Today in Milligan History, 4/20

Today in Milligan History

an ongoing project of Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society

Good day, Milligan!

Proverbs 20:15 – Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel.

This is Monday, April 20, 2015, and on this day in Milligan history . . . 

1865    Government officers operating under the orders of Secretary of War Edwin Stanton arrested German immigrant George Atzerodt for his involvement in a plot to assassinate Vice-President Andrew Johnson, whose political base was Greeneville, TN. While conspirators John Wilkes Booth and Lewis Thornton Powell were to murder President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of State William H. Seward, respectively, Atzerodt planned to kill Johnson on the evening of April 14, 1865. Elizabeth Leonard, Lincoln’s Avengers: Justice, Revenge and Reunion after the Civil War (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), pp. 47-48.

1988    The old Student Union Building (the SUB), after extensive remodeling, was dedicated as the Lowell W. Paxson Communications Center. The major donor for the renovation, Lowell W. “Bud” Paxson (1935-2015), was the founder of the Home Shopping Network, Paxson Communications Corporation, and PAX-TV (now known as Ion Television), which produced family-friendly shows.

2006    Milligan College celebrated the successful conclusion of the $30 million “Campaign for Christian Leadership” campaign, the largest capital fund raising effort in the college’s history.  The comprehensive campaign provided more than fifty new student scholarships,  strengthened the endowment, led to facility improvements or additions to more than a dozen campus buildings, and saw the development of nearly two dozen new academic and student life initiatives. President Donald R. Jeanes (ΦAΘ, 1968; Milligan president 1997-2011) announced that of the more than 7,000 donors, 2,000 had given to Milligan for the first time. The college also saw record high participation from its alumni, placing Milligan among the highest in alumni giving percentages at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

2006    Milligan College’s Awards Convocation recognized student accomplishments for the academic year. Three students in particular distinguished themselves. Abby Conley (2006), an English major from Grayson, KY, received the year’s two most distinguished awards, the Ivor Jones Outstanding Senior Award and the Dennis Bratton Leadership Award. Senior Brandon Talbert (2006) took three awards: the Outstanding Computer Information Project Leadership Award, the Wall Street Journal Award and the Outstanding Male Athlete Award. Rachel Eng (2006) also walked to the platform three times to receive three awards: the Theater Recognition Award, the Outstanding Mathematics Major Award and the Outstanding Academic Student Award. Tera Bradley (2006) was singled out twice, once as the Student Psychology Major of the Year and again for the Social Learning Outstanding Student Scholarship. Similarly, Kaitlyn Ferry (2007) received both the Outstanding Student Scholarship Award for Music and the Chamber Orchestra Award.

Birthdays: In 1822 Emily Haynes Taylor on Mount Pleasant, her father’s homestead in Carter County. She was the mother of illustrious Buffalo Male and Female Institute alumni Senator/Governor Robert Love “Our Bob” Taylor and Congressman/Governor Alfred A. Taylor.  In the Civil War the Taylors were staunch unionists, but Emma Taylor’s brother was Confederate Senator Landon C. Haynes, and lent his name to “Haynesville,” a small community later known as Johnson City. After the war she successfully pled with President Andrew Johnson for her brother’s pardon. Alfred A. Taylor, Hugh L. Taylor, and James P. Taylor, Life and Career of Senator Robert Love Taylor (Our Bob). Nashville: The Bob Taylor Publishing Company, 1913, p. 47 . . . in 1876 Launa Stella Hyder Burchfield  (1876-1942) in Carter County, TN.  Mrs. Burchfield, a 1900 alumna of Milligan College, stayed on to serve as college librarian 1900-1907.  She married John G Burchfield on June 9, 1907. . . . in 1889 Adolf Hitler in Braunau-am-Inn, Austria . . . in 1893 Joan Miró in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain . . . in 1945 Johnson City native Steve Spurrier in Miami Beach, FL . . . Milligan College Professor of Communications Bruce Montgomery (Milligan since 1995) in Indianapolis, IN  . . . and in 1995 sophomore Katelyn Renee Johnson.



In 1861 Col. Robert E. Lee resigned from the United States Army.

In 1902 Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium

In 1931 Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong recorded “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South,” the tune which would be his theme song for decades to follow.

In 1999 two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, killed 13 and wounded 23.


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