Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
April 1, 1775, Daniel Boone and his axmen arrived in the area near present-day Fort Boonesborough. They made a preliminary campsite at Sycamore Hollow, near the Kentucky River shore. When Richard Henderson came several weeks later, the early settlers decided to move to higher ground due to Native American concerns.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Munfordville native Simon Bolivar Buckner, born in 1823. The 30th governor fought in the Mexican-American War and Civil War as a Confederate. He spent much of his term trying to curb violence in Eastern Kentucky.
On April 1, 1854, the famous Metairie Course hosted “The Great State Post Stakes.” The day’s races pitted states against each other; however, it became a rivalry between Louisiana’s Lecomte and Kentucky’s Lexington. U.S. President Millard Filmore stated, “There is no way I would miss this great sporting event.” A match race in those days tested speed and endurance in four-mile heats; the winner had the best time in the three runnings. On this day, on a muddy track, horsemen considered Lexington’s win an anomaly. Lecomte’s connections demanded a rematch and America watched it two weeks later.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge, born in 1866. The lawyer, educator, social scientist, and civil rights activist earned many firsts. The 1st to receive a Ph.D. in political science and economics. The 1st woman to pass the Kentucky bar. In 1933, President F. D. Roosevelt sent her as a delegate to the 7th Pan-American Conference in Uruguay, making her the 1st woman to represent the U.S. government at an international conference.
April 1, 1872, the Newport Southbank Bridge, known as The Purple People Bridge, opened to become the 1st railroad bridge that spanned the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Today, the bridge is a tourist attraction and an instrumental pedestrian link between the two states.
Tuesday, April 1, 1890, 2,000 people attended opening day at Benning Racetrack, Washington, D.C. John Madden, the Wizard of the Turf, loved the track and brought as many as 36 horses at a time. Congressmen frequented the track often. However, a Tennessee member carried a bill through Congress to prohibit racetrack gambling in the nation’s capital. A Kentucky congressman lectured Sims on moral reforms, “Your innocent little amendment to a road bill destroyed the Benning.” The anti-racing sentiment started in N.Y. and spread across the U.S. Other tracks reopened once the laws lightened, but Benning never did, they closed in 1908. The grandstand burned down in 1915.
Monday, April 1, 1901, Corporal Fred J. Richterkessing, Louisville Police Department, died by a subordinate officer whom he wrote up several times for not being at his post. The murderer received life in prison.
April 1, 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed Spring Station native Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn as Military Governor of the Panama Zone Canal. Blackburn had served as a U.S. Senator for Kentucky. Spring Station is located in Woodford County.
April 1, 1924, Patrolman Ralph L. Croxton, Louisville Police Department, died when a man he had arrested previously killed him. The suspect confronted Patrolman Croxton near a soft drink stand, a heated argument ensued, and the suspect pulled a pistol.
April 1, 1925, William Henderson assured Bell County locals that he had deeded 40 acres of land for a settlement school near Chenoa. Henderson declared his desire for the school and would donate the whole farm to make it happen.
April 1, 1929, the state purchased the Clay’s Ferry Bridge, for $200,000, between Fayette and Madison Counties over the Kentucky River and closed the tolls. Construction crews built the original toll bridge in 1869 for the Richmond & Lexington Turnpike.
April 1, 1941, UK elected Dr. Herman Lee Donavon as its president to replace Dr. Thomas Poe Cooper. Dr. Donavon left as president of Eastern State Teacher College of Richmond after serving 13 years. He retired from UK in 1956.
The April 1, 1950, edition of the Lexington Leader’s TOP HEADLINE, “Flying Saucer and Crew From Saturn Reported Seen on Fayette County Farm.” According to the paper, locals reported seeing men and women from Saturn for a brief visit in their flying saucer, which the newspaper had a picture of.
The April 1, 1952, edition of the Lexington Leader’s TOP HEADLINE, “Huge Fish Washes Ashore at Boone’s Beach on Kentucky River.” The 73-foot fish weighed two tons. The picture of the he catfish dwarfed the humans standing next to it. According to the article, two men from Keene’s Creek in Woodford County discovered the dinosaur.
April 1, 1972, Muhammad Ali (35-1) fought Mac Foster (28-1) in Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, in the 1st major prizefight held in Asia. Ali weighed 226 lbs., one pound under his heaviest to date and disappointingly won the 15-rounder. Many doubted he would find the form needed to regain the title.
Monday, April 1, 1985, Lexington’s Rupp Arena hosted a packed house for the NCAA tournament’s final game, becoming the smallest city to do so since its inception in 1939. Villanova’s historic upset of Georgetown, 66-64, remains one of college basketball’s most memorable and compelling moments.
April 1, 1996, Tony Delk tied a championship game record by making seven 3-pointers to help Kentucky win its 6th NCAA Championship before a Meadowlands capacity crowd of 19,229. Delk received the Final Four MVP as one of The Untouchables, a name given by Coach Pitino. Kentucky strung together 25 consecutive wins, including a 16-0 mark in SEC play, to give Rick his only title. The win also gave the Cats their 1st title in 18 years.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008, Constable Joe E. Howard, Sr., Harlan County Constable’s Office, suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after restraining and arresting a suspect wanted on an outstanding warrant.
On April 1, 2020, Governor A. Beshear reported 93 new cases and two deaths from coronavirus for totals of 687 and 20, respectively. As Kentucky small businesses shut down, workers struggled to pay bills. The California governor went live to say there was no need to wear masks, so do not take them from 1st responders. But, two days later, it would all change when the Surgeon General issued mask guidelines.
On April 1, 2021, the General Assembly needed to spend $2.4 billion received from the three federal government coronavirus stimulus checks; legislators only allocated $1.3 billion to date. The day before, President J. Biden declared 44 counties emergency disaster areas from landslides, mudslides, and ice storms that swept across the Commonwealth in mid-February.
April 1, 2022, some Woodford County locals opposed a potential new distillery complex built from the remains of a historic defunct mill. John Faust, who bought 120 acres to rebuild the distillery, stated it was the 1st time the land transferred outside the original owner’s family since Robert Guyn arrived in the 1780s.