TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Christian County native Adlai Ewing Stevenson born in 1835.  He attended public school in Blue Water.  Adlai was the 23rd Vice President of the United States under President Cleveland from 1893-1897.  Stevenson never realized how close he came to being president: A habitual cigar-smoker, Cleveland developed cancer of the mouth that required immediate surgery in the summer of 1893.  The president insisted that the surgery be kept secret to avoid another panic on Wall Street.  While on a yacht in New York harbor that summer, Cleveland had his entire upper jaw removed and replaced with an artificial device, an operation that left no outward scar.  The cancer surgery remained secret for another quarter-century.

October 23, 1844, a horrific explosion on the steamboat Lucy Walker occurred eight miles below Louisville, in the middle of the Ohio River.  The boat sinks in 15 feet of water.  Fifty people drowned or went missing and twenty seriously wounded.

October 23, 1889, Town Marshal W.T. Williams of the Trenton Police Department was shot and killed by a suspect whom he was serving a notice on for disorderly conduct.  The suspect fled after murdering Marshal Williams but was eventually apprehended.  On November 23, 1889, an angry mob took the suspect from the county jail and lynched him as he awaited trial.

October 23, 1902, the Kentucky Confederate Home at Pewee Valley opened in the former Villa Ridge Inn.  The Kentucky legislature unanimously approved the building of a veterans’ home specifically for Confederate veterans at the urging of Bennett H. Young, who advocated for a facility to house comrades who could no longer care for themselves.

October 23, 1915, Deputy Sheriff Edmond Murphy, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, was struck and killed by a train while collecting county taxes at Kings Mountain.  He was walking across the Fishing Creek railroad trestle when a train approached.  He attempted to avoid being struck by dropping between the trestle’s supports, but his head was struck by one the bottom of one of the railroad cars.  Deputy Murphy was 59 and survived by his wife and daughter.

October 23, 1926, the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Florida Gators in Jacksonville 18-13.  This would be the last win of a long season.  It would also be Fred Murphy’s last season as head coach.  The Cats would finish the season 2-6-1.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Southgate native Jim Bunning born in 1931. 

October 23, 1951, Air Force CAPT John W. Shewmaker from Mercer County died fighting in the Korean War.   

October 23, 1954, Kentucky’s two-touchdown underdog Wildcats up-end Georgia Tech 13 to 6 by stopping second-half drives on the road in front of 34,000.  The secret was Kentucky’s ability to stop Tech’s “Belly-Play.”  Kentucky’s SEC record for the year now stood at 3-2.  Elsewhere, the Louisville Cardinals mastered the Centre Colonels 27-6 in Louisville’s Parkway Field, and in Morehead, Eastern squeezes the home team 12 to 8 in the annual “Old Hawg Rifle” battle.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Pikeville native Dwight Yoakam born in in 1956.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Jonathan Wolff born in 1958.  Wolff is well known for creating the theme and music for the television series Seinfeld.  Wolff is also the composer for about 75 other TV series, including Will & Grace, Who’s the Boss?, Married… with Children, The Hughleys, Reba and more.

October 23, 1965, the unranked Kentucky Wildcats beat the 10th ranked Georgia Bulldogs 28-10 in Lexington.  The Cats would finish with a 6-4 record and go 3-3 in the SEC.

October 23, 1970, the Justice Department announced an agreement with Pennwalt Chemical to limit their discharge of mercury to one half pound a day.  They also committed to further reductions.  The Western Kentucky Company dumped 1.54 pounds a day of mercury into the Tennessee River for years.

October 23, 1971, the four candidates are profiled for November’s election to replace Governor Nunn.  They include two-time Governor A.B. Chandler running as an Independent, Tom Emberton the Republican nominee, Lt. Gov. Wendell Ford, the Democratic nominee and William E. Smith, the American Party candidate.  Mr. Smith announced his withdrawal from public appearances in protest against the amount of money he said his opponents have spent in this gubernatorial campaign.  If he only saw what was happening today.  Ford would become Kentucky’s 53rd Governor.

October 23, 1989, acting on Governor Wallace Wilkinson’s request, the Kentucky Lottery Corporation decided against launching a controversial game based on professional football, hours after the State Supreme Court had cleared a way for the game to begin.  Wilkinson had changed his mind at the last minute, having pushed for the game to be created and implemented.

October 23, 1990, the Kentucky Nature Conservancy bought 1,023 acres in the Bad Branch Gorge to preserve an orchid, a broad-leaf grass and a lily, all endangered plants in Kentucky.  They all flourish along the bluffs of Bad Branch, a tributary to the Cumberland River.

October 23, 2001, Charlotte Hornets co-owner Roy Wooldridge stated that his franchise has little hope of staying in North Carolina and that he is “very interested” in pursuing a move to Louisville if leaders commit to building a downtown arena by January 1, 2002.

On October 23, 2002, Federal prosecutors began an investigation into Clay County voter fraud.  Five months after shots were fired at the County Clerk and his assistant, forcing them to stop absentee vote counting during the primary.

October 23, 2005, the city of Madisonville became another victim of the opioid epidemic as it saw many of its influential citizens caught up in a suspected drug ring selling pain-killers and cocaine.  The lawyer who started two banks, his daughter, a plastic surgeon, a pharmacist, a firefighter and others faced charges from identify theft to engaging in organized crime.    

October 23, 2016, Louisville native Justin Thomas wins his second PGA event, the CIMB Classic in Malaysia, by playing his last 23 holes in 13 under.  Thomas’s won the 2015 CIMB Championship for his first PGA win also.

According to a released report by USA TODAY Sports on October 23, 2019, Kentucky’s historic 2018 football season netted Coach Mark Stoops the third-highest bonus payment of any coach in the country.  It included incentive bonus payments of $250,000 per win starting at win number seven, netting him $1.05 million for a 10-3 season.  He also earned a $50,000 bonus for the team’s academic progress rate score.  Fresno State and Clemson coaches received more bonuses.  The buyout Kentucky would owe Stoops for firing him without cause sits at $22,703,125 as of December 1, 2019.