Monday, April 3, 2017

Today in History for April 3, 2017

Wilcox Female Institute
April 3, 1513 - Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida after sighting the land on the day before.

April 3, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Sarah Cloyce, after defending her sister, Rebecca Nurse, was accused of witchcraft.

April 3, 1776 - The Continental Congress gave privateers permission to attack any and all British ships.

April 3, 1776 - George Washington received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Harvard College.

April 3, 1777 - General George Washington wrote to Benedict Arnold and confessed that he had been surprised to not see his name on the list of men promoted to major general.

April 3, 1783 – Author, statesman and short-story writer Washington Irving was born in New York City. His most famous works include “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle.”

April 3, 1798 – American admiral, geographer, and explorer Charles Wilkes was born in New York City. He led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 and commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the Civil War. Although credited with several "firsts," including the discovery of Antarctica, his behavior led to two convictions by court-martial.

April 3, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, French general and Revolutionary War hero, the Marquis de Lafayette, arrived in Montgomery, Ala. and was entertained with great fanfare. He was greeted by a crowd of some 3,000 people at Goat Hill, now the site of the capitol building. Gov. Israel Pickens spared no expense for Lafayette's visit to Alabama - which included stops at Cahaba, Claiborne and Mobile - expending more funds than existed in the state treasury.

April 3, 1837 – Nature writer John Burroughs was born near Roxbury, N.Y.

April 3, 1845 – The First Presbyterian Church of Camden was organized by a Commission of Southern Alabama Presbytery to serve the community of Camden in Wilcox County, Ala.

April 3, 1846 – British explorer William Braine died of lead poisoning at Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada. A Marine in the Royal Marines, he was part of an expedition to find the Northwest Passage, but he died early in the trip and was buried on Beechey Island. His preserved body was exhumed in 1984 to try to determine his cause of death.

April 3, 1860 – The first successful United States Pony Express run from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California, a distance of 1,800 miles, began. The trip across country took about 10 days, but the Pony Express only lasted about a year and a half. The first mail pouch contained 49 letters, five telegrams, and a variety of papers.

April 3, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate batteries on Morris Island, in Charleston Harbor, S.C., fired on the schooner, Rhoda H. Shannon.

April 3, 1862 - Apalachicola, Fla. was occupied by Federal troops.

April 3, 1862 - Confederate General Albert Sidney Johnston began an advance on Union troops at Shiloh.

April 3, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate forces began their departure from Corinth, Miss., en route to Pittsburg Landing, Tenn. Skirmishes were also fought in the vicinity of Monterey, Tenn. and at Moorefield, West Virginia. A two-day Federal reconnaissance in force from Ship Island, Miss. to Biloxi and Pass Christian, Miss. began.

April 3, 1863 - A four-day Federal operation from Camp Piatt through Cogan and Cabell Counties, West Virginia began, and a skirmish was fought at Mud River, West Virginia. A four-day Federal operation also began between Fairfax Courthouse to Middleburg, Va.

April 3, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Clarksville and another at Elkin’s Ferry, on the Little Missouri River in Arkansas; at Ducktown Road, Ga.; in the vicinity of Fort Gibson in the Indian Territory; at Grand Ecore, La.; at Clinton, Miss.; and at Cypress Swamp and Raleigh, Tenn.

April 3, 1865 - A two-day Federal reconnaissance from Huntsville to Vienna, Ala. began. A skirmish was also fought at Northport, near Tuscaloosa, Ala.

April 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, Union forces captured Richmond, Va., the capital of the Confederate States of America, the most significant sign that the Confederacy was nearing its final days. Union troops entered and occupied the city and raised the Stars and Stripes.

April 3, 1865 - Petersburg, Va. fell to Union General Grant.

April 3, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Farmington, Mo.; at Mount Pleasant, Tenn.; and at Hillsville, Va. A nine-day Federal operation also began in the vicinity of Ashville, N.C.

April 3, 1882 - The American outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back and killed by Robert Ford for a $5,000 reward. There was later controversy over whether it was actually Jesse James that had been killed.

April 3, 1885 – English explorer St. John Philby was born in Badulla, British Ceylon.

April 3, 1887 – The Rev. Mr. Sturgeon was scheduled to preach at the Presbyterian church on this Sunday.

April 3, 1888 – The first of 11 unsolved brutal murders of women committed in or near the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London occurred.

April 3, 1894 – Outlaw Wyatt Tate, who murdered constable William Ikner on March 24, shot and killed 42-year-old Monroe County Sheriff James D. Foster. Foster was born on April 18, 1851 and was buried in the Perdue Hill Cemetery. (See April 3 entry for more details.)

April 3, 1896 – Sidney Stacey born in Monroe County, Ala. to Robert Stacey and Anna Adline Hayles Stacey. He passed away at the age of 82 on Aug. 5, 1978 and was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Monroe County.

April 3, 1906 - A “miniature cyclone” passed near the outskirts of Pineville on this Tuesday evening about 9 p.m. “Several persons saw it, a cloud of bright light went before it, supposed to have been caused by electricity, showing the falling trees as it made a noise like the roar of thunder,” The Monroe Journal reported.

April 3-4, 1914 – Baseball teams from Camden and Pine Apple were scheduled to play each other in Monroeville on Fri., April 3. These two teams were scheduled to play Monroe County High School in Monroeville the following day, Sat., April 4.

April 3, 1916 – San Francisco columnist Herb Caen was born in Sacramento, Calif.

April 3, 1916 - The Monroe County Board of Revenue awarded the contract for the grading, draining and surfacing of the road from Excel to Goodway through Wild Fork to Skipper, Ward & Kelly. Work was scheduled to begin on the road within 30 days and rushed to completion. The road served a large population and was badly needed as was shown by the report of the County Engineer, according to The Monroe Journal.

April 3, 1916 - S.H. Dent spoke to a “large and appreciative audience” at the Conecuh County Courthouse on this Monday afternoon in the interest of his candidacy for re-election to congress. Dent ranked second on one of the most important congressional committees, that of the military, according to The Conecuh Record. From Evergreen, Dent went to Castleberry, where he addressed “another good crowd,” the newspaper reported.

April 3, 1917 - Mr. D.M. Maxwell, mayor of Roy and cashier of the Peoples Bank of the same city, was a business visitor to Monroeville on this Tuesday.

April 3, 1917 - Residents of Monroeville were startled by the alarm of fire shortly before noon on this Tuesday. The fire was located at the barn of Mr. H. Cameron in the Monvil Park residence district and within a few moments scores of volunteers were on the scene. By heroic exertions of the bucket brigade, the flames were successfully fought off and within 30 minutes all further danger was past.

April 3, 1918 - The Allied Supreme War Council formally conferred the post of commander in chief on the Western Front to General Ferdinand Foch.

April 3, 1920 – Zelda Sayre married writer F. Scott Fitzgerald in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. Zelda met Scott at a dance in Montgomery, Ala. in July 1918, barely a month after graduating from Sidney Lanier High School. The couple would come to embody the freedoms and excesses of the 1920s Jazz Age, and Zelda became an icon of the "flapper" lifestyle.

April 3, 1926 – Major League Baseball second baseman, third baseman, shortstop and manager Alex Grammas was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to play for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cincinnati Redlegs and the Chicago Cubs. He would also manage the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.

April 3, 1933 – The first flight over Mount Everest occurred. The flight was a British expedition, led by the Marquis of Clydesdale, and funded by Lucy, Lady Houston.

April 3, 1934 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive lineman Jim Parker was born in Macon, Ga. He went on to play for Ohio State and the Baltimore Colts. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1973.

April 3, 1934 – Dr. Jane Goodall, famed British primatologist who revealed the previously unknown social behaviors of chimpanzees by living for years among them, was born in London.

April 3, 1937 – Heavy rains began in Evergreen, Ala. and when they ended around 36 hours later, 8.65 inches had fallen, causing flooded roads, bridges and other damage.

April 3, 1953 – Children’s books writer Sandra Keith Boynton was born in Orange, N.J.

April 3, 1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech in Memphis, Tenn. just 24 hours before he was assassinated.

April 3, 1969 – The Monroe Journal published the Supplemental Issue of its Centennial Edition.

April 3, 1969 - Jim Morrison was arrested by the FBI for interstate flight, which stemmed from obscenity charges after a Miami concert.

April 3, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, United States Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announced that the United States would start to "Vietnamize" the war effort.

April 3, 1969 - U.S. military headquarters in Saigon announced that combat deaths for the last week of March had pushed the total number of Americans killed during eight years of U.S. involvement in Vietnam to 33,641. This was 12 more deaths than during the Korean War. By the end of the war, 47,244 Americans had been killed in action in Vietnam. An additional 10,446 died as a result of non-hostile causes like disease and accidents.

April 3, 1972 - The United States prepared hundreds of B-52s and fighter-bombers for possible air strikes to blunt the recently launched North Vietnamese invasion, and the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk was sent from the Philippines to join the carriers already off the coast of Vietnam and provide additional air support.

April 3, 1974 – On their way to an eventual 3A state baseball title, Monroe County High School beat Jackson, 39-1, in Jackson, Ala. Ronnie Dees was MCHS’s head coach.

April 3, 1974 - The Super Outbreak occurred, the second largest number of tornadoes in recorded history. In a 24-hour period, 148 twisters were confirmed in 13 U.S. states.

April 3-4, 1974 - During a record outbreak of tornadoes in 12 states and Canada, 86 Alabamians died and 949 were injured. A total of 148 tornadoes caused 315 fatalities, 6,142 injuries, and $600 million in property damage in the United States and Canada.

April 3, 1975 – The Louisville & Nashville Depot in Evergreen, Ala., built in 1907, was placed on National Register of Historic Places.

April 3, 1975 - The Wilcox Female Institute in Camden, Ala., built between 1845 and 1850, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

April 3, 1978 - There were nine cases set on the Criminal Docket for the Spring Term of Circuit Court of Conecuh County, according to Circuit Clerk Jean Ralls. All of the cases were set for this Monday. History was probably being made as no jurors were being called for duty for the term of criminal court. Attorneys for all of the defendants had indicated that all of their clients would enter pleas of guilty on this Monday.

April 3, 1985 - The Major League Baseball Players' Association agreed to a proposal of the team owners to expand the 1985 League Championship Series from the best-of-five games to best-of-seven.

April 3, 1996 - Ted Kaczynski was arrested at his isolated cabin near Lincoln, Montana, where investigators found evidence linking him to the Unabomber crimes. He pled guilty in January 1998 to five Unabomber attacks in exchange for a life sentence without chance for parole.

April 3, 1997 – In what was at the time the largest seizure of cocaine in Alabama history, a routine traffic stop by the Alabama Department of Public Safety’s Motor Carrier Safety Unit around 5 p.m. at the northbound rest area on Interstate 65 in Conecuh County netted over 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cocaine in a container in a trailer loaded with 30,000 pounds bananas. Street value was estimated at $24 million.

April 3, 2006 - U.S. President George Bush threw out the first pitch at the Cincinnati Reds opening home game.

April 3, 2007 - Alabama author Thomas Hal Phillips died in Kossuth, Miss.

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