Sunday, April 9, 2017

Today in History for April 9, 2017

USS Herbert (DD-160)
April 9, 1288 – During the Mongol invasions of Vietnam, Yuan forces were defeated by Trần forces in the Battle of Bach Dang in present-day northern Vietnam.

April 9, 1585 – The expedition organized by Sir Walter Raleigh departed England for Roanoke Island (now in North Carolina) to establish the Roanoke Colony.

April 9, 1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River, claimed all lands that touched it for France and named it Louisiana.

April 9, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Kevin O'Brady, Michael Cote and Curtis Flannery were accused of witchcraft by local Daniella DiIorio.

April 9, 1770 - Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.

April 9, 1778 - Jeremiah Wadsworth was named commissary general of purchases for the Continental Army at the recommendation of General George Washington.

April 9, 1782 – During the American War of Independence, the Battle of the Saintes began off the coast of Dominica in the West Indies.

April 9, 1821 – Poet Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris.

April 9, 1830 – Photography pioneer Eadweard Muybridge was born in Kingston upon Thames, England.

April 9, 1859 – Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, received his steamboat pilot’s license at the age of 23.

April 9, 1862 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis appointed Greenville, Ala. native Thomas Hill Watts as Attorney General of the Confederate States, an office that Watts filled until Oct. 1, 1863.

April 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians at Owen’s River, Calif.; and on Hoyle’s Run, in the vicinity of Quincy and another at Jackson, Mo. Federal forces also evacuated Jacksonville, Fla.; and a three-day Federal reconnaissance in front of Yorktown, Va. began.

April 9, 1862 - The Senate of the Confederate States of America took up the subject of conscription, the involuntary induction of men into military service. Philosophically this was a tremendous struggle. The draft was unquestionably needed in order to raise manpower for the army. However, the preservation of individual liberties had been one of the most important reasons given for many states to leave the Union. The draft would eventually be passed.

April 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought along the White River in Arkansas; near Sedalia, Mo.; at Blount’s Creek, N.C.; at Franklin and another along the Obion River, at Antioch Station, Tenn.; and at Gloucester Point, Va. A 35-day Federal operation began in the western portion of Louisiana.

April 9, 1864 – During the Civil war, a skirmish was fought at Prairier D’Ane, Ark.; and an engagement was fought at Pleasant Hill, La. in which Richard Taylor effectively halted Nathaniel Bank’s Red River Campaign. Also on that day, in Biblical sounding manner, General George Meade received his marching orders from General Grant. Writing from Culpeper Court House, Va., Grant sent the following instruction to the head of the Army of the Potomac: “Wherever Lee goes, there will you go also.”

April 9, 1865 – The Battle of Appomattox Court House, fought on the morning of April 9, 1865, was the final engagement of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia before it surrendered to the Union Army under Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of Wilmer McClean’s home, and one of the last battles of the American Civil War. Grant allowed Rebel officers to keep their side arms and permitted soldiers to keep their horses and mules. Though there were still Confederate armies in the field, the war was officially over. The four years of fighting had killed 360,000 Union troops and 260,000 Confederate troops. Lewis Lavon Peacock was among the 26,765 troops in the Army of Northern Virginia when it surrendered at Appomattox.

April 9, 1865 – A 10-day Union expedition from Blakely to Claiborne, Ala. began and included a skirmish at Mount Pleasant, Ala. The Federals also began bombarding and the subsequent reduction of Battery Huger and Battery Tracy, near Mobile, Ala.

April 9, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported the “Sudden Death” of Mrs. Jennet Balled, which occurred near the Watson community in Monroe County. At the time of her death, Balled was living with her daughter, Mrs. Sarah McKinley. “She ate an unusually hearty breakfast and went out to milk her cow, and while in the act of milking, she was stricken helpless and expired in a few minutes,” according to The Journal.

April 9, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Mount Pleasant community, that Capt. T.J. English had returned and brought back his mare, stolen from him on the night of the Aug. 18, 1885. “Upon invitation of Mr. John McDuffie of Bell’s Landing, he went up on the Burke and Mr. McD took him in his buggy and drove with him behind his span of spanking bays to the house of Mr. J.B. McWilliams, a distance of 35 miles, between a late breakfast and three o’clock in the afternoon. Capt. English says he expected every moment to be cast from the buggy and have his neck broken, so rapid was his flight over rocks and hills and mud. But this is John McDuffie’s way of doing things, and he is at home behind the team when he holds the ribbons. Mr. McWilliams had bought the mare of the thief and gave her up without hesitation.”

April 9, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that some of the material was being placed on the ground for the erection of a new Methodist parsonage.

April 9, 1896 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Mexia community, reported that the Hendrix brothers were building a large store at Mexia and would begin business as soon as their store was completed.

April 9, 1896 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Claiborne community, reported that Miss Annie Agee, a “charming young lady” of Perdue Hill, was in Claiborne on Fri., April 3, until about 1 p.m. when she left for Mobile aboard the steamer, Tinsie Moore. The steamboats had been bringing “large freights every trip for the last two or three months, and our Warehouse man, Mr. G.A. Tuthill, has been stepping light during that time,” according to The Journal.

April 9, 1896 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Axel community, reported that O.B. Carpenter was at work on his new residence.

April 9, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Hon. E.R. Morrisette spoke at Pineville on Fri., April 3, and at Jones Mill on Tues., April 7, in the interest of R.H. Clarke’s candidacy for governor.

April 9, 1898 – Pro Football Hall of Fame halfback and kicker Curley Lambeau was born in Green Bay, Wisc. He would go on to play for Notre Dame and the Green Bay Packers, and he also coached the Packers, the Chicago Cardinals and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.

April 9, 1902 – French explorer and scholar Théodore Monod was born in Rouen, France.

April 9, 1903 – Gregory Pincus, one of the inventors of the birth control pill, was born in Woodbine, N.J.

April 9, 1905 – “Considerable hail” fell in the eastern and northern portions of Conecuh County, Ala. on this Sunday afternoon.

April 9, 1905 – Arkansas senator J. William Fulbright, who gave his name to the Fulbright Scholarships, was born in Sumner, Mo.

April 9, 1906 - Dr. Leslie Robbins of Beatrice was in Buena Vista on this Monday doing dental work.

April 9, 1912 - The first exhibition baseball game was held at Fenway Park in Boston. The game was between Red Sox and Harvard.

April 9, 1913 - The Brooklyn Dodgers' Ebbets Field opened.

April 9, 1916 – A “beautiful and impressive” double wedding was held at Owassa at the Baptist church on this Sunday night, when Miss Mamie Long and Mr. Robert Northcutte and Miss Evie Wiggins and Mr. James Long were joined in the holy bonds of matrimony. Mr. and Mrs. Long were to reside in Owassa and Mr. and Mrs. Northcutte were to make their home in Evergreen, where Mr. Northcutte had a position with the Southern Express Co.

April 9, 1916 – During World War I, at the Battle of Verdun, German forces launched their third offensive of the battle.

April 9, 1917 – During World War I, the Battle of Arras began with the Canadian Corps executing a massive assault on Vimy Ridge.

April 9, 1918 – During World War I, at the Battle of the Lys, the Portuguese Expeditionary Corps was crushed by the German forces during what was called the Spring Offensive on the Belgian region of Flanders.

April 9, 1918 – The USS Herbert, a Wickes-class destroyer, was laid down by the New York Shipbuilding Corp. at Camden, N.J. Named after Greenville, Ala. native and former Secretary of the Navy Hilary A. Herbert it was launched on May 8, 191 by Herbert’s daughter, Mrs. Benjamin Micou.

April 9, 1922 – German entomologist and explorer Hans Fruhstorfer was born in Passau, Germany.

April 9, 1925 – An estimated crowd of 12,000 attended the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Marquis de Lafayette’s visit to Claiborne, Ala., believed to be the single largest event ever held in Monroe County, Ala. history.

April 9, 1926 – Hugh Hefner was born in Chicago, Ill. He would go on to become the founder, editor-in-chief, and Chief Creative Officer of Playboy magazine.

April 9, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Married Bachelors” was released.

April 9, 1928 – Parody song writer Tom Lehrer was born.

April 9, 1931 - The Scottsboro Boys, eight young men ranging in age from 13 to 21, were sentenced to die for the alleged rape of two white women on a freight train between Chattanooga, Tenn. and Scottsboro, Ala. The conviction by an all-white jury and the subsequent appeals were widely publicized and led to major protests around the world. Four of the men were freed in 1937, while the others endured lengthy prison sentences. The final prisoner was released in 1950.

April 9, 1935 - Miss Harper Gantt, a member of the senior class at Huntingdon College, left on this Tuesday for La Grange, Ga., to act as a judge in a high school dramatic tournament at La Grange College, according to The Evergreen Courant.

April 9, 1936 - William Eugene Johnson, the oldest son of Mr. and Mrs. E.A. Johnson, who accidentally shot himself while rabbit hunting, died around 11 p.m. in a hospital in Andalusia.

April 9, 1944 – Lt. Winton D. McIntyre, who graduated from Evergreen (Ala.) High School in 1940, was killed in New Guinea. Funeral services for McIntyre were held July 14, 1948 at Memorial Cemetery in Mobile, Ala. with full military honors. McIntyre, son of Mr. and Mrs. O.R. McIntyre, were former residents of Conecuh County, but later of Prichard. McIntyre was well known in Evergreen, according to The Evergreen Courant.

April 9, 1944 – “Son of Dracula,” starring Lon Chaney, Robert Paige and Evelyn Ankers, was scheduled to be shown at the Pix Theatre in Evergreen, Ala.

April 9, 1945 - National Football League officials decreed that it was mandatory for football players to wear socks in all league games.

April 9, 1945 – NFL defensive end Alden Roche was born in New Orleans, La. He went on to play for Southern University, the Denver Broncos, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks.

April 9, 1946 – Major League Baseball first baseman Nate Colbert was born in St. Louis, Mo. He went on to play for the Houston Astros, the San Diego Padres, the Detroit Tigers, the Montreal Expos and the Oakland Athletics.

April 9, 1950 - Bill Hardy, a well-known Conecuh County, Ala. resident, and his wife, were found dead in bed at their home about 12 o’clock on this Sunday night, having apparently been dead for several hours. The discovery was made and reported by Thaddeus Hardy, their son. Conecuh County Sheriff W.D. Lewis immediately began an investigation because of the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the two. The final outcome of the investigation hinged largely upon an autopsy which was performed and the report of this autopsy was expected within a few days from Dr. Grubbs, State Toxicologist. In the meantime, Thaddeus Hardy was placed in jail on an open charge and was being held pending the outcome of the investigation, according to the April 13, 1950 edition of The Evergreen Courant.

April 9, 1962 - President John F. Kennedy threw out the ceremonial first pitch in Washington D.C.’s new stadium, called simply “D.C. Stadium.” In doing so, he continued a long-standing tradition that began in 1910 when President William H. Taft threw out Major League Baseball’s first opening-day pitch in Washington D.C.’s old Griffith Stadium. In 1969, the D.C. Stadium was renamed the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, after President John F. Kennedy’s brother and attorney general, who was assassinated in 1968.

April 9, 1964 – Sports reporter Lisa Guerrero was born in Chicago, Ill.

April 9, 1964 – Evergreen High School’s baseball team suffered its first loss of the season when they lost to Bay Minette, 1-0, on this Thursday night in Evergreen. Jimmy Weaver pitched for Evergreen, allowing just seven hits. Robertson pitched for Bay Minette, giving up just three hits. Bay Minette scored its only run on an unearned run in the second inning.

April 9, 1965 - The Houston Astrodome held its first baseball game, which was the first indoor baseball game ever played.

April 9, 1968 - Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was buried.

April 9, 1969 - The Chicago Eight, indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, pleaded not guilty.

April 9, 1972 – Richard Floyd McCoy Jr., who staged the best-known of the so-called D.B. Cooper "copycat" hijackings on April 7, 1972, was arrested with the ransom cash in his possession, and after trial and conviction, received a 45-year sentence.

April 9, 1976 – Major League Baseball pitcher Kyle Peterson was born in Elkhorn, Neb. He played his entire career for the Milwaukee Brewers.

April 9, 1980 – The Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein killed philosopher Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and his sister Bint al-Huda after three days of torture.

April 9, 1981 - Nature published part of the longest scientific name in history. With 16,569 nucleotides, the systematic name for human mitochondrial DNA is said to be 207,000 letters long.

April 9, 1985 – Major League Baseball pitcher David Robertson was born in Birmingham, Ala. He would go on to pitch for Central-Tuscaloosa High School, the University of Alabama, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

April 9, 1990 - Annie Pearl Oliver, 57, of Evergreen, Ala. was killed and Ernestine Roach of Evergreen was injured in a two-vehicle accident around 3:45 p.m. on U.S. Highway 84, about four miles west of River Falls, Ala.

April 9, 1991 - Bert Holldobler and Alabama author Edward O. Wilson were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for their book “The Ants.

April 9, 1991 - Alabama journalists Ron Casey, Harold Jackson and Joey Kennedy of The Birmingham News were awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for editorials analyzing Alabama's tax system and proposing reforms.

April 9, 1992 - Australia unveiled a massive chocolate Easter egg. It weighed 10,482 lbs. and stood over 23 feet tall.

April 9, 1993 - A movie version of Alabama author Tobias Wolff's book “This Boy's Life” was released.

April 9, 1998 - The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in Andersonville, Ga. at the site of an infamous Civil War camp.

April 9, 2001 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder and first baseman Willie Stargell passed away at the age of 61 in Wilmington, N.C. He played his entire career for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1988.

April 9, 2002 - Alabama author Diane McWhorter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction for her book “Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama, the Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution.

April 9, 2003 – During the Invasion of Iraq, Baghdad fell to American forces and Iraqis turned on symbols of their former leader Saddam Hussein, pulling down a grand statue of him and tearing it to pieces.

April 9, 2003 - The Conecuh County Commission drew sharp criticism when they considered moving the Veterans Affairs office back into the Conecuh County Courthouse during this week. They met with Veterans Service Officer Bill Ferguson on this Wednesday morning to try to settle the issue. Local radio personality and Marine, Luther Upton, was also present at the meeting.

April 9, 2006 – Former Auburn University and Major League Baseball player James Paulus “Jimmy” Outlaw passed away in Jackson, Ala. at the age of 93.

April 9, 2006 – Major League Baseball third baseman, second baseman and shortstop Billy Hitchcock passed away at the age of 89 in Opelika, Ala. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Athletics. He would later manage the Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.

April 9, 2009 – Sparta Academy’s varsity softball team took two games of a double header against Open Door, winning, 9-2 and 8-0, on this Thursday in Evergreen, Ala. Players on Sparta’s varsity softball team that year included Madelyn Black, BreAnna Pate, Sarah Smith and Rachel Stacey. Mike Sims was head coach.

April 9, 2009 - U.S. Representative Bobby Bright (D-Montgomery) told a crowd of around 40 people on this Thursday morning that he is against a proposed landfill in Conecuh County. Bright, who took office about 90 days before this date, held a “Congress on Your Corner” meeting at Repton Town Hall on this Thursday morning and told the crowd that he’s aware that a “vast majority” of people in Conecuh County are against a landfill. Bright’s remarks followed questions from the audience about his stance on a proposed venture to bring a multi-state solid waste landfill to southwest Conecuh County.

April 9, 2016 – A UFO was reported around 9:15 p.m. on this Saturday in Madison, near Huntsville, Ala. The witness in this case was traveling north on Slaughter Road toward a gas station at the intersection of Farrow Road, when he observed a “purple, glowing orb” in the sky north of the gas station. The witness bought a tank of gas and while on the way home, he spotted the object again, this time in the northeast sky.  He continued to watch the object as it began to pulsate, grow brighter and turn pink before it descended out of sight below the treeline. The witness turned around and began to drive toward where the object was last seen, even entering some neighborhoods to determine where it may have landed. In the end, the witness was unable to find or see the object again.

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