Sunday, March 5, 2017

Today in History for March 4, 2017

Hilary A. Herbert
March 4, 1493 – Explorer Christopher Columbus arrived back in Lisbon, Portugal aboard his ship Niña from his voyage to what is now the Bahamas and other islands in the Caribbean.

March 4, 1519 – Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and its wealth.

March 4, 1766 - The British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the U.S. colonies.

March 4, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, the Continental Army, under Brigadier General John Thomas, fortified Dorchester Heights south of Boston with 2,000 troops, cannon and artillery, leading the British troops to abandon the Siege of Boston.

March 4, 1778 - The Continental Congress voted to ratify the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. The two treaties were the first entered into by the U.S. government.

March 4, 1778 - New Hampshire became the seventh state to ratify the Articles of Confederation.

March 4, 1789 – The modern United States was established when the U.S. Constitution formally replaced the Articles of Confederation. In New York City, the first Congress of the United States met, putting the United States Constitution into effect. The United States Bill of Rights was written and proposed to Congress.

March 4, 1791 - Vermont was admitted as the 14th U.S. state. It was the first addition to the original 13 American colonies.

March 4, 1794 - The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress, limiting the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state. Later interpretations expanded this to include citizens of the state being sued, as well.

March 4, 1797 – John Adams was inaugurated as the second president of the United States, succeeding George Washington in the first peaceful transfer of power between elected officials in modern times.

March 4, 1811 - Alabama author Hardin E. Taliaferro was born on a farm in Surry County, N.C.

March 4, 1826 - The first railroad in the U.S. was chartered, the Granite Railway in Quincy, Mass.

March 4, 1833 – John Murphy of Monroe County, Ala. began his term as U.S. Representative for Alabama’s 5th Congressional District.

March 4, 1836 - Santa Anna ordered his artillery batteries moved closer to the Alamo, and the prolonged artillery attack continued.

March 4, 1839 – James Dellet, a Whig from Claiborne, Ala., began his first term as U.S. Representative from Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. His term ended on March 3, 1841.

March 4, 1842 – A tornado struck Newtown, near Tuscaloosa, Ala., destroying a courthouse, a hotel, many homes and killing a young girl.

March 4, 1843 – James Dellet, a Whig from Claiborne, Ala., began his second term as U.S. Representative from Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. His term ended on March 4, 1845.

March 4, 1850 – The Orline St. John sank near Bridgeport Landing, north of Camden, Ala. Forty passengers and crew killed.

March 4, 1851 – English explorer James Richardson died at the age of 41 in Ngurutua near Kukawa, Bornu.

March 4, 1857 – James Adams Stallworth of Evergreen, Ala. began serving in the U.S. Congress. He would withdraw with the rest of the Alabama delegation in January 1861 when Alabama seceded from the Union at the start of the Civil War.

March 4, 1861 - Inauguration ceremonies for 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln were held in Washington.

March 4, 1861 - The first Confederate flag was raised over the Alabama capitol at 3:30 p.m. by Letita Tyler, granddaughter of former U.S. president John Tyler. The flag, which flew on a flagpole by the capitol clock, was not the Confederate battle flag, but the "First National Pattern," also known as the stars and bars.

March 4, 1862 – During the Civil War, Union forces occupied Amelia Island, Fla., and an eight-day Federal operation in Laclede, Wright and Douglas counties, Mo. began. Sante Fe, in the New Mexico Territory, was abandoned by Federal forces. Confederate Major General John Clifford Pemberton took the place of General Robert E. Lee as commander of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia and East Florida.

March 4, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Franklin, Rover and Unionville, Tenn. and in the vicinity of Dumfries, Va. A 10-day Federal expedition from Murfreesborough toward Columbia, Tenn. began.

March 4, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Rodney, Miss.; near Murfreesborough, Tenn.; and at Portsmouth, Va. Major General William T. Sherman’s Federal troops arrived back at Vicksburg, Miss. from the Meridian, Miss. Campaign.

March 4, 1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln began his second term as the 16th President of the United States. Within six weeks, the war was over and Lincoln had been assassinated.

March 4, 1865 – The third and final national flag of the Confederate States of America was adopted by the Confederate Congress.

March 4, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Pine Bluff, Ark. and at Phillip’s Crossroads, N.C. The Federal vessel, Thorn, was sunk by a torpedo in the Cape Fear River in the vicinity of Fort Anderson, N.C. A three-day Federal expedition from near Cheraw to Florence, S.C. began.

March 4, 1877 – Greenville, Ala. attorney and former Confederate officer Hilary A. Herbert began serving the first of his eight terms as U.S. Representative from Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District. He would serve in this position until March 3, 1893, four days before he began serving as the 33rd Secretary of the Navy.

March 4, 1880 - Halftone engraving was used for the first time when the "Daily Graphic" was published in New York City.

March 4, 1881 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author T. S. Stribling was born in Clifton, Tenn.

March 4, 1886 – Former Confederate soldier W.G. Riley died and was buried at Buena Vista Cemetery in Buena Vista, Ala. Born on July 2, 1820, he was listed as sick at Union Mills, Va. on Aug. 23, 1861 and was discharged on a surgeon’s certificate at Sangster Crossroads near Richmond on Sept. 17, 1861. He enlisted with Co. G, 7th Alabama Cavalry at Claiborne, Ala. on Aug. 8, 1863.

March 4, 1886 - Miss Hattie Stacy, the 29-year-old daughter of W.H. and Gennett Stacy, died at the home of her father. “After a protracted illness of more than three weeks, she quietly breathed her last,” according to The Monroe Journal. “She was a member of the Baptist Church at Midway, Monroe County, Ala., a devoted and obedient daughter and a Christian.”

March 4, 1888 – Notre Dame football coaching legend Knute Rockne was born in Voss, Norway.

March 4, 1891 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Dazzy Vance was born in Orient, Iowa. He went on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Yankees, the Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955.

March 4, 1897 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Lefty O’doul was born in San Francisco, Calif. He went on to play for the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

March 4, 1901 – According to the Alabama League of Municipalities, the Town of Red Level was officially incorporated as a municipality.

March 4, 1901 - A dramatic version of Alabama author Mary Johnston's book “To Have and To Hold” opened on Broadway.

March 4, 1906 – The Rev. Hasty, pastor of the Methodist Church at Shibboleth, preached on this first Sunday of the month rather than on the second Sunday, his regular day, on account of the quarterly conference which was held at Repton on the Sunday before the first Sunday.

March 4, 1907 – Richmond Pearson Hobson of Greensboro, Ala. began his first term as a Democratic U.S. Representative from Alabama. He would serve until March 3, 1915 and during that time, he proposed more than 20 constitutional amendments to ban alcohol. He was denied the Democratic nomination in 1916 to the 65th Congress.

March 4, 1913 - The New York Yankees traveled to Bermuda for spring practice. They were the first team to leave the U.S. to train.

March 4, 1913 - With trouble brewing between the great nations of Europe, Thomas Woodrow Wilson took office as the 28th president of the United States in Washington, D.C.

March 4, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the “local military company has been mustered out of service, having failed to measure up to the requirements of the military department on recent inspection.”

March 4, 1916 – Confederate veteran W.S. Crosby, one of Conecuh County, Alabama’s oldest citizens, died on this Saturday morning after an illness of several weeks. He was about 75 years old and funeral services were held on the morning of Sun., March 5.

March 4, 1918 – A 500-foot-long U.S. Navy supply ship, the USS Cyclops, sailed from Barbados to Norfolk with 309 aboard. The ship vanished in good weather without sending any radio messages, and no wreckage was ever found, presumably lost with all hands in the Bermuda Triangle.

March 4, 1918 - The flu pandemic (often referred to as the Spanish flu) was first observed at Fort Riley, Kansas, when a soldier fell ill. The pandemic, which lasted nearly a year, is estimated to have killed somewhere between 30 to 50 million people worldwide.

March 4, 1921 - Warren G. Harding took office as the 29th President of the United States. He was the great-grandson of Conecuh County, Alabama’s Henchie Warren, who is said to have hidden a chest of gold in Shipps Pond.

March 4, 1925 - Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office in Washington, D.C. as the presidential inauguration was broadcast on radio for the first time.

March 4, 1925 – National Baseball Hall of Fame infielder and pitcher John Montgomery Ward died at the age of 65 in Augusta, Ga. During his career, he played for the Providence Grays, the New York Gothams/Giants, the Brooklyn Ward’s Wonders and the New York Giants, and he also managed the Grays, the Gothams/Giants, the Wonders and the Grooms. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1964.

March 4, 1933 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt gave his inauguration speech in which he said "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself." By the time of his inauguration, the country had been mired in the Great Depression for more than three years. Roosevelt won in a landslide over Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover.

March 4, 1933 – Frances Perkins took her post as the U.S. Secretary of Labor and became the first woman to serve on an American president’s cabinet.

March 4, 1935 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “The Transient Lady” was released.

March 4, 1937 – Russian physician and explorer Yuri Senkevich was born in Choibalsan, Mongolia.

March 4, 1945 – Finland declared war on Nazi Germany.

March 4, 1952 - U.S. President Harry Truman dedicated the "Courier," the first seagoing radio broadcasting station.

March 4, 1952 - Ernest Hemingway completed his short novel “The Old Man and the Sea.” He wrote his publisher the same day, saying he had finished the book and that it was the best writing he had ever done. The critics agreed: The book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1953 and became one of his bestselling works.

March 4, 1954 - A television version of Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Detective's Holiday” was broadcast as part of the “Four Stars Playhouse” series.

March 4, 1958 – A Marine flight instructor and a Naval flight student were killed instantly in a T-28 trainer crash around 1:15 p.m. near the west boundary of Middleton Field, near the home of Len Mitchell, about five miles from Evergreen, Ala. The instructor was 1st Lt. David Bruce Mahorney, 25, of Hartford City, Indiana, and the student pilot was listed as Ensign Richard E. Cossitt of Atlanta. According to bystanders, the plane had just left the runway, flying north, when apparently motor trouble caused it to plunge to the ground.

March 4, 1958 – John Reid took the oath of office and began serving on the Evergreen, Ala. City Council. He was appointed to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of veteran councilman, O.B. Tuggle.

March 4, 1958 – Evergreen (Ala.) High School started spring football practice with 45 players reporting on this first day of practice. This was said to be “the largest number of men reporting for practice in the history of the school.” Returning lettermen included Paul Pace, George Bolton, Byron Warren, Wayne Peacock, Ken Tucker, Jimmy Bell, Robbie Boykin and Robert Ellington.

March 4, 1961 – Edward Waters and the Selma Chapter of the Daughters of American Colonists erected the “Postal Routes of 1820” historical marker at the intersection of State Highway 28 and State Highway 162 near Catherine in Wilcox County, Ala. The marker reads - “POSTAL ROUTES OF 1820 – Two miles north of this point was the intersection of two important postal routes of early Alabama, the Saint Stephens-Cahawba Road and the Tuskaloosa-Prairie Bluff Road.”

March 4, 1965 – The Evergreen Courant reported that two members of Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team were named to the all-tournament team at the conclusion of the Region 1, Area 2 tournament which was held in Evergreen, Ala. the week before. Billy Kendall, senior guard, and Jimmy Warren, senior pivotman, were named to 12-man all-star squad. Champion Monroeville placed three men on the squad as did Flomaton. Melvin Middleton, a senior, and Terry Salter and Mike Segers, both juniors, were chosen from Monroeville. Arvin Bell and Gwin Butler, seniors, and Steve Fore, junior, were named from Flomaton. T.R. Miller of Brewton had Mike Sasser and Bob Watson, both seniors, on the squad. Uriah’s Larry Harris and Georgiana’s Jimmy Weathers, both seniors, rounded out the squad chosen by coaches and officials.

March 4, 1965 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Durlyn Davis was Miss Lyeffion High School for 1965, having been crowned at the annual FHA Beauty Pageant. Durlyn was a senior and was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Davis.

March 4, 1965 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Miss Margaret Hagood, Alabama’s 1964 Junior Miss, crowned the 1965 Junior Miss, Miss Heather Strait of Montgomery, at the recent Junior Miss Pageant in Birmingham. Hagood completed her reign with the coronation of Strait. Hagood was the daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph H. Hagood of Evergreen, Ala.

March 4, 1965 – Novelist Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan.

March 4, 1965 – The Monroe Journal reported that Col. R.C. Marshall, U.S. Army District Engineer at Mobile, Ala., had called for bids for the first construction job on the Claiborne Lock and Dam, the lowermost of the three lock and dams being built on the Alabama River to provide barge navigation between Mobile and Montgomery. Bids were to be opened at 11 a.m. on March 16 at the Corps of Engineers district office at 2301 Airport Blvd., Mobile, for excavating the lock area and constructing embankments on the east side of the river. Engineers estimated that about 815,000 cubic yards of material were to be removed from the lock excavation and about 83,150 cubic yards of material would be placed in compacted fills.

March 4, 1965 – Monroe County High School’s varsity boys basketball team was scheduled to play Lexington in the State Class AA Tournament in Tuscaloosa. Members of MCHS’s team were Bobby Colquett, Milton Coxwell, Melvin Middleton, Gary Downs, Tony Grantham, John Allen Stabler, Mike Segers, Terry Salter, Larry Bryant, Coy Tatum and Johnny Brannon. Ronnie Dees was MCHS’s head coach.

March 4, 1968 - In a draft memorandum to the president, the Ad Hoc Task Force on Vietnam advised that the administration send 22,000 more troops to Vietnam, but make deployment of the additional 185,000 men previously requested by Gen. William Westmoreland (senior U.S. commander in Vietnam) contingent on future developments.

March 4, 1974 – “People” magazine was published for the first time in the United States as “People Weekly.”

March 4, 1976 - A radio version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "The Monk and the Hangman's Daughter" was broadcast as part of the series “The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre.”

March 4, 1976 – Major League Baseball outfielder Hiram Bocachica was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Detroit Tigers, the Seattle Mariners, the Oakland Athletics and the San Diego Padres.

March 4, 1983 – Pensacola, Fla. firefighter Eddie Frank Jackson was killed in the line of duty.

March 4, 1986 - "Today" debuted in London as England’s newest, national, daily newspaper.

March 4, 1991 - Sheik Saad al-Jaber al-Sabah, the prime minister of Kuwait, returned to his country for the first time since Iraq's invasion.

March 4, 1999 - Monica Lewinsky's book about her affair with U.S. President Bill Clinton went on sale in the U.S.

March 4, 2009 – Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback George McAfee died at the age of 90 in Decatur, Ga. During his career, he played for Duke University and the Chicago Bears. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

March 4, 2010 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Conecuh County Sheriff Edwin L. Booker had announced that week that he had qualified for the Democratic nomination for re-election as Sheriff of Conecuh County in the June 2010 primary. Booker had previously served as Sheriff from 1975 to 1995 and then from 2006 to this point in 2010.

March 4, 2010 – The Evergreen Courant reported that David Cook Jr. had announced his candidacy for re-election to the Conecuh County Board of Education, District 2. He was currently serving his fourth term as a member of the board and had served as board president for 12 years.

March 4, 2012 – Major League Baseball first baseman Don Mincher passed away in Huntsville, Ala. at the age of 73. During his career, he played for the Washington Senators, the Minnesota Twins, the California Angels, the Seattle Pilots, the Oakland Athletics and the Texas Rangers.

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