|Sgt. Rodney John Evans of Florala, Ala.|
July 18, 64 A.D. – The Great Fire of Rome caused widespread devastation and raged on for six days, destroying half of the city.
July 18, 1743 - "The New York Weekly Journal" published the first half-page newspaper ad.
July 18, 1779 - American Brigadier General Anthony Wayne destroyed British fortifications at Stony Point, N.Y. In the action two days before, he earned the moniker "Mad" Anthony Wayne for his successful mission to take the garrison.
July 18, 1792 - Revolutionary War hero John Paul Jones died in his Paris apartment, where he was still awaiting a commission as the United States consul to Algiers. One of the greatest naval commanders in history, Jones is remembered as a Father of the American Navy, along with fellow Revolutionary War hero Commodore John Barry. John Paul Jones is buried in a crypt at the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in Annapolis, Maryland, where a Marine honor guard stands at attention in his honor whenever the crypt is open to the public.
July 18, 1811 – William Makepeace Thackeray was born in Calcutta, India. He is best remembered for his book, “Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero.”
July 18, 1825 – John Quincy Adams Warren, the son of Hinchey W. Warren, was born in Conecuh County.
July 18, 1826 - Colonel Isaac Shelby died from a stroke at his estate in Lincoln County, Kentucky at the age of 75. He was a soldier in Lord Dunmore's War, the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. Later, he served as the first and fifth Governor of Kentucky and served in the state legislatures of Virginia and North Carolina.
July 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought near Harrisonville, Martinsburg and Parkersville, Mo.
July 18, 1861 – During the Civil War, fighting occurred at Blackburn’s Ford and Mitchell’s Ford in Virginia. The main body of Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley were withdrawn to reinforce the troops manning the Bull Run line, near Manassas. This was the first time such a large body of troops were moved by train.
July 18, 1862 – The first ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps, took place.
July 18, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Henderson, Ky. and near Memphis, Mo.
July 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, in what is known as the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, Union Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and 272 of his troops were killed in an unsuccessful assault on Fort Wagner on Morris Island near Charleston, S.C. After the battle Union General Quincy Gillmore settled in for a long siege. The battle involved one of the first formal (and perhaps the most famous) African American military units, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, supported by several white regiments.
July 18, 1863 - The Union advance was halted at Blackburn's Ford on Bull Run.
July 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Des Allemands, La.; at Brookhaven, Miss.; with Indians on the Rio Hondo in the New Mexico Territory; at Pomeroy, Ohio, as the Federals began closing in on the exhausted men under the command of John Hunt Morgan; and at Memphis and Germantown, Tenn. The first of two days of skirmishing also began near Hedgesville and Martinsburg, W.Va.
July 18, 1863 – During the Civil War, Federal reconnaissance began from Cassville, Missouri to Huntsville, Ark. A seven-day Federal operation that included New Bern, Tarborough and Rocky Mount, N.C. began.
July 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred near Auburn, Ala.
July 18, 1864 – Confederate General John Bell Hood replaced Joseph Johnston as commander of the Army of Tennessee because Johnston had failed to keep General William T. Sherman away from Atlanta.
July 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, President Lincoln issued a call for 500,000 additional volunteers.
July 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, a 19-day Federal operation began against Apache Indians in the Arizona Territory. An 18-day Federal operation began in Southern Missouri and Northeastern Arkansas. A four-day Federal operation began in southwestern Missouri.
July 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Falls Church, Va.; at Kabletown, W.Va.; and near Checaw Station, Campbellton, Buck Head and along the Chattahoochee River in Georgia.
July 18, 1864 – During the Civil War, Horace Greeley was sent to Canada to negotiate an end to the Civil War. Lincoln gave him broad powers to come to a settlement, only requiring that it include the restoration of the Union and a renunciation of slavery. The Confederates would not accept these conditions.
July 18, 1870 – The First Vatican Council declared the doctrine of Papal Infallibility.
July 18, 1896 - There was to be a basket picnic at the bridge on Escambia Creek near Jones Mill, Ala. on this third Saturday in July.
July 18, 1902 – The Conecuh Guards were scheduled to hold their annual encampment at Sans Souci beach, near Mobile, Ala. The encampment was scheduled to last one week, beginning on July 18. Prior to this, members of the Conecuh Guards were expected to attend drill at their armory on each Monday and Friday leading up to July 18.
July 18, 1902 – Short story writer and novelist Jessamyn West was born in Jennings County, Ind.
July 18, 1903 - There was to be an ice cream supper at the residence of J.W. Wilkerson, 1-1/2 miles south of Manistee on this Saturday night for the benefit of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.
July 18-20, 1905 – The Clarke County Masonic Conference was scheduled to be held at Coffeeville Lodge, No. 122.
July 18, 1906 – Playwright Clifford Odets was born in Philadelphia, Pa.
July 18, 1917 - The U.S. War Department established Camp McClellan in Calhoun County, Ala., three months after the U.S. entered World War I. The facility was used as a rapid-mobilization base and permanent National Guard facility. Military use of the property dates to the close of the Spanish-American War, when the site was used as temporary quarters for a large reserve force starting in August 1898. In the years before its closing in 1999, Fort McClellan hosted an average population of approximately 10,000 military personnel and employed 1,500 civilian workers.
July 18, 1918 - Three days after a German offensive near the Marne River in the Champagne region of France met with failure, Allied forces launched a major counterattack, ending the Second Battle of the Marne and decisively turning the tide of the war toward an Allied victory.
July 18, 1918 – Rolihlahla “Nelson” Mandela was born in Mvezo, South Africa.
July 18, 1923 – Lillie Irene Gibbons passed away and was buried in the Old Evergreen Cemetery in Evergreen, Ala. Years later, starting in 2008, a local mystery involving multiple tombstones for her in Conecuh and Butler counties would baffle police and historians alike.
July 18, 1924 - Alabama author Felicity Allen was born in Louisville, Ky.
July 18, 1925 – Nazi leader Adolf Hitler published the first volume of his personal manifesto “Mein Kampf,” seven months after he was released from Landsberg jail. The autobiographical work soon became the bible of Germany’s Nazi Party.
July 18, 1927 - Ty Cobb set a Major League Baseball record by getting his 4,000th career hit. He hit 4,191 before he retired in 1928.
July 18, 1933 - Mr. and Mrs. Clarence M. White moved to Frisco City on this Tuesday to make their home. White was employed at Lee Motor Co.
July 18, 1934 – Around 1 p.m., Conecuh County, Ala. soldier Jessie L. Dickerson was killed instantly by a bolt of lightning at Camp Jackson in Columbia, S.C., while attending camp there with the local National Guard unit. Dickerson was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. J.H. Dickerson, who lived several miles north of Evergreen in the Holly Grove community. Born in Conecuh County in 1912, he was buried in the Chappelle Methodist Church Cemetery in Evergreen.
July 18, 1934 – Shell Petroleum Co. district agent William A. Gowan, 20, of Brewton, Ala. was killed almost instantly in Castleberry when he fell from a height of 20 feet at the Blue Bell camp. Gowan, the son of Dr. Gowan of Brewton, had climbed a ladder to stretch a wire from one pole to another across the highway to hang advertising signs, when he lost his balance and grabbed a live power line before falling to the pavement, landing on his chin. He never regained conciousness, died about 40 minutes later on the way to the Brewton hospital and physicians didn’t know if the shock or fall killed him because none of his bones were broken. He was buried in the Union Cemetery in Brewton.
July 18, 1937 - Pioneer of "gonzo" journalism, Hunter S. Thompson was born in Louisville, Ky.
July 18, 1938 - Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan arrived in Ireland, after having left New York bound for California.
July 18, 1940 - Franklin Delano Roosevelt was nominated for an unprecedented third term as President of the United States.
July 18, 1940 – National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher, first baseman, third baseman and manager Joe Torre was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. During his career, he played for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets and went on to manage the Mets, the Braves, the Cardinals, the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.
July 18, 1946 – In Amateur Baseball League action, Evergreen picked up its first win of the season by beating Flomaton, 4-3 in Flomaton, Ala. Evergreen’s Edsel Johnson got the pitching win, and his brother, Ottis Johnson, led Evergreen at the plate with two hits. Edsel also hit an inside-the-park home run.
July 18, 1948 - Monroeville’s baseball team was scheduled to play Atmore in Monroeville on this Sunday afternoon at Legion Field at 3 p.m. LeVaughn Hanks was Monroeville’s coach.
July 18, 1949 - Evergreen’s Junior American Legion Baseball Team was eliminated from the district playoffs by Andalusia in a game on this Monday afternoon in Andalusia, Ala. Evergreen, which was managed by Jack Finklea, finished third in the regular season standings in the district with a 6-4 record behind first-place Andalusia and second-place Brewton. Evergreen pitcher Bobby (Pistol Pete) Wells finished the season with a 6-2 pitching record.
July 18, 1951 – Empire, Ala. native Daniel Robert “Dan” Bankhead, the first black pitcher in Major League Baseball, played in his final major league baseball game.
July 18, 1955 - Following a visit from Ho Chi Minh and his ministers, the Soviet Union announced that it would grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about $100 million) in economic aid.
July 18, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that construction on the new swimming pool at Vanity Fair Park in Monroeville had begun and members of the younger set were anxiously awaiting its completion. The pool was to be 82-1/2 by 42 feet with an offset area for diving, measuring 28 by 40 feet. A children’s wading pool, 30 by 40 feet, was to be constructed adjacent to the main swimming pool.
July 18, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that a check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mobile on Wed., July 17, revealed that no arrests had been made as yet in connection with the robbery of the Union Bank in Repton the week before. A lone bandit entered the bank at noon on Tues., July 9, and forced Carl Ryals, cashier, to fill his brief case from the cash drawers and safe. He then locked Ryals in the vault and fled. All personnel of the bank were at lunch except A.E. Kelly, who had stepped next door for a few minutes. The town was practically deserted during the noon hour and no one saw the bandit before or after the hold up. FBI, state and local officials converged on the town immediately, but the bandit had evidently made good his escape.
July 18, 1963 – The Monroe Journal reported that the Interstate Commerce Commission had authorized the Louisville & Nashville Railroad to purchase the four and one-half mile Manistee & Repton Railroad. The M&R ran between Monroeton Junction and Monroeville twice weekly. The ICC at the same time dismissed the M&R’s application for permission to abandon the entire line.
July 18, 1964 – The Evergreen Jaycees’ Second Annual Evergreen Horse Show was scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. on this Saturday at Brooks Stadium in Evergreen, Ala. George Wallace Jr., the son of Alabama’s governor, was scheduled to be the featured speaker.
July 18, 1964 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds hit the only grand slam home run of his career.
July 18, 1968 – Intel (short for Integrated Electronics) was founded, chiefly by Gordon E. Moore and Robert Noyce.
July 18, 1968 - President Lyndon B. Johnson met South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu in Honolulu to discuss relations between Washington and Saigon.
July 18, 1969 – Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient Army Sgt. Rodney John Evans, 21, of Florala, Ala. was killed in action in Tay Ninh, Vietnam with serving in Co. D, 1st Bn., 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. His citation reads in part "The force had started to move forward when a nearby squad was hit by the blast of a concealed mine. Looking to his right Sgt. Evans saw a second enemy device. With complete disregard for his safety he shouted a warning to his men, dived to the ground, and crawled toward the mine. Just as he reached it, an enemy soldier detonated the explosive and Sgt. Evans absorbed the full impact with his body." Born on July 17, 1948 in Chelsea, Suffolk County, Mass., he was buried at Liberty Hill Church Cemetery in Florala.
July 18, 1969 – Writer Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Conn. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, “Eat Pray Love.”
July 18, 1970 - Ron Hunt of the San Francisco Giants was hit by a pitch for the 119th time in his career.
July 18, 1972 – Reports of the “Missouri Monster” proliferated in the Louisiana, Mo. area. One man claimed that he saw the monster cross a highway carrying a sheep or dog in its mouth while numerous other people claimed to have seen giants with red eyes staring at them from out of the darkness. Another man swore that the monster picked up the back end of his small foreign car.
July 18, 1972 - The Monroe Dixie Youth All-Stars were scheduled to travel to Sweet Water, Ala. to play Grove Hill at 7:30 p.m. in the Sub-District playoffs. Members of the Monroe all-star team included Mitch Jones, Chris Hornady, Jim Carter, Chris Smith, Hudson Lazenby, Kevin Norris, Johnny Till, Hines Steele, Tommy Bowden, Whetzel Trussell, Frank Carter, Allen Jaye, O’Neal Jordan, Mike Stanton and W.T. Stanton. Coaches were David Middleton and Perry Nye.
July 18, 1976 – Actress Valerie Cruz was born in Elizabethtown, N.J.
July 18, 1977 - Members of the Evergreen High School marching band were scheduled to meet Monday at 8 a.m. at the band room. The new band director, Carroll Cumbee, was to be present and hoped to get acquainted with band members.
July 18, 1992 - Evergreen High School’s Class of 1970 was scheduled to sponsor a men’s softball tournament on this Saturday at Evergreen Municipal Park. Registration fee for the tournament was $60 per team.
July 18, 1995 – City of Evergreen workers were up all night after severe weather knocked the power out to a large portion of Evergreen, Ala. when the lines from the substation located in the Industrial Park were torn down when a large tree fell across the lines. It left much of the northwest part of the city without lights for almost 11 hours.
July 18, 1995 - The oldest known musical instrument in the world was found in the Indrijca River Valley in Slovenia. The 45,000-year-old relic was a bear bone with four artificial holes along its length.
July 18, 1995 - “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” a memoir by a little-known law professor named Barack Obama, was published. Obama wrote the book before entering politics; 13 years after it was published, he was elected America’s 44th president.
July 18, 1999 - New York Yankee David Cone pitched the 16th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and 14th in the modern era with a no-hit, no-walk victory over the Montreal Expos.
July 18, 2007 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Robinson had grown a giant pink squash and mushmelon. The squash weighed 44 pounds and was 40-1/2 inches long. The mushmelon weighed 17 pounds.
July 18, 2008 – “The Dark Knight,” the fifth film in the big-screen “Batman” series, opened in theaters around the United States, six months after the death of one of its stars, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker.