TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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September 24, 1816, William Ramey, Elkhorn City’s first settler, bought 200 acres of land and began settling the rugged valley of Eastern Kentucky.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to James Dixon Black, born in 1849, nine miles from Barbourville on Richland Creek in Knox County.  The 39th Governor only served seven months in 1919.  As Kentucky’s 32nd Lt. Governor he ascended to the office when Governor Augustus O. Stanley took the U.S. Senate seat.

September 24, 1883, prominent African American leader Frederick Douglass addressed the National Convention of Colored Men in Louisville.  Just weeks after Douglass delivered this speech, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875, permitting racial segregation in public accommodations and setting the stage for Jim Crow laws.

September 24, 1904, the Black Patch War began in Western Kentucky and Northern Tennessee with the formation of the Planter’s Protective Association (PPA).  On this date, 1,000 local tobacco growers and professional men met in Guthrie, intending to work as a team, with the major tobacco buyer.  It did not work out this way and thus began a fiery and violent era.  PPA members called the non-poolers “hillbillies” and the buyers’ monopoly “The Trust.”  The PPA turned to violence to get their neighbors and big business to see their way.

September 24, 1904, lunch at the Mulligan family estate turned into attempted murder.  One of Lexington’s most prominent families had their dirty laundry aired in court as they determined the guilt of James Mulligan trying to poison his father, Judge Mulligan.  The trial captivated the local public for weeks.  Presidents of the University of Kentucky now live in the Mulligan family home.

September 24, 1909, Deputy Sheriff Carlo Jones, Whitley County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed as he attempted to quell a disturbance.  Deputy Jones was on a train near Pineville when two men started fighting in the smoking car.  As he attempted to stop the men from fighting, one of them pulled out a .45 caliber revolver and shot him twice, killing him.  Two brothers were arrested three weeks later in Corbin and charged with Deputy Jones’ murder.  One was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.  Only four hours before he killed Deputy Jones, he had been released from the Kentucky Penitentiary after serving six years of a life sentence for murder.  Governor Augustus Wilson had pardoned him.

September 24, 1927, Harry Gamage coached his first game as UK’s head football coach.  Kentucky tied Maryville 6-6.  He would coach for seven season seasons accumulating a 32-25-5 record.

September 24, 1938, A.D. Kirwan coached his first game as UK’s head football coach.  Kentucky beat Maryville 46-7.  Kirwan stayed on for six seasons accumulating a 24-28-4 record.

September 24, 1950, the following died in the Korean War: 19-year-old Marine Corps CPL Jack Ray Harrison from Jefferson County, Army PVT Clarence H. Tingle from Nelson County and Army PVT Edward J. Wilson from Franklin County.

September 24, 1951, Army CPL James A. Hoelscher from Boone County and Army SFC William A. Cecil from Washington County, died while fighting in the Korean War.

September 24, 1967, Johnny Unitas, the U of L quarterback standout, passed the 30,000 NFL yards thrown. The milestone came in a win for the Colts against the Eagles.  Drew Brees holds the record with 80,358 yards thrown.

September 24, 1970, 21-year-old Army SGT Billy Harrison Ratliff, from Pomeroyton in Menifee County, was killed in the Vietnam War.

September 24, 1977, at 9:35 a.m., a cargo-tank semitrailer was descending a 720-foot-long grade as it approached a left curve and a railroad/highway crossing on Kentucky State Route 11 in Beattyville.  The truck was hauling 8,255 gallons of gasoline.  It then crossed the tracks against the flashing red lights in front of an approaching train, got hit by the train and struck buildings adjacent to the road’s edge.  The truck overturned on top of a parked car.  Escaping gasoline ignited and the fire destroyed six buildings and 16 parked vehicles.  Seven persons died in the fire.

Victor the wrestling bear took on all comers during Fayette Mall’s ninth anniversary celebration on September 24, 1980. Victor was declawed and defanged, and he was muzzled when he wrestled.  He reportedly stood 6 feet, 9 inches tall and weighed about 650 pounds, although those numbers varied, according to this story.  Anyone older than 18 could wrestle Victor.

September 24, 1986, Keeneland Race Course became a National Historic Landmark.

September 24, 1998, Governor Patton’s top aid, his labor aid and two teamster union leaders were indicted on charges of violating restrictions on campaign contributions in Patton’s 1995 election.  On the same day in Louisville, Patti and Jim Hearn were also indicted on 13 counts of theft.  The Hearns occupied powerful positions in the Jefferson County public school system.  

September 24, 2000, Coach Jerry David Claiborne died at the age of 72.

September 24, 2015, Wynonna Judd plays the first public performance in the EKU Center for the Arts.  Wynonna used her own sound system, by a company hired out of Louisville.

September 24, 2015, the Vatican confirmed that Kim Davis met with Pope Francis during his U.S. visit.

September 24, 2017, Louisville native Justin Thomas became the FedEx Cup champion taking home $10 million.  This capped off an incredible year for Justin who won five PGA Tour events, including the PGA Championship, his maiden Major Championship.