Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wilcox County Confederate Monument was unveiled 137 years ago today

Wilcox County Confederate Monument
Today – April 26 – marks the 137th anniversary of one of the most monumental days in the history of Wilcox County, for it was on this day in 1880 that the Wilcox County Confederate Monument was unveiled and dedicated before a large crowd at the historic Camden Cemetery.

What we now call Confederate Memorial Day was originally celebrated in Alabama every April 26 because it marked the anniversary of the day in 1865 when Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered in North Carolina, ending major hostilities in the Civil War. April 26, 1880 fell on a Monday, and Wilcox County officials declared it a holiday so that everyone could take part in the unveiling of the Wilcox County Confederate Monument in Camden.

By 11 a.m. that day, a large crowd had gathered at the Wilcox County Courthouse, and a short time later a procession made up of Confederate veterans, citizens and a coronet band began parading up Broad Street toward the cemetery to the tune of “Dixie.” As the parade traveled up the street, sources say that the crowd grew in size as it marched toward the shade of a grove of trees, where Confederate Major Charles Lewis Scott was to speak at noon. Scott, who was wounded at the First Battle of Manassas, took the stand at the appointed time and delivered a speech so emotionally stirring that folks in the crowd, just 15 years removed from the war’s end, began to weep openly.

Later that afternoon, Scott, along with other veterans and members of the Dale Masonic Lodge, gathered at the base of the monument, where a few minutes later the veil was withdrawn from the statue of a lone Confederate soldier with his rifle “at rest,” that is, with the muzzle turned down. Eventually the crowd dispersed, but this unnamed rebel soldier made of Alabama granite has maintained his watch over his post every day since the veil was dropped.

April 26, 1880 was also a significant day because it wrapped up 14 years of fundraising by the Wilcox Monumental Association and the Ladies Memorial Association. Despite the financial hardships of Reconstruction, these groups raised $1,545.45, which is around $34,300 in today’s dollars. The statue’s designer and sculptor received $1,061.39; around $300 was paid to prepare the earth foundation beneath the heavy statue; around $200 was paid for the fence around the monument; and $50 was paid to Mr. and Mrs. A.A. Newsome for the plot of land the statue was placed on.

If you visit the monument today, you’ll see that beneath the statue each face of the base carries a different inscription. The west-facing front of the base tells the reader that the statue was erected in memory of the “Confederate Dead of Wilcox County” from between the years of 1861 to 1865. You’ll also see a quote by Confederate President Jefferson Davis that reads, “The manner of their death was the crowning glory of their lives.”

The south side of the base bears a couple of lines of poetry from Father Ryan – “When marble wears away and monuments are dust, the songs that guard our soldiers’ clay will still fulfill their trust.” Father Ryan was the moniker of the Rev. Abram Joseph Ryan, a Catholic priest, who was also known as the “Poet-Priest of the South” and as the “Poet Laureate of the Confederacy.” Born in Maryland in 1838, Ryan died in Kentucky in 1886 and is buried in the Old Catholic Cemetery in Mobile.

The east side of the base states that the statue was erected by the Ladies Memorial and Wilcox Monumental Associations on April 26, 1880, while the north side of the base lets readers know that the county’s Civil War dead “gave their lives for us; for the honor of Alabama; for the rights of the states; and for the principles of this Union as these were handed down to us by the fathers of our common country.”

In the end, it’s said that Wilcox County’s Confederate Monument was the second such monument erected in the entire state of Alabama. Most of these types of monuments were erected in the early 1900s, but according to Shannon Fontaine with the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the only Alabama Confederate monument that’s older than the one in Camden is the Confederate monument in Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery. That monument was erected by the Ladies Memorial Association of Montgomery in April 1868.

Today in History for April 26, 2017

Old Monroe County Courthouse
April 26, 1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).

April 26, 1607 - The British established an American colony at Cape Henry, Va. It was the first permanent English establishment in the Western Hemisphere.

April 26, 1711 - David Hume was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. His essay "Idea of a Perfect Commonwealth" greatly affected the ideas of the drafters of the American Federal Constitution.

April 26, 1777 – Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British.

April 26, 1785 – Ornithologist and artist John James Audubon was born in Les Cayes in what is now Haiti.

April 26, 1819 - The first Odd Fellows lodge in the U.S. was established in Baltimore, Md.

April 26, 1861 – During the Civil War, the occupation of Grafton, West Virginia by Federal forces began, and Federal mail service was cut to the Confederate states.

April 26, 1861 - The economy of Georgia got a small boost on this day during the Civil War. Governor Joseph Brown issued an order to the residents of his state. In it he repudiated all debts owed by any of his citizens - not to mention the state itself or any of its agencies - to any Northern person or company. Brown was occasionally as big a problem to his own President as he was to the North.

April 26, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Fort Baker, Calif. along the Eel River; at Neosho and Turnback Creek in Missouri; at Arkins’ Mill and another at Forked Deer River, Tenn.; and in the vicinity of Yorktown, Va.

April 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, Union Col. Abel D. Streight’s cavalry operation from Tuscumbia, Ala. to Rome, Ga. began. His troops were mounted on mules because of a dearth of horses.

April 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, a four-day Federal operation around Celina, Ky. began, and a four-day Federal operation between Opelousas and Niblett’s Bluff, La. began. Skirmishes were fought at Altamont, Cranberry Summit, Oakland, Jackson and Cape Girardeau, Mo.; in the vicinity of College Grove and Little Rock Landing, Tenn.; at Oak Grove, Va.; at Burlington, Portland and Rowlesburg, West Virginia.

April 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Alexandria, Bayou Rapides, Bridge (near McNutt’s Hill) Deloach’s Bluff, and at the junction of the Cane and Red Rivers in Louisiana. The Red River expedition had already been given up on and written off as a failure. The water level on the river was dropping so fast, due to an ongoing drought. The ships were under constant attack from shore. The ships above the rapids were trapped, and the others, including Admiral Porter’s flagship, USS Cricket, were hit repeatedly by small arms and even artillery fire from Gen. Richard Taylor’s men.

April 26, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in Wayne County, Mo.; in the vicinity of Little Rock, Ark.; and in the vicinity of Winchester, Va. An 11-day Federal operation between Jacksonville and Lake Monroe, Fla. began. The Federal evacuation of Washington, N.C. began due to Confederate occupation of Plymouth, NC.

April 26, 1865 – During the Civil War, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered his army, the Army of Tennessee, to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. This day is also the date of Confederate Memorial Day for two states.

April 26, 1865 - John Wilkes Booth, 26, was shot and killed when Union soldiers tracked him down to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln.

April 26, 1888 – Novelist and screenwriter Anita Loos was born in Mount Shasta, Calif.

April 26, 1889 – Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein was born in Vienna.

April 26, 1900 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Hack Wilson was born in Ellwood City, Pa. He would go on to play for the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1979.

April 26, 1900 – Geophysicist and seismologist Charles Richter, who devised the earthquake grading scale that bears his name, was born in Overpeck, Ohio.

April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.O. Archer, J.L. Marshall, R.C. Pittman of Mexia and W.W. Davis of Manistee were all attending the reunion of Confederate veterans in New Orleans.

April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Provo community, that Dan Fore, who got lost in the woods while looking for cattle, had safely returned to his home. His disappearance created “quite a sensation, for three days the woods were scouted to no avail,” but at last he returned.

April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Pineapple community, reported that Lucher Ingram, who had reportedly disappeared from his home, had returned, but it was said that “his mind was affected.”

April 26, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Buena Vista’s Annual Memorial festivities would be held on Thurs. May 3, and that the community’s graveyard was “nicely cleaned and every year head and footboards, or tombstones,” were erected.

April 26, 1912 - Hugh Bradley of the Boston Red Sox hit the first home run in Fenway Park.

April 26, 1914 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Bernard Malamud was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. He is best known for his classic 1952 baseball novel, “The Natural.”

April 26, 1915 – The P.D. Bowles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy held a Confederate Memorial Day ceremony at the Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen, Ala. It was the first ceremony of its type in Evergreen and an estimated crowd of more than 500 attended. Mrs. E.C. Page, president of the UDC Chapter, was the master of ceremonies, and Dr. J.G. Dickinson, pastor of the Baptist Church, delivered the memorial address.

April 26, 1915 – The United Daughters of the Confederacy celebrated Confederate Memorial Day on “behalf of the surviving soldiers” in the auditorium at Monroe County High School in Monroeville, Ala. Speakers included Mr. Biggs, the Rev. D.F. Ellisor, Mrs. Barnett, Miss Shell and Congressman Oscar L. Gray. Musical performances were conducted by the High School Chorus Club, a quartette made up of Messrs. Coxwell, Sowell, Henson and McDuffie. Songs included “Dixie,” “The Bonnie Blue Flag” and “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground.”

April 26, 1915 - After receiving the promise of significant territorial gains, Italy signed the Treaty of London, committing itself to enter World War I on the side of the Allies.

April 26, 1917 – Major League Baseball pitcher Virgil Trucks was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers, the St. Louis Browns, the Chicago White Sox, the Kansas City Athletics and the New York Yankees.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. T.E. Dennis was occupying his “elegant” new dwelling on North Main Street.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. J.D. Ratcliffe’s “handsome new bungalow” on North Main Street was in course of erection.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. Hugh Cameron and family were “cozily domiciled in their pretty new home” in Monvil Park.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that the walls of the Lazenby Mercantile Company’s new brick store on Northside were practically completed. The building was expected to be ready for the transfer of stock within a few weeks.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. G.B. Sellers, proprietor of the local waterworks, was having a concrete storage reservoir of considerable capacity put in at the pumping station. It was hoped that the reserve of water thus made available would be sufficient to tide over periods when the deep well pump may be put temporarily out of commission.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.B. Barnett, Esq., attended the State Sunday School Convention in Montgomery earlier that week.

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mrs. A.B. Coxwell “placed the editorial household under obligations for a mess of new potatoes, the first of the season.”

April 26, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. G.B. Barnett attended the meeting of the Alabama Good Roads Association in Birmingham during the previous week.

April 26, 1917 - Confederate memorial services were to be conducted at the cemetery on this Friday afternoon in Evergreen. The memorial address was to be delivered by Rev. Chas. Lane of Macon, Ga. The program arranged promised to be the most interesting of any yet held in Evergreen.

April 26, 1921 - Weather broadcasts were heard for the first time on radio in St. Louis, Mo.

April 26, 1931 - New York Yankee Lou Gehrig hit a home run but was called out for passing a runner.

April 26, 1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.

April 26, 1933 - American comedienne Carol Burnett was born in San Antonio, Texas.

April 26, 1937 – The civilian Basque town of Guernica was bombed during the Spanish Civil War by allied Nazi and Italian planes at the request of Spanish nationalist leader Francisco Franco.

April 26, 1940 - A special program for the observance of the Pix Theatre’s third anniversary was to be held on this Friday, according to Manager Haywood Hanna. On the screen that day was to be seen “The Farmer’s Daughter,” starring comedienne Martha Raye. The lobby of the Pix was to be beautifully decorated with flowers by the Evergreen Garden Clubs.

April 26, 1941 - An organ was played at a baseball stadium for the first time in Chicago, Ill.

April 26, 1946 – American miner, explorer and park ranger James Larkin White passed away at the age of 63 in Carlsbad, N.M.

April 26, 1946 - Handy Ellis, candidate for governor in the primary election, spoke in Evergreen, Ala. on this Friday night from the bandstand in the business section of town, using a public address system. He was heard by several hundred persons most of whom were sitting in automobiles around the business section. Ellis was introduced by H.D. Weathers, his campaign manager for Conecuh County, who lauded his fine record in the legislature for the past quarter of a century. The appearance of Ellis was the second of the gubernatorial candidates to speak in Evergreen. Big Jim Folsom appeared in Evergreen several weeks before.

April 26, 1948 - A 750-pound calf owned by James Norris was judged Grand Champion during the Evergreen Jaycees’ Second Annual Fat Calf Show in Evergreen, Ala.

April 26, 1951 – Army Sgt. Paul R. Goodson, 22, of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea while serving with the 21st Infantry, 24th Infantry Division. Born on Dec. 16, 1928, he is buried in the McCullough Community Cemetery in Escambia County.

April 26, 1954 – English mountaineer and explorer Alan Hinkes was born in Northallerton in North Yorkshire.

April 26, 1958 – The ground-breaking ceremony was held for Weiss Dam, with over 10,000 attending – if the number of barbecue plates served is an accurate indicator. Construction began three months later, and by 1962 the plant was fully operational. It was the last dam build under Tom Martin’s supervision.

April 26, 1966 - Alabama author Natasha Trethewey was born in Gulfport, Miss.

April 26, 1967 – Sidney Lanier beat Evergreen, 8-1, in Montgomery. For 2-1/3 innings, the game was tight as Homer Faulkner struck out six of the first eight batters he faced. In the fifth inning, the Aggies got their only run when Faulkner got on by an error. He advanced to third on a single and a sacrifice. Wayne Caylor finally brought him in with a sacrifice fly. Aggie hits were made by Grover Jackson, Leon Hinson and Faulkner.

April 26, 1971 - The U.S. command in Saigon announced that the U.S. force level in Vietnam is 281,400 men, the lowest since July 1966.

April 26, 1972 - President Nixon, despite the ongoing communist offensive, announced that another 20,000 U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Vietnam in May and June, reducing authorized troop strength to 49,000.

April 26, 1973 – The Old Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville, Ala. was added to National Register of Historic Places.

April 26, 1973 – The Boll Weevil Monument in Enterprise, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

April 26, 1976 – Escambia Academy’s baseball team edged Sparta Academy, 3-2, with Jerry Peacock getting tagged with the loss although he gave up only five hits.

April 26, 1977 – The Sparta Academy baseball team improved to 5-8 on the season with a 10-6 win over Greenville Academy in Greenville. Terry Peacock was the winning pitcher. Jerry Peacock and Hugh Bradford led the offense with two hits each.

April 26, 1977 – Sparta Academy’s girls softball team dropped to 0-4 on the season after a pair of losses in a double header against Escambia Academy at the Murphy Club Park in Evergreen, Ala. Escambia won the first game, 17-4, and the second game, 9-3.

April 26, 1982 – Former Auburn University tight end Cooper Wallace was born in Nashville, Tenn. After college, he went on to play for the Tennessee Titans.

April 26, 1986 – The Chernobyl disaster occurred in the USSR when flawed reactor design and lax safety standards led to one of the largest nuclear disasters in history, resulting in the evacuation of over 100,000 residents living in and around Chernobyl.

April 26, 1988 - Deatrich Wendell Wise of Evergreen, Ala., a senior at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss., was selected seventh in the ninth round of the NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks.

April 26, 1995 - Coors Field officially opened in Denver, Colo., and the Rockies beat the New York Mets, 11-9, in 14 innings.

April 26, 2007 – Major League Baseball’s Will Clark was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

April 26, 2011 – Excel High School’s varsity softball team closed out regular season play on this Tuesday in Excel with a 5-2 loss to Thomasville’s Lady Tigers. Courtney Addison pitched five innings against Thomasville and allowed five runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks while striking out two. Kayla Jordan relieved her in the sixth and shutout the Lady Tigers. Other standout softball players on Excel’s team that year included Morgan Agerton, Lauren Anderson, Amy Hudson, Claire Jordan and Hunter Silcox. 

April 26, 2016 – A UFO was reported around 9:35 p.m. on this Tuesday in Birmingham, Ala. The witness in this case was sitting on the front porch with his mom’s boyfriend and fiancé when they saw a light in the sky that appeared out of nowhere. Within a few seconds, the light flew over the house, which prompted the witness to run off the porch for a better look. He watched as the light “zipped in a zig-zag pattern” before disappearing from sight. 

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., April 26, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.05 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 6.15 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 26.55 inches.

Notes: Today is the 116th day of 2017 and the 38th day of Spring. There are 249 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for April 25, 2017

U.S. Senator Howell Heflin
APRIL 22, 2004

Weather observer Harry Ellis reported 1.25 inches of rain on April 12 and .03 inches on April 13. He reported a high of 83 degrees on April 18 and a low of 36 degrees on April 13.

Carter named Repton Mayor: After a month of only two council members, Repton now has a full council and a new mayor.
Terri Carter, Elizabeth Drawhorn and Linda Green were appointed by Gov. Bob Riley and took office Monday night at a special called town meeting amid Repton residents, Conecuh County officials and two security guards. The three joined existing members Connie Gibson and Denease Watkins to form an all-woman council.
Carter was chosen Monday night by her fellow council members to serve as the new mayor until the upcoming election in August.

The Evergreen Volunteer Fire Department and the Evergreen City Council held a dedication ceremony for the new fire truck during the regular meeting of the city council Tuesday night. They are pictured with the new Pierce Fire Truck that was delivered last week.

Mack Salter celebrated his 100th birthday on Sat., April 17, 2004 at his home in the Fairview Community. Mr. Salter was born on April 20, 1904.
He was honored with a special certificate from the White House and a very special pictorial personalized birthday card from his entire family.

APRIL 26, 1979

Weather observer Earl Windham reported .02 inches of rain on April 21. He reported highs of 86 degrees on April 18 and April 21 and a low of 47 on April 16.

Jonestown victim is buried here: Mrs. Millie Steans Cunningham, a native of Evergreen who died in the infamous massacre and mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana, South America on Nov. 18, 1978, was buried here Friday.
Graveside services were held Friday afternoon at one o’clock at the First Mt. Zion Church Cemetery with the Rev. Eddie Lee officiating and Presley Funeral Home directing.

U.S. Senator Howell Heflin was here last Thursday morning for a “Dutch treat” breakfast at the Holiday Inn (it turned out not to be “Dutch” as an anonymous donor paid for the breakfast). The senator and former Alabama Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was introduced by Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key, who was in law school with Heflin at the University of Alabama.

The Evergreen High School FFA Chapter surprised Butch Adams, veteran photographer-reporter for The Evergreen Courant, last Thursday when Chapter President Johnny Stowers presented Adams with a handsome plaque honoring the accommodating, ever-present Butch with the “FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer Degree.” Other Chapter officers present for the presentation were David Crosby, Sentinel; Tracey Weaver, Vice President; and Ernie Edeker, Secretary.

APRIL 22, 1954

Auto Accident Takes Two Lives Here Monday: A head-on collision of two automobiles near the city limits on Brooklyn Road took the lives of two well known and prominent citizens shortly after noon Monday. S.R. Amos, age 61, postmaster at Brooklyn and member of Conecuh County Board of Education, was one of the victims and Pink W. Barlow, age 73, successful farmer of the Old Town community was the other.
It will probably never been known just what caused the accident as both men were riding alone and there were no eyewitnesses. Both men died shortly after the smash-up. Officers investigating the accident noted that the wheels of Mr. Amos’ car skidded for some distance before striking the car of Mr. Barlow.

Lt. John M. Nielsen received his orders to leave Japan on April 24. He will be joined in Evergreen by his wife and little son, John Martin.

Conecuh County Hospital Is Featured In National Hospital Magazine Item: Among the seven small general hospitals featured in an article in the March issue of “Hospitals,” the journal of the American Hospital Association was the 35-bed Conecuh County Hospital, Evergreen. None of the other six small hospitals featured were in the south.
The article was accompanied by sketches, blueprints and an architect’s drawing of the hospital.

On Friday night, April 23, at 8 p.m., the Senior Class of Evergreen High School will present “Stranger in the Night,” a comedy-mystery in three acts.

APRIL 25, 1929

WORK ON NEW SCHOOL BEGINS: First Concrete Is Poured For Foundation: Pouring of concrete for the foundation of Evergreen’s new state secondary agricultural school building was begun late Tuesday by workmen under George Terry, contractor. Bricklayers were on the ground Wednesday and the laying of brick was scheduled to start this morning.
The building will be of Evergreen-made concrete tile, faced with brick, the W.S. Carter & Co., having contracted with Terry to furnish the tile from its new plant here.
The new building will be located a little to the north of center of the tract, the south wall of the new building being placed almost in the same position as the north wall of the old building. The front of the new building will be in line with the front of the old.
The vocational building will be of wood and will be located south and to the rear of the main structure. Construction will start within a few days and it will be built along with the main building.
Both buildings are under contract to be completed by Aug. 15.

R.E.L. Key, 58, clerk of the City of Evergreen, died suddenly Sunday afternoon at his home on Pecan Street. The immediate cause of death apparently was heart trouble, though he had been in poor health for some time.
Mr. Key had been city clerk for the last three years and from 1912-16 was superintendent of education of Conecuh County.

APRIL 24, 1879

P.D. BOWLES, ATTORNEY AT LAW, And Solicitor in Chancery, EVERGREEN, ALA. Business in all courts promptly attended to. Law Office north side of the public square.

Hon. F.M. Walker, our popular Probate Judge, is rusticating for a while in Henry County.

“Jack” Jones, Evergreen’s efficient and obliging postmaster, has a new bond to the amount of $16,500. Some of the best men of our county are upon Mr. Jones’ bond.

We are requested to announce that the Historical Society of Conecuh County will meet at the courthouse in Evergreen on Saturday next at 10 o’clock.

A.W. JOHNSTON, PRACTICAL BOOT and SHOEMAKER, EVERGREEN, ALA. Offers his services to the people of Evergreen and vicinity. All work guaranteed and prices satisfactory.

NOTICE: An election for mayor and four councilmen for the Town of Evergreen, to serve for the ensuing year, will be held on the first Monday in May next.

We had the pleasure of meeting in our town last week Mr. J.H. Fox, the well known traveling agent for the house of J. Pollock & Co., Mobile. The card of this most excellent firm will be found in our advertising columns, and to which we invite the particular attention of the merchants of South Alabama. No better house can be found in Mobile. 

Today in History for April 25, 2017

Louis Hayles of Eliska, Ala.
April 25, 1599 – English military and political leader Oliver Cromwell was born in Huntingdonshire, England.

April 25, 1777 – Nicholas Stallworth Sr., one of the original settlers of Conecuh County, Ala., was born in Edgefield District, South Carolina. He died at the age of 59 on Dec. 6, 1836 and is buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

April 25, 1781 - British General Lord Charles Cornwallis retreated to Wilmington, North Carolina from Guilford Courthouse after having been defeated by a militia under the command of American Major General Nathanael Greene.

April 25, 1792 - The guillotine was first used to execute highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier.

April 25, 1831 – The New York and Harlem Railroad Co. was incorporated as one of the first railroads in the country, and was the first streetcar railway in the world.

April 25, 1846 - The Mexican-American War ignited as a result of disputes over claims to Texas boundaries. The outcome of the war fixed Texas' southern boundary at the Rio Grande River.

April 25, 1861 – Store clerk Alfred Christian of Evergreen, Ala., a native of Virginia, enlisted in the Confederate army at Sparta in Conecuh County, Ala. Christian was elected Brevet 2nd Lt., and his commission expired on Oct. 9, 1862 at Raccoon Ford, Va. He was appointed second lieutenant, and his commission expired on July 3, 1863 at Gettysburg. He was named orderly sergeant and was appointed first lieutenant on Feb. 6, 1864. Christian survived the war and moved to Texas. At the time of his enlistment, Alfred lived with his brother, George Christian, who briefly served as Evergreen’s postmaster in 1856-57. When the Civil War began, George was exempted from service because he was a Justice of the Peace. George Christian is buried in the Burford Cemetery, but has no grave marker.

April 25, 1861 – During the Civil War, 12,500 muskets from the St. Louis Arsenal were removed to keep them out of Confederate hands. Missouri was on the verge of secession, and St. Louis held one of the largest Federal arsenals west of the Appalachians. The Union needed those guns to equip the troops who would soon be flooding into Cairo. Captain Stokes, with a few soldiers, were given orders and a steamship and set forth. The party landed in the middle of the night and started hauling guns.

April 25, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Stockton, Texas was abandoned by Federal forces, and Federal troops were captured in Saluria, Texas.

April 25, 1861 – During the Civil War, the 7th New York Infantry arrived in Washington, D.C. for its defense.

April 25, 1862 – During the Civil War, forces under Union Admiral David Farragut demanded the surrender of the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Union troops officially took possession on April 29.

April 25, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along the Corinth Road in Mississippi; near Monagan Springs, Mo.; and at Socorro in the New Mexico Territory. Federal forces captured Fort Macon, N.C.

April 25, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Fort Bowie with Apache Indians in the Arizona Territory; at Webber’s Fall in the Indian Territory with the Pro-South Cherokee Indians under Colonel Stand Watie; with Apache Indians at Apache Pass in the New Mexico Territory; at Greenland Gap, West Virginia. Major General Grants’ forces began a movement through Louisiana to Hard Times. Skirmishes also occur at Phelp’s Bayou, Clark’s Bayou, and Lake Bruin, La.

April 25, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Marks' Mills took place in Cleveland County, Ark. During the battle, Confederate forces under General James Fagan captured a Union wagon train attempting to supply Federal forces at Camden, Ark. Union General Frederick Steele was forced to withdraw back to Little Rock.

April 25, 1864 - After facing defeat in the Red River Campaign, Union General Nathaniel Banks returned to Alexandria, La.

April 25, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Moro Bottom, Ark.; at Cotile Landing, La.; and out from Natchez, Miss. A three-day Federal operation between Bull’s Cap and the Watauga River in Tennessee also began.

April 25, 1865 – Having departed the battlefield at Blakely near Mobile, Ala. on April 14, the Federal 16th Corps under Major General A.J. Smith arrived in Montgomery, formally beginning the Union occupation of the city of Montgomery.

April 25, 1865 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance was conducted from Pine Bluff to Rodger’s Plantation, Ark. Skirmishes were fought at Linn Creek, Mo. and in Fairfax County, Va. in the vicinity of Hunter’s Mills.

April 25, 1873 – Writer Howard R. Garis was born in Binghamton, N.Y.

April 25, 1882 – During the Tonkin Campaign, French and Vietnamese troops clashed in Tonkin, when Commandant Henri Rivière seized the citadel of Hanoi with a small force of marine infantry.

April 25, 1884 – At the Calhoun House in downtown Huntsville, Ala., which was used as a federal courthouse, desperado Frank James was tried and found not guilty for the robbery of a government payroll near Muscle Shoals, Ala. on May 11, 1881. One of his defense attorneys was Huntsville’s LeRoy Pope Walker, first secretary of war of the Confederate States of America.

April 25, 1886 - Miss Ella Tucker, who had been visiting relatives in Mobile, returned home on this Sunday, according to The Monroe Journal.

April 25, 1891 – Army Pvt. Louis Hayles of Eliska, Ala. was born. Hayles was killed in action at the age of 27 during World War I on Nov. 11, 1918 - one day before the war ended. He was a member of the 321st Infantry S.F. Division at the time of his death. He is buried in the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery in Monroe County.

April, 25, 1892 – French explorer of the Sahara, Henri Duveyrier, passed away at the age of 52 in Sevres, a suburb of Paris.

April 25, 1892 – Estonian-German geologist and explorer Karl von Ditmar passed away at the age of 69 in Tartu, Livonia.

April 25, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that “the white cap fever is not raging quite so high as for some time past (in the Jones Mill community). We have heard of several parties receiving written notice to leave the community. We presume, the grand jury will put a quietus on this kind of business.”

April 25, 1898 - The United States declared war on Spain one day after Spain had declared war on the U.S., marking the start of the Spanish-American War.

April 25, 1901 - The American League debuted at the Chicago Cricket Club. Chicago defeated Cleveland, 8-2.

April 25, 1905 - Dr. R.A. Smith of Monroeville, Ala. left for New York to accompany a patient who was to be operated upon.

April 25, 1907 - Alabama author Sara Elizabeth Mason was born.

April 25, 1909 – National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman John Franklin "Home Run" Baker hit his first and only grand slam.

April 25, 1915 – During World War I, the Battle of Gallipoli began. The invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula by British, French, Indian, Newfoundland, Australian and New Zealand troops, began with landings at Anzac Cove and Cape Helles.

April 25, 1917 – Ella Fitzgerald, the “First Lady of Song,” was born in Newport News, Va.

April 25, 1917 - Dr. R.I. Kearley and Dr. G.H. Bruns, Veterinary Inspector of the Bureau of Animal Industry, were in Monroeville from Andalusia on this Wednesday.

April 25, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that merchants and businessmen of Evergreen had signed the usual agreement to close their places at 6 p.m., Saturdays excepted, from May 1 to Sept. 1.

April 25, 1920 – At the San Remo conference, the principal Allied Powers of World War I adopted a resolution to determine the allocation of Class "A" League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East.

April 25, 1928 – Buddy, the first Seeing Eye dog, was presented to Morris S. Frank.

April 25, 1933 – The organizational meeting of the Central Alabama Baseball League was held in Greenville, Ala. on this Tuesday with four clubs as members – Evergreen, Greenville, Ft. Deposit and Luverne. League officers included Lucian Glass of Ft. Deposit, president, and Loyce Hyde of Evergreen, Merrit McLendon of Luverne, Carl Golson of Ft. Deposit and Floyd Ziegler of Greenville, league directors.

April 25, 1939 – Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser was born in Ames, Iowa.

April 25, 1940 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Tallassee won the opening baseball game of the season in Brewton by a score of 4-3 over the Millers. Knatzer pitched a steady game and the Brewton club rallied in the ninth inning to score one run and put the tying run on base.

April 25, 1942 – Judge Chauncey Sparks, who was running for Alabama governor, was scheduled to speak from a band stand in Evergreen’s business section on this Saturday at 4 p.m. Sparks went on to serve as governor form Jan. 19, 1943 to Jan. 20, 1947.

April 25, 1944 - The United Negro College Fund was established by Tuskegee president F. D. Patterson after convincing 26 other black colleges to "pool their small monies and make a united appeal to the national conscience."

April 25, 1945 - Albert B. "Happy" Chandler was unanimously elected Major League Baseball’s commissioner.

April 25, 1945 – On what is now known as Elbe Day, United States and Soviet troops met in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe.

April 25, 1945 – The Nazi occupation army surrendered and left Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolved and Benito Mussolini was captured after trying to escape. This day was set as a public holiday to celebrate the Liberation of Italy.

April 25, 1949 – Poet and journalist James Fenton was born in Lincoln, England.

April 25, 1951 – Army Cpl. Terry Stiggins McCall, 19, of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart. He was a member of Co. H, 7th Infantry, 3rd Armored Division. Born on April 24, 1932, he is buried in Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla.

April 25, 1951 – A large stone marker was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy at the grave of Gen. John Herbert Kelly of Wilcox County in Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile.

April 25, 1952 – Novelist Padgett Powell was born in Gainesville, Fla.

April 25, 1954 - A television version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "Vengeance" was broadcast as part of the “Your Favorite Story” series.

April 25, 1955 - The City of Monroeville began the task on this Monday of putting up new street markers at all intersections within the corporate limits of the town. Chief of Police Alex Stevens supervised the job which was expected to take about two weeks. The marking of the streets was one of the steps necessary before Monroeville could obtain city mail delivery.

April 25-27, 1955 - Approximately 80 percent of Monroe County, Alabama’s first and second graders took the Salk Polio vaccinations on this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, according to the County Health Department. County health nurses Mrs. Virginia Owens and Mrs. Louise Kimbrell administered the vaccine, which was furnished by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, free of charge. There are 540 white and 1,043 colored first and second graders in Monroe County.

April 25, 1957 – The Evergreen Courant reported that, just as they were going to press, they learned that a woman had been killed and a man and child were injured in a one-car accident two miles north of the Ray Brothers Store on Highway 31 North of Evergreen, Ala. An ID card on the man identified him as James Cannon of 809 North M St., Pensacola, Fla. The woman and child were not identified in the story.

April 25, 1959 – The Saint Lawrence Seaway, a waterway system of locks, canals and channels that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, opened. The first ship to navigate the seaway was an icebreaker, the D'Iberville.

April 25, 1960 – The United States Navy submarine USS Triton completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

April 25, 1961 - A television version of Alabama author Mary Elizabeth Counselman's story "Parasite Mansion" was broadcast as part of the “Thriller” series.

April 25, 1963 – The Evergreen Courant reported that an article titled “County Organized for Farm-to-Market Roadwork,” written by Conecuh County Engineer Marion Wilkins, had been published in the April 1963 issue of “Rural Roads,” a nationally circulated magazine concerned with the building of federal, state, county and township roads.

April 25, 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that General William Westmoreland, one of the war’s most controversial figures, would replace General Paul Harkins as head of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV) as of June 20, effectively putting Westmoreland in charge of all American military forces in Vietnam.

April 25, 1966 – Monroe County High School’s baseball team beat Frisco City, 5-1. Gary Downs at the winning pitcher for MCHS, allowing five hits with Frisco getting its only run in the sixth inning. Jim Kelly was the losing pitcher for Frisco City. The loss dropped FCHS to 3-4 on the season.

April 25, 1969 – Zilda Lee Kendall, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bob Kendall Jr. of Evergreen, Ala., married Carl Joseph Christopher in Ankara, Turkey. The couple had been employed with the Overseas Dependent School of the United States Department of Defense for the past three years.

April 25, 1972 - Hanoi’s 320th Division drove 5,000 South Vietnamese troops into retreat and trapped about 2,500 others in a border outpost northwest of Kontum in the Central Highlands as part of the ongoing North Vietnamese Nguyen Hue Offensive, also known as the “Easter Offensive,” which included an invasion by 120,000 North Vietnamese troops.

April 25, 1974 - Pam Morrison, Jim Morrison's widow, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27.

April 25, 1974 - Tampa Bay was awarded the NFL's 27th franchise.

April 25, 1975 – As North Vietnamese forces closed in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy was closed and evacuated, almost 10 years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.

April 25, 1976 – NBA power forward and center Tim Duncan was born in Christiansted, U.S. Virgin Islands. He went on to play for Wake Forest and the San Antonio Spurs.

April 25, 1981 – NFL running back Dwone Hicks was born in Huntsville, Ala. He went on to play for Lee High School in Huntsville, Middle Tennessee State and the Tennessee Titans.

April 25, 1985 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Darrin Bradley of Evergreen High School had signed an athletic grant-in-aid basketball scholarship with Alcorn State University in Lorman, Miss. Coach Dero Wise played a big role in getting the college scouts to come to Evergreen and look at Darrin. He was the son of Miss Jeanette Bradley of Evergreen. Darrin, a six-foot, three-inch senior guard, led the EHS basketball team to a 22-5 record during the 1984-85 season.

April 25, 1985 – The Evergreen Courant reported that a delegation of the Alabama Farm Bureau Federation recently visited Washington, D.C. and Congressman Bill Dickinson. The delegation included John Cook and James Cook of Conecuh County, Ala. Dickinson talked to the members of the Bureau about the 1985 Farm Bill, which was up for renewal that year, and major agriculture concerns in the Second Congressional District.

April 25, 1985 – In this day’s edition of The Evergreen Courant, Paul M. Harden, Attorney at Law, announced the opening of a branch office in Evergreen on Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Court Square.

April 25, 1985 – The Monroe Journal reported that Monroe Academy’s baseball team had won four of its last five games with help from excellent pitching by Steve Lambert to post an 11-4 overall mark as of Tues., April 23. Lambert, a senior right-handed hurler, captured decisions over South Choctaw, Jackson Academy and Sparta Academy during this stretch to bring his pitching record to 6-1 on the season. Junior Patrick Brown picked up the Volunteers’ other win during that week with a decision over Glenwood Academy. Other players on MA’s team that year included Rob Carter, Donald Foster, Ricky Horton, Michael McCrory, Sean Sawyer, Shane Sawyer, Stephen Simmons and Robert Thames. MA’s head coach was Jeff Myers.
April 25, 1990 - The crew of space shuttle Discovery placed the Hubble Space Telescope into a Low Earth Orbit. Initially, Hubble's operators suffered a setback when a lens aberration was discovered, but a repair mission by space-walking astronauts in December 1993 successfully fixed the problem, and Hubble began sending back its first breathtaking images of the universe.

April 25, 1994 - The spring term of Conecuh County Civil Jury Docket was scheduled to open on this Monday at 9 a.m. with Circuit Judge Sam Welch presiding. Judge Welch had four cases set for trial next week.

April 25, 1995 - Darryl Strawberry was sentenced to three years probation, six months of house confinement and a $350,000 fine. Strawberry had avoided prison for tax evasion.

April 25, 1996 - The Minnesota Twins and the Detroit Tigers combined for the most runs in 26 years. The Twins won with a final score of 24-11.

April 25, 1997 – Walter Eugene “Gene” Garrett of Uriah, Ala. passed away at the age of 68 in a Mobile hospital. He was a 1947 graduate of Marion Institute and a 1953 graduate of the University of Alabama. He received his law degree from Alabama in 1953 and went on to serve as a state legislator, special judge and member of the Alabama Constitution Revision Committee. In 1963, he purchased the historic King Plantation House at Packer’s Bend and moved it board by board to Uriah.
April 25, 2011 – Sweetwater Mansion in Florence, Ala. was featured on an episode of A&E’s “Paranormal State.”

April 25-28, 2011 – The April 25–28, 2011 tornado outbreak devastated parts of the Southeastern United States, especially the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee. Two hundred and five tornadoes touched down on April 27 alone, killing more than 300 and injuring hundreds more.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., April 25, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.05 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 6.15 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 26.55 inches.

Notes: Today is the 115th day of 2017 and the 37th day of Spring. There are 250 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for April 24, 2017

Sparta Academy's 1979 varsity baseball team.
APRIL 22, 2004

Drew Davis was the recipient of the coveted Jerry Peacock Memorial Trophy at Sparta Academy’s Sports Banquet held April 19, 2004 in the school gym. The Peacock Trophy is given each year to the best all-around senior athlete who participates in football, basketball and baseball. It is named for the late Jerry Peacock, who was a standout athlete in Sparta Academy’s Class of 1977.

Cody Lowery was the recipient of the D.T. Stuart Sportsmanship Trophy at Sparta Academy’s Sports Banquet held April 19, 2004 in the school gym. The Stuart Trophy is presented each year to a senior football player that best exemplifies the true spirit of sportsmanship in games and also in practice. The players vote on the award.

Tabitha Gafford was the recipient of the Wayne Peacock Sportsmanship Award at Sparta Academy’s Sports Banquet held April 19, 2004 in the school gym. Wayne Peacock passed away on Sept. 19, 2001 and his family established this award in his memory. Wayne was very dedicated to the girls basketball program at Sparta. During the 1980s, he was the girls basketball coach and as long as his health permitted, he volunteered many hours at the school helping in any way that he could. This award is given annually to a senior girls basketball player who demonstrates qualities of sportsmanship, leadership and academic excellence.

Nathan Pipkin caught this 12-pound catfish recently while fishing at his MoMo’s pond. Nathan is the son of Ricky and Melody Pipkin.

APRIL 26, 1979

Sparta Academy’s Baseball Warriors are having a “so-so” season, mainly due to errors. However, these players are giving it their best, in spite of their youth and inexperience: Greg Crabtree, Andy Hammonds, Joe McInvale, Russ Raines and Tony Baggett; and Jeff Johnson, Tommy Hutcheson, Bobby Padgett, Bobby Mason, Ronny McKenzie and Terry Peacock. Richard Tate was not present when the picture was made.

Sparta wins one; but, loses two: The Sparta Academy baseball team picked up a win, but lost two games during the week. The Warriors are still suffering from errors, according to Sports Publicity Information Director Byron Warren Jr.
Sparta lost a close one, 3-2, to Fort Dale of Greenville in spite of an impressive pitching performance by Terry Peacock, who had to take the credit for the loss in spite of giving up only six hits, walking four and striking out 11.
Sparta put down Greenville Academy’s Tornados, 5-2, behind a fine one-hitter thrown by Tommy Hutcheson. Hutcheson struck out six batters, but walked 12 and had to depend on a good defensive effort by his mates to chalk up the win.
Escambia Academy of Canoe (Atmore) enjoyed the help of six Warrior errors as they edged Sparta, 9-6. The Warriors pounded out 10 hits and found the loss hard to swallow, but could blame nothing but their own errors.

APRIL 22, 1954

Local Baseball Team Will Practice Sunday: An amateur baseball team to represent Evergreen is to be organized and anyone interested in playing is asked to meet Sunday afternoon for practice. The practice will be held at Brooks Stadium at 2:30 Sunday afternoon.
Those who are working to organize the team hope that a large number of players will turn out Sunday. They urge everyone who is interested to come out for this first practice. The team will also be organized at this time.

APRIL 25, 1929

1929 Football Schedule For Aggies Announced: With 11 games already booked and another to be added, the 1929 football schedule of the Evergreen Aggies is virtually complete.
The schedule, as announced this week by Coach “Abe” Robinson, shows that eight of the 11 games are scheduled for Gantt Field. These eight games to be played in Evergreen include both the Armistice Day and Thanksgiving contests.
The schedule, complete except for the opening game on Sept. 20, is as follows:
Sept. 20 – Pending.
Sept. 27 – McKenzie in Evergreen.
Oct. 4 – Opp in Evergreen.
Oct. 11 – Brewton in Brewton.
Oct. 18 – Monroeville in Evergreen.
Oct. 25 – Greenville in Greenville.
Nov. 1 – Frisco City in Frisco City.
Nov. 8 – Georgiana in Evergreen.
Nov. 11 – (Armistice Day) Rawls in Evergreen.
Nov. 15 – Straughn in Evergreen.
No. 22 – Flomaton in Evergreen.
Nov. 28 – Moore Academy in Evergreen.

Beatrice Smothered In Aggies Opener, 16-3: The Evergreen Aggies were making preparations this week for their clash with Brewton Friday, following their easy victory over Beatrice at Gantt Field last Friday.
The Aggies beat Beatrice, 16-3, rushing over six runs in the first inning and seven in the second to take a lead that was never threatened.
Hyde and Stallworth twirled for the Aggies, the former going five innings and the latter four.
Holman, Aggie catcher, led the batting attack with three hits while Sanders got two. The Aggies got only 12 hits, most of their runs being made on Beatrice errors.
The Aggie line-up and batting order was as follows:
McCreary, first base; Sanders, third base; Holman, catcher; Stallworth, right field, pitcher; Mixon, right field; Murphy, shortstop; Hyde, pitcher; Hagood, second; Kamplain, left field; Stevens, left field; Feagin, center field.
Thomas and Rikard; Hyde, Stallworth and Holman; umpires, Hagood and Cobb.
The Brewton game Friday is expected to be a tougher assignment for the Aggies as this team already has played five or six games this year and have shown some strength, winning about as many as they have lost.
Camden will be in Evergreen on the following Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, while Brewton will play here Friday, May 10.

Today in History for April 24, 2017

Troy Jenkins.
April 24, 1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, was published in Boston, Mass.

April 24, 1781 - British General William Phillips landed on the banks of the James River at City Port, Va. He then combined forces with British General Benedict Arnold to launch an attack on Petersburg, Va.

April 24, 1800 – The United States Library of Congress was established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress." Congress ordered 740 books and three maps from London, and in just over a decade, the library had more than 3,000 items. Today, the Library of Congress has 650 miles of shelves, and 150 million items, including more than 35 million books.

April 24, 1815 – Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope was born in London, England.

April 24, 1821 – Daniel Bozeman became postmaster at Burnt Corn Spring, Ala.

April 24, 1827 – Israel Pickens, the third governor of Alabama, passed away at the age of 47 in Matanzas, Cuba. He was originally buried in a family graveyard but his remains were later moved to City Cemetery, Greensboro, Ala.

April 24, 1844 - Alabama author Clifford Lanier was born in Griffin, Ga.

April 24, 1861 – The Conecuh Guards mustered at Sparta, Ala. and were presented a flag from the ladies of the community at the Sparta Depot before departing by train for Lynchburg, Va.

April 24, 1861 - These were anxiety filled days in the capital of the United States. Virginia had seceded on one side. If Maryland did the same, the capital was defenseless. A gunboat kept steam up at all times in case the President and Cabinet should need to flee.

April 24, 1862 - Seventeen ships under the command of Union Admiral David Farragut moved up the Mississippi River past two Confederate forts toward New Orleans. Only one ship was lost.

April 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Corinth, Miss.; at Lick Creek, Tenn. in the vicinity of the Shiloh battlefield; on the Shelbyville Road in Tennessee; and in the vicinity of Harrisonburg, Va.

April 24, 1862 - Union Admiral David Farragut had been trying to shell the Confederates out of the two forts below New Orleans, La. for a week now. On this night he set out to run past them anyway. The barricades, chains stretched across the river, had been damaged enough that ships could slip past. Moving at 2 a.m., all but three small vessels of his flotilla managed to make their way above the forts. He scattered some Confederate ships and sailed to New Orleans the next day, capturing one of the Confederacy's major cities with barely a shot fired.

April 24, 1863 - Union Colonel Benjamin Grierson's troops tore up tracks and destroyed two trainloads of ammunition headed for Vicksburg, Miss.

April 24, 1863 - The Union army issues General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians. The code was borrowed by many European nations, and its influence can be seen on the Geneva Convention. The orders were the brainchild of Francis Lieber, a Prussian immigrant whose three sons had served during the Civil War.

April 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, like all governments, that of the Confederate States of America was faced with the obligation of raising funds to support its operations. When the operations included fighting a war for independence, it became a case of desperate times calling for desperate measures. On this day, a “tax in kind” was enacted, requiring a one-tenth contribution of all produce of the land.

April 24, 1863 – During the Civil war, a month-long Federal operation against Indians in the Owen’s River and adjacent valleys began in California.

April 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Garlandville and Birmingham, Miss. as part of the Grierson raid; out from St. Louis, Mo. along the Iron Mountain Railroad; on the Edenton Road in the vicinity of Suffolk, Va.; in and around Gilmer County, West Virginia; near Lake Saint Joseph, La.

April 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Decatur, Ala.; in the vicinity of Camden, Ark.; near Pineville, La.; and in the vicinity of Middletown, Va. A two-day Federal operation between Ringgold and La Fayette, Ga. began.

April 24, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Rodger’s Plantation, Ark. and at Linn Creek, Mo.

April 24, 1865 – U.S. General William T. Sherman learned of President Johnson's rejection of his surrender terms to Joe Johnston. General Grant, who personally delivered the message, ordered Sherman to commence operations against Johnson within 48 hours. Sherman was incensed but obeyed orders.

April 24, 1868 - Author William Garrott Brown was born in Marion, Ala.

April 24, 1877 - Federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, bringing an end to the North's post-Civil War rule in the South.

April 24, 1886 – Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court adjourned on this Saturday evening.

April 24, 1895 – Douglas Woolley “Dixie” Parker was born in Forest Home in Butler County, Ala. He went on to play catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1923 season. He also played parts of 16 minor league seasons, spanning 1918–1941, while playing or managing for 17 teams in 13 different leagues. Parker died in Tuscaloosa at the age of 77 on May 15, 1972. He is buried in the Green Pond Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Bibb County.

April 24, 1895 – Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail single-handedly around the world, set sail from Boston, Mass. aboard the sloop "Spray".

April 24, 1898 - Spain declared war on the U.S., rejecting America's ultimatum for Spain to withdraw from Cuba.

April 24, 1905 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and novelist Robert Penn Warren was born in Guthrie, Ky.

April 24, 1906 – American-born Irish-British Nazi propaganda broadcaster William Joyce was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

April 24, 1907 - The one-of-a-kind Hershey Park opened its doors. However, unlike today, back then the amusement park was not for the general public, instead it was meant to be a leisure center exclusively for Hershey Candy Company employees.

April 24-25, 1908 - In Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, 310 people were killed by 18 tornadoes.

April 24, 1912 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Prof. J.T. McKee of Cullman had been elected President of the Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala., succeeding Prof. H.T. Lile.

April 24, 1915 – On this Saturday afternoon, “quite a crowd of boys and girls attended the baseball game” in the Brownville community of Conecuh County, Ala.

April 24, 1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launched a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organize a rescue for the ice-trapped ship Endurance.

April 24, 1916 - Around noon on this Easter Monday, some 1,600 Irish nationalists – members of the Irish Volunteers – launched the so-called Easter Rising in Dublin, seizing a number of official buildings and calling on all Irish patriots to resist the bonds of British control.

April 24, 1917 - Members of the military company stationed in Evergreen were treated to a picnic dinner on this Wednesday on the lawn at the home of W.H. Wild by the ladies of Evergreen under the auspices of the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. The boys devoured the splendid dinner with evident relish and were deeply appreciative of the kindness of the good ladies, according to The Evergreen Courant.

April 24, 1918 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Eugene Binion of Evergreen, Ala. and John Peagler of Conecuh County’s China community had been wounded by Germans while fighting overseas in World War I.

April 24, 1922 - Alabama’s first radio station, WSY, began broadcasting. The station was started by Alabama Power Company to help keep in touch with line crews in isolated areas. In 1925, the station merged with Auburn’s WMAV to become WAPI.

April 24, 1933 – The season’s shipment of Castleberry, Ala. strawberries topped the 100-car mark on this day as 10 more cars of strawberries were loaded. The total number of cars after April 25 stood at 111 cars, which was 78 less than in 1932.

April 24, 1933 – Nazi Germany began its persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses by shutting down the Watch Tower Society office in Magdeburg.

April 24, 1934 - Acclaimed actress and paranormal enthusiast Shirley MacLaine was born in Richmond, Va.

April 24, 1940 – Mystery novelist Sue Grafton was born in Louisville, Ky.

April 24, 1947 – Evergreen High School’s baseball team improved to 1-1 on the season with a 10-7 win over Monroe County High School. James Carpenter got the pitching win. Ivey, Jones and Cunningham led Evergreen’s offense with two hits each.

April 24, 1947 – German SS officer Hans Biebow was executed by hanging.

April 24, 1948 – Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. on this Saturday for Sgt. John W. Morgan, who had been killed in Europe during World War II, at Asbury Methodist Church in Conecuh County, Ala. Members of the National Guard and American Legion acted as pallbearers. Morgan, age 25, was killed on July 15, 1944. He was born on Oct. 24, 1918 and was serving with the 12th Infantry, 4th Infantry Division when killed.

April 24, 1948 – Novelist and journalist Clare Boylan was born in Dublin.

April 24, 1955 - Mixonville, of the Conecuh Amateur Baseball League, beat Lyeffion, 19-10, on this Sunday at Mixonville. Mixonville scored seven runs in the first inning off Lyeffion right-hander Gene Davis. Mixonville’s big righthander, Charlie Roberts, turned in a marvelous piece of pitching until the eighth when he had to be relieved by southpaw Lavail Robinson. Roberts struck out 11 batters and allowed only five hits during his pitching stint. Stuckey, Mixon, Lane and H. Pugh led the batting for Mixonville.

April 24, 1955 - The Monroe County entry in the Dixie Amateur Baseball League, unleashing a powerful 14-hit attack at the State Farm on this Sunday afternoon, tallied four runs in the eighth inning to break a tie and defeat the State Farm squad, 11-7. Leftfielder Les Prouty tripled after one man was out and scored what proved to be the winning run on Forrest Watkins’ grounder to second base. Other players on the Monroe team included Al Clenner, Ben Cooper, Reg Cooper, Paul Fowler, Frank Hadley and Curt Wideman.

April 24, 1961 - Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers struck out 18 batters, becoming the first Major League pitcher to do so on two different occasions.

April 24, 1967 - At a news conference in Washington, General William Westmoreland, senior U.S. commander in South Vietnam, caused controversy by saying that the enemy had “gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily.”

April 24, 1971 - North Vietnamese troops hit Allied installations throughout South Vietnam.

April 24, 1972 – Major League Baseball third baseman and left fielder Chipper Jones was born in DeLand, Fla. He would go on to play his entire career for the Atlanta Braves.

April 24, 1973 – Novelist and short-story writer Judy Budnitz was born in Atlanta, Ga.

April 24, 1985 - A $10-million manufacturers’ outlet retail complex for Monroeville, Ala. was announced on this Wednesday, with groundbreaking expected to take place within six weeks. Plans for Monroeville Outlet Center were announced jointly by Monroe County Probate Judge Otha Lee Biggs, Monroeville Mayor Pro Tempore Bill Owens and Gary Lyle, a partner in the project developer, Manufacturers Retail Outlets, Inc. of Huntsville. The announcement was made on this Wednesday morning at the office of Plaza Realty, a Monroeville real-estate firm that had done the local legwork for the project. Monroeville Outlet Center was to be built on 20 acres across Drewry Road from the VF Outlet Store.

April 24, 1989 – Miss Alabama USA 2012 and model Katherine Webb was born in Montgomery, Ala.

April 24, 1990 - The Hubble Space Telescope, one of NASA's longest lasting science missions, was launched. Funding for the mission to build and launch a large space telescope was approved by Congress in 1977. NASA chose Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama to manage the design, development, and construction of telescope. The telescope was officially named in honor of Edwin P. Hubble, one of America's foremost astronomers, in 1983. Since its launch, Hubble has beamed hundreds of thousands of images back to Earth and transformed the way scientists look at the universe.

April 24, 1996 - Monroe Academy wrapped up its non-conference schedule on this Wednesday at Escambia Academy at Canoe, beating the Cougars, 13-6. Keith Gohagin, a senior center fielder, went four-for-four at the plate, slapping two doubles. Other players on MA’s baseball team that season included Trey Andrews, Travis Black, Justin Brown, Bud Hare, Ashley Hayward, Rob Hudson, Jake McCall. Joey Cameron was MA’s head baseball coach.

April 24, 1999 - The first Alabama Bound book fair was held in Birmingham, Ala.

April 24, 1999 – Evergreen’s Little League was scheduled to hold its opening day ceremonies on this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Evergreen City Park.

April 24, 1999 – Monroe County High School was scheduled to play Area 3 runner-up Andalusia High School in the opening round of the Class 5A state baseball playoffs. The game was scheduled to begin on this Saturday at 2 p.m. in Monroeville. MCHS entered the playoffs with a 20-10 record and a third straight Area 2 championship under head coach Reid Utsey. Players on MCHS’s team that year included Jonathan Black, Ben Busby, Trent Eager, Justin Hawarah, P.J. Holley, Curt Hutcherson, Eric Johnson, Jason Moye and Jamie Porterfield.

April 24, 2000 – A ground-breaking ceremony was held at the site of the EverFun playground site at Evergreen Municipal Park in Evergreen, Ala. Mayor Lomax Cassady and Zebbie Nix unearthed the first two shovelfuls of dirt and the work began.

April 24, 2003 – Army Sgt. Troy Jenkins, age 25, a graduate of Hillcrest High School in Evergreen, Ala., died from wounds received as a result of an explosion April 19, 2003 while on a dismounted patrol with other soldiers in Iraq. He died at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He was assigned to B Co., 3rd Bat., 187th Inf. Reg., Ft. Campbell, Ky. He was buried in Riverside, Calif.

April 24, 2007 - The 35th Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force executed a search warrant at a residence on Magnolia Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. and seized 29 grams of methamphetamine ice, one of the purest forms of methamphetamine. To qualify as ice, the meth must be at least 98 percent pure.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., April 24, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  4.05 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 6.15 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 26.55 inches.

Notes: Today is the 114th day of 2017 and the 36th day of Spring. There are 251 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

130-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from April 1887

Col. P.D. Bowles of Evergreen.
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of publisher Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of April 1887. Those issues, which were dated April 7, April 14, April 21 and April 28, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those editions. Enjoy.

APRIL 7, 1887

The Board of Education met Saturday.

County Court was in session Monday, Hon. W.C. Sowell presiding.

Circuit Court will convene on the 25th inst.

Mr. Martyn East, one of the oldest citizens of Monroe County, died at his home at East’s Store in Beat 5 on the 25th ult., after a protracted illness. He was near 90 years old.

Perdue Hill: The school here is in a prosperous condition and there are no signs of decline in number or interest, some additions have been made to the roll this week.

Glendale: Mr. Lee White of Glendale had his dwelling house and all its contents destroyed by fire last week. The fire is supposed to have originated in the kitchen.

Sheriff Burns is suffering from an attack of rheumatism.

Col. D.L. Neville is attending circuit court in Evergreen this week.

Rev. Mr. Sturgeon preached to a good congregation at the Presbyterian church Sunday.

Mr. C.W. McClure of Kempville attended County Court Monday.

Prof. L.C. Furz and Mr. A.D. McNeil of Hollinger gave us a call last week.

Col. L.D. Steele of Mt. Pleasant honored our sanctum with his presence last Saturday.

APRIL 14, 1887

Editor J.A. Matheson has sold the Wilcox Gazette outfit to a stock company composed of some of Camden’s best young businessmen, who will shortly begin the publication of the Wilcox Progress. They promise to make the new journal indicative of its name. We wish the new paper and publishers much success.

Commissioners court was in session Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Capt. W.S. Wiggins went to Mobile last Sunday via Claiborne.

A most unwarranted assault was made upon Dr. H.C. Bradley of River Ridge last week by his nephews George McCall and Fred Bradley, who, it is said, injured him very seriously. His recovery is not assured.

Dr. R.I. Draughon of Perdue Hill will deliver at lecture at the Court House on Wednesday night (27th) of court week on the subject of the “Creation of the World.” A large audience would be well paid for their attendance.

Evergreen Star: Col. P.D. Bowles has been appointed by the president as postmaster at Evergreen, vice, Mrs. John Sterns, deceased.

Brewton Banner: During the session of the circuit court, Curren Salter, the would be rapist, was sentenced to 20 years hard labor.

Died – Mr. A.B. Tucker, an old and respected citizen of this community, at his home near Monroeville, on Tuesday, the 12th inst., of paralysis.

APRIL 21, 1887

Rev. W.G. Curry of Furman, Wilcox County, for many years pastor of the Baptist church of this place, was among his many friends at Monroeville Monday.

Fourteen applications have so far been filed with the probate judge under the act passed by the last legislature, appropriating funds for maimed soldiers and widows of soldiers.

OBITUARY: Died at his residence near Monroeville, Mr. A.B. Tucker on 12th of April 1887. He was born May 4, 1809 in Macklenberg Co., Va., came to Monroe County, Ala. in 1838, was married to Miss Amanda M. Henderson March 17, 1842 by Rev. Jno. McWilliams. His course through life entitled him to the respect and admiration of all who knew him.

BUENA VISTA: Within the last two weeks we have been called to perform the sad duty of committing to the tomb two of our neighbors, Mrs. Herrin, mother of our esteemed friend G.L. Herrin, and Mr. L. Griffis, who was the oldest citizen of our community, and perhaps of the county, having reached his 92nd year.
Dr. W.B. Abernathy of Sedan, just over the line in Wilcox County, has gone to Birmingham. The people of Sedan have been trying to entice one of our doctors, but failed. We are proud to recognized Dr. W.M. Hestle as a fixture in our town.

Photographic – Mr. E.N. Smith, the Photographer, has opened his picture gallery in Monroeville, and those desiring anything in his line are respectfully invited to give him a call. He does first class work at very reasonable prices. Call at once, he will remain only a few days.

APRIL 28, 1887

Circuit Court – Was called Monday at 12 o’clock precisely. Mr. Wm. Cater of Turnbull was made foreman of the Grand Jury. Judge Clarke then delivered his charge to the jury respecting their obligations and powers in his usually able, clear and explicit manner after which that august body immediately retired to their room to enter upon the discharge of their responsible duties as the great moral teachers of the commonwealth.
Solicitor Taylor – the friend of the oppressed and the terror of evildoers – is at his post to look after the interest and dignity of the State. In addition to our able local bar, we notice among the visiting attorneys Col. S.J. Cumming of Birmingham, Col. Nick Stallworth of Evergreen, C.J. Torrey of Mobile and E.J. Cloud of Meridian, Miss.
Mr. F. Metts is acting special bailiff for the grand jury and his promptness and courteous manners admirably fit him for the position he occupies.

Mr. C.W. McClure of Kempville was engaged in the court room this week assisting Sheriff Burns.

Hon. N.A. Agee of Perdue Hill was in attendance upon the Circuit Court Tuesday.

The Monroe County Medical Society met in the office of Dr. J.T. Packer at his place yesterday, with a good attendance of members.

Dr. Packer has had his buggy newly painted, and it now looks as neat as a new pin.