On November 21, 1783, the Kentucky territory created its 1st tax. The future Commonwealth taxed each 10 pounds of tobacco. Also, during this year, Kentucky held its 1st Supreme Court session, the 1st official road opened from Lincoln County to Harrodsburg, and the 1st jail opened in Danville. Kentucky in Retrospect 1792-1967 by Lila Jones Kingston, pg: 19.
November 21, 1799, the Kentucky legislatures decreed John James Dufour of Vevey, Switzerland, the 1st commercial vineyard and winery in the U.S., known as “First Vineyard.” Dufour traveled up and down the Ohio, Mississippi, and Kentucky Rivers and then selected Jessamine County.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native James Hilary Mulligan, born in 1844. The celebrated local orator/lawyer wrote poetry throughout his life, including “My Kentucky.” Maxwell Place, the home he built and the location of his attempted murder by his son, is now the official residence of UK’s president.
November 21, 1861, Kentucky Confederate Governor G. Johnson wrote Confederate President J. Davis to request Kentucky’s admission to the Confederacy eight months after the war started. Though Davis had reservations about the circumvention of the elected General Assembly in forming the Confederate government, he concluded that Johnson’s request had merit. Davis officially admitted the Commonwealth less than a month later.
November 21, 1891, Deputy Sheriff John W. Altrip, Knott County Sheriff’s Department, died trying to take a pistol away from a man at a corn-husking party near Hindman. Just before their trial started in June 1892, someone attempted to burn down the county courthouse to destroy the case records.
Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Governor John Crepps Wickliffe Beckham, who wed Jean Raphael Fuqua in 1900. Prominent Kentuckians coveted the invitation of the year to watch the new 35th governor, at age 31, marry his 21-year-old bride in the First Presbyterian Church of Owensboro.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Paducah native Steven Curtis Chapman, born in 1962, 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, 1972, Muhammad Ali (40-1) fought Bob Foster (49-5) in Sahara Tahoe Hotel, Stateline, Nevada. Ali was more than 40 lbs. 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 5th round, the one in which he had predicted victory. Foster survived four knockdowns and opened up the 1st cut on Ali in the ring. But Ali knocked down Foster two more times before getting an 8th round stoppage.
November 21, 1981, in his final game as Kentucky’s coach, Fran Curci led the Wildcats to a 21–10 victory over Tennessee in Lexington. Meanwhile, in Louisville, the unranked Cardinals beat the #9 Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.
November 21, 1984, Governor Martha Layne Collins, America’s only female governor at the time, underwent emergency surgery in London to remove a sliver of glass lodged in her small intestine. Collins visited England to study acid rain concerns with three other governors.
November 21, 1987, the 4th Breeders’ Cup returned to the site of its inaugural running, Hollywood Park. In one of the most exciting Classics ever run, the winners of the past two Kentucky Derbys, Ferdinand and Alysheba, battled to the wire for the world’s richest horse race. Judge Angelucci, named for long-serving Fayette County Judge, set the pace. They also raced for Horse of the Year honors.
November 21, 1990, the New Madrid fault shifted its weight ever so slightly, that apparently, no one in the Western Kentucky counties noticed. The Memphis State University Center for Earthquake Research and Information reported the 10:07 am (EST) quake measured 2.5.
November 21, 1997, German photographer Peter Thomann received $35,000 from the Kentucky Horse Park so the popular tourist attraction could continue to use the same emblem it had used for years. Thomann’s 1963 photo seemed remarkably similar to the park’s famous logo, and the two had been in negotiations for years.
November 21, 1998, Ha Mumme’s Cats lost to Tennessee 21-59 in Knoxville. A week before the game, tragedy hit as two of Kentucky’s players died in an alcohol-related car crash. Kentucky’s Athletic Director, Charles Newton, decided that the traditional beer barrel awarded to the winner was not appropriate considering the circumstances. The two teams canceled the ceremony, and both schools later agreed to end the 72-year tradition permanently.
November 21, 2008, Seco native Tom Gish of Letcher County passed away. An American newspaper reporter and editor, he owned The Mountain Eagle Weekly alongside his wife, Pat Gish, in Whitesburg. His paper challenged Eastern Kentucky strip mining 1st and foremost.
November 21, 2008, Kentucky executed a 37-year-old white male by lethal injection in the Kentucky State Penitentiary at Eddyville for multiple murders in Warsaw, Gallatin County. So far, this was the Commonwealth’s last execution.
November 21, 2009, Fort Knox native Randolph Bresnik performed his 1st spacewalk as a Mission Specialist on the STS-129, an Atlantis shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS). 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 honors 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, 2019, friends of Governor-elect A. Beshear formed a finance committee that hoped to raise between $600,000 and $700,000 for the December 10 inauguration. The contributors were made public on January 8, 2020.
November 21, 2020, Danville’s Christian Academy and AG D. Cameron sued Governor A. Beshear, claiming that his order closing Kentucky’s schools, including private institution schools, violated the 1st Amendment. Meanwhile, the FDA granted emergency authorization of Regeneron, the potent cocktail that President D. Trump received when he tested positive for coronavirus.
November 21, 2021, the corporate news and their bosses continued to divide the nation by phrasing headlines to pit individuals comfortable with natural immunity against those who favor the vaccine. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical and insurance corporations paid their lobbyists to crush any chance of capping prescription drug prices as Washington legislators discussed the idea.
November 21, 2022, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, a 37-year-old executive, announced his bid for governor through the GOP pipeline by telling 300 supporters Kentucky needed a CEO. Kentucky was one of three states to elect a governor in 2023. Daniel Cameron, Kelly Craft, Ryan Quarles, Savannah Maddox, Mie Harmon, Eric Deters, David Cooper, Robert Devore, Robbie Smith, Johnny Rice, and Anthony Rice all tried to beat the sitting governor.