TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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November 21, 1799, the Kentucky Legislatures decreed John James Dufour of Vevey, Switzerland, the first commercial vineyard and winery in the U.S., known as the “First Vineyard.”  Dufour traveled up and down the Ohio, Mississippi and Kentucky Rivers and selected Jessamine County.

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Lexington Native James Hilary Mulligan, born in 1844.  Mulligan was a celebrated local orator and wrote poetry throughout his life.  Maxwell Place, his home, is now the official residence of the president of the University of Kentucky.

November 21, 1861, Kentucky Confederate Governor George Johnson wrote Confederate President Jefferson Davis to request Kentucky’s admission to the Confederacy, eight months after the war started.  Though Davis had some reservation about the circumvention of the elected General Assembly in forming the Confederate government, he concluded that Johnson’s request had merit.  Kentucky was officially admitted to the Confederacy less than a month later.

November 21, 1891, Deputy Sheriff John W. Altrip, Knott County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed while attempting to take a pistol away from a man who was attending a corn-husking party near Hindman.  Several men were arrested and charged in connection with the murder.  Just before their trial started in June 1892 someone attempted to burn down the county courthouse in order to destroy the case records.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Kentucky Governor John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham, who wed Jean Raphael Fuqua in 1900.  It was the most coveted invitation of the year, to watch the new 35th Governor at age 31, marry his 21-year-old bride at the First Presbyterian Church of Owensboro.

November 21, 1950, Army PVT Earnest A. Taylor from Jefferson County died fighting in the Korean War.

November 21, 1953, Bear Bryant’s 13th ranked Kentucky Wildcats beat Tennessee 27-21 in Lexington. 

November 21, 1958, Blanton Collier’s Wildcats shutout the 20th ranked Tennessee Volunteers 21-0 in Lexington.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Paducah native Steven Curtis Chapman born in 1962.  Mr. Chapman is a contemporary Christian music singer, songwriter, five-time Grammy winner, record producer, actor, author, and social activist.  He and his wife started a charity organization called Show Hope (formerly called Shaohannah’s Hope), which mobilizes individuals and communities to care for orphans through its international orphan care work and offer adoption grants to help put orphans in families.  In 2009, Show Hope finished building Maria’s Big House of Hope, a medical center in China that provides care to orphans with special needs.

November 21, 1966, Army PFC Charles L. Hicks from Hazard died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 21, 1972, Muhammad Ali fought Bob Foster in Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Stateline, Nevada.  Ali was more than 40 pounds heavier than his opponent, who was really a light heavyweight.  This fight took place in a nightclub where fans sat around dinner tables.  Ali toyed with Foster until the fifth round, the one in which he had predicted victory.  Foster survived four knockdowns and opened up the first cut on Ali in the ring.  But Ali knocked down Foster two more times before getting an eighth-round stoppage.

November 21, 1981, an unranked Louisville team beats the 9th ranked Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in Cardinal Stadium.  Also on this date, the Wildcats beat the Volunteers 21-10 in Lexington.

November 21, 1984, Kentucky Governor Martha Layne Collins, America’s only female governor, at the time, underwent emergency surgery in London for the removal of a sliver of glass found lodged in her small intestine.  Collins was in England studying acid rain concerns with three other governors.  She was expected to stay two weeks in the hospital.

November 21, 1987, the 4th Breeders’ Cup returned to the site of its inaugural running, Hollywood Park.  It was one of the most exciting Classics ever when winners of the past two Kentucky Derby’s, Ferdinand and Alysheba, battled to the wire.  Judge Angelucci, named for a long term Fayette County Judge, set the pace.  This was for Horse of the Year.  

November 21, 1988, the University of Kentucky’s NCAA Division I Women’s Cross Country Team won the National Championship; it was their first and only championship to date.  The average time for the Wildcats was 17:09 for 5,000 meters, second place average was 17:19.

November 21, 1990, the New Madrid fault shifted its weight moving ever so slightly that apparently no one in the Western Kentucky counties noticed.  The Memphis State University Center for Earthquake Research and Information reported that the 10:07 am (EST) quake measured 2.5.

November 21, 1990, an Indiana man who authorities said ran Kentucky’s biggest drug-trafficking ring was sentenced to 20 years in prison without parole.  The dealer’s organization was the largest ever prosecuted in Kentucky in terms of the volume of cocaine it imported, one ton.   

November 21, 2003, Army CPL Gary B. Coleman, 24, of Pikeville died during a patrol when the vehicle he was driving flipped over into a canal, trapping him inside, while fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

November 21, 2008, Seco native Tom Gish of Letcher County passed away.  Mr. Gish is best remembered as an American newspaper reporter and editor who owned The Mountain Eagle Weekly newspaper alongside his wife, Pat Gish, in Whitesburg.  His paper was the first paper in Eastern Kentucky to challenge the damage caused to the environment resulting from strip mining.

November 21, 2008, a thirty-seven-year-old white male was executed by lethal injection at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville for multiple murders he committed in Warsaw in Gallatin County.  He was the last person executed by the Commonwealth.

November 21, 2009, Fort Knox native Randolph Bresnik performed his first spacewalk.  Bresnik was a Mission Specialist on the STS-129, a shuttle mission to the International Space Station aboard Atlantis.  He spent six hours and eight minutes outside of the ISS installing a piece of equipment called the Grappling Adapter to On-Orbit Railing (GATOR).

November 21, 2016, the Fayette County School Board voted to name Lexington’s newest High School Frederick Douglass.  The name is intended to honor the abolitionist and the segregated high school that closed in 1963 in Lexington.  The old school served black Fayette County children living outside the city limits during the segregation era.  Although the high school closed in 1963, an elementary school stayed on sight till 1971.  The new school cost $81.4 million.

November 21, 2017, Governor Bevin called for the immediate resignation of anyone who settled a private sexual harassment settlement earlier in the year.  The four Republican legislators involved had stepped down from their respective committees but did not resign from their jobs as representatives at the time of Bevin’s statement.

November 21, 2019, a committee was formed to finance the December 10th inauguration of Governor-elect Andy Beshear and Lt. Governor-elect Jacqueline Coleman.  The committee hoped to raise between $600,000 and $700,000, the contributors to the event did not have to be made public till January 8, 2020.