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On June 4/5, 1775, eight hunters/explorers from Harrod’s Fort came to Central Kentucky to establish a settlement north of the Kentucky River. They camped at a large spring, later known as McConnell’s Spring, located on today’s Manchester Street, downtown Lexington. The camp had received word that America had won the first battle of the American Revolution, fought near Lexington, Massachusetts. Hence, they decided to name the place they were camping and the settlement they were planning, “Lexington.” William McConnell built a small cabin, but due to Native Americans’ threats, the party returned to the safety of Fort Harrod.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 15
June 4, 1792, was a special day for Kentucky. On this day, Lexington hosted Kentucky’s first legislative session on the second floor of the Market House on Main Street. The inauguration of Isaac Shelby, a Democratic-Republican, took place creating Kentucky’s first Governor. The session continued until June 29.
History of Lexington, KY by George W. Ranck
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Boone County native Margaret Garner, born a slave in 1834. Margaret Garner’s story of her willingness to kill her child to prevent her from returning to a life in bondage received national attention. A growing number of people began to view slavery as an inhumane institution by the late 1850s. The story of Margaret Garner was the basis of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved.
June 4, 1888, Arabella Clement Gunn became the first woman graduate of the University of Kentucky, named State College of Kentucky at the time. President James K. Patterson asked, “I suppose you will not want to sit up on the platform with the young men on Commencement Day, will you Miss Gunn?” Her reply was brief, “I’ve been through four years in classes with them, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t sit on the platform with them now.”
On June 24, 1923, Frank Hayes won a steeplechase race despite suffering a fatal heart attack during his race at Belmont Park. Hayes died somewhere in the latter part of the race, but his body remained in the saddle. It was his first win as a jockey.
On June 4, 1948, William Worthington died. Mr. Worthington’s land in McLean County, comprised of approximately eight square miles, gained a nickname, “the Island.” When the Green River and other bodies of water nearby overflowed, the land became surrounded by water, like an island.
June 4, 1966, Amberoid wins the 98th Belmont Stakes going in 2:29 3/5 to win $117,700. Hall of Fame jockey William Boland wins his second and last Belmont, while Hall of Fame trainer Lucien Laurin wins his first of three.
June 4, 1975, Trooper John Wayne Hutchinson, Kentucky State Police, was shot and killed while arresting a suspect in McCreary County. Before he died, Trooper Hutchinson was able to return fire, killing the suspect.
June 4, 1983, Susan Zabenco, chief scorekeeper works on the massive Rolex Three Day Event scoreboard. The first Three Day Event was held at the Kentucky Horse Park in 1978 and has been held there each year since.
June 4, 1991, state officials, local politicians, and prominent Kentuckians gathered in the Hardin County wilderness for a ceremony of nature watching and short speeches. The National Audubon Society handed over the 700-acre Vernon-Douglas State Nature Preserve to the state to ensure it stays the same way Daniel Boone enjoyed it.
June 4, 2000, Fusaichi Pegasus withdrew from the $1 million Belmont Stakes due to a minor foot injury. For the first time in 30 years, neither the Derby nor Preakness winner ran in the third leg of the Triple Crown.
June 4, 2003, a federal jury decided that Yum! Brands stole the idea of the feisty talking Chihuahua and ordered them to pay two Michigan men $32.1 million. Yum! Brands had just bought Taco Bell a year earlier.
June 4, 2010, Michael VonAllmen’s nearly 30-year nightmare ended after a judge threw out his 1981 rape conviction in a Louisville courtroom. He spent 11 years in prison and paroled in 1994. The mug shots of the guilty man and Michael were uncanny.
June 4, 2020, Attorney General Daniel Cameron told state lawmakers, “Governor A. Beshear’s “unprecedented” use of executive authority during the coronavirus emergency should be checked by the legislature.” The Governor declared an emergency on March 6 with no end date.