Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
February 16, 1838, the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act to create the state’s 1st system of free public education. It provided for a state superintendent, a state board of education, and county boards of education. The county school boards were then to appoint five trustees to run each school district in the county.
February 16, 1860, Kentucky created Boyd County from Carter County, Lawrence County, and Greenup County and named it for Linn Boyd, U.S. Congressman and Lt. Governor. Catlettsburg is the county seat. Other localities include Ashland, Cannonsburg, Ironville, Westwood, Burnaugh, Coalton, Durbin, Kavanaugh, Kilgore, Lockwood, Meads, Normal, Princess, Rockdale, Rush, Summit, Unity, and Westwood. The 107th county created Boyd County and covers 160 square miles.
February 16, 1864, a fire destroyed Kentucky University’s main campus building in Mercer County. Therefore, John Bowman began searching for another location. Transylvania in Lexington wanted to merge with another institution, which they did.
February 16, 1865, Theophilus Steel dueled James Blackburn near Moreland’s Tavern in Bourbon County. Blackburn received a bullet to the thigh on the 1st fire, making a slight wound; the parties shook hands and returned to the city. Both studied at Transylvania; one law, the other medicine. Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 145
February 16, 1884, Louisville native Mary Millicent Miller became the 1st woman in America to acquire a steamboat master’s license. Harper’s Weekly ran a cartoon entitled, “By All Means Commission the Ladies.” She captained The Saline.
February 16, 1884, heavy rain and melting snow showers caused the largest recorded flood, at the time, of the Ohio River. On February 14, the river rose one inch every hour before it crested on February 16. Because the river rose relatively slowly, property owners had warnings.
Surprised on February 16, 1931, while operating a moonshine still, hidden in the Kentucky River cliffs, 12 miles from Lexington, two young Fayette County men died from gunshots when they opened fire on Dry Agents. The gun battle took place at noon and lasted a half minute. The news reached town three hours later due to the rugged landscape; none of the agents received wounds.
February 16, 1941, UK’s Department of Agriculture urged Kentucky farmers to raise more livestock, beef cattle, sheep, lambs, poultry, and dairy cattle to meet demands brought on by the war and “changing conditions.”
On February 16, 1942, Pike County reopened its largest coal mine after sitting idle for four years. The Henry Clay mine on Marrowbone Creek employed 1,200 men and produced 40 railroad cars daily. Officials expected both numbers to increase after the reopening.
Kentucky Trivia: In 1942, Russellville native Alice Dunnigan moved to Washington, D.C., and began working for the U.S. Department of Labor. She also became a reporter for the Associated Negro Press. Dunnigan became the 1st African American female to have a Capitol press pass and the 1st African American elected to the Women’s National Press Club.
February 16, 1948, UK’s Alex Groza, center left, and Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones battled Alabama for a loose ball in Alumni Gymnasium. UK won the game, 63-33. This team, coached by Adolph Rupp, finished the season as world champions (in the Olympic Games); NCAA national champions, Southeastern Conference champions and SEC tournament champions.
February 16, 1967, Army SP4 George E. Dickerson from Grayson in Carter County, Army SP4 Chester W. Eden from Carter County, Army SP4 Charles R. Lewis from Owensboro in Daviess County died in the Vietnam War.
On February 16, 1970, Louisville native Jimmy Ellis fought Joe Frazier to unify the World Heavyweight Championship at Madison Square Garden. The undefeated Frazier, a big favorite, proved to be too powerful. Ellis got knocked down twice in the 4th round, and Angelo Dundee stopped the fight before the 5th. It was the 1st knockout loss for Ellis.
February 16, 1973, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places added Bardstown’s Wickland Mansion to their list. The Georgian mansion, built ca. 1815 by Charles A. Wickliffe, is known as the home of three governors: Charles Wickliffe-Kentucky’s 14th, Charles’s son Robert Wickliffe-Louisiana’s 15th governor, and Charles’s grandson J.C.W. Beckham-Kentucky’s 35th governor.
February 16, 1976, the Kentucky tree debate began when Frankfort made the coffee tree the state’s 1st official state tree. An Arbor Day celebration took place on the Capitol’s grounds when Governor Julian Carroll planted one donated by Joe Creason, a columnist for The Louisville Courier-Journal just before his death.
February 16, 1986, Chief of Police Robert Taylor Walker, Irvine Police Department, died from a gunshot while responding to a call. It was later determined that the call had been placed to lure him to the scene with the purpose of ambushing him. The suspect was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
February 16, 1990, Franklin Circuit Judge William Graham accused State Agriculture Commissioner Ward “Butch” Burnette of “brazen arrogance” and contempt for the people who elected him and then sentenced him to a year in prison and a $1,500 fine.
February 16, 1996, twenty-nine Manitoban Elk received a new home in a 750-acre Nature Preserve in Western Trigg County’s Golden Pond. The town also headquarters for Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.
February 16, 2021, as Kentucky cleaned up after a snow and ice storm, coronavirus cases continued to decline in deaths and cases. Simultaneously, the public continued to deal with lockdowns as President Joe Biden extended a federal ban on foreclosures. The vultures circled as many people had difficulty paying their bills.