TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

February 16, 1860, Boyd County was created from Carter County, Lawrence County, and Greenup County and named 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.  Boyd County was the 107th county created in Kentucky and covers 160 square miles.

February 16, 1865, Theophilus Steel dueled James Blackburn near Moreland’s Tavern in Bourbon County.  Blackburn received a bullet to the thigh on the first fire, making a slight wound; the parties shook hands and returned to the city.  Both were Transylvania students; one studied law, the other medicine.
Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 145

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

February 16, 1879, Owensboro native Albert Smith Marks became the 21st governor of Tennessee.

February 16, 1884, Louisville native Mary Millicent Miller became the first woman in America to acquire a steamboat master’s licenseHarper’s Weekly ran a cartoon entitled, “By All Means Commission the Ladies.”  She captained The Saline.

Feb 16 Commission the ladies
By Charles Green Bush – Harper

February 16, 1884, heavy rain and melting snow showers caused significant problems along the Ohio River.  On February 14, the river was rising one inch every hour before it crested on February 16.  This was the largest Ohio River flood on record at the time.  Because the river rose relatively slowly, property owners had warnings.

February 16, 1891, Town Marshal George F. Wells, Junction City Police Department,died while attempting to arrest nine raftsmen who had come into town and caused a disturbance at a local saloon.  When Marshal Wells located the men he attempted to arrest them but was shot several times.

February 16, 1910, State University, Lexington (UK) played Tennessee for the first time, winning in Buell Armory 26-5.  The high scorer was Lexington native Richard Barbee with nine points.

February 16, 1917, Billy Mabon, Belle Breezing’s confidant, friend, and better half, died, and by November, she had shut down her brothel.  Belle became a shut-in confined to her comfortable home.

February 16, 1929, City Marshal Frank Lacost Abell, Uniontown Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a subject.

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.”

February 16, 1942, Pike County reopened their largest coal mine after sitting idle for four years.  The Henry Clay mine on Marrowbone Creek once employed 1,200 men and produced 40 railroad cars a day.  Officials expected both those 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 first African American female to have a Capitol press pass and the first African American elected to the Women’s National Press Club.

February 16, 1951, Army CPL Thomas E. Bolling from Floyd County died in the Korean War.

On February 16, 1951, Jenkins native, Darwin K. Kyle, a Second Lt. in the Korean War, earned the Congressional Medal of Honor through his courageous leadership.

February 16, 1966, Policeman Arthur G. Dotson, Russellville Police Department, suffered a fatal heart attack while handling a prisoner.

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.

February 16, 1968, Marine Corps SSGT Jimmy E. Tolliver from Cromona in Letcher County died in the Vietnam War.

February 16, 1969, Army SGT Gerald Q. Hancock from Louisville, Army SGT Edwin H. Hardesty, Jr. from Shelby 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 first knockout loss for Ellis.

February 16, 1971, Army SP4 James M. Simon from Daviess County died in the Vietnam War.

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.  

Feb 16 Wickland
By C. Bedford Crenshaw

February 16, 1976, the Kentucky coffee tree became the state’s 1st official tree.  A celebration took place on Arbor Day with a planting on the Capitol’s grounds by Governor Julian Carroll.  Joe Creason, a columnist for The Louisville Courier-Journal gifted the tree before his death.  The official Kentucky tree debate had begun.

Feb 16 864px Gymnocladus dioicus
By Bruce Marlin

February 16, 1978, actor Leonard Nimoy spoke at Eastern Kentucky University.

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 Golden Pond in western Trigg County.  The town is also the headquarters for Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area.  

February 16, 2003, Owensboro native Michael Waltrip wins the 45th Daytona 500.

February 16, 2011, Kentucky lawmakers failed to limit the high cost of payday loans when a House Committee killed a bill to cut fees for the short-term loan.

February 16, 2015, Lexington received 10.2 inches of snow, their 4th largest accumulation for one day. 

February 16, 2019, the road to the Derby goes through the $400,000 GII Risen Star Stakes at the Fairgrounds.  A Keeneland graduate crosses the finish line first in a field of 14.

February 16, 2020, the #18 Kentucky Wildcats women’s basketball team toppled #6 Mississippi State 73-62.  It was the first win against a top-10 team since 2017.

February 16, 2021, America and Kentucky announced a decline in daily covid-19 cases and deaths while President Biden extended a federal ban on foreclosures as the public dealt with mandatory shutdowns.  In addition, Kentucky began to clean up after a nasty snow and ice storm.