April 15, 1741 – Painter, soldier and scientist Charles Peale was born in Chester, Province of Maryland, British America. He is best remembered for his portrait paintings of leading figures of the American Revolution.
April 15, 1774 - A satirical letter by Benjamin Franklin was published in The Public Advertiser. The letter had been written to Great Britain's prime minister, Frederick, Lord North, and suggested that the British impose martial law upon the colonies and appoint a "King's Viceroy of all North America."
April 15, 1783 – Preliminary articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War were ratified by the Continental Congress of the United States.
April 15, 1800 – English captain and explorer Sir James Clark Ross was born in London. He is best remembered for his exploration of the Arctic with his uncle Sir John Ross and Sir William Parry and, in particular, his own expedition to Antarctica.
April 15, 1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, happened upon a profusion of daffodils along the banks of the nine-mile-long Ullswater Lake. Dorothy wrote down a detailed description of the daffodils that helped inspire Wordsworth to write the famous poem "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" five years later.
April 15, 1813 – Spanish forces evacuated Fort Conde in Mobile two days after American forces under James Wilkinson forced them to surrender the fort.
April 15, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette departed New Orleans on the steamer Natchez up the Mississippi River towards Baton Rouge.
April 15, 1829 – Edgar Allan Poe was discharged from the regular Army after securing a replacement to finish his enlisted term for him so that he could enter West Point.
April 15, 1832 – Lewis Lavon Peacock’s father, Joseph Tarpley Peacock, married Catherine Prestwood Meredith in a wedding ceremony performed by his half-brother, Jesse, who, like Joseph, was a Methodist minister.
April 15, 1839 - Reuben Francis Kolb Sr. was born in Eufaula, Barbour County, Ala. He became one of Alabama's leading agricultural spokesmen and planters. He commanded a Confederate artillery unit during the Civil War but is perhaps best known as the voice of populism in the bitterly contested gubernatorial elections of 1890, 1892, and 1894.
April 15, 1843 – Author Henry James was born in New York City. He is best remembered for “The Portrait of a Lady” (1881) and “The Turn of the Screw” (1898).
April 15, 1861 – President Abraham Lincoln mobilized the Federal army and called for 75,000 volunteers to quell the insurrection that soon became the American Civil War.
April 15, 1861 – During the Civil War, Fort Macon, N.C. was seized by North Carolina State Troops.
April 15, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the Arizona Territory with Indians near Tucson, Az. at Picacho Pass; at Lost Creek, Mo.; in the vicinity of Peralta in the New Mexico Territory; near Pea Ridge, Tenn.; near Bealton, Va.
April 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, a 23-day Federal operation between Courtland, Ala. and Tupelo, Miss. began. A 17-day Federal operation from Corinth, Miss. to Courtland, Ala. also began.
April 15, 1862 – During the Civil war, skirmishes were fought in Pike County, Ky. at Piketon; opposite Vicksburg, Miss. near Bayou Vidal, La., at Dunbar’s Plantation; and in the vicinity of Suffolk, Va. Franklin, La. was occupied by Federal forces, and the Confederate siege of Washington, N.C. was raised. A Federal operation between La Grange and Saulsbury, Tenn. was also conducted.
April 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union General Frederick Steele captured Camden, Arkansas.
April 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Camden and Roseville, Ark.; out from Baton Rouge, La.; near Presidio del Norte in the New Mexico Territory; in the vicinity of Greenville, Tenn.; and at Bristoe Station, Milford and Waterford, Va. A five-day Federal operation in the Indian Nations began, and the Federal gunboat, USS Eastport, was sunk by a Confederate torpedo in the Red River of Louisiana.
April 15, 1865 – President Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22 a.m., nine hours after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington. Vice President Andrew Johnson became President upon Lincoln's death.
April 15, 1865 - Union General Ambrose Burnside resigned from the army.
April 15, 1865 – Union Brigadier General J.T. Lucas, after having sent a detachment to Monroeville, left Claiborne, Ala. and retraced his line of march down Mount Pleasant Road.
April 15, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along McKenzie Creek, in the vicinity of Patterson, Mo. and in the vicinity of Chapel Hill, N.C. President Jefferson Davis fled Greensborough, N.C. Federal reconnaissance was conducted through Randolph and Pocahontas Counties, West Virginia, and Federal reconnaissance was conducted through Bath and Highland, Va.
April 15, 1898 – Bessie Smith, the “Empress of the Blues,” was born in Chattanooga, Tenn.
April 15, 1899 – The City of Monroeville, Ala. was officially incorporated.
April 15, 1903 – Journalist and food writer Waverley Root was born in Providence, Rhode Island.
April 15, 1905 – The spring term of the Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court adjourned after two weeks of court. During that time, Jim Stallworth was sentenced to 45 years in the penitentiary for murder. Tom Stevenson was sentenced to 37 years in penitentiary for murder, and Robert Packer received a sentence of life imprisonment for murder.
April 15, 1905 - Mrs. Selena Keebler Garner, a 75-year-old woman who lived at Sepulga, died on this Saturday night from the effects of a snake bite inflicted a week before. She got up during the night and stepped on a rattlesnake on the floor which bit her foot twice. She became speechless in a few seconds and suffered great agony until death. She was buried in the Garner Cemetery in Butler County.
April 15, 1912 – The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers and crew on board survive. The ocean liner was supposedly unsinkable when it went down on its maiden voyage.
April 15, 1912 - Albert Einstein referred to time as the fourth dimension for the first time.
April 15, 1914 - Prof. Jefferson Adolphus “J.A.” Liner, formerly of Evergreen, Ala. and principal of the Agricultural School in Evergreen, died in Oklahoma at the age of 57. Born on April 26, 1856 in McMinn County, Tenn., he is buried in the Highland Cemetery in Lawton (Comanche County), Okla. (His tombstone says he died on April 23, 1914.)
April 15, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that “several people from Jones Mill attended the series of ball games between Monroeville and Atmore last week.”
April 15, 1918 - With the Germans, in the throes of a major spring offensive on the Western Front, hammering their positions in Flanders, France, British forces evacuated Passchendaele Ridge, won by the Allies at such a terrible cost just five months earlier.
April 15, 1921 – Evergreen, Ala. received nearly three inches of rain on this day, according to The Evergreen Courant.
April 15, 1924 – Rand McNally published its first road atlas.
April 15, 1926 – Left-handed professional baseball pitcher Stewart O’Neal “Stew” Bolen, who was born in Jackson, Ala. on Oct. 13, 1902, made his Major League Baseball debut when he took the field for the St. Louis Browns in a game against the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. This was the second game of the season for both teams, and Chicago ended up winning, 11-4. At the plate, Bolen went 2-for-3, and his teammate Tom Zachary got tagged with the pitching loss. Bolen pitched 7-1/3 innings in that game, giving up seven hits, three earned runs and walking four while striking out two.
April 15, 1927 – The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the most destructive river flood in U.S. history, began.
April 15, 1931 - The first Walk Across America Backwards took place on this day.
April 15, 1939 – Fred David McClammy of “Mystery Stone” fame was born.
April 15, 1940 – Major League Baseball centerfielder Willie Davis was born in Mineral Springs, Ark. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Montreal Expos, the Texas Rangers, the St. Louis Cardinals, the San Diego Padres and the California Angels.
April 15, 1940 – Major League Baseball pitcher Woody Fryman was born in Ewing, Ky. He would go on to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Detroit Tigers, the Montreal Expos, the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs.
April 15, 1940 – The Allies began their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik, which was occupied by Nazi Germany.
April 15, 1940 - Arthur Smith of Mexia died at Carter’s Hospital in Repton on this Monday night as a result of injuries sustained in an automobile accident on Thursday night, April 11. Following the amputation of his right arm on Saturday night, April 13, Smith grew steadily worse until his death.
April 15, 1942 - Hugh Hunter Allen, who is buried in the Belleville Baptist Church cemetery, was taken prisoner by the Japanese in World War II. Born March 20, 1917, he served in WWII and Korea after enlisting in 1936. He was taken prisoner by the Japanese in April 15, 1942, and survived the Bataan Death March and prisoner of war camps in the Philippines and Japan. He was a POW for three years and seven months and later received the Purple Heart. He retired in 1960 as a Master Sergeant in the Air Force and died on Nov. 9, 1995.
April 15, 1945 – Major League Baseball second baseman Ted Sizemore was born in Gadsden, Ala. He would go on to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox.
April 15, 1945 – German SS officer Hermann Florstedt was executed at age 50 at Buchenwald camp, Germany.
April 15, 1947 - Jackie Robinson played his first Major League Baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Previously he had only appeared in exhibition games.
April 15, 1950 – Major League Baseball outfielder Dick Sharon was born in San Mateo, Calif. He would go on to play for the Detroit Tigers and the San Diego Padres.
April 15, 1951 – In their season-opener, the Centerville Rookies baseball team beat the Flat Rock Rockets, 11-8, at Flat Rock, Ala. Also that day, in another season-opener, the Paul Aces beat the Shreve Eagles, 16-3, win at Paul. All four teams played in the Conecuh Amateur Baseball League.
April 15, 1955 – The “Alexander Mystery Stone” was found in corn field near Alexander’s Grist Mill, about 10 miles northeast of Evergreen, Ala.
April 15, 1956 - A Sunday afternoon tornado touched down in western Jefferson County, Ala., killing 25 people and injuring 200, most of whom lived in the Stacey Hollow and McDonald's Chapel communities. Rated an F4, the tornado traveled 20 miles, was 300 yards wide, and destroyed or damaged more than 350 homes.
April 15, 1958 – Alabama Attorney General John Patterson made political speeches in Evergreen, Alabama’s “No Man’s Land” and in Castleberry while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for Alabama governor. Patterson would go on to serve as Alabama’s 44th Governor from Jan. 15, 1959 to Jan. 14, 1963.
April 15, 1962 – Monroeville attorney Amasa Coleman “A.C.” Lee, the father of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee, died in Monroeville, Ala. at the age of 81. Born on July 19, 1880 in Georgiana, Lee was buried in the Hillcrest Cemetery in Monroeville.
April 15, 1965 - A host of state and federal officials were expected to attend the Claiborne Lock and Dam ground-breaking ceremony on this day to initiate construction of the second project to improve the Alabama River. Scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., the program was to feature such noted guests as Lt. General Walter K. Wilson Jr., chief of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Governor George Wallace; U.S. Senator John Sparkman; and Congressmen Armistead Selden and Jack Edwards. Robert F. Henry, president of the Coosa-Alabama River Improvement Association, was to act as master of ceremonies.
April 15, 1967, Alabama author Lonnie Coleman's play “A Warm Body” opened on Broadway.
April 15, 1967 - Massive parades to protest Vietnam policy were held in New York and San Francisco.
April 15, 1968 - The 23rd Annual Conecuh County Fat Calf Show was scheduled to be held on this Monday at the Conecuh Stockyards in Evergreen, Ala. Bob Moorer was general chairman of the show with M.H. Huggins as advisory chairman. Moorer and Dave Fleming, co-chairman, said that there were be a total of 48 calves entered.
April 15, 1970 – During the Cambodian Civil War, massacres of the Vietnamese minority resulted in 800 bodies flowing down the Mekong river into South Vietnam.
April 15, 1970- As part of the third phase of U.S. troop withdrawals announced by President Nixon, the 1st Infantry Division departed Vietnam.
April 15, 1972 - The Major League Baseball season began following a players strike.
April 15, 1976 - Yankee Stadium II opened.
April 15, 1994 – Episode No. 20 of “The X-Files” – entitled “Darkness Falls” – aired for the first time.
April 15, 1994 - Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported 1.50 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala.
April 15, 1996 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at Conecuh County Emergency Medical Services, a new ambulance service owned by Sid, Veronica and Michael Lambert. The office was initially located at 106 McGehee St. in Evergreen, Ala.
April 15, 1998 – In the fictional “V for Vendetta” graphic novel, the petty criminal known as Gordon and Evey Hammond became lovers.
April 15, 1999 – The “Mobile Bar Association” historical marker was erected on Government Street in Mobile, Ala. to commemorate the 130th anniversary of the association’s founding.
April 15, 2000 - Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles became the 24th major league player to reach 3,000 hits.
April 15, 2006 - Geoffrey von Cromvoirt was arrested by Aruban authorities on suspicion of criminal offenses related to dealing in illegal narcotics that, according to the prosecutor, might have been related to the disappearance of Natalee Holloway of Mountain Brook, Ala. At his first court appearance, his detention was extended for eight days. However, Von Cromvoirt was released on April 25, 2006.
April 15, 2008 – The Johnson-McDuffie Cemetery in Monroe County, Ala. and the Hardin Street Cemetery in Covington County, Ala. were added to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register.
April 15, 2011 – Evergreen, Ala. city officials unveiled a sign on the minor league baseball field at Evergreen Municipal Park, denoting that the field had been named in honor of the late Dawson Kirksey, who lost his life in an auto accident in Feb. 2011.
April 15, 2011 – Cal Ripken Baseball got its start in Evergreen, Ala. with the first official Cal Ripken opening day at Evergreen Municipal Park. Cal Ripken Baseball replaced Little League Baseball in Evergreen.
April 15, 2013 – Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three people and injuring 264 others.