TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

February 1, 1785, the first session of the Transylvania Seminary began in David Rice’s log house, a Presbyterian minister in Danville.

February 1, 1860, Metcalfe County was created from Barren County, Monroe County, Adair County, Cumberland County and Green County and was named in honor of Thomas Metcalfe, 10th Kentucky governor.  Edmonton is the county seat.  Other localities include: Summer Shade, Beaumont, Center, Knob Lick, Randolph, Savoyard, Sulphur Well and Wisdom.  Metcalfe County was the 108th county created and covers 291 square miles.

1280px Map of Kentucky highlighting Metcalfe County.svg 1
By David Benbennick

February 1, 1898, William Goebel sponsored a measure later called the Goebel Election Law.  The law created a Board of Election Commissioners, appointed by the General Assembly.  They were responsible for choosing election commissioners in all of Kentucky’s counties and were empowered to decide disputed elections.  Because the General Assembly was heavily Democratic, the law was blatantly partisan and self-serving to Goebel; it was opposed even by some Democrats.  Nevertheless, Goebel could hold enough members of his party to override Governor Bradley’s veto, making the bill law.

Thursday, February 1, 1900, Kentucky had two governors.  The Democrat lay dying in the Frankfort hotel and the Republican was fortified in the executive building.

Feb 1 Govs

February 1, 1901, Night Patrolman Clifton Hopkins Slaton, Madisonville Police Department, was killed as he and another officer attempted to arrest a man for carrying a pistol.  The suspect, and an acquaintance, had agreed to leave town because they were both drunk.  After riding a short distance they both turned around and returned to a hitching post.  Upon learning that the men returned, and that one of them was armed, Patrolman Slaton and the other officer went to the hitching post to arrest them.  When the officers told the man he was under arrest he immediately pulled a pistol from his overcoat pocket and opened fired.

February 1, 1916, Louisville native John Colgan, inventor of flavored chewing gum died.  The Cogan Chewing Gum Company prospered and sold out in 1911.

February 1, 1933, Nat Sewell, State Inspector and Examiner, submitted a report to Governor Laffoon that recommended the 1934 legislature abolish Clay County.  Mr. Sewell wanted to end what he termed “clan contest which has made the county notorious for nearly half a century.”

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Brownie native Isaac Donald “Don” Everly, born in 1937 in Muhlenberg County.  He was one year, eleven months and eighteen days older than his brother Phil.

February 1, 1939, Gulfstream Park opened for the first time with 18,000 people attending. The first meet was four days long.

February 1, 1941, Golden Gate Fields held their inaugural meet to become the only major racetrack in Northern California.  With the onset of World War II, the U.S. Navy took over the property as the “Albany Naval Landing Force Equipment Depot” for storing hundreds of landing craft destined for use in the Pacific theater.  After the war, Golden Gate Fields resumed horse racing.  Golden Gate Fields was owned and managed for 25 years by foreign car importer and horseman Kjell Qvale.  Magna Entertainment Corporation subsequently acquired it.

February 1, 1943, the Navy Department reported five Kentucky sailors missing in Europe and Africa.  Three men resided in Louisville, and the others lived in Wheelwright and Danville.

February 1, 1950, hundreds of Kentuckians fled their homes as flooded streams rose in unrelenting rains.  Evacuations took place in Frankfort, Paintsville, Barbourville, Falmouth, Catlettsburg, and Campbell County.

February 1, 1953, Army CPL Norman F. Barr from Jefferson County died in the Korean War.

February 1, 1960, President Kennedy announced Eastern Kentucky would be one of five economically distressed areas to be part of a pilot program dispensing food stamps.  Governor B. Combs was ecstatic.  

February 1, 1966, Army SP4 Douglas M. Wetmore from Williamsburg in Whitley County died in the Vietnam War.

February 1, 1968, Army SSG Istvan Molnar from Hopkinsville in Christian County and Army PFC Roger D. Puckett from Bowling Green in Warren County, died in the Vietnam War.

February 1, 1970, General Electric ended its longest and costliest strike.  Employees stopped working over wages and cost of living issues, affecting many Louisville families.  The strike lasted 101 days.

February 1, 1975, Silly Dilly, with Mike Morgan up, wins the final thoroughbred race at Louisville’s historic Miles Park race track.

Feb 1 Miles 2

February 1, 1983, McCreary County voters turned down the legal sale of alcoholic beverages by a 3-to-1 margin.  This was the first wet/dry election since they went dry in 1941.  In Western Kentucky, the city of Russellville narrowly legalized the sale of alcohol for the 1st time since 1940.

February 1, 1988, Deputy Sheriff James Marshall Richardson, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, suffered a fatal heart attack while undergoing training at the Criminal Justice Academy.

February 1, 1990, Governor W. Wilkinson addressed the Joint General Assembly.  “I know I could be easier to get along with and you know it to,” he said in his 30-minute speech.  “But I wasn’t sent here to get along.  I was sent here to get Kentucky moving again.  Sometimes progress is painful.”

February 1, 1991, smoke from about 90 fires burning 11,000 acres in Eastern Kentucky spread over much of the state, setting off smoke detectors as far west as Lexington. 

February 1, 1995, the Kentucky Racing Commission reported the new majority owner of Dueling Grounds was H. Earl Sinks.  The 30-year veteran of the country music industry turned it into a multifaceted entertainment facility.

February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) disintegrated as it reentered the atmosphere, killing all seven crew members.  The disaster was the second fatal accident in the Space Shuttle program, after the 1986 breakup of Challenger soon after liftoff.

February 1, 2010, voting 93-1, House Bill 100, directed the state Transportation Cabinet to develop an “In God We Trust” license plate.  The plates became available in early 2011.

Feb 1 Plate

February 1, 2015, Keeneland acquired Turf Catering.  Turf Catering had been Keeneland’s exclusive food and beverage company since the track opened in 1936.  The new operation is now called Keeneland Hospitality.

On February 1, 2016, the Commonwealth released a report stating that Kentucky coal production plunged in 2015 to a level not seen since the 1932 Great Depression.  Kentucky produced 61.4 million tons of coal in 2015, 28 million tons coming from Eastern Kentucky.  The decline cost 2,000 Kentuckians their job from 2015-16.

February 1, 2016, records from Alison Lundergan Grimes’s campaigns for U.S. Senate and Kentucky Secretary of State got subpoenaed by a federal grand jury.  Grimes was not the target; it was her father, who later went to prison in 2020.

February 1, 2020, Jake Royse, a forester with the U.S. Forest Service, treats Hemlock Trees in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Laurel County from the hemlock woolly adelgid.  Meanwhile, in D.C., President Trump’s 1st impeachment trial is in its last days.

February 1, 2020, a Keeneland graduate trifecta takes the GIII $100,500 Robert B. Lewis Stakes for three-year-olds and upward.

On February 1, 2021, courts released records showing the FBI arrested two Lexington men involved in the January 6 U.S. Capitol riots.   Dalton Crase and Troy Williams faced abetting, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct charges.  Meanwhile, in D.C., Senator McConnell stated Marjorie Taylor Greene has “loony lies and conspiracy theories” and endorses a “cancer for the Republican party.”  He then reaps praise on Senator Liz Cheny.