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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.”
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.
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, 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, 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.
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.
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.