July 15, 1741 – Aleksei Chirikov sighted land in Southeast Alaska. He sent men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
July 15, 1789 - Only one day after the fall of the Bastille marked the beginning of a new revolutionary regime in France, the French aristocrat and hero of the American War for Independence, Marie-Joseph Paul Roch Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, became the colonel-general of the National Guard of Paris by acclamation. He would visit Claiborne, Ala. in April 1825.
July 15, 1796 – Thomas Bulfinch was born in Newton, Mass. He is best remembered for his 1881 book, “Bulfinch’s Mythology.”
July 15, 1799 – Reuben Chapman, the 13th Governor of Alabama, was born in Bowling Green, Va. A lawyer and politician, he represented Alabama in the U.S. House from 1835 to 1847 and served as Alabama’s governor from 1847 to 1849. He died in Huntsville, Ala. in 1882.
July 15, 1799 - The Rosetta Stone was found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign.
July 15, 1806 – United States Army Lieutenant Zebulon Pike began an expedition from Fort Bellefontaine near St. Louis, Mo. to explore the west. Pike was instructed to seek out headwaters of the Arkansas and Red rivers and to investigate Spanish settlements in New Mexico. Pike was later implicated in a plot with former Vice President Aaron Burr to seize territory in the Southwest for mysterious ends, but, after an investigation, Secretary of State James Madison fully exonerated him.
July 15, 1822 – William R. King was born in South Carolina. He served in the Mexican-American War and died in Mexico on May 3, 1848. His remains were sent home, and he was buried in the Bellville Baptist Church Cemetery in Belleville, Ala.
July 15, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette attended a reception at the Madison House in then Bottle Hill now Madison, N.J. on his way to Springfield.
July 15, 1833 – Methodist minister Joseph Tarpley Peacock, the father of Lewis Lavon Peacock, married Lewis Fountain to Elizabeth Pickman in Wilkinson County, Ga. This was one of two documented wedding ceremonies he performed there.
July 15, 1834 – The Spanish Inquisition was officially disbanded after nearly 356 years.
July 15, 1838 – Ralph Waldo Emerson delivered the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacted with outrage. It was 30 years before he was invited back to speak at Harvard.
July 15, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Mexico, Wentzville (or Millsville) in Missouri; near Vienna, Va.; at Bowman’s Place, on the Cheat River in West Virginia, and another near Bunker Hill, W.Va.
July 15, 1861 – During the Civil War, Confederate forces evacuated Harper’s Ferry.
July 15, 1862 - The CSS Arkansas, the most effective ironclad on the Mississippi River, battled with Union ships under the command of Admiral David Farragut at the mouth of the Yazoo River, severely damaging three ships and sustaining heavy damage herself.
July 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, Confederate Major General David Emanuel Twiggs died of old age near Augusta, Ga. Fort Massachusetts, on Ship Island, Mississippi, was originally named Fort Twiggs in honor of this man.
July 15, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Fayetteville, Ark.; at Apache Pass in the New Mexico Territory, with Apache Indians; at Wallace Crossroads, Tenn.; and near Middleton and Orange Courthouse in Virginia.
July 15, 1863 - Confederate raider Bill Anderson and his Bushwhackers attacked Huntsville, Mo., where they stole $45,000 from the local bank.
July 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, Confederates began their occupation of Hickman, Ky.
July 15, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Jackson, Miss.; in Tennessee at Pulaski, Jackson and on Forked Deer Creek; and at Halltown and Shepherdstown in West Virginia.
July 15, 1864 - Union cavalry, under the command of Maj. Gen. Lovell Harrison Rousseau, reached Talladega, Ala. and destroyed the depot, railroad cars full of provisions, and two gun factories. Rousseau also pardoned 143 wounded Confederates at the local hospital. Rousseau's Raid was a series of attacks by Union forces in Alabama, between July 10 and July 22 in 1864, on sites important to the Confederate war effort. The raid began in Decatur and concluded near Columbus, Georgia. The raid achieved its aim of destroying military supplies and disrupting the Montgomery & West Point Railroad around Notasulga, Loachapoka, Auburn and Opelika. The raid included the Battle of Ten Islands Ford on July 14, and the Battle of Chehaw Station on July 18.
July 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation out from Jacksonville, Fla. began.
July 15, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Trout Creek, Fla.; along Old Town Creek in Mississippi; at Huntsville and another at Lindley, Mo.; and at Accotink and Hillsborough in Virginia.
July 15, 1867 – French physician and polar explorer Jean-Baptiste Charcot was born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
July 15, 1870 - During Reconstruction, Georgia became the last of the former Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union.
July 15, 1876 - George Washington Bradley of St. Louis pitched the first no-hitter in baseball history in a 2-0 win over Hartford.
July 15, 1885 - In New York, the Niagara Reservation State Park opened.
July 15, 1896 – During an electrical storm on this Wednesday evening, Dr. J.M. Wiggins had a narrow escape from death by lightning. Wiggins was engaged behind his prescription counter when lightning struck a tree at the rear of his store, the bolt following down the trunk of the tree and expending its force on the wall of the building, tearing off several boards only a few feet from Wiggins and playing havoc among the bottles and phials of drugs on the shelves. The shock knocked Wiggins senseless and threw him to the floor where he lay helpless for a few moments until his brother ran to his assistance. He soon recovered, however, having sustained no more serious injuries than a violent shaking up and the nervous reaction to so frightful an experience. During the same evening and perhaps within a few minutes of the incident above, lightning struck one of the large oaks in the yard of Judge Stallworth and violently shocked Mrs. Stallworth, who was an invalid. Their many friends were profoundly grateful that nothing more serious occurred.
July 15, 1904 - Young six-year-old Johan Jonsen, the future “Mad Trapper of Rat River,” left Norway with his family and headed for America.
July 15, 1905 – A “terrible affray” took place in Beatrice, Ala. after John Lyon “badly cut” Geoffney Talley with a knife in a dispute over a watermelon.
July 15, 1905 – F. Talbert and Russell Broughton of Monroeville and J.M. Dees of Peterman pulled the first open boils of cotton in Monroe County, Ala.
July 15, 1907 - The Board of Pension Examiners for Monroe County was scheduled to meet in Monroeville on this Monday and remain in session 10 days for the purpose of examining applicants for Confederate pensions.
July 15, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that a “gold ring set with two opals surrounded by chipped diamonds” had been lost in the “grove in front of Judge McCorvey’s residence.”
July 15, 1917 - The Camden Methodist Church was scheduled to be dedicated on this third Sunday in July. Bishop McCoy was expected to preach the dedication sermon.
July 15, 1918 – The Second Battle of the Marne began with the final German offensive of World War I near the Marne River in the Champagne region of France. Dubbed the Second Battle of the Marne, the conflict ended several days later in a major victory for the Allies.
July 15, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. DeWitt Fore, 20, of Monroeville was killed in action. Born in Monroeville on Sept. 9, 1897, Fore, an unmarried farmer, was serving in Co. I, 167th Infantry, 42nd Division, Allied Expeditionary Force, at the time of his death. Sources say that Fore, along with scores of other Americans, was killed by enemy shellfire during the battle of Chateau-Thierry in France on the morning of July 15, 1918. He is buried in the Ridge Cemetery near Peterman in Monroe County, Ala.
July 15, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Arthur Acree of Andalusia, Army Pvt. Sidney Blair of Andalusia, Army Pvt. John R. Lavender of Grove Hill, Army Pvt. Geo. Roberson of Andalusia, Army Pvt. Nusom Roberson of Andalusia, Army Pvt. Rufus P. Hendricks of Greenville and Army Pvt. Joe O. Johnson of Atmore were killed in action. Army PFC Ary A. Duke of Andalusia died from wounds on this day, and Army Pvt. Geo Jones of Cohassett “died of other causes.”
July 15, 1919 – Irish novelist Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin. Her first novel, 1954’s “Under the Net,” was named one of Modern Library’s 100 Best English-language Novels of the 20th Century.
July 15, 1924 – Future U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton Jr. was born in Mobile, Ala. to a family that traced its heritage back to the French Catholic founders of Mobile. In 1964, he was assigned, as a U.S. Navy pilot, to the USS Independence (CVA-62), which was deployed off the coast of North Vietnam. In July 1965, Denton led a bombing mission over North Vietnam and was shot down and captured. He spent 48 of his 91 months of imprisonment in solitary confinement, one of the longest periods of any American POW. His book, “When Hell Was in Session,” which recounted his POW experiences, was made into an NBC television movie in 1979 starring Hal Holbrook. Denton died on March 28, 2014 at the age of 89.
July 15, 1925 – Clinton Harper, son of Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Harper of Burnt Corn, drowned while serving in the U.S. Navy. He was buried in the Ramah Church cemetery.
July 15, 1927 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Oberlin College junior Robert Martin Olmstead of Toledo visited Innsmouth. Following a harrowing experience with the townsfolk, he fled the town and convinced the government to begin an investigation, which led to a government raid of the town. He first appeared in 1936’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” by H.P. Lovecraft.
July 15, 1930 – French philosopher Jacques Derrida, the founder of “deconstruction,” was born in El Biar, Algeria.
July 15, 1931 – Adventure novelist Clive Cussler was born in Aurora, Ill.
July 15, 1934 – Evergreen’s baseball team, led by pitcher Woody Mott, beat Greenville, 6-4, on this Sunday afternoon in Greenville, Ala. Third baseman Barney Ferguson led Evergreen at the plate, going 3-for-3 on the day. Other Evergreen players included Al Hansen, Archie Barfield and Melton. Evergreen’s manager Tom Melton and Sam Jones were ejected from the game for arguing with the umpire.
July 15, 1935 – Evergreen, Ala. farmer M.C. Johnston brought the first open cotton boll of the season to The Evergreen Courant office.
July 15, 1939 – Johnson Bakery in Evergreen, Ala. was scheduled to open for business for the first time on this Saturday with a “full line of bakery delicacies.” The news business was located in the same building as the former Evergreen Bakery.
July 15, 1948 – The Monroe Journal reported that David McCoy, young Claiborne man, was being held in the Monroe County Jail, charged with assault with a weapon in the knifing of another Claiborne man, Claude Gaillard, on Monday morning (July 12), according to Deputy Sheriff J.N. Kennedy. Kennedy said that Gaillard was severely wounded and was in a Repton hospital. Kennedy reported that McCoy told him an argument between him and Gaillard started after he had received word that Gaillard had been hunting for him all day Sun., July 11. McCoy said when he asked Gaillard why he had been hunting him, words were exchanged and Gaillard attempted to hit him with a flashlight, the officer concluded.
July 15, 1948 – Monroeville’s baseball team was scheduled to play a double header in Brewton on this Thursday with the first game slated to begin at 7 p.m.
July 15, 1949 – The Civil Aeronautics Board released its accident investigation report regarding the Bermuda Triangle disappearance of NC16002. This San Juan to Miami flight disappeared without a trace on Dec. 28, 1948.
July 15, 1952 – NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Johnny Lee “John” Stallworth was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala. He would play 14 seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
July 15, 1953 - Evergreen and Conecuh County were saddened on this Wednesday by the death of Dr. John Waller Hagood, which occurred at his home on Bruner Avenue, at 7 a.m. Hagood was born at Braggs, Ala. in Lowndes County on March 23, 1875, son of Thomas Smallwood Hagood and Cynthia Demoval Hagood. He received his medical education at the University of Alabama, when it was located in Mobile, Ala. He practiced medicine in Lowndes County until he came to Evergreen in 1904. Prior to coming to Evergreen, he took graduate work at the University of Chicago. In 1948, he was awarded a Certificate of Distinction for 50 years in the practice of medicine. He served for five years as Worshipful Master of the Masonic Lodge. He was buried in Magnolia Cemetery in Evergreen.
July 15, 1954 - After beginning the 1954 season as a Philadelphia Phillies scout, Lamar County, Ala. native Terry Moore replaced Steve O'Neill as the club's manager. He managed the Phillies for exactly half a season — 77 games — and the team won 35 of those games (for a winning percentage of .455).
July 15, 1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) was nominated by the Republican Party to run for president.
July 15, 1966 – During the Vietnam War, the United States and South Vietnam began Operation Hastings to push the North Vietnamese out of the Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone.
July 15, 1971 - In a surprise announcement, President Richard Nixon said that he would visit Beijing, China, before May 1972.
July 15, 1973 – Dr. Sam Granade was to preach his final sermon as pastor of Evergreen Baptist Church, where he’d been pastor for the previous 25 years before submitting his resignation on July 1.
July 15, 1973 - Nolan Ryan of the California Angels became the first pitcher in two decades to win two no-hitters in a season.
July 15, 1974 - Live on a Florida TV broadcast, newswoman Christine Chubbock announced: "And now, in keeping with Channel 40's policy of always bringing you the latest in blood and guts, and in living color, you're going to see another first -- attempted suicide." She pulled out a revolver and shot herself in the head, dying 14 hours later at a hospital.
July 15, 1976 – Pro boxer Steve Cunningham was born in Philadelphia, Pa.
July 15, 1976 – Rapper and actor Jim Jones, who appeared in HBO’s “The Wire,” was born in the Bronx, N.Y.
July 15, 1976 – Actress Diane Kruger was born in Algermissen, West Germany. She is best known for her appearances in “Troy,” “National Treasure” and “Inglorious Basterds.”
July 15, 1985 – Major League Baseball players voted to strike on August 6 if no contract was reached with baseball owners. The strike turned out to be just a one-day interruption.
July 15, 1992 - Hillcrest High School was scheduled to host a basketball camp from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The camp was to be conducted by Terry Sellers, coach of Alabama Southern College in Monroeville.
July 15, 1997 – Two teenage brothers from Neeses, S.C. heard the family’s dogs howling and went to investigate. That was when they spotted “a large, brown-yellow Bigfoot, eight feet tall… that smelled pretty bad.” Fourteen-year-old Jackie Hutto told the Neeses Times and Democrat that he saw the monster lift the chain-link dog kennel out of the ground in which it was embedded, then turn and run into the woods.
July 15, 1999 – The Seattle Mariners moved from the Kingdome to Safeco Field and played their inaugural game at Safeco Field.
July 15, 2002 – John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban,” accepted a plea-bargain deal in which he pleaded guilty to one count of supplying services to the Taliban and carrying weapons. Under the terms of the deal, Walker Lindh agreed to serve 20 years in prison and cooperate with the American government in their investigation into the terrorist group al Qaeda. In return, all other charges against him were dropped, including one count of conspiring to kill U.S. nationals.
July 15, 2002 – The Evergreen Courant reported that L.E. “Jim” Peace III, administrator of Evergreen Medical Center, had recently been named to serve on the board of the Alabama Hospital Association at the association’s annual meeting in Orange Beach. Peace had been active in the association since returning to the state several years before. At that time, he was serving on the board of the Alabama Diversified Health Services, Inc., a subsidiary of the hospital association, and previously held the position of the Southwest Alabama Hospital Association Council.
July 15, 2002 – The Evergreen Courant reported that L.J. Gomillion of Owassa grew a 60-pound pumpkin in his 25-foot garden in his back yard. Unfortunately, this variety of pumpkin was not the eating kind, but the kind used for decoration.
July 15, 2002 – The Evergreen Courant reported that work had begun on the City of Evergreen’s waterline improvement grant to replace some of the city’s older water lines in the coming months. The new lines were being paid for with the help of a Community Development Block Grant. One of the benefactors of the new line was to be the new elementary school being built across from Swift Supply.
July 15, 2003 - Former Dallas Cowboys General Manager Tex Schramm died at the age of 83. In 1963, he drafted Lee Roy Jordan of Excel to play linebacker behind defensive tackle Bob Lilly, who anchored Dallas’ feared “Doomsday Defense” from 1961 to 1974.
July 15, 2006 – Twitter was launched on this day.
July 15, 2006 – Evergreen’s professional Minor League football team, the Jaguars, was scheduled to open their regular season against the Bayou Vipors at 7:30 p.m. at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen, Ala. The Jaguars, under head coach Victor Calhoun, was part of the North American Football League.
July 15, 2009 - "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" was released in theaters in the U.S. It was the sixth movie in the series.
July 15, 2011 - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" was released in theaters in the U.S. and U.K. It was the final film in the Harry Potter series.