TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fayette County native Carter Harrison Sr., born in 1825.  He served two terms as Chicago’s mayor ending in 1893.  

February 15, 1842, Ballard County was created from Hickman County and McCracken County and named in honor of Bland Ballard, hero of the Battle of Fallen Timbers and Battle of River Raisin.  Wickliffe is the county seat.  Other localities include: Barlow, Blandville, Kevil, LaCenter, Bandana, Lovelaceville, Monkey’s Eyebrow, and New York.  Ballard County was the 94th county created and covers 274 square miles.

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

February 15, 1842, Boyle County was created from Lincoln County and Mercer County and named in honor of John Boyle, Kentucky Chief Justice.  Danville is the county seat.  Other localities include: Aliceton, Alum Springs, (area between Parksville and Junction City) Atoka, Brumfield, Forkland, Junction City, Little Needmore, Mitchellsburg, Needmore, Parksville, Perryville, and Shelby City. (annexed by Junction City) Boyle County was the 91st county created in Kentucky and covers 183 square miles.

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

On February 15, 1865, Joshua Speed wrote to Abraham Lincoln for the last known time.  He wrote it in Washington, while in town to plea parole for a Confederate friend.  They did meet in person while the president sat for a portrait by Matthew Willson.  Mr. Willson completed the piece after Lincoln’s death. Speed eventually purchased it.  Today it hangs in Louisville’s Speed Art Museum and is considered one of the finest Lincoln portraits in existence.

February 15, 1882, A&M College of Kentucky moved to its new campus composed of three buildings: President’s home, boys dormitory (became White Hall), and college building (today the Administration Building).  Governor Blackburn, Lt. Governor Cantrill, and the Speaker of the House attended ceremonies with the Honorable Henry Watterson as Orator of the Day.

February 15, 1893, William Lindsay became Kentucky’s 21st Class II U.S. Senator.

February 15, 1896, Policeman Henry Brown, Frankfort Police Department, was shot and killed in Kagan’s Saloon by a drunkard whom he attempted to arrest for causing a disturbance.  His partner killed the subject.

February 15, 1907, State College, Lexington (UK) hosted and defeated Kentucky University (Transy) 16-14 in State College Gymnasium.  The blue and white cadets snatched victory from the Crimson lads in front of the largest crowd of the year.  This game was the first athletic event between the two institutions for three years on account of athletics having been abolished at K.U. 

February 15, 1915, the Louisville basketball team travels to Lexington to play State College in the Buell Armory Gymnasium.  Coach John Tigert of Kentucky wins 34-10 over the Cardinals, coached by Von Walther.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native William T. Young, born in 1918.

February 15, 1949, Policeman John Yelenosky, Lynch Police Department, died as he and another officer broke up a fight between union organizers and local workers.  As the two officers separated the groups, shots were fired.  The 24-year-old suspect served two years in prison.

February 15, 1951, Army PVT Paul Stamper from Knox County died in the Korean War.

February 15, 1967, Army SP4, Louis R. Soward from Covington in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

February 15, 1968, Air Force SGT James H. Bennett from Cynthiana in Harrison County and Air Force SSGT Warren M. Dixon from Catlettsburg in Boyd County, both died in the Vietnam War.

February 15, 1969, Army SFC Clarence W. Dunbar, Army SGT Thomas S. Hamilton and Army SP4 Lewis W. Warner Jr., all from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Kentucky bred Seattle Slew, born in 1974 at White Horse Acres near Lexington.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Kentucky-bred Genuine Risk, born in 1977.  Matthew Firestone bought the filly for $32,000 at the 1978 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky summer yearling sale.  Her fans knew her as “Genny” or “Ginny.”

Horse Racing Trivia:  Genuine Risk produced only two foals, both unraced colts.  The elder of the two, Genuine Reward (by Rahy), became a sire of polo ponies in Wyoming, while the younger, Count Our Blessing (by Chief Honcho), was gelded and became a show horse.

February 15, 1978, 36-year-old Muhammad Ali (55-3), lost his heavyweight title by split decision after 15 rounds to Leon Spinks (6-0-1) in the Las Vegas Hilton Pavilion.  The 25-year-old pulled off one of the great upsets in boxing after only seven professional fights and a Gold Medal.  Ali had beaten all the other Olympic gold medalists of his era, and he expected to trounce Spinks.  But Ali trained very little for the fight and lay on the ropes as Spinks built a lead.  For the first time, however, Ali could not rally and lost a split decision in Vegas.

On February 15, 1994, trailing by 31 points to LSU with 15:34 remaining, the Wildcats pull off the Mardi Gras miracle.  Connecting on 11 three-pointers and outscoring the Bayou Bengals 62-27 during the final 15:34, UK storms back to a 99-95 victory, the most incredible comeback in UK basketball history.

February 15, 1997, John DeMoisey #00 from Walton, Johnny Cox #24 from Hazard, and Kyle Macy #4 had their jerseys retired by UK.

February 15, 1998, Shaun Bridgmohan won six races at Aqueduct.  At year’s end, he had won 199 races, earning him the Apprentice Eclipse.

February 15, 2003, at approximately 10:30 p.m., radial ice approximately 2 inches thick was deposited from Hardin County to Greenup County, leaving a path of destruction.

kentucky counties map

February 15, 2007, Marine CPL Timothy D. Lewis, 20, of Lawrenceburg, died as a result of non-hostile action in the Philippines during Operation Enduring Freedom.

February 15, 2009, Rachel Alexandra begins her three-year-old campaign with an easy mile victory at Oaklawn’s 9th race, the Martha Washington.

February 15, 2014, Marine Master SGT Aaron C. Torian, 36, of Paducah, died in Afghanistan of wounds caused by enemy action, fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

February 15, 2014, Kentuckians learn about the Prisoner Rehabilitation Of Untrained Dogs (PROUD) program between the Kentucky Department of Corrections and the Kentucky Humane Society.  In less than a year, 197 dogs graduated the program and found permanent homes.

Monday, February 15, 2016, a Keeneland graduate exacta takes Santa Anita’s GIII $200,000 San Vicente Stakes for three-year-olds.  The top two finishers also came in 1-2 in the Kentucky Derby.

Reports released on February 15, 2020, showed methamphetamine (meth) seizures in Louisville more than tripled in the last three years, from 237 pounds to 770 pounds.  In 2018, Jefferson County had 5,613 persons charged with meth, Fayette County 1,422, Warren County 1,067, and Kenton County 1,067.

February 15, 2021, a nasty winter and ice storm leaves two dead, thousands without electricity, and schools closed across the state.  Meanwhile, makers of covid-19 vaccines tried to figure out how to tweak their recipes against worrisome virus mutations and looked to the flu as a blueprint when the shots needed updates.