TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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February 20, 1835, Clinton County was created from Wayne County and Cumberland County. Currently the county was named in honor of DeWitt Clinton, Governor of New York.  Albany is the county seat.  Other localities include: Aaron, Abstons Corner, Alpha, Browns Crossroads, Bug, Cannons Mill, Cartwright, Cedar Knob, Churntop, Cumberland City, Decide, Dicken, Five Springs, Highway, Hobart, Hogback, Huntersville, Ida, Jones Mill, Lettered Oak, Marlow, Narvel, Nora, Ootens Store, Pikeview, Rolan, Savage, Seventy Six, Shipley, Snow, Sparta, Static, Upchurch, Wago, Watauga, Willis Creek and Wolf River Dock.  Clinton County was the 85th county created and covers 196 square miles.

February 20, 1877, High Bridge, connecting Jessamine and Mercer counties at the Kentucky River Palisades, is completed.  The Railroad Bridge was the first cantilever bridge in the U.S. and is designated a National Civil Engineering Landmark.  High Bridge is the tallest bridge above a navigable waterway in North America and the tallest railroad bridge in the world until the early 20th century.  President Hayes and Gen. Tecumseh Sherman attended the 1879 dedication.  The current bridge was built around the existing structure in 1911 and expanded to two tracks in 1929.

Feb 20 High Bridge Of Kentucky 1
By R. S. Finlayson

February 20, 1903, Kentucky plays their 3rd and final game of their first season, losing to Kentucky University 2-42.  Kentucky hosted in Kentucky’s State College Gymnasium, and both teams had a five-team rooster.  Kentucky finished the season 1-2.

February 20, 1937, Captain Vernie C. Snellen, Kentucky Highway Patrol, was killed in an automobile crash on the Dixie Highway when the car’s accelerator got stuck; he was three miles from Georgetown, while returning from working a detail in Covington.

February 20, 1943, Adolph Rupp’s Wildcats lose to Ray Meyer’s Demons in Chicago Stadium 53-44.  It was Kentucky’s first game in the stadium.  By 1968 when they played their last game, the Wildcats would have a 10-6 record for the historic facility.

Chicago Stadium 1984
By David Wilson from Oak Park, Illinois

February 20, 1966, Army PFC Emmitt C. Adams from Isom in Letcher County and Army SP4 Raymond S. Ford from Bardstown in Nelson County died in the Vietnam War.

February 20, 1968, Army 1LT Jeffrey W. Green from Bowling Green in Warren County and Army PFC Donald D. Philbeck from Richmond in Madison County died in the Vietnam War.

February 20, 1969, Army SGT Harold Sullivan from Pineville in Bell County died in the Vietnam War.

February 20, 1970, Army SP4 Charles M. Medley from Springfield in Washington County and Army SSG Leon A. Miller from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Brian Thomas Littrell, born in 1975.  After the Backstreet Boys, he became a contemporary Christian music artist and released the solo album Welcome Home in 2006.  He is also the father of country singer Baylee Littrell.

February 20, 1976, Muhammad Ali (50-2) fights Jean-Pierre Coopman (24-3) in Roberto Clemente Coliseum, San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Ali’s best friend, Howard Bingham, said this about Coopman, a Belgian: “By all accounts, he was a very nice man.  He just couldn’t fight.”  At the news conference to announce the fight, Coopman was pleased to meet his hero; he kept trying to kiss him.  “Get this guy away from me,” Ali said.  Coopman’s American manager, George Kanter, who tried to sell the fight, found a voodoo witch doctor he claimed would help Coopman win.  Coopman believed in witches and was happy to be put into a deep hole and have water poured over him.  He drank champagne in his locker room before the fight.  Ali toyed with him until the fifth round and then dropped him.

February 20, 1980, a two and a half month civil suit ended when a jury decided that family members did not prove that “old-style” aluminum wire caused the Beverly Hills fire in Covington, a disappointing verdict for many.

February 20, 1982, Rev. Dale Peterson, Pastor of Paducah’s Broadway Baptist Church, led 500 protestors worried about off-track betting facility planned for his city.  

February 20, 1990, Logan County teen-ager Courtney Wright, 17, who was named Miss National Teen-ager, visited President Bush in the White House.

February 20, 2000, the Jefferson Davis Memorial was undergoing a $3 million renovation in Fairview.

Feb 20 Jefferson Davis Memorial
By B. Badgett

Kentucky Trivia:  Even though 2/3 of Kentuckian soldiers fought for the Union, Kentucky built approximately 72 Rebel monuments and two Union ones.  Standing at 351 feet, the J.D. Memorial eventually became a state property as a historic site.

February 20, 2017, it was a Keeneland graduate Superfecta in the GIII $500,000 Southwest Stakes for three-year-olds at Oaklawn Park.

February 20, 2018, the NCAA vacated Louisville’s entire 2013 tournament run, including its national title, due to multiple recruiting violations.

February 20, 2020, a bill aimed at cutting the corporate middleman out of Kentucky’s $1.7 billion-a-year Medicaid prescription drug business passed the Kentucky Senate.  Sen. Max Wise representing Campbellsville wanted to end the leeching of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).