Thursday, April 6, 2017

Today in History for April 6, 2017

Marquis de LaFayette
April 6, 648 B.C. - The first known record of a total solar eclipse was made by the Greeks.

April 6, 1320 – The Scots reaffirmed their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

April 6, 1327 – On a Good Friday at St. Clare Church in Avignon, the Italian poet Petrarch, 22, saw the ethereal woman “Laura,” who was maybe 17, for the first time, fell instantly in love and used her as his muse for more than 300 sonnets. Her identity has never been confirmed, but she was probably Laure de Noves, a noblewoman living in Avignon with her husband Hugues de Sade.

April 6, 1483 – Italian painter and architect Raphael was born Raffaello Sanzio in Urbino, Italy.

April 6, 1652 – At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town.

April 6, 1712 – The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 began near Broadway.

April 6, 1748 – Excavations began to unearth the doomed city of Pompeii, where nearly 11,000 people were killed in place and buried under 80 feet of ash by the sudden eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

April 6, 1776 – During the Revolutionary War, ships of the Continental Navy failed in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat.

April 6, 1776 - The Continental Congress opened all American ports to international trade with any part of the world that was not under British rule.

April 6, 1789 - The first U.S. Congress began regular sessions at the Federal Hall in New York City.

April 6, 1804 – President Thomas Jefferson appointed Ephraim Kirby of Connecticut as the first superior court judge of the Mississippi territory. Kirby would pass away about six months later at the age of 47 from a fever at Fort Stoddert near Mount Vernon, Ala. A marker in his memory can be found today at the intersection of Old US Highway 43 and Military Road in Mount Vernon.

April 6, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, American Revolutionary War hero Marquis de LaFayette visited Claiborne, Ala.

April 6, 1826 – Young Madison Rabb was born at Old Town in Conecuh County, Ala. He would go on to write “The Early History of What is Known as the Evergreen Beat.” (Some sources say he was born on April 4, 1826.)

April 6, 1830 – The Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, was organized by Joseph Smith and five others at Fayette or Manchester, New York.

April 6, 1841 – U.S. President John Tyler was sworn in, two days after having become President upon William Henry Harrison's death.

April 6, 1860 – The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, later renamed Community of Christ, was organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois.

April 6, 1861 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln sent word to the Confederate Congress that he intended to send food to Fort Sumter.

April 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Shiloh began near Pittsburgh Landing in Tennessee as forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston. The Confederates conducted a surprise attack on Grant's troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River, and Johnston was killed in the battle, which was one of the bloodiest engagements of the war. The battle included the Hornets' Nest, the Peach Orchard and Bloody Pond.

April 6, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought in the vicinity of Fort Anderson, Calif., and a six-day Confederate operation originating at Greenville Tenn. into Laurel Valley, N.C. began.

April 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Town Creek, Ala.

April 6, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near New Carthage, La. at the James Plantation; at Nixonton, N.C.; at Davis Mill, and Green Hill, Tenn.; and in the vicinity of Burlington, Purgitsville and Going’s Ford, West Virginia.

April 6, 1863 - President Abraham Lincoln had a hard time getting his generals to understand how he wanted them to fight the war. They were obsessed with capturing the enemy capital while Lincoln wanted them to fight the Confederate armies. He wrote on this day to Hooker, the current commander of the Army of the Potomac: “Our prime object is the enemy’s army in front of us, and is not with, or about, Richmond.”

April 6, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along the Arkansas River, Prairie Grove, along the Little Missouri River, and at Piney Mountain, Ark.; and at Prairie Du Rocher, Ill. with Confederate sympathizers.

April 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at King’s Store, Lanier’s Mill, and Sipsey Creek, Ala.

April 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Sailor's (Sayler’s) Creek began as Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia fought and lost its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Va. during the Appomattox Campaign. A third of Lee’s army was cut off by Union troops pursuing him to Appomattox. Lee's army tried to hold off the pursuing Yankees of General Ulysses S. Grant's Army of the Potomac. In fierce hand-to-hand fighting around Sayler's Creek, the Yankees captured 1,700 Confederate troops and 300 supply wagons. As Lee watched his men staggering away from the battlefield, he cried, "My God, has the army been dissolved?" Lee surrendered three days later.

April 6, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Natural Bridge, Fla.; near Amelia Springs, Rice’s Station, Wytheville and near High Bridge, Va.; at Charlestown, West Virginia.

April 6, 1866 – The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, was founded. It lasted until 1956.

April 6, 1886 - J.H. Moore Jr. of Claiborne, the proprietor of the Lower Warehouse, was in Monroeville on this Tuesday and reported that the river was several feet higher than it had ever been before and still rising.

April 6, 1893 – The Salt Lake Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.

April 6, 1895 – A posse of about 20 men tracked outlaw “Railroad Bill” to Bay Minette, Ala., where a gun fight resulted in the death of Baldwin County deputy sheriff James Stewart and Bill’s escape.

April 6, 1895 – On this Saturday night a fire broke out when a large hanging lamp in the dining hall of the Watson House in Monroeville, Ala. fell to the floor and the escaping oil ignited. A large crowd gathered and the “vigorous application” of water and removal of inflammatory material helped extinguish the fire.

April 6, 1895 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau’s station at Claiborne, Ala. reported 1.20 inches of rain on this day. Total rainfall for the month of April 1895 was 2.00 inches.

April 6, 1896 - Some excitement was created in Monroeville, Ala. on this Monday afternoon “by the announcement that a mad dog was at large. Gilderoy, the little son of Rev. J.W. Killough, was bitten by a dog that behaved queerly. The injuries inflicted were very slight, however, and it is to be sincerely hoped that nothing serious will result. The dog was killed.”

April 6, 1897 – Critic, novelist and short-story writer Robert Coates was born in New Haven, Conn.

April 6, 1903 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane was born in Bridgewater, Mass. He went on to play for the Philadelphia Athletics and the Detroit Tigers, and he later managed the Tigers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947.

April 6, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that A.L. Harrison, “the clever depot agent at Sniders,” visited The Monroe Journal office earlier in the week.

April 6, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Activity community that Miss Maude Andrews was teaching “a nice school” near Skinnerton.

April 6, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. D.C. Burson, a Monroe County native and the editor of The Atmore Spectrum, had announced his candidacy for representative in the legislature for Escambia County, Ala.

April 6, 1909 – Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole.

April 6, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that road crews and contractors had been busy for the previous 10 days repairing the damage to roads caused by the heavy rains.

April 6, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that candidates for county offices were “becoming increasingly active as the date for the primary election draws near.”

April 6, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that reduced railroad rates had been granted by practically all railroads in Alabama for delegates to the State Sunday School Convention in Gadsden, April 25-27. The special rate amounted to little more than half the regular rates for the round trip. The exact rate from each station could be secured from the local ticket agent or by writing Leon C. Palmer, General Secretary, Montgomery, Ala.

April 6, 1916 – This day’s edition of The Conecuh Record included a special proclamation by Evergreen Mayor W.B. Ivey that read “To All Owners or Custodians of Dogs Within the Town of Evergreen: This is to notify you that the ordinance adopted March 22, 1909, levying a license tax of $1 and the cost of the tag on each dog is in full force and effect. You will therefore procure a license tax for each dog from the town clerk for the current year. The Marshal is instructed to impound all dogs found without the license tags after April 20, 1916.”

April 6, 1917 – The United States officially entered World War I when the U.S. Congress approved a declaration of war on Germany, entering the war on the Allied side.

April 6, 1920 - The store building and stock of Messrs. Mosley and Lowrey was destroyed by fire at Burnt Corn on this Tuesday night, involving a loss of possibly $10,000. The fire was discovered at a late hour when the flames were too far advanced to save any of the goods. Its origin was unknown, but was probably accidental. The mercantile business had recently been purchased by Messrs. R.L. Mosley and J.F.B. Lowrey from Mr. J.K. Kyser, and “these young men were in a fair way to achieve a degree of success similar in proportion to that of their veteran predecessor,” according to The Evergreen Courant.

April 6, 1920 - Homer Mathis, a 14-year-old white boy, was arraigned before Judge Fountain on this Tuesday, charged with burglary and larceny, having broken into the store of the Blacksher Store Co. at Uriah, pilfering some small articles of value from the post office. The boy confessed his guilt, and Judge Fountain sentenced him to a term in the Reform School at Birmingham.

April 6, 1928 – Molecular biologist James Dewey Watson was born in Chicago, Ill.

April 6, 1937 – Country music singer Merle Haggard was born near Bakersfield, Calif.

April 6, 1940 - Alabama author and Poet Laureate Sue Brannan Walker was born.

April 6, 1941 – During World War II, Nazi Germany launched Operation 25 (the invasion of Kingdom of Yugoslavia) and Operation Marita (the invasion of Greece).

April 6, 1943 – Major League Baseball pitcher Marty Pattin was born in Charleston, Ill. He would go on to play for the California Angels, the Seattle Pilots, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Boston Red Sox and the Kansas City Royals.

April 6, 1944 – NFL quarterback John Huarte was born in Anaheim, Calif. He would go on to play for Notre Dame, the New York Jets, the Boston Patriots, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Chicago Bears.

April 6, 1944 – The Monroe Journal reported that Aviation Cadet Charles E. McNeil, son of Mr. and Mrs. O. McNeil of Frisco City, Ala., had completed his AAF basic flying course at Malden Army Air Field in Malden, Mo. that week and had left for advanced flying school where he was to receive further specialized training.

April 6, 1944 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. W.K. Bodiford of Frisco City, Ala. had received the Purple Heart from their son, Pvt. Thomas Bodiford, who was wounded in action on Dec. 15, 1943. They also received a message from the War Department saying that he had recovered and was able to report for duty on Feb. 2.

April 6, 1944 – The Monroe Journal reported that farmers in Monroe County could obtain help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation in learning the cause of fires which destroy timber by writing or wiring the “FBI in Birmingham.” The Journal said this information was stated in a bulletin received in Monroeville from the SOS Commission, Inc., who was interested in forest fire education programs in the schools of Monroe County. Penalties of a maximum of 30 years in the penitentiary and up to a $10,000 fine under federal sabotage violations were in force due to fact that growing timber was an essential war material. Arrangements for this help by a secret agency was expected to result in much relief from carelessness from fires in the Spring when the sap was up, and when fires completely destroy all vegetation in its path.

April 6, 1945 – A World War II prisoner of war camp opened in Jackson, Ala. Many of the prisoners were members of Germany’s Afrika Korps. The camp closed March 12, 1946.

April 6, 1951 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven was born in Zeist, Netherlands. He went on to play for the Minnesota Twins, the Texas Rangers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Cleveland Indians, the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.

April 6, 1965 - National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy drafted and signed National Security Action Memorandum 328 on behalf of President Lyndon B. Johnson, authorizing U.S. personnel to take the offensive in South Vietnam to secure “enclaves” and to support South Vietnamese operations.

April 6, 1965 - Alabama author Edward Kimbrough died in New Orleans, La.

April 6, 1965 – The first commercial communications satellite, Intelsat I, was placed in orbit. Nicknamed "Early Bird," the satellite was built by Hughes Aircraft Company for COMSAT, the Communications Satellite Corporation, which had been incorporated in 1963. COMSAT's objective was to provide a public telecommunications service via satellites in orbit around the Earth.

April 6, 1967 – Army Cpl. James Floyd Madden, 20, of Brewton, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam. Born on July 26, 1946, he is buried in the Weaver Cemetery at Appleton. (Some sources say he died on April 9, 1967.)

April 6, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, the Siege of Khe Sanh ended.

April 6, 1969 – Army Sgt. David Roger Wiggins, 20, of Monroeville, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam while serving with Co. C of the 47th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Born on May 23, 1948, he is buried in the Mexia Cemetery. He received the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Medal and the Vietnam Service Medal.

April 6, 1972 - Clear weather for the first time in three days allowed U.S. planes and Navy warships to begin the sustained air strikes and naval bombardments ordered by President Nixon in response to the massive North Vietnamese offensive launched on March 30.

April 6, 1973 – The American League of Major League Baseball began using the designated hitter.

April 6, 1973 - U.S. President Richard Nixon threw out the first pitch of the season at a California Angels game. It was the first time that a U.S. President had performed the ceremonial activity in a city other than Washington, D.C.

April 6, 1976 – Actress, producer and author Candace Cameron Bure was born in Panorama City, Los Angeles, Calif.

April 6, 1976 – NFL defensive tackle Chris Hoke was born in Long Beach, Calif. He went on to play for Brigham Young and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

April 6, 1977 – Major League Baseball first baseman Andy Phillips was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He went on to play for the New York Yankees, the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets.

April 6, 1986 - The television program, “The Jar,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was broadcast as part of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents series.

April 6, 1988 - Mathew Henson, who discovered the North Pole with Robert Peary, was awarded honors in Arlington National Cemetery.

April 6, 2005 – Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani became Iraqi president. Shiite Arab Ibrahim al-Jaafari was named premier the next day.

April 6, 2010 - The Southern Literary Trail, the only tri-state literary trail in the United States, officially passed and adopted its by-laws on this day. The three partner states are Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. The Trail's principal theme is the influence of "place" on the work of southern writers. Accordingly, each city or town on the Trail must be home to a discernible place that influenced a writer of a well-known work of fiction. The Alabama towns on the trail are: Demopolis, Hartselle, Mobile, Monroeville, Montgomery and Tuskegee.

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