May 9, 1502 - Christopher Columbus left Spain for his final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
May 9, 1540 – Hernando de Alarcón set sail on an expedition to the Gulf of California.
May 9, 1671 – Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempted to steal England's Crown Jewels from the Tower of London. King Charles was so impressed with Blood’s audacity that he pardoned him, restored his estates in Ireland, and gave him an annual pension of 500 pounds. Blood became a colorful celebrity all across the kingdom, and when he died in 1680, his body had to be exhumed in order to persuade the public that he was actually dead.
May 9, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Jonathan Corwin and John Hathorne examined George Burroughs and Sarah Churchill. Burroughs was moved to a Boston jail.
May 9, 1754 - The first newspaper cartoon in America showed a divided snake "Join or die" in "The Pennsylvania Gazette."
May 9, 1781 – Spain won possession of West Florida by military conquest when the British surrendered to the Spanish on this day.
May 9, 1791 - Francis Hopkinson died suddenly of a seizure at the age of 53 in Philadelphia, Pa. He was an American author and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey. He later served as a federal judge in Pennsylvania and played a key role in the design of the first American flag.
May 9, 1860 - Journalist, novelist, playwright and “Peter Pan” creator James Matthew Barrie was born in Angus, Scotland.
May 9, 1861 - In the initial wave of martial enthusiasm that swept both North and South, volunteers were enlisted in great numbers, but for very short terms. It was assumed that very few battles would be needed to either quash the rebellion or ensure Confederate independence (depending on your viewpoint and preference). Wiser heads began to prevail, and on this day President Davis quietly signed a measure providing that all future enlistments would be “for the duration of the war” rather than a prescribed period of time.
May 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederates evacuated Pensacola, Fla.
May 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederates evacuated Norfolk, Virginia. Although there was no battle, the loss of the Norfolk yards was a heavy blow to the South. It was not only essential for the defense of southern Virginia and North Carolina, it was the home port of the pioneering ironclad CSS Merrimack. Retreating forces attempted to destroy what they could not carry, but much was left for the invading Federals.
May 9, 1862 – During the Civil War, an engagement occurred at Farmington, Mississippi.
May 9, 1863 – During the Civil War, an affair took place near Caney Fork, Tenn., and Confederates destroyed the oil works at Oiltown, West Virginia. A skirmish was also fought at Bayou Tensas, Louisiana.
May 9, 1864 – During the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Spotsylvania County, Va., a number of the members of the Conecuh Guards were wounded. First Sgt. Andrew J. Mosley was wounded there but survived war and eventually moved to Falls County, Texas. Thomas Perry was wounded there but survived and returned to live in Monroe County after the war. William Morrow, who’d been wounded earlier at Second Manassas, was wounded there but survived and returned to live in Mobile County after war. Pinckney D. Bowles had his cap knocked out of his hand by a missile from a Yankee gun during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse.
May 9, 1864 - Union troops secured a crucial pass in Georgia – Snake Creek Gap - during the Atlanta campaign. In the spring and summer of 1864, Union General William T. Sherman and Confederate General Joseph Johnston conducted a slow and methodical campaign to seize control of Atlanta. Pushing southeast from Chattanooga, Tennessee, toward Atlanta, Sherman continually tried to flank Johnston, but Johnston countered each move. On May 3, 1864, two of Sherman’s corps moved against Confederate defenses at Dalton, Ga., while another Yankee force under James McPherson swung wide to the south and west of Dalton in an attempt to approach Johnston from the rear. It was along this path that McPherson captured Snake Creek Gap, a crucial opening in a long elevation called Rocky Face Ridge.
May 9, 1864 - Troops under Confederate General John A. McCausland won the Battle of Cloyd's Mountain in Pulaski County, Va. McCausland was promoted to brigadier general for the victory.
May 9, 1864 – During the Civil War, combat occurred at Davenport, and engagements occurred at Cloyd's Mountain and Fort Clifton, Va. Skirmishes were also fought at Benton, Miss. and near Pound Gap, Ky.
May 9, 1864 - Confederates destroyed the U.S. Transport steamer Harriet A. Weed in Florida.
May 9, 1864 – During the Civil War, during Sheridan's Raid on Richmond, Sheridan's army began moving down the Shenandoah Valley, destroying every means the Confederacy could use to support the war.
May 9, 1865 – During the Civil War, Nathan Bedford Forrest surrendered his forces at Gainesville, Alabama.
May 9, 1865 – During the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson issued a proclamation ending belligerent rights of the rebels and enjoining foreign nations to intern or expel Confederate ships.
May 9, 1885 – Major Charles Lewis Scott of Monroeville, Ala. and Col. B.L. Hibbard departed Mobile for Washington, D.C. A short time before this, U.S. President Grover Cleveland appointed Scott as U.S. Minister to Venezuela. Hibbard was to accompany Scott to Venezuela as Scott’s private secretary.
May 9, 1895 – Early on this Thursday morning, the Lower Warehouse at Claiborne, Ala. was destroyed by fire, resulting in a heavy loss to J.H. Moore, the proprietor, and several other merchants.
May 9, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that during the recent term of the Monroe County (Ala.) Circuit Court “two prisoners were sentenced to terms in the penitentiary and eight to hard labor for the county. Those sentenced to the penitentiary were: Sam Brown, grand larceny, two years; Tom English, manslaughter, two years. The following were sentenced to hard labor for the county to pay fine and costs: Pos Finklea, 11 months; Chas. Westry, six months; Jack Gibson, 11 months; Mose Horn, 11 months; Anna Stallworth, two months; Ed Young, six months; Frank Finklea, 11 months; Jim Parker, five months, all colored.”
May 9, 1900 – Daily passenger service on the Louisville & Nashville railroad in the Monroeville, Ala. area began.
May 9, 1905 – Habeus corpus proceedings were held in the case of the State v. Harrison Liddell before Judge I.B. Slaughter in Monroeville, Ala. Liddell was charged with the murder of Shug Riley and his bail was set at $1,500.
May 9, 1906 - Fred L. Hancock, under indictment for the murder of Prof. Jesse Troutman in Escambia County, about 18 months before, broke out of jail at Brewton and escaped on this Wednesday night. Hancock was tried at the previous term of the Escambia County Circuit Court, but the jury failed to agree and he was bound over.
May 9, 1907 – Atmore, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality.
May 9, 1909 - Author Augusta Jane Evans Wilson died in Mobile, Ala.
May 9, 1911 – Conecuh County Sheriff Ely Hines captured Britt Nelson, who allegedly murdered the Manuel Rankin, a preacher who lived a short distance from Evergreen, Ala. in November 1910. Hines arrested Nelson near Ohatchie and brought him back to Evergreen.
May 9, 1911 – The works of Gabriele D'Annunzio were placed in the Index of Forbidden Books by the Vatican.
May 9, 1913 - Up to this Friday, 150 carloads of strawberries had been shipped from Castleberry, Ala.
May 9, 1915 – The Weatherford Bridge, which had recently been built across Little River, was almost entirely destroyed by fire. Ben Boone, who was returning from a trip to Atmore, discovered the fire, which had destroyed a 40-foot section of the bridge. Arson was suspected.
May 9, 1915 – During World War I, the Second Battle of Artois began between German and French forces.
May 9, 1915 - Anglo-French forces fighting in World War I launched their first combined attempt to break through the heavily fortified German trench lines on the Western Front in France.
May 9, 1916 – A general primary election was scheduled to be held in Monroe County, Ala. for the purpose of nominating candidates for President of the United States, state and county officers. L.M. Sawyer was Monroe County Sheriff at the time.
May 9, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Prof. W.C. Wilburn would give up his place as principal of the Agricultural School, having been elected superintendent of education of Hale County.
May 9, 1917 - Frost was reported in Evergreen, Ala. on this morning, the thermometer of the local weather observatory registered 39 degrees.
May 9, 1917 - The Evergreen Courant reported that Conecuh County had purchased a large automobile truck for the hauling of gravel, sand and clay for the county roads as well as for the dressing up and keeping the roads in repair. It was at that time being tried out, with satisfactory results.
May 9, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the railroad company was putting in an additional 400 feet of side track from north switch, to accommodate the increasing traffic in timber and lumber. This improvement had been long needed.
May 9, 1917 – The Evergreen Courant reported that work had been started on the construction of a handsome residence for Attorney E.C. Page on the site of his old home. It was to be one of the most modern homes in Evergreen.
May 9, 1918 – During World War I, Germany repeled Britain's second attempt to blockade the port of Ostend, Belgium.
May 9, 1919 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Timothy O. Porties of Fulton in Clarke County, Ala. “died from disease.”
May 9, 1920 – Author Richard Adams was born in Newbury, England. He’s best known for his first novel, “Watership Down” (1972).
May 9, 1926 – Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claimed to have flown over the North Pole, becoming the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole. Later discovery of Byrd's diary appeared to cast some doubt on the claim.
May 9, 1929 – Darkness ended a 14-inning baseball game between Evergreen High School and East Brewton at Gantt Field in Evergreen, Ala. with the score tied, 4-4. Evergreen pitcher Hub Sanders “proved something of a sensation” in his first start as a pitcher on this Thursday. He struck out 11 and walked one in five innings on the mound.
May 9, 1936 - Alabama author Mary Johnston dies near Warm Springs, Va.
May 9, 1937 – Evergreen’s baseball team retained the lead in the Interstate League by winning this Sunday’s game against Jay, by a score of 6-4 on Jay’s home field. Bill Seale held Jay to five hits to chalk up his second win of the season. Evergreen scored in the third, fourth, seventh and ninth frames, combining timely hits with Jay bobbles to take full advantage of 11 bingles. Jay scored two runs each in the sixth and ninth, on hits and weird fielding, coupled with Seale’s wildness in cutting loose two wild pitches with men on the bags. “Coach” Clements, who base running has been sensational throughout early games, continued his swiping tactics, stealing third base in this game to run his total to eight stolen bases.
May 9, 1938 – Poet and essayist Charles Simic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
May 9, 1938 – The trial against Tom Howard, who was charged with the capital offense of “carnal knowledge,” began in Evergreen, Ala. Through his attorney, R.H. Jones, Howard entered a plea of guilty and received a sentence of 25 years.
May 9, 1938 – On this Monday, the Andalusia Rams baseball team beat the Evergreen Greenies at Gantt Field in Evergreen, Ala. Skipper Rice pitched for Evergreen, and also recorded two hits. Spurlock also had two hits for the Greenies, including a triple. The game’s final score was not reported in The Evergreen Courant.
May 9, 1941 - Author Martha Young died in Greensboro, Ala.
May 9, 1942 – During the Holocaust, the SS executed 588 Jewish residents of the Podolian town of Zinkiv (Khmelnytska oblast, Ukraine). The Zolude Ghetto (in Belarus) was destroyed and all its inhabitants executed or deported.
May 9, 1942 – A fire that originated around the stove flue destroyed the residence of Mrs. Mattie Stallworth on this Saturday afternoon. Living with Mrs. Stallworth were Mr. and Mrs. Hall and family. Some of the furniture and household furnishings were saved but both families suffered severe losses.
May 9, 1946 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville post office was being treated to a new coat of paint and other minor repairs were being made. Painters were also dressing up the front and applying a new coat of paint to the interior of the V.J. Elmore Store.
May 9, 1949 – Musician and singer Billy Joel was born in the Bronx.
May 9, 1958 – The film, “Vertigo,” had its world premiere in San Francisco.
May 9, 1958 – Evergreen High School’s baseball team beat Monroeville, 13-0. The winning pitcher was Ken Tucker, who pitched a four-hit shutout and also went two for four at the plate. In the seventh inning, the Aggies worked over three Monroeville hurlers while running up the score. Robert Ellington contributed to the cause by slamming a home run in the third inning with two men on.
May 9, 1960 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Tony Gwynn was born in Los Angeles, Calif. He played his entire career (1982-2001) for the San Diego Padres. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007.
May 9, 1960 – The Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Enovid for use as a birth control pill.
May 9, 1961 - Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles set a Major League Baseball record when he hit a grand slam home run in two consecutive innings. The game was against the Minnesota Twins.
May 9, 1961 - A resolution congratulating Nelle Harper Lee of Monroeville for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel was passed by one branch of the state legislature on this Tuesday. Passing the resolution paying tribute to Lee for the recognition given “To Kill a Mockingbird” was a breeze for the House of Representatives, but Sen. E.O. Eddins of Marengo County objected to immediate consideration in the Senate, and it went to the Rules Committee there. Senator Eddins said he thought it should be studied before being voted on.
May 9, 1964 – Ngô Đình Cẩn, de facto ruler of central Vietnam under his brother President Ngo Dinh Diem before the family's toppling, was executed.
May 9, 1968 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen High School’s baseball team beat T.R. Miller, 10-4. Tommy Chapman pitched a complete game for Evergreen, striking out seven, and Jimmy Brown went 2-for-3 at the plate to lead Evergreen’s offense. Other players on Evergreen’s team included Bill Bailey, Jimmy Hart, Leon Hinson, Hollis Tranum, Tommy Weaver and Larry Wright.
May 9, 1968 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Escambia County High School’s baseball team beat Evergreen High School, 1-0. Evergreen pitcher Ralph Deason allowed only four hits, and George Stinson recorded Evergreen’s only hit, a single in the first inning.
May 9, 1968 – The Evergreen Courant reported that T.R Miller High School’s baseball team beat Evergreen High School, 5-0. Tommy Scarbrough pitched for Miller, and Jimmy Hart and Ralph Deason pitched for Evergreen. Other Evergreen players included Tommy Weaver and George Stinson.
May 9, 1968 – The Evergreen Courant announced that the Conecuh County Courthouse would be closed until 8 a.m. on Sat., May 11, “for a period of mourning as a tribute” to Gov. Lurleen Wallace, who passed away on May 7.
May 9, 1968 – The Evergreen Courant announced that the manufacturing headquarters of Vanity Fair Mills in Monroeville, Ala. had named W.E. (Bert) Cook as garment manufacturing foreman at Clarke Mills in Jackson. Cook, a native of Evergreen, had worked for Vanity Fair since January 1962. Cook was formerly in the statistical quality control department at Monroe Mills in Monroeville and had been sewing room foreman at Clarke Mills since March 1967.
May 9, 1969 - William Beecher, military correspondent for the New York Times, published a front-page dispatch from Washington, “Raids in Cambodia by U.S. Unprotested,” which accurately described the first of the secret B-52 bombing raids in Cambodia.
May 9, 1970 – During the Vietnam War, in Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrated in front of the White House, demanding the withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations.
May 9, 1973 – “Paper Moon,” a movie version of Alabama author Joe David Brown's book “Addie Pray,” was released.
May 9, 1973 - Johnny Bench hit three homeruns in a game off Steve Carlton. It was the second time he had achieved the feat.
May 9, 1974 – Tal Stuart Jr. presented Bruce Hutcheson with the D.T. Stuart Sportsmanship Trophy during Sparta Academy’s athletics awards banquet on this Thursday night at the Holiday Inn in Evergreen, Ala.
May 9, 1974 – During the Watergate scandal, the United States House Committee on the Judiciary opened formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon, the result of the scandal involving the bungled burglary of the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C., on June 23, 1972.
May 9, 1980 – Evergreen, Ala. native Clint Jackson continued unbeaten as a professional boxer by knocking out Priciliano “Zip” Castillo of Corpus Christi, Texas in the third round of a bout fought in Nashville, Tenn. The fight was Jackson’s seventh as a pro, and he’d won all but the first (an unanimous decision) by knock-outs.
May 9, 1983 - Deatrich Wise of Evergreen, Ala. showed both the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion at the 18th annual Conecuh County FFA and 4-H Market Hog Show held on this Monday morning at the Evergreen Cooperative Stockyard Show Arena.
May 9, 1984 - The Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6, in 25 innings. The game took eight hours and six minutes to complete.
May 9, 1987 - Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles became the first player to switch hit homeruns in two consecutive games.
May 9, 1989 - Rick Cerone of the New York Mets committed his first error in 159 games as catcher.
May 9, 1989 - Kevin Elster of the New York Mets committed his first error in 88 games as shortstop.
May 9, 1992 – A horse show was scheduled to be held at Evergreen Municipal Park, beginning at 4 p.m.
May 9, 1992 – On this Saturday morning, a collision between a northbound freight train and a tractor-trailer led to a nine-car derailment in Castleberry, Ala. Luckily, no one was injured in the mishap. According to Emergency Management Director Billy Mims, the accident occurred at approximately 11:15 a.m. when the truck, loaded with two large tractors, hung up on the crossing in the path of the train. Officials with CSX Railroad stated the engineer applied the train’s emergency brakes and “killed” the engines in an attempt to stop the train. Eight cars, including three engines, overturned while a ninth car left the tracks. Rail traffic was held for two days while the tracks were under repair.
May 9, 1994 - South Africa's newly elected parliament chose Nelson Mandela as the country's first democratically elected president.
May 9, 1995 - The Cleveland Indians tied a record when they recorded eight runs before making an out. They beat the Minnesota Twins, 10-0.
May 9, 1997 - The San Diego Padres retired pitcher Randy Jones’s No. 35 jersey.
May 9, 1997 - Twenty-two years and 10 days after the fall of Saigon, former Florida Representative Douglas “Pete” Peterson became the first ambassador to Vietnam since Graham Martin was airlifted out of the country by helicopter in late April 1975.
May 9, 1998 – Marcia “Marcy” Michelle Griffin was named Conecuh County’s 1999 Junior Miss on this Saturday night at Reid State Technical College in Evergreen, Ala. She also won top honors in the best creative and performing arts category and for best judge’s interview. Gina Harper was chosen as first alternate, and won top honors in poise and appearance and in physical fitness.
May 9, 1999 - Marshall McDougall of Florida State hit six consecutive home runs and knocked in 16 runs. Both records were set in the 25-2 victory over Maryland.
May 9, 2009 – Bo Jackson delivered the commencement speech at Auburn University's graduation ceremony. His speech was centered on the benefits of stepping out of one's comfort zone.