Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Today in History for March 15, 2017

March 15, 44 B.C. – Roman emperor Julius Caesar was stabbed to death by senators who called themselves the Liberatores (Liberators) and claimed they were preserving the integrity of the Roman system.

March 15, 1493 - Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage.

March 15, 1767 – Andrew Jackson, who would go on to become the seventh President of the United States, was born in the Waxhaws border region between The Carolinas (the exact location is disputed).

March 15, 1778 - In command of two frigates, the Frenchman la Perouse sailed east from Botany Bay for the last lap of his voyage around the world.

March 15, 1781 - During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place near present-day Greensboro, North Carolina. British General Cornwallis' 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400.

March 15, 1783 – In an emotional speech in Newburgh, New York, George Washington made a surprise visit at an assembly of his officers and asked them not to support the Newburgh Conspiracy.

March 15, 1790 – Joseph Morgan Wilcox was born in Killingsworth, Middlesex County, Conn. He graduated at the top of his class from the U.S. Military Academy in 1812, but was killed by Creek warriors on Jan. 15, 1814 near the Alabama River. Wilcox County, Alabama was later named in his honor.

March 15, 1809 – Mathew Anderson, who would go on to establish the Anderson Stage Stop on the Old Federal Road along the Conecuh-Monroe county line in Alabama, was born in South Carolina.

March 15, 1820 - Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

March 15, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette arrived in Charleston, South Carolina and enjoyed three days of balls, fireworks and reunions. The reunion with Francis Huger, son of his comrade Benjamin Huger was particularly significant in Charleston, since Francis had tried to free Lafayette from an Austrian prison around 1795.

March 15, 1831 - Confederate General Edward Aylesworth Perry was born in Richmond, Mass. The transplanted Yankee led a Florida brigade during the war, and served as governor of the state after the war. He is buried in St. John's Cemetery in Pensacola.

March 15, 1844 - Author Willis Brewer was born near Livingston, Ala.

March 15, 1845 – Evergreen Baptist Church was organized in the home of George Brown in Evergreen, Ala.

March 15, 1852 – Playwright and folklorist Isabella Augusta, Lady Gregory, was born in Galway, Ireland.

March 15, 1858 – Botanist and horticulturist Liberty Hyde Bailey was born in South Haven, Mich.

March 15, 1861 – Julius Ceasar Finklea, who was born in 1843, enlisted at Pineville, Ala. and served with Co. D of the 5th Alabama Infantry under Capt. Giles Goode, who died from non-hostile causes at Winchester, Va. Finklea was admitted to Wayside General Hospital No. 9 in Richmond, Va. and was transferred to Howard Grove General Hospital on May 16, 1864. Finklea died in 1918 and was buried in Montrose Cemetery in Baldwin County, Ala.

March 15, 1861 – E.C. Lindsey enlisted at Pineville, Ala. and was on the roster of the Monroe Guards on March 21, 1861. He was listed as sick at Sangsters Cross Roads, Va. He was present with the unit all of 1862, 1863 and up until March 24, 1864. He later became disabled and was left behind with the officer’s baggage train. He later rejoined the company and served until the end of the war.

March 15, 1861 – During the Civil War, Federal forces abandoned Camp Wood, Texas.

March 15, 1862 - General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, Tenn.

March 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in the vicinity of Marshall, Mo., and Island No 10 in Missouri was captured by Federal forces.

March 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, the Confederate schooner, J. M. Chapman, was captured by the USS Cyane, in San Francisco Harbor, Calif. Skirmishes were also fought at Hernando, Miss. and another eight miles north of Holly Springs, Miss.; at Rover, Tenn.; and at Dumfries, Va. A Federal operation between Harper’s Ferry and Leesburg, Va. also began.

March 15, 1864 – During the Civil War the Red River Campaign continued as the Union forces reach Alexandria, La.

March 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, a Federal operation encompassing Batesville, West Point, Grand Glaize and Searcy Landing, Ark. began. Skirmishes were also fought at Clarendon, Ark.; and at Bull’s Gap and Flat Creek Valley in Tennessee.

March 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, Federal naval forces arrived at Alexandria, La., via the Red River, and skirmishes were fought at Marksville and Prairie, La. Celebrations for the capture of Fort DeRussy, on the Red River, by the gunboats of Admiral Porter, were brief. Captured the day before, the fort was being destroyed on March 15 by the ironclads USS Benton and Essex. Three of the remaining boats were headed upriver at the highest speed they could manage, in hopes of cutting off the Confederate boats before they could ready the rapids at Alexandria. The Rebels escaped by half an hour, with one ship burned to avoid capture.

March 15, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Boyd’s Station and another at Stevenson’s Gap, Ala. Skirmishes were also fought on the Black River at Smith’s Mill, N.C.; at South River, N.C.; and at Ashland and Hanover Courthouse, Va.

March 15, 1869 - The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, played their first game.

March 15, 1874 – France and Viet Nam signed the Second Treaty of Saigon, further recognizing the full sovereignty of France over Cochinchina.

March 15, 1906 – In this day’s edition of The Monroe Journal, the correspondent from the Monday community reported that the neighbors and friends of Frank Watson of Jeddo were “glad of the release” of Watson, who accidentally shot and killed his uncle a few weeks before.

March 15, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that R.L. Kennedy was now in charge of the local telephone exchange and that the central office was located in the Misses Patrick’s millinery store.

March 15, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Poplar Springs community, that George Lambert, “while out sporting,” had killed a “monstrous wild cat.”

March 15, 1906 - Lonnie Sims began his duties on the Rural Free Delivery mail route with Jones Mill, Ala. as distributing point, “much to the satisfaction and convenience of the citizens.”

March 15, 1906 - Miles J. Jackson, 45, died at his home at Peterman, Ala. on the morning after an illness of several weeks. He was buried at Repton Methodist Church Cemetery on Fri., March 16, with Masonic honors. He was born on Jan. 19, 1861.

March 15, 1909 - Author Marian Cockrell was born in Birmingham, Ala.

March 15, 1912 – Major League Baseball pitcher Cy Young retired from baseball.

March 15, 1912 – Blues guitarist Lightnin’ Hopkins was born in Centerville, Texas.

March 15, 1915 – The spring term of Monroe County Circuit Court convened in Monroeville, Ala. with Judge Benjamin D. Turner of Chatom presiding.

March 15, 1917 - During the February Revolution, Czar Nicholas II, ruler of Russia since 1894, was forced to abdicate the throne on this day, after strikes and general revolts broke out in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg).

March 15, 1918 – Literary critic and biographer Richard Ellmann was born in Highland Park, Mich. His 1989 biography, “Oscar Wilde,” won the Pulitzer Prize.

March 15, 1919 - The American Legion was founded in Paris.

March 15, 1919 – On this Sunday morning, a feed house at Prof. Worley’s poultry yard on the school grounds in Evergreen, Ala. was destroyed by fire.

March 15, 1921 - Congressman John McDuffie, who was at home for the congressional vacation, visited Monroeville, Ala. on this Tuesday.

March 15, 1926 – John Hollis Bankhead Jr. spoke in Monroeville, Ala.

March 15, 1926 – Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and coach Norm Van Brocklin was born in Parade, South Dakota. He went on to play at the University of Oregon and for the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1971, he also coached the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons.

March 15, 1929 – The Pea River crested at Elba, Ala. at a depth of 43.5 feet during a devastating flood.

March 15, 1929 – Elba, Ala. residents are forced to take refuge on housetops as they awaited rescue from rapidly rising flood waters. Rains beginning in late February resulted in flooding that affected most of the state and left 15,000 south Alabamians homeless. Although the Flood of 1929 hit Elba the hardest, several other towns, including Geneva and Brewton, were covered in as much as 15 feet of water.

March 15, 1934 – The Evergreen Courant reported that baseball was “well underway” at the State Secondary Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala. It was also reported that the school was also planning to start a track team.

March 15, 1934 – Former Alabama Gov. Bibb Graves addressed voters during his gubernatorial campaign at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. at 10:30 a.m. From there, he went to Brewton, where he was scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. The following day, he was scheduled to speak in Atmore at 10:30 a.m., in Bay Minette at 7:30 p.m. and at Bienville Square in Mobile at 7:30 p.m.

March 15, 1936 - Robert Amos Lambert, aged 92, a Confederate veteran, passed away at his residence, 1654 Centre St., Mobile, at 11:20 p.m. on this Sunday night after a lingering illness. Born on Sept. 21, 1844, Lambert was a native of Claiborne in Monroe County. He served with the Claiborne Guards, Second Alabama Regiment, during the War Between the States. He was buried in Pine Crest Cemetery in Mobile.

March 15, 1937 – H.P. Lovecraft passed away at the age of 46 in Providence, Rhode Island.

March 15, 1943 - U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared 221,000 acres of public land as Jackson Hole National Monument. Most of this national monument later became part of the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.

March 15, 1946 – Major League Baseball right fielder Bobby Bonds was born in Riverside, Calif. He would go on to play for the San Francisco Giants, the New York Yankees, the California Angels, the Chicago White Sox, the Texas Rangers, the Cleveland Indians, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs. His son, Barry Bonds, would also go on to become a record-setting Major League player.

March 15, 1948 – Mandatory blood testing for syphilis of all Conecuh County, Ala. residents, ages 14 through 50, as required by state law, began. Blood testing stations were established throughout the county for this purpose.

March 15, 1951 – The Monroe Journal reported that two Beatrice men - Leroy Russell, 19, and Fred E. Cooper, 19 - were being held in Monroe County Jail that week in connection with the fatal stabbing of Alexander Randalson, about 20, another man of Tunnel Springs. The slaying occurred about one and one-half miles from Beatrice on Friday night, March 9. According to Sheriff E.E. Nicholas, Randalson was stabbed fatally in an affray with the other two men.

March 15, 1951 – The Monroe Journal reported that, with approximately a week and a half of spring grid drills gone by, Monroe County High School head coach LeVaughn Hanks said that the squad was shaping up “pretty good.” MCHS players going through spring drills that year included William Andress, Ronald Biggs, Walter Faulkenberry, John Finklea, C.W. Gibson, Freddie Hayles, Jackie Hendrix, Havard Jaye, Malcolm Jones, Wayne Jones, James Lloyd, Nickie Manning, Joel McKenzie, Alfred Nettles, Bert Nettles, Billy Nettles, Joe Lee Nettles, Howard Nichols, Jackie Pickett, Freddie Porter, Wilbur Regan, “Baby” Ryland, Elliott Sawyer, Jeff Sirmon, J.C. Smith, Bobby Thames, Vincent Tomlinson, Robert Wiggins and  Dickie Williams.

March 15, 1951 - Work on installing new sewage lines to the recently completed 20-unit housing project near the American Legion club house in Monroeville, Ala. was scheduled to get underway on this Thursday, following signing of a work date contract Tues., March 13.

March 15, 1959 – Major League Baseball designated hitter and right fielder Harold Baines was born in Easton, Md. He would go on to play for the Chicago White Sox, the Texas Rangers, the Oakland Athletics, the Baltimore Orioles and the Cleveland Indians.

March 15, 1959 – Novelist and poet Ben Okri was born in Minna, Nigeria.

March 15, 1964 - A television version of Alabama author Borden Deal's story "For the Love of Willadean: Treasure in the Haunted House" was broadcast as part of the “Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color” series.

March 15, 1965 - President Lyndon B. Johnson gave a speech demanding legislation to guarantee equal voting rights for all Americans.

March 15, 1965 - Gen. Harold K. Johnson, Army Chief of Staff, reported on his recent visit to Vietnam to President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, admitting that the recent air raids ordered by President Johnson had not affected the course of the war and saying he would like to assign an American division to hold coastal enclaves and defend the Central Highlands.

March 15, 1971 – The Spring Term of Circuit Court in Conecuh County was scheduled to begin on this Monday morning at nine o’clock at the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key was to empanel the Grand Jury as the first order of business. District Attorney Ted Pearson of Monroeville and County Solicitor Henry J. Kinzer of Evergreen were to assist the jurors in their deliberations. Trial of cases on the Civil Bar Docket were to also begin Monday with cases set each day through Fri., March 19. There were 26 cases on the docket, according to Circuit Clerk Leon A. Salter.

March 15, 1972 – “The Godfather” – a three-hour epic chronicling the lives of the Corleones, an Italian-American crime family led by the powerful Vito Corleone (portrayed by actor Marlon Brando) – was released in theaters.

March 15, 1973 - President Nixon hinted that the United States might intervene again in Vietnam to prevent communist violations of the truce.

March 15, 1979 – Major League Baseball first baseman and third baseman Kevin Youkilis was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. He would go on to play for the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.

March 15, 1977 - At its meeting on this Tuesday night, the Evergreen (Ala.) City Council voted to rescind its action changing the name of that portion of Highway 83 North from the I-65 interchange to Rural Street to George C. Wallace Drive. The matter was to be open for discussion at the council’s next meeting on Tues., April 5. The council voted at its last meeting on March 1 to designate that portion of the street as Wallace Drive. It was named Liberty Hill Drive. Residents of Liberty Hill Drive had protested the change and some of them were present at the meeting on March 15 to present a petition against the change. One councilman, Lomax Cassady, had researched the matter and found that Liberty Hill Drive actually ended at Chapman Street and the remainder of the stretch was known as Skinnerton Road or Highway 83 North. He planned to suggest that the stretch from Chapman Street to the I-65 interchange be designated George C. Wallace Drive, he told The Courant.

March 15, 1977 - Arlton Hudson caught a 7-1/2 pound bass on this Tuesday on Sandy Creek in Conecuh County, Ala.

March 15, 1982 – The Brewton Historic Commercial District in Brewton, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

March 15, 1983 - Weather observer Earl Windham reported 1.21 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala.

March 15, 1985 – The first Internet domain name was registered (

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