Saturday, March 11, 2017

Today in History for March 11, 2017

Lawrence Gulley of Excel, Ala.
March 11, 1544 – The poet Torquato Tasso was born in Sorrento, Italy.

March 11, 1619 - It was curtains for the Flower sisters who were burned at the stake on charges of witchcraft in England. It seems their mother, who was also on trial with them, sealed their fate when she picked up a piece of bread and declaimed on the witness stand 'May this cake choke me if I am guilty.' She then proceeded to drop dead after a bite.

March 11, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Ann Putnam Jr. showed symptoms of affliction by witchcraft. Mercy Lewis, Mary Walcott and Mary Warren later alleged affliction as well.

March 11, 1702 – The Daily Courant, England's first national daily newspaper was published for the first time.

March 11, 1779 - Congress established the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help plan, design and prepare environmental and structural facilities for the U.S. Army.

March 11, 1818 – “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” was first published. The book, by 21-year-old Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, is frequently called the world’s first science fiction novel.

March 11, 1824 – The United States Department of War created the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Seneca Indian Ely Parker became the first Indian to lead the Bureau.

March 11, 1847 - John “Johnny Appleseed” Chapman passed away at the age of 70 in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

March 11, 1847 – Confederate veteran James C. Johnson was born. He enlisted as a private in the Confederate army on Feb. 1, 1863, served with Co. B, 3rd Alabama Cavalry and was wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. He died in Conecuh County, Ala. in April 10, 1914 and was buried at Antioch Methodist Church Cemetery.

March 11, 1861 – The Confederate Congress, meeting in Montgomery, adopted a permanent constitution for the Confederate States of America to replace the provisional constitution adopted the previous month. The seceded states then ratified the essentially conservative document, which was based largely on the United States Constitution.

March 11, 1862 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued War Order No. 3. The move made several changes to the Union command structure. Three departments were created with Henry Halleck in charge of the west, John C. Frémont in command of troops in the Appalachian region, and George McClellan in the east.

March 11, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate Brigadier General John Buchanan Floyd and Confederate Brigadier General Gideon Johnson Pillow were relieved of command by Jefferson Davis because of their bungling the defense of Fort Donelson, Tenn. Skirmishes were also fought near Paris, Tenn. and in the vicinity of Winchester, Va.

March 11, 1863 – During the Civil War, Fort Pemberton, near Greenwood, Miss., thwarted an advance by Federal forces through Mississippi Delta waterways to get in back of Vicksburg, Miss. General Pemberton had sent Major General W.W. Loring to a patch of flooded swamp near Greenwood, Miss. to build a fort. Loring, tactfully, named it Fort Pemberton, and built it out of earthworks and cotton bales. With a couple of cannon, he fended off the Federal advance. A skirmish was fought near Paris, Ky., and a second day of skirmishing occurred along Rutherford’s Creek, Tenn.

March 11, 1864 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation was carried out in the vicinity of Sparta, Tenn., and Union Major General Nathaniel Banks’ command began its movement up the Red River in Louisiana, accompanied by naval support.

March 11, 1865 - Union General William Sherman and his forces occupied Fayetteville, N.C. Skirmishes were also at Washington, Ark.; in the vicinity of Little Blue, River, Mo.; at Fayetteville, N.C.; at Warsaw and at Goochland Courthouse, V.A.

March 11, 1888 - The Great Blizzard of 1888 wreaked havoc across the Northeast U.S. with some areas receiving as much as 50 inches of snow.

March 11, 1895 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau Station at Claiborne, Ala. recorded 1.7 inches of rainfall.

March 11, 1901 - The Cincinnati Enquirer reported the signing of a mysterious player named “Chief Tokohama” to baseball’s Baltimore Orioles by manager John McGraw. Chief Tokohama was later revealed to be Charlie Grant, an African-American second baseman.

March 11, 1905 - A “shooting affray” occurred near Ollie, Ala. when a Mr. Grantham shot two boys of A.D. White’s. Grantham and White had had “some trouble” regarding a cross-fence, and Grantham believed the boys were pulling down his fence. The “children” were not seriously hurt, and Grantham was bound over to await the action of the grand jury.

March 11, 1909 – Conecuh County (Ala.) Sheriff J.F. Irwin returned from Louisiana, where he went in search of a fugitive wanted in Castleberry for stealing a lot of staves. (A stave is a thin, shaped strip of wood or metal, set edge to edge to form or strengthen the wall of a barrel or bucket.)

March 11, 1913 – The Evergreen Baptist Orphanage celebrated its 20th anniversary with “appropriate exercises.”

March 11, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that 17 of the 31 persons taking the state bar examination passed, including C.C. McNabb, L.R. Hanna, C.W. Walker, R.S. Allen, E.W. Turlington, W.H. Levie and H.D. Moorer, all of Birmingham; H.A. Burns and A.V. VanderGraff, both of Tuscaloosa; D.B. Goode of Camden; Y. Shaver and W.M. Rogers, both of Montgomery; R.H. Jones of Evergreen; A.C. Lee of Monroeville; J.B. Young of Huntsville; J.S. Mullins of Geneva; and Manley A. Collins of Greensboro.

March 11, 1916 – Children’s book author Ezra Jack Keats was born Jacob Ezra Katz in Brooklyn, N.Y. He went on to win the 1963 Caldecott Medal for his book, “The Snowy Day.”

March 11, 1917 – During World War I’s Mesopotamian Campaign, Baghdad fell to Anglo-Indian forces commanded by General Stanley Maude.

March 11, 1918 – The first cases of what would become the influenza pandemic were reported in the U.S. when 107 soldiers got sick at Fort Riley, Kansas. It was the worst pandemic in world history. The flu that year killed only 2.5 percent of its victims, but more than a fifth of the world's entire population caught it - it's estimated that between 50 million and 100 million people died in just a few months. Historians believe at least 500,000 people died in the United States alone.

March 11, 1930 - Babe Ruth signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees for the sum of $80,000.

March 11, 1930 - U.S. President Howard Taft became the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

March 11, 1931 – International media titan Keith Rupert Murdoch was born on a farm outside Melbourne, Australia.

March 11, 1932 - An indictment charging second degree murder was returned on this Friday afternoon by the Escambia County Grand Jury against Joe White of Brewton, who had been held without bond since the March 3 death of Ed Morris, Boston Red Sox pitcher, from knife wounds received during a fight at a fish fry in Brewton. White was charged in the indictment with killing Morris by cutting him with a knife and the grand jury returned the charge after being in regular session since Mon., March 7.

March 11, 1941 - Lewis Crook, 58, native of Evergreen, Ala. and one of the organizers of the First National Bank of Evergreen, passed away in Evergreen on this Tuesday morning following a brief illness. Crook played an active part in the organization of the First National Bank in the year 1905, at which time he was chosen cashier. He served in that capacity until the year 1915 when he was made president. In 1920, he severed connection with the bank to enter the lumber business with Mr. L.D. King and remained in that field until his death.

March 11, 1941 - News reached Monroeville, Ala. early on this Tuesday of the sudden death of John William Ferrell following a heart attack. He was a prominent merchant and planter of the Palmer’s Crossing neighborhood. Ferrell, who was born on June 29, 1873, died at the age of 67 on March 10, 1941. He is buried in the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery at Eliska.

March 11, 1943 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mrs. Robert A. Winston of Washington, D.C. was the house guest of Mrs. M.M. Cardwell at her home in Old Evergreen. She was a former Evergreen girl, Naomi Rabb, and had come to Alabama for the unveiling of the portrait she painted of Senator Lister Hill, which was to be hung in the Capitol in Montgomery.

March 11, 1945 – During World War II, the Empire of Vietnam, a short-lived Japanese puppet state, was established with Bảo Đại as its ruler.

March 11, 1948 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Frisco City High School’s boys basketball team beat Lyeffion, 50-17, in the First District Basketball Tournament. The Courant also reported that Damascus beat Conecuh County High School, 34-21.

March 11-12, 1949 – The A Division of the Alabama High School Basketball Tournament was held at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

March 11, 1952 – Writer Douglas Adams was born in Cambridge, England. He is best known for his five book series, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

March 11, 1957 – Admiral and explorer Richard E. Byrd died in Boston, Mass. at the age of 68.

March 11, 1959 – Lorraine Hansberry’s play, “A Raisin in the Sun,” opened on Broadway.

March 11, 1960 – Paleontologist and explorer Roy Chapman Andrews died at Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. at the age of 76.

March 11, 1964 - Alabama author Libba Bray was born in Montgomery, Ala.

March 11, 1966 - Pvt. Lawrence E. Gulley completed eight weeks of military police training at the Army Training Center at Fort Gordon. The 20-year-old soldier entered the Army in October 1965 and received basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. He was a 1963 graduate of Excel High School.

March 11, 1967 - U.S. 1st Infantry Division troops engaged in one of the heaviest battles of Operation Junction City, and the fierce fighting resulted in 210 reported North Vietnamese casualties.

March 11, 1969 - The movie “Satyricon,” for which Alabama author Eugene Walter served as a translator, was released in the United States.

March 11, 1969 – Levi-Strauss began selling bell-bottomed jeans.

March 11, 1971 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the first ever spring football drills were underway and in its second week at Sparta Academy, under head coach Mickey Goneke. Sparta was to field its first team in the fall of 1971.

March 11, 1971 – The Evergreen Courant reported that BM-3 Don Hansen was on leave from his ship, the John F. Kennedy, and was spending the 10 days with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Oswald Hansen.

March 11, 1971 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroe County Training School, falling just shy of a state championship, had closed out its basketball season with a record of 26 wins and only six losses. The Panthers lost to Pickens County, 91-90, at the Class 2A playoffs in Tuscaloosa. The Panthers were under the leadership of Coach W.R. Averett, who had completed his 19th year as head coach at the Beatrice school. Players on MCTS’s team that season included James Cunningham, Charles Drew, John Drew, Ray Easley, Harold Jones, Billy Rogers, Tamp Sanders, Red Shelton, Bill Smith, Jessie Smith, Bill Mack Stallworth and John Stallworth.

March 11, 1971 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroe County Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs and State Senator Roland Cooper introduced U.S. Senator John Sparkman during the senior Alabama lawmaker’s recent visit to Monroeville, Ala. The senator was introduced by Biggs at a luncheon in the Vanity Fair Community House and by Cooper at Patrick Henry Junior College.

March 11, 1975 – During the Vietnam War, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong guerrilla forces established control over Ban Me Thuot commune from the South Vietnamese army.

March 11, 1978 – Sparta Academy hosted a four-team spring football jamboree that included Sparta, Fort Dale Academy, South Butler Academy and Greenville Academy.

March 11, 1980 - Conecuh County, Ala. voters were scheduled to vote on this Tuesday in the first of at least four elections to be held that year. Actually, three elections were to be held on this Tuesday, but voters could vote in only two of them. Both the Democratic and Republican parties were holding presidential preferential primary elections to elect delegates to the National Party Conventions that summer, but voters could vote in only one of these. The other election on this Tuesday was to decide the fate of eight proposed amendments to the State Constitution. These were to be at the top of the voting machine and required a yes or no vote.

March 11, 1980 - A total of 13,520 Monroe County residents were eligible to join other Alabamians on this Tuesday in voting in the state’s first full-fledged presidential preference primary in recent history. This primary enabled voters largely to determine the number of delegate votes each candidate was to receive from the Alabama delegations at the Democratic and Republican national nominating conventions later that summer.

March 11, 1980 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Henri-Laurent de Marigny vanished, leaving behind a lengthy manuscript to Wingate Peaslee, the director of the Wilmarth Foundation, the contents of which are known only to the members of that organization.

March 11, 1980 – Major League Baseball second baseman Dan Uggla was born in Louisville, Ky.

March 11, 1986 - Edward Locke, 42, was convicted of capital murder in a trial held in Monroeville, Ala. on a change of venue from Conecuh County. The trial was held on Mon., March 10, and when the jury told Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key that they were locked 11-1 for acquittal he instructed them to continue deliberations because the verdict was not unanimous. After being sequestered overnight in a Monroeville motel, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of capital murder on March 11. Locke was charged in March 1985 in connection with the deaths of Pearlie Jackson, 82, and her 64-year-old invalid son, Johnnie. Their bodies were found inside the charred remains of their small house on Cemetery Avenue in Evergreen. Authorities said they died of smoke inhalation. Locke was charged with stealing more than $100 from Mrs. Jackson’s house, and she was to have been the state’s key witness against him at his trial which was scheduled for the Spring Term of Circuit Court of Conecuh County at the time of the fire.

March 11, 1986 - Monroe County (Ala.) county commissioners on this Tuesday authorized a lease to be drawn up between the county and the Monroeville Jaycees, who want to rent the Monroe County Coliseum.

March 11, 1989 – COPS, a documentary-style television series that followed police officers and sheriff’s deputies as they went about their jobs, debuted on Fox.
March 11, 2002 - Two columns of light were pointed skyward from ground zero in New York as a temporary memorial to the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

March 11, 2004 - Major League Baseball banned THG. The health policy advisory committee of management and the players' association unanimously determined that THG builds muscle mass.

March 11, 2004 – Two days after its approval by the Alabama Senate, House Joint Resolution No. 100, which proposed designating Conecuh Ridge Alabama Fine Whiskey as the state spirit, was certified by the Clerk of the House. The resolution was passed on to Gov. Bob Riley for his signature on March 18.

March 11, 2010 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Merlin Olsen died at the age of 69 in Duarte, Calif. During his career, he played at Utah State and for the Los Angeles Angels. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

March 11, 2012 – Former NFL center Wayne Frazier passed away in Brewton at the age of 76. Frazier played for Evergreen High School, Auburn University, the San Diego Chargers, the Houston Oilers, the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs. He is best known for being one of the starters in the first Super Bowl in 1967.

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