Monday, May 15, 2017

Today in History for May 15, 2017

Edward Earl Nisewonger
May 15, 1527 – This was the date Anabaptist Hans Huth predicted the final day of judgment. When that didn't happen, he postponed it to 1529.

May 15, 1602 - Cape Cod was discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold.

May 15, 1755 – Laredo, Texas was established by the Spaniards.

May 15, 1776 – During the American Revolution, the Virginia Convention instructed its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independence from Great Britain, paving the way for the United States Declaration of Independence.

May 15, 1781 - Continentals captured Fort Granby from Loyalists in South Carolina.

May 15, 1812 – Tecumseh attended a council at Mississinaway, 30 miles below Fort Wayne, Ind.

May 15, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette spent the night at the home of Major John Keene, five miles from Lexington, Ky.

May 15, 1830 – Allen G. Coleman was born in Lowndes County, Ala. The Allen community in present-day Clarke County, Ala. was named in his honor in recognition of him being an early settler. The Allen post office was established in 1900. In 1813, a defensive fort was founded in this area and named Fort Madison for James Madison (1751-1836), president of the U.S. (1809-1817). After the Southern Railroad reached this point, the settlement was called Suggsville Station for the town located 1-1/2 miles to the east. The name was later changed to Allen. (Place Names in Alabama)

May 15, 1834 – This day’s edition of The Mobile Commercial Register and Patriot carried the announcement that Charles Boyington had been taken into custody aboard the steamer James Monroe, was being held prisoner at Claiborne, Ala. and would be returned promptly to Mobile to answer charges in connection with the murder of Nathaniel Frost. (Boyington Oak)

May 15, 1856 – “The Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum was born in Chittenango, N.Y.

May 15, 1861 - Robert Anderson, Federal commander of Fort Sumter, was promoted to Brigadier General.

May 15, 1861 - Nathaniel Lyons occupied Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri.

May 15, 1861 - United States interference in the affairs of Central America has a long history. On this day, the USS Bainbridge was ordered to the Atlantic coast of Panama. This was a major transshipment point for cargo from the American west coast--including the gold mines of California. The concern was that this would be very attractive to Southern privateers, since the Confederate government desperately needed the gold to buy munitions abroad.

May 15, 1862 - The Battle of Drewry's Bluff, Virginia took place as a fleet of five Union ironclads, including the USS Monitor, steamed up the James River towards Richmond. Since taking the naval base at Norfolk the lower end of the river was undefended. The ships got within eight miles of the Confederate capital when they came to Fort Darling, the defensive station on Drewry’s Bluff. Obstructions in the river slowed them and the cannons blasted them. They retreated. Drewry’s Bluff was never taken.

May 15, 1862 – The Confederate ship “Alabama” launched as the “Enrica” at Birkenhead, England, where she had been built in secret.

May 15, 1862 - Brooklyn's Union Grounds opened. It was the first enclosed baseball park.

May 15, 1862 – President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture. It is later renamed the United States Department of Agriculture.

May 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Proctor Creek, Va. took place and an engagement was fought at Fort Darling, Va.

May 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Linden, Va.; at Trenton's Bridge and Young's Cross Roads, N.C.; at Chalk Bluff, Ark.; and near Butler, Mo.

May 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, Benjamin Butler issued Order Number 28, directing his troops to treat any woman who insults them as they would a woman "plying her advocation (a prostitute)." It was this order that led to his title, the Beast of New Orleans and his picture inside chamber pots.

May 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, a portion of the Tredegar Iron Works and a nearby flour mill burned.

May 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, Joe Johnston ordered John Pemberton to break out of Grant's tightening noose. Pemberton refused the order.

May 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bolton Station and Edwards Station, Miss. With the capture of Jackson, the capital of Mississippi, the day before, General U.S. Grant moved the main part of his army back out of town to Edward’s Station, not far from Clinton. This placed his men only about four miles from the Confederates under General John Pemberton. Meanwhile, back in Jackson, Grant had left General Sherman with orders to take what the army needed and destroy anything remaining that might help the Southern military effort.

May 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Fort Smith, Ark. and at Big Creek and Centre Creek, Mo.

May 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of New Market, Va., students from the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington fought alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley. Confederate forces were led by John Breckinridge.

May 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Resaca, Ga. ended. Sherman had his own army by this time and he was fighting the men of Joseph E. Johnston once again. The battle of Resaca had actually opened the day before, but overnight Sherman had gotten his entire force in position and Johnston had received reinforcements from Gen. Polk.

May 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, combat occurred at Piney Branch Church, Virginia.

May 15, 1865 – Joseph R. Bass, who was discharged from the Confederate Army on May 8, reached Evergreen, Ala. Seven months later he would move to Texas, where he would spend the remainder of his life. He is buried in Caddo Mills, Texas. (Some sources say he arrived in Evergreen on May 10.)

May 15, 1869 - Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony formed the National Woman Suffrage Association.

May 15, 1883 – Former head of Confederate artillery and president of the University of Alabama Josiah Gorgas passed away in Tuscaloosa at the age of 64.

May 15, 1886 – Poet Emily Dickinson died at the age of 55 in Amherst, Mass.

May 15, 1890 – Award-winning short story writer and novelist Katherine Anne Porter was born in Indian Creek, Texas.

May 15, 1891 – Pope Leo XIII issued an official Roman Catholic Church encyclical addressing 19th century labor issues called “Rerum Novarum,” which was Latin for “Of New Things,” considered the original foundation of Catholic social teaching.

May 15, 1896 – On this Friday at 8 p.m., a “large crowd congregated in the dramatic hall to witness the closing exercises of Buena Vista High School. This session of ’95 and ’96 has been successfully taught by Miss Mamie Boroughs of Pineville. The next day a basket picnic was given at Snell bridge in her honor.”

May 15, 1905 – Las Vegas was founded when 110 acres, in what later would become downtown, were auctioned off.

May 15, 1913 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the following were the new officers elected at a recent meeting of the Country Club: W.M. Newton, president; C.P. Deming, vice president; E.J. McCreary, secretary and treasurer; Board of Control: C.P. Deming, W.M. Newton, H.W. Dunn, W.B. Ivey, M.C. Reynolds; New members, J.H. Dey, W.D. Brown, R.R. Long.

May 15, 1916 - All Confederate veterans were requested to meet in Monroeville on this Monday. The annual reunion of the Alabama Division was to be held in Birmingham May 16 to 18. Fare from round trip from Monroe via Flomaton was to be $5.40.

May 15, 1916 - The Austrian army launched a major offensive operation against their Italian enemies on the Trentino front, in northern Italy.

May 15, 1917 – D.M. Maxwell, mayor for the Town of Roy, visited Monroeville on this Tuesday.

May 15, 1926 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Harold Hadley Copeland, a leading anthropological authority on Pacific cultures as well as co-founder and president of the Pacific Area Archaeological Association, died in a San Francisco sanitarium. He first appeared in 1971’s “The Dweller in the Tomb” by Lin Carter.

May 15, 1926 - Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth were forced down in Alaska after a four-day flight over an icecap. Ice had begun to form on the dirigible Norge.

May 15, 1927 - Author and forester Tom Kelly was born in Mobile, Ala.

May 15, 1935 - The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 20-5.

May 15, 1941 – Joe DiMaggio began his record-breaking 56-game hitting streak against the White Sox in Yankee Stadium with a single and an RBI. The streak ended on July 17.

May 15, 1942 - The Senior Class of Excel High School was scheduled to present a comedy in three acts, “Feudin’ in the Hills,” on this Friday night in the Excel High School auditorium. The action in this comedy revolved around two mountain families who had been feuding for generations. The romantic element was supplied by Sam Pruitt who was played by Willard White who lived across the valley from his sweetheart, Edna Mae Martin, which was played by Miss Marie Brantley.

May 15, 1943 - The big War Bond and Stamp celebration which was staged in Evergreen, Ala. on this Saturday attracted one of the largest crowds that had been seen in Evergreen “in many a day.” The event, which was sponsored by the ladies of the county, was not only an impressive one but successful as well. At least $35,000 in bonds and stamps were sold. The county’s quota for that month was $28,200.

May 15, 1944 – S.M. Snowden of Skinnerton, Ala. received a telegram from Camp Carson, Colo. informing him that his 22-year-old son, infantryman Robert Lee Snowden, had died from “accidental injuries.” Born on Jan. 6, 1922, R.L. Snowden died the day before on May 14, 1944. He was a member of the 414th Infantry, Timber Wolf Division, at the time of his death. He was buried in the Mount Pleasant Methodist Church Cemetery at Skinnerton.

May 15, 1948 – Following the expiration of The British Mandate for Palestine, the Kingdom of Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invaded Israel thus starting the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

May 15, 1952 – Alabama baseball great Virgil Trucks pitched his first of two no-hitters during the 1952 season, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 1-0 win over the Washington Senators. He would pitch his second no-hitter in August, becoming one of just five major league pitchers to throw two no-hitters in a single season.

May 15, 1952 – The Monroe Journal reported that a list of six promotions for enlisted personnel in Monroeville’s Battery D of the 108th AAA National Guard Battalion were released that week. Promoted from corporal to sergeant were James B. Barnes, Jessie Brooks and Andrew H. Welch. Elevated from private, first class, to corporal were Glenn H. Bayles, James D. Brown, George Klepac Jr. and Joseph H. Wood. All promotions were effective as of May 1.

May 15, 1953 – National Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman, designated hitter and first baseman George Brett was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia. He would go on to play his entire career (1973-1993) for the Kansas City Royals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

May 15, 1954 - Alabama author William March died in New Orleans, La.

May 15, 1955 – Novelist Michael Garnet “Mike” Stewart, a native of Vredenburg, was born. He went on to graduate from Wilcox Academy in Camden, Auburn University and Cumberland Law School. His novels included “Sins of the Brother” (1999), “Dog Island” (2001), “A Clean Kill” (2002) and “A Perfect Life” (2004).

May 15, 1958 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Joe B. Nix Jr., Evergreen attorney, was one of 10 candidates in the second primary seeking the five places left on the State Democratic Executive Committee from the Second District. Nix led the ticket in Conecuh County.

May 15, 1958 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Clarence Smith, whose wife, Ramona, and parents, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Smith, lived in Evergreen, had recently completed his classes in Minesweeper Automatic DeGausing at the U.S. Navy Schools Yorktown, Va. Prior to enlisting in the Navy, Clarence graduated from Evergreen High School and was employed by The Evergreen Courant.

May 15, 1959 – In the finals of the First District baseball playoffs, Jackson High School beat Evergreen High School, 5-2, in Jackson, Ala. Evergreen finished the season with a 9-4 overall record.

May 15, 1959 – The Alabama Highway Department opened bids for grading and drainage work to be done on the more than 17 miles of interstate highway between Evergreen and Georgiana. Hyde Construction Co. of Jackson, Miss. submitted the lowest bids on both the 8.667 miles between Evergreen and the Conecuh-Butler line ($1,473,435) and the 8.691 miles between the county line and Georgiana ($1,389,403).

May 15, 1965 - The Canadian Football Players Association was organized.

May 15, 1966 – After a policy dispute, Prime Minister Nguyễn Cao Kỳ of South Vietnam's ruling junta launched a military attack on the forces of General Tôn Thất Đính, forcing him to abandon his command.

May 15, 1967 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz was born in Warren, Mich. He would go on to play for the Atlanta Braves, the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2015.

May 15, 1967 - The 4th Annual Conecuh County Market Hog Show was scheduled to be held on this Monday at the Conecuh Stockyards. Registration was to begin at 5:30 a.m., the show at 8:30 a.m. and the sale of the show hogs at 1 p.m. Over 100 head of top quality market hogs were expected to be shown. C.L. Kamplain was show chairman and D.C. Fleming was advisory chairman.

May 15, 1967 - U.S. forces just south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) came under heavy fire as Marine positions between Dong Ha and Con Thien are pounded by North Vietnamese artillery. At the same time, more than 100 Americans were killed or wounded during heavy fighting along the DMZ.

May 15, 1967 – Best-selling writer Laura Hillenbrand was born in Fairfax, Va.

May 15, 1967 - Lieutenant McMillian, a 33-year-old Monroeville man, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on a second-degree murder charge by a Monroe County Circuit jury on this Monday afternoon. McMillian had been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Mildred Dale, who was killed June 19, 1966 in a café near Monroeville. The jury, composed of 11 women and one man, deliberated about 45 minutes before returning the guilty verdict on the reduced charge.

May 15, 1967 – For the first time ever, 17 women were called for prospective jury duty when the criminal session of circuit court opened in Monroe County on this Monday. Women were called for the first time for jury duty at the civil session in April of that year and May 15, 1967 was the first time for women to be called for criminal court duty in Monroe County.

May 15, 1969 – Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith was born in Pensacola, Fla. He went on to play for the University of Florida, the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

May 15, 1970 – Army Spc. Edward Earl Nisewonger, 21, of Flomaton, Ala. was killed in action in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. Born on July 15, 1948, he was a member of C Co., 65th Engineer Battalion. He was buried in Little Escambia Cemetery in Flomaton.

May 15, 1970 - At the White House, President Richard Nixon presented Sgt. John L. Levitow with the Medal of Honor for heroic action performed on Feb. 24, 1969, over Long Binh Army Post in South Vietnam. Then an Airman 1st Class, Levitow was the loadmaster on a Douglas AC-47 gunship. His aircraft had been supporting several Army units that were engaged in battle with North Vietnamese troops when an enemy mortar hit the aircraft’s right wing, exploding in the wing frame. Thousands of pieces of shrapnel ripped through the plane’s thin skin, wounding four of the crew. Levitow was struck 40 times in his right side; although bleeding heavily from these wounds, he threw himself on an activated, smoking magnesium flare, dragged himself and the flare to the open cargo door, and tossed the flare out of the aircraft just before it ignited. For saving his fellow crewmembers and the gunship, Airman Levitow was nominated for the nation’s highest award for valor in combat. He was one of only two enlisted airmen to win the Medal of Honor for service in Vietnam and was one of only five enlisted airmen ever to win the medal, the first since World War II.

May 15, 1972 – Alabama Gov. George Wallace was shot during an outdoor rally in Laurel, Maryland while campaigning for the Democratic nomination for president. The assassination attempt by 21-year-old Arthur Bremer left the Governor paralyzed from the waist down and effectively ended his chances at the nomination. He campaigned again for president in 1976, marking his fourth consecutive run for that office.

May 15, 1972 – Former Philadelphia Phillies catcher Douglas Woolley “Dixie” Parker, who was born at Forest Home in Butler County, Ala., passed away in Tuscaloosa at the age of 77. He was buried in Green Pond Cemetery in Green Pond, Ala.

May 15, 1973 - Nolan Ryan of the California Angels pitched his first no-hitter.

May 15, 1976 – Major League Baseball relief pitcher Tyler Walker was born in San Francisco, Calif. He went on to play for the New York Mets, the San Francisco Giants, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals.

May 15, 1976 – NBA player Torraye Braggs was born in Fresno, Calif. He went on to play for Xavier University, the Utah Jazz, the Houston Rockets and the Washington Wizards.

May 15, 1976 – NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was born in Great Falls, Montana. He went on to play for Washington State, the San Diego Chargers and the Dallas Cowboys.

May 15, 1982 – The Evergreen Junior League Baseball Association was scheduled to officially open the 1982 season on this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the City Park. The teams that year were as follows: Little League – Braves coached by Mike Bledsoe and sponsored by Conecuh Timber, Inc. and Whites Home and Auto; Dodgers, coached by Melvin Johnson, sponsored by B&S Drugs, Inc.; Giants, coached by Tom Jones and sponsored by Presley-Fluker; and Yankees, coached by Norman Marable and sponsored by Crispy Chick. Minor League – Mets, coached by Arlton Hudson and sponsored by Phillip Harold’s Carpet; Orioles, coached by David Thomas and sponsored by Webb’s Car Wash; Red Sox, coached by Gerald Salter and sponsored by Powell’s Dozier Co. Ponytail League – Angels, coached by Sylvia Morris and sponsored by Sassers Jewelry and Hardees; Tomboys, coached by Elaine Colvin and sponsored by Holiday Inn of Evergreen and Lady Arrow, Inc.; Wildcats, coached by Darwin Covin and sponsored by Aubrey Padgett’s Garage and Woodmen of the World. T-Ball League – Athletics, coached by Jerry Evers; Rangers, coached by Mike Faulkner; Tigers, coached by Hillary Harper.

May 15, 1982 - Excel High School’s Quarterback Club held its annual sports banquet on this Saturday in the school’s cafeteria. Awards were given for the top 1981-82 baseball and basketball athletes. The winners and their awards were: best defensive baseball players, Tom Reed and Hagen Lambert; best baseball batting average, Mark Crutchfield; Roy Stacey 100-Percenter Award, Billy House; most runs batted in, Pat Downs; best field goal shooting and rebounding averages in basketball, Robert Costic, and best free throw-shooting average, Earl Hollinger.

May 15, 1984 - Archeologists in Guatemala made a remarkable find - a painted Mayan tomb more than 1,500 years old that was untouched by looters.

May 15, 1989 – State Treasurer George C. Wallace Jr. was the featured speaker at the Evergreen Civitan Club’s first ever banquet on this Monday night at the Quality Inn in Evergreen, Ala.

May 15, 1991 - U.S. President Bush took Queen Elizabeth to an Oakland A's-Baltimore Orioles game.

May 15, 1992 – “Bob Meeks Day” was scheduled to be celebrated in Evergreen, Ala. in honor of Evergreen native Bob Meeks, a senior at Auburn University, who was drafted by the Denver Broncos of the National Football League. A reception was scheduled for 6 p.m. at Hillcrest High School, and Auburn head football coach Pat Dye was expected to attend. The event was originally scheduled for May 1, but had to be reschedule. James Daniel, offensive line coach of the Auburn Tigers, was also expected to join several area officials in praising Meeks for his accomplishments on and off the field. Evergreen Mayor Lee Smith and County Commissioner Freddie Stallworth were to represent the City of Evergreen and Conecuh County Commission, respectively. State Representative Jimmy Warren was also expected to represent the office of Gov. Guy Hunt in presenting a proclamation to Meeks.
The public was invited to attend, and admission was free. During the day prior to the reception, Meeks planned to travel to area schools, delivering messages to “stay in school and stay away from drugs.”

May 15, 1992 - Area residents were expected to be able to take a close-up look at the new $700-million Alabama Pine Pulp Co. (APP) mill at Claiborne, Ala. during its grand-opening celebration on this Friday. On Friday, entertainment by school bands was to begin at 11 a.m. Alabama Gov. Guy Hunt was expected to speak at the noon ceremony, which was also to include comments by other government officials and George Landegger, chairman of Parsons & Whittemore Inc. of New York, the first that constructed the mill and owns and operates it. The site for the new mill was dedicated in October 1989, and the first pulp was produced on Dec. 7, 1991.

May 15, 1993 - The Montreal Expos retired Rusty Staub's No. 10 jersey. It was the first number retired by the team.

May 15, 1993 - The Alamodome opened in San Antonio, Texas.

May 15, 1995 – Evergreen, Ala. Police Chief Thomas W. Booker was sworn in as the new state chapter president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police.

May 15, 2001 - A runaway train rolled about 70 miles through Ohio with no one aboard before a rail employee jumped onto the locomotive and brought it to a stop.

May 15, 2008 - Sparta Academy’s J.R. Williams signed a letter of intent on this Thursday to play college football at Huntingdon College in Montgomery. During a signing ceremony on this Thursday morning in Sparta’s school library, Williams announced that he would play at defensive back or wide receiver for the Hawks the next season. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Williams, who lived in Evergreen, was a three-year starter at Sparta, where he was a standout on both sides of the ball, pulling duty at times as wide receiver, cornerback, quarterback and running back.

May 15, 2010 – Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.

May 15, 2013 – An upsurge in violence in Iraq left more than 389 people dead over three days.

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