TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Thank You For Visiting

May 5/6, 1782, the town of Lexington was established by an act of the Virginia General Assembly.  The act provided a board of seven Lexington trustees and 710 acres.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 17

May 5, 1884, Knott County was created from Perry County, Breathitt County, Floyd County and Letcher County and was named in honor of James Proctor Knott, 29th Governor of Kentucky.  Hindman is the county seat.  Other localities include: Pippa Passes, Vicco, (part) Anco, Bath, Bearville, Betty, Breeding Creek, Carrie, Dema, (part) Elic, Elmrock, Emmalena, Fisty, Garner, Handshoe, Hollybush, Indian Grave, Irishmans, Kite, Leburn, Littcarr, Mallie, Mousie, Pine Top, Raven, Ritchie, Sassafras, Soft Shell, Spider, Talcum, Tina, Topmost, Vest and Wiscoal.  Knott County was the 118th county created and covers 352 square miles.

Tuesday, May 5, 1908, Stone Street captures his only stakes win in the 34th Kentucky Derby on a muddy track in 2:15.20, the slowest derby for the 1 1/4 mile distance.  Owners C. E. “Bud” & John W. Hamilton, trainer John W. Hall and jockey Arthur Pickens complete the winning connections to earn $4,850.  Arthur rests in peace in the Maysville Cemetery.

May 5, 1916, Richmond native David Rowland Francis became U.S. Ambassador to Russia for one year.

May 5, 1928, Patrolman Thomas D. McNichols, Louisville Police Department, was killed when his patrol car overturned at Greenwood Avenue and South Western Parkway.

May 5, 1929, Deputy Sheriff Elihu L. Simpson, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed from ambush in the Blackmont section of the county while en route to serve a warrant.

May 5, 1931, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, Special Deputy Daniels and Special Deputy Arthur Lee were shot and killed in what would be known as the “Battle of the Evarts.”  This gun battle between local striking miners and “officials” of the Black Mountain Coal Company incurred four deaths, the two mentioned above, one other “official” and one miner.

May 5, 1934, New Jersey bred Cavalcade wins the 60th Kentucky Derby for Brookmeade Stable of automotive heiress Isabel Dodge Sloan.  Jockey Mack Garner finally won on his 13th try and trainer Robert Augustus Smith gets his first and only win as did Mrs. Sloan.  The winning time of 2:04 earned $28,175.

May 5, 1951, Count Turf wins the 77th Kentucky Derby for owner Jack Joseph Amiel, trainer Sol Rutchick and jockey Conn McCreary.  Eddie Arcaro, who told Count Turf’s owner that he didn’t belong in the race, finished sixth aboard the favorite.  The winning time of 2:02 3/5 earned $98,050.

May 5, 1954, Nashua made his debut at Belmont Park, galloping away from a field of maidens to win by three lengths.

May 5, 1956, Needles came from 25 lengths out, through traffic, to win the 82nd Kentucky Derby in 2:02 3/5, the first Florida-bred to do so.   Owners Jack Dudley & Bonnie Heath, jockey David Erb and trainer Hugh L. Fontaine earned $123,450 for 1st place.

May 5, 1961, Charles William Boland, 21, died from a head injury after being thrown from his horse, Wyvern, at Fort Erie Race Track.

May 5, 1962, California bred Decidedly wins the 88th Kentucky Derby for El Peco Ranch (George A. Pope, Jr.), jockey Bill Hartack and trainer Horatio Luro in a blazing 2:00 2/5 that set a Derby record.  The winning connections earned $119,650.

May 5, 1966, Army SP4 Machughlen Meece from Drum in Pulaski County died in the Vietnam War.  

May 5, 1968, Army CPL Cortland E. Dennison from Cave City in Barren County, Army SSG Herman G. Goodall from Beaver Dam in Ohio County and Marine Corps CPL Alvin C. Knight from Elizabethtown in Hardin County died in the Vietnam War.

May 5, 1973, Secretariat wins the 99th Kentucky Derby in 1:59 2/5 to earn $155,050.

May 5, 1979, Lexington bred Spectacular Bid wins the 105th Kentucky Derby for Hawksworth Farm, trainer Bud Delp and jockey Ron Franklin in 2:02 3/5 earning $228,650.

May 5, 1984, Howard Cosell watches Swale win the 110th Kentucky Derby for Claiborne Farm, Kentuckian Woody Stephens and jockey Laffit Pincay Jr.  This was the first Triple Crown race simulcasted.  Twenty-four tracks across the nation received the Derby signal.

Kentucky Trivia:  For the last 14 years of Woody Stevens’s life, he claimed that he never received his trainer’s trophy for winning the Derby.  Four years after his death, a Churchill employee found the trophy in a dusty box marked “1984 trainer trophy and base.”

May 5, 1990, Unbridled wins the 116th Kentucky Derby in a very emotional Derby as Frances A. Genter and Carl Nafzger cheer on Craig Perret as they cross the finish line in 2:02 to earn $581,000.

May 5, 1990, someone won the record $5 million Lotto Kentucky.  The previous record was $3.6 million.

May 5, 1994, the Green River Shell Middens Archeological District became a National Historic Landmark and was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  The district is distributed among five counties: Butler, Henderson, McLean, Muhlenberg and Ohio Counties.

May 5, 2001, Monarchos wins the 127th Kentucky Derby for owners John C. Oxley, trainer and Lexingtonian John T. Ward, Jr., and jockey Jorge Chavez.  The winning time of 1:59.97, one of the few times the race ran under two minutes, earned $812,000.  Lexington native Tom Hammond overcame a serious illness, just in time, to live his dream of broadcasting the sporting event.  It would be NBC’s first telecast.

May 5, 2007, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II fulfilled a long-held ambition by attending the Kentucky Derby.  On her fifth visit to Kentucky, she witnessed Street Sense win the 133rd Kentucky Derby.  Not sure if winning owner James B. Tafel or trainer Carl Nafzger met the Queen, but Jockey Calvin Borel did two nights later at a White House dinner.  The winning time of 2:02 earned $1,450.

May 5, 2012, the heirs of Henryk de Kwiatkowski sold Calumet Farm’s 800 acres to Bowling Green native Brad Kelley, the 7th largest landowner in the U.S. 

May 5, 2012, I’ll Have Another wins the 138th Kentucky Derby for Canadian businessman J. Paul Reddam’s second Derby.  A record crowd of 165,307 watches jockey Mario Gutierrez and Doug O’Neill team up for their first of two Derbies.  The winning time of 2:01.83 earned $1,459,600.

May 5, 2018, Justify starts his journey to becoming the 13th Triple Crown winner by capturing the 144th Kentucky Derby.  Woodford Reserve sponsors the race for the first time.  The owners included WinStar Farm (Majority Owner), China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners and Starlight Racing.  Mike Smith wins his second Derby and Bob Baffert wins his fifth.  The winning time of 2:04.20 earns $1,432,000.

May 5, 2020, Kentucky announced 625 positive coronavirus cases; 309 were from Green River Correctional Complex.  The UK Medical Center asked the Federal Government to reimburse them $6.7 million on a temporary field hospital that never saw one patient.

May 5, 2020, Kentucky horseman Preston West Madden passed away.