TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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On October 18, 1770, British representatives insisted on negotiating a new treaty with Native Americans.  The new treaty would move the northeastern boundary of Cherokee country, from the New River of West Virginia to the land within the extreme western corner of Kentucky, today known as Pike County.  Two years later, Great Britain requested another treaty to purchase all of the lands between the Ohio and Kentucky River.

On October 18, 1869, a dog named Old Drum died by his neighbor’s doings.  Old Drum’s owner sued the neighbor for damages and hired lawyer George Graham Vest, a Frankfort native living in Missouri.  Vest’s closing argument, known as “a man’s best friend,” is one of the most enduring purple prose passages in American courtroom history.  Vest won the case and the jury awarded $50 to the Old Drum’s owner.  George Vest graduated from Centre College and Transylvania University Law.

October 18, 1881, Jesse James was in hiding, eating dinner in a Bardstown roadhouse, when someone walked in with a newspaper and said that the James Gang had just robbed a bank in Kansas.  Angered, Jesse stood up, announced who he was, and carved his name and the date into a windowpane with his diamond ring to prove that he could not have robbed that bank in another state.  Then he ran away.

October 18, 1911, ten thousand people witnessed the unveiling of the equestrian statue of Brigadier General John Hunt Morgan in downtown Lexington.  The Kentucky Historical Society’s United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) raised $15,000 for Pompeo Copii’s 15-foot bronze memorial.  The dedication ceremony included Morgan’s brother-in-law, Confederate General Basil Duke and Governor Augustus E. Willson. The statue was moved to the Lexington Cemetery in October of 2017.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:78

October 18, 1914, the Idlewild was launched in Pennsylvania.  The steamboat served as a ferry between Memphis, Tennessee and West Memphis, Arkansas and moved freight as a day packet.  Her name was later changed to the Belle of Louisville.

October 18, 1926, Chief of Police Robert S. Woolum, Pineville Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest an intoxicated man at the railroad depot.  The suspect shot the chief three times in the abdomen and ankle.  The man was arrested and sentenced to 21 years in prison.  Chief Woolum had served as chief for only 38 days.  He was survived by his wife.

October 18, 1951, Army SGT Robert L. Baker from Wayne County and Army PVT Bill D. Shaw from Allen County, died fighting in the Korean War.

October 18, 1951, Army CPL Burnice D. Powers from Scott County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 18, 1956, Nashua, the world’s leading money-winning Thoroughbred, made his final public appearance at Keeneland Racecourse in front of 9,000 fans.  Under Leslie Combs II’s silks, the handsome son of Nasrullah and Segula, was brought on to the track and strolled by the clubhouse and grandstand.  Nashua was galloped once around by Eddie Arcaro before breezing a brisk quarter-mile.  The following January at Keeneland’s breeding stock sale, Stavros Niarchos paid a record $126,000 for Nashua’s dam, Segula.

October 18, 1968, Army SGT Randall E. Welch from Covington died fighting in the Vietnam War.

Sunday, October 18, 1970, Latonia Race Track held Quarter Horse racing.  Never before had legal betting existed on the Sabbath in Kentucky.  Latonia was unsure how many or if anyone would show, but 3,524 came and bet $65,862, which was 31% more wagering than Saturday’s card.

October 18, 1972, Farmington in Louisville was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  It once was the center of a vast hemp plantation owned by John and Lucy Speed, close friends of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.

October 18, 1982, Governor John Y. Brown ordered an immediate hiring freeze in the state government and told a majority of state agencies to cut cost by 2%.  

October 18, 1984, University of Louisville announced that 23 companies and or individuals made a five year, $175,000 commitments to the athletic department by leasing 19 suites at Freedom Hall to watch UofL basketball games.  Don Russell associate athletic director says that he knows of no other university that has set up such a program catering to contributors.  

October 18, 1991, in an unexpected turnabout, Kentucky State University President, John T. Wolfe Jr. resigned and averted a board of regents hearing on charges that could have led to his ouster.  The two month presidential saga ended on this date for the university.  

October 18, 1993, a civilian employee at Fort Knox shot and killed three co-workers and critically wounded three others before driving to Louisville and killing himself.    

October 18, 2000, the federal government announced a sweeping review of the safety of all 653 coal-waste impoundment dams nationwide, in response to last week’s catastrophic Martin County failure.  The Martin County dam was rated a moderate risk of failing.  

October 18, 2002, a Knott County jury ordered a Pittsburgh energy company to pay more than $270 million in the largest jury verdict ever awarded in Kentucky.  It was awarded to a man who was injured when his water well pump house exploded.  

October 18, 2008, the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Arkansas Razorbacks 21-20 in Lexington in a thriller.  It was only one of two SEC wins for the season, but the Cats did go on to win the Liberty Bowl against East Carolina.

October 18, 2011, University of Louisville announced they signed Charlie Strong to a seven-year contract extension during his second year as head coach.  His pay increased from $1.6 million to $2.3 million annually through June 30, 2018.  Coach Strong’s last game was a 2013 December win in the Russell Athletic Bowl.