TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia – Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Cassius Marcellus Clay and Mary Jane Warfield, who wed in 1833.  They had seven children.  When Cassius returned from Russia to Richmond in 1878, with an illegitimate son, the 45-year marriage ended in divorce.  Mary Jane’s divorce meant that she was not legally entitled to any compensation for the farm’s profitability, nor did she have any legal right to the custody of her children.  The lack of women’s rights, which led to her loss of all financial and personal assets, including children, was the driving force behind her daughters Laura and Mary Barr Clay’s nationally known suffrage work.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Newport native and Supreme Court Justice Horace Harmon Lurton, born in 1844.  The most notable opinion he authored was probably telling the federal government they could not tell a state where to locate its capital, as all states must be on “equal footing.”  He also served in the Confederate States Army.

February 26, 1849, the General Assembly and Governor Crittenden passed a common school law.  This law established administrative guidelines for public officials.  The Assembly also reserved tolls collected on the Kentucky, Green, and Barren Rivers for education and passed a two percent property tax to fund Kentucky public schools.

February 26, 1869, the Kentucky legislature incorporated the Stanford Female Seminary.  The school closed in 1907 because it couldn’t compete with the public schools that received tax money.  It then became the Stanford Elementary School until 1931.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Henderson native Rear Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, born in 1882.  Husband was a U.S. Navy four-star admiral who was the commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

February 26, 1904, the Agriculture and Mechanical College of Kentucky (UK) basketball team lost to Kentucky University (Transy) 14-12 in the Kentucky University Gymnasium.  “It was a clean game.  State was handicapped by her unfamiliarity with the goals of the K.U. gymnasium.  The teams were both in good condition and evenly matched.”

February 26, 1909, State University, Lexington (UK) played Central University (Centre) for the state championship on Senior Day.  Central University wins 26-20 on State’s home floor in the State College Gymnasium, the first game played in the gym.

February 26, 1911, the Lexington-Leader reported the Lexington Hustlers, a baseball club that broke racial barriers, met the previous week and elected four officers.  The team played their home games at Belt Line Park.

February 26, 1915, State University, Lexington (UK) traveled to Tharpe Gymnasium in Louisville to play St. Andrews who doubled them up 50-25.

February 26, 1920, Deputy Sheriff Robert Lewis, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, suffered a fatal heart attack after being assaulted during an escape attempt.  He was walking a prisoner from the jail to the courthouse when the man assaulted him as he attempted to escape. Deputy Lewis fired three shots at the fleeing man before collapsing on the courthouse steps.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Tom Kennedy, born in 1927 as James Edward Narz.  Tom’s brother Jack Narz was also a TV announcer.  After a lunch meeting with his agent, James emerged as Tom Kennedy.  The switch below happens 22:30 into the show.”

On February 26, 1937, three days after President F. D. Roosevelt created the Cumberland National Forest; Senator Alben Barkley wrote the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  The Senator suggested Daniel Boone National Park would be a better name for the new federal park.  The long battle to change the name had begun.

February 26, 1951, the U.S. added the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution.  Presidents would no longer be able to serve more than two consecutive terms.  The last amendment, the 21st, repealed prohibition.  

February 26, 1967, Army PFC Harry P. Brightman from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

Kentucky Trivia:  The Rev. William E. Summers III made history in 1967 as the first African American in the U. S. to manage a radio station.  In 1971, he became the first African American radio station owner in Kentucky when he purchased WLOU, one of five original R&B stations in the Commonwealth.

February 26, 1968, Army SSG Ernest Chaffins, Jr. from Hitchins in Carter County died in the Vietnam War.

February 26, 1970, a five-day strike by most Kentucky teachers evolved into a collection of legal battles as school boards tried to force teachers back into the classrooms via the courtroom.

February 26, 1971, Army SGT Michael W. Langnehs from Shively in Jefferson County died in the Vietnam War.

February 26, 1973, Claiborne Farm announced that Secretariat syndicated for 32 shares at $190,000 each for a record $6,080,000.   

February 26, 1986, Guthrie native Robert Penn Warren became a U.S. Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry.  Warren was a poet, critic, novelist, and teacher.  One novel, All the King’s Men, won a Pulitzer Prize.  Two novels, All the King’s Men and Band of Angels, were made into movies.

Feb 26
Guthrie, KY

February 26, 1991, #13 Kentucky beat #24 Alabama 79-73 to win its 200th game in Rupp Arena and became one of two schools (along with North Carolina) to win 1,500 basketball games.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Alexandria Nichole Mills, born in 1992.  At age 18, Alexandria became Miss World 2010.

February 26, 1993, a Simpson Circuit Court jury awarded $273,000 to nine Dueling Grounds pari-mutuel clerks, for being fired after they tried to form a union.

February 26, 1996, Rick Pitino makes the Sports Illustrated cover.  It brought him good luck that year.

February 26, 1998, Shirley Ardell Mason, better known as Sybil, died in Lexington.

February 26, 2010, Senator Jim Bunning was the lone Senator stopping unemployment benefits to Americans suffering through the recession caused by Wall Street gambling.  Retiring Sen. Bunning said he didn’t oppose extending the benefits; he did oppose the part in the bill that bailed out the losers.

February 26, 2011, a Keeneland graduate and Kentucky bred won Gulfstream Park’s GII $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes.  The winner finished 11th for the roses.

February 26, 2020, U.S. Congressman Thomas Massie once again burnished his reputation as “Mr. No” by joining a handful of lawmakers who opposed a bill that would make lynching a federal hate crime.  The House passed it 410-4.  Massie stated the Constitution only allows specific federal laws and leaves the rest for states to decide.

February 26, 2020, the state Senate passed a bill to amend the Kentucky Constitution by limiting a governor’s pardon and commutation power.  This was Frankfort’s reaction to former Governor Bevin’s controversial clemency orders.  Kentucky voters must approve any change to the Constitution.

February 26, 2021, the Kentucky positivity rate for the coronavirus fell again to 5.52%, ending another week of declining rates.  The rate for February 17, 2022, was 15.9%.  As students test positive in schools, officials implement contact tracing, a futile and impossible task.