Thursday, August 31, 2017

Man sees terrapin fall from the sky near Evergreen during 1931 storm

Diamondback terrapin of Alabama.
More than a few readers sent me e-mails about an unusual item The Courant had in its weekly News Flashback feature on Aug. 17.

For those of you who didn’t see it, it was an item from the Aug. 13, 1931 edition of The Courant that appeared on the front page under the headline, “HERE’S A PRIZE STORY, BELIEVE IT OR NOT.” The story went on to say that “Mr. J.H. Dickerson, well known farmer living about five miles north of Evergreen, informs a representative of The Courant that a phenomenal incident occurred at his home last Wednesday afternoon. While seated on his back porch, watching a heavy downpour of rain, he suddenly was attracted to a small object about the size of a man’s fist which had fallen, apparently out of the clouds with the heavy rains.

“Closer observation disclosed that it was a terrapin. Mr. Dickerson says that the fall stunned the creature to such extent that it did not seem to have much life and later was able to make his or her departure down through the field nearby. Mr. Dickerson says that he saw the terrapin when it hit the ground and he is positive that it fell out of the clouds just as did the rain.

“In his mind, there is no doubt about it. It is his opinion that the little animal was picked up somewhere by a storm and brought that far before being dropped.”

I did a little digging and believe that J.H. Dickerson was actually John Herbert Dickerson, who would have been 63 years old on Aug. 5, 1931, the date that the terrapin incident took place. A terrapin is nothing more than a small turtle with lozenge-shaped markings on its shell, commonly found in marshes throughout our part of the world.

Apparently, Dickerson was a highly credible witness. He lived to the ripe old age of 82 before passing away on Aug. 8, 1950. His obituary noted that he was a “successful farmer and highly respected citizen who enjoyed the love and esteem of a host of neighbors and friends as well as that of numerous relatives.”

Incidents like the one that Dickerson described in 1931 are not unheard of, but they are rare, and no one seems to be 100-percent sure what causes it. One explanation for this rare meteorological phenomenon is that tornadic waterspouts pick up flightless creatures and carry them for miles before they fall out of the clouds. Scientists also theorize that, in cases where the animal survives the fall, they have been carried a relatively short distance.

When I looked into it, I learned that incidents of this type have been reported in countries all over the world for centuries and have involved a wide variety of living creatures, including fish, spiders, frogs, toads, jellyfish and worms. Oddly, some of these “animal rains” have supposedly occurred during fair weather and there have been incidents where the animals have been found completely encased in ice.

In the end, I’d be interested in hearing from anyone in the reading audience who has ever witnessed an “animal rain” incident or has ever heard someone talk about one that they’ve witnesses. Chances are, this type of thing has happened more than once in our area, and it’s no telling how often it happens when no one is around to see it for themselves.

SEC football kicks off this week with full slate of season-opening games

SEC football will officially kick off tonight when Arkansas takes on Florida A&M in Little Rock, Ark. That game will be televised on the SEC Network, starting at 7 p.m.

Eleven games involving SEC teams will be played on Saturday, including six “neutral site” games. Missouri will play Missouri State in Columbia, Mo. at 11 a.m., and South Carolina will face North Carolina State in Charlotte, N.C. at 2 p.m. (ESPN). No. 17 Florida will play No. 11 Michigan at 2:30 p.m. in Arlington, Texas (ABC), and Mississippi State will play Charleston Southern at 3 p.m. in Starkville.

Kentucky will play Southern Miss at 3 p.m. in Hattiesburg, Miss. (CBSSN), and No. 15 Georgia will play Appalachian State at 5:15 p.m. in Athens, Ga. (ESPN). Ole Miss will play South Alabama at 6:30 p.m. in Oxford, Miss. (ESPNU), and No. 12 Auburn will play Georgia Southern at 6:30 p.m. in Auburn.

Vanderbilt will play Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. in Murfreesboro, Tenn. (CBSSN), and No. 1 Alabama will play No. 3 Florida State at 7 p.m. in Atlanta (ABC). No. 13 LSU and BYU will wrap up the day’s action in a game set to start at 8:30 p.m. (ESPN). (As of Monday, the location and start time of the LSU-BYU game had not been determined due bad weather in that part of the country. It was originally scheduled to be played in Houston.)

The only SEC game set for Sunday is the game between Texas A&M and UCLA. They’re set to play in Pasadena, Calif. at 6:30 p.m. (FOX). The final SEC game of the Labor Day weekend will be played on Monday when No. 25 Tennessee faces Georgia Tech in Atlanta at 7 p.m. (ESPN).

With all of that said, here are my predictions for how I see this week’s slate of SEC games turning out. I like Alabama over Florida State, Auburn over Georgia Southern, Georgia over Appalachian State, Ole Miss over South Alabama, LSU over BYU, Kentucky over Southern Miss, N.C. State over South Carolina, Michigan over Florida, Arkansas over Florida A&M, Missouri over Missouri State, Mississippi State over Charleston Southern, Vanderbilt over Middle Tennessee, UCLA over Texas A&M and Tennessee over Georgia Tech.

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The NFL preseason schedule is winding down this week, and the first regular season game is scheduled to be played on Sept. 7 when the Kansas City Chiefs play the New England Patriots in Foxboro. A full slate of 13 games will follow on Sun., Sept. 10, and a pair of Monday night games will be played on Mon., Sept. 11.

The New Orleans Saints will kick off their regular season schedule when they play the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis on Sept. 11. The Atlanta Falcons will get going the day before when they play the Chicago Bears in Chicago. As of Monday, the Saints were 2-1 in preseason games, and the Falcons were 0-3. It’s hard to say whether this is any indication of what kind of teams they will have this year, but we’ll eventually find out soon enough.

Today in History for Aug. 31, 2017

Henry Beall Smith Jr.
Aug. 31, 1422 – Henry VI became the king of England at the age of nine months.

Aug. 31, 1540 – The DeSoto Expedition reached the Indian town of Hoithlewalli on the right bank of the Tallapoosa River in present day Elmore County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1777 - On the Ohio frontier, Patriot Captain Samuel Mason survived a devastating Indian attack on Fort Henry in present-day West Virginia.

Aug. 31, 1803 – Lewis and Clark started their expedition to the west by leaving Pittsburgh, Pa. at 11 a.m.

Aug. 31, 1811 – French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville passed away at the age of 81 in Paris, France. A contemporary of the British explorer James Cook, he took part in the Seven Years' War in North America and the American Revolutionary War against Britain.

Aug. 31, 1813 – Lt. Montgomery sent out a mounted patrol that reported that Fort Mims had fallen and the river swamp was full of Indians.

Aug. 31, 1824 – During his extended tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette left Boston, traveled through and made stops at Lexington, Concord, Salem, Marblehead and Newburyport, Mass.

Aug. 31, 1831 – Dr. John Watkins married Mary Thomas Hopkins Howard Hunter at Belleville in Conecuh County, Ala. She was the daughter of William and Sarah Goodwin Howard and was descended from the distinguished Howard family of Baltimore.

Aug. 31, 1837 - Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered his famous “American Scholar” address to the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Harvard. He told the students to think for themselves rather than absorb thought, to create rather than repeat, and not to look to Europe for cultural models.

Aug. 31, 1850 – John Watkins became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1861 – U.S. Representative James Adams Stallworth died in Evergreen, Ala. of enteritis at the age of 39. He was elected to represent Alabama in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1857 to 1861. He was defeated in 1856. Also served as a Member of the Alabama State Legislature. Born in Evergreen on April 7, 1822, he was buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery.

Aug. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, Richmond announced that no less than five men were being named as full generals, the promotions being effective on different dates so that these five would know who was superior to each other. In order, they were Samuel Cooper, Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Joseph E. Johnston, and Pierre Gustav Toutant Beauregard. The only full general the North would name wouldn’t get the job for almost three years: U.S. Grant.

Aug. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Little River Turnpike, Va.

Aug. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Stevenson, Ala. in Jackson County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Franklin and Germantown in Virginia; near Marietta, Miss.; and at Weston, W.Va.

Aug. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Will's Valley, in Etowah County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought near Scullyville in the Indian Territory.

Aug. 31, 1864 – Samuel C.H. Dailey commissioned for a second term as Monroe County, Alabama’s Sheriff.

Aug. 31, 1864 - At the Battle of Jonesboro, Ga., U.S. General William T. Sherman launched the attack that finally secured Atlanta, Ga., for the Union, and sealed the fate of Confederate General John Bell Hood's army, which was forced to evacuate the area. The entrenched Yankees lost 178 men, while the Confederates lost nearly 2,000.

Aug. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Rough and Ready Station, Ga.; at Steelville, Mo.; and near Davis House, Va.

Aug. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Democratic National Convention wrapped up in Chicago on this day with more decorum than would be the case in later years. The nominee for President of the United States in the 1864 would be George McClellan, former Major General in the Federal Army, former rather lethargic leader of the Army of the Potomac. His nomination was made by acclamation at the proposal of one Charles Vallandingham, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio and dedicated opponent of the war. His extreme views and vociferous promoting of them resulted in Vallandingham getting exiled from the United States to the Confederacy, which didn’t want him either. He spent most of the war years in Canada.

Aug. 31, 1870 – Education pioneer Maria Montessori was born in Chiaravalle, Italy.

Aug. 31, 1873 – Eliza Brown Allen Watts, the 48-year-old wife of former Alabama Governor and Thomas Hill Watts of Butler County, Ala., passed away, leaving a family of 10 children. Born on Jan. 10, 1825, she was buried in the Oakwood Cemetery in Montgomery, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1886 - An earthquake near Charleston, South Carolina, on this day left more than 100 people dead and hundreds of buildings destroyed. This was the largest recorded earthquake in the history of the southeastern United States. There was damage to buildings as far away as Ohio and Alabama.

Aug. 31, 1888 - Prostitute Mary Ann “Polly” Nichols, the first victim of London serial killer "Jack the Ripper," was found murdered and mutilated in Whitechapel's Buck's Row.

Aug. 31, 1895 – Monroeville, Alabama’s first bale of new cotton was shipped by Messrs. Sowell and Watson on this Saturday.

Aug. 31, 1895 - Col. B.L. Hibbard returned to Monroeville, Ala. on this Saturday from Birmingham, where he attended the “Midsummer Carnival” of the United Confederate Veterans.

Aug. 31, 1901 - About midnight on this Saturday night, a fire was discovered in the storehouse building of L.W. Savage in Evergreen. The alarm was followed by the prompt attendance of the young men of the town, the water plugs were opened, hose attached and in a very short time two steady streams of water were turned on the fire. It was a fierce flame fed by inflammable material inside the building; but energetic and steady effort soon checked it. The damage to Savage’s building was considerable, and the large stock of goods was wrecked between the flames and the flooding. That the fire was incendiary was hardly a matter of doubt. It began in the northeast corner of the building, in the heavy grocery department on the lower floor. That part of the store was seldom visited after sunset. There had been no fire in or about it. The back door had been opened from the inside. The supposition was that some thief had concealed himself in the storeroom until the attendants had all gone, and after the robbery, set fire to cover up traces and escape in the excitement.

Aug. 31, 1902 - Dr. B.H. Crumpton was expected to occupy the pulpit at the Evergreen Baptist Church on this Sunday morning.

Aug. 31-Sept. 2, 1905 – The Monroe County Masonic Conference was held at the Monroeville, Ala. Lodge. Representatives of each of the seven Masonic lodges in Monroe County and a number of visiting brethren were present and participated in the proceedings. Brother Angus M. Scott, State Grand Lecturer, was present and superintended the work of the conference, instructing the brethren in the unwritten ritual and delivered numerous impressive lectures on the moral and practical phases of Masonry.

Aug. 31, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that M.E. Hudson was preparing to erect an up-to-date ginnery in Monroeville, Ala. The ginnery was to be located on the vacant lot just north of the “school grounds” and was to be equipped with a large gasoline engine and “other improved appliances.”

Aug. 31, 1907 – William Shawn, the longtime editor of The New Yorker, was born William Chon in Chicago. In 1965, he first published Truman Capote's “In Cold Blood” as a series of articles.

Aug. 31, 1908 – Pulitzer-Prize winning Armenian-American writer William Saroyan was born in Fresno, Calif.

Aug. 31, 1911 – Freight and passenger service on the Manistee & Repton Railroad was discontinued.

Aug. 31, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the Elba, Ala. cavalry troop had been sworn in.

Aug. 31, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that H.H. McClelland, Esq., of Mobile was in Monroeville, Ala. during the previous week in attendance upon the law and equity court.

Aug. 31, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mr. and Mrs. Hare had “returned from a delightful motor outing. Their trip was extended beyond Chattanooga and weather conditions were all that could be desired. With the exception of a few tire punctures on the last lap of the homeward journey, the trip was without unpleasant incident.”

Aug. 31, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported, in news from the Jeddo community, that on the first Sunday in August, Rev. M.I. McLeod began a series of meetings at Poplar Springs church, which “was indeed a good meeting. The pastor conducted the Sunday morning service, giving us the best sermon that we have ever had the pleasure of hearing. A heavy downpour of rain late in the afternoon prevented us having the Sunday evening service.”

Aug. 31, 1916 - Harry Butters, an American soldier serving in the British army during World War I, was killed by a German shell during the Battle of the Somme, while fighting to secure the town of Guillemont, France.

Aug. 31, 1918 – During World War I, at the start of the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, a successful assault was carried out by the Australian Corps during the Hundred Days Offensive.

Aug. 31, 1920 - The first news program to be broadcast on radio was aired. The station was 8MK in Detroit, Mich.

Aug. 31, 1925 – Evergreen’s Agricultural School and City School opened for the 1925-26 school year. Public schools throughout the county opened on Oct. 5.

Aug. 31, 1931 – The first service was held in current Monroeville Methodist Church building on Pineville Road with the Rev. R.K. Jones delivering the sermon.

Aug. 31, 1933 – Ike Thompson was charged with assault with intent to kill after he allegedly shot at Ed Lloyd on this Thursday afternoon in the “main business section” of Evergreen, Ala. and was arrested by Officer H.L. Riley. It was reported that Thompson and Lloyd got into an argument at a baseball game, and the argument continued at the “pool room” where Thompson worked. Lloyd fled, and Thompson fired at him “across the main business section,” but no damage was done.

Aug. 31, 1935 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder, left fielder and manager Frank Robinson was born in Beaumont, Texas. He went on to play for the Cincinnati Reds, the Baltimore Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the California Angels and the Cleveland Indians and managed the Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982.

Aug. 31, 1939 – Nazi Germany mounted a staged attack on the Gleiwitz radio station, creating an excuse to attack Poland the following day thus starting World War II in Europe.

Aug. 31, 1946 - Superman returned to radio on the Mutual Broadcasting System after being dropped earlier in the year.

Aug. 31, 1947 – Locke Thompson and A.B. Blass, both of Monroeville, Ala., members of the U.S. 7th Cavalry in Japan with postwar occupational forces, summitted 12,388-foot Mount Fuji. Of the 44 who started the climb, only seven reached the top.

Aug. 31, 1950 – Army Cpl. Elven J. Hobbs, 19, of Conecuh County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea while serving with Co. A, 9th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division. Born on Sept. 11, 1930, he was buried in the Buffington Cemetery in Castleberry.

Aug. 31, 1950 - Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers hit four home runs in a single game off of four different pitchers.

Aug. 31, 1955 - Secretary of State John Foster Dulles supported South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem’s position regarding his refusal to hold “national and general elections” to reunify the two Vietnam states.

Aug. 31, 1958 – The Orpheus Club of Evergreen, Ala. celebrated its 50th anniversary with a “Silver Tea” at the Evergreen City School. The club was organized in 1908 and was federated in 1909.

Aug. 31, 1958 – A parcel bomb sent by Ngô Đình Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm, failed to kill King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.

Aug. 31, 1959 - Brooklyn Dodgers left-hander Sandy Koufax struck out 18 batters, setting a new National League record for most strikeouts in a single game against the San Francisco Giants in Los Angeles. The Dodgers won, 5-2. Koufax’s total of 18 strikeouts in the game broke Dizzy Dean’s 26-year-old National League record, and tied the major league record held by Cleveland Indian ace Bob Feller. Koufax also broke the record for strikeouts over two consecutive games, fanning 31 men combined, having struck out 13 batters in his previous start.

Aug. 31, 1965 - Premier Nguyen Cao Ky announced that South Vietnam would not negotiate with the Communists without guarantees that North Vietnamese troops would be withdrawn from the South. He also said that his government would institute major reforms to correct economic and social injustices.

Aug. 31, 1965 - In the United States, President Johnson signed into law a bill making it illegal to destroy or mutilate a U.S. draft card, with penalties of up to five years and a $10,000 fine.

Aug. 31, 1967 - Senate Preparedness Investigating Committee issued a call to step up bombing against the North, declaring that McNamara had “shackled” the air war against Hanoi, and calling for “closure, neutralization, or isolation of Haiphong.”

Aug. 31, 1968 – Marine Lance Cpl. Henry Beall Smith Jr., 21, of Andalusia, Ala. was killed in action at Quang Tri, Vietnam. Born on June 15, 1947, he was buried in Andalusia Memorial Cemetery in Covington County, Ala.

Aug. 31, 1970 - In South Vietnam, antigovernment Buddhist candidates appeared to win 10 of 30 Senate seats contested in the previous day’s election.

Aug. 31, 1972 - U.S. weekly casualty figures of five dead and three wounded were the lowest recorded since record keeping began in January 1965.

Aug. 31, 1973 – Monroe Academy lost its first ever football game, falling to Central Alabama Academy, 14-9, in Montgomery. This loss snapped the school’s streak of 39 straight games without a loss.

Aug. 31, 1973 - The J.F. Shields Panthers started their season off right on this Friday night as they downed South Macon, 20-0, in Beatrice. Top Shields players in that game included Robert Booker, Sherman McBride, Willie Montgomery, Calvin Nelson, James Parkett Stallworth and quarterback Curtis Tucker.

Aug. 31, 1978 – W.S. Neal High School beat Evergreen High School, 31-0. Outstanding Evergreen players in that game included Sanford Moye, Wendell Parker and Keith Rabb. Charles Branum was Evergreen’s head coach.

Aug. 31, 1985 - The "Night Stalker" killer, Richard Ramirez, was captured by residents in Los Angeles.

Aug. 31, 1995 – MCHS graduate Kenny Croft was the football team’s honorary team captain for a game against Paramount in Monroeville, Ala. Monroeville won the toss, elected to receive and Chris Kirkland returned the kick 90 yards for a touchdown. MCHS won, 28-18.

Aug. 31, 1996 – Saddam Hussein's troops seized Irbil after the Kurdish Masoud Barzani appealed for help to defeat his Kurdish rival PUK.

Aug. 31, 1997 - Diana, Princess of Wales, died in a car crash in Paris, France. The television audience for Diana's funeral, broadcast around the world, was believed to be around 2.5 billion viewers. Conspiracy theories surrounding Princess Diana's death emerged almost immediately and, despite official inquiries by both the French and UK governments, the accident remains shrouded in suspicion.

Aug. 31, 2005 – The 2005 Al-Aaimmah bridge stampede in Baghdad killed 1,199 people.

Aug. 31, 2006 – Marlon Anderson of Montgomery, Ala. was traded by the Washington Nationals to the Los Angeles Dodgers after scoring the winning run in a 6-5 thriller against the Phillies in Washington. At the time, Washington had been struggling for much of the season and was not a playoff factor while the Dodgers appeared to be headed for the playoffs with the NL West division crown. Anderson was brought in hopes to assist in the Dodgers' playoff push. He was intended to be a pinch hitter, but Anderson won the starting job in left field when rookie Andre Ethier struggled towards the end of the season.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Aug. 31, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 2.70 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 4.30 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  9.85 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 26.20 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 69.75 inches.

Notes: Today is the 243rd day of 2017 and the 72nd day of Summer. There are 122 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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Steamboat Peerless on the Alabama River.
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the Aug. 30, 1917 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Ruthven is a new post office, established near Usery Lumber Co. about 11-1/2 miles from Pine Apple and Schuster.

The teachers at the Wilcox County High School the ensuing session will be Prof. Claude Hardy, principal; Miss Carlotta Stuart, first assistant; Miss Lady Portis, second assistant; Miss Minna Palfrey, home economics; Mrs. Hardy, music.

The bridge over Strait Creek on the Camden and Pine Apple Road, which is one of the main thoroughfares of the county, has been down for some time. The attention of our worthy County Commissioners is called to this matter. The bridge should be rebuilt.

The Alabama River is again getting very low. The damage done by the recent river floods was very light. The steamers Peerless and Burke are now engaged in the Alabama River trade.

The County Commissioners’ court will meet in special session next Friday for the purpose of arranging means and methods to complete that portion of the Jackson Highway that’s in Wilcox.

Mrs. Henry Miller of Camden has sold over 200 chickens that were raised in her yard in town. Poultry raising is a nice side line proposition for our country ladies.

Mr. K. Henry of Atlanta, and with the reliable shoe firm of J.K. Orr & Co. of that city, visited Camden recently. Mr. Henry is a grandson of the late Osborne Henry, who resided in Blacks Bend.

Dr. Clarence Jones of Mobile is visiting his wife and daughter, who are visiting in the home of Hon. and Mrs. W.C. Jones at Camden.

FURMAN: Our citizens are taking a great deal of interest in the Red Cross work. An auxiliary has been organized for the purpose of doing real, helpful work. The women are sewing and knitting for the soldiers, while the men show they are willing to do their “bit” by aiding financially.

McWILLIAMS: Mr. Arthur L. Nettles, who is an operator for the Illinois Central Railroad at Lambert, Miss., is with home folks.

OAK HILL: Mr. Archie F. Jones, who has been taking a business course in Montgomery, has enlisted in the army. He was a recent visitor to Camden.

LAMISON: It grieves us very much to see all of our young men leaving, but we are sure with such a noble, brave people, the cause will be won. Messrs. Pittman and Grover Dickson, Evans and Leslie Autrey, Flavie Harris, Carson Kratzer and Lucy Dunn are among the first to leave for France.

PINE HILL: Lt. W.P. Bledsoe, who is at home on a visit to his parents, the Rev. and Mrs. J.O. Bledsoe, is now commissioned a first lieutenant, passing the examination successfully at Fort McPherson.

On Wednesday evening, the B.Y.P.U. entertained at the home of Mrs. W.D. Autrey in honor of Julius Miller, one of the First Alabama Regiment, who is visiting his mother, Mrs. A.A. Miller and other relatives.

More information about Sunny South name origin comes to light

Last week in this space, I wrote about how the community of Sunny South got its name, and that column resulted in a surprising amount of response from readers of The Progressive Era. Not long after last week’s edition hit the streets, I began to receive e-mails from readers with more information about Sunny South and how it received its name.

For those of you who missed last week’s paper, I wrote that, according to a book called “Place Names in Alabama” by Virginia O. Foscue, the Sunny South community was “named for the Sunny South, a steamboat destroyed by fire in 1867 at Portland, a dead town once located on the banks of the Alabama River in Dallas County.” I went on to theorize that the name Sunny South was probably applied to the community when the post office first opened there in 1888, an event that likely came about when the railroad was set down through the middle of town.

As it turns out, readers supplied me with information that showed that this was only about half-true, and, as always, that there was more to the story. Pine Hill native Kelly Sheffield Tolbert provided the most illuminating piece of information when she made available online a one-page document titled “History of Sunny South School,” which was written by George M. Carmichael, a descendant of one of Sunny South’s early settlers.

According to Carmichael, the Sunny South steamboat actually exploded and burned near the Lower Peach Tree landing on the Alabama River, and that a member of the boat’s crew, “being a scholarly man,” came to the community and organized a school in a one-room log cabin. This school was said to have been located on the then Clifton-Choctaw Corner Road across from the Old Adley Morgan Homeplace and served students in this area for a number of years, according to Carmichael.

The school master, who wasn’t named in Carmichael’s article, named the school the “Sunny South School” in memory of the well-known steamboat that he once worked on. Later, as more students began to attend the school, a larger one-room building was built across the road to serve as the community school house, Carmichael said.

Around 1888, the Mobile & Birmingham Railroad reached the community, and Miss C.O. Carmichael donated the land for a train depot. Since she donated the land, railroad officials allowed her to select a name for the train stop, and she called it “Sunny South” to perpetuate the name of the community’s first school.

If you read George M. Carmichael’s account closely, you’ll note that he said that the Sunny South steamboat actually burned and sank at the Lower Peach Tree landing, not at Portland in Dallas County. In a reply to a Facebook post last Thursday, Earl Hepstall of Thomasville said that the Sunny South went down in the first curve south of the site of the present-day Lower Peach Tree landing. Years ago, you could see parts of the boat’s smoke stack when the river was low, he said.

Also, before I wrap this thing up, I want to mention that this discussion about Sunny South began a few weeks ago after I encountered Sunny South native Jamestican Parham outside a hardware store in Evergreen. Parham noted that he’d heard in the past that the Sunny South community was once known as Bethel before people began calling it Sunny South. I believe there is a nugget of truth to this because when I checked the Historical Atlas of Alabama, it indicated that the old, historic Bethel community was just east of Sunny South, on the east side of Beaver Creek.

In the end, I’d like to hear from any readers who know more about the Sunny South’s sinking and the early history of the community that now bears its name. When the did sinking take place? What caused the fire? Was anyone killed? Was there valuable cargo aboard? Who was the first school master of the Sunny South School? If you know, please contact me and let me know, so I can pass it along to the good readers of The Progressive Era.

Today in History for Aug. 30, 2017

Grave of Rev. Pitt S. Milner in Georgiana, Ala.
Aug. 30, 30 B.C. - Queen Cleopatra of Egypt killed herself with a snake she had smuggled into her chamber where she was held captive by Octavian, formerly the political rival of her lover Mark Antony. Octavian had defeated Cleopatra and Antony at the Battle of Actium and had taken Cleopatra prisoner. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to parade her as part of his triumphant return to Rome, she planned her own suicide.

Aug. 30, 1645 - American Indians and the Dutch made a peace treaty at New Amsterdam, which became known as New York.

Aug. 30, 1682 - William Penn sailed from England and later established the colony of Pennsylvania in America.

Aug. 30, 1776 - British troops occupied American fortifications on Long Island. George Washington and his 9,000 men had evacuated to Manhattan overnight.

Aug. 30, 1776 - General George Washington gave the New York Convention three reasons for the retreat from Long Island. The reasons were the need to reunite his forces, the extreme fatigue of his soldiers and the lack of proper shelter from the weather.

Aug. 30, 1776 - General George Washington rejected British General William Howe's second letter of reconciliation.

Aug. 30, 1780 - General Benedict Arnold secretly promised to surrender the West Point fort to the British army.

Aug. 30, 1797 – “Frankenstein” author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in Somers Town, London.

Aug. 30, 1800 – Gabriel Prosser postponed a planned slave rebellion in Richmond, Va. but was arrested before he can make it happen.

Aug. 30, 1806 - New York City's second daily newspaper, the "Daily Advertiser," was published for the last time.

Aug. 30, 1813 – About 1,000 Creek Indians under the command of William Weatherford attacked Fort Mims in what is now Baldwin County, Ala., killing over 500 settlers (including over 250 armed militia) gathered there for protection. The attack caused fear and hysteria among frontier settlers, who quickly raised militia companies to fight the Indians in the Creek War of 1813-1814.

Aug. 30, 1825 – Creek chieftain William McIntosh was killed in Carroll County, Ga. by Creeks who believed he betrayed them in his role of getting treaties signed that ceded Creek lands to the U.S. government.

Aug. 30, 1832 – The post office at Walker’s Mill, Ala. (present day Monroeville) had its name officially changed to “Centerville.”

Aug. 30, 1833 – The post office at Centerville, Ala. had its name officially changed to “Monroeville” because there was already a town in Alabama named Centreville.

Aug. 30, 1836 – The city of Houston, Texas was founded by Augustus Chapman Allen and John Kirby Allen.

Aug. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, General Freemont of “Pathfinder” fame issued an "Emancipation Proclamation" freeing slaves in Missouri. This was later revoked by President Lincoln.

Aug. 30, 1862 - Confederates defeated Union forces at the Second Battle of Bull Run in Manassas, Va.

Aug. 30, 1862 – At the Battle of Richmond, Ky., Confederate troops under Edmund Kirby Smith soundly defeated a Union army under General Mahlon D. Manson at Richmond, Ky. Manson and his entire staff were captured. More than 4,300 of the 6,500 Federals were captured, including Manson and his entire staff. Confederate losses stood at 98 killed, 492 wounded, and 10 missing out of 6,800.

Aug. 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Larkinsville, Ala. in Jackson County.

Aug. 30, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Plymouth, N.C. and at Buckhannon, W.Va.

Aug. 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Shallow Ford, Ark. and at Scullyville, Okla.

Aug. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, an action was fought at Flint River Bridge. Skirmishes were also fought near East Point, Ga.; near Dardanelle, Ark.; and near Smithfield, Va.

Aug. 30, 1868 – Minnie Lee “Miss Minnie” Robbins of Beatrice, Ala., who operated Robbins Hotel (built 1861) as “an elegant haven for commercial men,” was born.

Aug. 30, 1871 – Noble Prize-winning British physicist Ernest Rutherford was born in Brightwater, New Zealand. He is probably best known for developing a model of the atom, after discovering that most of the mass of an atom is concentrated in its tiny nucleus.

Aug. 30, 1873 – The Rev. Pitt Saunders Milner, founder of Georgiana, Ala., passed away at the age of 67. Born on July 31, 1806, he was buried in the Milner Cemetery in Georgiana. Milner’s daughter Anna died in 1857 and in her memory and in honor of his home state of Georgia, the City of Georgiana received its name.

Aug. 30, 1873 – Austrian explorers Julius von Payer and Karl Weyprecht discovered the archipelago of Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Sea.

Aug. 30, 1885 - 13,000 meteors were seen in one hour near Andromeda.

Aug. 30, 1895 – Rufus Brown, “aged about 79 years” died near Monroeville, Ala. on this Friday night.

Aug. 30, 1905 – Baseball legend Ty Cobb made his Major League batting debut with the Detroit Tigers.

Aug. 30, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Callie Faulk, who had “a prosperous school” at Franklin, was visiting relatives in Monroeville that week.

Aug. 30, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Miss Jennie Faulk had returned from St. Louis where she’d gone to purchase her line of fall hats and millinery.

Aug. 30, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Hudson ginnery started up the week before and would “probably be kept constantly busy from now until the close of the cotton season.” The first bale was turned out for C.E. Broughton whose farm was near Monroeville.

Aug. 30, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Capt. Thos. S. Wiggins had returned from a few day’s sojourn at the Wilcox Mineral Springs.

Aug. 30, 1908 - Officials of the United Mine Workers (UMW) in Birmingham, Ala. called off a bitter coal strike, prompting The Birmingham News to declare that the result would be "Prosperity in the Birmingham District." Workers had walked out of the mines in early July to protest wage conditions, and almost two months of violence ensued. As many as 18,000 black and white workers had joined UMW, but resistance by employers, intervention by Gov. B. B. Comer, and public dissatisfaction broke the strike and debilitated UMW's strength in Birmingham for years.

Aug. 30, 1914 – During World War I, Germans defeated the Russians in the Battle of Tannenberg.

Aug. 30, 1917 – Vietnamese prison guards led by Trịnh Văn Cấn mutinied at the Thái Nguyên penitentiary against local French authority.

Aug. 30, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that city leaders were having another well drilled near the well sunk a few weeks before. It was hoped that with two wells a constant and adequate supply of water would be available.

Aug. 30, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that all arrangements had been perfected for the prompt and simultaneous opening of the public schools of the county on Oct. 1. A number of new buildings were in course of erection at more central points, a number of others enlarged and made more comfortable, while several had been granted an increased teaching force. The compulsory attendance law was to go into effect with the new school year and every effort was being made by the school authorities to meet the new situation.

Aug. 30, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that the County Board of Exemptions and local physicians had been busy for the last two days in the examination of 200 registrants under the second call of reserves.

Aug. 30, 1918 – National Baseball Hall of Fame left fielder Ted Williams was born in San Diego, Calif. He played his entire career for the Boston Red Sox and later managed the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1966.

Aug. 30, 1918 - The New York Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1-0, in a game that only took 57 minutes to play.

Aug. 30, 1918 - In Belfort, France, a small town near the German border, Colonel Arthur L. Conger of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) planted a copy of a false operational order for an impending Allied attack in a wastebasket; as intended, it was later found and removed by a German agent, resulting in the “Belfort Ruse.”

Aug. 30, 1925 – During the closing sermon at the end of a three-week revival in Andalusia, Ala., about 5,000 people in a “big, open air tabernacle” watched as 24 masked and white robed members of the Ku Klux Klan silently presented the Rev. Bob Jones with a $1,568 check from Andalusia Klan No. 29. The donation to Jones was believed to be “a record for the amount of such contributions.”

Aug. 30, 1925 – Children’s writer and illustrator Laurent de Brunhoff was born in Paris, France.

Aug. 30, 1943 – Cartoonist R. Crumb was born Robert Dennis Crumb in Philadelphia, Pa.

Aug. 30, 1944 – Journalist and humorist Molly Ivins was born in Monterey, Calif.

Aug. 30, 1949 - Colbert Wright, forest patrolman in the Frisco City area, suffered severe feet injuries when he fell from a tree near Excel. The patrolman, who was gathering seed for a nursery at the time, was hurt when a limb broke and plunged to the ground with him. Both feet were badly injured. He was taken to the Repton hospital soon after the accident, and was later moved to a Mobile hospital.

Aug. 30, 1965 – The State Department of Education announced that the Monroeville Junior College had officially been named Patrick Henry Junior College.

Aug. 30, 1965 - New York Mets Manager Casey Stengel announced his retirement, ending his 56-year career in professional baseball.

Aug. 30, 1966 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds hit home runs from both sides of the plate in a game against St. Louis.

Aug. 30, 1966 – The Beatles performed their final concert as a touring act at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Aug. 30, 1966 - Hanoi Radio announced that Deputy Premier Le Thanh Nghi had signed an agreement with Peking whereby the People’s Republic of China would provide additional economic and technical aid to North Vietnam.

Aug. 30, 1967 – Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Aug. 30, 1969 - Ho Chi Minh’s reply to President Nixon’s letter of July 15 was received in Paris. Ho accused the United States of a “war of aggression” against the Vietnamese people, “violating our fundamental national rights” and warned that “the longer the war goes on, the more it accumulates the mourning and burdens of the American people.”

Aug. 30, 1970 - An estimated 6 million South Vietnamese casted ballots for 30 seats at stake in the Senate elections. While the voting was going on, Communist forces attacked at least 14 district towns, a provincial capital, and several polling places.

Aug. 30, 1972 - Sparta Academy was scheduled to begin the 1972-73 school year on this Wednesday at 8 a.m. Richard Brown was headmaster.

Aug. 30, 1976 – Major League Baseball relief pitcher Mike Koplove was born in Philadelphia, Pa. He went on to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Cleveland Indians.

Aug. 30, 1977 – NFL running back Shaun Alexander was born in Florence, Ky. He went on to play for the University of Alabama, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins.

Aug. 30, 1979 -  A "sungrazer" known as Comet Howard-Koomen-Michels collided into the sun, reportedly with the impact of one million hydrogen bombs.

Aug. 30, 1984 – The Central of Georgia Depot on Central Street in Andalusia, Ala. was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Aug. 30, 1985 – J.W. Weaver, Superintendent of the City Electrical Department in Evergreen, Ala., retired after 37 years of service to the City of Evergreen.

Aug. 30, 1985 – Lyeffion opened the 1985 football season by blasting Alabama Christian, 60-0, in Montgomery, Ala. Willie King led Lyeffion’s offense with eight carries for 240 yards and five touchdowns.

Aug. 30, 1985 – Evergreen High School beat Wilcox County High School, 26-0, in Camden, Ala.

Aug. 30-31, 1986 – A rodeo was scheduled to be held at the Lyeffion Arena on this Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m., respectively. The ACA-approved rodeo was sponsored by the Lyeffion and Skinnerton Fire Departments. This approved rodeo was to consists of bull-riding, bare back and saddle bronc riding, calf roping, barrel racing, clown acts and steer dogging. Lois Reeves, Skip Stacey, Evelyn Pipkin and Larry Oswald were among the organizers.

Aug. 30, 1992 – The 11-day Ruby Ridge standoff ended with Randy Weaver surrendering to federal authorities.

Aug. 30, 1994 - Oasis' first studio album, entitled "Definitely Maybe," was released.

Aug. 30, 1996 - An expedition to raise part of the Titanic failed when the nylon lines being used to raise part of the hull snapped.

Aug. 30, 2002 - The Major League Baseball Players Union and the team owners came to an agreement that avoided a player's strike set to begin on this day.

Aug. 30, 2003 – “My Life Without Me,” a movie version of Alabama author Nanci Kincaid's book “Pretending the Bed Is a Raft,” was released.

Aug. 30, 2007 – The final high school football game between Excel and Frisco City was played in Excel, Ala. Excel won, 22-14, closing out a series that is believed to have begun in 1921.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Wed., Aug. 30, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 1.60 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 1.60 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  7.15 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 23.50 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 67.05 inches.

Notes: Today is the 242nd day of 2017 and the 71st day of Summer. There are 123 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.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Aug. 29, 2017

AUG. 26, 1999

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported 0.24 inches of rain on Aug. 20. He reported a high of 99 degrees on Aug. 18 and lows of 68 degrees on Aug. 20 and Aug. 21.

Members of the Conecuh County Heritage Committee recently presented several of the completed county histories to the Evergreen-Conecuh County Public Library. When the series is completed, the library will have 67 volumes and one index on file. Pictured are Committee Chairperson Dot Crook, John Currie representing the library, Topical Coordinator Willene Whatley and Family Coordinator Lula Goodson. Not pictured is Treasurer Margaret Gaston.

Nancy Deabler was officially made principal of Repton Junior High Aug. 2 by the Conecuh County Board of Education. Deabler had been teaching the physically handicapped in the Escambia County School System in Atmore.
She attended Auburn University and received a bachelor’s degree in special education and two master’s degrees. Her first master’s was in administration and her second was in elementary and secondary curriculum. She has worked at various schools in the Alabama school system for 24 years.
School began for the students on Aug. 13 and so did a few problems for Deabler. In her first week, Deabler was confronted with a gas leak, a water leak and a power outage due to an electrical storm. Besides those minor problems, Deabler says everything is going pretty well.

AUG. 29, 1974

Evergreen weather observer Earl Windham reported 0.3 inches of rain on Aug. 18 and 0.6 inches on Aug. 21. He reported a high of 93 degrees on Aug. 18 and a low of 68 on Aug. 18.

Cecil Andrews holds this big rattlesnake which he killed on Judge Robert E.L. Key’s property on Sparta Road. The snake had 12 rattles and was five feet long.

A Florida man lost his life when the pickup truck he was driving collided with the trailer of a Delchamps delivery truck in front of the Evergreen Golf Club on Tuesday afternoon of last week. The pickup was torn into several pieces and man and front end of it crushed under the trailer in the portion you see here.

NATIONAL FHA PRESIDENT – Victoria Pope, National Future Homemakers of America president from Castleberry, talks with Isabelle Thomasson, member, State Board of Education, after addressing the state board at a meeting last week.

Smokey Bear presents a certificate to Sharon Sellers who read the most books (42) in his Summer Reading Program at the Conecuh County Public Library. Looking on are Mrs. Clara Trawick, librarian, and County Ranger Lamar Haskew of the State Forestry Commission, sponsors of the reading program this summer. Robert Owens, Kim Owens and Sandy Barnes were runners-up to Sharon.

AUG. 25, 1949

State Turnpike Voted By Lower House: The House of Representatives by a vote of 50 to 15 approved this week a measure providing for a four-lane turnpike stretching from the Tennessee line to the Gulf of Mexico. It was estimated that the 400-mile road would cost between 35 and 40 million dollars. The bill is now in the Senate for action.

Mr. and Mrs. Otis Golson and children, Maurice and Danny, are spending a week at Little River State Park.

Susan Bozeman celebrated her ninth birthday on Tuesday with a picture show party.

Howard Holman, a nephew of J.C. Holman, was recently killed in an accident in a saw mill at Colt, Arkansas, where his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Holman, live.

First Lt. H.S. Gentry Jr., who has just returned from overseas, spent several days recently with his grandmother, Mrs. W.M. Cardwell.

Mr. and Mrs. Knud Nielsen Jr. returned Wednesday from a trip to New York and Boston.

Mrs. J.M. King and children, Sara, John and Louise, have returned to their home in Phoenix, Arizona, having spent the past two weeks with friends and relatives in Old Town community.

PIX THEATRE – “Streets of Laredo” – William Holden – William Bendix – Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 22-23 – Color by Technicolor!

AUG. 27, 1924

Death of Twins: The Death Angel twice visited the family of Mr. and Mrs. D.M. Chastine last week, taking their twin sons, Reginald and Roland. The former died at an early hour Monday and the latter the following Saturday.
The little ones had been ill for several weeks, developing pneumonia, every effort was made to save them. They were laid to rest at Belleville Baptist cemetery, Rev. Lindsey conducting funeral of both.

Dirt was broken Monday morning for the erection of a five-room residence on west side of Magnolia Street, on what is known as the Goodson lot, for R.E. Ivey, who recently purchased that property.

Within the next two weeks The Courant expects to greet its many friends and patrons in its new quarters, upstairs in the rock building on the corner of Salter and Rural streets, recently vacated by the Conecuh Motor Co., the Chevrolet agency.

LENOX NEWS: Grady Ralls, who is attending the Mobile Business College, is spending this week with home folks.

HERBERT: Ralph Mason purchased himself a new Ford last Saturday in Birmingham.

SHREVE: We are sorry to know that Miss Ermer Sanford was carried to the infirmary at Georgiana for an operation for appendicitis.

AUG. 30, 1899

Preparations will be made to entertain 5,000 people at the Confederate reunion on the fifth of October. All veterans from adjoining counties are specially invited and expected to attend. Veterans from anywhere will be welcomed. It will be a gala day in Evergreen, and Evergreen people will make it pleasant for all the old soldiers. Let all the “old boys” come and bring their families and have a good time. The town will be turned over to them, and everything possible will be done to contribute to their pleasure. The age, the middle-age, the youth and the beauty are invited to come and enjoy the day. There’ll be plenty of good things to eat and some good speeches.

NOTICE: All the ladies in Evergreen beat are requested to prepare and bring a basket of provision to the Confederate Reunion on Oct. 5. I will try to see each one personally but should I fail to get around I hope they will do so anyway. – M.A. GANTT, Chairman Committee on Contribution.

There will be no politics in the Confederate reunion. There may be a festive candidate now and then who will try to get in some work on the outside, but there’ll be no political speeches. It will be a reunion of the old Confederates who will gather to swap war stories and to tell thrilling experiences of the days that tried men’s souls. Let them come and enjoy themselves together. Evergreen will welcome them with open hands and open hearts.

Mr. G.W. Lee of the Wild Fork of Monroe was in town on Saturday. He is an old Confederate veteran and says he is coming to the reunion here on Oct. 5.

Castleberry: The new burying grounds near Castleberry have recently been cleaned off. We congratulate the people on their effort in this way.

Today in History for Aug. 29, 2017

Aug. 29, 1498 – Vasco da Gama decided to depart Calicut and return to Kingdom of Portugal.

Aug. 29, 1533 - Atahualpa, the last Incan King of Peru, was murdered on orders from Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro. The Inca Empire died with him.

Aug. 29, 1632 – British philosopher John Locke was born in Wrington, Somerset, England. His ideas were a foundation for much of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Aug. 29, 1758 – The first American Indian reservation was established, at Indian Mills, New Jersey.

Aug. 29, 1773 – French botanist and explorer Aimé Bonpland was born in La Rochelle, France.

Aug. 29, 1776 - General George Washington held a meeting with his generals. The Generals agreed that General Miffin's Pennsylvania Regiments should make up the rear guard as the rest of the army withdrew from Brooklyn.

Aug. 29, 1778 – During the American Revolutionary War, British and American forces battled indecisively at the Battle of Rhode Island.

Aug. 29, 1779 - In modern-day Elmira, New York, near the state’s southwestern border with Pennsylvania, Continental forces led by Major General John Sullivan and Brigadier General James Clinton defeated a force of Loyalists and Indians commanded by Captain Walter Butler and Chief Joseph Brant in what is now known as the Battle of Chemung or Newtown, N.Y.

Aug. 29, 1809 – Poet and physician Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. was born in Cambridge, Mass.

Aug. 29, 1813 – Paddy Welsh and William Weatherford hid their main force in the woods and tall grass about six miles from Fort Mims, where soldiers and settlers were enjoying a supply of whiskey that had arrived that day.

August 29, 1813 - Two black slaves tending cattle outside Fort Mims also reported that "painted warriors" were in the vicinity, but mounted scouts from the fort found no signs of the war party. To the detriment of Fort Mims, Major Daniel Beasley had the second slave flogged for "raising a false alarm."

Aug. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, in North Carolina, Confederate troops at Fort Hatteras surrendered after a two-day battle.

Aug. 29, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Morse's Mill, Mo.

Aug. 29, 1862 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee dealt a stinging defeat to Union General John Pope at the Second Battle of Bull Run, Virginia—a battle that arose out of the failure of Union General George McClellan’s Peninsular campaign earlier in the summer. Pope’s army lost over 16,000 men to the Confederates’ 9,000.

Aug. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bloomfield, California House and Iberia in Missouri; in the vicinity of Port Hudson, La.; near Saint Charles Court House, La.; and between Richmond and Big Hill in Kentucky.

Aug. 29, 1863 – The H.L. Hunley submarine sank during a training exercise, killing five of her crew.

Aug. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Carperton's Ferry, Ala.

Aug. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Texas Prairie, Mo.

Aug. 29, 1864 - Democrats nominated George B. McClellan for president to run against the Republican incumbent, Abraham Lincoln.

Aug. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, Price's Raid began and continued until December 2.

Aug. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Red Oak, Ga.; near Ghent, Ky.; at Smithfield Crossing, Charlestown, and Martinsburg in West Virginia.

Aug. 29, 1885 - The first prizefight under the Marquis of Queensberry Rules was held in Cincinnati, Ohio. John L. Sullivan defeated Dominick McCaffery in six rounds.

Aug. 29, 1892 – “Pop” Billy Shriver of the Chicago Cubs caught a ball that was dropped from the top of the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

Aug. 29, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that “work on the Monroeville Academy building goes bravely on. The outside walls have already been put up and the materials for the interior work are on the ground and being put in place as rapidly as possible. The dimensions of the building are 36 x 60 feet, which will afford ample room for present necessities.”

Aug. 29, 1896 – The first issue of The Monroe Democrat newspaper was published by D.M. Gordon and associates. That newspaper moved to Daphne, Ala. about two years later.

Aug. 29, 1896 - Messrs. Louiselle of Manistee were in Monroeville on this Saturday.

Aug. 29, 1896 - Capt. Geo. H. Gray of Perdue Hill, Monroe’s newly elected tax assessor, was in Monroeville on this Saturday. Gray planned to begin his “round of sittings” on the first Monday in October.

Aug. 29, 1896 - The Mexia and Natchez baseball teams crossed bats in Monroeville on this Saturday. When the game was called, the score stood Natchez 39, Mexia 9.

Aug. 29, 1896 - A mad dog passed through Pineville on this Saturday “causing great excitement,” according to The Monroe Journal.

Aug. 29-30, 1896 – The Rev. Mr. Heath of Brewton preached three sermons on this Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night at Canoe Station, according to The Monroe Journal.

Aug. 29, 1900 - William Carver, Kid Curry, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid robbed a Union Pacific train of more than $30,000 near Tipton, Wyoming.

Aug. 29, 1906 - John McDuffie of River Ridge visited Monroeville on this Wednesday, “circulating among his many friends,” according to The Monroe Journal.

Aug. 29, 1911 – State Superintendent of Education Henry J. Willingham and State Auditor C. Brooks Smith visited Monroeville and Jones Mill (now Frisco City) to announce that the state high school commission had awarded Monroeville the County High School by a unanimous vote on Aug. 24.

Aug. 29, 1911 – The 19th Annual Session of the Second District Agricultural School opened in Evergreen, Ala. with Henry T. Lile as President.

Aug. 29, 1911 – The Evergreen Motor Car Co., which “featured entirely and completely Ford automobiles and Ford products,” was established by C.P. Deming Sr., H.W. Dunn, W.B. Ivey and R.B. Lee. It operated under that name in the same block on Rural Street until Sept. 1, 1955 when it sold out to Bryon Warren, who changed the name to Warren Ford Co.

Aug. 29, 1911 – Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerged from the wilderness of northeastern California.

Aug. 29, 1914 – During World War I, the Battle of St. Quentin started and the French Fifth Army counter-attacked the invading Germans at Saint-Quentin, Aisne.

Aug. 29, 1914 - With World War I approaching the end of its first month, the Women’s Defense Relief Corps was formed in Britain.

Aug. 29, 1918 – Laula M. Middleton was born near Evergreen, Ala. He would later become a military pilot and would be killed in World War II. Evergreen’s airport was later named in his honor. A memorial marker for Middleton can be found in Belleville United Methodist Church Cemetery.

Aug. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Bapaume was taken by the New Zealand Division in the Hundred Days Offensive.

Aug., 29, 1920 – Jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker was born in Kansas City, Kansas.

Aug. 29, 1922 – The first radio advertisement was broadcast on WEAF-AM in New York City. The Queensboro Realty Company bought 10 minutes of time for $100.

Aug. 29, 1931 - “Crooked Flea,” owned by “Crook” Haygood and “Flea” McRee of Greenville was victorious in a turtle race staged in Greenville on this Saturday by the Lions Club to determine the official entrant for Greenville in the International Turtle Derby at Evergreen on Sept. 5. A large crowd gathered at the City Park to witness the races. Prizes were awarded for the largest and fastest turtles taking part in the races and “Crooked Flea” won both titles.

Aug. 29, 1940 – Evergreen’s Rotary Club defeated Brewton’s Rotary Club, 19-9, in a softball game in Brewton, Ala.

Aug. 29, 1941 - “The Pittsburgh Kid,” a movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Kid Tinsel,” was released.

Aug. 29, 1941 – Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, was occupied by Nazi Germany following an occupation by the Soviet Union.

Aug. 29, 1944 – The Slovak National Uprising took place as 60,000 Slovak troops turned against the Nazis.

Aug. 29, 1948 – Walter W. Dent, 42, died from an accidental .22 rifle wound to his right side around 1 p.m. at his home in the Melrose community. Conecuh County Sheriff W.D. Lewis investigated and learned that Dent and his 15-year-old son, Weldon, were “engaged in a struggle over the rifle when the fatal shot was fired.” Dr. U.L. Jones of Brooklyn treated Dent, but Dent lived only a short time after Jones arrived.

Aug. 29, 1951 – The final issue of “The Frisco City Sun” was published. The first issue was published on June 6, 1950.

Aug. 29, 1952 – Young adult writer Karen Hesse was born in Baltimore, Md.

Aug. 29, 1957 – NFL defensive tackle and defensive end Benjamin Rudolph was born in Evergreen, Ala. He went on to play for Long Beach State and the New York Jets.

Aug. 29, 1958 – The United States Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Aug. 29, 1958 - The W.E. Broughton cotton gin, which burned at Perdue Hill early on this Friday, was declared by owners to be a total loss. Ed Broughton, son of Dr. W.E. Broughton, owner, said the blaze, which destroyed all of the main part of the gin, a nearby seed house and 27 bales of cotton, was first discovered around 3:30 a.m. He said the cause of the fire was undetermined.

Aug. 29, 1964 - Nguyen Khanh stepped down as president of South Vietnam and Xuan Oanh, former professor at Trinity College in Connecticut, was named prime minister.

Aug. 29, 1965 – A moonshine still, said to be “one of the largest ever raided” in Monroe County, Ala., was destroyed along with 280 gallons of moonshine by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department on this Sunday night eight or nine miles east of Monroeville near Drewry. Taking part in the raid was Monroe County Sheriff Charlie Sizemore, deputies Floyd Till and John Byron Carter and Constable Aubrey Helton.

Aug. 29, 1966 – The Beatles performed their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Aug. 29, 1970 – During the Chicano Moratorium against the Vietnam War in East Los Angeles, California, a police riot killed three people, including journalist Rubén Salazar.

Aug. 29, 1971 – Wilcox County native Hank Aaron became the first baseball player in the National League to hit 100 or more runs in each of 11 seasons.

Aug. 29, 1971 - Alabama author Emma Gelders Sterne died in San Jose, Calif.

Aug. 29, 1971 - President Nguyen Van Thieu retained control of the South Vietnamese National Assembly as candidates backing him swept the opposition in the Mekong Delta, with a solid majority in the 159-member lower house.

Aug. 29, 1972 - President Nixon set December 1 as the target date for reducing U.S. troops strength in Vietnam by 12,000, to 27,000, an all-time low since the American troop buildup began in 1965.

Aug. 29, 1973 - U.S. President Richard Nixon was ordered by Judge John Sirica to turn over the Watergate tapes. Nixon refused and appealed the order.

Aug. 29, 1976 – NFL safety Kevin Kaesviharn was born in Paramount, Calif. He went on to play for Augustana College, the Cincinnati Bengals, the New Orleans Saints and the Tennessee Titans.

Aug. 29, 1977 - Lou Brock brought his total of stolen bases to 893. The record he beat had been held by Ty Cobb for 49 years.

Aug. 29, 1983 - The anchor of the USS Monitor from the U.S. Civil War was retrieved by divers.

Aug. 29, 1985 – Sparta Academy opened the 1985 football season with a 34-12 win over Greenville Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Ala. Chad Grace and Danny Reed led Sparta’s offense with two touchdowns each, and Mark Rigsby, who also scored a touchdown, led the defense with eight solos, six assists, an interception and two caused fumbles.

Aug. 29, 1987 – Evergreen Mayor Pat Poole and Anthony Baker, the president of Polyfelt, were scheduled to appear on television on Evelyn Babcock’s weekend show, “Update,” on WAKA-TV in Selma, Ala. at 6:30 a.m. Babcock invited Poole and Baker to be on the show to discuss how Polyfelt selected Evergreen as the city to build its manufacturing plant.

Aug. 29, 1988 – Public schools in Conecuh County, Ala. opened on this day to start the 1988-89 school year.

Aug. 29, 1989 – English explorer and painter Peter Scott passed away at the age of 79 in Bristol, England.

Aug. 29, 1990 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, in a television interview, declared that America could not defeat Iraq.
Aug. 29, 2003 – Ayatollah Sayed Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the Shia Muslim leader in Iraq, was assassinated in a terrorist bombing, along with nearly 100 worshippers as they left a mosque in Najaf.

Aug. 29, 2005 - Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 hurricane, made landfall on the Louisiana coast, and became one of the greatest natural disasters in U.S. history. Katrina left a wake of destruction stretching across the northern Gulf coast from Louisiana to Florida, killing an estimated 1,836 people and causing over $108 billion in damage. Before it reached land, it was the strongest hurricane ever measured in the Gulf of Mexico, with winds of up to 175 miles per hour.

Aug. 29, 2008 – Hillcrest upset Class 6A Theodore, 21-20, at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen. The game included Theodore junior linebacker C.J. Mosley, who would go on to star at Alabama and to be selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Aug. 29, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  5.55 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 21.90 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 65.45 inches.

Notes: Today is the 241st day of 2017 and the 70th day of Summer. There are 124 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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The Evergreen Courant's Sports Flashback for Aug. 28, 2017

Irvin Talton Quinn
AUG. 26, 1999

The Hillcrest Jaguars will open their 1999 football season this Friday night at Brooks Memorial Stadium. They will play the W.S. Neal Blue Eagles from East Brewton. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. They are under the leadership of first-year head coach Arlton Hudson.

The Sparta Academy Warriors will open their 1999 football season at home this Friday night at Stuart-McGehee Field. They will be playing the Monroe Academy Volunteers. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

AUG. 29, 1974

CCHS Blue Devils play first game in Uriah Saturday: The Conecuh County High School Blue Devils will open their first grid season since before World War II this Saturday night when they travel to Uriah to meet the J.U. Blacksher Bulldogs. Coach Patten Brown’s first year team will be lacking playing experience, but he and assistant coach Jamie Jossey agree the boys have winning attitudes and the desire to play football. Coach Brown says, “If key players stay well and the defense matures then we can win some games.”
The starting lineup will probably be on offense: Eddie Garner, 150 (pounds), quarterback; Chris Anderson, 135, tailback; Royce Baker, 165, fullback; Homer Holland, 160, wingback; Phillip Etheridge, 170, right end; Bobo Barnes, 200, right tackle; Floyd Coleman, 190, right guard; Michael Sims, 160, center; Dennis Darby, 165, left guard; Hugh Bradford, 210, left tackle; and Bobby Brown, 145, left end.
Backing these up and playing on defense will be Eddie Ryals, Donnie Laster, Andy Pate, Ricky Godwin, Paul Ellis, Bill Baker, Stan Pate, Randy Chavers, Bill Godwin, Robert Taylor, Pete Brooks, Ricky Reeves, Devon James, J.W. Monk, Johnny Godwin and Wendell Kast. Coach Brown says that most of these boys are young but learning fast and will really help the team in the next two or three years.
The 1974 schedule is Aug. 31, Uriah, there; Sept. 6, Lyeffion, home; Sept. 20, Pensacola Liberal Arts, home; Sept. 27, Repton, home; Oct. 11, Montgomery County, there; Oct. 18, Frisco City, there; Oct. 26, Lyeffion, there; Nov. 1, Straughn, home; Nov. 8, Southern Normal, there.

Sparta Warriors open Saturday in Greenville: The Sparta Academy Warriors will open their 1974 football season this Saturday night against the Greenville Academy Tornadoes. Kickoff is set for eight o’clock in the Greenville Stadium.
The Warriors are coming off a fine nine won-two loss 1973 season and have high hopes for this season. However, Greenville had few losses from last year’s squad and is rated one of the top Class B teams in the state. Sparta goes in a six to nine-point underdog.
Head Coach Richard Brown and Assistant Mike Bledsoe have 10 lettermen around which they are building this year’s club. Sparta lost a number of top players through graduation, though, and will basically be an inexperienced club.
Coach Brown and Bledsoe state they have been well pleased with the players in practice session.

AUG. 25, 1949

Coach Hart Calls Aggie Footballers To Practice: Coach Wendell Hart issued a call this week for candidates for the 1949 Evergreen High football squad to report for the initial practice session next Thursday morning at eight o’clock at Memorial Gymnasium.
Equipment will be issued Wednesday at the gym.
Two practices a day are slated for the first several days as the Aggies will have only two weeks to get ready for their season opener with ever tough Thomasville and must get down to serious work as soon as possible. Thomasville will come here Friday night, Sept. 16, for the opener.
Coach Hart will have the assistance of Coach John Lockwood, Troy State Teachers College graduate, who will be director of physical education and teach two subjects here this year. Thirteen lettermen are expected to meet Coaches Hart and Lockwood next Thursday morning. Seven of these were starters on last year’s eleven, but Coach Hart has announced that every position is wide open and no one has a starting berth clinched.
Lettermen expected are ends Dickey Bozeman and Ed Hooks, tackles Shelton Craig and Max Pope, guards Bruce Johnson, Jeff Moorer and Donahue Edson, center Jack Cunningham, and backs Billy Mudge Lee, James Ryan, John Greel Ralls, Pete Wells and Bertie Hassel.
Coaches Hart and Lockwood must find replacements for Sammy Hanks, 217-pound all-state tackle; Dean Shaver, 170-pound guard; Nick Stallworth and Pete White, a pair of 160-pounders who shared the right end spot last year; quarterback-halfback John Law Robinson; and halfback Thomas Coker. Another gridster who will be sorely missed is Dudley Bartlett, who backed the line most capably for the past three seasons. All these players graduated last year.
Coach Hart expects from 20 to 25 candidates next Thursday. This figure will probably receive a substantial boost with the opening of school Mon., Sept. 5.

Millry Will Fill Open Date On Aggie Schedule: Principal J.J. “Jack” Finklea announced Wednesday that Evergreen High School would play Millry High on Nov. 4. The date was open to be filled on the schedule. Contract arrangements were completed Wednesday morning. The game will be played here.
The addition of Millry gives the Evergreen Aggies a complete 10 game schedule. Seven of the games are here.
The Aggies open with Thomasville on Sept. 16 here. Remainder of the schedule: Sept. 23, McKenzie, here; Sept. 30, Andalusia, here; Oct. 7, Frisco City, there; Oct. 14, W.S. Neal, here; Oct. 21, Greenville, there; Oct. 28, Bay Minette, there; Nov. 4, Millry, here; Nov. 11, Repton, here; Nov. 18, T.R. Miller, here.

The Evergreen Golf Club will meet the Brewton County Club in a team match on the local course Sunday afternoon. The first foursome will tee off at two o’clock. The two teams have played once before on the Brewton course and the match ended in a draw.

AUG. 27, 1924

ATTENTION HUNTERS! – Montgomery, Ala., Aug. 25, 1924 – Editor Courant: I desire to call the attention of the shooting public to the fact that the squirrel season does not open this year until Nov. 1. The season was changed by Act of the Legislature, which Act was approved by the Governor last year after the 1923-24 hunting licenses had been printed.
The Legislature not only moved the date of the opening of the season up to Nov. 1, but greatly increased the penalty for violating the provisions of the game laws.
Very truly yours,
I.T. Quinn, Commissioner of Game and Fisheries

Dr. G.G. Newton, Dr. J.R. Brooks, William Herrin and Richard Hiser enjoyed a two-day fish on the Conecuh River last week.

It cost two men $48.85 in fines and fees last week in County Court for catching fox in closed season, each having entered a plea of guilty. This should be a gentle reminder that the game warden of Conecuh County intends to see that the law is respected and enforced.

REWARD: The Conecuh County Game and Fish Protective Association will pay $25 reward for the arrest and conviction of anyone guilty of poisoning, seining or dynamiting any stream or killing turkeys out of season in this county, notify C.L. Barlow, Game Warden, Evergreen, Ala.

FAIRFIELD: John Salter had the misfortune to break his collar bone a few days past while wrestling with some of his friends.