TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Squire Maugridge Boone Jr., born in 1744.  Squire was a pioneer, long-hunter, soldier, city planner, politician, land locator, judge, politician, gunsmith, miller, and brother of Daniel Boone.  In Spring 1779, after the siege of Boonesborough, he moved his family to the settlement at the Falls of the Ohio that would become Louisville.  In 1780, he brought 13 families to “Painted Stone,” a tract of land in Shelby County and established Squire Boone’s Station, the county’s first permanent settlement.

October 5, 1813, Kentucky native Richard M. Johnson killed the Shawnee leader Tecumseh in the Battle of the Thames in the War of 1812 – or he may not have.  The fatal wounding of Tecumseh is one of the mysteries of history.  Scores of Kentuckians were in Michigan for the great battle and returning veterans claimed notoriety by recalling they were present when Tecumseh was killed.

October 5, 1818, Nancy Hanks Lincoln died at age 34.  Her nine-year-old son Abraham assisted his father in the making of her coffin by whittling the wooden pegs that held the planks together.  Eleven-year-old Sarah cared for Abraham until their father remarried the next year.

On October 5, 1839, the second contest between Wagner and Grey Eagle took place at the Oakland Race Course in Louisville five days after the original race.  The Jockey Club supplied the purse of $1,500 and an estimated 10,000 people (or more) were in attendance.  Hundreds of racing enthusiasts made the long trek across the mountains from the Atlantic seaboard; among the noted aristocrats on this day was a contingent from Lexington, led by Henry Clay.  Grey Eagle won the first heat; Wagner the second.  The excitement was intense during the running of the third heat, but the race never finished.  Grey Eagle gave way in the second mile and broken down.  He never raced again.

October 5, 1890, Eckstein Norton University at Cane Springs, Bullitt County, opened with twenty-four students and sixteen teachers.  The campus, including one brick building and six frame structures, was situated on seventy-five acres of land next to the L&N tracks at Cane Springs.  By 1911 it had provided aid to 1,794 students and had graduated 189.  One of the graduates, Juliet Carson Alvis of Henderson, was appointed by Governor Augustus E. Willson (1907-11) to represent the state at the Negro Educational Conference.  In 1912 the university merged with the newly established Lincoln Institute at Simpsonville.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Central City native Bernard “Peck” Hickman, born in 1911.  As head coach, he led the Louisville Cardinals to the 1948 NAIB Championship (today’s NAIA), the 1956 NIT Championship and the school’s first NCAA Final Four in 1959.  He never had a losing season in 23 years as head coach, finishing with a 443-183 overall record and a .708 winning percentage that ranks him among the top 45 NCAA Division I basketball coaches of all time.  Peck was a Western Kentucky basketball star where he majored in physical education.

October 5, 1918, the Kentucky football team opened their season beating Indianan at home 24-7.  The abbreviated 1918 season include three games under Coach Andrew Gill.  The Wildcats would go 2-1, losing to Vandy and beating Georgetown.  

October 5, 1929, Kentucky played their first night-game in Stoll Field beating Maryville 40-0.  Harry Gamage coached the shutout.  Kentucky was one of the first teams to play “under the lights.”

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Adrian Howard “Odie” Smith, who was born in Farmington in Graves County in 1936.  The family lived in a farmhouse that had no electricity and no indoor plumbing.  He was nicknamed “Odie” after a comedian on the Grand Ole Opry.  Odie was part of the Rupp’s Fiddlin’ Five, who won the 1958 NCAA Championship and the gold medal in the 1960 Olympics.  In 1966 he was the MVP of the NBA All-Star game in an incredible performance that his peers and fans still have not forgotten.

On October 5, 1941, Louis Dembitz Brandeis from Louisville passed away.  Judge Brandeis was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson.  The nomination was a bitterly contested process that sought to brand him as a radical reformer, played with a tinge of anti-Semitism.  Louis was the first Jewish man to sit on the high court.  At the time, The New York Times described Brandeis as “a contender, a striver after change and reforms.”  He spoke out against and ruled against corporate monopolies when he thought necessary.

October 5, 1957, the Louisville Cardinals, under head coach Frank Camp, beat Toledo 48-20 at the Fairgrounds Stadium with a light crowd of 6,500.  This was Coach Camp’s 12th season, where he earned Louisville’s first bowl bid, defeating Drake in the Sun Bowl.  Leonard “Bones” Lyles led the nation in scoring.  He also set Louisville records for points in a season, yards gained in a season, and most rushing yards in a career.  The Cardinals averaged 38 points in their winning games, ending the season 9-1.

October 5, 1950, Army PVT Henry Jones from Perry County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 5, 1951, Army CPL Roscoe Borders, Jr. from Lawrence died fighting in the Korean War.

October 5, 1967, Army SSG Ronald Louis Alvey from Louisville died while fighting in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Rex Chapman who was born in Bowling Green in 1967.

October 5, 1991, Kentucky lost their SEC opener under the lights at home to Ole Miss 35-14, ending a ten night-game winning streak in Lexington.  The Cardinals did not fare any better at their home on this date.  Cincinnati, a 30-point underdog, routs Louisville 30-7.  One highlight was the Colonels win over GA. Southern, 10-6 in Richmond.

October 5, 1992, Middle Creek Battlefield in Prestonsburg was added to the List of National Historic Landmarks.  This was the site of an early Union victory in January 1862, with future President James A. Garfield commanding the Union troops.

October 5, 2003, Captain Robert T. Hansel, Lynch Police Department, was killed in an automobile accident while en route to conduct an interview regarding a narcotics investigation.  His patrol car struck the back of a coal truck on U.S. 119 in the town of Dione.  He was 56 and survived by his wife, four children, and mother.

October 5, 2008, Army Sgt. William P. Rudd, 27, of Madisonville died of wounds from enemy small arms fire in Mosul, Iraq, fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

October 5, 2011, Charles Lewis Napier from Mt. Union passed away.  Charles was an actor in film and television, known for his supporting and leading roles playing police officers, soldiers, or authority figures.  He appeared in Philadelphia, Married to the Mob, The Manchurian Candidate, The Silence of the Lambs, Blues Brothers, Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and Rambo: First Blood Part II.

October 5, 2014, Henderson native, James Wyne Feix, passed away.  Jimmy was a fixture at Western Kentucky University since arriving on the Hill in 1949. He has been an athlete, administrator, alumni director and ambassador for the University.  As a quarterback, he became the first Hilltopper ever honored as an All-American in football in 1952. He was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference team in 1951 and 1952 and named to the conference’s all-time team in 1988.  As a senior in 1952, Feix guided the Toppers to the school’s first OVC football championship with a 9-1 record and the school’s first bowl game appearance.  Western defeated Arkansas State 34-19 to win the Refrigerator Bowl.  Western’s plays their football games on the Jimmy Feix Field in Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium.