TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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October 19, 1755, Mary Ingles, the first reported white woman in Kentucky, escaped from her Native American captures in Big Bone Lick.  Although it’s not certain, it seems most likely that she headed immediately for the mouth of Landing Creek, the first of the 145 creeks and rivers she would have to cross on her way to the mouth of the Kanawha River, 250 miles up the Ohio River.  She probably reached the Kanawha, a little more than half of her journey, around November 7.  From there, it was 95 miles to the Falls of Kanawha, and then up the New River for an additional 85 to 90 miles of the most rugged and challenging terrain she had to pass.  The entire journey took forty-two and a half days.  She arrived home near December 1, surviving incredible hardships.

October 19, 1818, Kentucky gained 2,000 square miles with the Jackson Purchase.  The agents were the U.S. and the Chickasaw Indian Nation.  Representing the U.S. were the aging Isaac Shelby, Revolutionary War hero and twice Kentucky Governor and Gen. Andrew Jackson, later the U.S. President.  Representing the Chickasaws were Levi and George Colbert, Chinubby (the Boy King), and Tishomingo.  The purchase now includes eight Kentucky counties.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Madison County native Cassius Marcellus Clay born in 1810, nicknamed “The Lion of White Hall.”  

October 19, 1826, the Williams Race Track held racing for three days in Lexington for the Kentucky Association, until land could be purchased and a racecourse built.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Dr. David Amoss born in Cobb, Caldwell County in 1857.  He was instrumental in helping tobacco farmers break free of the Duke Tobacco monopoly.

October 19, 1895, Deputy Marshal Todd Vittitoe, Elizabethtown Police Department, was shot and killed as he and the town marshal attempted to break up a fight between two men.  One of the men in the fight shot at the other one, but missed, and the round fatally struck the marshal.  The subject was arrested and charged with murder.  He was convicted of manslaughter and subsequently sentenced to two years in prison.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Jimtown native Georgia Davis Powers in 1923.   Ms. Powers served for 21 years as a state senator in the Kentucky Senate.  In 1967, she was the first person of color and the first woman elected to the senate.  During her term, she was “regarded as the leading advocate for blacks, women, children, the poor, and the handicapped.” She was also the Health and Welfare Committee chair from 1970–76 and on the Labor and Industry committee 1978-88.

October 19, 1951, Air Force SSGT N. Brandon from Princeton in Caldwell County, Army CPL Denver King from Letcher County and Army PFC Franklin H. Watts from Mercer County, all died fighting in the Korean War.

October 19, 1952, Army PVT Ronald D. Jacobs from Bracken County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 19, 1970, the annual Court Day in Mt. Sterling occurred.  Like the last 100 years, people came to town to swap knives, guns, dogs, antiques and hundreds of other items.  Court Day is a throwback to the pioneer era when the circuit judge came to town, for the day, each quarter of the year.  Initially, only mule and hound-dog trading took place.

October 19, 1970, Army SSG Donald C. Gay from Frankfort died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 19, 1980, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan arrived at Standiford Field and later rode the Belle of Louisville with campaign workers and school children.  Today the airport is named the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.

October 19, 1987, federal officials stopped a theft ring in Cumberland County that hauled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales of caviar acquired through illegal fishing.  The officials charged the ring with conspiracy to bribe a U.S. deputy game warden in order to fish illegally, along with other federal crimes.

October 19, 1990, Governor Wallace Wilkerson barred new landfills in Kentucky temporarily.  He also capped the amount of waste that existing landfills could accept so the state wouldn’t be a “dumping ground” for out-of-state trash.  He did this to ensure that legislators would pass new landfills laws for Kentucky.

October 19, 1997, in a move described as unprecedented, the state pushed ahead with plans for a new Bullitt County Courthouse, even though county officials, while not opposed to the idea, never formally voted for the $6.4 million project.

October 19, 1998, the PGA announced the Valhalla Golf Club would be home to the 2004 Senior PGA Senior Championship and the 2008 Ryder Cup.  Valhalla had already successfully hosted the 1996 PGA Championship won by Mark Brooks.  The 2000 PGA Championship was already announced and won by Tiger Woods.  Hale Irwin won the 2004 PGA Seniors and the U.S. won the 2008 Ryder Cup.  Rory Mcllroy won the 2014 PGA Championship in Louisville, the last time they hosted.  Valhalla will be hosting the PGA Championship again in 2024.

October 19, 2000, the Kentucky State Data Center announced that Lexington would pass Louisville as the state’s largest city if Louisville did not approve the Louisville-Jefferson County measure.  From 1990 to 2000 Louisville population declined to 253,128 loosing 16,710 while Lexington grew by 18,149 to 243,785.  Based on the trend, Lexington would become the largest city by 2001.

October 19, 2010, KFC Yum Center begin their grand opening festivities by offering tours of Louisville’s newest $238 million entertainment center.

October 19, 2016, Louisville reached a grim milestone when it recorded its 100th homicide for the year, reaching the triple digits for the first time in four decades.  An independent analysis of the FBI’s 2016 Crime in the United States Report revealed that Louisville’s homicide problem is deeper than the numbers suggest.