TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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February 8, 1837, the United States Senate elected Richard Mentor Johnson of Kentucky the ninth U.S. Vice President.  His selection marked the first and only time the Senate exercised its prerogative under the U.S. Constitution’s Twelfth Amendment, which provides, “if no person has a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President.”

Feb 8 Johnson

February 8, 1839, Breathitt County was created from Clay County, Estill County and Perry County and was named in honor of John Breathitt, 11th Governor of Kentucky.  Jackson is the county seat.  Other localities include: Altro, Bays, Caney, Canoe, Chenowee, Clayhole, Cockrell Fork, (on line between Breathitt and Perry Counties) Crockettsville, Elkatawa, Evanston, Fishtrap, Flintville, Frozen/Frozen Creek, Fugates Fork, Gauge, Haddix, Hardshell Caney, Hayes Branch, Leatherwood, Lost Creek, Morris Fork, Ned, Nix Branch, Noble, Noctor, Oakdale, Portsmouth, Quicksand, River Caney, Riverside, Rose Branch, Rousseau, Rowdy, Saldee, Sebastians Branch, Shoulder Blade/Shoulderblade, Smith Branch, South Fork, Stevenson, Troublesome Creek, Turners Creek, Vancleve, War Creek, Watts, Whick, Wilstacy and Wolf Coal.  Breathitt County was the 89th county created in Kentucky and covers 495 square miles.

February 8, 1893, Kentucky philanthropist, social reformer, school founder, and letter writer, “Miss Jennie Casseday, dies.

Feb 8 Cassiday

February 8, 1900, Governor Goebel’s body returned to Frankfort from Covington for his official funeral.  Six thousand strong turned out for the event despite a miserable rainy day.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Millersburg native Mae Street Kidd born in 1904.  Mae was born to a black mother and a white father who refused to acknowledge her existence.  She rose to be a pioneering business leader, Kentuckian politician, and civil rights activist who broke ground for both women and African Americans.  From a segregated education, Mae became a successful life insurance agent, served aboard in the Red Cross, and opened up her own cosmetics line.  She also founded the Louisville Urban League Guild and then joined the House of Representatives, co-sponsoring legislation to make Martin Luther King Jr. a national holiday.

February 8, 1915, D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation, a landmark film in cinema’s history, premieres at Clune’s Auditorium in Los Angeles.  Griffith was born in La Grange in 1875.

February 8, 1915, Constable W. W. Tartt, Graves County Constable’s Office, was killed at Melber by a man that he and another constable attempted to arrest for breaking into a house. The suspect was arrested minutes later.  Three nights later, a mob of more than 50 men seized the suspect from the county jail at Maysville, hanged him from a tree on the courthouse lawn, and riddled his body with bullets.

February 8, 1946, Patrolman Cleophus John “Clay” Eifert, Covington Police Department, was shot and killed after responding to a domestic disturbance at a rooming house downtown.  Patrolman Eifert was shot in the chest while climbing a staircase.  Before collapsing, the officer fired six shots, striking the gunman in the leg.  The gunman served seven years in prison.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native John Richard Gott III born in 1947.  John is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University.  He is known for his work on time travel and the Doomsday argument.

February 8, 1968, Army SP4 Larry J. McCubbins from Fairdale in Jefferson County, Marine Corps PFC Ronald L. Pembleton in Nicholasville in Jessamine County and Army PFC Joseph B. Robinson from Ashland in Boyd County died in the Vietnam War.

February 8, 1969, Army SP4 Robert H. Parcher from Louisville and Army SP4 Henry L. Palmer from Madisonville in Hopkins, died in the Vietnam War.

February 8, 1971, Army SGT Joseph W. Miley from Covington in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Fort Campbell native and MLB player Aaron Lane Cook born in 1979. 

February 8, 1981, the Boston Celtics retired Newport native Dave Cowens‘s #18 jersey.

February 8, 1989, Springfield native Georgia Davis Powers known as Montgomery was included in the photographic exhibit at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D.C.: Portraits of Black Women Who Changed America.

Kentucky Trivia:  In 1968, Georgia Davis Powers was the first African-American and woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate, 33 years after the first African-American male became a Kentucky Senator.

February 8, 2000, Louisville announced that they were investing $60 million into turning human waste into pellets of fertilizer.   The project would divert 250 million tons of sludge from landfills.

February 8, 2011, Kindred Healthcare of Louisville announced they bought St. Louis based RehabCare for $940 million.  With this deal, Kindred become the nation’s largest provider of rehabilitation and long-term hospital care.   In 2017, Humana bought Kindred for $4 billion and Kindred is no longer a publicly traded company.

February 8, 2019, the Commissioner and Operations Director of the Kentucky Department of Corrections were fired effective immediately as part of the Justice Cabinet’s desire to change leadership.

Horse Racing Trivia:  February 8, 2020, the Sam F. Davis Stakes is run at Tampa Bay Downs for Kentucky Derby points.  The race finishes in a Keeneland grad exacta.  The winner was the only horse to go on to the Derby.

February 8, 2020, Kentucky Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman became the first Lt. Governor in Kentucky history to give birth while in office.  Evelynne Jeanette Coleman-O’Bryan was born at 9:40 a.m.