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March 16, 1836, the 1st railroad accident occurred on the Lexington & Ohio line, two miles north of Frankfort.  A train leaped over a barrier, killing three and wounding many.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Mason County native John Robert Proctor, born in 1844.  John served as the Kentucky state geologist from 1880 to 1893 and was president of the U.S. Civil Service Commission from 1893 to 1903.

March 16, 1878, the General Assembly approved a “resolution in regard to Dr. L. P. Blackburn” for his assistance to the victims of yellow fever in Nassau, Memphis, and Florida.  Luke Blackburn had “gone into the battle, grappled with the dread enemy, and saved from the hungry pestilence thousands of lives.”  For these “eminent services” Dr. Blackburn deserves public recognition “reflecting as they do much honor upon himself and upon his State.

March 16, 1895, Madame Belle’s house caught on fire in downtown Lexington while she was in New York.  The finest “Mansion” in the South received heavy damage and was almost destroyed.  Madame Belle by Maryjean Wall pg: 92

March 16, 1903, Phantly Roy Bean, Jr. passed over.  At the age of 15, he left Mason County to follow his two older brothers West.  He became an eccentric U.S. saloon-keeper and Justice of the Peace in Val Verde County, Texas, and called himself The Law West of the Pecos.

March 16, 1906, the General Assembly expressed its “profound satisfaction” at the news of the farm’s purchase on which Abraham Lincoln was born.  The General Assembly passed “an act to appropriate $2,000 to assist in erecting a tablet in LaRue County to the memory of Abraham Lincoln.”  They directed the tablet to be located “on the public square in the town of Hodgenville.”

March 16, 1908, the Kentucky Legislature changed the name of the Agriculture & Mechanical College of Kentucky to State University, Lexington, Kentucky.  By the same Act, Kentucky University reverted to its pioneer name, Transylvania University.

On March 16, 1911, a jury found Night Riders leader Dr. David Amoss not guilty of murder and destroying property after an eight-day trial.  Many locals supported his violent attacks against the corporate tobacco monopoly.

March 16, 1916, Bowling Green native Pete George Hampton passed away.  George made more than 150 recordings during his career in the U.K. and Germany between 1903 and 1911.  In 1904, he made the 1st harmonica recording by an African American, which was regarded as a pioneering example in the blues harmonica style.

March 16, 1929, Heath High School won the 11th Scholastic Basketball Championship in Lexington by defeating Corinth 21-16.  The team received a silver Loving Cup from UK’s Athletic Director “Daddy” Boyles after the game in Alumni Gymnasium.  The Ashland Kittens also took the girls’ title as they did in 1928, 1924, 1922, and 1921.  Team bands showed up for possibly the 1st time.  Heath, in McCracken County, closed in 2013.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Ashland native Chuck Herbert Woolery, born in 1941.

March 16, 1942, three Kentucky tornadoes swept through the state killing 24 people.  The 1st, an F4 tornado, struck at 12:15 a.m. in Grayson and Hardin counties, killing nine people in seven different homes and sweeping away 20 other homes in Caneyville, Millwood, Leitchfield, Clarkson, and Summit.  The next one, an F3, struck an hour and fifteen minutes later in Nelson County, killing four persons.  The last twister, another F3, occurred in Muhlenberg County at 11:40 p.m. and devastated the mining community of Browder, sweeping away 12 small homes and causing ten deaths.  Another death occurred on a farm near Drakesboro.

March 16, 1957, the newly built Freedom Hall hosted its 1st High School Basketball Championship, with the Lafayette Generals defeating Louisville’s Eastern Eagles 55-52.  Pikeville’s Panthers defeated Russell County for 3rd place.  Tournament officials also voted The Lafayette Cheerleaders best “in their department.” 

A March 16, 1961, snapshot shows hundreds of basketball fans jammed the front of Memorial Coliseum, waiting for the doors to open for the 3rd session of the state high school basketball tournament.  Ashland High School defeated Lexington Dunbar 69-50 to win the title.

March 16, 1963, Glasgow naïve Diane Sawyer won the Kentucky Junior Miss Pageant and later America’s Junior Miss 1963.  Judges thought the studious teenager was perhaps too serious to represent America’s most well-rounded young women in the national pageant.  However, during rehearsals, the nearsighted Sawyer, absent her glasses, walked head-first into a metal post in front of the judges and laughed it off.  Seeing Sawyer’s spontaneous carefree response, the judges concluded that she was an excellent representative.

March 16, 1967, Army PFC Roger K. Hoosier from Campbellsville in Taylor County and Army SGT James E. Kirn from Glasgow in Barren County died in the Vietnam War.

March 16, 1969, Army CPL Dennis M. Groves from Elkton in Todd County died in the Vietnam War.

March 16, 1988, the National Register of Historic Places accepted Wigwam Village #2, in Cave City.

By Ichabod

March 16, 1990, a jury found a Shelby County man and a Midway bloodstock agent guilty of conspiring to kill a thoroughbred racehorse to collect $100,000.

March 16, 1991, in the 74th Boys’ Sweet Sixteen Basketball Tournament, Fairdale Bulldogs won its 2nd title in a row by defeating Tates Creek 67-63 in front of 23,275 at Rupp Arena.  Fairdale’s Jermaine Brown won the MVP for the 2nd year in a row as well.

On March 16, 1996, the Paintsville Tigers, led by J.R. Vanhoose, defeated the Ashland Tomcats 71-53 to win the KHSAA Boy’s Sweet 16 Basketball Tournament in Rupp Arena with 16,845 fans.  The 6-9 Vanhoose is 2nd on the all-time Sweet 16 tournament scoring list with 272 points; Ritchie Farmer is #1 with 317.  Vanhoose is also 2nd on the all-time rebound list with 69, and Wes Unseld (Seneca) had 88.

March 16, 2013, with two remaining days in the General Assembly, legislators still couldn’t decide how to tackle the state’s most pressing problem, the multi-billion dollar shortage in state pension funds.

March 16, 2019, Oaklawn’s GII $750,000 Rebel Stakes, the 59th edition, ran in two heats.  Keeneland graduates won the superfecta in heat two.

On March 16, 2022, the elephant-controlled Kentucky Senate advanced a bill to pay up to $50 million to resettle Ukrainian citizens.  They also had a bill on the governor’s desk that, if signed, the state would lose $50 million in federal food stamps.  The Ukraine bill is still pending, and locals got their food stamps.