|Grave of Johnathan G. Shaw in Davenport, Ala.|
Aug. 1, 1498 – Italian explorer Christopher Columbus set foot on the American mainland for the first time at the Paria Peninsula in present-day Venezuela.
Aug. 1, 1770 – American soldier and explorer William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, was born in Ladysmith, Colony of Virginia.
Aug. 1, 1774 - Dissenting British minister Joseph Priestly, author of “Observations on Civil Liberty and the Nature and Justice of the War with America,” discovered oxygen while serving as a tutor to the sons of American sympathizer William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne, at Bowood House in Wiltshire, England.
Aug. 1, 1775 - A militia group under the general command of Major General James Wilkinson was ambushed by a group of Cherokees and Loyalists near present-day Seneca, S.C. The militia won the engagement.
Aug. 1, 1779 - Francis Scott Key was born. He was an American composer, attorney, poet and social worker. He wrote a poem called "Defence of Fort McHenry" that became the lyrics to the song "Star-Spangled Banner." President Woodrow Wilson declared it the national anthem in 1916, and Congress followed with a resolution in 1931, signed by President Hoover.
Aug. 1, 1790 - The first U.S. census was completed with a total population of 3,929,214 recorded. The areas included were the present states of Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia
Aug. 1, 1809 – William B. Travis, who would go on to become the commander of the ill-fated Alamo, was born in Edgefield District, S.C., near Old Fort Ninty-Six. (Some sources say he was born on Aug. 9, 1809.)
Aug. 1, 1818 – Maria Mitchell, the first acknowledged female astronomer, was born on the island of Nantucket, Mass.
Aug. 1, 1819 – “Moby Dick” author Herman Melville was born in New York City.
Aug. 1, 1823 – The federal land office officially opened in Sparta, Ala. Prior to that date, land grants in the vicinity of Conecuh County had to be filed in the land office at Cahaba. Johnathan G. Shaw of Massachusetts was the first receiver at Sparta, and Mark Travis, the father of Col. William B. Travis of the Alamo, bought the first land sold by the Sparta Federal Land Office. (Some sources say this office opened on this date in 1822.)
Aug. 1, 1831 – Edgar Allan Poe’s elder brother, Henry, who had been in ill health in part due to problems with alcoholism, died.
Aug. 1, 1834 – Slavery was abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 came into force.
Aug. 1, 1838 – Non-laborer slaves in most of the British Empire were emancipated.
Aug. 1, 1838 – Confederate soldier and physician Calvin Calhoun Nettles was born at Blacks Bend. He enlisted in the Monroe Guards on March 15, 1861 and enlisted in the 5th Alabama Regiment on July 28, 1861 at Bells Landing. He was listed as sick at Richmond General Hospital between Sept. 1, 1861 and Oct. 31, 1861. He was taken prisoner at South Mountain, Md. on Sept. 14, 1862, but later paroled and furloughed. He was listed as missing in action at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863 and was taken prisoner at Gettysburg on July 1, 1863. He was discharged on Feb. 14, 1865, became a doctor after the war and moved to Mobile. He died sometime after 1921.
Aug. 1, 1840 – Laborer slaves in most of the British Empire were emancipated.
Aug. 1, 1855 – The first ascent of Monte Rosa, the second highest summit in the Alps, was achieved.
Aug. 1, 1861 – The Confederate 14th Alabama Infantry Regiment was formed at Auburn and was composed of men from Chambers, Lowndes and Tallapoosa counties. The unit was commanded by Col. Thomas James Judge of Butler County.
Aug. 1, 1861 - After his occupation of Fort Fillmore in the New Mexico Territory, Confederate Capt. John Baylor claimed all of the territory in Arizona and New Mexico south of the 34th parallel for the Confederacy.
Aug. 1, 1861 – A skirmish was fought at Edina, Mo.
Aug. 1, 1861 - Tennessee voted to adopt the Constitution of the Confederate States of America.
Aug. 1, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Carrollton, Forsyth (or Ozark,) and Grand River, Mo.; and at Barnett’s Ford, near Harrison’s Landing, Va.
Aug. 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal advance began upon Little Rock, Ark., and a seven-day Federal cavalry expedition from Witssburg to Clarendon in Arkansas also began. A seven-day Federal expedition began from Warrenton Junction toward the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.
Aug. 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, a Federal expedition from Columbus to Hickman, Kentucky began.
Aug. 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes began at Smith’s Shoals, on the Cumberland River in Kentucky; at Taylor’s Farm on the Little Blue River in Missouri; at Round Ponds, near the Castor River, in Missouri; and in the vicinity of Brandy Station, Va.
Aug. 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, David Porter assumed command of Federal Naval forces on the Mississippi River.
Aug. 1, 1863 – During the Civil War, in the Charleston Harbor area of South Carolina, Federals began a build-up for an attack on Battery Wagoner and Fort Sumter. Federal forces began a prolonged bombardment of entrenchments around Charleston Harbor
Aug. 1, 1864 – During the Civil War, Union General Ulysses S. Grant appointed General Philip Sheridan commander of the Army of the Shenandoah. Within a few months, Sheridan drove a Confederate force from the Shenandoah Valley and destroyed nearly all possible sources of Rebel supplies, helping to seal the fate of the Confederacy.
Aug. 1, 1864 – During the Civil War, five days of a Federal operation began in Eastern Arkansas, and a three-day Federal reconnaissance began on the Independence Road to Gunter’s Mills, Mo., near Pleasant Hill, Mo. A 29-day Federal operation began between La Grange, Tennessee and Oxford in Mississippi; and an 11-day Federal operation began between Strawberry Plains and Greeneville in Tennessee.
Aug. 1, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Lamb’s Plantation, near Helena, Ark.; with Indians on the Smoky Hill Fork in Kansas; with Confederates at Baxter Springs, Kansas; at Bardstown, Ky.; at Cumberland and Flintstone Creek in Maryland; at Diamond Grove Prairie, Mo.; at Rolla, Mo.; at Athens, Tenn.; and at Deep Bottom, Va.
Aug. 1, 1864 – During the Civil War, Sherman’s guns shelled Atlanta, Ga.
Aug. 1, 1876 - Colorado became the 38th state to join the United States.
Aug. 1, 1883 – Ina Marie Porter Henry, the daughter of Judge Benjamin F. Porter, began working as an associate editor of The Greenville Advocate.
Aug. 1, 1887 - Four cases were tried before the Monroe County Court which was in session on this Monday.
Aug. 1, 1887 - M.B. Ritchie of River Ridge visited The Monroe Journal office on this Monday. He reported crops pretty good, but said the river had risen about seven feet and if the rains continued, fears were entertained of an overflow.
Aug. 1, 1895 – The Monroe Journal reported that Hope Moore had about completed the construction of his warehouse and cotton sheds at Claiborne, which were destroyed by fire.
Aug. 1, 1896 – A meeting of the patrons of the Monroeville Academy was scheduled to be held on this Saturday at 5 p.m. “for the purpose of organizing a stock company.” “All who have invested in the new building must be present in order to put in their claims for shares. Other important business to be transacted,” according to The Monroe Journal.
Aug. 1, 1896 - Prof. J.N. Ivey attended the meeting of the Monroe County Board of Education on this Saturday.
Aug. 1, 1896 – Dr. T.B. Robbins, age 24, died at his home near Pineville of typhus fever. He’d returned home from Furman, Ala. on July 12 and took “to his bed that day, and after three weeks of terrible sickness, during which he was prayerfully and tenderly nursed by loving friends and relatives, grim Death touched his fevered brow with its icy wings and our son, brother and friend was no more,” according to The Monroe Journal. Born on Sept. 7, 1871, he was buried in the Pineville Baptist Cemetery in Monroe County.
Aug. 1, 1896 - Allan McConico returned home on this Saturday after spending several days with relatives and friends in Monroe.
Aug. 1, 1984 – The Pea River Power Company Hydroelectric Facility, south of Elba in Coffee County, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Aug. 1, 1907 – Sri Lankan-English mountaineer and explorer Eric Shipton was born in Ceylon.
Aug. 1, 1908 – Prof. W.W. Hall resigned from his position as President of the Southwest Alabama Agricultural School to accept the position of Vice President of Cokers College for Women of South Carolina.
Aug. 1, 1914 – World War I erupted as, four days after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, Germany and Russia declared war against each other, France ordered a general mobilization, and the first German army units crossed into Luxembourg in preparation for the German invasion of France. During the next three days, Russia, France, Belgium, and Great Britain all lined up against Austria-Hungary and Germany, and the German army invaded Belgium. The "Great War" that ensued was one of unprecedented destruction and loss of life, resulting in the deaths of some 20 million soldiers and civilians.
Aug. 1, 1914 – Francis “Frank” Howard Farrar, who erected the first dwelling and store at Tunnel Springs, passed away at the age of 57 in Pensacola. At one time, he owned a general store in Axle, which also served as a social gathering place during the late 1800's. He married Mary Ranaldson McWilliams, daughter of Rev. John McWilliams, a Baptist minister who migrated from Orangeburg, S.C. Farrar opened a second store in 1900 with his son, William Duke Farrar, in Tunnel Springs, and eventually relocated to Pensacola, Fla., where he owned a general mercantile store with son Thomas Mortan Farrar. He died instantly of a massive coronary while in his Pensacola store. Born on March 4, 1857 at Burnt Corn, he moved to Pensacola in 1907, where he was in the dry goods business up to the time of his death. A prominent Freemason, he was buried in the McWilliams-Davison Cemetery at Axle in Monroe County.
Aug. 1, 1916 – This Tuesday marked an event in the history of Monroeville (Ala.) Methodism that would “be cherished as momentous by the local congregation,” according to The Monroe Journal. “Bright and early, the first stroke was delivered signalizing the demolition of the old landmark occupying the lot recently acquired by the congregation for the erection of a handsome modern church building, and as we write, the work of clearing the ground so to be dedicated is well underway. The lot is situated on the southeast corner of the public square.”
Aug. 1, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Clifford Cunningham of Atmore, Ala. “died from wounds.”
Aug. 1, 1918 - Alabama author Amelie Rives's play “Allegiance” opened on Broadway.
Aug. 1, 1924 – In Lovecraftian fiction, Noah “Wizard” Whateley of Dunwich passed away from natural causes. He first appeared in “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft.
Aug. 1, 1927 - J.E. Cobb was in Monroeville from Midway on this Monday. He reported work on the test well of the Jaggers Oil Co. in Old Texas neighborhood progressing steadily. At last account, a depth of 1,500 feet had been reached. Representatives of the state geological department made a visit to the scene of operations recently to make study of the structure.
Aug. 1, 1929 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Evergreen’s streets had received markers. Every street in town had been named and somewhere at a corner or intersection was a marker which bears its name. Markers were required in order to secure the establishment of city delivery of mails.
Aug. 1, 1936 - Adolf Hitler presided over the Olympic games as they opened in Berlin.
Aug. 1, 1938 – The Evergreen Greenies baseball team beat the Dothan Browns, 7-6, in Evergreen, Ala.
Aug. 1, 1938 – Former Cleveland Indians pitcher Paul Kardow took over the Evergreen Greenies baseball franchise.
Aug. 1, 1944 – During World War II, the Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation broke out in Warsaw, Poland. The revolt continued until October 2 when Polish forces surrendered.
Aug. 1, 1945 - Mell Ott hit his 500th career home run.
Aug. 1, 1946 – Leaders of the Russian Liberation Army, a force of Russian prisoners of war that collaborated with Nazi Germany, were executed in Moscow for treason.
Aug. 1, 1947 – Starting at 1 p.m., WEBJ 1240 in Brewton began broadcasting for the first time and at that time this station was the only broadcasting station between Montgomery and Mobile.
Aug. 1, 1948 - The deft daredevil Ivy Baldwin, age 82, successfully crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope for the 88th time.
Aug. 1, 1949 – Poet James Dennis “Jim” Carroll was born in Manhattan, N.Y. He is best remembered for his 1978 book, “The Basketball Diaries.”
Aug. 1, 1953 – Conecuh County Sheriff John H. Brock arrested Willie D. Merrill on murder charges in connection with the shotgun slaying of his wife around 8 p.m. at their home in Brownville.
Aug. 1, 1953 – “Shane,” considered by many critics to be the greatest western movie of all-time, was released by Paramount Pictures. The movie is based on the 1949 novel by Jack Schaefer.
Aug. 1, 1959 - Alvin Riley, a farmer from Pine Orchard, came into the office of The Courant on this Saturday morning with the first open cotton boll of the 1959 season. The acreage where the discovery was made was located at the north end of the county, near the Dr. W.A. Stacey plantation. Riley’s boll of cotton is on display in the front window of The Courant.
Aug 1, 1959 - At six o’clock on this Saturday evening a fire, started by lightning going down a wire, caused damage to a house owned by Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Mason on Highway 31 North, seven miles from Evergreen in the King community. The house was one of the older houses of Conecuh County, about 100 years old, built by the Aaron family. The house had heart pine floors and, when ignited, burned quickly.
Aug. 1, 1964 - Mary Aline Culpepper of Monroeville was selected as one of 26 finalists for Miss Alabama from a slate of 150 contestants.
Aug. 1, 1964 - The North Vietnamese government accused South Vietnam and the United States of having authorized attacks on Hon Me and Hon Ngu, two of their islands in the Tonkin Gulf.
Aug. 1, 1966 - Charles Whitman shot 46 people, killing 16 and wounding 31, from the observation platform atop a 300-foot tower at the University of Texas at Austin before being killed by police.
Aug. 1, 1968 – The Monroe Journal reported that “courage and determination under fire” that “contributed significantly to his unit’s repelling of a Viet Cong attack” had brought Army Sp-4 Charles Morrissette of Monroeville the Army Commendation Medal with a “V” for valor. The medal was presented Dec. 26, 1967 in recognition of Sp-4 Morrissette’s action during a search and destroy operation near Chon Thani, South Vietnam Oct. 17, 1967. Sp-4 Morrissette, son of Mr. and Mrs. Sammy Lee Morrissette of Monroeville, was a private first class in Co. A, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry when the award presentation was made.
Aug. 1, 1969 - The U.S. command in Saigon announced that 27 American aircraft were lost in the previous week, bringing the total losses of aircraft in the conflict to date to 5,690.
Aug. 1, 1970 – The Pinckney D. Bowles Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy began delivering pre-purchased copies of a “memory book” that featured articles about Conecuh County history, including stories handed down by veterans of the Civil War. The books sold for $1.50 each, and Mrs. Moreno (Mamilu) White was in charge of the book sales.
Aug. 1, 1971 - A severe flood of the Red River in North Vietnam killed an estimated 100,000 people on this day. This remarkable flood was one of the century’s most serious weather events, but because the Vietnam War was going on at the time, relatively few details about the disaster are available.
Aug. 1, 1972 - Joe Namath signed a two-year contract worth $500,000 with the New York Jets.
Aug. 1, 1974 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Sparta Academy’s huge gymnasium-auditorium was being built at a rapid rate. Headmaster Richard Brown stated that the new facility would allow the school to provide a complete physical education program for all students and also permit school assemblies. It would also be home for the Sparta Warriors basketball team which had played at Fort Dave Lewis National Guard Armory the past two seasons.
Aug. 1, 1974 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the walls were going up at the Evergreen Baptist Church’s gym and recreational building. The building was designed to provide recreation for the church family, especially youth.
Aug. 1, 1974 - Miss Rita Croley, 17, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Haywood Croley of Excel, was named Monroe County Farm Bureau Queen during the annual meeting of the Monroe County Farm Bureau Federation at the county coliseum on this Thursday night.
Aug. 1, 1976 – Sparta Academy head football coach Mike Bledsoe was scheduled to hold a preseason meeting of the football team on this Sunday at 5 p.m. in the school gymnatorium.
Aug. 1, 1976 - The Seattle Seahawks played their first (preseason) game. The Seahawks lost, 27-20, to San Francisco.
Aug. 1, 1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds ended his streak of hitting in 44 consecutive games.
Aug. 1, 1983 - The Lyeffion High School Yellow Jackets varsity football team was scheduled to begin fall practice on this Monday at 7 p.m. at the stadium.
Aug. 1, 1983 - The coaches of four of the seven area high schools took their first looks on this Monday at the personnel they’d be attempting to groom into tough competitors before the first football games that month. Monroe County, Excel and Frisco City high schools and Monroe Academy opened practice on this Monday, and all four coaches reported good turnouts. Repton High School was scheduled to start practice on Aug. 3; J.U. Blacksher High School on Aug. 8; and J.F. Shields High School on Aug. 9.
Aug. 1, 1984 – During a municipal run-off election in Evergreen, Ala., city councilman Aubrey D. Padgett, the city’s mayor pro tem, was re-elected to his third term on the council, beating challenger Jimmy Johnson, 109-69. T.L. Sims defeated incumbent John E. Smith for the District Three council seat. In District 5, John “Fat” Claiborne beat Patricia L. Daley, 169-140.
Aug. 1, 1984 – Commercial peat-cutters discovered the preserved bog body of a man, called Lindow Man, at Lindow Moss, Cheshire, northwest England.
Aug. 1, 1985 - A man drowned at a lifeguard pool party in New Orleans, celebrating their first drown-free season.
Aug. 1, 1986 - Bert Blyleven of the Minnesota Twins became only the 10th pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters in his career.
Aug. 1, 1993 - Reggie Jackson was admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Aug. 1, 1995 – “Circumstantial Evidence” by Pete Earley was released for the first time.
Aug. 1, 2001 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore had a Ten Commandments monument installed in the judiciary building, leading to a lawsuit to have it removed and his own removal from office.
Aug. 1, 2002 – The Monroe Journal reported that U.S. Army Sgt. Troy D. Jenkins, the son of Connie Gibson of Repton, had returned home after serving six months in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Jenkins, who was with the 101st Airborne Division, serving in the 187th Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky., was part of a “mop up” operation taking place outside Kandahar, removing weapons, books, diaries and other items left behind by al-Qaeda.
Aug. 1, 2005 - It was announced that Raphael Palmeiro would be suspended for 10 days after testing positive for steroid use. Palmeiro stood by his statements to the U.S. Congress on March 17, 2005, that he had never taken steroids.
Aug. 1, 2005 – Sparta Academy opened fall football practice under head coach Don Hand. Standout players on Sparta’s team that year included Chase Brown, Will Ivey and Tony Raines.
Aug. 1, 2007 - Alabama author and illustrator Dorothea J. Snow died on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Aug. 1, 2008 – Major League Baseball’s Will Clark was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.
Aug. 1, 2008 – Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.
Aug. 1, 2014 – Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium. Bridges took the mound with his glove on his head and went into a complete windup. Then, channeling his famous role as “The Dude” in “The Big Lebowski,” he crept forward and bowled a “strike” to Brian Wilson. He fired a more conventional toss after that.