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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Thomas Satterwhite Noble born in 1835. Noble was an American painter and teacher. He served in the Confederate Army and later became the first head of the McMicken School of Design.
May 29, 1882, Louisville native Joshua Fry Speed died. A close friend of Abraham Lincoln, Speed was a farmer and a real estate investor in Kentucky, and also served one term in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1848.
May 29, 1897, Scottish Chieftain beats five others to win the 31st Belmont Stakes going the 1 3/8 in 2:34 ¼ to win $3,350. Winning jockey J. Scherrer was fined $50 for disobedience at the post. The winner ran in neither the Derby nor Preakness.
May 29, 1953, elementary education major Nell Franklin Wilson, from Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), became the 17th Mountain Laurel Festival Queen. Seventeen colleges and universities had representatives, and Nell was the third EKU student chosen over the 17 years. Governor Wetherby, as was the festival custom, bestowed a kiss on the new Queen.
Kentucky Trivia: The first Mountain Laurel Festival took place in Clear Creek Springs near Pineville. The first winner was Miss. Betty Baxter, who attended EKU. The festivities took place in Kentucky’s first state park, Cumberland State Park, known today as Pine Mountain State Park.
May 29, 1962, President John F. Kennedy celebrated his 45th birthday at Glen Ora, his Virginia estate. Marilyn Monroe sang Happy Birthday, Mr. President, ten days earlier to him at Madison Square Garden.
May 29, 1970, Howardstown native Sue Stiles, a 20-year-old beauty, received a kiss from Governor Nunn as she is crowned Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival Queen at Pine Mountain State Park. Grand Marshal Colonel Harland Sanders offered his congratulations. It took a three-county search and twenty-five men to find enough late-blooming Laurel flowers to make all the contestants’ bouquets.
May 29, 1976, the climax of the 40th Mountain Laurel Festival took place when Governor Carroll kissed Frankfort native Linda Carol Barnes, 20, and crowned her Queen. An estimated 10,000 people attended including, the Grand Marshal, UK football coach Fran Curci.
May 29, 1999, UK announced only 58 Robinson Scholars, down from 116 the previous year. The decline correlated to the weak market for Eastern Kentucky’s high-sulfur coal. The following year the number dropped to 29. Robinson Scholarships help first-generation Eastern Kentucky youth attend college, from mining and logging royalties in Robinson Forest.
May 29, 2003, federal regulators offered a plan they said would protect Appalachian waterways below mountaintop coal mines. Seven environmental groups called it a blueprint for filling more streams with rock and debris supported by the Bush White House.
May 29, 2006, lawyer Melbourne Mills, Jr. told the press he knows his $23.6 million fees for the fen-phen case were high, but he had already gone through most of the money and couldn’t pay it back even if ordered to do so. Mills’s lawyers days earlier told the court that his client was too drunk to have stolen any money.
May 29, 2015, Matt Bevin claimed victory in the Republican primary for Governor two hours after Agriculture Commissioner James Comer conceded the race. The concession came after the recanvas showed Bevin winning by 83 votes. The following year, Comer goes to Washington representing District 1.
On May 29, 2020, seven people were shot in Louisville in the aftermath of Breonna Taylor’s death that happened on March 13. Breonna’s mother pleaded for peaceful demonstrations, and the mayor suspended the use on no-knock warrants.