Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Today in History for April 18, 2017

April 18, 1567 – German adventurer Wilhelm von Grumbach, 63, was executed by dismemberment at Gotha, Germany.

April 18, 1775 – During the American Revolution, the British advancement by sea began and British troops began marching toward Concord, Mass. with orders to destroy the armaments stockpiled in the town and to capture Samuel Adams and John Hancock. American revolutionaries Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott rode though the towns of Massachusetts giving the warning that the Regulars were coming out. Later, the phrase "the British are coming" was attributed to Revere even though it is unlikely he used that wording.

April 18, 1818 - A regiment of Indians and blacks were defeated at the Battle of Suwann in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.

April 18, 1831 – The University of Alabama formally opened its doors. Fifty-two students were accepted that first day, but by the end of the session the student body had swelled to nearly one hundred. The faculty was made up of four men including the Reverend Alva Woods, who had been inaugurated president of the university on April 12, 1831.

April 18, 1838 - The Wilkes' expedition to the South Pole set sail.

April 18, 1840 – Philadelphia Baptist Church at Tunnel Springs organized with 12 members and with the Rev. John McWilliams as pastor. John H. Dailey was the church’s first deacon, and Drury A. Randalson was named clerk.

April 18, 1853 - William Rufus King, Alabama’s leading nineteenth-century politician, died in Dallas County. King was a member of the state’s first constitutional convention in 1819 and served for many years in the U.S. Senate and as Minister to France in the 1840s. In 1852 King was elected vice-president of the U.S. on the Democratic ticket with Franklin Pierce. King took the oath of office in Havana, Cuba, where he had gone to recuperate from ill health. King’s health did not improve and he returned to his plantation in Dallas County to die, never actually serving as vice-president.

April 18, 1857 – "The Spirits Book" by Allan Kardec was published, marking the birth of Spiritualism in France.

April 18, 1857 – Lawyer and writer Clarence (Seward) Darrow was born in Kinsman, Ohio.

April 18, 1858 – St. Andrew’s Church in Prairieville, Ala. was consecrated by Bishop Nicholas Hamner Cobbs, almost four years after construction was completed.

April 18, 1861 – Lt. Colonel Robert E. Lee turned down an offer by Abraham Lincoln to command the Union armies during the U.S. Civil War. Two days later he resigned from the U.S. Army.

April 18, 1861 - Pro-Confederate volunteers threw rocks at Pennsylvania troops as they changed trains in Baltimore, Md.

April 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, U.S. Army subsistence stores were seized at Pine Bluff, Ark.; and the U.S. Armory at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia was abandoned and burned by its Federal garrison.

April 18, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Federal bombardment and subsequent capture of Fort Jackson and Fort Saint Philip, La. by Flag Officer David Farragut’s gunboats and Commander David Porter’s mortar fleet began. A skirmish was also fought at Falmouth, Va., and the occupation of Falmouth began on this day. A skirmish was also fought at Chapmanville, West Virginia.

April 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Fayetteville, Ark.; at New Albany, Miss. as part of the Grierson raid; at Hartsville, Tenn.; at Sabine Pass, Texas; and in the vicinity of Johnstown, West Virginia. The destruction of the Confederate salt works near New Iberia, La. took place, and Federal reconnaissance was conducted through Shannon County, Mo. A five-day Federal operation encompassing Salem, Sinking Creek, Current River and Big Creek, Mo. began, and a seven-day Federal operation from Memphis, Tenn. to Coldwater, Miss. also began.

April 18, 1864 – During what is now known as the Battle of Poison Spring, Confederate General Samuel Maxey's troops attacked and captured a Union forage wagon train at Poison Springs, Arkansas. More than 300 Yankee troops were killed, wounded, or captured, while the Confederates lost just 13 killed and 81 wounded.

April 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in the vicinity of Decatur, Ala.

April 18, 1864 - A three-day Federal operation beginning at Burkesville, Ky. and ending at Obey’s River, Tenn. began. Skirmishes were also fought at Hunnewell, Mo. and at Boykin’s Mill, S.C.

April 18, 1865 - Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to General William T. Sherman near Durham, N.C.

April 18, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Double Bridges and Pleasant Hill, Ga.; out from Taylorsville, Ky.; and at Germantown, Tenn.

April 18, 1880 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Sam Crawford was born in Wahoo, Neb. He would go on to play for the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1957.

April 18, 1882 – A devastating tornado hit Evergreen, Ala. destroying every building except for the Episcopal Church.

April 18, 1902 - Alabama author and Poet Laureate William Young Elliott was born in Leeds, Ala.

April 18, 1906 - San Francisco was shaken by an earthquake measuring close to 8.0 on the Richter scale. City blocks crumbled, fires erupted, and when it was all over, the quake had claimed hundreds of lives.

April 18, 1915 – French pilot Roland Garros was shot down and glided to a landing on the German side of the lines during World War I.

April 18, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the criminal docket was completed on this day shortly after noon and court adjourned for the week. A number of important cases were continued to the next term.

April 18, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Ollie Mims of Jeddo in Monroe County, Ala. “died from disease.”

April 18, 1918 – Publisher Clifton Keith Hillegass, the man behind CliffsNotes, was born in Rising City, Nebraska.

April 18, 1919 – A tree from the “battlefields of France” was planted on the lawn of the Conecuh County Courthouse in Evergreen, Ala. “This tree will ever speak to us of those noble sons going from our homes and it will ever be a tree of interest and pride to the people of Conecuh.”

April 18, 1921 - Fire did slight damage to the home of Lewis Cook on this Tuesday morning, according to The Evergreen Courant.

April 18, 1923 – Yankee Stadium, "The House that Ruth Built," opened in the Bronx, N.Y. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 4-1. John Phillip Sousa's band played the National Anthem.

April 18, 1924 – The first crossword puzzle book was published.

April 18, 1925 – In H.P. Lovecraft’s fictional work, “The Call of Cthulhu,” an article appeared in the Sydney Bulletin, an Australian newspaper, on this day that reported the discovery of a derelict ship in the Pacific Ocean with only one survivor—Norwegian sailor Gustaf Johansen, second mate on the schooner Emma, which sailed from Auckland, New Zealand.

April 18, 1925 – Poet Bob Kaufman was born in New Orleans, La.

April 18, 1935 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Louise Lee, an Alabama Polytechnic Institute student, spent the weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee.

April 18, 1935 – The Monroe Journal reported that, on account of the heavy rains which fell during the previous 10 days and the continued cool spell, many farmers in the vicinity of Monroeville, Ala. and in many parts of Monroe County had been forced to plant their cotton the second time. Reports coming to The Journal were to the effect that a large portion of the early plantings and up to size-almost ready to be chopped cotton would in all probability have to be plowed up and planted over.

April 18, 1938 - Superman made his debut when he appeared in the first issue of Action Comics. (Cover date June 1938)

April 18, 1938 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt threw out the first ball preceding the season opener between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics.

April 18-21, 1940 - “Gone With the Wind,” presented at the Monroe Theatre on this Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, attracted the largest crowds ever seen in the history of the Monroe Theatre. W.A. Hendrix, manager of the theatre, stated that approximately 1,900 people attended the show during its four-day run. The attendance at “Jesse James” some time before had been the largest up to Friday, but the attendance at “Gone With the Wind” doubled that of “Jesse James.”

April 18, 1949 – The opening game of the Alabama State League was played on this Monday evening between Brewton and Andalusia in Brewton, Ala.

April 18, 1956 - Ed Rommel became the first umpire to wear glasses during a Major League Baseball game. The game was between the New York Yankees and the Washington Senators.

April 18, 1958 – The U.S. Government dropped its treason charges against 72-year-old poet Ezra Pound and ruled that he be released from an insance asylum.

April 18, 1959 – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Susan Faludi was born in Queens, N.Y.

April 18, 1960 – Huntsville, Ala. native Don Mincher made his Major League debut with the Washington Senators.

April 18, 1960 – Conecuh County’s Annual Fat Calf Show began at 9 a.m. at the Conecuh Cooperative Stockyard on North Main Street in Evergreen, Ala.

April 18, 1966 – Betty Baggett of Repton High School won top Grand Champion honors at the 21st Annual Conecuh County 4H & FFA Fat Calf Show at the Livestock Arena of the Conecuh Cooperative Stockyard. Jerald Padgett of Evergreen High School was the Reserve Champion. A total of 77 calves were expected to be shown by the youthful exhibitors. There were 62 youngsters exhibiting calves, 41 of them being 4H members and 21 FFA members.

April 18, 1969 - At a news conference, President Nixon said he felt the prospects for peace had “significantly improved” since he took office, citing the greater political stability of the Saigon government and the improvement in the South Vietnamese armed forces as proof.

April 18, 1970 - Alabama author Lonnie Coleman's play “A Place for Polly” opened on Broadway.

April 18, 1971 - Turberville’s Store near Franklin was destroyed by fire on this Sunday, at approximately 12 noon. Monroeville Fire Chief Wilbert Pickens said the building was already a total loss when they arrived at the scene. Pickens said he thought the fire started in the loft of the building, but the cause was undetermined.

April 18, 1973 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks was born in Pensacola, Fla. He would go on to play for Florida State and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

April 18, 1976 – Actor and singer Gavin Creel was born in Findlay, Ohio.

April 18, 1976 – Actress, director and producer Melissa Joan Hart was born in Smithtown, N.Y.

April 18, 1976 – English actor Sean Maguire was born in Ilford, London.

April 18, 1976 – American politician Justin Ross was born in Bowie, Md.

April 18, 1977 - Eddie Murray hit his first career home run.

April 18, 1981 – The longest professional baseball game ever began in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The game was suspended at 4:00 the next morning and finally completed on June 23.

April 18, 1982 - The Atlanta Braves set a National League record when they won their eleventh straight game from the start of the season.

April 18, 1987 - Mike Schmidt of the Philadelphia Phillies hit his 500th career home run.

April 18, 1995 - Joe Montana retired from the National Football League.

April 18, 2002 – Sparta Academy’s Mary Hamilton Robinson became the first recipient of the Wayne Peacock Sportsmanship Award at Sparta Academy’s Sports Banquet in the school gym in Evergreen, Ala.

April 18, 2002 – Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl passed away at the age 87 in Colla Micheri, Italy.

April 18, 2003 – The Ackerville Baptist Church of Christ in Ackerville in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

April 18, 2005 - It was announced the NFL's "Monday Night Football" would leave ABC in 2006 for a new home with ESPN. "Monday Night Football" had been on ABC since 1970.

April 18, 2007 – The Searcy School near Greenville, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

April 18, 2007 – The First National Bank of Florala (Fidelity Masonic Lodge No. 685) in Florala and the Bethel Primitive Baptist Church and Cemetery in Babbie in Covington County, Ala. were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

April 18, 2007 – A series of bombings, two of them being suicides, occurred in Baghdad, killing 198 and injuring 251.

April 18, 2009 – The 23rd Annual Castleberry Strawberry Festival was scheduled to be held on this Saturday in downtown Castleberry, Ala.

April 18, 2011 – Before a standing-room-only crowd, the Conecuh County Commission approved Conecuh Woods’ application to construct a landfill between Repton and Range by a 3-2 vote during a special meeting at the Conecuh County Government Center in Evergreen. Commissioners Wendell Byrd, Jerold Dean and Leonard Millender cast the deciding ‘yes’ votes in favor of the landfill application. Commissioners Hugh Barrow and D.K. Bodiford cast ‘no’ votes against the application.

April 18, 2011 - Earl Lavon Thompson, 63, of Evergreen, Ala. was fatally injured when he was struck by a train at 9:43 a.m. at the railroad crossing near the intersection of West Front Street and Belleville Street in Evergreen, Ala.

April 18, 2013 – A suicide bombing in a Baghdad cafe killed 27 people and injured another 65.

April 18, 2014 – Sixteen people are killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest.

April 18, 2016 - Members of the Harris/Sawyer family were scheduled make another appearance on Family Feud, a popular TV game show, on this Monday. Jessica Sawyer, her twin brothers Daniel and Michael Sawyer, and their cousins Bart Harris and Ashley Harris first appeared on the show in February 2016, winning one match and losing a match. Karen Harris Sawyer, who is Jessica’s and Michael’s and Daniel’s mother, appeared on the show in 1982 along with her siblings Susan, Steve and Jeff Harris and Steve’s wife Kathy Harris. Bart and Ashley are Steve and Kathy’s sons.

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