Thursday, June 21, 2018

Today in History for June 21, 2018

Alabama Gov. Gordon Persons

June 21, 1631 – English admiral and explorer John Smith died at the age of 51 in London, England.

June 21, 1779 - Spain declared war on Great Britain, creating a de facto alliance with the Americans.

June 21, 1788 – New Hampshire ratified the Constitution of the United States and was admitted as the ninth state in the United States.

June 21, 1803 – Paleontologist Timothy Abbott Conrad was born near Trenton, N.J. He studied the fossil beds at Claiborne, Ala. for two years with Charles Tait and published the first geologic map of Alabama. Conrad shipped cases full of fossils back to Philadelphia for identification.

June 21, 1817 – Citizens of Murder Creek (Sparta area) sent a petition to General Edmund P. Gaines, Commandant at Camp Montgomery, in Baldwin County, praying for protection from the Indians and protesting the theft of their cattle, hogs and grain.

June 21, 1821 – The Claiborne Masonic Lodge united with eight other lodges in the formation of the Grand Lodge of Alabama and was given the serial number three, a designation retained today by the lodge in Monroeville, Ala. Alabama governor John Murphy was the lodge’s first Worshipful Master.

June 21, 1845 – Confederate veteran Jonathan Newberry Stanford was born at Allenton in Wilcox County and was named for his grandfather, Jonathan Newberry, who settled at Oak Hill in 1818. In February 1861, he enlisted in Co. B, 1st Alabama Artillery, when a boy of 15, and served through the entire war. For many years he has enjoyed attending the reunions of Confederate Veterans, and he was buried in his Confederate uniform. He held the office of Wilcox County tax collector for 12 years and that of Judge of Probate for 11 years. He died on Jan. 28, 1918 and is buried in the Camden Cemetery in Wilcox County.

June 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, there was criticism directed at the War Department in Washington, D.C. that it had not prevented Confederate batteries from being emplaced along the Potomac River.

June 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces skirmished at the Chickahominy Creek and at Fair Oaks Station in Virginia. Skirmishes were also fought at Simmons’ Bluff, S.C.; at Battle Creek and another at Rankin’s Ferry in the vicinity of Jasper, Tenn.; and along the Coldwater River in Mississippi.

June 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Upperville, Haymarket and Thoroughfare Gap in Virginia; at Frederick, Md.; at Brashear City, La.; at Hudsonville, Miss. and along the Helena Road; at Powder Springs Gap, Tenn.; and on Dixon’s Island, S.C.

June 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, in the second day of fighting, Confederate troops failed to dislodge a Union force at the Battle of LaFourche Crossing.

June 21, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg, Miss. entered Day 34.

June 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, the Battle of Jerusalem Plank Road began as Union General Ulysses S. Grant continued to stretch his lines around Petersburg, Va. The Confederates were able to halt Grant's attempt to cut off their control of the Weldon Railroad.

June 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union General William T. Sherman sent Union General Andrew J. Smith on an expedition to destroy Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his cavalry. Smith left LaGrange, Tenn. on this day.

June 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Noonday Creek, Ga.; at White House and Tunstall’s Station, Va.; and in the Shenandoah Valley at Salem and Catawba Mountain. A Confederate flotilla also bombarded the Union squadron on the James River, Va.

June 21, 1865 - President Andrew Johnson appointed Lewis Parsons provisional governor of Alabama. Parsons, the grandson of Great Awakening leader Jonathan Edwards, was born in New York and moved to Talladega in 1840. Although a Unionist, Parsons followed moderate policies as he reorganized Alabama's state government under Johnson's reconstruction plan. His term ended in December 1865.

June 21, 1886 – George W. Metts, 49, died at his home near Monroeville on this Monday night after a lingering illness. Metts was the brother of Mr. F. Metts of Monroeville. Born on Nov. 13, 1836, he was buried in the Ridge Cemetery near Peterman.

June 21, 1892 - Lot Smith, age 62 and one of the leading soldiers in the Mormon’s military confrontation with the United States Army, was shot to death by Navaho Indians during an ambush in Utah.

June 21, 1898 – Naturalist and writer Donald Peattie was born in Chicago.

June 21, 1903 – The Rev. J.W. Stewart filled his appointment at Zeru on this Sunday afternoon, holding services at the water’s edge where the ordinance of baptism was administered to Misses Johnston and Lucas. Stewart was accompanied by his little son and Miss Mary McCreary, according to The Evergreen Courant.

June 21, 1905 – Philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris.

June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that during a recent regular communication of Monroe Lodge No. 485 the following officers were elected for the ensuing Masonic year: R.W. McCants, Worshipful Master; J.G. Lambrecht, Senior Warden; A.J. McKinley, Junior Warden; J.R. McCants, Treasurer; H.P. Farrish, Secretary; J.D. McKinley, Senior Deacon; A. Masey, Junior Deacon; and G.C. Nettles, Tyler.

June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that during a recent meeting of Burnt Corn Lodge No. 489 the following officers were elected for the following year: James K. Kyser, Worshipful Master; Johnnie F. Salter, Senior Warden; Herbert S. Ellis, Junior Warden; Henry H. Brantley, Treasurer; Ajax O. Brantley, Secretary; Hugh C. Fountain, Senior Deacon; George C. Dean, Junior Deacon; Anderson M. Stoke, Tyler; and I.S. Ridgway, Chaplain.

June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the case of Thomas Stevenson of Monroe County, Ala. had been reversed and he was to have another chance to escape the sentence of 37 years fixed by the lower court. It was held by the supreme court that it was a question for the jury whether the expression and demonstration of the deceased were such as to justify the belief on the part of the defendant that his life was in imminent peril. Stevenson had killed a man known as Judge Askew.

June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that A.T. Simmons, who had been attending the Alabama Polytechnic Institute at Auburn, was spending vacation with his parents at Monroeville, Ala.

June 21, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Dr. J.A.B. Lovett visited Monroeville, Ala. during the previous week and addressed citizens on behalf of his candidacy for Commissioner of Agriculture. Lovett had been for the previous seven years president of the ninth district agricultural school at Blountsville.

June 21, 1912 – Author Mary McCarthy was born in Seattle, Wash.

June 21, 1915 – The weather bureau thermometer in Evergreen, Ala. on this Monday reached 100 degrees during a heat wave that hit Conecuh County.

June 21, 1916 - With World War I entering its third year, a controversial U.S. military expedition against Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa brought the neutral United States closer to war itself, when Mexican government troops attacked U.S. Brigadier General John J. Pershing’s force at Carrizal, Mexico.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era, in news from the Pine Hill community, reported that J.B. Respress, district inspector of the Bureau of Explosives, with headquarters at Birmingham, Ala., was a business visitor Pine Hill during the previous week.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that work on the deep wells of Camden was progressing nicely. One well had already been forced to yield 40 gallons per minute and work on boring a new one had begun. Water had been guaranteed which would give the people of Camden relief from their watchful waiting of the previous year.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that the continued drought had wrought havoc on the pastures of Wilcox, some of the cattlemen the newspaper was informed were topping the trees and shrubbery in their pastures to provide green stuffs for their cattle.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that work on the Cobb Landing ferry was being completed which made that landing one of the best on the Alabama River. The banks of the river had been crosswayed with heavy tiling and a cable put in operation which made it passable with ease in the rainy weather. It was only a question of time before a gravel road would be completed to Catherine which would give Camden a hard road all the way to Selma.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Misses Isabel, Lucy and Elizabeth Grier, from Hauchoufu, China were visiting the family of the Rev. B.H. Grier. They were the children of the late Rev. M.B. Grier, a missionary to China for 25 years, and had been in school at Due West, S.C. during the previous session. Their mother, Mrs. M.B. Grier, M.D., was at that time in New York and was to later come to Camden to be with her children and to make a visit.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Col. John S. Hunter of Montgomery was a Camden visitor that week. Hunter had been recently reappointed as Receiver of Public Monies by President Woodrow Wilson. His Wilcox friends were glad to welcome him back.

June 21, 1917 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that the Grammar School Library would be open every Friday afternoon from 5 to 6 o’clock. Those desiring books could secure them during those hours.

June 21, 1918 - Downing Lodge, No. 580, A.F.&A.M., in Castleberry, at their annual communication, elected the following officers for the ensuing Masonic year: J.W. Thurmond, Worshipful Master; L.A. Kirkland, Senior Warden; E.L. Conner, Junior Warden; J.W. White Jr., Senior Deacon; E.L. Albreast, Junior Deacon; C.T. Kirkland, Treasurer; E.A. White, Secretary; John M. Branch, Senior Steward; John I. Monk, Junior Steward; Rev. W.F. Arnold, Chaplain; and E.V. Poole, Tyler.

June 21, 1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttled the German fleet in Scapa Flow, Orkney. The nine sailors killed were the last casualties of World War I.

June 21, 1926 – College and NFL fullback and placekicker Fred Cone was born in Pine Apple, Ala. He attended Moore Academy and served in the Army during World War II. He went star as a running back at Clemson and then played professional football for the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. He also served for a time as the head football coach at UMS-Wright in Mobile.

June 21, 1927 – The Evergreen Courant Publishing Co. purchased the entire holdings of The Conecuh Record from Mrs. Alice Whitcomb, who had been its owner and publisher since the death of her husband, J.C. Whitcomb, about two years before. The owners of The Courant planned to move all of The Record’s equipment and stock to The Courant’s offices and to combine the two papers into one paper, The Evergreen Courant. Beginning with the June 23, 1927 edition, subscribers to The Record were placed on the subscription list of The Courant. The Record had been in the hands of the Whitcomb family for over 25 years, ever since J.C. Whitcomb purchased it from Judge P.C. Walker around 1901. When J.C. Whitcomb died, Alice Whitcomb, assisted by her daughter and granddaughter, had ran the paper.

June 21, 1928 - Miss Eunice Duke of Grove Hill, who had been visiting her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Robinson, was delightfully entertained at a fish fry on this Thursday evening at Claiborne Ferry, given by Mr. and Mrs. Robinson.

June 21, 1930 – “The Social Lion,” a movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book “Marco Himself,” was released.

June 21, 1930 – Pro Football Hall of Fame offensive tackle Mike McCormack was born in Chicago, Ill. He went on to play for Kansas, the New York Yanks, the Dallas Texans and the Cleveland Browns, and he also coached the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Colts and the Seattle Seahawks. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984.

June 21, 1933 - Author Gerald W. Barrax was born in Atalla, Ala.

June 21, 1936 – In Alabama State Baseball League action, either Ripper Williams or Bill Seales was scheduled to pitch for the Evergreen Merchants on this Sunday when the Merchants were scheduled to make their next to final appearance on the Evergreen field before the end of the first half of the season.

June 21, 1938 – Monroeville, Ala. held its first ever Monroe Mills Day.

June 21, 1939 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig quit baseball due to illness.

June 21, 1939 - The Monroeville Chamber of Commerce and the citizens of Monroeville were hosts to hundreds of visitors who gathered in Monroeville on this Wednesday for the Monroe Mills Day celebration, which marked the second anniversary of the beginning of operations of the local Silk Mill and also the opening of the furniture factory a few months before.

June 21, 1940 – The first successful west-to-east navigation of the Northwest Passage began at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

June 21, 1948 – Novelist Ian McEwan was born in Aldershot, England.

June 21, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported, under the headline “Local Masonic Lodge Elects New Officers,” that at a recent meeting of Greening Lodge No. 53, A.F.A.M., new officers for the ensuing year were elected. They were Alfred Long, worshipful master; Lloyd G. Hart, senior warden; A.B. Hansen, junior warden; F.L. Cardwell, treasurer; Robert Glass, secretary; Robert Quarles, senior deacon; Clarence Carrier, junior deacon; Ed Carrier, tyler; E.A. Brown, marshal; Sam Granade, chaplain; Loftin Shell and Frank Britt, stewards.

June 21, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Edward Evers and James Hassell had represented Evergreen High School at Boys State at the University of Alabama.

June 21, 1952 – Alabama Gov. Gordon Persons named prominent Evergreen attorney Robert E.L. Key as Circuit Solicitor of the 21st Judicial Circuit, which included Conecuh, Escambia and Monroe counties. Key was to fill the unexpired term of Archie Elliott, who’d been named Circuit Judge to fill the unexpired term of the late Judge F.W. Hare. Key was the first circuit court official from Conecuh County in three decades, the last being the late Col. G.O. Dickey, who had served as Circuit Solicitor for a number of years.

June 21, 1953 – Strong winds ripped the screen into hundreds of pieces at the Moonlite Drive-In Theatre four miles outside of Evergreen, Ala. on the Brooklyn Highway. Owned by Bert Gorum, the winds caused damaged estimated at $1,200 and put the theatre out of business for a week.

June 21, 1953 - The Evergreen Greenies won a 2-1 victory over Baker, Fla. in a game played in Brooks Stadium on this Sunday afternoon that really gave fans their money’s worth. The local sluggers tied the game up 1-1 in the ninth inning and chased home the winning run in the last of the 11th. George Gaston and newcomer Jerry Kemp were heroes in the win. Gaston scattered eight hits, and it took a “fluke” homerun by Baker’s pitcher L. Rice to get a score off him. He shoved that third strike past 18 Baker batters, 16 of them falling in the regulation nine innings. Kemp, who moved to Evergreen only a week before, started his first game for the Greenies at third base and played errorless ball afield. In the 11th, he singled home Sam Brown for the winning marker. Gaston was never in much trouble except in the eighth when he allowed two more hits after Rice’s homer. He struck out Whitfield with two men on to end the threat. Sam Brown led the Evergreen hitters with two hits, one a triple, in five trips to the plate. He scored both runs for the locals. Jeff Moorer also got a triple and a single in four trips and Kemp had two singles in five trips. L. Rice had two hits in four trips, D. Rice and Holloway had two for five to lead the Baker batters.

June 21, 1964 – Three civil rights workers - Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner - were murdered in Neshoba County, Miss. by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their bodies were found on Aug. 4, 1964 in an earthen dam, and eight Ku Klux Klan members later went to federal prison on conspiracy charges.

June 21, 1966 – As part of Operation Rolling Thunder, U.S. planes struck North Vietnamese petroleum-storage facilities in a series of devastating raids.

June 21, 1967 – The annual Evergreen Rotary Club Fish and Wildlife Camp began at Tal Stuart’s Pone near Belleville, Ala. Sixty-one boys participated in the two-day camp, which wrapped up on the following day.

June 21, 1969 - Approximately 600 communist soldiers stormed a U.S. base near Tay Ninh, 50 miles northwest of Saigon and 12 miles from the Cambodian border.

June 21, 1976 – NFL defensive end Antonio Cochran was born in Montezuma, Ga. He went on to play for Georgia, the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals.

June 21, 1979 – The Monroe Journal reported that the first cotton bloom of the season reported to the newspaper that year was found in a cotton field belonging to Mr. Bibb Mims of Uriah.

June 21, 1979 – The Monroe Journal reported that members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department Auxiliary were volunteering their time to assist sheriff’s deputies with patrolling and other department activities. Members of the auxiliary included William Adams, Percy Nero, William Gibson, Billy Brantley, Thomas Countryman, Buddy Meade and Lester Peavy. The auxiliaries were at that time selling tickets to the Sheriff Department’s annual benefit gospel singing set for Sat., June 23.

June 21, 1982 – A jury in Washington, D.C. found John Hinckley Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

June 21, 1983 – Former Conecuh County Tax Assessor James L. Lee passed away in a Brewton, Ala. nursing home at the age of 96. He was a native and longtime resident of Conecuh County and held the office of tax assessor longer than any person had held an elected office in the history of Conecuh County.

June 21, 1983 – Edward Snowden was born Elizabeth City, N.C.

June 21, 1985 - Scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.
June 21, 1989 - The television program “Lover Come Hack to Me,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, was broadcast as part of the “Tales from the Crypt” series.

June 21, 2003 - The fifth Harry Potter book, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," was published by J.K. Rowling. shipped out more than one million copies on this day making the day the largest distribution day of a single item in e-commerce history. The book set sales records around the world with an estimated 5 million copies were sold on the first day.

June 21, 2008 - Former classmates and graduates of Evergreen High School’s Class of 1958 held their ‘Golden Class Reunion’ on this date. Those in attendance included Dennis Bailey, Laurice Adams Baggett, Nelda Lewis Brown, Sara Pate Bryan, Wayne Carrier, Annette Bingham Cates, Howard Claybrook, Susan Bozeman Cook, Robert Daniels, Glenda Frazier Eskew, James Foley, Richard Geck, Lawrence Gladwell, Jenny Feagin Golson, Billy Grace, Johnny Hagood, Bill Ivey, Ann Jones Johnson, Billy Wayne Johnson, Barbara Bewley Lee, Sam Mason, Janice Ryan McDowell, Bobby Melvin, Shirley Daughtrey Mixon, Jimmy Moorer, James Nelson, Frances Davis Nobles, Billie Jean Salter Parsons, Don Pate, Eddie Bell Kindig Persons, Joe Powell, Julian Presley, Erin Cook Saunders, John Sheffield, Palmer Smith, Ruby Seale Steele, Earlene Hammonds Stuckey, Mary Helen Downs Thomas, Ronald Thomas, Oleene Black Williams and Buddy Zukowski.

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