|Catherine Ann Keener as Harper Lee.|
March 23, 1066 - The 18th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet took place.
March 23, 1400 – The Trần dynasty of Vietnam was deposed, after 175 years of rule, by Hồ Quý Ly, a court official.
March 23, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Salem Marshal Deputy Samuel Brabrook arrested four-year-old Dorothy Good.
March 23, 1699 – Botanist, horticulturist and explorer John Bartram was born in Darby, Pennsylvania Colony.
March 23, 1743 - Handel's "Messiah" was performed in London for the first time at the Covent Garden theatre. It was presented under the name "New Sacred Oratorio" until 1749.
March 23, 1775 – During the American Revolutionary War, Patrick Henry delivered his speech – "Give me Liberty, or give me Death!" – at St. John's Episcopal Church, Richmond, Virginia. The speech was delivered to the Second Virginia Convention, a meeting of American colonial leaders, and Henry urged them to ally themselves with besieged Boston. There were 120 delegates at the meeting, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Henry.
March 23, 1806 – Thomas Wesley Simpson Jr., an early Conecuh County, Ala. settler and Freemason, was born in South Carolina. Simpson died at the age of 54 on June 1, 1861 and was buried in the Burnett-Donald-Simpson Cemetery at Belleville.
March 23, 1806 – After traveling through the Louisiana Purchase and reaching the Pacific Ocean, explorers Lewis and Clark and their "Corps of Discovery" began their arduous journey home.
March 23, 1814 – Judge John K. Henry was born in Hancock County, Ga. He moved to Alabama in 1819 and was elected Circuit Court Judge in Butler County in 1860. He was elected in 1884 to represent Butler and Conecuh counties in the State Senate.
March 23, 1823 – A mail route from Hartford, Ga. to Sparta, Ala. was established.
March 23, 1835 - Charles Darwin reached Los Arenales in the Andes.
March 23, 1839 - The first recorded printed use of "OK" [oll korrect] occurred in Boston's Morning Post.
March 23, 1857 – Fannie Merritt Farmer was born in Boston, Mass. She’s known for publishing the first cookbook in American history that came with simple, precise cooking instructions.
March 23, 1860 - Husband poisoner Ann Bilansky became the first and only woman hanged by the state of Minnesota on this date.
March 23, 1861 – A flag was presented to the Claiborne Guards at the Masonic Hall in Claiborne, Ala.
March 23, 1861 - Fort Chadbourne, Texas was abandoned by Federal forces
March 23, 1862 – The First Battle of Kernstown, Va. marked the start of Confederate General Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson's Valley Campaign. Though a Confederate defeat, the engagement distracted Federal efforts to capture Richmond. Jackson’s troop losses included some 80 killed, 375 wounded, and 260 missing or captured, while the Union lost 118 dead, 450 wounded, and 22 missing.
March 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Smyrna, Fla.; and in the vicinity of Carthage, Mo. A Federal operation was also conducted between Point Pleasant and Little River, Mo. The Federal siege of Fort Macon, in the vicinity of Beaufort, N.C. began.
March 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, U.S. Grant wrapped up several days of consultations in Cincinnati with William T. Sherman. Grant headed for Washington to get to work and Sherman headed back for Nashville to plan his campaign that would include the March to the Sea through Georgia. A seven-day Federal operation out of Fayettesville, Ark. began, and an eight-day Federal operation began against Jacksonville, Fla. A Federal operation began in the vicinity of Ponchatoula, La.
March 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians along the Eel River in California; at Ocklockonnee Bay, Fla.; at Danville, Ky.; in the vicinity of Rocky Creek, N.C.; at Thompson’s station and near La Grange, Tenn., on Davis’ Mill Road; at Benton, Ark.; and on the Little River Turnpike, near Chantilly, Va. An attack was carried out on the Warrenton, Miss. batteries by the Albatross and the Hartford, below Vicksburg, Miss. A nine-day Federal operation between Bloomfield and Scatterville, Mo. began, and a Confederate attack on Williamsburg, Va. was repulsed.
March 23, 1864 - An 11-day Federal expedition began in the vicinity of Camden, Ark.
March 23, 1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln boarded the "River Queen" with his wife and son Tad. The first family was headed to General Grant's headquarters at City Point, Virginia.
March 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, “Spurling’s Raid” into Conecuh County, Ala. began.
March 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Dannelly’s Mills, Ala. and along the Neuse River at Cox’s Bridge, N.C. A two-day Federal operation between Donaldsonville and Bayou Goula, La. began.
March 23, 1881 – French author Roger Martin du Gard, who won the 1937 Noble Prize in literature, was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
March 23, 1885 – During the Sino-French War, the Chinese victory in the Battle of Phu Lam Tao took place near Hưng Hóa, northern Vietnam.
March 23, 1886 - Some dogs chased three fine deer into Monroeville’s corporate limits on this Tuesday morning, and “had it not been so near to the court house, it is probable that they might not have escaped to tell of their adventure,” according to The Monroe Journal.
March 23, 1886 - A negro woman was burned to death on Mr. Cassel Garrett’s plantation near Midway in Monroe County on this Tuesday. She was endeavoring to extinguish the fire, which had caught the fence from a burning tree, when her clothing became ignited and the poor woman burned to death before assistance could reach her.
March 23, 1887 - Writer Josef Čapek was born in Hronov in what is now the Czech Republic. He is best known for inventing the word “robot.”
March 23, 1889 - U.S. President Benjamin Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization.
March 23, 1896 - Miss Hortense Deer, who had been attending school at Pensacola, returned home to Monroeville on this Monday. The presence of small pox in Pensacola alarmed her parents, who advised her to return home.
March 23, 1899 – Writer Louis Adamic was born in Blato in what is now Slovenia.
March 23, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroe County Deputy Sheriff B.H. Stallworth arrested a man on charges of carrying concealed weapons and also on the belief that he was one of the men involved in the shooting of Prof. Claude Hardy near Pine Apple, Ala.
March 23, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Callie Faulk had returned home to Monroeville, Ala. from Bay Minette, where she’d been teaching for several months. Now back in Monroeville, she planned to join her sister, Miss Jennie Faulk, in operating a millinery business.
March 23, 1909 - British Lt. Ernest Shackleton found the magnetic South Pole.
March 23, 1909 – Theodore Roosevelt left New York for a post-presidency safari in Africa. The trip was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution and the National Geographic Society.
March 23, 1911 – The Conecuh Record reported that Capt. Lewis had been arrested in connection with the death of his brother, Andrew Lewis, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn, Ala. that week. Capt. Lewis, who was the only person present at the shooting, claimed it was suicide.
March 23, 1912 - Alabama author Wernher Von Braun was born in Wirsitz, Germany. Von Braun, a rocket scientist, is generally regarded as the father of the United States space program.
March 23, 1913 – California novelist Jack London wrote to six writers, including H.G. Wells and George Bernard Shaw, asking how much they were paid for their writing. London, who grew up in extreme poverty, always claimed that his chief motive for writing was money. He told his colleagues, “I have published 33 books, as well as an ocean of magazine stuff, and yet I have never heard the rates that other writers receive.”
March 23, 1915 – The temperature dropped to 31 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
March 23, 1916 - On this Thursday night, in the auditorium in Monroeville, Ala., a concert was scheduled to be given under the auspices of the local Music Club. The program was to “be furnished by a gifted violinist and several other artists from Selma and other towns, and you may expect an evening of genuine pleasure,” The Monroe Journal said.
March 23, 1918 – Reuben F. Kolb of Kolb’s Battery passed away at the age of 78. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Ala.
March 23, 1918 – During the First World War, on the third day of the German Spring Offensive, the 10th Battalion of the Royal West Kent Regiment was annihilated with many of the men becoming prisoners of war.
March 23, 1918 - At 7:20 in the morning, an explosion in the Place de la Republique in Paris announced the first attack of a new German gun, the 210-mm Pariskanone, or Paris gun, which had a 118-foot-long barrel and could fire a shell the impressive distance of some 130,000 feet, or 25 miles, into the air.
March 23, 1925 – In H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional work, “The Call of Cthulhu,” the surviving crew of the Emma, which had commandeered the “Alert” after the “Emma” was lost in a battle the day before, discovered an island in the vicinity of co-ordinates of 47°9′S 126°43′W—despite there being no charted islands in the area. They had the misfortune to encounter Cthulhu itself. With the exception of Johansen and another man, the remaining crew died on the island, but Johansen was apparently "queerly reticent" about the circumstances of their death.
March 23, 1932 - The Monroeville baseball team went to Brewton on this Wednesday, and the final score was 11 to 0 in favor of Brewton.
March 23, 1933 – The German Reichstag passed the Enabling Act of 1933, making Adolf Hitler dictator of Germany.
March 23, 1935 – Novelist, poet and translator David Slavitt was born in White Plains, N.Y.
March 23, 1942 – The U.S. government began moving Japanese-Americans from their West Coast homes to internment camps.
March 23, 1943 - Alabama author Winston Groom was born in Washington, D.C.
March 23, 1943 – Major League Baseball first baseman and designated hitter Lee May was born in Birmingham, Ala. After starring in baseball and football at A.H. Parker High School in Birmingham, May, who was known as the “Big Bopper,” went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds, the Houston Astros, the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals.
March 23, 1952 – Science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson was born in Waukegan, Illinois.
March 23, 1955 – Mobile, Alabama’s Milt Bolling had a career-threatening injury when he broke his left elbow in a Spring Training baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals after he had already won the starting role at shortstop for the season. He was expected to return after six weeks, but ended up playing in only six games for the entire season. By the time Bolling got a clean bill of health, he had lost his starting job to Don Buddin for the 1956 season.
March 23, 1956 – National Book Award novelist Julia Glass was born in Boston.
March 23, 1959 – Catherine Ann Keener was born in Miami, Fla. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for her role as Harper Lee in 2005’s “Capote.”
March 23, 1961 - One of the first American casualties in Southeast Asia, an intelligence-gathering plane en route from Laos to Saigon was shot down over the Plain of Jars in central Laos.
March 23, 1962 - The Evergreen Quarterback Club was scheduled to give special recognition to all of the school’s outstanding athletes and all phases of sports at Evergreen High School at a sports banquet on this day in the school cafeteria. The D.T. Stuart Sportsmanship Trophy was to be presented, and the guest speaker was to be Richmond Flowers, a candidate for Alabama attorney general. The Rev. Tom Tidwell was present of the EHS QB Club.
March 23, 1968 - Kathy Johnson reigned as 1968 Miss Lyeffion High School, having been crowned before a capacity audience at the Miss Lyeffion Beauty Pageant on this Saturday night.
March 23, 1970 - Prom Peking, Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia issued a public call for arms to be used against the Lon Nol government in Phnom Penh and requested the establishment of the National United Front of Kampuchea (FUNK) to unite all opposition factions against Lon Nol.
March 23, 1971 - The Boston Patriots officially announced their name would change to the New England Patriots.
March 23, 1976 – Major League Baseball pitcher Joel Peralta was born in Bonao, Dominican Republic. He went on to play for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Kansas City Royals, the Colorado Rockies, the Washington Nationals, the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
March 23, 1976 – Journalist and author Jayson Blair was born in Columbia, Md.
March 23, 1976 - Actress Michelle Monaghan was born in Winthrop, Iowa.
March 23, 1976 – NFL center Jeremy Newberry was born in Antioch, Calif. He went on to play for the University of California, the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers.
March 23, 1976 – Actress Keri Russell was born in Fountain Valley, Calif.
March 23, 1977 – The first of The Nixon Interviews (12 would be recorded over four weeks) were videotaped with British journalist David Frost interviewing former United States President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal and the Nixon tapes.
March 23, 1985 – NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew was born in Oakland, Calif. He would go on the play for UCLA, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Oakland Raiders.
March 23, 1990 – The Cathcart House in Alberta in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
March 23, 1991 - The London Monarchs beat the Frankfurt Galaxy, 24-11, in the World League of American Football's (WLAF) first game.
March 23, 1992 - Author John Hazard Wildman died in Mobile, Ala.
March 23, 1992 - The 47th Annual Conecuh County 4-H and FFA Steer Show was scheduled to be held on this Monday at the Evergreen Cooperative Stockyard Livestock Arena. The exhibitors of steers were to be Michael Lambert, Vanessa Stuart, Courtney Cook, Jeff Myers, Jonathan Jernigan, Shannon Pugh, Will Cook, Wendy Stacey, Shannon Ballard, Chip Stacey, Britt Ward, Amy Ballard and Jennifer Pettis.
March 23, 1992 - Monroe Academy won its fourth straight baseball game on this Monday, after losing its first two games of the season, when the Volunteers pounded Wilcox Academy, 14-2, in Camden. Prior to the win over Wilcox, the Vols upended Greenville Academy, 15-5, on Tues., March 17, at MA, then drilled Lowndes Academy, 15-7, on Fri., March 20, at MA. Standout Monroe players in those games included Nick Ackerman, Coleman Clark, Shanandoah McLaurin, Stephen Newsome, Johnny Pickens, Billy Rice, Landry Sawyer, Brent Terry, Mitchell Turberville, Sam Ulmer, Tommy Weatherford. Gary Caldwell was MA’s head baseball coach.
March 23, 1998 – During a closed, executive session, the Conecuh County Board of Education interviewed three candidates for the vacant Hillcrest High School head football coach position.
March 23, 1998 - The movie "Titanic" won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards.
March 23, 1999 - Bestselling author Thomas Harris delivered his 600-page manuscript for his new novel, “Hannibal,” to Delacorte press.
March 23, 2001 - Mir, the Russian space station, met its fiery end on this day, as it broke up in the atmosphere before falling into the Pacific Ocean near Fiji.
March 23, 2003 – The Battle of Nasiriyah, the first major conflict during the invasion of Iraq, occurred.
March 23, 2009 – NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth, a native of Alabama, was announced as becoming part-owner of his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, as part of the Rooney family restructuring ownership of the team.
March 23, 2010 – President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, the most sweeping piece of federal legislation since Medicare was passed in 1965.
March 23, 2013 – Major League Baseball pitcher Virgil Trucks, a native of Birmingham, passed away at the age of 95 in Calera, Ala. At the time of his death, he was one of the oldest living former major league players. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Browns, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Athletics and the New York Yankees.
March 23, 2015 – Former Leroy High School and Auburn University wide receiver Sammie Coates was featured in a five-page story by Andy Staples in Sports Illustrated.