TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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September 26, 1820, Daniel Boone died in Missouri a few months short of his 86th birthday.  His family buried him in Missouri but reinterred him at Frankfort Cemetery on a scenic spot overlooking the Kentucky River.  The granite monument is the #1 tourist attraction in the city—but is Daniel Boone really buried there?

On September 26, 1844, in one of his final acts as governor, Robert P. Letcher proclaimed “a day of Prayer, Praise, and Thanksgiving.”  Kentucky’s 1st official Thanksgiving Day occurred almost two decades before President Lincoln established the national holiday.

September 26, 1897, Hancock County lynched Raymond Bushrod for an alleged rape.  One source recorded 135 lynchings in Kentucky from 1882-1921.

September 26, 1918, Willie Sandlin, in WWI, single-handedly destroyed three German machine gun emplacements and killed twenty-four of the enemy at Bois de Forges, France.  For these actions he received the Congressional Medal of Honor.  Mr. Sandlin was a Perry County native born in Buckhorn.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Ashland native Venus Ramey Murphy, born in 1924.  Venus won the 1944 Miss America competition in Atlantic City to be the first Miss America photographed in color.  Hollywood then wooed her in 1947 but dissatisfied with show business; she returned home to her Eubank tobacco farm.  Ms. Murphy farmed for 50 years until she died in Lincoln County.

On September 26, 1930, following field lighting installation, Maxwell Field hosted the 1st-night game for the Louisville Male Bulldog football team.  The contest with Georgetown ended in a 7-7 tie.

September 26, 1931, Chief of Police James Charlie Smith, Central City Police Department, died from a gunshot after stopping a vehicle he suspected of bringing a load of illegal alcohol into Central City.

September 26, 1946, the Louisville Cardinals opened their season by beating Evansville in Indiana 13-7.  Louisville belonged to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  Coach Frank Camp coached his 1st game as head coach and finished the 1946 season with a 6-2 record.

September 26, 1959, Sheriff Dona Arnett, Magoffin County Sheriff’s Office, died after being intentionally struck and as he walked along Route 7 near his home in Royalton.

September 26, 1964, Kentucky defeated the #1 ranked Ole Miss Rebels 27-21 in Oxford, ending the run of good fortune for the Rebels and perhaps cursing them for a half a century.  In fifty years, Ole Miss has never returned to the top of college football.  This is how the game went according to NCAA.com: Ole Miss had no answer for Kentucky wide receiver Nick Kestner, who caught a total of nine passes for a then-school record 185 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wildcats back from a pair of second-half deficits for the victory.  It was the only highlight of the seven-year Charlie Bradshaw era at Kentucky, when the Cats went 25-41-4.  It wouldn’t hurt to point out Bradshaw was the last Kentucky coach to defeat Tennessee twice in Knoxville and the last coach to defeat Auburn twice.  The next time a Kentucky coach beat a #1 team was Rich Brooks in 2007 when Kentucky defeated LSU after a loss to South Carolina.

September 26, 1978, after many versions and amendments, the U.S. Senate passed a compromised off-track betting bill.  Thus the complex issue of regulating the relatively new phenomenon of legalized inter-state off-track betting got resolved.

On September 26, 1983, Kentucky dedicated the 1,294-acre Cumberland Falls State Park Nature Preserve in McCreary and Whitley Counties.  The preserve protects six species of rare plants and ten rare animals, including the Cumberland Bean Mussel.  In addition, the preserve includes several waterfalls, including Cumberland Falls, which plummets sixty-seven feet into a rocky gorge.  The Cumberland River, a Kentucky Wild River, flows through the preserve.

September 26, 1991, Richard Smith Vaughn, known as Billy Vaughn, passed away.  While attending Western Kentucky University, he formed the Hilltoppers with Jimmy Sacca, a fellow student.  With the addition of Seymour Spiegelman and Don McGuire, they recorded a demo of “Trying.”  One year later, they were on the cover of Cash Box magazine.  They had a second hit, “P.S. I Love You,” which went gold and became so popular Ed Sullivan invited them to be on his show.  Vaughn left the Hilltoppers in 1954 to reach higher stars.  He was the 1st American recording artist to be awarded a gold record in Europe and the 1st artist anywhere to receive a platinum record for more than 3 million sales.  Over his 40-year career, he sold more than 200 million records worldwide.

September 26, 2009, Army SPC Kevin J. Graham of Benton, Marshall County died in Afghanistan fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

On September 26, 2011, Owsley Brown II died at 69 years old.  As the great-grandson of the founder, he was the retired Chairman of his family-controlled liquor company, Brown-Foreman.  During his tenure, the company expanded overseas, and the stock value more than quadrupled.

September 26, 2015, Coach Mark Stoops in his 3rd year at Kentucky beat a ranked team for the 1st time.  Patrick Towles lead the Cats past 25th ranked Missouri 21-13 in Lexington.

On September 26, 2019, the Kentucky Supreme Court handed the Lexington Herald-Leader a significant victory in its open records battle for documents related to sexual harassment allegations inside the state legislature.  The court allowed the newspaper to see records from a sexual harassment complaint filed in 2015 against state Rep. Jim Stewart III, R-Flat Lick.  In its ruling, the high court said legislators do not have the sole right to decide Open Records Act appeals within their branch of government, avoiding the judicial scrutiny that other state agencies must face.

September 26, 2020, the football Wildcats opened up the all SEC regular season at #8 Auburn.  The Cats lost 29-13 but did go on to win the Gator Bowl over NC State, 23-21.

September 26, 2020, a Kentucky bred beat six others to win the GI $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes for two-year-olds at Santa Anita.

September 26,2020, many Kentucky schools debated going back to in-person learning while the state reported a high 973 new cases and five deaths.  A newspaper headline read:  “UK Students Party Without Masks To Open Football Season.”

Positives:  973 / 66,036
Deaths:  5 / 1,154 – 1st death 3/16/20
50&over:  1,123 / 49-30: 27 / 29&under: 1