Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
March 26, 1866, with the formal duel well into decline and strict Kentucky laws forbidding the practice, Joseph Desha (32) and Alexander Kimbrough (27) met at the familiar dueling grounds on the Fayette/Scott border a little before 6:00 a.m., to settle their differences. Both men were childhood classmates in Harrison County who never cared for each other. Both came from respected families; both men were wounded Civil War Veterans, Desha, a Confederate, and Kimbrough, a Union man.
One of the pistols used once belonged to Henry Clay. In the 1st round, both men missed. In the 2nd round, Kimbrough fell to the ground bleeding from the hip; Desha narrowly missed a bullet as it went through his coat. This was the last important affair of honor fought in Kentucky under the strict code of the duello. Desha and his second traveled to Canada for several years until granted a pardon by an ex-Confederate, then-current Kentucky Governor James B. McCreary. Kimbrough recovered at his parents’ Harrison County farm and eventually moved west. He walked with a severe limp his entire life. Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 123
March 26, 1879, Hopkinsville Judge Thomas Buford assassinated Judge John Milton Elliott as they left the Kentucky State House. Enraged by Elliott’s failure to rule in favor of his late sister in a property dispute, Buford shot Elliott with a double-barreled twelve-gauge shotgun filled with buckshot. The killing shocked the nation and attracted unwanted attention in the Commonwealth.
March 26, 1918, the Kentucky Legislature passed an act authorizing and creating an official state flag and the state seal 126 years after statehood. Lawmakers directed the flag to be of navy blue silk or bunting, with the seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky encircled by a wreath of goldenrod.
March 26, 1932, a group of Columbia University students from NYC set out on a bus ride to Bell and Hardin Counties to the scene of fatal clashes between coal miners and officers. Kentucky’s “border patrol” stopped their 1st attempt to enter the state. Meanwhile, America hunted for the Lindbergh baby kidnappers.
March 26, 1936, from a letter to the Regional Forester to the Forest Supervisor in Washington about changing Kentucky’s national park name: The question of changing the unit’s name is delicate and cannot properly be up for public discussion. This is particularly true right now when there is consideration of a long war here in Kentucky as to whether Mr. Boone or Mr. Henderson was the most important in the development of the state.
In Seattle, on March 26, 1949, Coach Rupp won his 2nd NCAA title, in his 2nd finals. The Wildcats defeated Oklahoma A&M 46-36. Paced by Alex Groza’s 25 points and a defense that limited the Aggies to nine field goals, the Cats won the Champions for the 2nd straight year. A unanimous selection as the “Player of the Tournament,” Groza scored more than twice as many points as any other player.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fairfield native Virgil Chester Livers Jr., born in 1952. The Chicago Bears drafted Virgil in the 4th round of the 1975 NFL Draft. He played college football at Western Kentucky, where he is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame.
March 26, 1953, Marine Corps PFC Quinton V. Hall from Olive Hill in Carter County, Marine Corps PFC Benab Hyatt from Yancey in Harlan County, Marine Corps CPL Jimmie Robinson from Manchester, Marine Corps PFC Carlton C. Stephens from Louisville and Army PFC Gordon R. Coffey from Barren County died in the Korean War.
March 26, 1969, Air Force TSGT Jesse C. Bowman from Lexington, Marine Corps PFC Steve R. Whitaker from Central City in Muhlenberg County and Army SP4 James L. Stewart frim Inez in Martin County, died in the Vietnam War.
March 26, 1982, Laurel County defeated North Hardin 53-51 in Rupp Arena for the Boys’ Sweet 16 Basketball Championship. Call it The Shot Heard’ Round Kentucky or just The Shot, but Paul Andrews’s half-court shot at the final buzzer are the most famous points in Commonwealth basketball history.
March 26, 1992, Henryk de Kwiatkowski arrived in his private plane at Bluegrass airport a half an hour before the “absolute auction” of Calumet Farm. He offered $17 million for Calumet’s 760 acres and their horses and became the owner of America’s most famous horse farm. The bidding started at $10 million and came down to Henryk and Issam Fares, who owned the adjacent farm about half the size of Calumet. They bid against each other for about 20 minutes.
Kentucky Trivia: Calumet was initially based in Libertyville, Illinois, as a Standardbred breeding operation. This was at a time in American history when harness racing was the most popular type of horse racing. In 1931, the farm’s trotter “Calumet Butler” won the most prestigious event of the day, the Hambletonian.
March 26, 2010, eleven people died in Kentucky’s worst highway crash since 1988 when 27 children died in a church bus crash caused by a drunken driver. Ten of the 11 victims were Mennonites from Kentucky. The American Trucking Association stated the trucking company had such a bad record, “they should have never been on the road.”
March 26, 2013, the General Assembly overturned Governor S. Beshear’s veto of a controversial bill named “religious freedom.” The House overrode it 79-15 and the Senate 32-6. The human rights advocates and big cities fought against the bill that started when the Amish refused to display orange reflective triangles on their buggies.
March 26, 2014, Maker’s Mark in Loretto raised the bourbon tourism bar and unveiled world-class artwork nestled among barrels of aging spirits. The Spirit of the Maker, 36 feet of hand-blown glass, consisted of 1,300 pieces by artist Dale Chihuly. The Marion County Distillery celebrated its 60th anniversary.
March 26, 2018, Mitch told America he wanted to bring hemp production back to the mainstream by removing it from the controlled substance list that its cousin marijuana is on. Hemp stayed on the list from 1970 to 2018. Meanwhile, the Fayette County School Board, 5-0, approved random metal detector searches for students entering school grounds.
March 26, 2019, Rep. Andy Barr invited New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to “go underground” to meet coal miners. The invitation came during a House Committee on Financial Services as Barr defended coal and Alexandria the Green New Deal. It was comical to watch two corporate tools, a “tow-the-line” lawyer, and “progressive fraud,” pretend to care for the working class. Barr would rescind the invite in April.
On March 26, 2020, the governor reported 50 new cases, the largest daily increase of new positive coronavirus cases. However, no one died on this day, keeping the death toll at five. Around 11,000 Kentuckians had taken the coronavirus test. Meanwhile, St. Claire Healthcare in Morehead laid off 300 workers, and over 50,000 Kentuckians already claimed unemployment due to the virus. Officials also announced the U.S. led the world in confirmed cases with 81,321 and more than 1,000 deaths.
Thursday morning, March 26, 2020, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie hinted to local radio station 55 KRC Radio, he might object to a voice vote when the House voted on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Later in the day, the Senate passed it, the largest economic recovery package in U.S. history. The legislation provided direct payments to Americans, small businesses, corporations, cities, states, and other entities. The next day, in dramatic fashion, CARES would become law.
March 26, 2020, the House prepared to vote on the CARES Act by voice the next day, Friday. A voice vote meant members did not have to be present, they only needed to say “aye” or “nay.” However, only one lawmaker needs to ask for a recorded vote, which requires members to be present. Rep. Massie wanted to discuss where the money would go, “This stimulus should go straight to the people rather than being funneled through banks and corporations like this bill is doing.” Many angry lawmakers rushed back to D.C.