Jan. 31, 1902 - Tallulah Bankhead, star of stage, screen, and radio in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, was born in Huntsville, Ala. The daughter of U.S. Congressman William B. Bankhead, Tallulah was most famous for her flamboyant lifestyle, throaty voice, and stage role in “The Little Foxes” (1939) and her part in the film “Lifeboat” (1943). (There is some question of the exact birthdate; this is the most generally accepted.)
Jan. 31, 1910 - J.E. Miller of Herbert on this Monday presented the editor of The Evergreen Courant with two of the largest turnips he had ever seen. The weight of the two was about 14 pounds.
Jan. 31, 1910 – According to The Monroe Journal, an attempt was made to burglarize the store of Roberson & Knight at Repton on this Monday night. A son of Mr. Roberson, who was sleeping in the store, was awakened by a suspicious noise at the front door. Locating as best he could the would-be burglar, he fired through the door, whereupon the burglars retreated. On examination, it was found that an attempt had been made to cut out the fastening with a brace and bit, and blood stains on the sidewalk indicated that the shot had been well directed, but no further clue could be found. On Wed., Feb. 2, however, a young white man severely wounded in the ankle and giving his name as Cammack made his appearance at the place of Mr. J.W. Brown at Conoly and surrendered himself to Mr. Brown who brought him to Monroeville for medical attention. After Dr. Coxwell dressed the wound the man was turned over to the sheriff and was in custody as of Feb. 3, 1910.
Jan. 31, 1912 – The home of J.S. Daw near Hampden Ridge, Ala. was destroyed by fire.
Jan. 31, 1913 – Pro Football Hall of Fame split end, safety and kicker Don Hutson was born in Pine Bluff, Ark. Hutson was an All-American at Alabama and played his entire pro career for the Green Bay Packers.
Jan. 31, 1914 – This day, a Saturday, was the deadline to pay poll taxes in Conecuh County, Ala. because Feb. 1 fell on a Sunday.
Jan. 31, 1914 - Alabama author and illustrator Dorothy Warren Fox was born in Birmingham, Ala.
Jan. 31, 1916 – According to The Conecuh Record, “Chief Jones created a ripple of excitement” in Evergreen, Ala. on this Monday “by shooting a dog on the streets.”
Jan. 31, 1917 - Dr. D.R. Nettles of Peterman visited Monroeville on this day.
Jan. 31, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Lt. Emmet Kilpatrick of Oglethorpe, Ga. and Mr. Rufus Hall Kilpatrick of Mt. Olivet, Miss. were called to Camden during the previous week on account of the death of their sister, Miss Ella Mae.
Jan. 31, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Sheriff McDowell had received a cablegram from his brother, Lt. Sam McDowell, briefly stating his safe arrival “over there.”
Jan. 31, 1918 – The Wilcox Progressive Era reported that Mr. C.B. Bryant of Canton Bend had been appointed member of the Equalization Board by Gov. Henderson to succeed Mr. W.T. Alford, who resigned. Bryant was a substantial planter in Wilcox County and was “in every way qualified to serve in this important position,” the newspaper said.
Jan. 31, 1938 - Alabama author Faye Gibbons was born in Carter's Quarter, Ga.
Jan. 31, 1939 – The GA-ANA Theatre was first opened in Georgiana, Ala. by Fred McClendon.
Jan. 31, 1957 - A.C. Lee and Miss Alice Lee visited on this Thursday afternoon in Pensacola, Fla. with Mr. Lee’s brother, H.A. Lee.
Jan. 31, 1960 - Coach Jack Akins’ J.U. Blacksher High School Bulldogs of Uriah added to their basketball trophy case on this Saturday night by emerging champions in the Pine Belt Conference tournament at Leroy High School in Leroy. Blacksher, recent winners of the Monroe County tournament championship, won the Pine Belt finals, 56-38, over a fellow Monroe foe, the Beatrice High School Eagles of Beatrice. All-tournament players from Monroe County included Jerry Thomas, Curtis Harris and Bill Solomon, all of Blacksher; Phil Brogden and Vance McCrory of Frisco City High School; Donald Brown of Beatrice; and Doug Stacey of Excel High School.
Jan. 31, 1963 – Lyeffion High School junior Peggy Tanner was crowned Miss Lyeffion 1963 during a program held on this Thursday night in the school auditorium. Nancy Ikner, an eighth-grader, was named Junior Miss Lyeffion.
Jan. 31, 1963 - Conecuh County businessman Frank Preston Sharpe was killed when his pickup crashed into a truck early on this Thursday night near Evergreen, Ala. Sharpe, 56, was killed instantly when the pickup he was driving crashed into a truck about 2.4 miles north of Evergreen on Highway 83 at 7:15 p.m. He was driving toward Evergreen after completing his day’s route selling fish. Sharpe was the owner of a seafood market in Evergreen and resided on a McKenzie Route. He was well and favorably known in the Evergreen area. Born on Dec. 4, 1906, he was buried in the Fairmount Cemetery in Red Level, Covington County, Ala.
Jan. 31, 1967 – The Conecuh County CowBelles and Cattlemen held their annual banquet meeting at the Evergreen High School lunch room. The following CowBelle officers were elected for 1967: Katie Sue Burt, President; Myrtle Robison, vice president; Louise Ptomey, treasurer; Marjorie Stacey, secretary.
Jan. 31, 1977 – Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported a low of 16 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
Jan. 31, 1979 – The Butler Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church in Greenville was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Jan. 31, 1985 - The Monroe County Cattlemen’s Association held its annual banquet on this Thursday evening at the Monroeville Community House. Newly-elected officers were secretary William Carter of Monroeville, vice president Jimmy Dale Dawson of Excel and president Bill Harper of Monroeville. State director O’Neil Smith of Uriah also attended the banquet. County Extension agent Mike Gamble awarded a plaque for Cattleman of the Year to Randolph Raines of Pine Orchard.
Jan. 31, 1985 - Monroe County High School’s girls basketball team won the 5A Area 2 tournament by beating Escambia County High School, 61-36, on this Thursday. Top players on MCHS’s girls team that season included Rosa Ball, Becky Hairelson, Barbara Lane, Samantha Malone, Carla McKenzie, Alicia Morrissette, Carolyn Richardson, Patricia Richardson, Brenda Stallworth and Jennifer Stallworth. Diana Harris Lyons was MCHS’s girls coach.
Jan. 31, 1986 - The movie “Stripper,” screenplay by Alabama author Charles Gaines, was released.
Jan. 31, 1993 - Weather observer Harry Ellis recorded 6.14 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala. during the month of January 1993.
Jan. 31, 1999 – Former Major League first baseman Norm Zauchin passed away in Birmingham, Ala. at the age of 69. He started his professional career in 1950 with the Double-A Birmingham Barons, where he set a Rickwood Field record with 35 home runs. He went on to play for the Boston Red Sox and the Washington Senators.
Jan. 31, 2000 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported a total of 4.42 inches of rain during the month of January 2000.
Jan. 31, 2005 – Hillcrest High School retired the basketball jersey of player Chris “C.J.” Riley, who died over the Christmas holidays.
Jan. 31, 2010 - Weather observer Harry Ellis reported a low of 28 degrees on this day in Evergreen. He also reported 10.49 inches of total rainfall for the month of January 2010.
Jan. 31, 2013 – Major League Baseball first baseman Fred Whitfield, a native of Vandiver, Ala., passed away at the age of 75 in Gadsden due to complications from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He played pro baseball from 1962 to 1970 for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Cleveland Indians, the Cincinnati Reds and the Montreal Expos.
Jan. 31, 2016 – A UFO was reportedly seen around 6:22 p.m. on this Sunday in Leeds, a suburb of Birmingham. The witness in this case was outside helping his son work on his truck when they looked up and saw a bright, slow-moving light coming from the southwest. The father ran inside for a pair of binoculars and through the binoculars he could see the light had a “fog-like hue” around it. They continued to watch as the object, which emitted no sound, made a 45-degree turn “really different than a normal aircraft.” They watched the object until it disappeared from view behind the tree line.