1937: President Franklin Roosevelt appoints Alabama senator Hugo Black to the U.S. Supreme Court. Black’s nomination was soon confirmed by his Senate colleagues, but before he took his seat on the court that October he was compelled to address the nation by radio to resolve controversy about his membership in the Ku Klux Klan in the early 1920s. Black served on the court until 1971, retiring just a few days before his death.
1959: An earthquake centered in Huntsville, and felt over a 25-mile radius, causes minor damage. Many Huntsville residents at first believed the shock was the result of an explosion or missile test at nearby Redstone Arsenal.