TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

February 4, 1791, President G. Washington signed into law the Kentucky Act which was passed by the 1st U.S. Congress in its 3rd session.  The act set June 1, 1792, as Kentucky’s Statehood Day.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fayette County native Oliver Frazer, born in 1808.  He was the most extensively trained and traveled of the antebellum Bluegrass artist.

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Civil War Soldier Portrait

February 4, 1817, the Lexington and Louisville Turnpike Road Company was organized by men from Lexington, Frankfort, Middletown, Shelbyville, Louisville, and Versailles.  This was the first turnpike road company in the state.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Madison County native Mary Kavanaugh Eagle, born in 1854.  Mary was a community leader, club woman, book editor, and activist in missionary work.  She served as First Lady of Arkansas during her husband’s two terms as the 16th governor.

Feb 4 Mary Kavanaugh Eagle

February 4, 1860, two Louisville & Nashville Railroad board of directors wrote a letter seeking President John L. Helm’s resignation.  Mr. Helm had been Kentucky’s 18th governor before his resignation and became the 24th governor afterward.

February 4, 1896, Marshal William Smiley, Providence Police Department, died from a gunshot attempting to arrest two men for being drunk in public.  The men knew Marshal Smiley from when he arrested one of their relatives.  When the marshal informed them of their arrest, one man produced a gun and killed him.  Both men were sentenced to six years hard labor after three trials.

February 4, 1908, Agriculture and Mechanical College of Kentucky (UK) hosted and defeated Kentucky University (Transy), 20-15.  This outcome duplicated their first game in the season, also played in State College Gymnasium.  A&M’s State College Gymnasium hosted the contest.

February 4, 1910, Georgetown College spanked State University, Lexington (UK) 34-16 in the Georgetown Gymnasium.  UK played 18 times in the arena from 1904-25 with a final record of 11 wins and 7 losses.

On February 4, 1920, Geneva Hardman’s school satchel and cap were found in a large cornfield in southern Fayette County by a farmer named Speed Collins.  It would be the last murder for Pembroke native and serial killer Will Lockett.  He died in the Eddyville electric chair 36 days later.

February 4, 1922, strike sympathizers shot five people and beat many more workers leaving their shift at the Newport Rolling Mills.  The mob had the workers on the ground stabbing them when State Troopers arrived.  Governor Morrow held a meeting the next day to resolve the issues to no avail.

February 4, 1930, Kentucky legislatures, to protect the state from the “evils” of power companies, called for creating a public service commission.  Kentucky adopted the progressive legislation from California and New York.

February 4, 1941, the Commonwealth decided to spend $2,859,000 to build the 31-W Military Highway to serve Fort Knox.  The road extends from Franklin to Louisville, passing through Bowling Green, Cave City, Elizabethtown, and Kosmosdale.

February 4, 1948, Mrs. Booker escorted 200 children to the Shrine Circus in Jefferson County for the 2nd consecutive day.  For nine years in row she treated the “Booker Party” to the famed circus.  Mrs. Booker, who lived in a modest home and sold cosmetics, appeared to be a combination of a Rockefeller and Mrs. Claus by the youngsters in the area.

February 4, 1951, Army PVT Elmer C. McElvain from Bullitt County, Army SGT Alfred B. Glass from Scott County, Army 1LT Clyde E. Lamkins from Jefferson County, Army PVT Arnie R. Pritchett from Clark County, Army MSG Cooper T. Turner from Fulton County and Army PFC Dan H. Wagers from Knott County, all died in the Korean War.

February 4, 1953, Army PVT William E. Davis from Monroe County died in the Korean War.

February 4, 1954, Paul William “Bear” Bryant resigned as UK’s head football coach after signing a 12-year contract a month earlier.  He attributed his decision to the highly competitive nature between himself and Coach Rupp.  Both men wanted top billing for their program.  When Bryant signed his new contract, he believed that Rupp would soon retire.  When Rupp signed a ten-year extension, Bryant resigned.  Coach Bryant enjoyed an impressive 60-23-5 record while coaching the Wildcats, including 3-1 in bowl games (Great Lakes ’48, Orange ’50, Sugar ’51 and Cotton ’52).

February 4, 1955, Somerset native, John Sherman Cooper became the 5th U.S. Ambassador to India.

February 4, 1962, the temperature more than doubled in Louisville when the mercury hit 72 degrees between 3:00 and 4:30 p.m.  This was one degree below the local record set in 1890.

February 4, 1966, Army SGT Bobby L. Favors from Louisville, Army SGT Arnold E. Ison from Viper in Perry County and Army SSG Charles E. Strader from Lexington, died in the Vietnam War.

February 4, 1970, Sugar Grove native Ora Frances Porter, Bowling Green’s first registered nurse, died.

On February 4, 1976, a worker operating a bulldozer filled a trench with 100’s of barrels of nuclear waste at Fleming County’s 235-acre Maxey Flats nuclear burial site.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fort Campbell native Allen Forrest, born in 1981.  A.k.a. Matchstik is a rapper, singer-songwriter, producer, actor, and CEO of M. Republik Music Group.

February 4, 1994, Thelma Loyace Stovall died, Kentucky’s first woman Lt. Governor.

February 4, 1996, Governor P. Patton spent the night at the White House.  He tried to persuade President Clinton to drop his plan to regulate tobacco as a drug.

February 4, 1998, Dennis Johnson put on a UK hat at Harrodsburg High School when he announced he would sign with UK.  Johnson, the state’s Mr. Football and the USA Today national player of the year chose the Wildcats over Notre Dame, Florida, Miami, and Colorado.  “The fact I can play right away had a lot to do with it,” Johnson said at the news conference, which went on despite 11 inches of snow blanketing Central Kentucky.

February 4, 1998, Lexington received their 3rd highest snow fall at 11”.

February 4, 2004, Michael Francis Rowland, 41, was in the stirrups on World Trade, a five-year-old bay, in the 7th race at Turfway Park.  Rowland was leading when his mount’s foreleg broke.  The race would have been Michael’s 3,999th win, one away from a significant milestone for professional jockeys.  He was in a coma until his death on February 9.  His death raised concerns over jockey safety, which gathered steam and moved to the national forefront by year’s end.  Turfway Park established the Michael F. Rowland Fund and the Michael F. Rowland Award, to honor the jockey who best exemplifies Rowland’s work ethic, professionalism, and perseverance.

February 4, 2013, Ashland native Brandon Tyler Webb, retires from Major League Baseball.

February 4, 2017, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate wins Santa Anita’s GII $300,690 San Antonio Stakes for four-year-olds and upward.

February 4, 2020, Governor A. Beshear uses the old governor’s trick of “transfer funds” to balance the $24 billion state budget.  The “loophole” this time, would take $288 million from specific programs and redirect it towards discretionary reasons.  Both sides of the aisle want “transfer funds” under control.

February 4, 2020, a legislative panel approved a bill to outlaw paddling in Kentucky schools for the 2020 General Assembly session.  Nineteen states allow paddling; Kentucky is currently one.

February 4, 2020, Kentucky Hemp leader, GenCanna of Winchester, opened in 2014, acknowledged they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Farmers and political leaders both agreed the company left a black eye on the infant Kentucky hemp industry.

February 4, 2021, to ease general anxiety about the vaccine, close to 50 faith leaders received vaccines in the Capitol Rotunda.  Meanwhile, federal authorities arrested another Kentuckian, Peter Schwartz, for spraying mace in a police officer’s face during the January 6th Capitol riots.  In all 17 Kentuckians have been arrested for their participation.