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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On October 2, 1854, John LaRue Helm became Louisville and Nashville’s 2nd president between his two terms as Kentucky’s governor.  Helm worked diligently to convince residents along the line’s main route of the economic benefits it would bring.  He persuaded many of them to help clear and grade land for the line and accept company stock as payment.  John served as the 18th and 24th governors for a combined 14 months.

October 2, 1861, former U.S. V.P. John C. Breckinridge fled Kentucky.  After his loss in the November 1860 presidential election, the Kentucky legislature appointed Breckinridge to the U.S. Senate, but he did not serve long.  As Southern states began seceding from the Union following Lincoln’s election, Kentucky resolved to remain in the Union.  Suspecting Breckinridge’s pro-Southern sympathies, Unionists forced him to flee the state.

On October 2, 1865, Kentucky University of Harrodsburg moved to Lexington, absorbed Transylvania University, and was known as Kentucky University until 1908.  In 1908, it reverted to its pioneer name, Transy.

On October 2, 1901, Shelby County lynched Jimbo Fields for murder.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Joseph Nathaniel Kendall, born in Owensboro in 1909.  Nicknamed “Tarzan” for his athletic prowess.  He dominated black college football in the 1930s and led Kentucky State to a Black College Football National Championship in 1934.

October 2, 1911, Laurel Park opened.  The facility started during a track building boom in Maryland.  With racing dark in New York because of a gambling ban and racing legal in only a handful of states, Maryland opened Laurel, Havre de Grace, and Bowie race tracks in four years.  The opening of Laurel marked the beginning of the golden years of Maryland racing.

October 2, 1920, the Wildcats shutout Rhodes 62-0 to open the season for William Juneau’s 1st game as head coach.  The Wildcats went on to a 3-4-1 record.  Coach Juneau would finish his Kentucky career with a 56-28-5 record.

October 2, 1940, Deputy Sheriff John F. Cable, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, died when a prisoner he had arrested for disorderly conduct shot him.  As Deputy Cable drove the suspect to jail they stopped at a service station after the man requested to use the bathroom.  The man was taking an unusually long time and when Deputy Cable went to check on him the man opened fire. 

October 2, 1950, Marine Corps Charles L. Johnson from Morning View in Kenton County and Army PFC Robert J. McKie from Muhlenberg County, died in the Korean War.

October 2, 1951, Army CPL David Wireman from Magoffin County, died in the Korean War.

October 2, 1952, Army SGT Bobby V. Combs from Letcher County, Army 2LT James O Lambert from Clark County and Army CPL Reno D. Stice from Jefferson County, all died in the Korean War.

October 2, 1954, in Blanton Collier’s 1st year as UK’s head coach, he beat LSU 7-6 in the 3rd game of the season.  Blanton coached for eight years with a 41-36-3 record.

October 2, 1968, Army SP4 Donald L. Wester from Cleaton in Muhlenberg County, died fighting in the Vietnam War.

On October 2, 1973, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places accepted the Johnston–Jacobs House.  The Greek Revival style brick house stands near downtown Georgetown.  Adam Johnston built the original structure in approximately 1795 for use as a tavern-inn.

By Sydney Poore

October 2, 1976, Forego beat Honest Pleasure in the Marlboro Cup at Belmont Park, with Willie Shoemaker up.  It would be celebrated as one of the most sensational stretch drives in racing history.

October 2, 1977, Deputy Jailer Joe C. Lykins, Boyle County Detention Center, suffocated to death after being overpowered and gagged during an escape attempt from the Boyle County Jail. 

October 2, 1980, Berea College celebrated 125 years in an all-day celebration. 

October 2, 1980, Muhammad Ali, 38, (56-4) fought Larry Holmes (35-0) in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.  Ali’s former sparring partner came in as an undefeated champion.  Ali was beaten in eight rounds, even though Holmes had backed off and later cried about beating a man who had given him his start and probably never should have been in the ring.  The fight stopped after ten rounds, marking the only time Ali lost by anything other than a decision in his career.  An estimated two billion watched.  The Mayo Clinic later found that Ali had “mild ataxic dysarthria,” a problem using the muscles required to coordinate speaking.  He had trouble even conducting a basic finger-to-nose coordination test.

October 2, 1985, Rebecca Caudill Ayars, from Poor Fork, now Cumberland, passed away.  Rebecca wrote children’s literature with more than twenty books published.  Her Tree of Freedom (Viking, 1949) was a Newbery Honor Book in 1950.  A Pocketful of Cricket (Holt, 1964), illustrated by Evaline Ness, was a Caldecott Honor Book.

October 2, 1987, The Kentucky Theatre closed due to a fire next door.  Witnesses stated the fire looked as though an entire downtown block was a blaze.  The Kentucky did not reopen until 1992.

On October 2, 1987, workers finished the Pikeville Cut-Through Project, aka “the 8th wonder of the world,” by The New York Times.  The 2nd-largest earth removal project in U.S. history took four phases spanning 14 years and cost approximately $80 million.

October 2, 1994, Fort Knox native Larry Gilbert won the Vantage Championship, a senior PGA tour event, over Raymond Floyd by one stroke.

October 2, 2003, Tina Conner pleaded guilty to mail fraud in U.S. District Court.  The governor acknowledged the affair and said it ruined his chances of running against Republican Jim Bunning for the U.S. Senate seat.

October 2, 2004, in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Handicap at Belmont Park, Kitten’s Joy faced older horses for the 1st time.  It was also his 1st start at 12 furlongs, a distance at which European-bred horses typically excel.  Nevertheless, Kitten’s Joy responded with an “authoritative” win by 2+1⁄2 lengths.  “What amazed me about him is his turn of foot, acceleration, and how kind he is during the race,” Romans said.  “When you ask him, he turns it on.  This is the best race he’s run so far.  I thought he would relish a mile and a half, and he showed that he did today.”

October 2, 2015, Forkland hosted their 44th Forkland Heritage Festival with a bean supper theater, sorghum-making, a silent auction, and living history skits.

On October 2, 2020, President D. Trump, the 1st Lady and other members of the inner circle tested positive for coronavirus.  The president received a single 8-gram dose of Regeneron’s REGN-COV2, a drug in late-stage clinical trials upon his arrival at the hospital.  Trump’s treatment included eight different drugs.  At the time, no drug was FDA-approved, and none were available to the general public.

Positives:  1,039 / 70,727
Deaths:  6 / 1,197 – 1st death 3/16/20
50&over:  1,167 / 49-30: 28 / 29&under: 2