TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Thank You For Visiting

October 3, 1786, an entourage of fourteen families known as the McNitt Company paused to camp for the night in present-day Laurel County while on their journey from Virginia to Central Kentucky. Only a man, a woman, and a female child survived the massacre, while 24 others died.  The site became known as Defeated Camp or McNitt’s Defeat and is now within Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park.  A stone wall now surrounds the cemetery where the victims rest in peace.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Governor Gabriel Slaughter who married his third wife, Elizabeth Thompson Rodes, a widow from Scott County in 1813.  Gabriel was the 7th Governor from 1816-20.

October 3, 1881, King Kalakaua of Sandwich Islands arrived in Lexington for a three day visit.  He was the first foreign sovereign leader to have visited Lexington.  He was known for his travels around the world.  Today the Islands are known as Hawaii Islands.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 61

October 3, 1887, Morehead (Christian) Normal School (MNS), the noble forerunner of Morehead State University, began classes in a rented house. It was operated by Phebe Button and her son, Frank, with help from the Christian Church of Kentucky.  The School started with one student, Annie Page. By day’s end, Ethel Bertie Hamm also had enrolled and the Buttons had created what would be known as “a light to the mountains.”  MNS was among 25 normal private schools opened in the state between 1870 and 1905.  The School became a public institution in 1922.

October 3, 1908, the lynching of the Walker family took place near Hickman in Fulton County at the hands of about fifty masked Night Riders.  David Walker was a landowner, with a 21 1/2-acre farm.  The entire family of seven African Americans, including four children, was killed.  National newspapers covered the event and Governor Augustus E. Willson strongly condemned the murders.  The Governor promised a reward for information leading to the prosecution, to no avail.

October 3, 1911, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Oland Collins (21) and Deputy Sam Collins (23) were shot and killed in Lee County, Virginia, as they attempted to serve a warrant on a subject wanted as a witness in a murder trial.  The deputies, accompanied by the Bell County sheriff and the Lee County sheriff, had gone to the woman’s home at Gibson Station, Virginia, in order to return her to Kentucky.  When the posse was refused entry into the home they attempted to force their way in, but the occupants opened fire.  Both deputies, who were brothers, were killed and the Lee County sheriff was wounded.

October 3, 1923, early in the morning, the inmates of Eddyville Penitentiary in Western Kentucky were preparing to leave their cells for breakfast. That was when Chester Walters made a mad dash for freedom along with two other inmates. A three-day siege that would later be called the Battle of Eddyville ensued, ending with all three prisoners and three guards’ deaths. When it was over, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Walters, Chester’s wife, was left to stand trial for conspiracy and murder, for the death of Hodge Cunningham, one of the guards.

October 3, 1923, Kentucky Department of Corrections, Guard V.B. Mattingly, Guard William Gilbert, and Guard Hodge Cunningham died at the hands of inmates attempting to take over the dining room at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville.  They found the bodies three days later after the officers stormed the dining facility; the prisoners killed Cunningham during the ensuing standoff and the other two had committed suicide.  Officer Cunningham became the first guard, at Eddyville, to be killed in the line of duty.

October 3, 1931, Kentucky football seasons opens with a shutout of Maryville 19-0 in Lexington.  Kentucky and Coach Harry Gamage would go on to tie Tennessee and beat Florida and end the season 5-2-2.

October 3, 1934, Commonwealth of Kentucky dedicated the John James Audubon State Park.

October 3, 1951, Army PFC Billy J. Salyer from Magoffin County and Army PFC Charles H. Skrobanek from Jefferson County, died fighting in the Korean War.

October 3, 1952, Marine Corps PFC Leonard R. Stevens from Ft. Knox, died fighting in the Korean War.

October 3, 1954, Barney Frazier caught a state record 36 lbs. 4 oz. sturgeon in Lake Cumberland.  Mr. Frazier is from Corbin.

October 3, 1967, Army PFC Michael Lee Miller of Henderson County, died fighting in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Back Street Boy Kevin Scott Richardson, born in Lexington in 1971.  

October 3, 1997, Lyman Tefft Johnson passed away in Louisville.  Lyman was an American educator and influential role model for racial desegregation in Kentucky.  He is best known as the plaintiff, whose successful legal challenge opened the University of Kentucky to African-American students in 1949.

October 3, 2015, New York Met Max Scherzer was pitching a no-hitter with the score 2-0 when Dan Uggla homered for the Washington Nationals.  It would be the Kentuckians final bat in a very successful MLB career.