|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.