TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Thank You For Visiting

On October 2, 1854, John LaRue Helm became the second President of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, 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, accept company stock as payment, and sold stock subscriptions to people in the same area.  He was the 18th Governor from 1850-1851 and the 24th Governor in 1867. 

October 2, 1861, former U.S. V.P. John C. Breckinridge flees Kentucky.  After his loss in the presidential election of 1860, 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, 1901, Jimbo Fields was lynched in Shelby County for murder.  There were 135 recorded lynchings in Kentucky from 1882 thru 1921.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Joseph Nathaniel Kendall, born in Owensboro, in 1909.  Joe was a football player nicknamed “Tarzan” for his athletic prowess.  He dominated black college football in the 1930s while leading 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 a short span of four years.  The opening of Laurel marked the beginning of the golden years of Maryland racing.

October 2, 1920, the Wildcats open the season with a shutout of Rhodes 62-0.  It was head coach William Juneau’s first game.  The Wildcats would go onto a 3-4-1 record and 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, was shot and killed by a prisoner he had arrested for disorderly conduct.  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, Blanton Collier in his first year as UK’s head coach beats LSU 7-6, in the third game of the season.  Blanton coached for eight years.

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

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

Oct Johnston Jacobs House Scott
By Sydney Poore

October 2, 1976, Forego beats Honest Pleasure in 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 celebrates 125 years with an all-day celebration. 

October 2, 1980, Muhammad Ali, 38, (56-4) fights Larry Holmes (35-0) in Caesars Palace, Las Vegas.  Holmes was a former Ali sparring partner and came in as an undefeated champion. The Mayo Clinic found that Ali had “mild ataxic dysarthria,” a problem using the muscles required to coordinate speaking, and that he had trouble even conducting a basic finger-to-nose coordination test.  Ali was beaten for 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 stops after ten rounds, marking the only time in his career that Ali lost by anything other than a decision. The battle was estimated to have been watched by a record two billion viewers.

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.  It was called “the eighth wonder of the world” by The New York Times.  The second-largest earth removal project in U.S. history took four phases spanning 14 years and cost approximately $80 million.

October 2, 2003, Tina Conner pleads 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 first time.  It was also his first 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 just 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 continuing traditions such as the bean supper theater, sorghum-making, a silent auction and living history skits.