Aug. 12, 30 B.C. – Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last ruler of the Egyptian Ptolemaic dynasty, committed suicide, allegedly by inducing an asp to bite her.
Aug. 12, 1739 - Timothy Bigelow was born in Worcester, Mass. He was a delegate to the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, participated in the Committee of Correspondence, fought in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and served as Colonel of the 15th Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army.
Aug. 12, 1776 - General George Washington wrote to Major General Charles Lee that the Continental Army’s situation had deteriorated due to an outbreak of smallpox and problems with desertion.
Aug. 12, 1810 – Tecumseh with some 70 warriors visited General Harrison, then territorial governor, at Vincennes. On Aug. 20, Tecumseh delivered his celebrated speech in which he gave the white people the alternative of restoring to the Indians, whom he claimed to represent, their lands or of meeting those Indians in battle. The conference lasted until Aug. 22.
Aug. 12, 1813 – Major Daniel Beasley at Fort Mims wrote General Ferdinand Claiborne, “We are perfectly tranquil here and are progressing in our works as well as can be expected considering the want for tools. We shall probably finish the stockade tomorrow.”
Aug. 12, 1851 – Isaac Merritt Singer patented his first commercial sewing machine.
Aug. 12, 1858 – A “Railroad jubilee” ceremony was held at Cahawba on this Thursday to dedicate the locomotive that would carry people and products on a rail line planned between Cahawba and the Black Belt cotton centers of Marion and Greensboro. The crowd was large (“really more than was thought would honor our town with their presence,” according to the Dallas Gazette), and it filled the cotton warehouse where the ceremony was to be held. One wall had to be torn away so spectators could see “the engine, decorated with flags and flowers,” on the rails outside.
Aug. 12, 1859 – Poet and English professor Katharine Lee Bates was born in Falmouth, Mass. on Cape Cod. She is best known for her patriotic poem, “America the Beautiful,” that was later set to music.
Aug. 12, 1861 – During the Civil War, the following wooden Union gunboats, which were converted riverboats, arrived at Cairo, Ill - the USS Conestoga, USS Lexington and USS Tyler. These gunboats supported all Federal river operation until the City Class Ironclad River Gunboats were built.
Aug. 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate cavalry leader and Alabama native General John Hunt Morgan captured a small Federal garrison in Gallatin, Tenn., just north of Nashville. The incident was part of a larger operation against the army of Union General Don Carlos Buell, which was threatening Chattanooga by late summer. Morgan sought to cut Buell's supply lines with his bold strike.
Aug. 12, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Van Buren and between Humansville and Stockton in Missouri.
Aug. 12, 1863 – The submarine H.L. Hunley, which had been designed and tested in Mobile, Ala. before it was shipped east for battle, arrived by rail in Charleston, S.C. It was the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, exploding a fixed torpedo against the hull of the USS Housatonic off the coast of South Carolina during the Civil War in February 1864. The Hunley was the third submarine vessel to be constructed under the direction of riverboat captain James McClintock, engineer Baxter Watson, and lawyer Horace Lawson Hunley. The first, Pioneer, was constructed in New Orleans in late 1861 and early 1862. It was tested in the Mississippi River in February 1862 and was later taken to Lake Pontchartrain for further testing. It had to be scuttled in April when Union admiral David Farragut's fleet advanced upon the city of New Orleans. The second submarine, American Diver, proved to be too slow and cumbersome to be of any practical use. It sank at the mouth of Mobile Bay during a storm in late February 1863 and was not recovered.
Aug. 12, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Big Black River Bridge in Mississippi.
Aug. 12, 1863 – During the Civil War, Confederate batteries at Battery Wagner, Ft. Sumter and on James Island, near Charleston, S.C., opened fire on the Union trenches on Morris Island, S.C.
Aug. 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, on Mobile Bay, Ala., Federal forces continued moving siege equipment to the vicinity of Confederate held Fort Morgan.
Aug. 12, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Van Buren, Ark.; at Baldwin, Fla.; near Holden, Mo.; and at Cedar Creek, Va.
Aug. 12, 1864 - Federal operations took place in Ray and Carroll Counties, Mo., and a skirmish was fought with guerrillas who attacked the Federal forces but were repulsed at Fredericksburg, Mo.
Aug. 12, 1867 - U.S. President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him when he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.
Aug. 12, 1867 – Classics scholar Edith Hamilton was born in Dresden, Germany.
Aug. 12, 1871 – Levi Brown died from a stab wound allegedly inflicted by Albert Brown on Aug. 10 near the railroad tracks in downtown Evergreen, Ala. Albert Brown fled and remained a fugitive for 31 years until June 1902 when Conecuh County Sheriff W.W. Pridgen arrested him at a saw mill in Stockton. Albert Brown claimed he acted in self defense.
Aug. 12, 1876 – Mystery novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart was born in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Aug. 12, 1880 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson was born in Factoryville, Pa. During his career, he played for the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Reds and also managed the Reds for three seasons. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936.
Aug. 12, 1881 – American film director Cecil B. DeMille was born in Massachusetts.
Aug. 12, 1883 - The quagga, a type of South African zebra, went extinct.
Aug. 12, 1889 – Writer and elementary school teacher Zerna Sharp was born in Hillsburg, Ind. She is best remembered for creating the “Dick and Jane” series of books for beginning readers.
Aug. 12, 1898 – The brief and one-sided Spanish-American War ended with the signing of the peace protocol on U.S. terms: the cession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Manila in the Philippines to the United States pending a final peace treaty.
Aug. 12, 1898 – The Hawaiian flag was lowered from Iolani Palace in an elaborate annexation ceremony and replaced with the flag of the United States to signify the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Hawaii to the United States.
Aug. 12, 1901 – Finnish-Swedish botanist, geologist, mineralogist, and explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld passed away at the age of 68 in Dalbyö, Södermanland, Sweden. He is most remembered for the Vega expedition along the northern coast of Eurasia, which he led in 1878 and 1879. This was the first complete crossing of the Northeast Passage.
Aug. 12, 1914 – In one of the first documented car accidents in Evergreen, Ala., two cars collided at the corner of the cotton warehouse, damaging both vehicles.
Aug. 12, 1914 - A week after Britain declared war on Germany and entered the First World War, the British Parliament passed the Defense of the Realm Act, aimed at providing the British government with the means to support the country’s war effort.
Aug. 12, 1915 - "Of Human Bondage" by William Somerset Maugham was first published.
Aug. 12, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the construction of the Gulf, Florida & Alabama Railroad was progressing satisfactorily, except for an accident in which a large steam shovel overturned a few days before, “which necessitated the procuring of a wrecking outfit to right the mammoth machine.” As of Aug. 12, 1915, the laying of track had reached the “crossing of the Monroeville and Claiborne road.”
Aug. 12, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.D. Rawls had moved his mercantile business to the Stallworth building on “Westside, affording more commodious quarters for the display of up-to-date stock.”
Aug. 12, 1915 – Triplets were born to Mr. and Mrs. Henry Talbert (Paul community), but all three infants died immediately after birth, according to The Evergreen Courant.
Aug. 12, 1920 – Monroe County native 2nd Lt. William Calvin Maxwell of the 3rd Aero Squadron was killed in plane crash in Manila, Philippine Islands. Engine trouble forced Maxwell to attempt to land his DH-4 in a sugarcane field. Maneuvering to avoid a group of children playing below, he struck a flagpole hidden by the tall sugarcane and was killed instantly. On the recommendation of his former commanding officer, Maj. Roy C. Brown, Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot was renamed Maxwell Field in his honor on November 8, 1922. He was buried at Robinsonville Baptist Church, six miles northeast of Atmore, on Oct. 11, 1920.
Aug. 12, 1930 – NFL offensive tackle Kenneth David “Lum” Snyder was born in Cleveland, Tenn. He would go on to play for Georgia Tech and the Philadelphia Eagles. A two-time Pro Bowler, he spoke to the Evergreen Rotary Club in February 1961.
Aug. 12, 1934 – Evergreen, Alabama’s baseball team spilt a doubleheader against Chapman. Evergreen lost the first game, 2-1, but won the second game, 3-1.
Aug. 12, 1937 - President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Alabama senator Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court. Black's nomination was soon confirmed by his Senate colleagues, but before he took his seat on the court that October he was compelled to address the nation by radio in order to respond to controversy about his membership in the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1920s. Black served on the court until 1971, retiring just a few days before his death.
Aug. 12, 1938 - Adolf Hitler instituted the Mother’s Cross, to encourage German women to have more children, to be awarded each year on August 12, Hitler’s mother’s birthday.
Aug. 12, 1938 - Bids were to be opened by the state highway department on approximately 14 miles of paving and construction of a concrete and steel overpasses. The projects, to cost a total of about $300,000, included a concrete and steel overpass over the St. Louis & San Francisco Railroad, eliminating a grade-crossing at Frisco City.
Aug. 12, 1939 – On this Saturday night, an unidentified hit-and-run driver hit a mule and wagon on the highway about two miles south of Monroeville, Ala. The mule was killed and the wagon, which belonged to J.R. Eddins of Peterman, was almost a total wreck.
Aug. 12, 1939 - "The Wizard of Oz" premiered in Oconomowoc, Wisc. Judy Garland became famous for the movie's song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." The movie premiered in Hollywood on August 15th.
Aug. 12, 1940 – On this Monday night, around midnight, a store belonging to Harry Knight was completely destroyed by fire. The store was located about two miles northwest of Monroeville and the fire wasn’t discovered until neighbors were awakened by the sound of the building’s walls collapsing.
Aug. 12, 1940 – Alabama State Highway Director Chris J. Sherlock announced that grading, draining and bituminous paving was to start immediately on 12.6 miles of State Highway 59 in Baldwin County, beginning at the end of the pavement at Stockton and extending to Tensaw, toward Monroeville.
Aug. 12, 1944 – Waffen-SS troops massacred 560 people in Sant'Anna di Stazzema.
Aug. 12, 1944 – Nazi German troops ended the week-long Wola massacre, during which time at least 40,000 people were killed indiscriminately or in mass executions.
Aug. 12, 1944 – Alençon was liberated by General Philippe Leclerc de Hauteclocque, the first city in France to be liberated from the Nazis by French forces.
Aug. 12, 1945 – Poet J.D. McClatchy was born in Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Aug. 12, 1951 – The Paul Aces clinched the 1951 Conecuh Amateur Baseball League championship by beating the Shreve Eagles, 6-1, at Paul. Paul’s players included J.W. Windham, Joe McClain, Oneal Barfield and Ronnie Edson. Shreve players included Herbert Sanford, Leroy Smith, James Barlow and Woodrow Windham.
Aug. 12, 1959 - An earthquake centered in Huntsville, Ala. and felt over a 25-mile radius, caused minor damage. Many Huntsville residents at first believed the shock was the result of an explosion or missile test at nearby Redstone Arsenal.
Aug. 12, 1960 – Echo 1, NASA’s first communication’s satellite, was launched.
Aug. 12, 1964 - Mickey Mantle set a Major League Baseball record when he hit home runs from both the left and ride sides of the plate in the same game.
Aug. 12, 1964 – J.T. Ward became the first Conecuh County, Ala. farmer to gin a bale of cotton in the 1964 season, ginning a bale on this day at the Evergreen Gin Co. that weighed 435 pounds.
Aug. 12, 1964 - British author and journalist Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, the world’s most famous fictional spy, died of a heart attack at age 56 in Kent, England.
Aug. 12, 1964 – Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning investigative journalist Katherine Boo was born in Washington, D.C.
Aug. 12, 1965 – The Monroe Journal reported that clearing and grading work on the grounds at the site of the Monroeville Junior College had begun during the preceding week. Walter Dean Construction Co. of Tuscaloosa was supposed to move its equipment to Monroeville this same week to begin construction on the buildings.
Aug. 12, 1965 - Arvin Industries, Inc. – one of the best known names in the automotive parts field – announced the selection of Monroeville, Ala. as the site for a new 54,000-square-foot plant that would employ 100 or more persons within one year after its completion. Choice of Monroeville as the location for the new plant was revealed jointly by E.H. Stonecipher, president of the Columbus, Ind. firm, and L.L. Dees, chairman of the Industrial Development Board of Monroeville.
Aug. 12, 1965 - At the swearing-in ceremony for the new Ambassador to Vietnam, Henry Cabot Lodge Jr., President Johnson proclaimed that the United States would not continue to fight in Vietnam “if its help were not wanted and requested.”
Aug. 12, 1965 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen’s new trade school had been officially named the Ed E. Reid Trade & Vocational Technical School. The school was named in honor of the late Ed E. Reid, executive secretary of the Alabama League of Municipalities for 30 years and an important figure in state and national governmental and political circles. Reid died in July 1965. A resolution naming the school for Reid was introduced in the State Legislature by Conecuh Representative Wiley Salter and Rep. Rankin Fite of Marion County. It passed unanimously on Fri., Aug. 6. Reid was born in Evergreen, but grew up in Georgiana.
Aug. 12, 1965 – The Evergreen Courant reported that folks have all kinds of hobbies but Robert Rigsby, Reuben Hyde and Jimmie Weaver had taken up one that was not likely to catch on with the masses… they hunted and captured live alligators. At least they hunted and captured the alligator show on the front page of this day’s edition of the newspaper. The gator was eight feet long and weighed about 150 pounds and the boys got him from the “Log Pond” on the Stowers Place after receiving permission from John L. Robinson, operator of the plantation. The daring photographer took the gator’s picture after he had a week to cool off in a pen at Game Warden W.A. Thames’ house.
Aug. 12, 1969 - Viet Cong forces launched a new offensive with attacks on 150 cities, towns and bases, including Da Nang and Hue.
Aug. 12, 1971 - Thomas Beale Reid, 60, well known Evergreen businessman, died on this Thursday morning at 10 o’clock in a Montgomery hospital after a brief illness. Affectionately known by a wide circle of friends as “Tom” he had resided in Evergreen for 35 years. He was a partner with his brother, John D. Reid, in Reid Brothers Lumber Co. and various other business enterprises. He was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery.
Aug. 12, 1976 – NBA power forward Antoine Walker was born in Chicago, Ill. He went on to play for Kentucky, the Boston Celtics, the Dallas Mavericks, the Atlanta Hawks, the Miami Heat, the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Aug. 12, 1978 - Oakland Raiders free safety Jack Tatum leveled New England Patriots wide receiver Darryl Stingley with a helmet-to-helmet hit in a preseason game, leaving Stingley paralyzed for life. Despite the sport’s hard hits and reputation for roughness, this was the first and only time a player was permanently paralyzed as a result of an injury sustained in a National Football League game.
Aug. 12, 1986 - Rod Carew became the first player in the history of the California Angels franchise to have his uniform (No. 29) retired.
Aug. 12, 1988 – Lillian M. Sutton, 59, of Molino, Fla. was killed in a one-car accident on Interstate Highway 65, about three miles north of the Repton-Brewton exit in Conecuh County. The mother of Major League Baseball pitcher Don Sutton, Lillian Sutton was a passenger in a car driver by her husband, Charlie H. Sutton, 62, who lost control of the car, which skidded about 45 feet before striking a guard rail and overturning several times before flipping off a bridge and into a ravine about 30 feet below the highway. The vehicle landed upside down.
Aug. 12, 1988 - "The Last Temptation of Christ" opened.
Aug. 12, 1990 - The first U.S. casualty occurred during the Persian Gulf crisis when Air Force Staff Sergeant John Campisi died after being hit by a military truck.
Aug. 12, 1990 – Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton found to date, was discovered by fossil hunter Sue Hendrickson in South Dakota.
Aug. 12, 1990 – Glenn Scott Bell, 33, of Beatrice was killed in a one-truck accident around 2:30 p.m. on Wilcox County Road 12, near Coy. Born on Nov. 14, 1956, he was buried in the Bell Cemetery at Vredenburgh.
Aug. 12, 1991 - Metallica's self-titled album was released. The album is referred to as "The Black Album."
Aug. 12, 1994 - Woodstock '94 opened in Saugerties, N.Y. The opening was on the 25th anniversary of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair.
Aug. 12, 1994 - Major League Baseball players went on strike rather than allow team owners to limit their salaries. The strike lasted for 232 days. As a result, the World Series was wiped out for the first time in 90 years.
Aug. 12, 1996 – The Castleberry Town Council held its regular meeting on this Monday night. Castleberry’s mayor was Bill Seales and the town council included Betty Etheridge, Alton Henderson, Dewey Jackson, James Ball and Bill Moncrease. Lula Palmer was city planner.
Aug. 12, 2002 – National Baseball Hall of Fame right fielder Enos Slaughter passed away at the age of 86 in Durham, N.C. During his career, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Yankees, the Kansas City Athletics and the Milwaukee Braves. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.