September 23, 1913, Lexington’s grand premier of the Ben Ali Theater featured a vaudeville act of “The Passing of 1912,” staring Trixie Friganza and Dixie Quinan. The stage was said to be one of the finest in the south with a $1,500 velvet curtain. The audience was dressed in black tie and exquisite gowns.
September 23, 1921, Deputy Sheriff Walter Nathaniel Campbell, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed by a suspect who was angry after his property had been raided as part of a moonshining investigation. Deputy Campbell was en route to serve a warrant when the man and his two sons confronted him and fatally shot him. All three were apprehended. Deputy Campbell was survived by his wife and 10 children, he was 44-years-old.
September 23, 1934, Sheriff John C. “Johnnie” Morris, Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed as he and his deputy attempted to arrest three men for creating a disturbance. When the sheriff attempted to take the men into custody, one of them started walking away. The sheriff called out to halt and fired a warning shot. One of the suspects then started shooting at the two lawmen, fatally wounding the sheriff. The suspects were taken into custody and charged with Sheriff Morris’ murder. All three were convicted of murder. The shooter was sentenced to life. Another was sentenced to 21 years and the third to two years in prison. Sheriff Morris had served as sheriff for only nine months and was survived by his wife and five children.
Happy Birthday to Les McCann, who was born in Lexington in 1935. Les is a Jazz artist who recorded the top-selling Swiss Movement and its platinum hit, Compared to What. He also dabbled in R&B and soul. He taught himself the piano and developed an interest in jazz during his time in San Francisco with the U.S. military. His 1973 Live at Montreux and Layers were critically acclaimed.
September 23, 1947, Blue Moon of Kentucky by Rosine, Kentucky native Bill Monroe and The Blue Grass Boys was released. Considered a bluegrass waltz, the song became Monroe’s most famous song and Kentucky’s official bluegrass song.
September 23, 1964, Indian Knoll was added to the List of National Historic Landmarks. Located along the Green River in Ohio County, the site holds a special place in the history of North American archaeology.
September 23, 1968, Kentucky Educational Television (KET) aired for the first time. In Ashland, Bowling Green, Lexington, Madisonville, Morehead, Owenton, Somerset, and Elizabethtown, citizens viewed the programming. KET was founded by O. Leonard Press and funded by Paul G. Blazer. KET is the largest PBS state network in the United States. Its sixteen stations’ broadcast signals cover almost all of the state and all of the seven bordering states.
September 23, 1971, William Gilbert Barron from Louisville passed away. He was an American comedian, actor, writer and film director known for his comic sneeze routines. He appeared in over 200 feature films, short subjects and television shows starting in 1929.
September 23, 1972, the Colonels hosted the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks for an exhibition game in Frankfort. Julius Erving played for the Hawks, posting 28 points and 18 rebounds in 42 minutes. The Hawks prevailed, 112–99.
Happy Birthday to Brian Joseph Brohm, who was born in Louisville in 1985. While passing for 10,579 yards and 119 touchdowns during his prep career, Brohm led the Trinity Shamrocks to the 4-A state title in 2001, 2002 and 2003. He was the MVP of all three title games, the most exciting of which was a 59–56 victory over Louisville Male High School and 2002 Mr. Football Michael Bush.
September 23, 1989, folk singer Bradley Kincaid passed away. The “Kentucky Mountain Boy” recorded over two hundred songs and published thirteen songbooks during his lifetime. He joined the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971.
September 23, 2006, Army Cpl. Windell J. Simmons, 20, of Hopkinsville, died of injuries sustained when an explosive device detonated near his Humvee in Taji, Iraq. He was fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
September 23, 2014, the University of Kentucky harvested hemp they at been growing at their Spindletop Research Farm. A federal farm bill allowed them to grow hemp on trial bias, otherwise the crop was still illegal to grow in 2014. The harvesting grew a large crowd of spectators.