Sunday, September 24, 2017

Singleton shares fond memories of coon-hunting get-togethers

(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Some fond memories of coon hunting” was originally published in the Sept. 12, 2002 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Within the passing of a couple of full moons, the time of coon hunting season will be upon us.

Hounds with treed coon.
I remember the time when much excitement was in the wind as the golden days of autumn appeared on the horizon. The time of coon hunting and community get-togethers was to take place around the farming communities where I grew up. This was a time for many hours of fun and wandering around the fields and wooded areas in the area.

One didn’t go coon hunting just for the sake of catching that large fat coon that hid in the large trees of the wooded areas. A good coon hunt did more than that. It brought the community together for a time of fun and frolicking and enjoying some of the best food that man has ever flopped a lip on.

The womenfolks of the community seemed to try to out-do their neighbors when they prepared the goodies for the coon hunts and enjoyed the time of rest and relaxation.

Such things as tea cakes, peanut candy, ginger cakes and numerous other goodies were something to look forward to. After all the refreshments were planned and taken care of, then the time was at hand to select the two or three coon dogs that would participate in the coming night’s hunt.

All the hunters wanted their dogs to be a part of the hunt. Nothing suited those coon dog owners better than to have their dogs go along for the hunt so they could sit around the fires and brag on their prize dogs.

Some members of the community would go along for no other reason than to listen to the dog owners brag and tell tall tales about that prize dog that was ordered from a mail order catalog for the massive sum of $20.

The gathering point for the coon hunting party would always be down by the overflowing well near a large creek. As the sun slowly began to drop below the western horizon, activity would begin to pick up there at the overflowing well.

The restless coon dogs would already have begun to bark and bay, knowing what was about to take place. The two or three couples of parents who were to chaperone and watch over the group of teenagers would also be there at an early time. Jobs were assigned to the young boys of the group, such as carrying the lanterns or carrying the refreshments.

Most times, there would be a few fat lightwood splinters carried along just in case none could be found when it was time to start the evening fire. Words of caution were issued to all the youngsters about behaving, because they could be assured that the parents who accompanied them were watching their every move.

By now, the surrounding fields and the wooded areas had grown dark as though a heavy blanket had been thrown over the area. Sometimes a full moon would add to the beauty of the hunt as the moon beams danced there among the heavy timbers.

Orders were given to light the coal oil lanterns as the hunting party departed the clear area around the overflowing well. The proud owners of the coon dogs had already began their calls of encouragement to their prize dogs as they scampered into the woods. Bets had begun to be taken between the dog owners as to which of the coon dogs would be the first to tree that big fat coon.

When the first coon was treed, a contest of climbing the tree and shaking out the coon would always arise among the young boys of the hunting party. This was a way of showing their climbing skills before those pretty young things dressed in those tight-fitting overalls that smiled from the crowd.

Sometimes, the decision as to who would be the first to climb would have to be decided by the adults who chaperoned the young group because all the young boys wanted to participate. The faster the climber, the more the words of encouragement that came from the crowd. And, always, there was that beautiful awaiting smile from that pretty young thing waiting below.

After the dogs had treed two or three times, the coon hunt began to wind down. A place for the evening fire and time for refreshments were sought. Within a short time, a roaring fire lit the night. Trying to keep the chaperons from knowing, select places to sit around the fire was secured so one of those pretty young things might sit close by. The fun time of the coon hunt was about to get underway.

From out of a large sack, a large well-used coffee pot and a large jug of fresh water seemed to appear from nowhere. Before long, the delicious odor of the brewing coffee had settled around the open fire.

When the coffee was ready, tin cups were passed out to those who wanted one. The sack of goodies was then opened and issued out to those present by one or two of the ladies of the chaperoning couples. No one was allowed seconds until all had been served. Then contests would form among the young boys to see who could eat a tea cake or a piece of ginger bread the fastest.

By now, the prized coon dogs had eaten their fill from handouts by the group. They now lay stretched out and asleep at the edge of the gathering, caring less whether a fat coon was treed or now.

As the feasting slowed somewhat, the time was at hand for the highlight of the evening. An old man had arose from the group and was now standing with his back to the fire. From this old man would come some of the most hair-raising stories that the youth gathered there could imagine. There would be stories of the dreaded Civil War. Always, he would tell of his relatives who had participated and suffered in it. He would know these stories first hand; they had been told to him by his father who had been wounded when a young man during the terrible conflict.

Then, the time was at hand for the final stories of the evening. These would be ghost stories that he had heard or experienced since early childhood. The beautiful young things in the tight-fitting overalls had been forgotten about as frightened young boys sat wide-eyed and having thoughts of having to go to bed in a dark bedroom later that night.

The chaperones had no trouble seeking their whereabouts from this time on. They were as close to the chaperones as they could get. The time was approaching midnight; the hunt and the good time was over. These memories would linger for all times to come.

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born during a late-night thunderstorm on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School in 1946, served in the Korean War, worked as a riverboat deckhand, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. For years, Singleton’s column “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. Some of his earlier columns also appeared under the heading of “Monroe County History: Did You Know?” He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for Sept. 24, 2017

Ed Williams in September 1981.
Sept. 24, 1717 - British parliamentarian, art historian and writer Horace Walpole was born in London.

Sept. 24, 1775 - Ethan Allen was defeated by British General and Canadian Royal Governor Guy Carleton at Montreal

Sept. 24, 1776 - The Continental Congress prepared instructions for agents appointed to negotiate a treaty between the United States and France and instructed these agents to request assistance in securing arms. Benjamin Franklin, Silas Deane and Arthur Lee were selected two days later.

Sept. 24, 1780 – Benedict Arnold fled to British Army lines when the arrest of British Major John André exposed Arnold's plot to surrender West Point.

Sept. 24, 1789 – The United States Congress passed the Judiciary Act which created the office of the United States Attorney General and the federal judiciary system, and ordered the composition of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Sept. 24, 1827 - Union General Henry Slocum was born in Delphi, New York. He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run, Va. in July 1861 and was named commander of the army’s XII Corps in October 1862. He fought in the Battle of Gettysburg, Pa. in July 1863 and was selected to command one wing of the Federal army during General William T. Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea” in late 1864.

Sept. 24, 1861 - A historic ruling came on this day from Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles, in a letter to Flag Officer Samuel duPont of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron. A new regulation “with respect to...persons of color, commonly known as ‘contraband’, now subsisted at the navy yards and on board ships of war. It is not proper that they should be compelled to without compensation. You are therefore enlist them for the naval service, under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments.” It would be some years before blacks were enlisted in the other services.

Sept. 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Point of Rocks, Md.

Sept. 24, 1861 – The Confederate infantry company known as the “Scotland Invincibles,” which was raised at Old Scotland in Monroe County, Ala., began marching from Old Scotland to Evergreen to catch the train to Montgomery, where they were officially organized as Co. H of the 17th Alabama Volunteer Regiment, under the command of Col. T.H. Watts.

Sept. 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, an engagement was fought at Sabine Pass, Texas as the Union steamer Kensington, schooner Rachel Seaman and mortar schooner Henry James appeared off the bar at Sabine Pass. The next morning, the two schooners crossed the bar, took position and began firing on the Confederate shore battery. The shots from both land and shore fell far short of the targets. The ships then moved nearer until their projectiles began to fall amongst the Confederate guns. The Confederate cannons, however, still could not hit the ships. After dark, the Confederates evacuated, taking as much property as possible with them and spiking the four guns left behind. On the morning of Sept. 25, the schooners moved up to the battery and destroyed it while Acting Master Frederick Crocker, commander of the expedition, received the surrender of the town. Union control of Sabine Pass made later incursions into the interior possible.

Sept. 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Granby, Mo. and along Skull Creek in S.C.

Sept. 24, 1862 - Abraham Lincoln announced another proclamation suspending the right of habeas corpus, this time in any area under Federal control. The particular target of this move was “all Rebels and Insurgents, their aiders and abettors within the United States, and all persons discouraging volunteer enlistments, resisting militia drafts, or guilty of any disloyal practice, affording comfort to Rebels against the authority of the United States.” This action suspending perhaps the primary guarantee of civil liberties in the Constitution was, in fact, Constitutional--Article I, section 9, states “The writ shall not be suspended unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.” Many were outraged at this trampling of civil liberties and regarded it as a sign of the downfall of the Republic.

Sept. 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Zollicoffer, Tenn.; at Bristoe Station, Va.; and at Greenbrier Bridge, about 21 miles from Huttonsville, W.Va.

Sept. 24, 1864 - Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest took more than 1,400 Union soldiers prisoner when he tricked Col. Wallace Campbell into surrendering a fort on Coleman Hill near Athens, Ala. Forrest convinced Campbell that his force was three times its actual size and that resisting or waiting on reinforcements was pointless. Most of the Union troops were from the 110th U.S. Colored Infantry, which was made up of former slaves from northern Alabama and southern Tennessee.

Sept. 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Magnolia, Fla.; at Jackson and Farmington in Missouri; and at Luray, Forest Hill (Timberville,) Mount Jackson, New Market, and near Winchester in Virginia.

Sept. 24, 1868 – Longtime Monroe Journal editor and publisher Q. Salter was born. (Some sources say he was born in 1867.)

Sept. 24, 1869 – During what is now known as "Black Friday," gold prices plummeted after Ulysses S. Grant ordered the Treasury to sell large quantities of gold after Jay Gould and James Fisk plotted to control the market.

Sept. 24, 1890 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints officially renounced polygamy.

Sept. 24, ca. 1893 – Blues musician “Blind” Lemon Jefferson was born on a farm in Couchman, Texas.

Sept. 24, 1896 - F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author of “The Great Gatsby,” was born Francis Scott Fitzgerald in St. Paul, Minn.

Sept. 24, 1896 – The Monroe Journal announced that the Hon. Joseph F. Johnston, Governor-elect of Alabama, and the Hon. Geo. W. Taylor, Democratic nominee for Congress in first district, planned to address citizens “on the political issues of the day” at the following times and places: Walker Springs, Clarke County, Tues., Sept. 29; Mt. Pleasant, Monroe County, Wed., Sept. 30; Monroeville, Monroe County, Thurs., Oct. 1; Pineville, Monroe County, Fri., Oct. 2.

Sept. 24, 1906 – U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower in Wyoming as the nation's first National Monument.

Sept. 24, 1914 - D.R. Lamont, “who was cashier of the recently defunct bank at Atmore,” Ala., committed suicide by shooting himself.

Sept. 24, 1914 – The Monroe Journal reported that the construction of the electric light plant in Monroeville, Ala. was “making excellent progress” and that poles were being raised for lines around the public square. The electrical machinery had been shipped and was expected to arrive that week. The machinery had been formerly used at Marion Institute and had a 400-light capacity.

Sept. 24, 1915 – “The Daughter of the People,” featuring Laura Sawyer, was scheduled to be shown at the Arcade Theater in Evergreen, Ala.

Sept. 24, 1918 - The government of Bulgaria issued an official statement announcing it had sent a delegation to seek a ceasefire with the Allied powers that would end Bulgaria’s participation in World War I.

Sept. 24, 1934 - Babe Ruth played his last game as a New York Yankee player.

Sept. 24, 1935 - A long illness proved fatal to 52-year-old James Monroe Agee, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Monroe County, who passed away at his home in Monroeville on this Tuesday evening shortly after 6:30 o’clock. He would have observed his 53rd birthday on Oct. 3, 1935. Agee had served six years in the clerk’s office and was not opposed for re-election in the campaign of 1934. At his death, he had completed about nine months of his second term. Born on Oct. 3, 1882 at Perdue Hill, he was buried in the McConnico Cemetery at Perdue Hill.

Sept. 24, 1939 – Shortly after 1 p.m., a fire that originated in the editorial rooms of The Selma Times-Journal destroyed the century-old files of the newspaper and the composing room. “The Selma Times-Journal file room contained copies of the old Journal and Times, whose consolidation produced the present publication, suffered both fire and water damage and its contents were said to have been rendered worthless.” Fire officials believed that faulty wiring or a cigarette caused the fire. Publisher Mrs. F.T. Raiford said there would be no interruption in publication.

Sept. 24, 1940 - Jimmie Foxx of the Boston Red Sox hit his 500th career home run.

Sept. 24, 1941 – Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end John Mackey was born in New York City. He would go on to play for Syracuse, the Baltimore Colts and the San Diego Chargers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1992.

Sept. 24, 1943 - Alabama author Martha Humphreys was born.

Sept. 24, 1944 – Irish poet Eavan Boland was born in Dublin.

Sept. 24, 1946 – Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive tackle Charles Edward "Mean Joe” Greene was born in Elgin, Texas. He went on to play for North Texas and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987.

Sept. 24, 1947 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman supposedly created secret committee known as Majestic 12 on this date to deal with the Roswell Incident and other alien incursions.

Sept. 24, 1948 – The Honda Motor Company was founded.

Sept. 24, 1948 – Lamar County, Ala. native Terry Moore appeared in his final Major League Baseball game, taking the field a final time as an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Sept. 24, 1950 - Forest fires in British Columbia and Alberta blacked out the sun over portions of Canada and New England. The after effects also caused the sun and moon to appear blue in locations as far away as Europe.

Sept. 24, 1952 – In an incident attributed to the “Devil’s Sea,” the Japanese research vessel Kaiyo Maru No. 5, with a crew of 31 aboard, was destroyed by an eruption while investigating undersea volcano activity.

Sept. 24, 1957 - The Brooklyn Dodgers played their last game at Ebbets Field.

Sept. 24, 1959 – According to The Evergreen Courant, John Andrews was the City of Evergreen’s police chief and his patrolmen included James Ellis, Leroy McDonald, Travis Baggett and Matthew Davis Jr. L.E. “Gene” Salter was the radio dispatcher.

Sept. 24, 1959 – The Evergreen Courant reported that D.M. Pugh had sold Pugh’s Café on Rural Street in Evergreen, Ala. to Truman Hyde of Evergreen, who changed the name to “The Sweet Shop.”

Sept. 24, 1959 – The Evergreen Courant reported that during a recent meeting of the Conecuh Farm Bureau’s board of directors at the Evergreen (Ala.) Recreation Center, Hugh Brown, past president and longtime leader of the Conecuh Farm Bureau, crowned Olivia Kindig as Conecuh County’s 1959 Maid of Cotton.

Sept. 24, 1960 – USS Enterprise, the world's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, was launched.

Sept. 24, 1963 - Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and Gen. Maxwell Taylor, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrived in Vietnam. At President John F. Kennedy’s request, they were to determine whether South Vietnam’s military situation had deteriorated as a result of the continuing clash between the Ngo Dinh Diem government and the Buddhists over Diem’s refusal to institute internal political reform.

Sept. 24, 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson receives the Warren Commission's report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which had occurred on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

Sept. 24, 1964 – Baseball great Rafael Palmeiro was born in Havana, Cuba.

Sept. 24, 1965 – Alabama Gov. George Wallace signed into law a bill that created the 35th Judicial Circuit, which was composed of Conecuh and Monroe County’s Rep. Wiley Salter introduced the bill, and Wallace appointed Evergreen attorney Robert E.L. Key as the circuit’s first circuit judge.

Sept. 24, 1967 - In Saigon, Hue and Da Nang, demonstrations were staged against the recent election of President Nguyen Van Thieu and Vice President Nguyen Cao Ky, led by the militant Buddhist faction, who charged that the elections were rigged and demand that the Constituent Assembly cancel the results.

Sept. 24, 1967 - In the United States, the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) adopted a resolution against the Johnson administration’s policy and strategy in Vietnam, charging that in Vietnam the United States was “in league with a corrupt and illiberal government supported by a minority of the people.”

Sept. 24, 1968 – “60 Minutes” debuted on CBS.

Sept. 24, 1971 - Journalist Grover Cleveland Hall Jr. died in Montgomery, Ala. at the age of 56 and was buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in Montgomery. Born on Feb. 10, 1915, he served as editor of The Montgomery Advertiser from 1948 to 1966.

Sept. 24, 1975 – Dougal Haston and Doug Scott on the Southwest Face expedition became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest by any of its faces.

Sept. 24, 1980 – Seven Evergreen (Ala.) Rotary Club golfers finished first in a four-club match at the Andalusia Country Club on this Wednesday. At that time, the Rotary Clubs of Andalusia, Brewton, Opp and Evergreen played each year in a ‘winner-take-all’ team tournament with the money going to the Rotary Foundation in the name of the winning club. Evergreen’s golfers included Jimmy Bell, Clyde Gibson, James Wilson, Bill McKenzie, David Hyde, Bill McGehee and Roy Pace, who finished 14 strokes in front and made it possible for well over $400 to be given to the Rotary Foundation on behalf of the Evergreen Rotary Club.

Sept. 24, 1981 – Ed Williams, 28, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Edsel Williams of Owassa, Ala., was named editor and general manager of The Andalusia Star-News by Publisher Joe Starling. Williams, who’d been the editor and general manager of The Brewton Standard for the previous 2-1/2 years, replaced managing editor Ron Culbreth, who went to work at a Birmingham newspaper.

Sept. 24, 1982 – Birmingham, Ala. native Lee May appeared in his last Major League Baseball game, taking the field one last time for the Kansas City Royals.

Sept. 24, 1991 - Nirvana's album "Nevermind" was released.

Sept. 24, 1993 – The third episode of “The X-Files” – entitled “Squeeze” – aired for the first time.

Sept. 24, 1996 - Blockbusting bestselling author Stephen King released two new novels at once on this day. The first, “Desperation,” was released under King's name, while the second, “The Regulators,” was published under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman.

Sept. 24, 1996 - The United States, represented by President Clinton, and the world’s other major nuclear powers, like Russia, China, and Great Britain, signed a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty to end all testing and development of nuclear weapons.

Sept. 24, 1998 - Steven Tyler of Aerosmith threw out the first pitch at the Expos-Cardinal game in St. Louis, Mo.

Sept. 24, 2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush froze the assets of 27 suspected terrorists and terrorist groups.

Sept. 24, 2002 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.28 inches of rain in Evergreen.

Sept. 24, 2002 – Pro Football Hall of Fame center Mike Webster died at the age of 50 in Pittsburgh, Pa. During his career, he played for the University of Wisconsin, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Kansas City Chiefs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Sept. 24, 2004 – Eight days after the passage of Hurricane Ivan, Monroe County High School beat Hillcrest High School, 18-14, at Tiger Stadium in Monroeville, Ala. Outstanding Hillcrest players in that game included Maurice Bradley, Chris Hines, Clarence Jackson, Jerry Jackson and Brent Smith. Arlton Hudson was Hillcrest’s head coach. Outstanding Monroe players in that game included Taylor Anderson, Watson Black, Terrell Richardson and Omar Scott.

Sept. 24, 2004 – Abbeville Christian beat Sparta Academy, 52-14, in Evergreen, Ala.. Sparta’s touchdowns came on runs of five and 15 yards by Chase Brown, and Tony Raines scored a two-point conversion run after the first of Brown’s touchdowns. Other standout Sparta players in that game included Will Ivey and David McGinity.

Sept. 24, 2006 - The Detroit Tigers clinched their first playoff berth since 1987, and the Atlanta Braves were eliminated from the playoffs for the first time in 14 years.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Sept. 24, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 72.60 inches.

Notes: Today is the 267th day of 2017 and the third day of Fall. There are 98 days left in the year.

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

Saturday, September 23, 2017

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 1,480 miles down and 299 miles to go

Samwise Gamgee's "Oliphaunt Poem"
I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 10 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday and five more yesterday (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 1,480 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 299 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 83.2 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo Baggins’ overall journey to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom in Mordor, I’m on the tenth day/night of the trip past Rauros Falls, which is March 5/6 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update a little after midnight on the morning of March 5, at Mile 1470, which is one mile from the point where Frodo Baggins, Samwise Gamgee and Gollum see another Nazgul fly over again, on its way to Isengard.


Five miles later, at Mile 1475, dawn breaks and Frodo and his companions are able to see guards on the walls above the Black Gate. They hide in a hollow “delved in the side of a low hill.” It’s from this vantage point that they can see an army of Easterlings arrive, then later an army of Southrons. Sam recites the “Oliphaunt” poem, and Gollum tells of a “secret” way into Mordor. Frodo decides to follow Gollum south, but not before resting during the daylight hours of March 5.


At dusk on the evening of March 5, the group resumes their journey by creeping out the west side of the hollow. Two miles later, at Mile 1477, they walked southwest, west of the road, which runs in a trenchlike valley between the mountains and the moors. It has been newly repaired for many miles.


I’ve traveled three miles past this point to Mile 1480, and the next significant milestone comes four miles later, at Mile 1484, when they reach the end of the slag heaps and take a brief rest.


For those of you reading this for the first time, I began this “Walk to Mordor” fitness challenge on Jan. 1, 2015. Using a book called “The Atlas of Middle-Earth” by Karen Wynn Fonstad, fans of “The Lord of the Rings” created this challenge by mapping out Frodo’s fictional trek to Mordor, calculating the total distance at 1,779 miles. They also used the original "Lord of the Rings" text to outline the journey, so you can follow their route by keeping up with your total mileage.


The folks who worked out the nuts and bolts of this virtual journey have divided it into four parts. It’s 458 miles from Hobbiton to Rivendell, 462 miles from Rivendell through Moria to Lothlorien, 389 miles from Lothlorien down the Anduin to Rauros Falls and 470 miles from Rauros to Mount Doom. (Those locations should sound very familiar to “Lord of the Rings” fans.) The hobbits averaged 18 miles a day, but if you walk (or jog, as I sometimes do) five miles a day, it’s possible to cover 1,779 miles in a year.


If you’re interested in learning more about the “Walk to Mordor Challenge,” I suggest you check out two Web sites, and Both of these sites provide a ton of details about the challenge, including how to get started.


In the end, check back next Friday for another update and to see how much closer I am to Mordor. I hope to knock out at least 10 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

Today in History for Sept. 23, 2017

Fulton, Ala. historical marker in Clarke County.
Sept. 23, 480 BC – On this day, Greece celebrates the birthday of the Athenian tragic poet, Euripides.

Sept. 23, 63 B.C. – Roman emperor Caesar Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus in Rome. The great-nephew of Julius Caesar, Augustus was named as the childless statesman's heir upon his assassination.

Sept. 23, 1215 – Mongol emperor Kublai Khan was born simply Kublai (the word Khan means ruler) somewhere in Mongolia, the grandson of the empire's founder, Genghis Khan.

Sept. 23, 1641 – The Merchant Royal, carrying a treasure worth over a billion US dollars, was lost at sea off Land's End.

Sept. 23, 1642 – The first commencement exercises were held at Harvard College.

Sept. 23, 1779 – During the American Revolution, John Paul Jones, commander of the American warship USS Bonhomme Richard, won the Battle of Flamborough Head, a hard-fought engagement against the British warships Serapis and Countess of Scarborough off the eastern coast of England.

Sept. 23, 1780 – During the American Revolution, British Major John André was arrested as a spy by American soldiers and was captured with papers revealing that Benedict Arnold had change of sides and was going to surrender West Point, N.Y. to the British.

Sept. 23, 1806 - Amid much public excitement, American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark returned to St. Louis, Missouri, from the first recorded overland journey from the Mississippi River to the Pacific coast and back. The Lewis and Clark Expedition, also known as the “Corps of Discovery,” had set off more than two years before to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase.

Sept. 23, 1838 - Activist, politician, and newspaper editor Victoria Claflin Woodhull was born in Homer, Ohio, and she went on to become the first female candidate for president of the United States in 1870.

Sept. 23, 1845 - The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York, the first baseball team to play under modern rules, was formed by Alexander Joy Cartwright.

Sept. 23, 1846 – English-Australian explorer John Ainsworth Horrocks died at the age of 28 in Penwortham, South Australia from gangrene after being accidentally shot a month earlier.

Sept. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Albany, Ky.

Sept. 23, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederates descended on Romney, W.Va. and skirmishes were fought at Mechanicsburg Gap, Cassville and Hanging Rock Pass in West Virginia.

Sept. 23, 1861 - John Charles Fremont, military governor of St. Louis and the Missouri district, was failing to heed the old saying that when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. He had enraged half of Missouri with his highhanded orders, including an emancipation of slaves and threats to confiscate the property of, and then execute, Confederate sympathizers. Then he got the Union supporters just as angry by playing politics instead of going in support of the beleaguered Federal force in Lexington. On this day, the St. Louis Evening News pointed out some of these facts to their readership. Fremont's response was to lock down the newspaper printing facility and have the editor placed in jail.

Sept. 23, 1861 – Capt. John Herbert Kelly of Wilcox County, Ala. was promoted to the rank of major.

Sept. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at McGuire Ferry, Ark.; with Sioux Indians at Fort Abercrombie in the Dakota Territory; with Sioux Indians at Wood Lake, near Yellow Medicine, in Montana; and at Wolf Creek Bridge, near Memphis, Tenn.

Sept. 23, 1862 – During the Civil War, a two-day Federal operation began near Eureka, Mo.

Sept. 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln met with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, several cabinet members and military planners to discuss the situation in Chattanooga, Tenn. The decision was made to ship General Joseph Hooker and his men to relieve General William Rosecrans' army.

Sept. 23, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Bayou Meto Bridge in Arkansas; at Cumberland Gap and Lookout Mountain in Tennessee; and near Liberty Mills and at Robertson’s Ford on the Rapidan River in Virginia. The first of three days of skirmishing also began in front of Chattanooga, Tenn., and an affair took place opposite Donaldsonville, La.

Sept. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Athens, Ala. that involved Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Sept. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Fort Smith, Ark.; near Rocheport, Mo.; and at Edenburg, Front Royal, Mount Jackson, and Woodstock in Virginia. The second day of skirmishing also took place at Rolling Fork, Miss.

Sept. 23, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 10-day Federal operation into the Kanawha Valley of West Virginia began.

Sept. 23, 1864 - The Blair family name runs through the history of the Civil War on the Union side. Some of their efforts were military (Frank Blair Jr. was one of the best of those who achieved general’s rank without benefit of military training) but far more important was the family’s political activities. High on the list was the name of Montgomery Blair, wheeler-dealer, consummate behind-the-scenes politician and staunch ally of Abraham Lincoln. His only official title was Postmaster General, a job he had filled well during a time when so much mail was in motion that a nationwide paper shortage occurred. But he was also a leader of the moderate faction of the Democratic Party, which made him anathema to the Radical Republicans. To pacify them, Lincoln was forced on this day to ask for Blair’s resignation. He gave it, gracefully.

Sept. 23, 1865- Baroness Emmuska Orczy was born Baroness Emma Magdalena Rosália Mária Josefa Borbára Orczy at her family's estate in Hungary. She is best known for her 1905 novel, “The Scarlet Pimpernel.”

Sept. 23, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought with Indians in the Harney Lake Valley of Oregon. This was the last reported hostilities occurring during the era of the American Civil War per the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. Ironically, the last encounter reported has the Federals being routed, luckily escaping with only one injury.

Sept. 23, 1869 – Irish immigrant Mary Mallon, aka “Typhoid Mary,” was born in Cookstown, County Tyrone, Ireland. A "healthy carrier" of typhoid fever, she unwittingly spread the deadly disease around New York.

Sept. 23, 1875 – Silver City, New Mexico police arrested 15-year-old Billy the Kid for the first time after they caught him with a bag of stolen clothes. He was thrown in jail, but escaped two days later. From that day forward Billy would be on the wrong side of the law, though he would soon be guilty of crimes far more serious than hiding a stolen bag of laundry.

Sept. 23, 1889 – Journalist Walter Lippmann was born in New York City.

Sept. 23, 1896 – The name of the Behrman Post Office in Clarke County, Ala. was changed to Fulton, supposedly after Fulton, N.Y.

Sept. 23, 1896 - A difficulty occurred on tis Wednesday morning, on the Ridge, between the Messrs. Ross, father and son, and Atkins, father and two sons, in which Mr. Ross fils, was severely cut about the neck and face, according to The Monroe Journal. Dr. Wiggins, who attended the wounded man, pronounced his injuries quite serious but not necessarily fatal. The difficulty grew out of the depredations of stock belonging to one of the parties on the crop of the other.

Sept. 23, 1896 – The Rev. A.J. Lambert, assisted by Rev. S.P. Lindsey, closed a protracted meeting at Pleasant Hill Church at Manistee on this Wednesday night. They had a glorious meeting; 18 accessions to the church, 16 by experience, according to The Monroe Journal.

Sept. 23, 1897 - The first recorded traffic fatality in Great Britain occurred, two years before the first fatality in the U.S.

Sept. 23, 1901 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Jaroslav Seifert was born in a suburb of Prague.

Sept. 23, 1907 – German SS officer Herbert Kappler was born in Stuttgart, German Empire.

Sept. 23, 1908 - A game between the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs ended in 1-1 tie after a controversial call at second base that resulted in the Cubs winning the National League pennant. The officials ruled that Giants first baseman Fred Merkle was out because he failed to touch second base, and the game was called with the score 1-1 due to darkness. Because the game could not end in a tie, it was replayed on October 8, 1908. In the makeup game, the Cubs beat their rivals to secure the National League pennant and went on to beat the Detroit Tigers for their third consecutive World Series.

Sept. 23, 1909 – “The Phantom of the Opera,” a novel by French writer Gaston Leroux, was first published as a serialization in Le Gaulois.

Sept. 23, 1911 – Pilot Earle Ovington made the first official airmail delivery in America under the authority of the United States Post Office Department

Sept. 23, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that D.L. Neville had been appointed game warden for Monroe County, Ala.

Sept. 23, 1917 - German flying ace Werner Voss was shot down and killed during a dogfight with British pilots in the skies over Belgium, on the Western Front during World War I.

Sept. 23, 1926 – Musician John Coltrane was born in Hamlet, N.C.

Sept. 23, 1927 - Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, Ala. became the site of the very first football game played “under the lights” in the South with Cloverdale taking on Pike Road High School. An estimated crowd of 7,200 attended the game.

Sept. 23, 1930 – Musician Ray Charles, who is known as the “Father of Soul,” was born in Albany, Ga.

Sept. 23, 1936 – The First ascent of Siniolchu was accomplished by a German team.

Sept. 23, 1942 - A radio version of Alabama author T. S. Stribling's story "A Passage to Benares" was broadcast as part of the “Suspense” series.

Sept. 23, 1943 – During World War II, the Nazi puppet state known as the Italian Social Republic was founded.

Sept. 23, 1946 – Construction began on new bridge over Murder Creek on the Loree Road in Conecuh County, Ala.

Sept. 23, 1949 – Rock musician Bruce Springsteen was born in Long Branch, N.J.

Sept. 23, 1951 - Sallie Covan, three-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Covan, was seriously injured on this Sunday afternoon, when the accidental discharge from a shotgun struck her in both legs. The gun went off at close range and resulting injuries caused the amputation of the right leg. The accident happened at the Covan’s home northeast of Mabank, Texas. The accident occurred as the father of the child was removing the gun from the floor of the car. The Covans were former residents of Evergreen, Ala.

Sept. 23, 1952 – Butler County, Ala. native and country music legend Hank Williams did his last recording session.

Sept. 23, 1952 – Major League Baseball third baseman and second baseman Jim Morrison was born in Pensacola, Fla. He would go on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago White Sox, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Detroit Tigers and the Atlanta Braves.

Sept. 23, 1965 - The South Vietnamese government executed three accused Viet Cong agents held at Da Nang.

Sept. 23, 1968 – The Fall Term of Conecuh County Court was scheduled to open in Evergreen, Ala. on this Monday morning with Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key presiding. Attorneys for the state included District Attorney Ralph L. Jones of Monroeville and County Solicitor Henry J. Kinzer of Evergreen. There were 16 cases on the docket, according to Conecuh County Circuit Clerk Leon A. Salter.

Sept. 23, 1969 - The trial for eight antiwar activists charged with the responsibility for the violent demonstrations at the August 1968 Democratic National Convention opened in Chicago.

Sept. 23, 1978 – Major League Baseball outfielder Lyman Bostock, a 27-year-old native of Birmingham, Ala., was shot and killed in Gary, Ind. During his career, he played for the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels.

Sept. 23, 1986 – Jim Deshaies of the Houston Astros set a Major League record by striking out the first eight batters of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. This record was tied by Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets on September 15, 2014 against the Miami Marlins.

Sept. 23, 1988 – José Canseco of the Oakland Athletics became the first member of the 40–40 club.

Sept. 23, 1988 – Hungarian-Serbian explorer and author Tibor Sekelj died at the age of 76 in Subotica, Yugoslavia.

Sept. 23, 1990 - Iraq publicly threatened to destroy Middle East oil fields and to attack Israel if any nation tried to force it from Kuwait.

Sept. 23, 1991 - U.N. weapons inspectors found documents in Baghdad detailing Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program, which triggered a standoff with authorities in Iraq.

Sept. 23, 1996 – Thomas Booker served his final day as Evergreen, Alabama’s police chief before taking another job in Spanish Fort.

Sept. 23, 1998 – In “V for Vendetta,” there had been no activity from V for six months. Finch had been detached from his job since returning from holiday. Dominic speculated that V’s vendetta was over. V and Evey were now reunited, and V offered Evey a chance to avenge Gordon’s death. Transformed by her experience, Evey declined. Rosemary continued to suffer.

Sept. 23, 2001 - Barry Bonds hit his 65th and 66th home run of the season to tie Sammy Sosa for the second most home runs in a season.

Sept. 23, 2001 - In Brookwood, Ala., 13 miners were killed in two explosions at the Blue Creek No. 5 mine.

Sept. 23, 2004 - Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi gave a speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress. Afterward, U.S. President George W. Bush and Allawi gave a joint news conference.

Sept. 23, 2008 - Alabama author Ellen Tarry died in New York.

Sept. 23, 2011 – Sparta Academy’s Dalton Baggett rushed for 263 yards and four touchdowns in Sparta's 38-30 homecoming victory over Lowndes Academy at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Ala. Mike Bledsoe was Sparta’s head coach.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Sept. 23, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 72.60 inches.

Notes: Today is the 266th day of 2017 and the second day of Fall. There are 99 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.

Today in History for Sept. 22, 2017

John Grisham
Sept. 22, 1515 – Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of King Henry the VIII, was born in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Sept. 22, 1554 – Spanish explorer Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, his health badly deteriorated from injuries and the toll of his strenuous travels, died of an infectious disease around the age of 44 in Mexico City. He never found the fabled cities of gold that he had sought for decades. But while he never found the golden cities he sought, Coronado did succeed in giving the Spanish and the rest of the world their first fairly accurate understanding of the inhabitants and geography of the southern half of the present United States.

Sept. 22, 1692 – During the Salem witchcraft trials, Martha Corey, Margaret Scott, Mary Easty, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Willmott Redd, Samuel Wardwell and Mary Parker were hanged. Preceded by 11 other hangings, plus five who died in prison and one who was crushed to death refusing to enter a plea, these eight were the last people hanged for witchcraft in England's North American colonies. Dorcas Hoar escaped execution by confessing.

Sept. 22, 1776 - During the American Revolutionary War, Nathan Hale, a captain in the Continental Army, was hanged as a spy by the British in New York City. After being led to the gallows, legend holds that the 21-year-old Hale said, “I only regret that I have but one life to give for my country.”

Sept. 22, 1777 – American botanist and explorer John Bartram died at the age of 78 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colony.

Sept. 22, 1789 - The U.S. Congress authorized the office of Postmaster General.

Sept. 22, 1791 - English scientist of electromagnetics and electrochemistry Michael Faraday was born in London.

Sept. 22, 1823 – Joseph Smith stated that he found the Golden plates on this date after being directed by God through the Angel Moroni to the place where they were buried.

Sept. 22, 1835 – In Baltimore, Edgar Allan Poe secretly married Virginia, his cousin. He was 26 and she was 13, though she is listed on the marriage certificate as being 21.

Sept. 22, 1837 – Thomas S. Roach and James McCall were commissioned as Monroe County, Alabama’s Circuit Court Clerks, and Edward T. Broughton was commissioned as Monroe County’s Sheriff.

Sept. 22, 1857 – Alexander Autrey, the second white man to settle in Conecuh County, Ala. and founder of Hampden Ridge, died at his home in Conecuh County, age 77. Born on Jan. 4, 1780 in North Carolina, he was buried in the Old Beulah Cemetery in Conecuh County.

Sept. 22, 1861 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Eliott’s Mill or Camp Critenden, Mo. Another skirmish was also fought at Osceola, Mo.

Sept. 22, 1861 - John Charles Fremont was not having a happy career as military administrator of St. Louis. First, he had declared martial law. Then followed this heavy-handed maneuver with a mini-Emancipation Proclamation for the state of Missouri. This had brought down the wrath of Frank Blair Jr., not to mention the Lincoln Administration, upon his head. Over the previous week the dispute had escalated until Fremont had had Blair arrested. What Fremont was supposed to have done the previous week was fight Sterling Price’s Confederate force and rescue the Federals holed up in Lexington. The news of their surrender to Price reached St. Louis today. Even Fremont’s supporters were disgusted with his performance.

Sept. 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. It stated that all slaves held within rebel states would be free as of January 1, 1863. By the end of the war, more than 500,000 slaves had fled to freedom behind Northern lines and about 200,000 black soldiers and sailors, many of them former slaves, served in the armed forces.

Sept. 22, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Vinegar Hill, Ky. and at Ashby’s Gap, Va. Federal forces also reoccupied Harper’s Ferry, W.Va.

Sept. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Marrow Bone Creek, Ky.; at Rockville, Md.; and in La Fayette County, Mo.

Sept. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Missionary Ridge and Shallow Ford Gap, near Chattanooga, in Tennessee, bringing the Chickamauga Campaign to a close as General Braxton Bragg occupied the high ground of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain surrounding Chattanooga and the Federal Army of the Cumberland.

Sept. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Centreville, Warrenton, Orange Court House and Raccoon Ford in Virginia; and an engagement was fought at Blountsville, Tenn.

Sept. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal troops destroyed the Hudson Place Salt Works, near Darien, Ga.

Sept. 22, 1863 – During the Civil War, Joseph Shelby's raid into Missouri and Arkansas began and continued until Oct. 26.

Sept. 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, a seven-day Federal operation began between Helena and Alligator Bayou, Arkansas.

Sept. 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Carthage, Longwood, Patterson and Sikeston, Mo.; and at Millford, Va. The first of a two days of skirmishing began at Rolling Fork, Miss.

Sept. 22, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Fisher's Hill was fought. Sheridan had almost 30,000 men, while Early had just under 10,000. Union losses were around 500, Confederate over 1,200.

Sept. 22, 1875 – J.M. McNeil was named postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Sept. 22, 1879 – The Monroeville (Ala.) Institute opened with W.Y. Titcomb as principal and Miss B.C. McCorvey as assistant.

Sept. 22, 1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine was published.

Sept. 22, 1889 – On this Sunday night, Monroeville, Ala. was struck by “the Equinoctial or September gale.”

Sept. 22, 1895 – John Hope Moore Sr., one of Monroe County’s “oldest and best citizens,” died at his home near Perdue Hill on this Sunday after a “long and painful illness” at the age of 69. Born on Jan. 4, 1826, he was buried in the McConnico Cemetery at Perdue Hill.

Sept. 22, 1906 – Late on a payday Saturday night, Ed Dean shot and killed Will Neville at Peterman, Ala. Dean later turned himself into the Sheriff in Monroeville and was released on bond.

Sept. 22, 1907 – Atmore, Ala. native Claude D. Kelley was born. He would go on to serve five terms as the commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservations and Natural Resources and 11 years as president and headed the Alabama public parks system during the administration of then-Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace in the 1960s.

Sept. 22, 1914 - A.J. Lee of Burnt Corn, Ala. sent The Evergreen Courant “the largest boll of cotton” the newspaper staff had ever seen. Lee said the boll was taken from a stalk nine feet and five inches tall.

Sept. 22, 1914 – Charles R. Cook, a well known Monroe County, Ala. native, was shot and killed in McKinnonville, Fla. Cook ran a commissary there and one of his employees got into a fight with another man at the store. Cook apparently tried to break them up, and he and his employee were both shot. Cook’s remains were brought back to Monroe County and buried at Perdue Hill.

Sept. 22, 1914 - In the North Sea, the German submarine U-9 sank three British cruisers, the Aboukir, the Hogue and the Cressy, in just over one hour.

Sept. 22, 1916 - The Bethlehem Baptist Association closed its 100th annual session in Monroeville on this Friday. More than a score of the churches comprising the body were represented by strong official delegations, according to The Monroe Journal.

Sept. 22, 1920 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and manager Bob Lemon was born in San Bernadino, Calif. He went on to play for the Cleveland Indians and later managed the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.

Sept. 22, 1927 – National Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher and manager Tommy Lasorda was born in Norristown, Pa. He went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Kansas City Athletics and managed the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1976 to 1996. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Sept. 22, 1931 – English author Fay Weldon was born in Worcestershire, England.

Sept. 22, 1940 - In North End, Boston, a Paul Revere Statue, made by Cyrus Dallin, was unveiled.

Sept. 22, 1941 – During World War II, on Jewish New Year Day, the German SS murdered 6,000 Jews in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Those were the survivors of the previous killings that took place a few days earlier in which about 24,000 Jews were executed.

Sept. 22, 1943 - Members of Alma Martin Post No. 50 of the American Legion were scheduled to have a fish fry at Binion’s Camp on this Wednesday night. All members were urged to attend.

Sept. 22, 1952 – Army SFC Rudolph Farmer, 23, of Covington County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea. Born on Feb. 3, 1929, he was buried in the Rhoades Cemetery in Coffee County, Ala.

Sept. 22, 1961 – Congress approved a bill to establish the Peace Corps and President John F. Kennedy signed it into law.

Sept. 22, 1961 - Lyeffion High School, under new head coach Shirley Frazier, was scheduled to open the 1961 season in Beatrice. Players on Lyeffion’s team that season included Shelton Cook, Patton Brown, Larry Smith, Elmer Gaskey, Donnie Hamrac, Wadie Salter, Harold Wilson, Allen Chavers, Keith Holcombe, Ronnie Golson, Bobby Salter, Charles Salter, Don Garrett, Mickey Fountain, Hayward Salter, Guy Chavers, Homer Chavers, Mike Burt, Larry Blackmon and Don Slater.

Sept. 22, 1963 – In an incident attributed to the “Bermuda Triangle,” a C-132 Cargomaster disappeared between Delaware and its destination in the Azores. The Coast Guard and Navy conducted an intensive search for the plane until Sept. 25, but found nothing that could be identified with the missing plane.

Sept. 22, 1964 - Presidential candidate Barry Goldwater, Republican senator from Arizona, charged that President Lyndon Johnson lied to the American people and that he was committing the United States to war “recklessly.”

Sept. 22, 1964 – “Fiddler on the Roof” opened on Broadway.

Sept. 22, 1966 – The Conecuh County, Ala. Board of Directors approved the purchase of 30 voting machines for use in that year’s November general election, which eliminated the need for paper ballots in future county elections, other than for absentee voting.

Sept. 22, 1968 - Cesar Tovar became the second Major League Baseball player to play all nine positions in one game.

Sept. 22, 1969 - Willie Mays hit his 600th career home run.

Sept. 22, 1971 – Captain Ernest Medina was acquitted of all charges relating to the My Lai massacre of March 1968.

Sept. 22, 1975 – Sara Jane Moore tried to assassinate U.S. President Gerald Ford, but was foiled by Oliver Sipple.

Sept. 22, 1976 - Author Hudson Strode died in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Sept. 22, 1976 – NFL offensive lineman Mo Collins was born in Charlotte, N.C. He went on to play for the University of Florida and the Oakland Raiders.

Sept. 22, 1979 – The Vela Incident (also known as the South Atlantic Flash) was observed near Bouvet Island and was thought to have been a nuclear weapons test, but remains highly disputed. The incident was an unidentified "double flash" of light detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite near the Prince Edward Islands off Antarctica. The most widespread theory among those who believe the flash was of nuclear origin is that it resulted from a joint South African and Israeli nuclear test.

Sept. 22, 1980 - A border conflict between Iran and Iraq developed into a full-scale war when Iraq invaded Iran.

Sept. 22, 1985 - NBC began airing the series "Amazing Stories."

Sept. 22, 1988 – Alabama Governor Guy Hunt signed an official proclamation at the state capitol in Montgomery that formally proclaimed the Town of Castleberry as the “Strawberry Capital of Alabama.”

Sept. 22, 1989 – At Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen, Ala., Hillcrest High School improved to 5-0 overall with a 27-7 win over UMS-Wright, the No. 4-ranked team in Class 4A. Derrick Richardson led Hillcrest with 91 yards rushing, and Russell Meeks led the defense with eight solos and three assists. Other outstanding Hillcrest players in that game included Marvin Cunningham, Fred Fountain, John Gulley, John Johnson, George Moncrease, Keith Richardson, Terrance Rudolph and Tyrone Sigler.

Sept. 22, 1989 – Ashford Academy beat Sparta Academy, 14-8, in Ashford. Quarterback Tim Salter scored Sparta’s only touchdown on an eight-yard run and then passed to Steven Gall for the extra two. Other outstanding Sparta players in the Ashford game included Jason Baker, Craig Blackburn and Jeff Brundage. Chuck Ledbetter was Sparta’s head coach.

Sept. 22, 1990 - Brit Steve Woodmore was declared the world's fastest talker, blabbing 595 words in 56 seconds. The loquacious American, Fran Capo holds the Guinness World Record as the fastest-talking female.

Sept. 22, 1991 – The Dead Sea Scrolls were made available to the public for the first time by the Huntington Library.

Sept. 22, 1993 – During foggy conditions, a barge struck a railroad bridge near Mobile, Ala., causing the deadliest train wreck in Amtrak history as 47 people died when Amtrak's Miami-bound Sunset Limited jumped the rails on the weakened bridge and plunged into Big Bayou Canot.

Sept. 22, 1995 - Excel High School upended 2A, Area 2 rival J.F. Shields 32-6 on this Friday in Beatrice as fall-like temperatures finally crept into Monroe County. With the mercury dipping into the 50s, Excel improved to 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in the area. Standout Excel players that season included Kelvin Betts, Jimbo Bishop, Lee Fore, Trevor Ledkins, Chris Lint, Kevin Luker, Bryson Martin, Maurice McMillian, Derrick Millender, Shane Moore, Steven Pharr and Travis Smith. Standout Shields players in that game included Donald Armstrong, Trenton Harrison, Rufus Hawkins, Abe Hunter, Darren Marshall, Ray Odom, Kelvin Sanders, Roderrick Stallworth, Thomas Shumake and Franco Westry. Al Bowen was Excel’s head coach, and George Coker was head coach at Shields.

Sept. 22, 2000 – A team of 14 researchers that had tracked the elusive Bigfoot for a week deep in the mountains of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state found, in a muddy wallow near Mt. Adams, an imprint of a Bigfoot’s hair-covered lower body as it lay on its side, apparently reaching over to get some fruit. On Oct. 23, Idaho State University issued a press release stating that a team of investigators had examined the plaster cast and agreed that it could not be “attributed to any commonly known Northwest animal and may present an uknown primate.”

Sept. 22, 2004 - The pilot episode of "Lost" aired.

Sept. 22, 2006 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants tied Hank Aaron's National League home run record when he hit his 733rd.

Sept. 22, 2008 – First baseman Andy Phillips of Tuscaloosa, Ala. made his last Major League Baseball appearance, taking the field one last time for the Cincinnati Reds.

Sept. 22, 2011 – John Grisham was presented with the inaugural Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for his novel, “The Confession,” during a special ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Sept. 22, 2015 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, outfielder and manager Yogi Berra died at the age of 90 in West Caldwell, N.J. During his career, he played for the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, and he also managed the Yankees and the Mets. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1972. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Sept. 22, 2017

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  2.85 inches.

Summer to Date Rainfall: 29.05 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 72.60 inches.

Notes: Today is the 265th day of 2017 and the first day of Fall. There are 100 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.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Some believe that Bigfoot creature lurks in swamp off Langham Road

Langham Road in Conecuh County, Ala.
I’ve received at least two possible Bigfoot activity reports during the past month, and I’m working to gather more information about both of these incidents in hopes of passing more details along to interested readers.

Earlier this month, local Bigfoot enthusiast Ashley McPhaul, who lives between Repton and Excel, reported that a woman living in the vicinity of Langham Road told him that she believes she heard a Bigfoot-type creature early one Friday morning several weeks ago. For readers unfamiliar with Langham Road, it’s west of Belleville and runs from County Road 11 all the way to County Road 5, on the Monroe County line, coming out just south of Owens Chapel.

The witness in this case told McPhaul that around 3 a.m. she heard a “hollering” noise that “sounded like a siren” coming from a swamp not far from her home. The incident shook the woman up so badly that she immediately went back inside.

Looking at a topographical map of the area, there are a number of sizeable creeks in this area that no doubt have produced some large, swampy areas. Most of these creeks appear to feed into Burnt Corn Creek, and one of the theories about Bigfoot creatures is that they like to stick close to reliable water sources surrounded by thick vegetation.

On Monday morning, Wesley Acreman with the Southwest Alabama Bigfoot Hunters called me to say that his brother, Virgil Acreman, was told by a woman who works at the McDonald’s restaurant in Evergreen that her son had found a suspected Bigfoot track on the sandy bank of a creek off County Road 8 in Conecuh County.

County Road 8 runs from County Road 43 at Paul all the way to the Brooklyn Road, coming out southeast of the Spring Hill community. Again, looking at the topo map, there are a number of creeks in this area, including Simmons Creek, Bottle Creek and others. Also, through the woods, the east end of County Road 8 isn’t that far from the Sepulga River.

Many in the reading audience will remember that Wesley and Virgil, along with their younger brother Roman Acreman, had multiple Bigfoot encounters while living off County Road 5 at Pine Orchard. Wesley said he planned to contact the young man who found the suspected Bigfoot track off County Road 8 and question him about it to see if he could find out more information.

I told Virgil on Monday that if he could find out exactly where the track was found and if we could get permission to visit the location, that I’d accompany him on a field trip there in the near future. More than likely, the track will be long gone by then, but who knows, we might get lucky and find another one. I plan to take my camera along just in case.

With that said, if anyone in the reading audience has a Bigfoot story or report that they’d like to tell, call me at The Courant at 578-1492. You can also reach me by e-mail at or write me at The Evergreen Courant, ATTN: Lee Peacock, P.O. Box 440, Evergreen, AL 36401.

Hunter Norris takes over No. 1 spot in local ESPN college pick 'em contest

Jalen Hurts (2) comes up to the line against CSU.
The third week of our local ESPN College Football Pick ‘Em Contest is officially in the books, and when the dust settled after Saturday’s games, Hunter Norris found himself in sole possession of first place in the local standings.

Last week, Norris and Mike Dailey were tied for the No. 1 spot.

David Parker moved into second place, up from fifth place, and Dailey dropped into third place. We had a three-way tie for fourth place involving Arthur Ingram III, Drew Skipper and Mark Peacock.

Steven Newton was in eighth place while Luther Upton and Ricky Taylor were tied for ninth place. Casey Grant, Sharon Peacock and Travis Presley were tied for the No. 11 spot.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I was among three contestants tied for the No. 16 spot in the standings.

With that said, if you’re playing in the contest and didn’t make the Top 10, don’t give up. The contest will run for a total of 14 weeks, and we’ve got 11 more weeks to go. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

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This coming Saturday, there will be eight games involving SEC football teams, including five games that will feature head-to-head match-ups between SEC opponents. For what it’s worth, here’s how I see those games coming out. I like Alabama over Vanderbilt, Auburn over Missouri, Texas A&M over Arkansas, Georgia over Mississippi State, Florida over Kentucky, Tennessee over UMass, LSU over Syracuse and South Carolina over La. Tech. Ole Miss is off this week.

Last week: 5-5. So far this year: 28-8.

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I got the chance to watch Alabama play in person on Saturday, and Alabama’s win over Colorado State was telling in many ways.

Alabama is obviously struggling with injuries on the defensive side of the ball, so it should have come as no surprise when the Rams were able to pile up a bunch of yards against the Crimson Tide. Also, for whatever reason, Alabama seemed to substitute a little more freely in this game and perhaps a little earlier than they normally would, which may have contributed to their lack of crispness throughout the game.

On the positive side of the coin, quarterback Jalen Hurts played well and Alabama’s running game seemed to be headed toward mid-season form. Alabama also had no interceptions and no lost fumbles, which bodes well for a team that will open conference play this coming Saturday against Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt is riding high with a 3-0 record, but reality will likely set in for the Commodores around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. Alabama hasn’t played Vanderbilt in Nashville in around a decade, but I don’t figure the home field advantage will help Vanderbilt that much. In many ways, the “real season” begins for Alabama on Saturday, and it’ll be interesting to see if the Crimson Tide can get off on the right foot. Like most folks, I would be shocked if Vanderbilt upsets Alabama, but I’ll be almost just as shocked if this one is close after the third quarter.

Today in History for Sept. 21, 2017

Mark Childress
Sept. 21, 1452 – Girolamo Savonarola was born in Ferrara, Italy.

Sept. 21, 1645 – Canadian explorer Louis Jolliet was born near Quebec City, Canada.

Sept. 21, 1692 – In connection with the Salem witchcraft trials, Robert Mailea was accused of being a witch.

Sept. 21, 1776 - The Great Fire of New York destroyed 10 to 25 percent of the city, shortly after the city was occupied by British forces during the American Revolution.

Sept. 21, 1776 - Nathan Hale was captured while sailing Long Island Sound en route to American-controlled territory. He was executed the next day for spying.

Sept. 21, 1779 - Louisiana governor and Spanish military officer Bernardo de Galvez, with the aid of American troops and militia volunteers, captured the British post and garrison at Baton Rouge, located in what was then British-controlled West Florida.

Sept 21, 1780 – During the American Revolution, American General Benedict Arnold met with British Major John Andre to discuss handing over West Point to the British, in return for the promise of a large sum of money and a high position in the British army. The plot was foiled and Arnold, a former American hero, became synonymous with the word “traitor.”

Sept. 21, 1784 - "The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser" was published for the first time in Philadelphia. It was the first daily paper in America.

Sept. 21, 1820 - Union Civil War General John Fulton Reynolds was born in Lancaster, Pa. Reynolds commanded the left wing of the Army of the Potomac during the Gettysburg, Pa. campaign and on the morning of July 1, he rode into Gettysburg and placed his force in front of advancing Confederates, forcing Union General George Meade, commander of the Army of the Potomac, to fight. The 42-year-old Reynolds was killed that day, most likely by a Confederate volley, and was buried in Lancaster, his birthplace.

Sept. 21, 1823 - Joseph Smith Jr. reported his initial visitation with the Angel Moroni. Smith said the angel led him to gold plates buried near his home in western New York; some of the plates he later translated into the Book of Mormon.

Sept. 21, 1841 – Former Alabama governor John Murphy of Monroe County, Ala. died at his plantation in Clarke County and was buried at Gosport. He was 54 or 55 years old.

Sept. 21, 1858 – Former Alabama Governor and U.S. Senator Arthur P. Bagby passed away in Mobile, Ala. around the age of 64. Born in Louisa County, Va., in 1794, he arrived at Claiborne in 1818 with his worldly belongings tied in a handkerchief and affixed to a stick over his shoulder. He studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1819 and opened a practice in Claiborne. He served in the Alabama State House of Representatives and in the Alabama State Senate. In 1837, he was elected as the tenth Governor of Alabama, serving until 1841. After his term, he was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Clement C. Clay. He was later appointed Minister to Russia and later served as a member of the commission to codify the State laws of Alabama in 1852. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Mobile.

Sept. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at San Pedro Crossing, Ariz.; on the Yreka Road, near Forth Crook, Calif.; at Cassville, Mo.; at Van Buren, Tenn.; and at Donaldsonville, La.

Sept. 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, a five-day Federal expedition began from Carrollton to Donaldsonville in Louisiana.

Sept. 21, 1863 - Federal General George Thomas, the “Rock of Chickamauga” as he would come to be known as soon as the newspaper stories were written up, continued in that role on this day. Having held the core of the Union army together the day before on Snodgrass Hill, he had retired towards Chattanooga after nightfall. On this day, he again held the defenses of the city with the remnants of the Army of the Cumberland. His commanding officer, Rosecrans, was frantically preparing the city for siege. Bragg, commanding the Confederates, issued orders for a pursuit before the defenses could be completed, then cancelled the order. Yet another chance to annihilate the Union forces was lost.

Sept. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Rossville, Lookout Church and Dry Valley, Ga.; at Jonesborough, Tenn.; at Fisher's Hill, White’s Ford and Madison Court House in Virginia; and at Moorefield, W.Va.

Sept. 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation started from Harper’s Ferry, W.Va. into Loudoun County, Va. began.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Athens, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Council Grove, Kansas; and at Fisher's Hill, Front Royal and Strasburg in Virginia.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal expedition from Vicksburg into the Mississippi Delta as far as Deer Creek, Miss. began.

Sept. 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, the pursuit of Jubal Early’s Confederate force “up” the Shenandoah Valley continued on this day. Having resisted the move back to Lee in Petersburg for as long as he could, Early now was in a desperate race to do exactly that. The impediment was the Union forces of General Phil Sheridan, who accomplished two things on this day. First, there was the fighting: Early had fortified Fisher’s Hill, and Sheridan had to advance slowly there. Additional actions took place at Strasburg, and at Front Royal, where the Confederates managed to keep Sheridan’s men out of the Luray Valley for one more day. After nightfall, Sheridan detached Gen. Crook and one corps to move around the left flank of Early.

Sept. 21, 1866 – Herbert George “H.G.” Wells, pioneer of science fiction, was born on this day in Bromley, England.

Sept. 21, 1878 – Prominent Wilcox County physician John Daniel Caldwell died in Camden at the age of 71 and was buried in the Camden Cemetery. Caldwell was born in Sumterville, S.C. on Jan. 27, 1807 and he went on to graduate from the Medical College of South Carolina in Charleston in March 1830. He married Mary Anderson Bowen on June 5, 1833 and moved to Linden, Ala. in 1836. They moved to Barboursville in Wilcox County in 1838. When the county was incorporated in 1841, Caldwell, as intendent, suggested that they change Barboursville’s name to Camden in honor of his hometown of Camden, South Carolina.

Sept. 21, 1897 - The New York Sun ran the "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" editorial in response to a letter from 8-year-old Virginia O'Hanlon.

Sept. 21, 1902 – Sir Allen Lane, the creator of Penguin Books, was born Allen Williams Lane in Bristol, England.

Sept. 21, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that L.N. Parson was the winner of a recent one-hour cotton-picking contest at Jones Mill. He picked 53 pounds in one hour, beating J. Driscoll, who picked 48 pounds in that time.

Sept. 21, 1908 – The Sixteenth Annual Session of the Second District Agricultural School was scheduled to open for the 1908-1909 school year on this day in Evergreen, Ala. Henry T. Lile was the president of the school, which was scheduled to end the year on June 4, 1909.

Sept. 21, 1912 – Around 5:30 a.m., the No. 2 passenger train and a freight train collided a few hundred feet above the north switch on the L&N Railroad in Evergreen, Ala. The Courant described it as “one of the worst train wrecks that has been on this division of the L&N in a long while” and that “it was nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed.”

Sept. 21, 1914 – The new Conecuh County High School opened in Castleberry, Ala. for the first time in a building that cost $10,000 to construct. Members of the building committee included Elisha Downing, Dr. R.T. Holland and P.M. Skinner. Miss Sarah E. Luther was principal and had the distinction of being the only female principal of a high school in the state. The faculty included C.E. Williams (a science and manual training teacher and director of boys’ athletics) and Lucile M. Cobb of Tuskegee (teacher of English, expression and physical culture). The school’s opening ceremonies included a big barbecue, an exhibition drill by the Conecuh Guards and a baseball doubleheader with Garland. “It was a history-making day, and it will be pointed to in the years to come as one of the greatest occasions in the history of Castleberry.” Speeches were made by Mayor E. Downing, Supt. R.E.L. Key, C.S. Rabb and State Superintendent W.F. Feagin and members of the school faculty, the principal speech being made by Feagin.

Sept. 21, 1914 – The Evergreen (Ala.) City School opened to begin the 1914-15 school year.

Sept. 21, 1914 – Monroeville, Ala. held its municipal elections and L.J. Bugg was elected mayor. G.C. Watson, J.A. Lazenby, T.E. Dennis, G.B. Barnett and J.R. Lyon were elected city councilmen. I.B. Slaughter, M.M. Fountain, J.M. Coxwell, A.R. Boulware and A.T. Sowell were elected to the school board.

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that workmen were rapidly progressing on the dwelling of Mr. D.M. Ratcliffe.

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. Samuel S. Gaillard of Perdue Hill had been granted a patent on a rotary valve for gasoline engines.

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that federal authorities had turned down the cavalry troop recently organized in Monroe County on the grounds that the volunteers were “too badly scattered to conveniently attend the frequent drills. Sixty or more young had joined and were naturally disappointed at the decision of the authorities, however several troops in different parts of the state have been rejected for reason stated above.”

Sept. 21, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that four additional students enrolled at Monroe County High School on Mon., Sept. 18, and others were expected to follow. “The enrollment should easily reach 150 during this term. The classification of students was satisfactorily arranged during the first week and the school is hard down at work on the daily routine. In athletics, a football team has been organized and is in training under the direction of Prof. Jones.”

Sept. 21, 1916 - The Monroe Journal reported that “upon reconsideration,” the management of the Monroe County Fair Association had definitely determined to hold another County Fair in Monroeville on the Oct. 19-20, the dates originally set apart for the event.

Sept. 21, 1917 - Austria-Hungary and Germany made separate replies to the proposal issued by Pope Benedict XV at the beginning of the previous month calling for an immediate armistice between the Allied and Central Powers in World War I.

Sept. 21, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Will Dickson of Repton, Ala. “died from disease.”

Sept. 21, 1928 – Evergreen High School’s Aggies were scheduled to play their first game of the season on this Friday against Rawls High School. Players on Evergreen’s team included Hyde, L.; Hagood; Hyde, C.; Goodson; Stallworth; Kelly, E.; Kelly, W; Feagin, Sanders; Smith; Guy; Bates; Kindig; McCreary; Ellis; Kamplain; Martin; Mills; Kelly, C.; Miller; Murphy; Knight; Middleton; Thornley; Letford and Capt. Waller. Evergreen’s schedule that year was as follows: Sept. 21, Rawls in Evergreen; Sept. 28, Opp in Opp; Oct. 5, Camden in Camden; Oct. 12, Brewton in Evergreen; Oct. 19, Uriah in Evergreen; Oct. 26, Red Level in Evergreen; Nov. 2, Atmore in Atmore; Nov. 9, McKenzie in Evergreen; Nov. 11, (Open) Armistice Day; Nov. 16, Greenville in Greenville; Nov. 23, Flomaton in Flomaton; Nov. 29, Jones Mill in Evergreen.

Sept. 21-22, 1928 - The people of Conecuh County were to hear the issues of the ongoing presidential campaign discussed by Congressman Lister Hill on this Friday and Saturday. He was to deliver three speeches in Conecuh County, beginning at Castleberry High School on Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. Friday night at 7:30 o’clock he was to speak at Repton High School. The last engagement was to be in Evergreen on Saturday morning at 10:30 when he planned to deliver an address at the County Courthouse.

Sept. 21, 1934 – Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist Leonard Cohen was born in Montreal.

Sept. 21, 1937 - J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Hobbit" was first published.

Sept. 21, 1939 – Brutus H. Bailey of Franklin, Ala. was bit by a snake, believed to have been either a rattlesnake or copperhead, just before noon while surveying a piece of land with several other men near Franklin.

Sept. 21, 1941 - Alabama author Fannie Flagg was born in Irondale, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1942 – Conecuh County, Ala. schools were scheduled to begin the 1942-43 school year after a delay of about two weeks to the school year. School was originally supposed to begin on Sept. 7, but the Conecuh County Board of Education decided on Aug. 21to postpone the start of school because farmers were dependent on their children for help in gathering their cotton and peanut crops during a labor shortage.

Sept. 21, 1942 – During the Holocaust, on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Nazis sent over 1,000 Jews of Pidhaitsi (west Ukraine) to Bełżec extermination camp.

Sept. 21, 1942 – In Dunaivtsi, Ukraine, Nazis murdered 2,588 Jews.

Sept. 21, 1943 – At the Pix Theatre in Evergreen on this Tuesday, “Harrigan’s Kid” with Bobby Readick, Frank Craven and William Gargan, was scheduled to be shown.

Sept. 21, 1947 – Horror novelist Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine.

Sept. 21, 1951 – In high school football, Brantley High School beat Repton High School, 33-0, in Brantley, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1957 – “Crazy in Alabama” author Mark Childress was born in Monroeville, Ala.

Sept. 21, 1961 - The U.S. Army’s 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The Special Forces were formed to organize and train guerrilla bands behind enemy lines. The 5th S.F. Group was sent to Vietnam in October 1964, to assume control of all Special Forces operations in Vietnam, and in February 1971, the 5th Special Forces Group was withdrawn as part of the U.S. troop drawdown.

Sept. 21, 1967 – Evergreen High School’s Elliott “Buck” Quarles was named the Outstanding Player of the Week by the Evergreen Jaycees for his performance against Monroe County High School on Sept. 15.

Sept. 21, 1967 - General William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam, welcomed 1,200 Thai troops as they arrived in Saigon.

Sept. 21, 1968 - "All Along the Watchtower" was released by Jimi Hendrix.

Sept. 21, 1970 - "NFL Monday Night Football" made its debut on ABC-TV. The game was between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets. The Browns won, 31-21.

Sept. 21, 1970 – The New York Times premiered a new section called the “Op. Ed. Page,” a section opposite the traditional editorial page that was to be devoted to the columns of outside writers and to illustrations and political cartoons.

Sept. 21, 1971 - The American League approved the move of the Washington Senators to Arlington, Texas.

Sept. 21, 1972 – Liam Gallagher, the founder and lead singer of the rock band Oasis, was born in Burnage, Manchester, England.

Sept. 21, 1980 - The Giants retired Mobile, Ala. native Willie McCovey’s uniform number 44, which he wore in honor of Hank Aaron, a fellow Mobile native.

Sept. 21, 1980 - The body of a Peterman man was found on this Sunday about 10 a.m. in a creek in a wooded area between Peterman and Skinner’s Mill. Richard McCorvey, 28, had been missing since Thurs., Sept. 18, when his body was discovered. Monroe County Coroner Farish Manning and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department said there was apparently no violence involved in his death. An autopsy was performed in Mobile, but the details were unavailable as of Wed., Sept. 25. McCorvey was buried on Mon., Sept. 23.

Sept. 21, 1981 - Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton struck out the 3,118th batter of his career to break Bob Gibson’s National League record for career strikeouts. Despite Carlton’s 10 shutout innings and 12 strikeouts, the Phillies lost the marathon game to the Montreal Expos in the 17th inning, 1-0.

Sept. 21, 1982 - National Football League (NFL) players began a 57-day strike. It was their first regular-season walkout.

Sept. 21, 1989 - Ronald Faulkner of 220 Bruner Avenue in Evergreen, Ala. killed a “monster water moccasin” on this Thursday on Highway 31 South. The snake, which was five feet long and weighed an estimated 20 to 25 pounds, was crawling across the highway when Faulkner killed it.

Sept. 21, 1993 - Nirvana's album "In Utero" was released.

Sept. 21, 1996 - Hank Williams III made his Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 23.

Sept. 21, 2003 - After eight years studying the Jovian system, the Galileo space probe was terminated, crashing into Jupiter's atmosphere.

Sept. 21, 2008 - The New York Yankees played their last game at Yankee Stadium. The new Yankee Stadium opened across the street in 2009.

Sept. 21, 2015 – Former Alabama wide receiver and running back Richard Williamson, a native of Fort Deposit, died at the age of 74 in Charlotte, N.C. He played at Alabama from 1959 to 1962 and went on to serve as head coach for Memphis and for the Tampa Bay Bucs.