Monday, July 31, 2017

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 340: Listen to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924)

A number of years ago, I read an interesting article about musical composer George Gershwin, whose life was cut short in 1937 when he was just 38 years old. Gershwin wrote a number of famous musical compositions, including his well-known “Rhapsody in Blue.” I couldn’t honestly say that I’d ever listened to this widely-known musical work, which is why I put it on my “bucket list” a few years ago.

On Sunday, I set aside enough time to listen to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” from start to finish. It took me only a few minutes to find a complete recording of it on YouTube, and once my earplugs were in place, I listened to the whole thing. Some of it sounded familiar, but I enjoyed finally listening to the whole thing – and officially scratching it off my “bucket list.”

For those of you unfamiliar with Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” it was written in 1924. Like most traditional concertos, it was written for a solo instrument (in this case a piano) with a jazz band accompaniment. Interestingly, Gershwin was later quoted as saying that the pieces was largely inspired by the rhythmic sounds that came to his ears during a train ride to Boston.

“Rhapsody in Blue” was first publicly performed during a concert on Feb. 12, 1924 at Aeolian Hall in New York City. That concert, which was called “An Experiment in Modern Music” was held by Paul Whiteman and his band, Palais Royal Orchestra.” Whiteman, who outlived Gershwin by 30 years, was a famous band and orchestra leader, composer and violinist, who was often called the “King of Jazz.”

If you’d like to listen to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” for yourself, it’s relatively easy, especially if you do what I did. Just go to YouTube and type “Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue” in the search field. The search results should give you a wide variety of recordings to check out. The one that I listened to was 17 minutes and 38 seconds long.

I listened to the entire piece of music from beginning to end in one sitting and really got a kick out of it. I listened to much of it with my eyes closed, and some of it sounded very familiar. I honestly couldn’t put my finger on where I’d heard it before, but I’m sure that I’ve heard some of it played during TV commercials and on cartoons.

If you enjoy listening to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” you might want to check out some of his other well known works, including the music for 1928’s “An American in Paris” and the 1935 opera “Porgy and Bess.” Gershwin is also famous for his composition “Concerto in F,” which I listened to a few years ago.

In the end, how many of you have listened to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”? What did you think about it? What other musical works would you recommend listening to? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for July 31, 2017

Racecar driver Bobby Allison.
AUG. 6, 2009

Sparta Academy began fall football practice last Thursday, and 22 players make up this year’s fall roster.
Players on this year’s roster include Nick Andrews, Tom Andrews, Brandon Baggett, Will Booker, Joey Bradley, Michael Brown, Brooks Carpenter, Michael Cook, Devlin Crosby, Ashton Culp, Alex Fleming, Nicholas Hardin, Taylor Harrelson, Jacob Hendrix, Chance House, Cody House, Jody House, Davis Johnson, Logan Manus, John McDonald, Dylan Middleton and Drayton Rodgers.
Sparta is scheduled to kick off its regular season schedule on Fri., Aug. 21, when the Warriors take on Escambia Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. Last year, Sparta slammed Escambia, beating the Cougars, 35-0, in the season-opener at Canoe.

Hillcrest High School was scheduled to hold its first official preseason football practice Tuesday night in preparation for the upcoming football season.
The Jags could have kicked off practice as many teams across the state did on Monday, but Hillcrest head coach Maurice Belser opted to give players a day off to recover from “Camp Belser,” a rigorous preseason camp geared toward getting the Jags in better shape.
After a team meeting Tuesday evening, the Jags were scheduled to hold a practice “under the lights” to simulate game conditions during their first practice, Belser said.

AUG. 2, 1984

Photographer and Mayor-elect Pat Poole provided the cutline for this picture: “Stanley Johnson on the reel and Harry Crabtree on the dip net teamed up to land this 21-pound Blue Catfish last Saturday at Camden. It’s not a record, but when you catch ‘em on a bream hook, it is noteworthy.”

Race king Allison leads State March of Dimes: Alabama March of Dimes is proud to announce as Honorary Chairman for the 1984-85 campaign, Bobby Allison of Hueytown, Ala.
One of Alabama’s favorite sons, Bobby was NASCAR’s 1983 Champion of the Year. Bobby, who is one third of the famous “Alabama Gang,” along with brother Donny Allison and Neil Bonnett, pledges his support for this year’s campaign.
Along with Alabama State Poster Child, Scott Cunningham, Bobby has already filmed a Public Service Announcement for this year’s National Telethon and later on, during the campaign, will be on a poster with Scott, which will be distributed statewide.

AUG. 6, 1959

Greenies Cop Title In Amateur Loop: The Evergreen Greenies clinched the Conecuh County Amateur League pennant by walloping Pine Orchard, 16-4, here Sunday.
It was the Greenies’ 13th victory in 14 starts. A suspended game earlier this year with Pine Orchard is yet to be played.
Leon Stinson, making his first appearance on the mound, pitched a neat seven-hitter for the win.
His teammates banged out a total of 18 hits, including a home run by Jeff Moorer.
The Greenies will conclude their schedule with a two-game series with Paul before they play host to them here Sunday.
All-Star game here Aug. 23rd. George Gaston with a 10-0 record is expected to pitch against Paul.

Jr. leagues will stage star tilts Saturday: Byron Warren, president of the Evergreen Junior Baseball League, announces the 1959 All-Star game will be played Saturday night at the Jr. League Park, game time will be at eight o’clock.
Warren states that he cannot give the names of the players for the American League at this time. A double-header tonight will have a bearing on the standings of the teams. All-Stars are chosen from the second, third and fourth place teams.
The names of the players and the teams from which were chosen in the National League are: Red Sox, Crosby, Harper, Hansen; Giants, Baggett, J. Ellis, B. Thornley, Mosley; Yankees, Dees and Salter.

RESULTS: Pelicans v. Orioles: The Pelicans edged the Orioles, 6-5, Monday. Eddie Messer and Harold Wright, Orioles whirlers, gave up no hits but walked many. Knud Nielsen twirled for the Pels. Wayne Caylor and Tommy Hartley were head stickmen for the Orioles.

Chicks v. Orioles: Ziss-Boom-Bah! A cheering section? Not exactly – just a couple of Orioles fans cheering their team to victory over the Chicks, 8-3, Tuesday night. Jack White gave up one hit to Donnie Pittman. Bobby Sasser and Gary Faulkner twirled for the future Dodgers. Tommy Hartley and Wayne Caylor collected the two Orioles bingles.

Yankees v. Red Sox: The Yankees almost wore out home plate Tuesday night. They crossed it 17 times. The Red Sox contributed little to the dish’s depreciation. They tallied only once. Scott Cook notched the win on the hill. Vernon Crosby and Don Hansen belted for nine Yank base blows. Robert Rigsby and Claude Aaron was three for four and Scott Cook was one for two for the victors. Claude Johnson’s triple was the Red Sox’s only blow.

Giants v. Yankees: The Yankees captured a 14-3 win over the Giants Monday night. Terry Salter and Rusty Price, an Oriole, were the victors’ twirlers. Steve Baggett went all the way on the hill for the Giants. Robert Rigsby was three for four and Claude Aaron and Mike Moorer were one for two for the Yanks. Jimmy Ellis and Eddie Moseley each had a double for the losers.

Hawks v. Orioles: The Orioles clobbered the Hawks, 23-5, Thursday night. Jack White was the Oriole flinger. Jack Driver, Larry Wright, Tommy Chapman and Marvin Salter were the Hawk wingers. Wayne Caylor had a single for the Orioles. Wright had a triple and Jimmie Riley was one for two for the losers.

AUG. 2, 1934

Rabb News by King A. Cole: The local baseball team played Herbert Friday and defeated them 20 to 4.

BOY SCOUT NEWS – Troop 80 – Our ball team has had three games rained out or called off, but we play Repton team on our field Thursday afternoon at 2:30. It should be a fast, good game. Why not meet us at the park?
At five o’clock Thursday afternoon, the troop will meet at the City School to go to Steven’s Pond for swimming and outdoor tests.

There may be something in this retributive justice idea – at least as far as Evergreen baseball is concerned. Sunday before last, as well all know, the rain saved the locals from a probable drubbing at the hands of Chapman’s lefthanded hitting outfit. Then last Sunday Jupiter Pluvius arrived at the psychological moment to prevent the Melton outfit from putting one in the won column.

There was a cheering note, however, in spite of the rain. Loice “Skin” Hyde started chunking that apple and was going great when the rain started. Skin had the hefty Andalusia looking plenty tame, using a mixture of fast balls and curves. Tom Melton went behind the pot and shifted Woodrow Lawlis to right field. The combination worked fine, with Lawlis showing up as an efficient gardener.

Sam Jones and Lawlis were the big guns in the Andalusia game, bringing in the punch that has been missing from the locals’ offense for lo’ these many days. Lawlis took one hefty cut on his first trip up and sent Nelson under the spreading branches of the leftfield oak tree for his fly. Next time up, the husky Florida lad rammed a hot one through shortstop that would have been a base hit with Travis out there. The hit scored two runs.

Woody Mott returned to the local wars Sunday, after a short absence. The portly Selmian arrived too late to start the ball game. Mott will probably twirl the regular Thursday game in Greenville today.

Today in History for July 31, 2017

Lurleen B. Wallace
July 31, 1498 – On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

July 31, 1703 – English novelist, journalist and pamphleteer Danie Defoe was pilloried for sedition after the publication of his best-selling pamphlet, "The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters.”

July 31, 1715 – Seven days after a Spanish treasure fleet of 12 ships left Havana, Cuba for Spain, 11 of them sank in a storm off the coast of Florida. A few centuries later, treasure was salvaged from these wrecks.

July 31, 1775 - In Boston Harbor, at Nantasket Point (Little Brewster Island) Patriots stopped completion of repairs on a lighthouse and killed or captured 32 Redcoats. Minutemen had raided the island 10 days before and burned the lighthouse.

July 31, 1777 – French aristocrat Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, then age 19, was commissioned a major general in the Continental Army by the U.S. Second Continental Congress – without pay. The resolution passed by Congress asked that the services of Gilbert du Motier "be accepted, and that, in consideration of his zeal, illustrious family and connexions, he have the rank and commission of major-general of the United States." He would visit Claiborne in Monroe County on April 6, 1825.

July 31, 1790 – The first U.S. patent was issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

July 31, 1792 - The cornerstone of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Pa. was laid. It was the first building to be used only as a U.S. government building.

July 31, 1806 – The Rev. Pitts Milner, founder of Georgiana, Ala., was born in Wilkes County, Ga.

July 31, 1816 - Union General George H. Thomas, who deserves a share of the credit for the Union success in the west, was born in Southhampton County, Va. Thomas commanded a corps at Stones River and became a Northern hero for his actions at Chickamauga in September 1863. When a gap appeared in the Union line at a crucial moment and Confederate troops began to pour through it, Thomas led a rally that saved the Federals from a serious defeat.

July 31, 1831 – Monroe County Commissioners purchased the 80-acre plot that surrounds the three-acre public square in present-day Monroeville, Ala., the site of the old 1903 courthouse, now the Monroe County Heritage Museum, and the present courthouse built in 1963.

July 31, 1835 – French-American anthropologist and explorer Paul Du Chaillu in either Paris or New Orleans, La.

July 31, 1837 – Mary Harris Jones or “Mother Jones” was born in Cork, Ireland.

July 31, 1861 - Ulysses S. Grant was promoted to brigadier general of volunteers.

July 31, 1861 - The Missouri State Convention voted 56 to 25 to elect a new pro-Union governor. Hamilton R. Gamble, pro-Union was elected to replace Claiborne Jackson, pro-Confederate.

July 31, 1861 - The Army of the State of Tennessee was transferred to the Confederate States of America.

July 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, in response to Union General John Pope's order that citizens be shot as spies, Confederate President Jefferson Davis ordered Pope's officers be held as felons and not prisoners-of-war.

July 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederates Braxton Bragg and Kirby Smith met in Chattanooga to agree on strategy against the Army of the Ohio.

July 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, two days of Confederate attacks began on the Union camps and shipping between Shirley and Harrison’s Landing, Virginia.

July 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a treaty was signed with bands of the Shoshone Indians at Fort Boise, in the Snake River County, the Idaho Territory.

July 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lancaster, Paint Lick Bridge and Stanford in Kentucky; at Saint Catharine’s Creek, near Natchez, Miss.; and at Morris’ Mills, W.Va. Two days of skirmishing also began in the vicinity of Kelly’s Ford, Va.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Watkins’ Plantation in Northern Alabama.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Fort Smith, Ark.; at Orange Grove, which is near Donaldsonville, La.; and at Hancock, Md.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, Brownsville, Texas was reoccupied by Confederate forces.

July 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, lines were reestablished at Petersburg, Va. in the area of the huge crater.

July 31, 1875 - Andrew Johnson, the 17th President of the United States, died of a stroke at the age of 66 while visiting his daughter in Elizabethton, Tenn.

July 31, 1879 – Around 10 p.m., after the “Emma” delivered a load of freight on the wharf at the Lower Warehouse at Claiborne, Ala., J.B. Crow and a “couple of young men” caught a “gang of thieves” in the act of stealing flour and coffee, something they’d apparently been doing for several years. The thieves included Allen Howard, Ran Taswell, Dick James, Adam Taswell, Lang Agee, Singleton James and Jesse McGrew. In the ensuing confrontation, Ran Taswell was shot in the leg and died from his wounds about four hours later. Agee was also shot, but managed to escape as did Dick James, Adam Taswell and Singleton James. McGrew and Howard were arrested and placed in jail. “Thus has one of the boldest and most shameless band of thieves been bursted up that has been organized in this section in many years.”

July 31, 1896 – The Hon. E.R. Morrisette was scheduled to “address the people on the issues of the campaign” in Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday at 10 a.m. He was also scheduled to speak at Perdue Hill the following day at 10 a.m.

July 31, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Misses Janie and Jessie and Master John Grissette of Garland were visiting the family of their uncle, Capt. Thos. S. Wiggins.

July 31, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that work on the new parsonage had been at a standstill for a few days, the workmen “having worked up all available material on the grounds.”

July 31, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that, according to The Evergreen Courant, “while at the baseball game, Mr. S.P. Dunn’s horse became suddenly frightened and ran away, throwing himself and Dr. J.C. Snead out. Dr. Snead was not hurt seriously, but Mr. Dunn was knocked insensible for some time and was severely shook up.”

July 31, 1896 – Confederate veteran Marion D. Lambert, 49, died at his home near Perdue Hill on this Friday night after a protracted illness. Lambert was “one of Monroe’s most estimable and useful citizens and the announcement of his death will cause universal sorrow,” The Monroe Journal reported. He was “born again” and joined Claiborne Baptist church in 1878, remaining there until two years before his death when he became a member at Perdue Hill. He left a wife, seven children and many friends. Born on July 20, 1846, Lambert was buried at the Medlock Cemetery at Perdue Hill. According to his headstone, he served in Co. G of the 7th Alabama Cavalry.

July 31, 1896 - By invitation of the county campaign committee, E.R. Morrisette spoke in the Monroe County Courthouse at 10 a.m. on this Friday to a “very good audience.” Morrisette’s speeches in Monroeville and at Perdue Hill were the only ones made in the county under the direction of the Democratic committee, according to The Monroe Journal.

July 31, 1905 – A “windstorm” caused “great devastation” in and around the Buena Vista community in Monroe County, Ala. The Liddell brothers gin house was blown down, a wagon and buggy were “torn to pieces” and many trees were blown down four to five miles from Buena Vista.

July 31, 1908 – Fletcher Stallworth and Sam Booker were killed and two others were critically injured in a boiler explosion at W.D. Johnson’s saw mill near Skinnerton, Ala.

July 31, 1912 – W.B. Coker of the China community exhibited the first open boll of cotton of the season in Conecuh County, Ala.

July 31, 1914 – W.A. Baggett of Belleville, Ala. produced the first bale of cotton for 1914 and marketed it at Repton.

July 31, 1915 – Capt. T.M. Riley held a reunion of the members of his Civil War company, and all the company members that were there the previous year attended except for John McCants of Tinela, who had died. J.J. Finklea gave a brief report on the reunion in the Aug. 5, 1915 edition of The Monroe Journal.

July 31, 1915 – In a doubleheader between baseball teams from Herbert and Mason at Mason, Herbert won both games, 2-1 and 3-0.

July 31, 1915 – Holly Grove’s baseball team beat Bowles, 19-8, at Bowles (in Conecuh County, Ala.).

July 31, 1916 – Baseball and football great William “Billy” Clyde Hitchcock was born in Inverness in Bullock County, Ala. He was an infielder, coach, manager and scout in Major League Baseball. In minor league baseball, he served as president of the Double-A Southern League from 1971–80. During his career, he played for the Detroit Tigers, the Washington Senators, the St. Louis Browns, the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Athletics, and he managed the Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves.

July 31, 1916 - Capt. E.R. Morrissette Sr. of Mobile visited Monroeville on this Monday, the guest of his son, E.R. Morrissette Jr. This was Capt. Morrissette’s first visit to Monroeville in 14 years and he noted much growth and improvement. Capt. Morrissette was master of the steamer City of Mobile which was badly damaged in a recent storm. A new boat had been purchased, however, and was to shortly be placed in commission on the Alabama River.

July 31, 1917 – During World War I, the Battle of Passchendaele began near Ypres in West Flanders, Belgium.

July 31, 1917 - The Allies launched a renewed assault on German lines in the Flanders region of Belgium, in the much-contested region near Ypres, during World War I. The attack begins more than three months of brutal fighting, known as the Third Battle of Ypres.

July 31, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pfc. William F. Atchinson of Thomasville, Ala. was killed in action. He was bured in the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery and Memorial, Fere-en-Tardenois Departement de l'Aisne, in Picardie, France.

July 31, 1919 – Writer and poet Primo Levi was born in Turin, Italy.

July 31, 1930 - The radio mystery program “The Shadow” aired for the first time.

July 31, 1932 - The NSDAP (Nazi Party) won more than 38 percent of the vote in German elections.

July 31, 1938 – Archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis.

July 31, 1938 – The Dothan Browns baseball team beat the Evergreen Greenies, 10-0, in Dothan, Ala. Also that day, Evergreen’s amateur baseball team beat the Atmore prison team, 7-6, behind the pitching of Bill Seales and Wendell Hart.

July 31, 1941 – During the Holocaust, under instructions from Adolf Hitler, Nazi official Hermann Göring, ordered SS General Reinhard Heydrich to "submit to me as soon as possible a general plan of the administrative material and financial measures necessary for carrying out the desired Final Solution of the Jewish question."

July 31, 1944 - Pvt. and Mrs. Lorenzo Turberville announced the arrival of a son at Carter’s Hospital in Repton on this day. Pvt. Turberville was serving with the armed forces in England.

July 31, 1952 – Jerry Donovan, a graduate of Evergreen High School and 1950 graduate of the University of Alabama, left Mobile, Ala. by air for her new assignment as an elementary teacher at an Air Force base in the Philippine Islands.

July 31, 1953 - A television version of Alabama author Ambrose Bierce's story "Horseman in the Sky" was broadcast as part of the “Your Favorite Story” series.

July 31, 1954 – The first bale of cotton from the 1954 crop in Conecuh County, Ala. was officially ginned.

July 31, 1954 - An official announcement was made by researchers that Los Angeles smog was caused by the chemical reaction of sunlight on auto and industrial emissions.

July 31, 1954 – The first ascent of K2 was achieved by an Italian expedition led by Ardito Desio.

July 31, 1954 – Poet and novelist Kim Addonizio was born in Washington, D.C.

July 31, 1955 – In the Conecuh County, Ala. Amateur Baseball League, McKenzie was scheduled to play at Lyeffion; Paul was scheduled to play at Old Texas; and Chapman was scheduled to play at Garland.

July 31, 1961 – At Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, the first All-Star Game tie in Major League Baseball history occurred when the game was stopped in the ninth inning because of rain.

July 31, 1962 – Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Kevin Greene was born in Schenecady, N.Y. He went on to play for Auburn University, the Los Angeles Rams, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

July 31, 1963 - A movie version of Alabama author Lillian Hellman's play “Toys in the Attic, was released.

July 31, 1964 - The first close-up photographs of the moon were sent back to Earth by Ranger 7.

July 31, 1964 - In a news conference, Secretary of State Dean Rusk admitted there were differences between the United States and South Vietnam on the issue of extending the war into North Vietnam, but agreement on the general conduct of the war.

July 31, 1965 – “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling was born in Yate, Gloucestershire, England.

July 31, 1967 – At 9:05 p.m., Alabama Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace signed Act No. 106 into law, which extended the city limits of Evergreen, increasing the city’s size from 6.25 square miles to 16 square miles. The Act began as House Bill 227 and was introduced by State Representative William D. “Billy” Melton. The bill passed the House on June 20 and passed the Senate on July 11. Secretary of State Mabel Amos received the bill and enrolled it at 11:27 a.m. on Aug. 1.

July 31, 1972 - Hanoi challenged the Nixon administration on the dike controversy, claiming that since April there had been 173 raids against the dikes in North Vietnam with direct hits in 149 locations.

July 31, 1974 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden was born in Washington, D.C. He went on to play for UCLA and the Baltimore Ravens. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

July 31, 1974 – Local weather observer Earl Windham reported that total rainfall for the first seven months of 1974 in Evergreen, Ala. was 45.8 inches, compared with 63.5 inches for the same period in 1973.

July 31, 1975 – The Drish House on 17th Street in Tuscaloosa, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage. (13 Alabama Ghosts)

July 31, 1980 – The following Repton High School cheerleaders were one of eight squads chosen at the Bama Cheerleading Clinic to lead the cheers for the South 1A-2A Team in the annual State All-Star Basketball Game on this day. The clinic was held at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa July 28-Aug. 1. The girls were Beth Ballard, Gale Stallworth, captain, Patti Ballard, Donna Watson, co-captain, Mary White, Gwen Stallworth and Sally Morris.

July 31, 1981 - The seven-week baseball players’ strike came to an end when the players and owners agreed on the issue of free agent compensation.

July 31, 1982 – NFL outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware was born in Auburn, Ala. He went on to play for Auburn High School, Troy University, the Dallas Cowboys and the Denver Broncos.

July 31, 1984 – In municipal elections in Castleberry, Ala., Lawrence Ryals beat Billy Wayne Godwin, 230-100, in the race for mayor. Billy Seales won the runoff for the Place 1 seat on the town council over James Masingill; Phelan Findley Sr. won the runoff for the Place 2 seat on the council over Douglas Graham; Larry Bethuen won the runoff for the Place 4 seat on the council over Lula B. Sellers Palmer. On July 10, Mitt Sullivan won the Place 3 seat on the council, and Bill Moncrease won Place 5.

July 31, 1989 - Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported that total rainfall for July 1989 in Evergreen, Ala. was 6.73 inches.

July 31, 1990 - Nolan Ryan won the 300th game of his career, throwing 7-2/3 strong innings with eight strikeouts to lead his Texas Rangers to an 11-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

July 31, 1990 – Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported a total of 5.20 inches of rainfall during the month of July 1990 in Evergreen, Ala.

July 31, 1995 – Local weather observer Harry Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of July 1995 was 4.96 inches in Evergreen, Ala.

July 31, 1998 – Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported a high temperature of 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.

July 31, 2001 - Korey Stringer of the Minnesota Vikings collapsed during practice. The 27-year-old died the next day of multiple organ failure due to heatstroke.

July 31, 2014 – Evergreen, Ala. weather reporter Betty Ellis reported that total rainfall for the month of July 2014 was 1.39 inches.

July 31, 2014 – During a special called meeting, the Castleberry, Ala. Town Council voted to revive the town’s dormant municipal court, which hadn’t heard a case in over a decade. Town officials began mailing out certified letters about the change to county and state officials the following days.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., July 31, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  7.00 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 16.35 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 59.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 212th day of 2017 and the 41st day of Summer. There are 153 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

130-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from July 1887

Grave of Dr. J.W. Cotter at Perdue Hill, Ala.
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of publisher Q. Salter, published four editions 130 years ago during the month of July 1887. Those four issues, which were dated July 7, July 14, July 21 and July 28, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.

JULY 7, 1887

All members of Monroeville Lodge No. 153 are requested to attend a special meeting of said lodge at 10 o’clock a.m. on July 8, 1887 at which time T.J. Peacock, Grand Lecturer, will be with us, and members of any other lodge are cordially invited to be present also. – A.M. LESLIE, Sec’y.

Mrs. Rebecca Thompson, wife of Mr. Jack Thompson, commenced a school Monday about two miles from Monroeville, near T.J. Emmons’, with 19 pupils.

County Court convened Monday, Judge Sewell presiding. The following cases were disposed of: State v. Rosa McMillan, continued; State v. P.S. McKinley, not guilty; State v. Wm. Lee, call for jury.

Sheriff Burns had a very sick horse the first of the week.

Mr. Conover will begin the erection of his photographic gallery soon.

Prof. S.H. Daily of Kempville attended the Board of Education Saturday.

Dr. J.T. Russell, assisted by Dr. McMillan, very skillfully and successfully performed the operation of “tapping” the person of Mr. Elijah Wiggins, living about six miles southwest of Monroeville on the 26th ult. Mr. Wiggins has been suffering from dropsy for several months. The doctor informs us that four and a half gallons of water was taken from his patient and left him much relieved.

The Board of County Commissioners will meet Monday for the examination of the tax assessor’s book.

JULY 14, 1887

Delayed – We are behind time in publishing The Journal this week, caused by the delay in the arrival of our shipment of paper.

Kempville – Mr. Wm. Faulkenberry, one of Monroe’s oldest and respected citizens, died at his home near Kempville on the 9th inst. of consumption.

Mr. H.B. Rikard, Pineville’s popular postmaster and enterprising young merchant, gave the Journal a pleasant call this week.

At the last communication of Bells Landing Lodge No. 373 F.&A.M., the following officers were elected for the ensuing Masonic year: J.F. Burson, worshipful master; W.M. Hestle, senior warden; S.M.C. Middleton, junior warden; E.P. Wright, treasurer; W.G. Johnson, secretary; W.D. Brown, senior deacon; G.C. Nettles, junior deacon; W.T. Reaves, tyler.

Killed by Lightning – Twenty-seven goats belonging to Judge J.W. Leslie were killed by lightning last Saturday evening, a short distance from the residence of Dr. J.T. Russell. There were 30 goats in the flock which had taken shelter under a tree during a shower of rain when the tree was struck by lightning and all but three of the goats instantly killed. The three that escaped were struck by not so severely. We are informed that the space covered by the dead carcasses was not larger than 12 feet square.

DIED: At the residence of her uncle, N.A. Agee, at Perdue Hill, June 30, after a protracted illness, Silian May Rives, daughter of R.C. and Estelle Agee Rives, deceased, of Lowndes County, aged 18 years.

JULY 21, 1887

Dr. J.W. Cotter: This learned old gentleman and distinguished scholar and teacher, so long a citizen of Monroe County, Ala., and resident of Perdue Hill, died after a protracted illness from dropsy on the 21st of June 1887; and his many friends throughout our state, and elsewhere, will doubtless be pleased to have some memoranda of his history.
Dr. Cotter was a native of Chester, England and came to this country about 1852, landing first at Quebec, Canada, then to New York and Philadelphia and finally about the year 1857, south to Monroeville, Ala., since which time he has been a resident among us, for the most of his time, teaching schools in various places, as Monroeville, Claiborne and Perdue Hill in Monroe County, Suggsville in Clarke, and Carlton and Columbus, Mississippi; at the last named place being married in 1859 to his present relict, then Miss Sallie Sickler, formerly of Philadelphia, who yet survives his without children.
His paternal home was Forest Castle, Ireland, and his father was Sir James Cotter, at one time a wealthy banker of Cork, and for many years a Member of Parliament, as were his ancestors on the paternal side, for several generations. He had but one sister, Margaret, by name, who died in maidenhood, and but one brother, since a distinguished physician, Dr. William Cotter, of late supposed to be a citizen of Kentucky, U.S.A. He was, himself, in early life, as were also many of his family, an Episcopalian clergyman, ordained by the Archbishop of Canterbury; and, at one time, preached, in the absence of her pastor, to Queen Victoria, in St. James Church, London, as her substituted supply. That his pulpit performances were eminent for learning and ability, is shown by the olden time MSS. preserved, and it is clear that he was a regularly educated Minister of no ordinary capacity. It is remarkable that he was born on the same day, with Queen Victoria, May 15 A.D. 1819.
At the age of nine years, he was carried from Chester, England, to Ireland, and placed at school; and as soon as prepared for it by age and study, entered the Trinity College, Dublin; where he was graduated finally, with highest honors – his entire curriculum of study embracing in point of time, about 17 years.
At one period, since his coming to this country, he was a teacher in the college at Burlington, New Jersey; and after the war, during the era of the reconstruction, he held for several years, the office of State Superintendent of Education for Alabama and left it, as was said by the Democratic papers, with a clear record.
His coming south was at the solicitation of our late fellow citizen, Asa Parker, Esq., whose children he prepared for college and educated, with others in this county, to whom this brief memoir will be interesting.
After relinquishing the office of Superintendent of Education, Dr. Cotter embarked in merchandise; and opened a small store near his residence, on Perdue Hill, becoming thus the first pioneer Merchant Father of our Hill, followed soon after by the more extensive houses of H.J. Savage & C., J.M. Agee & Sons and others as business increased; but not finding success in this line and reduced in means, he again returned to his old business, and taught school at different periods, during the remainder of his life. Last winter he was induced to make a prospective tour to Birmingham, Ala., and, we believe, did make an engagement there to take a school; but returning to make arrangements and see his family, he was taken down with a severe malady of the lungs, and up to the time of his death since, had no established or regular health.
Dr. Cotter was a Mason of High Degree, and to the credit of the Fraternity it is due to say, that from his brethren of the order, he received in his illness, the most sympathizing and assiduous assistance and attention.

JULY 28, 1887

A little difficulty occurred at Ward’s mill Monday evening between Messrs. Sylvester Medlock and Beauregard Matoose, which resulted in a mashed nose for one and a warrant being issued for the other. Particulars not learned.

A very pleasant picnic was given at Hatter’s Mill last Saturday in honor of the visit of Miss Julia Hatter of Mobile to the family of their uncle, Mr. D.J. Hatter.

Judge J.W. Leslie and Capt. T.S. Wiggins attended the county Sunday school convention at Bell’s Landing last week. They report having had a very pleasant time.

A very interesting protracted meeting is in progress at the Methodist church at this place. Rev. Mr. Cowan is being assisted at present by Rev. J.C. Sturgeon, Presbyterian minister, and Rev. Mr. Barnes of Repton.

Col. D.L. Neville and Esquire J.M. Daugette attended justice court at Glendale Tuesday.

A protracted meeting will be held at Salem Baptist church beginning on the first Saturday in August.

Judge Leslie and Capt. Tom Wiggins are attending the District Sunday school convention at Evergreen this week.

Notice – Owing to his limited stay in Monroe, Mr. Conover will not be able to remove his photograph gallery to Perdue Hill and other places in the county, as was his original intention. He respectfully invites those in any and all parts of the county desiring work in is line to call on him here. Specimens of his work can be seen at the Watson House.

Today in History for July 30, 2017

Congressman John McDuffie
July 30, 762 AD – Baghdad was founded by caliph Al-Mansur.

July 30, 1502 – Christopher Columbus landed at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.

July 30, 1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convened for the first time.

July 30, 1729 - The city of Baltimore was founded in Maryland.

July 30, 1733 – The first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States was constituted in Massachusetts.

July 30, 1780 - Colonel Isaac Shelby and 600 Patriots took Fort Anderson, also known as Fort Thicketty, located 10 miles southeast of Cowpens, South Carolina, and held by a Loyalist garrison, without firing a shot.

July 30, 1813 – Gen. Ferdinand L. Claiborne and his Mississippi militia reached Mount Vernon and learned that settlers had constructed Fort White, a small defensive fort a short distance northeast of Grove Hill in Clarke County, for defense against Red Stick raids.

July 30, 1818 – Novelist and poet Emily Bronte was born in Thornton, Yorkshire, England. She is best remembered for her 1847 novel, “Wuthering Heights.”

July 30, 1825 – Malden Island was discovered by Captain George Byron, 7th Baron Byron.

July 30, 1838 - A rain of frogs fell in London, England.

July 30, 1859 – The first ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps, was achieved.

July 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Miller's Ranch, Calif. and at Clark's Mill, Mo.

July 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, the term “Copperhead” was used for the first time in writing by the Cincinnati Gazette. It was used to indicate people who would not admit they were Southern sympathizers, and "peace at any price" Democrats. People who did admit Southern sympathies were called "dough-heads." The paper used the term when referring to members of the Indiana Democratic Convention.

July 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, in Boston, bells which had been contributed by Southern churches, plantations and individuals to be cast into cannons were sold at auction. Federal General Benjamin F, Butler had confiscated them at New Orleans.

July 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Elm Springs, Ark.; near Lexington and near Marshall in Missouri; at Irvine, Ky.; at Barnwell’s Island, S.C.; and at Grand Junction, Tenn.

July 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, at the Battle of the Crater, the Union’s ingenious attempt to break the Confederate lines at Petersburg, Va., by blowing up a huge cache of gunpowder at the end of a 500-foot tunnel they had dug under the Rebel trenches, failed. Although the explosion created a gap in the Confederate defenses, a poorly planned Yankee attack wasted the effort and the result was an eight-month continuation of the siege. The crater that was created was 170 feet long, 60 to 80 feet wide and 30 feet deep. (Just 11 days before this, on July 19, 1864, Lewis Lavon Peacock was admitted to General Hospital at Howard’s Grove, Richmond, Va. for acute diarrhea, where he spent over a month recuperating.)

July 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hay Station Number 3 and near Pine Bluff in Arkansas; at Hillsborough, Clinton, Newnan, and at Clear Creek in Georgia; at Emmitsburg and Monocacy Junction in Maryland; at Lee's Mill, Va.; at Clifton, Tenn.; at Bayou Tensas, La.; and at Union Church and on the Chariton Road in Missouri.

July 30, 1866 – Armed Confederate veterans in New Orleans rioted against a meeting of Radical Republicans, killing 48 people and injuring another 100.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Capt. John Quill would soon launch his fine new boat, the “Nettie,” upon the “majestic Alabama.”

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Lizzie Dorsey was accidentally drowned in Murder Creek in Escambia County.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Greensboro boasted of a 12-fingered man named of Richard Coprich.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that there were at present 693 patients under treatment in the insane asylum at Tuscaloosa.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that caterpillars had made their appearance in different portions of Butler County.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that a railroad accident had occurred recently on the Nashville & Eufaula Railroad in which five persons lost their lives.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Geo Elg, the shoemaker, had been “quite sick” for several days.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that Patsy Lee, a “dusky damsel” of Montgomery, tried to commit suicide with morphine during the previous week.

July 30, 1886 – The Monroe Journal reported that the senior class at the State University that term consisted of 41 members of the average age of 19.

July 30, 1890 – National Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder and manager Casey Stengel was born in Kansas City, Mo. During his career, he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers/Superbas/Robins, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Giants and the Boston Braves and he managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves, the New York Yankees and the New York Mets. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

July 30, 1896 - J.F. Gardner had the misfortune to lose his steam sawmill and ginnery by fire on this Thursday afternoon. The fire was supposed to have originated from the furnace while the hands were at dinner, and had made such headway when discovered that it was impossible to quench the flames with the help available. The machinery was not seriously damaged but a quantity of lumber was destroyed.

July 30, 1898 - "Scientific America" carried the first magazine automobile ad. The ad was for the Winton Motor Car Company of Cleveland, Ohio and beckoned magazine readers to "dispense with a horse.”

July 30, 1912 - The Monroe County Masonic Conference was scheduled to convene with Tunnel Springs Lodge No. 578 at Tunnel Springs, Ala., at nine o’clock on this Tuesday and was to continue three days.

July 30-31, 1914 – Monroeville’s baseball team played a three-game series against Pensacola. Monroeville won the first game, 8-1, but dropped the second game, 3-0. Monroeville won the third game, 8-7.

July 30, 1915 – A “total stranger in the community” named Mr. Brown died at the Simmons House in Monroeville, Ala. after several days illness. He had been employed on the construction of the “Deep Water railroad” when he was “stricken with illness” and taken from the work camp to Monroeville for medical attention. He was buried in the cemetery at the Methodist Church.

July 30, 1915 - In Flanders, Belgium, the Germans put their new weapon, the flammenwerfer, or flamethrower, to devastating use against the Allies at the Battle of Hooge.

July 30, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Lessee L. Veasey of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action.

July 30, 1928 - Alabama author Pauline Boyd was born in Chicago, Ill.

July 30, 1929 - The District Convention for the Tenth District of the Knights of Pythias was held with the Armour Lodge No. 31 on this Tuesday evening. Grand Keeper of Records Joe King Stanley of Montgomery presided over the meeting. The convention was well attended by local Pythians and quite a number of visiting members. Among those from out of town were Grand Chancellor T.A. Godwin, Florala; Judge E.S. Thigpen, Andalusia; Past Chancellor Burleson of Mobile; and Grand Prelate Wood, Mobile. There were a number of members of the Castleberry lodge present also. The local lodge had as its Chancellor Commander, W.A. Suddith, and W.B. Northcutt was Secretary.

July 30, 1931 – The Evergreen Junior baseball team was scheduled to play Brewton on this day at Gantt Field at 2 p.m. in Evergreen, Ala. Later that day, at 3:30 p.m. at Gantt Field, the Evergreen “colored team” was scheduled to play a team from Selma.

July 30, 1932 – Walt Disney's “Flowers and Trees,” the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short, premiered.

July 30, 1935 – Congressman Frank Boykin was first elected to Congress to fill the unexpired term of Monroe Countian John McDuffie who had resigned from office. Boykin went on to represent the district in Washington for the next 53 years.

July 30, 1935 - C.E. Mills, a farmer living five miles south on the Castleberry highway, ginned two bales of cotton at the gin plant of the Evergreen Manufacturing Co. on this Tuesday, being the first of the 1935 season to be ginned in Evergreen and so far as The Courant had learned, the first to be ginned in Conecuh County.

July 30, 1936 – The Southwestern Division of the Medical Association met at First Baptist Church on the Square in Monroeville, Ala.

July 30, 1936 – American blues guitarist Buddy Guy was born George Guy in Lettsworth, La.

July 30, 1938 – The Bermuda baseball team beat Lenox, 22-5.

July 30, 1939 – Will Riley, a native of Chestnut Corner, passed away at his home in Beatrice, Ala. at around 7 a.m. He was the L&N Railroad Co. station agent at McWilliams for 13 years and later the Sherrill Oil Co. distributor in Camden, serving Wilcox and surrounding counties.

July 30, 1943 - Adolf Hitler learned that Axis ally Italy was buying time before negotiating surrender terms with the Allies in light of Mussolini’s fall from power.

July 30, 1945 – During World War II, the USS Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 and sank within minutes in shark-infested waters. Only 317 of the 1,196 men on board survived. However, the Indianapolis had already completed its major mission: the delivery of key components of the atomic bomb that would be dropped a week later at Hiroshima to Tinian Island in the South Pacific.

July 30, 1947 – At the L.D. King Mill in Conecuh County, Ala., a fire broke out near a boiler shortly after noon and did considerable damage to machinery and equipment before being brought under control by the fire department.

July 30, 1954 – J.W. Reeves, farmer at Castleberry, Ala., ginned the first bale of the 1954 cotton season in Conecuh County. He had the cotton ginned at the Evergreen Gin, and it weighed 473 pounds. It graded middling one-inch staple.

July 30, 1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing “In God we trust” as the U.S. national motto.

July 30, 1959 – Mobile, Ala. native Willie McCovey made his Major League debut for the San Francisco Giants. In his Major League debut, McCovey went four-for-four against Hall-of-Famer Robin Roberts, hitting two triples and two singles, en route to a .354 batting average that year, in which he won National League Rookie of the Year honors while playing in just 52 games.

July 30, 1959 – In Evergreen Junior Baseball League action, the Orioles beat the Hawks, 23-5. Jack White was the Oriole pitcher. Jack Driver, Larry Wright, Tommy Chapman and Marvin Salter were the Hawk pitchers. Wayne Caylor had a single for the Orioles. Wright had a triple and Jimmy Riley was one-for-two for the losers.

July 30, 1959 – In Evergreen Junior Baseball League action, the Dodgers beat the Yankees, 5-1, on this Thursday night. Ronnie Jackson notched the win on the rubber as he whiffed 15 battled Yankees batsmen. Bubba Faulkner finished the game on the mound. Robert Rigsby and Terry Salter faced the bats of the distressing Dodgers. Wayne Tolbert and Ed Briggs were two-for-three and Faulkner was one-for-one for the winners of 46 straight games. Mitchell Kilpatrick’s single and Ronnie Hayes’ double were the only two Yank bingles.

July 30, 1963 – Sweet Water, Ala. was officially incorporated as a municipality, according to the Alabama League of Municipalities.

July 30, 1964 - At about midnight, six “Swifts,” special torpedo boats used by the South Vietnamese for covert raids, attacked the islands of Hon Me and Hon Ngu in the Tonkin Gulf. Although unable to land any commandos, the boats fired on island installations. Radar and radio transmissions were monitored by an American destroyer, the USS Maddox, which was stationed about 120 miles away.

July 30, 1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid. It went into effect the following year and was the country's first national health insurance program.

July 30, 1965 – Manuel Stablers, who lived on the Franklin Road near Fountain, Ala., found Tom Clausell, 71, sitting under a tree eight miles north of Monroeville. Clausell had been missing since July 25, and Stablers took him to the hospital, from which he was released on Aug. 1.

July 30, 1968 - Ron Hansen of the Washington Senators made the first unassisted triple play in the Major Leagues in 41 years.

July 30, 1969 – During the Vietnam War, U.S. President Richard Nixon made an unscheduled visit to South Vietnam and met with President Nguyễn Văn Thiệu and U.S. military commanders.

July 30, 1971 - U.S. President Nixon gave the keynote speech at a banquet honoring seven new inductees into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.

July 30, 1974 – During the “Watergate Scandal,” U.S. President Richard Nixon released subpoenaed White House recordings after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court of the United States. The U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee also voted to impeach President Nixon for blocking the Watergate investigation and for abuse of power.

July 30, 1975 – Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa disappeared from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He was never seen or heard from again, and was declared legally dead on July 30, 1982. There have been rumors, since disproved, that he was murdered and his body was buried in the end zone at Giants Stadium.

July 30, 1990 – George Steinbrenner was forced by Commissioner Fay Vincent to resign as principal partner of New York Yankees for hiring Howie Spira to "get dirt" on Dave Winfield.

July 30-Aug. 3, 1990 – Sparta Academy’s varsity cheerleaders attended a UCA Clinic at Huntingdon College in Monroeville. They returned home with seven blue Superior ribbons, three gold Outstanding ribbons and a Superior trophy. The members of the cheerleading squad, who were sponsored by Linda Coker, included Capt. Kimberli Griffin, Co-Capt. Stacey White, Co-Capt. Ashley Earnest, Stephanie Booth, Julie Brundage, Pam Jones, Michelle Pate and Kaye Salter.

July 30, 1996 - A federal law enforcement source said that security guard Richard Jewell had become the focus of the investigation into the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park. Jewell was later cleared as a suspect.

July 30, 1999 – “The Blair Witch Project”, a low-budget, independent horror film that will become a massive hit, was released in U.S. theaters.

July 30, 2007 – Pro Football Hall of Fame head coach Bill Walsh died at the age of 75 in Woodside, Calif. He is best known for his time as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.

July 30, 2009 - Sparta Academy began fall football practice on this Thursday, and 22 players made up that year’s fall roster. Players on the roster included Nick Andrews, Tom Andrews, Brandon Baggett, Will Booker, Joey Bradley, Michael Brown, Brooks Carpenter, Michael Cook, Devlin Crosby, Ashton Culp, Alex Fleming, Nicholas Hardin, Taylor Harrelson, Jacob Hendrix, Chance House, Cody House, Jody House, Davis Johnson, Logan Manus, John McDonald, Dylan Middleton and Drayton Rodgers. Sparta was scheduled to kick off its regular season schedule on Fri., Aug. 21, when the Warriors were to take on Escambia Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. In 2008, Sparta slammed Escambia, beating the Cougars, 35-0, in the season-opener at Canoe.

July 30, 2010 – The Harrison Cemetery near Kinston along with Grancer Harrison's Grave was vandalized. Approximately 50 headstones were overturned.

July 30, 2014 – James Hurd turned a lot of heads in Evergreen when he carried a large wooden cross up and down U.S. Highway 84 and 31 in Evergreen, Ala. Many believed that Hurd, age 30, was on a cross-country trip, but he actually lived in Evergreen. A former resident of Selma, Hurd, a devout Christian, was carrying the cross to encourage people to attend church.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., July 30, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.80 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  7.00 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 16.35 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 59.90 inches.

Notes: Today is the 211th day of 2017 and the 40th day of Summer. There are 154 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hours Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line and south of U.S. Highway 84, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834N Lon 87.30131W. Elevation 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Singleton tells of hearing 'supernatural' organ music in north Monroe County hills

George Buster Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Indeed, the hills are alive with the sounds of music!” was originally published in the July 22, 1972 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

If you should take the time to ask 100 people if they believe in the supernatural, you would get 100 different answers. Most will deny that they believe in anything that is not above board and lacking positive proof.

But let someone mention an instance when something has happened that is unexplainable, and these same people who don’t believe are the ones who listen the closest and are the most interested.

Several months ago as I sat atop a high hill in north Monroe County, watching the last golden rays of the setting sun disappear below the horizon, I became aware that I was hearing faint strains of music all around me.

I didn’t think much about it until I realized that I had no radio, and the nearest house was several miles from where I stood.

Like an organ

I waited for quite a long time and listened as the soft, restful music continued to ride the soft breeze of the late evening. As I listened, I was unable to distinguish any tune that I could identify. But it sounded as though and organ were playing in the distance.

The strains of music were continuous, becoming louder at times, only to fade to the point where they were almost inaudible. Then, as suddenly as it had faded, it would swell again.

As I left the hilltop, I was sure of what I had heard. But as I rode away, I decided that I would return again to this spot before I mentioned it to anyone. Sometimes when you mention certain instances as this, there are some that will look at you kind of strangely.

I returned several times to the hilltop to see if I could hear the music. There were times when I could hear the soothing strains floating across the tall grass, and other times when I could hear nothing but the whippoorwills and the sounds of the evening preparing for the coming darkness.

Skeptical wife

After a while, I was so sure that the music was there that I mentioned it to my wife. With much doubt and skepticism, she finally agreed to go with me to the spot.

As luck would have it, we did not hear it the first trip there. After persuading her to return with me the second time, we heard the low, sweet notes the moment we stepped from my truck.

Many times I have returned to this hilltop and watched the setting sun. Each day I look forward to when I can hurry up the faint trail and listen for the sound of music that has become so familiar.

And on the days when I am unable to make the journey to the hilltop, I find myself becoming impatient and looking forward to the passing of time when I can slip away to the tall hill and listen to the sounds that are so strange – and yet so familiar.

(The column above was also accompanied by a landscape photo that bore the caption: Musical hilltop in north Monroe County.)

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for July 29, 2017

Army Col. Philip Doyle Sellers
July 29, 1776 - Silvestre de Escalante and Francisco Dominguez, two Spanish Franciscan priests, left Santa Fe for an epic journey through the Southwest. Escalante and Dominguez hoped to blaze a trail from New Mexico to Monterey, California, but their main goal was to visit with the native inhabitants and convert as many as possible to the Catholic faith.

July 29, 1778 - French Vice-Admiral Count d’Estaing established contact with the Continental Army, which was waiting for his help to retake Rhode Island.

July 29, 1786 - "The Pittsburgh Gazette" became the first newspaper west of the Alleghenies to be published. The paper's name was later changed to "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette."

July 29, 1793 – John Graves Simcoe decided to build a fort and settlement at Toronto, having sailed into the bay there.

July 29, 1805 – Writer Alexis de Tocqueville was born in Paris. He is best known for his 1835 book, “Democracy in America.”

July 29, 1833 - The Alabama State Bank opened a branch in Decatur. The building was constructed in fewer than nine months at a cost of around $10,000. It is noted for its Jeffersonian-style architecture featuring a rare five-column design and two sets of double front doors. The stone for the columns was mined nearby and each column weighs one hundred tons. Most of the construction was done by enslaved workers from the plantation of James Fennell, one of Decatur's founders. The Old State Bank Building was added the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 and is believed to be the oldest surviving bank building in the state. Today the building houses a museum with exhibits that include three teller cages built in 1833, currency issued from the bank, numerous maps and photographs, and other artifacts that tell the history of the Bank. The second floor of the building is the preserved residence of the bank's first manager.

July 29, 1847 – Confederate soldier Samuel D. Williamson was born. He enlisted at Monroeville in November 1861 and served as a private in Co. E of the 23rd Alabama Regiment. He died on June 8, 1919 and was buried in the Ridge Cemetery (Zion Baptist Cemetery) near Axle.

July 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes was fought at Edward’s Ferry, Md. and at Marlborough Point, Va.

July 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate spy Marie Isabella “Belle” Boyd was arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C. It was the first of three arrests for this skilled spy who provided crucial information to the Confederates during the war.

July 29, 1862 - The Confederate cruiser, “Alabama,” (known in Britain as “Enrica”) left Liverpool, unarmed, ostensibly on a trial run. On July 31, she proceeded from the Irish Sea into the Atlantic for a rendezvous to receive her arms and ammunition before commencing her attacks on Federal commerce shipping.

July 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Law’s Landing and Old Deposit Ferry, Ala.

July 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Albee's Ranch, Ark.; at Fort McAllister on the Ogeechee River near Savannah, Ga.; at Russellville, Ky.; at Bloomfield, Moore’s Mill, and Arrow Rock in Missouri; and at Orange Court House, Harrison’s Landind, and St Mary’s Church in Virgina. An affair also occurred near Hatchie Bottom, Tenn.

July 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Hagerstown and Clear Springs in Maryland; at Mercersburg, Pa.; at Conchas Springs, New Mexico; at Paris and near Winchester in Kentucky; and near Fort Donnellson, Tenn.

July 29, 1864 – Robert W. McCants, who served with the Monroe County Militia in Beats 8 and 9 and with Co. C of the 5th Alabama Regiment, enlisted in the Confederate army. He is buried in the Bells Landing Presbyterian Cemetery in Tinela.

July 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lovejoy Station and Smith’s Cross Road in Georgia; at Clear Springs and Hagerstown in Maryland; and near Napoleonville, La. An affair also occurred at Highland Stockade, La.

July 29, 1864 - A five-day Federal operation between Warrensburg and Chapel Hill in Missouri began.

July 29, 1864 - The mining operation at Petersburg, Va. neared completion.

July 29, 1865 – John DeLoach was commissioned for his third term as Monroe County, Alabama’s Circuit Court Clerk, and Samuel H. Dailey was commissioned as Monroe County’s Sheriff.

July 29, 1878 – Newspaper columnist Don Marquis was born in Walnut, Ill.

July 29, 1896 - L.N. Lambert, “one of Mexia’s enterprising businessmen,” was in Monroeville, Ala. on this Wednesday.

July 29, 1905 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Stanley Kunitz was born in Worcester, Mass.

July 29, 1905 – The second annual reunion of the surviving members of Co. A of the Fifth Alabama Regiment was held at the home of Capt. Thomas M. Riley in Monroe County’s Riley community. Twelve veterans were present, including John Burns, second lieutenant, age 71; S.H. Dailey, sergeant, age 70; C.C. Nettles, age 67; G.C. Nettles, age 65; J.F. Watson, age 65; J.A. McCants, age 63; W.R. McCants, age 65; W.G. Riley, age 65; Doc Wiggins, age 60; and H.E. Courtney, age 63.

July 29, 1907 – Sir Robert Baden-Powell set up the Brownsea Island Scout camp in Poole Harbour on the south coast of England. The camp ran from Aug. 1 to Aug. 9, 1907, and is regarded as the foundation of the Scouting movement.

July 29, 1911 – Capt. T.M. Riley held the annual reunion of Co. C, 5th Alabama Infantry Regiment, CSA, at his home at Riley, Ala. Men attending the reunion included Capt. T.M. Riley, 71, of Riley; C.C. Nettles, 73, of Mobile; H.E. Courtney, 69, of Beatrice; Fern Metts, 78, of Monroeville; W.E. Wiggins, 68, of River Ridge; Jos. A. McCants, 68, of Tinela; Joe F. Watson, 71, of Brewton; W.G. Riley, 69, of Evergreen; R.W. McCants, 65, of Tinela; and George C. Nettles, 72, of Natchez. Others visitors included T.A. Nettles of Tunnel Springs; F.M. McKenzie of Riley; W.W. Riley of Beatrice; C.R. Riley of Drewry; J.E. Robinson of Repton; Hugh Courtney Jr. of Beatrice; Miller Stallworth of Pineville; and Robert L. Lyon of Riley.

July 29, 1914 – The three-day Conecuh County Masonic Conference began at Sepulga Lodge and was conducted by District Lecturer B.H. Whittington.

July 29, 1914 - In the early hours of this day, Czar Nicholas II of Russia and his first cousin, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, began a frantic exchange of telegrams regarding the newly erupted war in the Balkan region and the possibility of its escalation into a general European war.

July 29, 1915 – The three-day Conecuh County Masonic Conference began at Dean Lodge, No. 112, at Brooklyn, Ala. J.F. Hattmer was in charge of the work, and G.W. Mixon was worshipful master of the county conference.

July 29, 1915 – A 13-inning baseball game between Evergreen and Chapman ended in a 3-3 tie.

July 29, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the McCorvey Bridge over Limestone Creek collapsed under its own weight sometime “within the past week.”

July 29, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Fancy Grocery moved to “larger and more suitable quarters” in the brick store next door to the L.A. Hixon on “Westside.”

July 29, 1916 - The ladies of the Presbyterian church in Monroeville, Ala. planned to serve ice cream on the lawn in front of Judge McCorvey’s on this Saturday between the hours of 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

July 29, 1916 - A “deplorable shooting” took place in Monroeville, Ala. on this Saturday morning in which Will Smith of Mexia was seriously wounded by J.M. Wiggins of the Ridge neighborhood. It was said that ill feelings had existed between the parties for several months. Immediately on meeting in town Saturday the shooting occurred. Smith was removed to a sanitarium at Century, Fla. for an operation. Wiggins was placed in jail. The affair was deeply regretted by the friends of both parties, according to The Monroe Journal.

July 29, 1917 – German SS officer Rochus Misch was born in Alt Schalkowitz, Province of Silesia, Kingdom of Prussia, German Empire (now Stare Siołkowice, Opole Voivodeship, Poland)

July 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James F. Smith of Brewton, Ala. “died from wounds” while serving with Co. G, 167th Infantry, 42nd Division. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

July 29, 1921 – Adolf Hitler became leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party. Under Hitler, the Nazi Party grew into a mass movement and ruled Germany as a totalitarian state from 1933 to 1945.

July 29, 1932 – During the Great Depression, in Washington, D.C., troops dispersed the last of the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans.

July 29, 1938 – Troy beat the Evergreen Greenies, 6-1, in Troy, Ala.

July 29, 1939 – On this Saturday night, Frank Sheffield, the manager of the Alabama Water Service Co. in Monroeville, Ala., was severely cut in an altercation at “Lambert’s place,” north of Monroeville. On the way to seek medical treatment in Frisco City, Sheffield crashed into a car driven by a Jackson man, south of Monroeville. Sheffield was able to return to work two days later.

July 29, 1946 – James Conrad Marshall was born on this day in Monroeville, Ala. On Jan. 31, 1968, he would be killed while defending the American Embassy in Vietnam as a United States Marine Corps Corporal.

July 29, 1946 – Italian mountaineer, outdoor writer and adventurer Alessandro Gogna was born in Genoa, Italy.

July 29, 1947 - A gas leak explosion in a beauty parlor caused the death of 10 women in Harrisonburg, Va.

July 29, 1953 - American director and producer Ken Burns was born in Brooklyn, N.Y.

July 29, 1954 – The American Legion beat Evergreen Garment, 24-6.

July 29, 1958 – In response to the Soviet’s 1957 launch of Sputnik, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the civilian agency that coordinates America's space exploration. In 1960, NASA arrived in Alabama and established NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. Since then, the Center has been the heart of the U.S. space program providing the rockets that took the first man to the Moon, developing the first space station (Skylab), and playing integral roles in the programs that oversee the Hubble Space Telescope, the Shuttle, and the International Space Station.

July 29, 1965 - A raid by Monroeville (Ala.) city police on this Thursday afternoon netted 12 gallons of home brew, 30 gallons of mash and one person, according to Police Chief O.D. Godwin.

July 29, 1965 – During the Vietnam War, the first 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrived in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh Bay.

July 29, 1967 – During the Vietnam War, off the coast of North Vietnam the USS Forrestal caught on fire in the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II, killing 134 and injuring 62 more.

July 29, 1972 – Army Col. Philip Doyle Sellers, 44, of Greenville, Ala. was killed in action in Vietnam. Sources say that he was serving at Pleiku, South Vietnam and it was reported that he died “from an illness” in the Philippines. Sources also say that Sellers served as a colonel with Headquarters, Military Assistance Command, Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Advisors, MACV. He was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with Combat "V" Device for Valor, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal(s), the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal(s), the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, the Air Medal with Device(s), the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross Individual Citation, Republic Of Korea War Service Medal, the United Nations Medal, Republic Of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Korea Service Medal(s), Meritorious Unit Citation, Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. Born on July 14, 1928 in Garland, he was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Greenville, Ala.

July 29, 1972 - Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark visited North Vietnam as a member of the International Commission of Inquiry into U.S. War Crimes in Indochina.

July 29, 1976 – The Evergreen Courant reported that C.A. Walden of Owassa, Ala. had grown a “giant” rutabaga that weighed over 10 pounds and was 27 inches in diameter.

July 29, 1976 – The Evergreen Courant reported that an appeal of a five-year sentence given to the Rev. H.K. Matthews, who was a minister in Evergreen, Ala., on an extortion charge stemming from civil rights demonstrations in February 1975 at the Escambia County Jail in Pensacola, Fla. was denied by the First District Court of Appeals in Tallahassee.

July 29, 1976 – In New York City, David Berkowitz (a.k.a. the "Son of Sam") killed one person and seriously wounded another when he pulled a gun from a paper bag and fired five shots at Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti of the Bronx while they are sitting in a car, talking. Lauria died and Valenti was seriously wounded in the first in a series of shootings by the serial killer, who terrorized New York City over the course of the next year. Once dubbed the “.44 Caliber Killer,” the Son of Sam eventually got his name from letters he sent to both the police and famed newspaper writer Jimmy Breslin that said, “…I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam. I love to hunt, prowling the streets looking for fair game.”

July 29, 1983 - Steve Garvey of the Los Angeles Dodgers set the National League consecutive game record at 1,207.

July 29, 1987 – British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President of France François Mitterrand signed the agreement to build a tunnel under the English Channel (Eurotunnel).

July 29, 1989 - Against the Baltimore Orioles, Bo Jackson, batting against Jeff Ballard, turned to the home plate umpire and attempted to call time out as Ballard was delivering the ball. The time-out wasn't granted, but Jackson recovered to swing and hit the pitch over the left-field wall for a home run despite only really seeing the ball as it was on its way to the plate.

July 29, 1993 – The Supreme Court of Israel acquitted alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk of all charges and he was set free.

July 29, 1998 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.35 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala.

July 29, 1999 – B&B Cabinet Doors held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of their new business in the Evergreen Industrial Park. The company was owned by Phillip Brown and Jason Brown. The father-and-son owned company made custom cabinet doors for contractors and individuals.

July 29, 2003 - Bill Mueller of the Boston Red Sox became the first player in Major League Baseball history to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in a game. He had a total of three home runs in the game and collected nine RBI. It was only the 12th time that a player hit two grand slams in a single game.

July 29, 2003 - Marcus Giles of the Atlanta Braves tied a Major League record when he went 5-for-5 to give him hits in nine straight at-bats. The record was shared by 10 players at the time.