Friday, May 25, 2018

Today in History for May 25, 2018

John William Abercrombie

May 25, 240 BC – Chinese astronomers noted the earliest recorded sighting of Halley’s comet at perihelion - its closest approach to the sun. Of course, it wasn't called Halley's comet then; it wasn't given that name until the 18th century, when English astronomer Edmond Halley first speculated that similar comets observed in 1531, 1607, and 1682 were probably actually the same comet, returning at regular intervals. He predicted its return, and though he didn't live to see it, his prediction was correct: the comet returned on Christmas Day, 1758 - the year he had predicted.

May 25, 1420 – Henry the Navigator was appointed governor of the Order of Christ.

May 25, 1787 - The Constitutional convention opened in Philadelphia with George Washington presiding.

May 25, 1803 – Philosopher, poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston, Mass.

May 25, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Washington, Pennsylvania, dining at the Pioneer Grill, the George Washington Hotel and staying at the Globe Inn.

May 25, 1844 - The first telegraphed news dispatch, sent from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore, Md. appeared in the Baltimore "Patriot."

May 25, 1856 - Abolitionist John Brown and his sons attacked three cabins along Pottawatomie Creek. They killed five men. The attack was Brown's revenge for an attack on Lawrence, Kansas on May 21.

May 25, 1861 – Maryland state legislator John Merryman, a vocal secessionist, was arrested in Cockeysville, Maryland for attempting to hinder Union troops from moving from Baltimore to Washington during the Civil War. He appealed for his release under a writ of habeas corpus. U.S. President Abraham Lincoln had suspended the writ of habeas corpus between Washington and Philadelphia on April 27. The move was made to give the military the necessary power to silence dissenters and rebels.

May 25, 1862 – Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson led Confederates to victory at the First Battle of Winchester, Va., as part of his brilliant campaign in the Shenandoah Valley. The Union casualties included 62 killed, 243 wounded and over 1,700 captured or missing, while 68 of Jackson’s men died and another 329 were wounded.

May 25, 1862 – During the Civil War, Halleck arrived outside of Corinth. It had taken him 26 days to march 20 miles from Pittsburg Landing (Shiloh),Tenn., virtually unopposed.

May 25, 1863 - Clement Vallandigham was banished to the Confederacy for his “pro-Confederate remarks.” Vallandigham had been found guilty by a military tribunal of violating General Ambrose Burnside's Order No. 38. The order stated that public criticism of the war would not be tolerated. He was exchanged at Murfreesboro, Tenn.

May 25, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege at Vicksburg entered its seventh day.

May 25, 1864 – During the Civil War, an affair occurred at Jackson's Bridge and a skirmish was fought at Camp Finegan, Florida.

May 25, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishing began around New Hope Church, Ga. and continued until June 5.

May 25, 1864 – During the Civil War, engagements were fought with the Union ships Curlew and Lebanon in Arkansas. A skirmish was also fought near Cripple Creek, Tennessee.

May 25, 1865 - During the early weeks of Federal occupation of Mobile, the city suffered one of its worst disasters as 20 tons of captured Confederate gunpowder exploded in a warehouse being used as an arsenal. Property loss was put at $5,000,000 and the number of casualties was never determined, although it has been estimated at possibly 300. The entire northern part of the city was laid in ruins by the explosion. Many of the dead were never identified. The blast, which leveled eight square blocks of Mobile, was centered near the site of the present day International Trade Center on Water Street. Fires and explosions continued throughout the day. Ships were set afire and sank along the waterfront. Windows were broken all over town, to include those in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception that is still in present day downtown Mobile.

May 25, 1865 – During the Civil War, Brigadier General M. Jeff Thompson's command was paroled in Arkansas.

May 25, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that L.H. Henley of Burnt Corn was in Monroeville “a short time ago” and “took the first degree in Masonry.”

May 25, 1885 – The Monroe Journal reported that W.B. Jones had plans to again open his beef market in Monroeville, Ala. The market was scheduled to open every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on the northeast corner of the public square.

May 25, 1885 – The Monroe Journal editorialized that “the draught and backgammon board furnish an unending source of amusement to the ‘gentlemen of leisure’ of this place. It is a more sensible source of pleasure than roller skating or baseball.”

May 25, 1886 - Mr. Brown of Camden, who had been engaged in painting Capt. Wiggins’ store, completed the job on this Tuesday and returned to Camden, according to The Monroe Journal.

May 25, 1893 - Monroe Chapter No. 4 was scheduled to hold a convocation in Masonic Hall at Perdue Hill, Ala., on this Thursday morning at 10 a.m. “There will be work, such as conferring degrees, electing officers for the ensuring year, paying dues, etc.,” according to The Monroe Journal. “Companions are all specially asked to be on hand.” W.J. McCants was the Chapter’s Secretary.

May 25, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that chancery court was in session in Monroeville, Ala. during the past week. Chancellor Thomas H. Smith presided.

May 25, 1905 – The Monroe Journal reported that “two more shooting scrapes” occurred in Monroe County during the past week, one with fatal results. The first involved an 11-year-old boy, who killed his father, in the King community. The second involved a man, who shot a woman in the arm, in the Scotland community. Both incidents were said to be accidental.

May 25, 1908 – Flomaton was officially incorporated as a municipality, according to the Alabama League of Municipalities.

May 25, 1908 – Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Theodore Roethke was born in Saginaw, Mich.

May 25, 1910 - The first-ever nighttime airplane flight was made at Orville Wright's flying school near Montgomery, Ala. Walter Brookins and Archibald Hoxsey piloted the plane, which the Montgomery Advertiser described as "glinting now and then in the moonlight" during flight. The flying school closed shortly after the historic event, but the site eventually became home to Maxwell Air Force Base.

May 25, 1914 – Prof. W.C. Blasingame was elected principal of the Southwest Alabama Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala during a meeting of the school’s board of control in Montgomery. He replaced Prof. J.T. McKee, who took a faculty position at the State Normal School in Florence. Blasingame was a graduate of the State Normal College, the University of Tennessee and the University of Chicago. Prior to coming to Evergreen, he’d been in charge of schools in Demopolis and Thomaston.

May 25, 1915 – The closing exercises of the Orphanage School in Evergreen, Ala. were scheduled to be held in the orphanage chapel at 8 p.m. Certificates were to be presented to four pupils for completing the seventh grade.

May 25, 1915 - In the latest of a disturbing series of Turkish aggressions against Armenians during World War I, Mehmed Talat, the Ottoman minister of the interior, announced that all Armenians living near the battlefield zones in eastern Anatolia (under Ottoman rule) would be deported to Syria and Mosul.

May 25, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported, in news from the Brooklyn community, that G.R. Boulware, J.L. Williamson, John Stamps and H.A. Chambless attended the United Confederate Veterans Reunion at Birmingham during the previous week and reported a “most enjoyable trip.” Boulware was accompanied home by W.R. Hodges and his son, Dr. R.H. Hodges of Texas, who planned to spend some time with relatives and friends in the Brooklyn vicinity. W.R. Hodges was born and reared near Brooklyn but shortly after his return from the army, with which he served during the Civil War, he moved to the state of Texas, where he had since “resided and prospered.”

May 25, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that Clarence Hawkins surprised his many friends when he returned from the United Confederate Veterans reunion at Birmingham accompanied by a Mrs. Hawkins. “No one suspected that he contemplated matrimony, even in the remote future, but everyone is congratulating him on his good fortune in winning such a charming lady for his life-partner. Mrs. Hawkins was Miss Corinne Schwaemmle of Mobile.”

May 25, 1916 – The Conecuh Record reported that Robt. H. Jones, Esq., was in Montgomery, Ala. that week attending the Knights of Phythias Lodge.

May 25, 1916 – The Monroe Journal reported that T.G. Fountain, renewing his subscription, wrote the following note from Reagan, Texas under date of May 22 – “The Journal has been coming to me for several years. I take several papers, none however, so much appreciated as The Journal, owing to the fact that I have many relatives and friends in Old Monroe. I enlisted in the Confederate war and served to the close in the cavalry service, was never wounded, sick or in prison. Several of my comrades were from Monroeville – A.B. McCorvey, T.J. Stevens, T.S. Wiggins, the Spottswood boys and others. Very few are left to answer roll call now.”

May 25, 1917 - The Pine Hill Dramatic Club, presenting the “Dramatic Players,” went to Camden on this Friday evening and presented at the school auditorium the three-act comedy, “Facing the Music.”

May 25, 1920 – The commencement exercises at the Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala. came to a close with senior class exercises on this day. On May 23, the commencement sermon was delivered at the Baptist Church by the Rev. Norman McLeod of Auburn. On May 21, commencement exercises began with the school play, a four-act drama that was present by pupils from several departments.

May 25, 1922 - Babe Ruth was suspended for one day and fined $200 for throwing dirt on an umpire.

May 25, 1926 – Graduation exercises were held on this Tuesday night at Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, Ala. The commencement address was delivered by Judge W.H. Thomas of Montgomery.

May 25, 1927 – Novelist Robert Ludlum was born in New York City. He is best known for his thriller novels about Jason Bourne.

May 25, 1928 - The graduation exercises at the State Secondary Agricultural School in Evergreen, Ala. were scheduled to be held on this Friday night, and the address was to be delivered by Dr. Jno. W. Abercrombie, assistant state superintendent, formerly state superintendent. The ceremony was scheduled to be held at the Evergreen City School auditorium.

May 25, 1933 – The Monroe Journal reported, under the headline “Typhoid Fever In Monroeville,” that Health Officer, Dr. T.E. Tucker, reported that there were two cases of Typhoid fever in Monroeville, a colored woman and a white man. He also reported that clinics were being conducted in several places in the county each week, including at Fountain, Monroe Station, Mineola School, A.E. Tucker’s place and Mexia. These clinics were conducted on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On other days, vaccine could be secured at his office.

May 25, 1933 – Chapman’s baseball team was scheduled to play Monroeville on this Thursday afternoon on the Monroeville, Ala. diamond. “A hotly contested game” was anticipated, according to The Monroe Journal. A grandstand had recently been completed at the Monroeville diamond and comfortable seats had been installed.

May 25, 1933 – The Monroe Journal reported that J.C. Hudson was building a swimming pool and fish pond on Hudson branch about one-half mile east of the Monroe County Courthouse. Workmen had been engaged for about a week, cutting the foundation ditch for the dam and spillway. According to the survey made by an engineer, the several springs at the head of the branch were to afford a pond covering about two acres, the deepest point being about seven to eight feet.

May 25, 1935 - Babe Ruth hit his final homerun, his 714th, and set a record that would stand for 39 years.

May 25, 1935 – Oakville, Ala. native Jesse Owens of Ohio State University broke three world records and tied a fourth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Owens tied the world record for the 100-yard dash, running it in 9.4 seconds.

May 25, 1938 – Short-story writer and novelist Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon.

May 25, 1944 – Conecuh County High School in Castleberry, Ala. was scheduled to hold its graduation exercises at 8 p.m. Those receiving diplomas included Jessie Ruth Godwin, Mabel Green, Doris Davis, Lois Ward, Virginia Griffin, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Clara Evelyn Albreast, Mary Ellen Dolihite, John Josey, Joe Josey, Hairston Powell, Lamar Stapleton and Kenneth Brooks.

May 25, 1949 – Writer Jamaica Kincaid was born Elaine Potter Richardson in St. John’s, Antigua.

May 25, 1950 – The Evergreen Greenies were scheduled to play Atmore in a Dixie Amateur League game at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala.

May 25, 1951 – Westfield, Ala. native Willie Mays made his debut with the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds.

May 25, 1955 – The first ascent of Kangchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in the world, was made by a British expedition led by Charles Evans. Joe Brown and George Band reached the summit on May 25, followed by Norman Hardie and Tony Streather the next day.

May 25, 1961 - President John F. Kennedy made his historic speech before a joint session of Congress, declaring that America would aim to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.

May 25, 1963 – Hartford, Ala. native Early Wynn won his 300th baseball game.

May 25, 1964 - Pfc. Ralph W. Phillippi, the son of Mrs. Dovie Jaye of 104 Poplar St. in Monroeville, completed training with the Special Forces Training Group at the John F. Kennedy Center for Special Warfare at Fort Bragg, N.C. With his branch training behind him, Phillippi was then a qualified Special Forces soldier and was entitled to wear the coveted mark of the elite force, the green beret, which was distinguished by the late President Kennedy as a “badge of courage.” Phillippi entered the Army in April 1963 and completed training at Fort Polk, La.

May 25, 1968 - The Gateway Arch, part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in St. Louis, Mo. was dedicated.

May 25, 1968 - The communists launched their third major assault of the year on Saigon.

May 25, 1969 - South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu assumed personal leadership of the National Social Democratic Front at its inaugural meeting in Saigon.

May 25, 1971 - President Richard Nixon visited Mobile, Ala. to mark the start of construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. The waterway, when completed in 1985, ran from Pickwick Lake to Demopolis, Alabama, to connect the Tennessee River to the Tombigbee River. A link between the two rivers had long been desired, having been first proposed by the French in the eighteenth century.

May 25, 1974 - Pam Morrison, Jim Morrison's widow, died of a drug overdose.

May 25, 1976 – NFL offensive tackle Tarik Glenn was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He went on to play for the University of California and the Indianapolis Colts.

May 25, 1976 – Irish actor Cillian Murphy was born in Blackrock, Cork, Ireland.

May 25, 1976 – Actor Ethan Suplee was born in Manhattan, N.Y.

May 25, 1977 - "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope" opened in theaters and became the largest grossing film to date.

May 25, 1978 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Tony Rogers, outstanding quarterback for the Evergreen High School Aggies, had signed a full grant-in-aid scholarship to Livingston State University. Rogers was an outstanding passer and runner for the Aggies, playing under head coach Charles Branum.

May 25, 1978 – The Monroe Journal reported that bulldozers were clearing the land for the construction of a Monroeville city recreational park in Clausell, which was expected to be completed and ready for use by the end of that summer, according to city Public Works Superintendent Lyle Salter. Clearing began the first of May 1978 and had been hampered only slightly by rainy weather.

May 25, 1978 – The Monroe Journal reported that Coach Bill McPherson of Frisco City High School had recently presented V.P. “Junie” Burns with a plaque holding the names of Frisco City football players who had received the school’s most valuable player award named in his honor. Burns, a former Frisco City athlete, played college ball at Auburn University, where he was selected to the Coaches’ All-SEC team. He coached rather than accept offers to play pro football, carrying his team to a state championship. During World War II, he was wounded in the Normandy Invasion and has numerous medals. Each year the recipient of the award receives a trophy and his name was to be added to the plaque.

May 25, 1978 – The Monroe Journal reported that, reversing himself, state senator Maston Mims of Uriah, Ala. that week announced that he would not seek re-election. Mims, a first-term senator who was chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, in the fall of 1977 became the first person to announce intention to run in the Sept. 5 Democratic primary for his District 31 seat. But during the week of May 25, 1978, Mims said “new opportunities” had surfaced “which conflict with (Mims’) running for the state Senate in this year’s election.”

May 25, 1981 – In Riyadh, the Gulf Cooperation Council was created between Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

May 25, 1982 - Ferguson Jenkins became the seventh pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters.

May 25, 1983 - "The Return of the Jedi" opened nationwide. It set a new record in opening day box office sales. The gross was $6,219,629.

May 25, 1993 - The ferry serving Packer’s Bend had been declared unsafe for use and needed to be repaired or replaced, the Monroe County Commission was told on this Tuesday. County Engineer Robert English said the ferry was brought in for a routine maintenance inspection about two weeks before, and it was discovered that the bottom was rotting. The ferry was to be out of service until the problem was solved. English estimated the monthly traffic on the ferry, which operated eight hours a day Monday through Friday, at 300 trips per month.

May 25, 1997 - The Minnesota Twins retired Kirby Puckett's number.

May 25, 1997 - Todd and Mel Stottlemyre became the first father and son duo to win 100 baseball games.

May 25, 2001 – Erik Weihenmayer, 32, of Boulder, Colorado became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

May 25, 2001 - Sherman Bull, 64, of New Canaan, Conn. became the oldest climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

May 25, 2012 – Renovations were completed at the Historic Louisville & Nashville Depot in downtown Evergreen, Ala.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Fri., May 25, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): 0.00 inches.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  1.35 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 8.10 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 18.45 inches.

Notes: Today is the 144th day of 2018 and the 66th day of Spring. There are 222 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, May 24, 2018

Evergreen, Pine Orchard get big mention in Kelly Kazek's new book, 'Not Quite Right'

Evergreen, Pine Orchard and even Evergreen City Councilman Luther Upton get a big mention in Kelly Kazek’s new book, “Not Quite Right: Mostly True Tales of a Weird News Reporter.”

Released on April 16 by Solomon & George Publishers of Auburn, this 239-page book hilariously describes the wide variety of unusual adventures that Kazek has experienced over the years during her successful career as an award-winning newspaper reporter, editor and columnist in Alabama.

Currently, Kazek is the widely-known “Weird News Reporter” for the Alabama Media Group and many readers will likely know her from her off-beat stories in The Mobile Press-Register and on

In her latest book, Kazek mentions Evergreen in a big way as she describes how readers can visit the “Bigfoot Capital of Alabama.” She tells readers how the Evergreen City Council officially voted to name the city the “Bigfoot Capital” in February 2017 after “residents reported several Sasquatch sightings and after researchers came to Evergreen and discovered what they believed to be Bigfoot claw marks.”

She goes on to describe how members of the Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization came to the Collard Green Festival that year and how stories about this chain of events “went viral,” prompting the council to name Evergreen as Alabama’s “Bigfoot Capital.”

My favorite part of the book comes when Kazek shares the ever-quotable Luther Upton’s thoughts on Sasquatch. Luther told her that he’d never seen Bigfoot, “but I’ve never seen God either, and I believe in him. A lot of people have seen these things. They aren’t quacks. They are legitimate people who’ve seen these things.”

Kazek even gives Evergreen’s CVS drug store a big plug in her book, noting that when readers come to visit Evergreen, they can buy Bigfoot hats and T-shirts there.

Elsewhere in the book, Kazek describes how her story about Bigfoot researchers believing that they’d found huge claw marks on a tree at Pine Orchard sparked a nasty debate over whether or not “Bigfoot Deserves the Death Penalty.” In the story, Kazek reported that researchers from the TV show “Killing Bigfoot” said that if they encountered a Sasquatch, they would kill it. Kazek, who does not believe in Bigfoot, said this caused a huge backlash and debate over whether or not it’s right to kill a Bigfoot.

Even though Kazek isn’t a “Bigfoot believer,” she happens to be married to one of the biggest Bigfoot enthusiasts in Alabama, Wil “Sweetums” Elrick, a 6-foot-7, 300-pound former police officer who is a true-believer in all things Sasquatch. With that in mind, Kazek’s book is full of off-beat Bigfoot material, as evidenced by some of the book’s funny chapter titles – “That Time My FiancĂ© Wanted to Dress as Bigfoot for the Wedding,” “That Time My Story Sparked Debate: Does Bigfoot Deserve the Death Penalty,” “That Time I Learned How to Recognize a Southern Bigfoot,” “How to Visit: Expedition Bigfoot! and Bigfoot Capital of Alabama” and “That Time There Came Those Three Little Words: Rent-A-Squatch.”

In the end, I thought this book was great, and it’s a must-read for any local Bigfoot enthusiasts or fans of “weird news” stories in general. The book is also very funny, and, more than once, it made me laugh out loud, which is something that I don’t normally do while reading. If you’d like to purchase a copy, its available through Kazek’s website, as well as through other online retailers like Amazon. Autographed copies of the book are available through her website for a grand total of just $19 – that’s $15 for the book and $4 for shipping.  

And just like that, Jose Bautista gets fired from the Atlanta Braves

And just like that, Jose Bautista gets fired from the Braves.

The Atlanta Braves have been red hot lately, but I have to admit that it came as a shock before Sunday’s game against the Marlins when Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos announced that they’d released Bautista. Bautista, a former batting champion who is now a little long in the tooth, will likely be replaced at third base by youngster Johan Camargo.

Aside from that unusual hiccup, the Braves have been clipping right on along. Since Monday of last week, they’ve gone 4-2 and won series against the Cubs and Marlins. Atlanta was supposed to play a game against the Cubs last Thursday, but that game was postponed until Aug. 30 due to rain.

----- 0 -----

This time next week, our local schools will have closed their doors for the summer, which means that the local sports scene will slow way down until preseason football practice begins. The regular season schedules will open up a few weeks later as will the college and professional football seasons a short time later. That’ll give us all a little something to look forward to as we slog our way through the long, hot, humid summer.

----- 0 -----

Also this week, I saw where the AISA had recently released its updated classifications for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years. Thirty-six of the AISA’s member schools will compete in football next season while 41 will compete in basketball, baseball and softball.

Under the new configuration, Sparta Academy will remain in Class A, but their football region will see some significant changes. Last year, Sparta competed in Class A, Region 1 against Abbeville Christian, Crenshaw Christian, Chambers Academy and Lowndes Academy. Next year, the Warriors will compete in Region 1 against Abbeville Christian, Crenshaw Christian, Jackson Academy, Snook Christian Academy and Wilcox Academy.

The proposed area alignment for basketball, baseball and softball places Sparta in Class A, Region 2 with Jackson Academy, Marengo Academy, North River Christian, Snook Christian, Southern Academy and Wilcox Academy. The proposed area alignment, which basically splits the region in half, is subject to formal approval at the AISA’s next athletic committee meeting.

Taking a look at the student numbers used to calculate these alignments is always interesting. Of the schools playing football, Sparta and Marengo are tied for being the fourth smallest schools in the state, right behind Crenshaw Christian. Snook Christian, which is located in Foley, is the smallest football-playing school in the AISA. Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn is the largest sports-playing school in the AISA at nearly four times the size of Sparta.

Sparta is scheduled to kick off its regular season football schedule on Aug. 17 when they play Cornerstone Christian in Columbiana. At first glance, Aug. 17 seemed real early to me and when I checked it, I learned that this will be the earliest season-opener in school history. This date breaks the previous mark of Aug. 18, which was set last year when the Warriors played Cornerstone on that date in Evergreen.

Today in History for May 24, 2018.

Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

May 24, 1607 – One hundred English settlers disembarked in Jamestown, the first English colony in America.

May 24, 1626 – Peter Minuit bought the island of Manhattan from the Lenape Indians.

May 24, 1686 – Physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, inventor of the mercury thermometer and the temperature scale of his namesake, was born in modern-day Poland.

May 24, 1738 – John Wesley was converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day and a church service is generally held on the preceding Sunday.

May 24, 1764 - Bostonian lawyer James Otis denounced "taxation without representation" and called for the colonies to unite in demonstrating their opposition to Britain’s new tax measures.

May 24, 1767 - The first Quartering Act expired. This act was enacted by the Parliament of Great Britain on May 3, 1765.

May 24, 1775 - John Hancock was elected president of the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Pa.

May 24, 1819 - Queen Victoria was born at 4:15 a.m. at Kensington Palace in London She was Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from June 20, 1837 until her death on Jan. 22, 1901. From May 1, 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India.

May 24, 1825 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Wheeling, Va.

May 24, 1828 – An Act of Congress was approved to establish an arsenal at Mount Vernon, Ala., which was garrisoned by federal troops until 1861, when it was seized by Alabama militia under the orders of Gov. Andrew B. Moore.

May 24, 1830 – The first passenger railroad service in the U.S. began when the first revenue trains in the United States begin service on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad between Baltimore, and Ellicott's Mills, Maryland.

May 24, 1840 – About seven weeks after Philadelphia Baptist Church was organized at Tunnel Springs, Ala., the first new members were added to the church roll, Robert Colvin and his wife, Sarah Colvin.

May 24, 1841 – Early Alabama soldier and pioneer Samuel Dale died in Daleville in Lauderdale County, Miss. at the age of 69 (possibly 68). (Some sources say he died on May 23.)

May 24, 1844 - Samuel Morse sent the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line.

May 24, 1845 – Confederate soldier John Pitts Anderson was born in Sparta, Ala. In September 1861, at the age of 17, he enlisted in the Miller Guards at Sparta and was promoted to Second Sgt. of Co. E, 38th Alabama Regiment on June 11, 1862. He was on the muster roll at Camp Holt in Mobile on June 16, 1862. Between June 6, 1864 and June 22, 1864, he was listed as sick with febris continue at St. Mary’s Hospital in Dalton, Ga. He was listed as a prisoner of war at Fort Blakeley on April 9, 1865 and was forwarded to Ship Island Prison in Mississippi on April 16, 1865. He was forwarded to Vicksburg on May 1, 1865 and was paroled after taking the oath of allegiance. He would pass away near Sparta in Conecuh County on Sept. 1, 1914 and is buried at Hampden Ridge.

May 24, 1856 – John Brown and his men killed five slavery supporters at Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas.

May 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, Union troops occupied Alexandria, Virginia.

May 24, 1861 – During the Civil War, Sterling Price refused to disband his troops.

May 24, 1861 - Col. Elmer Ephraim Ellsworth of the 11th New York Fire Zouaves was killed in the Marshall House Inn in Alexandria, Virginia, after he and his men removed a Confederate flag. He is generally regarded as the first officer killed while on duty in the American Civil War.

May 24, 1861 - Benjamin Butler used the term "contraband" to describe slaves who have crossed into the Northern camps.

May 24, 1862 – During the Civil War, actions occurred at Middleton and Newtown; and skirmishes were fought at Berryville and Linden and Seven Pines, Virginia.

May 24, 1863 - Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attacked a U.S. Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri.

May 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Woodbury, Tennessee and at Mound Plantation, Louisiana.

May 24, 1863 – During the Civil War, the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi entered its sixth day.

May 24, 1864 - Union General Ulysses S. Grant moved his troops south toward Cold Harbor, Va. after a second attempt to dislodge the Rebels on the North Anna River around Hanover, Va.

May 24, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Holly Springs, Miss. and near Nashville, Tenn.

May 24, 1865 – During the Civil War, the Grand Review of Sherman's Army took place.

May 24, 1883 - After 14 years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was first officially opened to traffic.

May 24, 1886 - A primary election was held on this Monday in Monroe County, Ala., and “passed off very quietly,” according to the May 27, 1886 edition of The Journal. The Journal also reported that “there was a larger white democratic vote polled in Monroeville (during the election) than there has been since 1874.”

May 24, 1902 - Bill Bradley of the Cleveland Indians became the first American League player to hit home runs in four consecutive games.

May 24, 1906 - The Monroe Journal reported that Capt. J.F. Foster, editor of The Wilcox Banner, had been appointed as probate judge of Wilcox County, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Judge James Tait Beck. Beck, a prominent Freemason, died at the age of 55 on May 6, 1906 and was buried in the Camden Cemetery. Born on Feb. 26, 1851, he was the son of Franklin K. and Martha J. Beck.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that Drs. Clarence Jones of Camden, A.G. Stacey of Activity, John J. Dailey of Tunnel Springs, E.G. Burson of Furman and Dr. Farish of Wilcox went before the Board of Censors of the Monroe County Medical Society that week undergoing examination for license to practice medicine. Jones had been in the quarantine service in Mexican waters for a year previous to this. The other young gentlemen were recently graduates of the Alabama Medical College.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal reported that the following cases, appealed from the Monroe County Circuit Court, had been passed upon by the supreme court during its recent term: George Untriner, murder in second degree, reversed and remanded: Frank Coker, murder, affirmed; Tom Snider, murder, reversed and remanded; Andrew Rogers, murder, affirmed; Sonny Coker, rape, affirmed. In Coker’s case, the penalty was fixed by the jury at death by hanging. It was said that admissions made by prosecutrix since the trial confirmed belief that the conviction was secured on false testimony. The case was likely to be appealed to the pardon board.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Chestnut community, that Messrs. B.C. Dawson, H.L., Mack and J.W. Dailey, and L.D. and W.M. Hestle made a business trip to Camden during the previous week.

May 24, 1906 – The Monroe Journal, in news from the Monday community, reported that H.W. Boulware of Repton visited Monday during the first of the week.

May 24, 1909 – Brewton, Ala. was hit by a “cyclone” on this night that did “considerable damage” to buildings and blew the roof off the Pine Belt News office. Trees were also uprooted and telegraph poles and wires were blown down.

May 24, 1915 – During World War I, Italy declared war on Austria-Hungary, joining the conflict on the side of the Allies.

May 24, 1915 - Active work on the construction of the Gulf, Florida and Alabama railroad was resumed and the portion of the railroad between Broughton and a point near Monroeville, Ala. was “being made ready for to laying of steel to facilitate the transportation of material and supplies while station contracts are being let for filling in the gaps between graded portions north of this place.”

May 24, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroe County High School graduated that year the largest class since its establishment, and the largest in fact of any county high school in the state, 26 in number. Nineteen of this number were out-of-town students, two being residents of Conecuh County. Diplomas were awarded to the following pupils: Willie Agee, Caroline Gaillard, Grady Daily, Perdue Hill; Owen Burgess, Clifford Farish, Vredenburgh; Eva Rikard, Clara McGill, Peterman; Mattie Middleton, Nelia Middleton, Roy; Myrtle Pearce, Sadie Garrett, Walter White, Jedo; George Harper, Uriah; John Harrengton, Tinela; Joe Langham, Chas. Kelly, Repton; Chas. Roberts, Carl Lazenby, Swanson Wiggins, Maude Yarborough, Sarah Slaughter, Sarah Deer, N.B. Kearley, Orlando Simmons, Monroeville; Annie Mae Ryland, Wait; Lucile Porter, Excel.

May 24, 1917 – The Monroe Journal reported that no apparent progress seemed to have been made in the previous two weeks in the solution of the water supply problem for Monroeville. Citizens were forced to rely entirely upon the inadequate and in some instances contaminated water furnished by surface wells.

May 24, 1917 - Driven by the spectacular success of the German U-boat submarines and their attacks on Allied and neutral ships at sea, the British Royal Navy introduced a newly created convoy system, whereby all merchant ships crossing the Atlantic Ocean would travel in groups under the protection of the British navy.

May 24, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. Arthur L. Mims of Florala, Ala. was killed in action. He was buried in the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial, Bony, Departement de l'Aisne, in Picardie, France.

May 24, 1918 - Cleveland defeated the New York Yankees, 3-2, in the 19th inning.

May 24, 1921 – H.P. Lovecraft’s mother, Sarah Susan Phillips Lovecraft, passed away at Butler Hospital of complications from a gall bladder operation. She’d been admitted to Butler Hospital in 1919 after a nervous breakdown and had never emerged.

May 24, 1922 – Graduation exercises were scheduled to be held at Beatrice High School at 8 p.m.

May 24, 1929 - The Detroit Tigers defeated the Chicago White Sox, 6-4, in 21 innings.

May 24, 1930 - Babe Ruth hit home runs in both games of a double header.

May 24, 1935 - The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 2-1, on this night in 1935 in Major League Baseball’s first-ever night game, played courtesy of recently installed lights at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. The switch for the floodlights was thrown by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

May 24, 1940 – The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. was officially opened to traffic.

May 24, 1940 - The first movie version of Alabama author James H. Street's story "The Biscuit Eater" was released.

May 24, 1940 - The first night game at St. Louis's Sportsman Park was played.

May 24, 1940 – Poet Joseph Brodsky was born in Leningrad, Russia. He would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1987.

May 24, 1941 – Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota.

May 24, 1951 - Willie Mays began playing for the New York Giants.

May 24, 1955 - The Salk polio vaccine clinics, which were scheduled to begin on Tues., May 17, were postponed to this day in Conecuh County due to a shortage of vaccine. The Conecuh County Health Department was notified by telegram from the State Health Department on Mon., May 16, of the postponement. The vaccine was to be available on Tues., May 24, and continue each day through Fri., May 27. The clinics were scheduled ONLY for those children who were given the first polio vaccine shots.

May 24, 1958 – United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.

May 24, 1962 - The officials of the National Football League ruled that halftime of regular season games would be cut to 15 minutes.

May 24, 1963 – Novelist Michael Chabon was born in Washington, D.C.

May 24, 1964 - Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona), running for the Republican Party nomination in the upcoming presidential election, gave an interview in which he discussed the use of low-yield atomic bombs in North Vietnam to defoliate forests and destroy bridges, roads, and railroad lines bringing supplies from communist China.

May 24, 1965 – Two Evergreen High School baseball players – Mike Fields and Steven Baggett – played in the Lions Club East-West All-Star Game in Montgomery, Ala. on this Monday night as the East won, 3-0. Fields, a catcher and outfielder, and Baggett, a third baseman, both played on the West Team. Henry Allmon was Evergreen’s head baseball coach.

May 24, 1967 - The AFL granted a franchise to the Cincinnati Bengals.

May 24, 1971 - At Fort Bragg, North Carolina, an antiwar newspaper advertisement signed by 29 U.S. soldiers supporting the Concerned Officers Movement resulted in controversy.

May 24, 1980 – Monroeville, Alabama’s Babe Ruth Baseball Field was officially named “Ronnie Dees Babe Ruth Field” in honor of former Monroe County High School coach Ronnie Dees.

May 24, 1982 – During the Liberation of Khorramshahr, Iranians recaptured the port city of Khorramshahr from the Iraqis during the Iran–Iraq War.

May 24, 1983 - The Brooklyn Bridge's 100th birthday was celebrated.

May 24, 1984 - The Detroit Tigers won their 17th straight road game.

May 24, 1989 – “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” was first released in theaters.

May 24, 1989 - Lee Gutterman of the New York Yankees set a record for pitching 30-2/3 innings before giving up his first run of the season.

May 24, 1990 - Andre Dawson was intentionally walked five times during a game.

May 24, 2000 – “The Ballad of Little River: A Tale of Race and Restless Youth in the Rural South” by Paul Hemphill was released.

May 24, 2001 – Temba Tsheri, a 16-year-old Sherpa, became the youngest person to climb to the top of Mount Everest.

May 24, 2005 – Natalee Ann Holloway, 18, graduated from Mountain Brook High School. Six days later, she would disappear while on a high school graduation trip to Aruba.

May 24, 2006 - The fifth season of "American Idol" ended, and Birmingham, Ala. native Taylor Hicks was voted the winner.

May 24, 2012 – Dutch-German SS officer Klaas Carel Faber died at the age of 90 in Ingolstadt, Germany.

Daily Rainfall Observations from SW Alabama for Thurs., May 24, 2018

Rainfall (Past 24 Hours): Trace.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.10 inches.

Month to Date Rainfall:  1.35 inches.

Spring to Date Rainfall: 8.10 inches.

Year to Date Rainfall: 18.45 inches.

Notes: Today is the 143rd day of 2018 and the 65th day of Spring. There are 223 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, May 23, 2018

100-year-old news highlights from The Wilcox Progressive Era

Frank W. Lull of Wetumpka, Ala.
What follows are 100-year-old news excerpts from the May 23, 1918 edition of The Wilcox Progressive Era newspaper in Camden, Ala.

Mr. F.H. Savage has received a card from his son, Fred, stating that he has been transferred to the Officers Training School at Camp Jackson. Fred left Camden in the last quota and his selection to the Officers Training School is quite a compliment to him. We doubt not but he will make good in every way.

J.D. Bloch of Mobile was elected supreme representative of the Knights of Pythias of Alabama for the unexpired term of F.W. Lull of Wetumpka by the Grand Lodge at the closing session late today. Mr. Bloch will attend the session of the supreme lodge next year.

COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES: The commencement exercises of the Wilcox County High School were opened on Sunday morning when Rev. H.M. Henry of Oak Hill preached the commencement sermon. Quite a large number of out of town visitors were present.
On Monday evening, the oratorical contest for the Matthews Medal was given. Six speakers participated: Robt. Tait, Lynch Alford, Wirt Moore, Louis Lawler, Henry Hawthorn and Jake Marcus. The medal was awarded to Lynch Alford in a brief, but effective, presentation by the donor, Mr. B.H. Matthews. The program was interspersed with music by members of Mrs. Hardy’s music class and were thoroughly enjoyed by all. The closing scene was a patriotic pageant which was highly enjoyed.

The graduating class of the Camden Grammar School invite the friends and patrons of the school to their graduating exercises Friday morning at 10 o’clock at the auditorium.
The following will be awarded diplomas: Hattie McLeod, Winston Jones, Antoinette Campbell, Sherrie Middlebrooks, Archie Bigger, John Allen Stuart, William Hines, Carrie Knox Jenkins, Julius Alford, Claude Felts and Henry Sills.

Mr. J.T. Purefoy of Furman transacted business in Camden Monday.

Hon. S. McConnico and J.I. Bonner of Oak Hill were Camden visitors Monday.

Mr. John Dale Bonner, who has a position in Montgomery, is visiting his parents at Rosebud, and attending the commencement exercises of the high school.

Sheriff W.A. McDowell left for Montevallo Saturday where he will witness the graduation of his sister, Miss Mildred McDowell.

Mrs. W.C. Solomon of Myrtlewood was called to Camden on account of the illness of her grandson, Charles L. Andrews. After a week’s stay, she returned home accompanied by the convalescent.

Miss L.A. Hill of San Marcus, Texas was a visitor to Camden this week. Miss Hill is a very talented woman, being a contributor to magazines and other periodicals. She is also a composer of music and songs. Her father, a corporal in the war that freed Texas from the yoke of Mexico, was one of the three men who captured Santa Anna at San Jacinto. Her mother was a member of one of Alabama’s most prominent families. Miss Hill is a niece of Ben H. Hill of Georgia. She left for her home in Texas yesterday morning.