 1913 – Harriet (Ross) Tubman, who was born to slave parents in Dorchester, Md., died at the age of 91 in Auburn, New York.

March 10, 1917 - Less than two weeks after their victorious recapture of the strategically placed city of Kut-al-Amara on the Tigris River in Mesopotamia, British troops under the regional command of Sir Frederick Stanley Maude bore down on Baghdad, causing their Turkish opponents to begin a full-scale evacuation of the city on the evening of March 10, 1917.

March 10, 1918 - The services conducted by the Rev. D.W. Haskew at Evergreen Methodist church on this Sunday in honor of the soldier boys from Evergreen and vicinity were “highly interesting and thoroughly enjoyed” by one of the largest congregations that had assembled in Evergreen in a long time. Fifty-seven names were on the honor roll and those were read aloud by Prof. Bennett. “Our boys across the water and in training camps may be well assured that the people back home are very deeply interested in them and will continue to back them up not only with their money but with their prayers until the victory is won and the world made safe from future wars.”

March 10, 1926 – The first Book-of-the-Month Club book, “Lolly Willowes, or The Loving Huntsman” by Sylvia Townsend Warner, was published.

March 10, 1930 – In Lovecraftian fiction, occultist John Grimlan, who some assert was 300 years old, passed away in a small town just outside San Francisco. He first appeared in 1937’s “Dig Me No Grave” by Robert E. Howard.

March 10, 1940 – Playwright and novelist David Rabe was born in Dubuque, Iowa.

March 10, 1941 - The Brooklyn Dodgers announced that their players would begin wearing batting helmets during the 1941 season.

March 10, 1948 – Montgomery, Ala. native and icon of the Jazz Age, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, died at the age of 47 in a hospital fire in Asheville, N.C.

March 10, 1948 – The City of Evergreen was featured as “One of the State’s Finest Cities” in the Alabama Local Government Journal, a bi-weekly newspaper published by the Alabama League of Municipalities.

March 10, 1949 – In Conecuh County, the trial against Elbert J. Hoomes, who was charged with the murder of his son-in-law Joe Greer, began in Evergreen, Ala., and the jury later found him not guilty. This was the third time that Hoomes had been tried since the killing took place on the streets of Brewton in 1944. He was first tried in Brewton and found guilty but that verdict was set aside by Judge J.W. Hare, who also granted a change of venue. The case was tried in Evergreen in November 1947 and at that time Hoomes was found guilty and given a sentence of 20 years. He appealed, and the supreme court reversed and remanded the case.

March 10, 1955 – The Monroe Journal reported that the purchase of a new fire engine for the Town of Excel, Ala. had recently announced by W.C. Nicholas, Excel mayor. The new vehicle, a Ford purchased from a Monroeville firm, was having the necessary firefighting equipment installed by a Birmingham company. Included on the engine was to be a 700-gallon capacity tank and two 12-foot hose reels which could be attached to fire hydrants.

March 10, 1955 – The Monroe Journal reported that new officers for the Monroeville (Ala.) Commandery of Knights Templar were named at a recent meeting and were to be installed in ceremonies on Friday night, March 25, at the local Masonic lodge. Named as Commander was Ben C. Jones, local jeweler; W.F. Wiggins was the retiring Commander. Other officers elected were: Dr. Y.L. Lynch, Generalissimo; Dayton L. Russell, Captain General; Dr. W.H. Hines, Senior Warden; J.T. Hines, Junior Warden; Rev. J.F. Bilbro, Prelate; W.N. Wiggins, Standard Bearer; Kermit Branum, Sword Bearer; Edwin G. Owens, Warder; H.T. Wiggins, Captain of the Guard; W.S. Nash, Recorder; and W.L. Agee, Treasurer.

March 10, 1959 – On this day, 300,000 Tibetans surrounded the Dalai Lama's palace in an uprising to protest China's nearly decade-long occupation.

March 10, 1965 – Pro Hall of Fame safety and cornerback Rod Woodson was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He would go on to play for Purdue, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the San Francisco 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens and the Oakland Raiders. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

March 10, 1966 – Military Prime Minister of South Vietnam Nguyễn Cao Kỳ sacked rival General Nguyễn Chánh Thi, precipitating large-scale civil and military dissension in parts of the nation.

March 10, 1966 - John Dennis Forte, 95, of Beatrice, Ala., a prominent Monroe County resident and former Monroe County superintendent of schools, died at his residence on this Thursday. Born on July 17, 1870 in Monroe County, Forte was a teacher and educator in the Monroe County schools for 56 years. He served as superintendent in Monroe County from 1901 to 1910. He was buried in the Buena Vista Cemetery in Monroe County.

March 10, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, the Battle of Lima Site 85 began and concluded on March 11 with largest single ground combat loss of United States Air Force members (12) during the war.

March 10, 1969 – Army PFC Billy Wayne Pettis, 21, of Castleberry, Ala. arrived in Vietnam. He would be killed in action 82 days later.

March 10, 1969 - James Earl Ray pleaded guilty in Memphis, Tenn. to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Ray later repudiated the guilty plea and maintained his innocence until his death in April 1998.

March 10, 1970 - The U.S. Army accused Capt. Ernest Medina and four other soldiers of committing crimes at My Lai in March 1968.

March 10, 1975 – During the Vietnam War’s Ho Chi Minh Campaign, North Vietnamese troops attacked Ban Mê Thuột in the South on their way to capturing Saigon in the final push for victory over South Vietnam.

March 10, 1978 - CBS began airing the series "The Incredible Hulk."

March 10, 1978 – Sparta Academy senior Gray Stevens played on the South All-Star Team in the Alabama Private School Association’s All-Star Boys Basketball Game at Fort Dale Academy in Greenville, Ala.

March 10, 1982 - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn were all on the same side of the Sun, within a 95-degree wide interval. In 1974, authors John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann published the bestseller “The Jupiter Effect,” which wrongly predicted that this planetary alignment would cause a number of catastrophes including a huge earthquake on the San Andreas fault on March 10, 1982.

March 10, 1986 – Monroeville (Ala.) Public Works Superintendent Lyle Salter and other city employees made final adjustments on a light pole being set on this Monday at Monroeville’s new park on South Mount Pleasant Avenue. Parks & Recreation Director Michael Smith said he had high hopes that the Little League and Babe Ruth League baseball fields would be ready for play the first of May.

March 10-11, 1992 - Weather observer Harry Ellis reported low temperatures of 29 degrees on both of these days in Evergreen, Ala.

March 10, 1992 - Mr. and Mrs. George Singleton were guests at the meeting of the 20th Century Club. The meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Nancie Robinson with Mrs. Fay Helton, president, leading the program. The Singletons gave a program on the founding and location of early churches in Monroe County.

March 10, 1993 – Judge Sam Welch sentenced Wayne Holleman Travis to death by electrocution for the murder of Clarene Haskew in December 1991. Travis was transferred immediately to Holman Prison in Atmore, Ala. “I’m sorry she’s dead. I can’t do anything about that,” were the words spoken by Travis shortly before Welch announced that the convicted murderer would be sentenced to death by electrocution.

March 10, 1993 - Sherry Davis became the first woman to be the public address voice of a Major League Baseball team. She was the public address announcer for the San Francisco Giants.

March 10, 1993 – Hillcrest High School’s baseball team was scheduled to play a rematch against Wilcox Central on this Wednesday afternoon.

March 10, 1995 - The area known as Bottle Creek was declared a National Historic Landmark. Bottle Creek is one of the most important prehistoric Native American sites in Alabama, second only to Moundville near Tuscaloosa. Located on Mound Island, in the heart of the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, Bottle Creek is the largest mound complex on the northern Gulf coastal plain.

March 10, 2006 - The Cuban national baseball team played Puerto Rico in the first round of the inaugural World Baseball Classic. While the Puerto Rican team was made up of Major League All-Stars, the Cuban team was largely unknown to the world. Puerto Rico beat Cuba, 12-2.


March 10, 2009 - In Kinston, Ala., Michael McLendon began a shooting rampage that continued onward into the Geneva County towns of Samson and Geneva. Ten people were killed and six more were wounded before McLendon committed suicide.

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