July 21, 356 BC – The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, was destroyed by arson. The fire was set by Herostratus, who committed the act in a quest for fame.
July 21, 1775 - Patriot minutemen in whaleboats, commanded by Major Joseph Vose, raided Nantasket Point, also known as Little Brewster Island, in Boston Harbor, Mass. The raiders temporarily drove off the island’s British guard and confiscated lamps, oil, gunpowder and boats, before burning the wooden parts of the point’s lighthouse.
July 21, 1793 –French admiral, explorer, and politician Antoine Bruni d'Entrecasteaux died of scurvy at the age of 55, off the Hermits.
July 21, 1796 – Scottish poet and prominent Freemason Robert Burns passed away at the age of 37 in Dumfries, Scotland. It is believed that in May 1785 he wrote “Epistle to William Simson” to the William Simson (Simpson), who eventually became a trustee at the school in Belleville, Ala.
July 21, 1861 – The First Battle of Bull Run (also known as First Manassas) began at Manassas Junction, in Prince William County, Va., near the city of Manassas, not far (about 30 miles) from Washington, D.C. It was the first major battle of the U.S. Civil War, and the Confederates won the battle. The Union Army was led by General Irvin McDowell, and Confederate forces were led by P.T. Beauregard.
July 21, 1861 – Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson earned the nickname "Stonewall" during the First Battle of Bull Run. During the battle, Confederate General Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. led his Confederates to reinforce Jackson on Henry Hill and was reported to have characterized Jackson as “standing like a stone wall.” Bee died minutes later, but the nickname “Stonewall” stuck as Jackson’s men held their ground.
July 21, 1861 - Nearly 400 Confederate soldiers were killed at the First Battle of Bull Run, including six members of the Conecuh Guards - Dr. Samuel H. Wimberly, First Sergeant Louis Gatch, First Cpl. William Thomas, Jesse Peacock, John D. Robbins and James Strickland. Robbins, 17, was born on Dec. 1, 1843 and was buried at Ebenezer Methodist Cemetery in Wilcox County.
July 21, 1861 - Members of the Conecuh Guards known to have been wounded at the Battle of Bull Run included 1st. Lt. Archibald D. McInnis, 2nd Lt. John G. Guice, First Sergeant Andrew J. Mosley (wounded in head and arm), Sgt. James M. Andrews (survived war and returned to Conecuh County), Fourth Cpl. Joseph A. Thomas, Blake Beard (wounded and honorably discharged), J.B. Bonnett (wounded and honorably discharged), John Mason (dropped from roll in 1862 and returned to live in Conecuh County), Evander McIver (wounded in two places, honorably discharged in September 1861 and moved to Texas after war), Owen Perry (honorably discharged, rejoined the army later, was captured and died in prison), and Theodosius Turk (honorably discharged under act of Congress in 1862). Capt. Pinckney D. Bowles had his canteen shattered at First Bull Run by a rifle ball fired by Union troops. Casualties at Bull Run shocked the nation. The Union count came to 2,800, including 460 killed, and the Confederates had 1,900, with nearly 400 dead. Although future battles would make these numbers appear small, they were a wake-up call to a public, in both the North and the South, unprepared for such a bloody conflict.
July 21, 1861 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought with Indians on the South Ford of the Eel River in California and at Charlestown, W.Va. A Federal operation also began between Springfield and Forsyth in Missouri.
July 21, 1862 - Former U.S. President Martin Van Buren, who served as the nation’s eighth president between 1837 and 1841, slipped into a coma. Three days later, he passed away.
July 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought around Nashville, Tenn. and at Luray, Va.
July 21, 1862 – During the Civil War, in a tersely worded telegram, Braxton Bragg informed Jefferson Davis that he would move his army in force from Tupelo, Miss. to Chattanooga, Tenn.
July 21 1863 – During the Civil War, skirmishes were fought at Street's Ferry, N.C.; and at Manassas Gap, Wapping Heights, Snicker’s Gap, Gaines’ Cross Road and Chester Gap in Virginia.
July 21, 1864 – A four-day Federal operation from Barrancas, Fla. toward Pollard, Ala. began with skirmishes at Camp Gonzales, Fla. and near Pollard, Ala.
July 21, 1864 – Colonel Samuel Adams, 35, of Greenville, Ala. was killed in action by a sharpshooter in a fight at Bald Hill near Atlanta. He was shot through the breast and killed instantly while superintending the erection of fortifications near Atlanta. Born on March 5, 1829 in Abbeville County, South Carolina, he graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1850 and moved to Butler County, Ala. in 1851. He worked as a teacher and lawyer in Conecuh and Butler counties and served as a state representative from 1857 to 1861. He became a 2nd Lt. with Co. G in the 9th Alabama on July 19, 1861 and 1st. Lt. on Sept. 6, 1861. He was promoted to Colonel in the 33rd Alabama when its was organized on April 23, 1862. He was wounded in action at Perryville while leading a brigade. He is buried in Pioneer Cemetery in Greenville.
July 21, 1864 – During the Civil War, an engagement occurred at Bald Hill, Ga. Skirmishes were also fought on the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana; and near Carthage and another near Plattsburg in Missouri.
July 21, 1865 – In the market square of Springfield, Mo., Wild Bill Hickok shot and killed Davis Tutt in what is regarded as the first western showdown. The two men had a falling out over a woman and a gambling debt, and finally agreed to settle their differences in a duel. At a distance of about 75 paces, they fired simultaneously, and Tutt’s shot went wild, but Hickok’s hit Tutt through the heart.
July 21, 1873 – At Adair, Iowa, Jesse James and the James–Younger Gang pulled off the first successful train robbery in the American Old West. Tey held up the Rock Island Express and stole $3,000.
July 21, 1879 – Charles Roberts shot and killed Duncan M. Rankin, 36, at Perdue Hill, Ala. That same day, Jonathan L. Marshall, a Justice of the Peace in Monroe County, issued an arrest warrant for Roberts, who was charged with murder. Roberts was arrested and brought before Marshall. During the ensuing investigation, Marshall ruled that Roberts wasn’t guilty of murder, but second-degree manslaughter instead. Marshall set Roberts’ bail at $400, which Roberts paid and was released from custody. Born on April 10, 1843, Rank had served as a captain in Co. A of the 42nd Alabama Regiment. He was buried in the McConnico Cemetery at Perdue Hill.
July 21, 1887 – A rain of ants occurred in Nancy, France.
July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal announced, under the headline “Twice-A-Week,” that beginning that week and for an “indefinite period,” the newspaper would be published twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, “thus giving its readers the advantage of fresher news and more carefully selected matter. During the remainder of the State campaign and until its results is known, a lively interest will be felt in what is transpiring and it is largely to gratify this desire that this departure is made. The subscription price will remain at the same figure - $1 a year.”
July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that work on the new Methodist parsonage was progressing steadily. The timbers had been “pretty well all cut,” and the frame was to be erected in a few days.
July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that Mrs. Sallie Farish (nee Dickinson) of Nellie in Wilcox County was on a visit to her mother, the postmistress at Turnbull.
July 21, 1896 - The Monroe Journal reported that the Monroeville jail had “but one lonely inmate, and he a prisoner who availed himself of what is known in provincial vernacular as ‘leg bail.’”
July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that, according to the Brewton News, that an effort was being made to raise a building fund by the Baptists in Brewton. If $5,000 could be secured, a “magnificent brick church to cost that amount” would be erected soon. The Standard Gauge also reported that the loss of the Harold mill in a recent fire was estimated at $5,000.
July 21, 1896 – The Monroe Journal reported that, according to The Thomasville News, that residents there were expecting an expert there soon to examine the coal in that vicinity. “It is quite likely it can be found of value, also there is strong probability of getting a good quality of it near Thomasville.”
July 21, 1896 - Capt. George H. Gray of Perdue Hill visited The Monroe Journal on this Tuesday.
July 21, 1896 - A “very pleasant social was enjoyed by the young people” at Dr. Russell’s residence, “Magnolia Villa,” on this Tuesday evening, according to The Monroe Journal.
July 21, 1899 – Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ernest Hemingway was born in Oak Park, Ill.
July 21, 1899 – Novelist Harold Hart Crane was born in Garrettsville, Ohio.
July 21, 1911 – Two freight trains wrecked near Garland, Ala. on this Thursday afternoon, leaving both engines and a number of cars damaged. Merchandise was scattered along the tracks, but both crews escaped without serious injuries.
July 21, 1911 - At the Mansion House in London, David Lloyd George (the future prime minster) delivered the customary annual address of the British chancellor of the exchequer and implied that war might be the price of continued threats to the security of his country and its allies.
July 21, 1915 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Auburn University chemistry professor H.S. Gentry was working as the prescription clerk at the Peoples Drug store until September, relieving J.M. Northcutt, who had taken some time off.
July 21, 1918 – During World War I, Army Cpl. Will F. Alexander of Georgiana, Ala. was killed in action with serving with the 28th Infantry, 1st Division. He was buried at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial, Belleau, Departement de l'Aisne, in Picardie, France.
July 21, 1930 - The Veterans Administration of the United States was established.
July 21, 1932 – Evergreen’s baseball team beat Greenville, 5-4, at Black’s Field in Greenville, Ala.
July 21, 1933 – Novelist, poet and teacher John Gardner was born in Batavia, N.Y.
July 21, 1938 – The Dothan Browns beat the Evergreen Greenies, 1-0, scoring their lone run late in the ninth inning on this Thursday night. Greenies pitcher Charlie Richards pitched superb ball except for the ninth inning when the Browns bunched two scratch hits and took advantage of an error to score. The underhand ball of Richards kept the Dothan boys baffled all night. The official score showed eight hits chalked up against the tall hurler but only five were knocks. Cox led the batting parade for the Browns as he pounded out two hits. The Greenies were able to solve Lovetree for only three hits which were kept scattered. Danny Kraus, new Greenie second baseman, socked out one of the blows while Cudillo and Hilcher were collecting the two remaining singles. The new combination around second looked swell. Koval took over the short field duties as Kraus was sent to the second base.
July 21, 1941 – The Evergreen Courant reported that the approval of the City of Evergreen’s contract with Alabama Power Company for the purchase of electricity at wholesale rested with the Alabama Public Service Commission. The PSC promised a ruling prior to Sept. 1, which was the expiration date of the city’s contract with the Alabama Electric Cooperative. Hearings on the contract change were held on July 14 and July 18, and the contract change was opposed by the Southern Pine Electric Cooperative and the Alabama Electric Cooperative.
July 21, 1943 – Poet Tess Gallagher was born in Port Angeles, Wash.
July 21, 1944 – During World War II, Claus von Stauffenberg and fellow conspirators were executed in Berlin, Germany, for the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
July 21, 1946 – In Amateur League Baseball, a game between Evergreen and Uriah was rained out.
July 21, 1947 – A joint meeting of members and former members of American Legion Post 50 and the Foshee-Tranum Post 3581 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). was scheduled to be held at Evergreen High School on this Monday night “to continue plans and discuss ways and means for construction of a Joint Home and Club House.”
July 21, 1951 - The Loree Dollies edged the Bermuda Bears, 6-5, on this Saturday afternoon in a well-played game at Bermuda. Haskew Danial pitched creditable ball as he racked up another win for the Dollies. He struck out five batters and didn’t issue a base on balls. Allen Thompson was on the mound for the Bears. He gave up only seven hits. Red Powell started the ball rolling for Bermuda with a timely hit which brought in the first two runs.
July 21, 1953 - At its regular meeting on this Tuesday, the Evergreen City Council decided to take action in spite of State Highway Department opposition and install a traffic light at the intersection of Rural and West Front Streets at the foot of the overhead bridge. The city had asked for permission from the State Highway Department as this intersection is on Highway 31 but had not been given it. The action followed another “close miss” at the intersection around noon that day when a car speeding through the intersection bashed a local car which was backing out into the street from a parking place on Rural Street.
July 21, 1954 – During the First Indochina War, the Geneva Conference partitioned Vietnam into North Vietnam and South Vietnam.
July 21, 1959 – Elijah Jerry "Pumpsie" Green became the first African-American to play for the Boston Red Sox, the last team to integrate. He came in as a pinch runner for Vic Wertz and stayed in as shortstop in a 2–1 loss to the Chicago White Sox.
July 21, 1961 – In the Evergreen Senior League, the Indians beat the Tigers, 6-2. Standout players for the Indians included Jimmy Weaver and Stan Coker. Standout players for the Tigers included Willie Mack Pate, Donnie Bolton and Grady Ralls.
July 21, 1961 – In the Evergreen Senior Baseball League, the Braves beat the Tigers, 5-4. Standout players for the Braves included winning pitcher Ronnie Jackson. Standout players for the Tigers included Mike Fields, Sid Lambert and Grady Ralls.
July 21, 1962 - The federal district court in Montgomery, Ala. rejected the Alabama legislature's plan to reapportion itself, ordering it instead to implement the court's plan. Although Alabama's Constitution of 1901 mandated reapportionment every ten years, the state's legislative districts had not been redrawn since 1901, with the result that less-populated districts came to dominate the legislature in violation of the principle of "one man/one vote."
July 21, 1965 - With Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara back from a visit to Vietnam, President Lyndon B. Johnson began a weeklong series of conferences on Vietnam with his civilian and military advisers and with private citizens that he trusted during this period.
July 21, 1967 – National Baseball Hall of Fame first baseman Jimmie Foxx passed away in Miami, Fla. at the age of 59. During his career, he played for the Philadelphia Athletics, the Boston Red Sox, the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1951.
July 21, 1968 - A 57-year-old pedestrian, Mrs. Bessie B. Quimby Lampley of Repton, was killed at 3 p.m., 0.2 miles south of Repton on Alabama 41. Edward L. Maness of Greenfield, Tenn. was the driver of a 1963 Buick sedan involved in the accident. Trooper Cottingham investigated. Lampley, who was born on Feb. 11, 1910 was buried in the Springhill Methodist Church Cemetery in Conecuh County.
July 21, 1976 - Local weather reporter Earl Windham reported a high of 100 degrees in Evergreen, Ala.
July 21, 1977 – The Evergreen Courant reported that work was proceeding rapidly on the bypass road from Highway 83 North to Highway 31 South.
July 21, 1977 – Monroeville’s Little League All-Stars won the District 5, Area 1 title on this Thursday night at Monroeville’s Bud Lathram Field. The team was to travel to Andalusia on July 28 to play Jackson for the district title and the right to play in the state tournament. Members of Monroeville’s team included Gathern McClain, Frank Brown, Anthony Morressette, Donald Kilpatrick, Ken Miller, Calvin Tucker, Kenneth Richardson, Ricky Wilson, Frank Jones, Michael Howard, Ray Laffitte, Ricky Smith, Jerome Ikner, Mike Strout and Edger Lee McCarthy. Billy Ghee was the team’s manager, and Ned Adams was assistant coach.
July 21, 1978 – The Griffin House in Arlington in Wilcox County, Ala. was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
July 21, 1983 - The world's lowest temperature in an inhabited location, -128.6° F, was recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica.
July 21, 1987 – Guns N’ Roses’ debut album, “Appetite for Destruction,” was released.
July 21, 1990 – Mobile City eliminated Monroe County by beating them 6-1 during the South State All-Star Advanced Babe Ruth Baseball Tournament at Patrick Henry State Junior College in Monroeville, Ala. Standout players on Monroe County’s 16-year-old team included Nick Ackerman, Mike Bishop, Richard Chatman, Steve Goodman, Trey Harris and Mitchell Turberville. Mobile City went on to win the tournament by beating Mobile County, 6-1, later that day in Monroeville.
July 21, 1997 – On this Monday evening, Vince Doerr, chief of the Ochopee, Fla. Fire Central District, told the Miami Herald that he had seen a “brown-looking tall thing” run across the road ahead of him, and he was certain that the thing was not a bear.
July 21, 1997 - The U.S.S. Constitution, which defended the United States during the War of 1812, set sail under its own power for the first time in 116 years.
July 21, 2004 - White House officials were briefed on the September 11 commission's final report. The 575-page report concluded that hijackers exploited "deep institutional failings within our government." The report was released to the public the next day.
July 21, 2006 - Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees collected his 2,000th career hit and became the youngest player to reach the 450 home run mark.
July 21, 2007 - The seventh and last book of the Harry Potter series, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," was released.
July 21, 2012 – Erden Eruç completed the first solo human-powered circumnavigation of the world.
July 21, 2014 – “Guardians of the Galaxy” premiered in Hollywood. It was released in theaters on Aug. 1, 2014 in the United States in 3D and IMAX 3D.