Sunday, January 31, 2016

130-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from Jan. 1886

The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville, Ala., under the direction of manager Q. Salter, published five editions 130 years ago during the month of January 1886. Those issues, which were dated Jan. 1, Jan. 9, Jan. 15, Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, can be found on microfilm at the Monroe County Library in Monroeville, Ala. What follows are a few news highlights from those four editions. Enjoy.

JAN. 1, 1886

Justice Court – Will hereafter be held on the second Monday in each month instead of on Saturday, as heretofore. – G.W. Salter, J.P. Beat No. 3.

Brisk & Jacobson have won a name and fame in this section for keeping a fine and well selected stock of clothing made up in the latest styles, which they sell at prices to suite the times.

The Journal and The Greenville Advocate are now clubbed together for the sum of $3 and those subscribing for the two together will be entitled to a chance in The Advocate’s ninth annual drawing, or distribution of presents among its subscribers. Now is the time to subscribe.

Tax Notice – To all tax payers who are yet in arrears with taxes will remember that the first day of January is at hand. The law requires me to make the taxes at once, and I ask the people to come up and settle, or I will be compelled to carry out the law and levy upon and sell their property, which will be adding considerable cost and expense. – T.J. Stevens, T.C.

Nuts of all kinds cheap at the store of Capt. Wiggins.

D.W. DAVIS, Dealer In General Merchandise – TINELA, ALA. – Our Fall and Winter Stock of Dress Goods, Clothing: Hats, Caps, Boots, Shoes, Pocket Cutlery, Cigars, Tobacco – And a full line of notions, just received from New York, and DEFY COMPETITION IN PRICES AND GOODS.

JAN. 9, 1886

The holidays just closed have been the most quiet, and we might add, the dullest, ever experienced in this place, reminding one more of so many Sundays than anything we can compare the to.

A cold wave struck Monroeville Tuesday evening.

Only one prisoner in the county jail.

The Presbyterian church has just been fitted up with new sash and blinds, new lamps and a chandelier with money raised by the lady  members of that church.

Buena Vista Items – A negro boy, Harry Thomas, secreted himself in Mr. M.V. Middleton’s store on Thursday night, the 31st ult., and while the clerk was at supper, he took $7.50 from the cash drawer and made his escape through a window. He was arrested the next day, confessed the theft, was tried before Justice Burns, who fined him $17 and costs. He was hired by Mr. Burns and very unceremoniously took his departure that night and at last accounts had not been heard from.

County Court – Convened last Monday. There were only two cases on the docket and they were both continued.

Col. D.R. McMillan of Columbiana, Shelby County, spent several days with his many friends at Monroeville last week.

Cotton has about ceased to come into town.

Mr. J.H. Moore of Claiborne was in Monroeville this week.

JAN. 15, 1886

The cold wave is still upon us. Fire wood finds a ready sale in Monroeville since the cold wave struck it. The weather has been so exceedingly cold for several days that “Skip” has laid aside his musical horn.

Several Turks were in town Saturday and amused the boys and negroes by “makes te b’ar dance.”

Commissioners court will be held on the second Monday in February.

Mr. C.C. Yarbrough has purchased the house and lot opposite Mr. F. Metts’ dwelling and will open a wood and blacksmith shop in a short time.

Mr. T.J. Emmons has already added a grist mill to his new steam gin near town, and will soon add a saw also.

To the Members of the Monroe County Medical Society – The members decided during our last meeting in November last to hold our meetings in the future quarterly. First meeting, first Monday in February; second meeting, Wednesday of first week of spring term of circuit court; third meeting, first Monday in August; fourth meeting, Wednesday of first week of fall term of circuit court. A full attendance is desired. – W.W. McMillan, president; per, J.T. Packer, secretary.

The Escambia High School of Pollard began its second session on the 4th inst. with flattering prospects. Mrs. Louise D. Holmes is principal and comes highly recommended.

JAN. 22, 1886

Horribly Burned – On Monday morning last a negro woman living on Mr. James Andrews’ place in Monroe County, about eight miles south of Pine Apple, left her three small children in a room in which a fire was burning. The youngest, which was just beginning to crawl, was found with its feet and legs in the fire, where it had evidently been for some time. The skin peeled off up to its waist wherever touched, and its feet were burned to a crisp. Dr. J.B. Adams, who happened to be in the neighborhood at the time of the accident, was called in, but found the little sufferer beyond human aid, as it had fallen into a stupor from which a reaction was hardly possible. As long as people leave little children alone in rooms where fires are burning just so long will the newspapers of the country be called upon to chronicle such horrors as the above. – Pine Apple Enterprise.

Clarke County Democrat – Some time last month, Dr. Lee and Percy Driesbach, living near the mouth of Little River, captured an alligator nine and one-half feet in length. It was in a torpid state and entirely harmless. We understand they intend sending it to the New Orleans Exposition.

WILCOX COUNTY: Pine Apple Enterprise: The men with the trained bears were in town yesterday and drew a bigger crowd than a Sunday School convention would have done.

PHOTOGRAPHIC: I will take pictures at Perdue Hill on each Saturday in every week until March the first. Those desiring work can call on me there. Respectfully, W.T. Floyd.

JAN. 29, 1886

Mr. W.G. McCorvey brought to this office last Wednesday morning, a bullet taken from the centre of the trunk of a hickory tree measuring five feet in diameter. It had, doubtless, been there a hundred years or more, probably fired at a blood-thirsty Indian by some bold adventurer who had trespassed upon the hunting grounds of the Red Men of the Forest, who laid claim to this, then, wild and uninhabited region.

Drowned – A negro man was drowned at Hanter’s Mill, this county, last week, while floating saw logs into an aqueduct or canal made to convey them to the mill.

Frozen – Messrs. Wm. Smith, T.B. Baily and several others living on Flat Creek, while looking after some beaver traps last week, found the carcass of a catfish measuring four feet and two inches in length, and 13-1/2 inches across the head. The fish had swam out while the banks of the creek were overflowed, and when the water receded it was too shallow for the fish to return to the creek, it was frozen and died.

The severe cold and rainy weather prevented many from attending church last Sunday.

Singular Freak of Nature – In looking over the little museum of curiosities accumulated by Capt. W.S. Wiggins, our attention was attracted by a forked ear of corn. It has three distinct and perfectly developed prongs all growing from one stem. They were all filled out with well matured corn and were all three encased in one husk. The above monstrosity was grown by Capt. T.M. Riley of Riley, post office, this county.

Today in History for Jan. 31, 2016

Don Hutson
Jan. 31, 1606 - Guy Fawkes was executed after being convicted for his role in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I.

Jan. 31, 1686 – Norwegian missionary and explorer Hans Egede was born in Harstad, Northern Norway.

Jan. 31, 1729 – Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen died at the age of 69 in Middelburg, Netherlands.

Jan. 31, 1752 - Patriot Gouverneur Morris was born to the wealthy Morris family in New York City, New York. At the Constitutional Convention of 1787 he represented Pennsylvania. He served as an ambassador to France from 1792-1794 and was a senator from New York from 1800-1803.

Jan. 31, 1861 – During the Civil War, in New Orleans, La., the U.S. Branch Mint, the Customs House, and U.S. schooner “Washington” were seized by Louisiana State Troops.

Jan. 31, 1862 - Telescope maker Alvin Clark discovered the dwarf companion of Sirius.

Jan. 31, 1862 – During the Civil War, Special War Order Number 1 was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. The order was directed toward Union Major General George B McClelland to advance toward Manassas prior to Feb. 22, 1862.

Jan. 31, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought on Bull Island, and Confederates attacked the Federal blockading squadron of Charleston, S.C. Also on that day, a Federal operation took place between Murfreesborough and Franklin, Tenn., with skirmishes at Unionville, Middleton and Rover, Tenn.

Jan. 31, 1864 – During the Civil War, an eight-day Federal operation between Maryville, Tenn. and Quallatown, N.C. began. A Federal cavalry reconnaissance also took place between Madison Courthouse and Mount Carmel Church, Va.

Jan. 31, 1865 - General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of the Confederate armies.

Jan. 31, 1865 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery in the United States, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and it was submitted to the states for ratification. It was ratified by the necessary number of states on Dec. 6, 1865.

Jan. 31, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish was fought at Oxford, Kansas. Three months of Federal operations in North Alabama and East Tennessee also began. A Federal expedition began from Fort Pike (near present day Slidell, La) to Bayou Bonfouca, La. A two-day Federal expedition from Morganza to New Roads, La. began.

Jan. 31, 1872 – Western writer Zane Grey was born in Zanesville, Ohio. He is best known for his novel, “Riders of the Purple Sage,” which was published in 1912.

Jan. 31, 1876 - All Native American Indians were ordered to move into reservations.

Jan. 31, 1893 - The trademark "Coca-Cola" was first registered in the United States Patent Office.

Jan. 31, 1902 - Tallulah Bankhead, star of stage, screen, and radio in the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, 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, 1905 – Writer John O’Hara was born in Pottsville, Pa.

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, 1915 – Author, poet and diarist Thomas Merton was born in Prades, France.

Jan. 31, 1915 – Musicologist Alan Lomax was born in Austin, Texas

Jan. 31, 1916 – According to The Conecuh Record, “Chief Jones created a ripple of excitement” in Evergreen on this Monday “by shooting a dog on the streets.”

Jan. 31, 1919 – National Baseball Hall of Fame second baseman Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Ga. He played his entire Major League career (1947-1956) with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.

Jan. 31, 1923 – Norman Mailer, the author of 1948’s “The Naked and the Dead,” was born in Long Branch, N.J.

Jan. 31, 1931 – National Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and first baseman Ernie Banks was born in Dallas, Texas. He played his entire Major League career (1953-1971) with the Chicago Cubs. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1977.

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, 1945 – US Army private Eddie Slovik of Detroit, Mich. was executed for desertion, the first such execution of an American soldier since the Civil War.

Jan. 31, 1946 – The Democratic Republic of Vietnam introduced the đồng to replace the French Indochinese piastre at par.

Jan. 31, 1947 – Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan was born in Refugio, Texas and raised in Alvin, southeast of Houston. He would go on to play for the N.Y. Mets, the California Angels, the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999.

Jan. 31, 1959 – Members of the Dyatlov Expedition arrived at the edge of a highland area and began to prepare for climbing. In a wooded valley, they cached surplus food and equipment that would be used for the trip back.

Jan. 31, 1961 - Voters approved financing for a domed stadium in Hosuton, Texas.

Jan. 31, 1963 – Lyeffion High School junior Peggy Tanner was crowned Miss Lyeffion 1963 duriing 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.

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, 1968 – As part of the Tet Offensive, a squad of Viet Cong guerillas attacked the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, and Marine Cpl. James Conrad Marshall of Monroeville, a 1964 graduate of Monroe County High School, died defending the embassy. The guerillas managed to seize the embassy and held it for six hours until an assault force of U.S. paratroopers landed by helicopter on the building’s roof and routed the Viet Cong. Marshall Hall, the Marine Corps Security Guard training center at Quantico, Va. was later named in James Marshall’s honor.

Jan. 31, 1971 – The Winter Soldier Investigation, organized by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War to publicize war crimes and atrocities by Americans and allies in Vietnam, began in Detroit.

Jan. 31, 1972 - In a communiqué charging President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger with “unilaterally” divulging the substance of the secret talks, creating the impasse at the secret meeting, and distorting the facts, North Vietnam published the nine-point plan they submitted during the secret talks.

Jan. 31, 1976 – Race car driver Buddy Rice, who won the 2004 Indianapolis 500, was born in Phoenix, Az.

Jan. 31, 1976 – Comedian, actor, producer and screenwriter Paul Scheer was born in Huntington, N.Y.

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, 1986 - The movie “Stripper,” screenplay by Alabama author Charles Gaines, was released.

Jan. 31, 1988 - The first episode of "The Wonder Years" aired on ABC.

Jan. 31, 1988 - Herb Alpert performed the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXII. The Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos, 42-10.

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 - The Denver Broncos won Super Bowl XXXIII, their second consecutive Super Bowl win. Cher sang the national anthem.

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 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, 2003 - The Chicago White Sox announced a deal that would change the name of Comiskey Park after a 93-year association with the Comiskey name.

Jan. 31, 2005 – Hillcrest High School retired the basketball jersey of player Chris “C.J.” Riley, who died over the Christmas holidays.

Jan. 31, 2007 – Suspects were arrested in Birmingham in the UK, accused of plotting the kidnap, holding and eventual beheading of a serving Muslim British soldier in Iraq.

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.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Jan. 31, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.80 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 15.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Notes: Today in the 31st day of 2016 and the 41st day of Winter. There are 335 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, January 30, 2016

Singleton tells of the 'natural phenomenon' of Double Branches near Monroeville

George Buster Singleton
(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 “Double Branches – nature’s phenomenon” was originally published in the Feb. 3, 1972 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

Traveling west from Monroeville, on Highway 84, one crosses Double Branches. Little or no thought is given to this natural phenomenon other than it is the first bridge encountered after passing under the railroad trestle. However, one who crosses it often might notice that the stream never goes dry in summer, or that he is crossing two streams instead of one.

The impression is that Mother Nature couldn’t make her mind as to where she wanted this stream; so, after moving it back and forth several times, she finally gave up and divided the waters between the two, leaving them to go their separate ways, such as lovers after a quarrel.

There are times when the streams join together as though an agreement has been made between them, only to split again farther down stream as though they decided once again to go their chosen ways.

As I waded down these streams one hot day this past summer, the thought came to mind about the similarity to jealous lovers having a quarrel. As the streams joined and ran as one, it seemed that the lovers had agreed, and all was well. As I waded farther, it was as if they had argued and once again separated. So it was, on and on, until finally they joined for the last time, parting no more, until their waters emptied into Limestone Creek, on its long journey to the sea.

I have crossed Double Branches many times since that day last August. Each time I think of the lovers that this stream reminds me of. During the past few weeks when the rainfall was so heavy, I stood on the bridge overlooking the stream and watched the mighty waters wash onward as both streams had been brought together by the heavy rains and rising waters. The thought came to me of the difference that this made; being united, both as one.

Maybe Mother Nature had planned it this way after all. Maybe a lesson was to be learned from Double Branches. A lesson that the Grand Old Lady saw fit to leave to all that would see and take notice.

(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 on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School, served in the Korean War, moved to Monroe County in 1961 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. 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 Jan. 30, 2016

John Ericsson
Jan. 30, 1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England was ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.

Jan. 30, 1703 – The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenged the death of their master.

Jan. 30, 1776 - The Continental Congress directed that no apprentices be enlisted for military service without the written consent of their master or mistress.

Jan. 30, 1780 - Alabama's third governor, Israel Pickens, was born in North Carolina. The former U.S. Congressman moved to St. Stephens, in the Mississippi Territory, in the spring of 1817 to take a job as a register of the land office for Washington County. Wasting no time in establishing himself in his new home, Pickens purchased almost 3,500 acres in southwest Alabama in less than a year and became the first president of the Tombigbee Bank of St. Stephens. He served as Alabama's governor from 1821 to 1825.

Jan. 30, 1781 - Maryland became the 13th and final state to ratify the Articles of Confederation, almost three years after the official deadline given by Congress of March 10, 1778. The Articles took effect on March 1, 1781 and remained the law of the land for only eight years before the Constitutional Convention rejected them in favor of a new, more centralized form of federal government. They crafted the current U.S. Constitution, which took effect in 1789, giving the federal government greater authority over the states and creating a bicameral legislature

Jan. 30, 1816 - Union General Nathaniel Banks was born in Waltham, Mass. Banks was a political general – he had few military skills, but as an anti-slave Republican from Massachusetts, he helped President Abraham Lincoln’s administration maintain support in that region.

Jan. 30, 1820 – Edward Bransfield sighted the Trinity Peninsula and claimed the discovery of Antarctica.

Jan. 30, 1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but failed and was subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.

Jan. 30, 1847 – Edgar Allan Poe’s wife, Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe, passed away from tuberculosis at the age of 24 in Fordham, Bronx, N.Y.

Jan. 30, 1847 - Larvae and snow fell together in the Eifel Mountains in Germany.

Jan. 30, 1860 – Reuben F. Kolb of Kolb’s Battery married Callie Cargile (also referred to as Mary Caledonia Cargile), the daughter of Thomas and Louisa Ann Cargile also of Eufaula. The couple would have three children: Reuben F. Kolb Jr., William H. Kolb, and Emily F. Kolb.

Jan. 30, 1861 – During the Civil War, the Federal revenue schooner, Lewis Cass, was captured by Alabama State Troops in Mobile Bay, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1862 - The U.S. Navy's first ironclad warship, the "Monitor," designed by John Ericsson, was launched at Greenoint, Long Island, N.Y., into New York's East River. The vessel was commissioned on Feb. 25.

Jan. 30, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Dyersburg, Tenn.; and at Deserted House, Kelly's Store, near Suffolk and at Turner's Mills, Va. Confederates also captured the US Steamer, Issac Smith, in the Stono River, in the vicinity of Charleston, S.C.

Jan. 30, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Chickamauga Creek, Ga.; at Windsor, N.C.; and at Medley, West Virginia. A five-day Federal operation also began between Batesville and Searcy Landing, Ark., and a Federal reconnaissance began between Culpeper and Madison Courthouse, Va.

Jan. 30, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Chaplintown, Ky.; near Lake Verret and at Bayou Plantation, La.; in La Fayette County, Mo.; and near Lawtonville, S.C. Federal reconnaissance was also conducted from Long Bridge to Bottom’s Bridge, Va.

Jan. 30, 1878 – The Pickens County Sheriff, discovering that citizens of the town were furious and wanted to lynch former slave Henry Wells for burning Carrollton’s courthouse in 1876, took Wells to the new Pickens County Courthouse and secured him in the garret room at the top of the building in an effort to protect him. In the midst of a thunderstorm on this night, Wells stood at the garret window, looking down at the mob that meant to kill him. Legend says that a flash of lightning etched Wells’ face onto the window pane.

Jan. 30, 1882 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born in Hyde Park, N.Y. He served as the thirty-second president of the United States from 1933-1945. He was the first president to serve more than two terms.

Jan. 30, 1885 – W.B. Green Sr. died at Burnt Corn, Ala. at the age of 89. A veteran of the Seminole War of 1836, he moved to Monroe County in 1838.

Jan. 30, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Willie Louiselle had returned to his home in Michigan after a visit with his son, the Hon. W.H. Louiselle of Manistee, Ala. “The old gentleman has fallen very much in love with south Alabama,” The Monroe Journal reported.

Jan. 30, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that A.E. Peterman, who for several years had been “the clever and accommodating” L&N Agent at Repton, Ala., had been transferred to Scranton, Miss., and was to be succeeded by W.S. Teas.

Jan. 30, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Postmaster Ricou and his family were occupying the dwelling vacated by J.T. Salter.

Jan. 30, 1908 – The Conecuh Record reported that the Baptist Church of Evergreen, Ala. planned to hold opening services in its “new building.” Construction of the building began 2-1/2 years before this event and had just reached completion.

Jan. 30, 1912 – Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Barbara Tuchman was born in New York City. She won her first Pulitzer Prizes for 1963’s “The Guns of August,” and she received her second for 1972’s “Stilwell and the American Experience in China.”

Jan. 30, 1915 – William H. Wright, 28, died of consumption on this Saturday night. His funeral was conducted the following afternoon and was conducted by the Rev. W.T. Ellisor. Wright was buried in the Evergreen, Ala. cemetery.

Jan. 30, 1915 – German SS officer Joachim Peiper was born Berlin, Prussia, Imperial Germany.

Jan. 30, 1928 - A movie version of Alabama author Octavus Roy Cohen's book, “Horns and Orange Blossoms,” was released.

Jan. 30, 1931 – National Book Award-winning novelist Shirley Hazzard was born in Sydney, Australia.

Jan. 30, 1933 – Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.

Jan. 30, 1933 - Capt. Dave Lewis, Lt. Homer Kindig and Lt. Jessie Jackson attended a meeting of the officers of the National Guard in Montgomery, Ala. on this Saturday night, according to The Evergreen Courant.

Jan. 30, 1935 – Richard Brautigan was born in Tacoma, Washington. He is best known for his best-selling 1967 book, “Trout Fishing in America.”

Jan. 30, 1941 - Alabama author Gregory Benford was born in Mobile, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1948 - Evergreen High School’s boys basketball team stopped a last quarter rally by J.U. Blacksher High School in Evergreen, Ala. on this Friday night to win, 44-40. Gulsby led Blacksher with 20 points. Benton Carpenter led Evergreen with 13 points, Mickey Logue scored nine, Gillis “Crip” Jones and Jack Cunningham had eight points.

Jan. 30, 1949 – Escaped Russian minister, the Rev. Robert Tarzier, Field Secretary of the Russian Bible Society in Washington, D.C. spoke at the Evergreen Baptist Church in Evergreen, Ala. “Tarzier escaped from the Soviet secret police a little over four years ago. At that time, he was pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches – the well known church in Riga, Latavia.”

Jan. 30, 1950 – Ollie Finklea retired at the age of 70 from his duties as Buena Vista, Alabama’s postmaster, a position he assumed after his father’s retirement on June 3, 1910.

Jan. 30, 1950 – Lola B. Harwell, a fifth and sixth-grade teacher at Georgiana (Ala.) Elementary School, died unexpectedly on this morning in her classroom, where she had just returned from a movie that was shown to her students. Harwell had been a teacher since September 1906 and had never once been absent or tardy since taking her first job at Ebeneza in Butler County. She also taught in Conecuh County and was principal at Avant in Butler County before going to Georgiana.

Jan. 30, 1950 – For the second straight year, the strawberry season in Castleberry, Ala. began several weeks ahead of schedule as several growers on this day brought in crates of strawberries. Lonnie Beasley of Hamden Ridge arrived in Castleberry with the first crate of the 1950 crop, and those berries were sold to local buyer, R.T. Holland. Normally, the strawberry season ran from March 15 to April 1.

Jan. 30, 1951 – Army Cpl. Oland H. Kirkland of Escambia County, Ala. was killed in action in Korea.

Jan. 30, 1956 - With the Montgomery Bus Boycott about to enter its third month, segregationists bombed the home of boycott spokesman Martin Luther King Jr. The home sustained moderate damage, but no one was injured. The young minister addressed the large crowd that gathered after the blast, declaring, "I want it to be known the length and breadth of this land that if I am stopped this movement will not stop."

Jan. 30, 1964 – In a bloodless coup, General Nguyễn Khánh overthrew General Dương Văn Minh's military junta in South Vietnam.

Jan. 30, 1965 – Isaiah Mims, 31, of Owassa was killed instantly when his car was hit by an L&N train on this afternoon at the main railroad crossing at Owassa, Ala. State Trooper Pitchford investigated the accident and said that Mims “evidently heard the train approaching too late to bring his 1957 Ford to a stop and skidded to rest on the tracks in the path of the oncoming train.”

Jan. 30, 1965 – Some one million people attended former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill's funeral, the biggest in the United Kingdom up to that point.

Jan. 30, 1966 - Alabama experienced its coldest ever recorded temperature of -27°F at New Market in Madison County. The average low temperature during January for nearby Huntsville is around 29°.

Jan. 30, 1968 – During the Vietnam War, what is now known as “The Tet Offensive, began at dawn on the first day of the Tet holiday truce, as Viet Cong forces – supported by large numbers of North Vietnamese troops – launched the largest and best coordinated offensive of the war, driving into the center of South Vietnam’s seven largest cities and attacking 30 provincial capitals from the Delta to the DMZ. 

Jan. 30, 1971 – A “Rattlesnake Rodeo,” sponsored by the Escambia-Conecuh Wildlife Association, was scheduled to get underway on this Saturday morning. There was to be a grand prize of $100 for the largest rattlesnake turned in during the rodeo which was scheduled to end on Feb. 6. Contestants were required to register in advance for a $1 fee at Flo Drilling & Pump Co. in Brewton, Ala. Area of the rodeo was limited to Escambia and Conecuh counties. Snakes had to be turned in by 3 p.m. on Feb. 6 at Flo Drilling & Pump Co.

Jan. 30, 1971 - Operation Dewey Canyon II began as the initial phase of Lam Son 719, the South Vietnamese invasion of Laos that would commence on Feb. 8. The purpose of the South Vietnamese operation was to interdict the Ho Chi Minh Trail, advance to Tchepone in Laos, and destroy the North Vietnamese supply dumps in the area.

Jan. 30, 1972 – British army parachutists shot 27 unarmed civil rights demonstrators in Derry, Northern Ireland – an event known as “Bloody Sunday.” The protestors had been marching to oppose the new British policy of imprisoning people without a hearing.

Jan. 30, 1974 - Christian Bale was born in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales. He would go on to portray Bruce Wayne and the Batman in the movies “Batman Begins” (2005), “The Dark Knight” (2008) and “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012).

Jan. 30, 1977 – Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported 1.01 inches of snow in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1978 - The defending state champion Wilcox Academy Wildcats had to go into overtime to defeat the Sparta Warriors, 47-40, in a game on this Monday night in Camden, Ala. Terry Peacock had 10 points; Gray Stevens, Steve Dubose and Tony Raines, eight each; John Hall, four; and Johnny Ralls, two. The loss dropped Sparta to 11-7 on the season, according to Sports Information Director Byron Warren Jr.

Jan. 30, 1978 - Dr. John Dan Hagood, 71, a native of Evergreen, Ala., died on this Monday in Santa Fe, Fla. Graveside services were to be held in Evergreen on Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. in Magnolia Cemetery with the Rev. Braxton McCurley officiating. Dr. Hagood was the son of the late Dr. and Mrs. J.W. Hagood of Evergreen and a member of a prominent, pioneer South Alabama family. He was one of Florida’s most eminent and respected surgeons and served with distinction in the U.S. Navy in World War II.

Jan. 30, 1986 - The Evergreen (Ala.) Chamber of Commerce was scheduled to hold its annual Promotion-Membership Banquet on this Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Holiday Inn. Sheldon Morgan, well-known Mobile bank executive, was to be the guest speaker, according to President Willene Whatley. Whatley was to preside and report on 1985 activities and give the response and conclusion after the program. The invocation was to be brought by Dr. Lamar Jackson. The report of the Nominating Committee was to be given by Chairman Gerald Salter. Judge of Probate Frank T. Salter was to introduce the speaker, Sheldon Morgan, who was head of the marketing division of First Alabama Bank of Mobile.

Jan. 30, 1992 – Winton M. Blount III of Montgomery, Ala. was the keynote speaker at the Evergreen-Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce’s annual membership banquet at the Quality Inn in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 30-31, 1993 – Weather observer Harry Ellis reported lows of 29 degrees on both of these days in Evergreen, Ala.

Jan. 30, 1994 - Natalie Cole sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXVIII. The Dallas Cowboys won, 30-13, over the Buffalo Bills.

Jan. 30, 1994 - Alabama author Lucile Vernon Stevens died in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jan. 30, 1996 - Comet Hyakutake was discovered and was dubbed “The Great Comet of 1996” due to its close passage.

Jan. 30, 2000 - The New York Mets announced that Garth Brooks would begin training with the team on Feb. 20.

Jan. 30, 2000 - John Rocker of the Atlanta Braves was suspended from Major League Baseball for disparaging foreigners, homosexuals and minorities in an interview published by Sports Illustrated.

Jan. 30, 2009 – Former Alabama governor Guy Hunt passed away from lung cancer at the age of 75 in Birmingham, Ala.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Jan. 30, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.80 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 15.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Notes: Today in the 30th day of 2016 and the 40th day of Winter. There are 336 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.

Friday, January 29, 2016

'WALK TO MORDOR' UPDATE: 494 miles down and 1,305 miles to go

I continued my (virtual) “Walk to Mordor” during the past week by logging 13 more miles since my last update. I walked/jogged five miles on Sunday, three miles on Wednesday and five more miles today (Friday). So far, I’ve logged 494 total miles on this virtual trip to Mount Doom, and I’ve got 1,305 more miles to go before I reach Mordor. All in all, I’ve completed about 27.5 percent of the total trip.


In relation to Frodo’s journey, I’m still on the second night of the trip past Rivendell, which is the night of Dec. 26-Dec. 27 on the Middle Earth calendar. I left off my last update on Mile 481, which was two miles into the group’s travels on Night 2. The group passes through three miles of empty county that’s rough and barren.


One mile later, the group crosses a small stream and then travels 10 more miles through more empty, rough and barren country. I’ve reached this point in the trip, and the next significant milestone will come one mile later, at Mile 495, when the group camp’s in a hollow during the day of Dec. 27.


So far, I’m on track to travel the 462 miles from Rivendell to Lothlorien, which is the forest realm of the Elves, between Rivendell and Mordor, within the 2016 calendar year. To pull this off in a year’s time, I’ve got to travel at least 8.9 miles per week, that is, a little more than a mile a day. So far, so good, since I covered a total of 13 miles this week and 36 miles since the start of the calendar year.


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 1,799 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 1,799 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 13 more miles next week, and I’ll include all that in my update next week.

Today in History for Jan. 29, 2016

Anton Chekhov
Jan. 29, 1737 – American Revolutionary figure Thomas Paine was born in Thetford, Norfolk, Great Britain. He would publish his most influential work, a pamphlet called “Common Sense,” in 1776.

Jan. 29, 1777 - Facing a surprise British counterassault in the bitter cold and with a snowstorm approaching, American commander Major General William Heath and his army of 6,000 abandoned their siege on Fort Independence, in Bronx County, New York. Acting on orders from General George Washington, General Heath and his men had begun their assault on Fort Independence 11 days earlier on Jan. 18, 1777. General Washington, who was under British attack in nearby New Jersey, believed that a successful assault on Fort Independence would force the British to divert troops from New Jersey to defend the outpost, located just outside British-controlled Manhattan between the Post Roads to Boston and Albany.

Jan. 29, 1777 - General George Washington put Major General Israel Putnam in command of all Patriot troops in New York. Putnam was charged with the defense of the city and its water routes.

Jan. 29, 1820 - Britain's King George III died insane at Windsor Castle.

Jan. 29, 1843 – The 25th President of the United States, William McKinley, was born in Niles, Ohio.

Jan. 29, 1845 – Edgar Allan Poe’s poem, "The Raven" was published for the first time in the New York Evening Mirror and became a popular sensation. Though it made Poe a household name almost instantly, he was paid only $9 for its publication.

Jan. 29, 1858 – Jasper N. Dennard became postmaster at Burnt Corn, Ala.

Jan. 29 1860 – Russian novelist, playwright and physician Anton Chekhov was born in the seaside town of Taganrog.

Jan. 29, 1861 - Kansas was admitted to the Union as a free state. It was the 34th state to enter the Union. The struggle between pro- and anti-slave forces in Kansas was a major factor in the eruption of the Civil War.

Jan. 29, 1861 – The US Revenue cutter, Robert McClelland, was seized by Louisiana State Troops near New Orleans.

Jan. 29, 1862 – During the Civil War, a six-day Federal operation began in the vicinity of Blue Springs, Mo. A skirmish was fought at Lee's House, close to the Occoquan Bridge, over the Occoquan River, in Virginia.

Jan. 29, 1863 - General Ulysses S. Grant was placed in command of the Army of the West and was given orders to capture Vicksburg, Miss.

Jan. 29, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought in the vicinity of Richmond, La.; at Pinos Altos Mines, New Mexico, with Indians; and near Collierville, Nashville, and Yorkville, Tenn. A Confederate expedition also began to Daufuskie Island, S.C. A Federal engagement also began on the Bear River (or Battle Creek), in the Utah Territory with Indians.

Jan. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes ocurred near Cobb’s Mill and near the Tennessee River in North Alabama.

Jan. 29, 1864 – Joseph Ganes Sanders, the “Turncoat of Dale County,” resigned from the Confederate army.

Jan. 29, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 26-day Federal operation began from Vicksburg, Miss. to Waterproof, La., laying waste to the countryside by raiding plantations and confiscating anything of value, not necessarily of military value--just of value. Skirmishes were also fought at Gloucester Court House and a second day of skirmishing occurred near Jonesville, Va. A four-day Federal operation began in Isla of Wright County, Va.

Jan. 29, 1865 – During the Civil War, skirmish near Danville, Ky.; near Harrodsburg, Ky.; and at Robertsville, S.C. A 10-day Federal operation began between Bayou Goula and Grand River, La., with skirmishing at Richland Plantation.

Jan. 29, 1880 – Actor W.C. Fields was born William Dukenfield in Darby, Pa.

Jan. 29, 1900 – The American League of professional baseball was organized in Philadelphia with eight founding teams.

Jan. 29, 1915 – The home of Mr. and Mrs. L.E. Foxworth in Beatrice, Ala. was nearly destroyed by fire.

Jan. 29, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. James Scales of Jackson, Ala. “died from disease.”

Jan. 29, 1927 – Novelist and essayist Edward Abbey was born in Indiana, Pa.

Jan. 29, 1936 - The first members of Major league baseball's Hall of Fame were named in Cooperstown, NY. The group included Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.

Jan. 29, 1948 – A British South American Tudor IV four-engine passenger plane called the “Star Tiger,” flying from the Azores to Bermuda, disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle with a crew of six and 25 passengers.

Jan. 29, 1959 – The Evergreen (Ala.) Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting and election of officers at the Evergreen High School lunchroom. Guest speaker was Dr. George R. Stewart of Birmingham, a former Birmingham-Southern College president, who worked for Alabama Power.

Jan. 29, 1963 - The first members to the Pro Football Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio. The list included Sammy Baugh, Johnny Blood, Dutch Clark, Red Grange, Mel Hein, Pete Henry, Cal Hubbard, Don Hutson, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, Jim Thorpe, Bert Bell, Joe Carr, George Halas, Curly Lambeau, Tim Mara and George Preston Marshall.

Jan. 29, 1964 – Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver Andre Reed was born in Allentown, Pa. He would go on to play college ball at Kutztown and pro ball for the Buffalo Bills, the Denver Broncos and the Washington Redskins. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Jan. 29, 1968 – NFL Hall of Fame cornerback and safety Aeneas Williams was born in New Orleans, La. He would go on to play for the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams.

Jan. 29, 1968 - In his annual budget message, President Lyndon B. Johnson asked for $26.3 billion to continue the war in Vietnam, and announced an increase in taxes. The war was becoming very expensive, both in terms of lives and national treasure. 

Jan. 29, 1973 - The fighting continued in South Vietnam despite the cease-fire that was initiated on Jan. 28, 1973, under the provisions of the Paris Peace Accords. This latest fighting was part of the ongoing battles that followed the brief lull of the cease-fire. The Peace Accords had left an estimated 145,000 North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam when the cease-fire went into effect. Renewed fighting broke out after the cease-fire as both sides jockeyed for control of territory throughout South Vietnam. Each side held that military operations were justified by the other side’s violations of the cease-fire, resulting in an almost endless chain of retaliations. 

Jan. 29, 1979 - San Diego teen Brenda Ann Spencer explained why she sprayed bullets on classmates on this day in 1979, saying “I don't like Mondays.”

Jan. 29, 1980 – The Cobb House in Grove Hill, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Jan. 29, 1980 – The Old Fort Dale Site, the Fort Dale Cemetery, the Old Log Barn and Oak Grove Methodist Church, all located in the Greenville, Ala. vicinity, were added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

Jan. 29, 1989 - Billy Joel sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXIII.

Jan. 29, 1989 - The television program “Home Fires Burning,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert Inman, was broadcast.

Jan. 29, 1993 – Journalist, novelist and poet Gustav Hasford, a native of Russellville, Ala., died at the age of 45 in Aegina, Greece. He suffered from untreated diabetes and died of heart failure. His semi-autobiographical novel “The Short-Timers” (1979) was the basis of the film “Full Metal Jacket” (1987). He was also a United States Marine Corps veteran, who served during the Vietnam War.

Jan. 29, 1995 - The San Francisco 49ers became the first team in National Football League history to win five Super Bowl titles. The 49ers defeated the San Diego Chargers, 49-26, in Super Bowl XXIX. San Francisco quarterback Steve Young threw six touchdown passes in the game.

Jan. 29, 1998 - A bomb exploded at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., killing an off-duty policeman and severely wounding a nurse. Serial bomber Eric Rudolph was charged with this bombing and three other attacks in Atlanta.

Jan. 29, 2002 – In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush described "regimes that sponsor terror" as an “Axis of evil,” in which he included Iraq, Iran and North Korea.

Jan. 29, 2004 - Major League Baseball owners approved the $430 million sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from News Corp. to Frank McCourt.

Jan. 29, 2013 – A gunman killed a school bus driver and held a six-year-old boy hostage in an underground bunker in Midland City, Alabama.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., Jan. 29, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.80 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 15.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Notes: Today in the 29th day of 2016 and the 39th day of Winter. There are 337 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, January 28, 2016

Local high school basketball season getting down to short rows

The local high school basketball season is getting down to the short rows as all four of our local varsity teams near the end of their regular season schedules and begin eyeing the post season.

By the time this edition of The Courant hits the streets, Sparta Academy’s varsity boys and girls will have played their last regular season games and will be preparing to travel to Selma for the region tourney. Hillcrest’s varsity boys and girls will wrap up their regular season schedules a week from today, on Thurs., Feb. 4, when they play Georgiana High School in Evergreen. After that, it’ll be area tournament time for the Jags and Lady Jags.

All four of our local teams have done pretty good up to this point, and they’ve all got winning records. Sparta’s boys are sporting the best overall record in the county at 17-4 overall. Hillcrest’s girls have the next best record with an 11-4 mark overall. Sparta’s girls follow with a 14-7 overall mark, and Hillcrest’s boys are next with a 12-10 overall record.

Don’t let Hillcrest’s boys’ overall record fool you. Almost all of their losses have come against larger, talented teams, including Class 5A Greenville, Class 6A Park Crossing, Class 6A Paul Bryant, Class 5A Charles Henderson, Class 4A Monroe County and Class 5A Escambia County. All but three of their losses have come on the road, some were by narrow margins and in some cases they’ve returned the favor by beating them in rematches.

Hillcrest’s girls may be the surprise of the season. Playing under first year head coach Tammie Patrick, the Lady Jags have reeled off a number of impressive wins that have included double digit victories over Greenville, Opp, J.F. Shields, Monroe County, W.S. Neal, Escambia County and Central-Hayneville. Don’t be surprised if the Lady Jags are able to battle their way into this year’s region tourney, which is just a matter of weeks away.

Sparta’s girls are 14-7 overall, and the program has enjoyed so much success over the years that some may consider this a down year. With that said, don’t let the numbers fool you. Sparta’s girls could make a very strong run here at the end, especially if they can come up with a way to deal with their nemesis this season, Lowndes Academy. Sparta played them much closer last Thursday night, so don’t be shocked if the Lady Warriors upset Lowndes in the region tournament this week.

Sparta’s varsity boys have had an outstanding season so far, and at this point, they’re a lock for at least the Elite Eight round of the state playoffs. At this point, it looks like Lakeside and Crenshaw Christian will be the stiffest competition in the post-season, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Sparta could win the Class A state title, especially if Crenshaw or Lakeside knocks one or the other out of the running.

Only time will tell as to how it will all play out over the next few weeks, but one thing is for certain. If you live in Conecuh County and enjoy watching high school basketball, you’ve got a lot to look forward to in the days and weeks to come. 

Today in History for Jan. 28, 2016

Henry Morton Stanley 
Jan. 28, 1624 – Sir Thomas Warner founded the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

Jan. 28, 1777 – British general John Burgoyne submitted a ill-fated plan to the British government to isolate New England from the other colonies. Burgoyne’s plan revolved around an invasion of 8,000 British troops from Canada, who would move southward through New York by way of Lake Champlain and the Mohawk River, taking the Americans by surprise. General Burgoyne believed he and his troops could then take control of the Hudson River and isolate New England from the other colonies, freeing British General William Howe to attack Philadelphia.

Jan. 28, 1781 - General Daniel Morgan reported to General Nathanael Greene that his men had observed the British army moving towards the Catawba River.

Jan. 28, 1798 – Future University of Alabama President Basil Manly Sr. was born near Pittsboro, N.C. He went on to serve as the University’s president from 1837 to 1855. He died at the home of Basil Manly Jr. in Greenville, S.C. at the age of 70 on Dec. 21, 1868 and was buried in Springwood Cemetery in Greenville.

Jan. 28, 1813 – Jane Austen's “Pride and Prejudice” was first published in the United Kingdom.

Jan. 28, 1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovered the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.

Jan. 28, 1821 – Alexander Island was first discovered by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen.

Jan. 28, 1828 - Confederate General Thomas Carmichael Hindman was born in Knoxville, Tenn. Hindman was raised in Alabama and educated in New York and New Jersey. He fought at Chickamauga and Atlanta, and was wounded twice.

Jan. 28, 1841 – Welsh-American explorer and journalist Sir Henry Morton Stanley was born in Denbigh, Wales, UK. He went on to become a journalist and explorer famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley allegedly asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Jan. 28, 1846 - Montgomery was selected as the capital of Alabama by the state legislature on the 16th ballot. Montgomery won the final vote largely because of promises of Montgomery city leaders to provide $75,000 for a new capitol and because of the emerging prominence of the Black Belt region of the state.

Jan. 28, 1856 - Alabama author and dramatist Joseph M. Field died in Mobile, Ala.

Jan. 28, 1858 – Welsh-Australian geologist and explorer Tannatt William Edgeworth David was born in St. Fagans, near Cardiff, Wales.

Jan. 28, 1861 – During the Civil War, Federal property in New Orleans and Ft. Macomb, near New Orleans, were seized by the 1st Regiment, Louisiana Infantry.

Jan. 28, 1862 - The tenth president of the United States, John Tyler, passed away at the age of 71 in Richmond, Va.

Jan. 28, 1862 – During the Civil War, six days of Confederate operations between Greensburg and Lebanon, Ky. began.

Jan. 28, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Indian Village, La. and at Collierville, Nashville, and Yorkville, Tenn. A four-day Federal operation between La Grange, Tenn. and Ripley, Miss. began.

Jan. 28, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Dallas, Ark.; and at Fain’s Island, Indian Creek, Island Ford, Kelley’s Ford and Swann’s Island, near Dandridge, and at the Lee House on the Cornersville, Pike, Tenn. Two days of skirmishing also began near Jonesville, Va. A 14-day sustained operation began in the vicinity of New Berne, N.C. A 12-day Federal operation between Gallatin and the Cumberland Mountains, Tenn. began.

Jan. 28, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Confederate torpedo boat St. Patrick attacked the USS Octorara in Mobile Bay, Ala.

Jan. 28, 1865 – During the Civil War, a 13-day Federal operation against Indians began in the vicinity of Fort Zarah, Kansas, and a skirmish was fought at Combahaee River, S.C. A three-day Federal expedition from Strawberry Plains to Clinch Mountain, Tenn. began with a skirmish being fought at Athens, Tenn.

Jan. 28, 1873 – Novelist Colette was born Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette in Saint-Sauveur-en Puisaye, France.

Jan. 28, 1878 – The Yale Daily News became the first daily college newspaper in the United States.

An. 28, 1884 – Swiss physicist and explorer Auguste Piccard was born in Basel, Switzerland.

Jan. 28, 1887 – In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, 15 inches wide and eight inches thick.
Jan. 28, 1904 - The University of Chicago awarded blankets with the letter “C” to all seniors that played football during the 1903 season. This event marked the beginning of the sports letter tradition.

Jan. 28, 1905 – Residents of Gadsden and Attalla in Alabama felt an earthquake around 10:20 p.m. The quake “shook houses, rattled windows and doors, broke up glassware and frightened the superstitious.”

Jan. 28, 1912 – Artist Paul Jackson Pollock was born in Cody, Wyoming.

Jan. 28, 1915 – The Monroe Journal reported that the contract for the construction of a railroad bridge across the Alabama River near Pine Hill, Ala. had been awarded to the American Bridge Co. by the Gulf, Florida and Alabama Railroad.

Jan. 28, 1915 – Will “Willie” Ellis, 49, of Evergreen, Ala. died on this night from consumption and he was buried the following day. The local Masonic lodge, of which he was a member, conducted the funeral at his home and he was buried in the cemetery at Antioch Church. He was raised to the degree of Master Mason on May 2, 1896.

Jan. 28, 1915 - The Coast Guard was created by an act of the U.S. Congress to fight contraband trade and aid distressed vessels at sea.

Jan. 28, 1920 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Terrible Old Man,” which was originally published in Issue No. 4 of The Tryout, 7 in July 1821.

Jan. 28, 1922 - The National Football League franchise in Decatur, Ill. transferred to Chicago. The team took the name Chicago Bears.

Jan. 28, 1927 - Alabama author Thomas Turner was born in Oxford, Ala.

Jan. 28, 1938 - German race car driver Bernd Rosemeyer, known as the “Silver Comet,” reached the speed of 268 mph on the Autobahn, just before his death.

Jan. 28, 1941 – Evergreen High School’s basketball team was scheduled to play Lyeffion High School in Lyeffion, Ala.

Jan. 28, 1941 – The Evergreen Courant reported the following Confederate Pensioners in Conecuh County as of Jan. 1, 1941: Veteran: Brown, John T., McKenzie, Ala., Rt. 1; Widows: Brown, Emma, Evergreen, Ala.; Carter, Drucilla, Evergreen, Ala., Rt. 2; Castleberry, Susie M., Castleberry, Ala.; Crosby, Janie, Evergreen, Ala.; Floyd, Virginia B., Evergreen, Ala.; Hardee, Virginia, Belleville, Ala.; Kendall, Rebecca J., Brooklyn, Ala.; McKittrick, Margaret, Evergreen, Ala.; Nichols, Fannie, Evergreen, Ala., Rt. 2; Nored, Susan H., Repton, Ala.; Raines, Mary E., Repton, Ala.; Salter, Eugenia A., Evergreen, Ala.; Thomas, Mary C., Herbert, Ala.; Worrell, Ardella Viola, Castleberry, Ala.

Jan. 28, 1941 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the recent ratings of enlisted men in Battery C, 117th Field Artillery, who formerly were stationed as a unit of the Alabama National Guard at Evergreen, Ala., had been announced that week by Captain William D. Lewis, battery commander. The ratings were as follows: Sergeants, George H. Joyner; Corporals, Floyd H. Purnell, Robert Salter, Marvin Kindig, Elmer Morrison and James Tanner; Privates First Class, Herman Armstrong, Walter Bower, Walter Holland, Cecil Padgett, Olon Padgett, Winton McIntyre, Wesley Shefield, James Bryant, Lee Cole, Hagood Ellis, Bennie Gatlin, James Henderson, James Logan, Richard Potts, Rufus Burt and James Weaver. Besides Captain Lewis, other commissioned officers in the unit were First Lt. John C. Holman and Second Lt. Leon A. Salter.

Jan. 28, 1948 – German SS officers Hans Aumeier and Arthur Liebehenschel were both executed by hanging in Krakow, Poland. Aumeier was 41 years old, and Liebehenschel was 46 years old.

Jan. 28, 1949 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team improved to 6-4 on the season by beating Georgiana, 47-38, in Evergreen.

Jan. 28, 1953 – The Alabama Historical Association erected three historical markers in Autauga County. Those markers were erected in memory the Pratt Gin Factory, Albert J. Pickett and Alibamo Indians.

Jan. 28, 1957 - The Brooklyn Dodgers announced that circus clown Emmett Kelly had been hired to entertain fans at baseball games.

Jan. 28, 1958 - Roy Campanella of the Brooklyn Dodgers was seriously injured in an auto accident in New York. He would never return to play again.

Jan. 28, 1959 - The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League signed Vince Lombardi to a five-year contract as the team's coach and general manager.

Jan. 28, 1960 – The National Football League announced expansion teams for Dallas to start in the 1960 NFL season and Minneapolis-St. Paul for 1961 NFL season.

Jan. 28, 1960 - Alabama author Zora Neale Hurston died in Fort Pierce, Fla.

Jan. 28, 1971 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Sandra Owens, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Owens of Evergreen, Ala., was to be a contestant in the Lurleen B. Wallace State Junior College’s first annual Beauty Pageant to be held on Feb. 6, 1971 at 7:30 p.m. in the Andalusia High School Auditorium. Sandra, a freshman majoring in elementary education, was a popular student at Evergreen High School, where she was chosen class favorite; served as a majorette; and was selected to appear in the senior Superlatives in the annual. She was Miss Evergreen for 1970 and was selected to attend Girls State.

Jan. 28, 1973 – During the Vietnam War, a cease-fire went into effect at 8 a.m., Saigon time (midnight on Jan. 27, Greenwich Mean Time). When the cease-fire went into effect, Saigon controlled about 75 percent of South Vietnam’s territory and 85 percent of the population. The South Vietnamese Army was well equipped via last-minute deliveries of U.S. weapons and continued to receive U.S. aid after the cease-fire. 

Jan. 28, 1975 - President Gerald Ford asked Congress for an additional $522 million in military aid for South Vietnam and Cambodia. He revealed that North Vietnam now had 289,000 troops in South Vietnam, and tanks, heavy artillery, and antiaircraft weapons “by the hundreds.” Ford succeeded Richard Nixon when he resigned the presidency in August 1974. Despite his wishes to honor Nixon’s promise to come to the aid of South Vietnam, he was faced with a hostile Congress who refused to appropriate military aid for South Vietnam and Cambodia; both countries fell to the communists later in the year.

Jan. 28, 1976 – Basketball player Mark Madsen was born in Walnut Creek, Calif. He went on to play at Stanford and the Los Angeles Lakers and the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jan. 28, 1985 – Supergroup USA for Africa (United Support of Artists for Africa) recorded the hit single “We Are the World,” to help raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief.

Jan. 28, 1986 - The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after takeoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla. All seven of its crew members were killed.

Jan. 28, 1989 – The Bank of Andalusia on South Court Square and the Covington County Courthouse and Jail were added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Jan. 28, 1990 - Aaron Neville sang the U.S. national anthem at Super Bowl XXIV. Joe Montana got his third MVP award. The San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos, 55-10.

Jan. 28, 1996 - Diana Ross performed as the featured halftime performer at Super Bowl XXX in Tempe, AZ. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-17. It was the fifth Super Bowl for the Cowboys.

Jan. 28, 2006 – Iraqi-Israeku rabbi Yitzhak Kaduri died around 10 p.m. in the Bikur Holim Hospital in Jerusalem after being hospitalized with pneumonia. 

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., Jan. 28, 2016

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.10 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.80 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Winter to Date Rainfall: 15.85 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 5.70 inches

Notes: Today in the 28th day of 2016 and the 38th day of Winter. There are 338 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.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Today in History for Jan. 27, 2016

Donald W. Evans Jr.
Jan. 27, 1302 – Italian poet Dante Alighieri was exiled from Florence for his political sympathies.

Jan. 27, 1593 - The Vatican opened their seven-year trial against scholar Giordano Bruno, accused among other things, of believing in the existence of a plurality of worlds.

Jan. 27, 1596 – English captain and explorer Francis Drake died at the age of 55 at Portobelo, Colon, Panama.

Jan. 27, 1606 – In connection with the famous “Gunpowder Plot,” the trial of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators began, ending with their execution on Jan. 31.

Jan. 27, 1756 – World famous musician (and prominent Freemason) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.

Jan. 27, 1776 – During the American Revolutionary War, Henry Knox's "noble train of artillery" arrived in Cambridge, Mass.

Jan. 27, 1785 - The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the University of Georgia, the first state-funded institution of higher learning in the new republic.

Jan. 27, 1814 – During the Creek War, Capt. Samuel Butts was killed at the Battle of Calebee Creek in Macon County, Ala., 50 miles west of Fort Mitchell. Buttsville, Ala. (present day Greenville) was later named in his honor.

Jan. 27, 1825 – The U.S. Congress approved the “Indian Territory” (in what is present-day Oklahoma), clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the "Trail of Tears".

Jan. 27, 1826 – Confederate Lt. General Richard Taylor was born in Springfield, Ky.

Jan. 27, 1832 – English author Lewis Carroll was born in Daresbury, Cheshire, England. His most famous writings are “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” and its sequel “Through the Looking-Glass.”

Jan. 27, 1834 – Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, who created the Periodic Table of Elements, was born in Tobolsk, Siberia.

Jan. 27, 1840 - The Alabama legislature passed a joint resolution accepting the disputed boundary line with Georgia. In recognizing the line marked by a Georgia commission in 1826, the legislature stated that “a fixed and known line between this State and Georgia, is of far higher consequence to us, than the acquisition of an inconsiderable portion of territory.”

Jan. 27, 1862 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln issued General War Order No. 1, which ordered all Union land and sea forces to advance on Feb. 22, 1862. This bold move sent a message to his commanders that the president was tired of excuses and delays in seizing the offensive against Confederate forces.

Jan. 27, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Bloomfield, Mo.; Germantown, Tenn.; and in the vicinity of Suffolk, Va. Five Federal naval vessels attacked Ft. McAllister, at Genesis Point, on the Ogeechee River, south of Savannah, Ga. A two-day Federal reconnaissance took place along the Neuse, Dover, and Trent Roads, N.C.

Jan. 27, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought on the Cumberland River at Lebanon, Ky.; at Kelley’s Ford and McNutt’s Bridge, in the vicinity of Dandridge, Tenn. and along the Strawberry Plains Road, near Knoxville, Tenn.; and at Thoroughfare Mountain, Va. A 12-day Federal operation took place in Hampshire and Hardy Counties, West Virginia.

Jan. 27, 1865 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Elrod's Tan Yard in De Kalb County, Ala. and a skirmish was also fought at Ennis Cross Roads, S.C. A Federal operation also took place between Fort Pinney about the Federal gunboat, Number 28, to Kimball’s Plantation, Ark. Federals also refloated the Confederate torpedo Boat, Scorpion, on the James River below Richmond, Va.

Jan. 27, 1865 - General Robert E. Lee wrote a letter to Richmond. In it he pointed out that absenteeism, and frequently outright desertion, from his Army of Northern Virginia was reaching critical proportions. While it was hardly unknown on either side for men to go absent with or without leave to deal with family emergencies, the problem now was that they were neglecting to come back. Lee stated “the ration is too small for men who have to undergo so much exposure and labor as ours,” and suggested the Commissary Department be encouraged to provide more and better food.

Jan. 27, 1888 - The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C. for "the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." Nine months after its inception, the Society published its first issue of National Geographic magazine.

Jan. 27, 1901 – Pro Football Hall of Famer Art Rooney was born in Coulterville, Pa.

Jan. 27, 1905 – O.L. Peckham, a truck farmer who had moved to Evergreen, Ala. from Missouri, was found dead shortly after noon near where he was building a home in front of D.G. Rutland’s house in Evergreen. Rutland discovered Peckham’s body leaning against a tree and moved the body to his house. The ensuing investigation revealed that Peckham had apparently committed suicide by drinking carbolic acid, which he’d purchased from an Evergreen drug store on Jan. 21. Investigators found the empty bottle and a dipper by Peckham’s side. He was buried in the Evergreen Cemetery on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m.

Jan. 27, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Prof. C.C. Smith of Healing Springs had been elected superintendent of the Orphans Home in Evergreen, Ala., succeeding M.C. Reynolds, who had resigned to move to Birmingham. Smith was expected to reach Evergreen the following week with his family.

Jan. 27, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Charles Savage Jr. was “painfully injured several days ago by being caught in some part of the machinery at the oil mill.”

Jan. 27, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that the tax assessor’s books showed a “multiplicity of dogs” in Conecuh County, Ala.

Jan. 27, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that Emmitt Lee Stallworth, the son of Dr. Stallworth, had been chosen to represent the Evergreen Baptist Church at the Sunday School Convention in Selma, Ala. The Evegreen Methodist Church was to be represented at the convention by Bryan Northcutt, the son of W.B. Northcutt.

Jan. 27, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that Walter S. Harper, a “gifted member of the staff of” The Montgomery Advertiser, had spent several days in Monroe County, Ala. that week, “visiting various towns and communities in the collection of data for the adequate representation of Monroe County’s resources in the forthcoming ‘All-Alabama’ edition of The Advertiser.”

Jan. 27, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that railroad contractor J.T. McCarthy was in Monroeville, Ala. for a few days that week. McCarthy “will probably keep his construction outfit in the county until the work of putting the Deep Water road bed in apple pie shape for regular train service is completed.”

Jan. 27, 1920 – R.R. Elder, a well known resident of the Flat Rock, Ala. community, passed away.

Jan. 27, 1927 - United Independent Broadcasters Inc. started a radio network with contracts with 16 stations. The company later became Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS).

Jan. 27, 1944 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Staff Sgt. Meldon R. Holland, 26, of Castleberry, Ala. had been awarded the Purple Heart. Holland, a mechanic, was injured by shrapnel in the spring of 1943 during a Japanese bombing raid in New Guinea.

Jan. 27, 1945 – During World War II, the Red Army liberated the remaining inmates of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp built by the Nazi Germans on the territory of Poland.

Jan. 27, 1949 – Evergreen, Ala. Postmaster Mary Cunningham announced that the Evergreen Post Office would be painted inside and out in the “very near future.” The Evergreen Post Office was one of the few in the state to be approved for this type of work.

Jan. 27, 1950 – Evergreen High School’s boys basketball beat Pleasant Home, 53-22. John Greel Ralls led Evergreen with 19 points.

Jan. 27, 1958 - Little Richard entered Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala. This was after he announced that he was giving up Rock & Roll so he could serve God.

Jan. 27, 1959 – Members of the Dyatlov expedition departed Vizhai, the last inhabited settlement so far north, on their way to Otorten, a mountain 6.2 miles north of the site of the Dyatlov incident.

Jan. 27, 1959 – NFL wide receiver Cris Collinsworth was born in Dayton, Ohio. He played college ball at Florida and his entire NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Jan. 27, 1964 – Evergreen High School’s varsity boys basketball team beat Frisco City, 63-62, at Memorial Gym in Evergreen, Ala. Sid Lambert led Evergreen with 18 points, and Joe Sasser scored 15.

Jan. 27, 1967 - Paige Cothren became the first player to sign with the New Orleans Saints.

Jan. 27, 1967 - Specialist Four Donald W. Evans, a 23-year-old medic from Covina, California, was awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for action on this day in the Kontum Province. Evans’ platoon had not yet been committed to the battle near the hamlet of Tri Tam when firing broke out in an adjacent unit. Without hesitation, Evans charged forward through 100 yards of open ground to reach six wounded soldiers. With total disregard for his own safety, he moved among the soldiers, treating the men and carrying two of the more seriously wounded back to his platoon. Grenade fragments hit Evans, but he ignored his wounds to rejoin his unit as it entered the battle. Twice more he carried the wounded out of the line of fire. He was running toward another man when he was killed by enemy fire. His devotion to duty and uncommon valor won him the nation’s highest award for bravery.

Jan. 27, 1968 – The Minerve, a French submarine, disappeared in the Mediterranean, never to be found.

Jan. 27, 1973 - The United States, South Vietnam, Viet Cong and North Vietnam formally signed “An Agreement Ending the War and Restoring Peace in Vietnam” in Paris. Due to South Vietnam’s unwillingness to recognize the Viet Cong’s Provisional Revolutionary Government, all references to it were confined to a two-party version of the document signed by North Vietnam and the United States—the South Vietnamese were presented with a separate document that did not make reference to the Viet Cong government. This was part of Saigon’s long-time refusal to recognize the Viet Cong as a legitimate participant in the discussions to end the war. The settlement included a cease-fire throughout Vietnam. It addition, the United States agreed to the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and advisors (totalling about 23,700) and the dismantling of all U.S. bases within 60 days. In return, the North Vietnamese agreed to release all U.S. and other prisoners of war. Both sides agreed to the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Laos and Cambodia and the prohibition of bases in and troop movements through these countries. It was agreed that the DMZ at the 17th Parallel would remain a provisional dividing line, with eventual reunification of the country “through peaceful means.” An international control commission would be established made up of Canadians, Hungarians, Poles, and Indonesians, with 1,160 inspectors to supervise the agreement. According to the agreement, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu would continue in office pending elections. Agreeing to “the South Vietnamese People’s right to self-determination,” the North Vietnamese said they would not initiate military movement across the DMZ and that there would be no use of force to reunify the country.

Jan. 27, 1973 - The last U.S. serviceman to die in combat in Vietnam, Lt. Col. William B. Nolde, was killed by an artillery shell at An Loc, 60 miles northwest of Saigon, only 11 hours before the truce went into effect.

Jan. 27, 1976 – Actor and writer Clint Ford was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Jan. 27, 1990 – Roy Lee Moorer, 99, of Evergreen, Ala. passed away. He pitched for the University of Alabama in 1911-1912 and played professional baseball in Evansville and for the Birmingham Barons.

Jan. 27, 1991 - Whitney Houston sang the "Star Spangled Banner" at Super Bowl XXV.

Jan. 27, 1994 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the Conecuh County (Ala.) Commission had approved the recommendation of the Conecuh County Emergency Medical Services, Inc., and had chosen City Ambulance, Inc. as the contract holder for Conecuh County.

Jan. 27-28, 1994 – Hillcrest High School hosted the annual Hillcrest Invitational Basketball Tournament in Evergreen, Ala. The tournament featured Hillcrest, Excel and T.R. Miller.

Jan. 27, 2001 – According to this day’s edition of the Agence France Presse, an airport in southern Siberia was closed down for 90 minutes when a UFO hovered above its runway, preventing conventional aircraft from flying. The crew of an I1-76 cargo aircraft refused too take off when they sighted a large glowing object hovering above the runway of Siberia’s Barnaul airport, and the crew of another cargo plane refused to land when they spotted the same luminescent UFO above the runway, choosing to take their jet to another airport. After the mysterious object had performed whatever unknown mission constituted its unknown agenda, it left the airport and disappeared.

Jan. 27, 2002 - Stephen King's three-part, six-hour miniseries "Rose Red" began airing on ABC-TV.

Jan. 27, 2003 – The first selections for the National Recording Registry were announced by the Library of Congress.

Jan. 27, 2010 – Author J.D. Salinger passed away at his home in New Hampshire at the age of 91.

Jan. 27, 2015 – Around 6 p.m. in Birmingham in Jefferson County, Ala., a UFO witness was driving home from the grocery store when he saw an “object hovering in the distance, blinking and changing colors.” He pulled over and attempted to film the object without success.