TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

February 6, 1819, Owen County was created from Scott County, Franklin County, Gallatin County, and Pendleton County.  It was named in honor of Abraham Owen, killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe.  The county seat is Owenton.  Other cities and towns include: Gratz, Monterey, Hesler, Long Ridge, Lusby’s Mill, New Columbus, New Liberty, Perry Park, Pleasant Home, Squiresville and Wheatley.  Owen County was the 63rd county created and covers 354 square miles.

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

February 6, 1850, Henry Clay gave one of his most-remembered speeches, the 1850 Compromise Speech.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Covington native Haven Gillespie, born in 1888.  Gillespie scored his most enduring hit with “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” written with composer J. Fred Coots in the space of a 15-minute New York subway ride.  The song debuted on Eddie Cantor’s Thanksgiving radio special at the insistence of Cantor’s wife, Ida, and within weeks it’s sheet music was selling more than 25,000 copies daily.

February 6, 1900, the train with Governor Goebel’s body left Frankfort for Covington.  Five thousand people were waiting at the train depot for his arrival, many in tears.

On February 6, 1903, the Kentucky Wildcats played their first basketball game as the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Kentucky against Georgetown College.  The halftime score was 7-1 in favor of Georgetown who went on to win 15-6.  The game was held in the Kentucky’s State College Gymnasium.

February 6, 1904, Policeman John Burns, Middlesboro Police Department, was killed in the Princess Theater’s gallery by an ex-convict.  The suspect produced a pistol and opened fire when Policeman Burns threatened to arrest him for vagrancy, killing him and an innocent bystander.  In 1905, the suspect, who claimed self-defense, was tried and acquitted.

February 6, 1908, former County Judge James Hargis, accused of complicity in many murders and a prominent figure in the Breathitt County feuds, was shot to death at his General Store by his son Beach.  Judge Hargis died as a result of the Hargis-Marcum-Cox-Callahan Feud.

On February 6, 1909, Central University (Centre) hosted and defeated State University, Lexington (UK) 35-20 in the Danville Rink.  State played three times in the Rink, all in 1909 and lost all three contests.  This was UK’s 7th season.

February 6, 1914, Coroner Lyle G. Mathews, Taylor County Coroner’s Office, was killed while he, the deputy coroner, and county jailer attempted to evict two brothers from a farm that had recently sold to pay off a debt.  The brothers told the officers they would be shot if they came onto the farm.  The officers ignored the threat.

Wednesday, February 6, 1935, Lt. Governor H. Chandler, leader of the anti-administration wing of the Democratic Party, called a special session while Governor Laffoon was in Washington D.C.  Governor Laffoon rushed back to the state, arriving in Ashland on February 7, and immediately issued a proclamation revoking Chandler’s call.  Chandler wanted the legislators to select nominees for all state offices.  Chandler’s followers met anyway on Friday but lacked a quorum to do business.  A week later, a Judge ruled Laffoon couldn’t stop the special session.

Governor E. Clements declared February 6-12, 1948, Boy Scout Week.  In addition, he made a 2nd proclamation: February 6: the golden anniversary of the Fraternal Oder of the Eagles.

February 6, 1951, Army SGT Marion H. Todd from Christian County died in the Korean War.

February 6, 1967, Army PFC Chester P. Simpson from Jamestown in Russell County died in the Vietnam War.

February 6, 1967, Muhammad Ali (28-0) fought Ernie Terrell (39-4) in the Houston Astrodome.  Before a record indoor fight crowd of 37,212, Terrell, who held the World Boxing Association belt, insisted on calling Ali by his old name, Cassius Clay.  Big mistake, Ali broke a bone under Terrell’s left eye early on and damaged his retina.  By the middle rounds, Terrell flinched every time Ali drew back his fist.  Ali carried him through all 15 rounds, taunting him with every punch by saying, “What’s my name, Uncle Tom?  What’s my name?”  Sportswriter Tex Maule described the fight as “a wonderful demonstration of boxing skill and a barbarous display of cruelty.”

On February 6, 1967, Adairville Chief of Police Cloyd Aubrine Charlton was killed by a man he had issued a traffic ticket several days earlier following an accident.

February 6, 1968, Navy PO3 Fred L. Sayler from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

February 6, 1970, Army SP4 Darrell J. Smith from Pikeville died in the Vietnam War.

February 6, 1971, Mississippi scored more points in Memorial Coliseum than any other opponent when they beat the Cats 121-85.

February 6, 1973, Lexington’s Loudon House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Feb 6 loudon
By Lester Jones – Library of Congress

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Tinashe, born in 1993.  Her 2014 single “2 On” featuring Schoolboy Q peaked at #21 on the US R&B chart.  Before fame, she was a former baby model who also had a more prominent acting career before jumping into the music game.  She provided her voice for the film The Polar Express and appeared on the sitcom Two and a Half Men.

February 6, 1996, former State Senator David LaMaster reported to federal prison for a one year sentence.  The Paintsville representative was convicted in 1994 during BOBTROT.

February 6, 2000, House Floor Leader Greg Stumbo proposed a bill that would place a nickel and dime deposits on a variety of containers and would tax fast food cups and containers.  The powerful bottle industry spent millions to stop this law and similar other bills.

February 6, 2001, the Hal Mumme era came to an abrupt end as the embattled UK football coach turned in his resignation amid allegations of NCAA rules violations.

February 6, 2001, a new fashionable drug, oxycontin, blamed for the deaths of dozens of Eastern Kentuckians, led to the largest roundup of drug suspects in Kentucky’s history.  Over 200 individuals received indictments by federal law enforcement officials.

Saturday, February 6, 2010, Louisville Zoo’s 20-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla Mia Moja gave birth to her second baby.  The female, named Misha,  was the second gorilla ever born in the Zoo’s 41-year history.

On February 6, 2020, hours after Governor A. Beshear’s press conference to tout legal sports betting in Kentucky, Senator Robert Stivers told the press the measure didn’t have enough support in the House, possibly in the Senate but not in the House.

February 6, 2021, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate won Santa Anita’s GIII $200,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for three-year-old fillies.

February 6, 2021, after years in decline, Fayette County hit a grim milestone in 2020; the number of overdose deaths surpassed 200 (209) for the first time since the state kept overdose statistics.  In 2019, 128 people OD and the one-time high of 187 occurred in 2017.  Many experts blame the coronavirus lockdowns.