TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

February 14, 1815, William Henry and Lieut. James Haydon met on the big hill in the back of the State House in Frankfort.  There were three rounds of shots with no injuries.  Having expended all their ammunition, the parties returned to town but returned hours later to finish their business.  Friends on both sides brought about “an amicable and honorable compromise.”
Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 138

On February 14, 1885, the Harlan County Sherriff issued a warrant to Gilbert Hensley’s heavily armed home, and a massive gun battle ensued.  Beginning in 1878, the Hensley brothers terrorized the county.  Over the years, the gang received multiple indictments.  Still, they always seem to escape, killing good men along the way.

On February 14, 1890, the General Assembly approved an act to prohibit any person from giving, selling, or bartering cigarettes for any child under eighteen.  Penalties included a fine of up to twenty-five dollars or imprisonment for up to thirty days or both.

On February 14, 1910, the USS Hopkins experienced a serious boiler accident.  Foxport (Fleming County) native Edward A. Clary served as a water tender.  For his actions during the incident, he received the Medal of Honor.

February 14, 1912, Patrolman Lee Barker, Owensboro Police Department, suffered a fatal heart attack while investigating a burglary in progress.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Owensboro native Moneta J. Sleet Jr., born in 1926.  In 1969 he became a Pulitzer Prize winner for Feature Photography.  The photograph showed Coretta Scott King mourning her husband at his funeral.

Kentucky Trivia:  Moneta Sleet covered Africa’s National Independence Movement between 1957 and 1962, when twenty-four African nations freed themselves from their former colonial masters.  Sleet photographed in Liberia, Libya, Sudan, and snapped Kwame Nkrumah at the moment of Ghana’s independence.  The bloodiest fight was Algeria’s escape from France in July 1962.

fEB 14 Moneta Sleet Jr
By Bettmann/CORBIS
Feb 14 Coretta Scott King by Moneta Sleet
By Moneta Sleet Jr.

February 14, 1931, Louisville native Tod Browning’s Dracula opened in America.  The successful film featured Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula, a vampire who emigrates from Transylvania to England.  

February 14, 1938, Joe Hagan’s 48-foot shot with 12 seconds left lifted the Wildcats over the Marquette Warriors. After the game, Gov. Chandler pounded a nail into the floor to mark the spot.

February 14, 1941, seventy-five delegates from many localities in Kentucky formed the Kentucky Council on Interracial Cooperation at a meeting in the Y.M.C.A.  The first vote approved a program to improve African Americans’ educational and economic conditions in the Commonwealth.

February 14, 1943, Wiley Blount Rutledge became a U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice.  From Cloverport, Breckinridge County, Wiley was President Roosevelt’s 8th and last appointment.  Justice Blount became one of the court’s leading liberal activists supporting racial equality, free speech, and church-state separation.  He died as a Justice, of a stroke, at age fifty-five, lasting six years, six months and 23 days.

February 14, 1951, Trooper Robert Ranaker Miller, Kentucky State Police, was killed in an automobile accident as he rushed to an officer needs assistance call in Boone County.

February 14, 1951, Army PVT Con D. Hudnall from Logan County, Army PFC George W. March from Kenton County, Army CPL Charles E.  Smith from Fayette County, Army PFC Gobel J. Welch from Trimble County died in the Korean War.

February 14, 1952, the Senate passed a bill 33-0 to tax the 300,000 Kentucky automobiles whose owners dodged the tax rolls.  It would bring in $3,500,000 to $4,000,000, and half went to local schools.

February 14, 1964, the federal Soil-Bank Program released 164,000 acres of Kentucky farmland according to released report.  This left about 195,000 acres remaining with expiration dates until 1969.  The program of the late 1950s and 60s paid farmers to retire land, from production, for ten years.  It was the predecessor to today’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

February 14, 1968, Army SP4 Dohn W. Johnson from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

February 14, 1969, Army WO1 Charles S. Jones from Louisa in Lawrence County died in the Vietnam War.

On February 14, 1970, four and a half inches of sleet and snow swept across a large section of Northern Kentucky from Louisville to Ashland.  Meanwhile, Kentucky teachers threatened to strike, and GE workers told stories of their 104-day strike that just ended.

February 14, 1973, Muhammad Ali (41-4) fought Joe Bugner (43-4-1) in the Las Vegas Convention Center.  Bugner, the British champion, was big, strong and a skilled technician in the ring.  He and Ali fought 12 slow rounds, and Ali never was able to put him away before winning a unanimous decision.  The flashiest thing in the ring that night was Ali’s robe, which was given to him by Elvis Presley.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Covington native Jared Raymond Lorenzen, born in 1981.

February 14, 1987, was the last edition of The Louisville Times, the afternoon counterpart to the The Courier-Journal.

February 14, 1994, Mt. Victory native Vermont Garrison died.  Vermont was a flying ACE in the U.S. Air Force, credited with 17.33 victories in aerial combat.  He was one of only seven Americans to achieve ACE status during World War II.  Mt. Victory is in Pulaski County.

February 14, 2002, weeks before his confirmation hearings, the head of the state workers’ compensation program was instead fired by Governor Paul Patton.  Ched Jennings said he was stunned.

February 14, 2010, the Army announced that more than 200 pieces of armor from Fort Knox’s Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, including tanks, big guns, and other vehicles dating from WWI, would be moved to Fort Benning, Georgia.

February 14, 2011, Wendell Berry and 13 other environmentalists emerged from the state capitol to roars of approval and applause, ending their four-day occupation of Governor S. Beshear’s office. Beshear joined the national coal association’s lawsuit against the EPA to stop Kentucky’s water pollution restrictions.

February 14, 2019, the Kentucky Senate (29-8) approved a bill to allow people to carry a gun without a permit or training on the first anniversary of America’s deadliest High School shooting in Parkland, FL, where 17 students died.

February 14, 2020, Aetna and Humana had a Valentine breakup when they ended their 19-month engagement.  It helped when a federal judge told them the merger would stifle competition.  Humana received $1 billion from Aetna for trying to negotiate a possible $37 billion merger.

February 14, 2020, Turfway Park held the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial for three-year-olds.  The winner, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate, received points towards starting in the Kentucky Derby.

Sunday, February 14, 2021, the National Weather Service told Kentuckians to get ready for three to seven inches of snow and many geared up for an ice storm.  As a result, over 131,000 people lost their power throughout the state.  Meanwhile, scientists around the globe agreed that the coronavirus would never go away after discovering seven new variants in the U.S.