TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

March 11-15, 1775, settlers returned to James Harrod’s settlement and it was continuously occupied from that point on.  Many of the 50 men who came back were the same members of Harrod’s expedition the previous year.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native John Speed, born in 1812.  John grew up on Farmington, surrounded by slaves, who produce the labor-intensive cash crop of hemp.  He would acquire other businesses as well.  By his death in 1840, he had become one of Kentucky’s largest slave-owners with 54.

March 11, 1829, while drilling for salt brine in Burkesville in Cumberland County, men hit a gusher that shot “to the top of the surrounding trees.”  The gusher became one of the earliest commercial oil wells in the U.S. after the owners bottled the petroleum and sold it as medicine.

March 11, 1896, tensions in Kentucky General Assembly had reached a point where armed Democratic supporters stood outside the statehouse in an attempt to intimidate lawmakers and discourage them from entering.  The General Assembly was appointing the next U.S. Congressman, and tensions were high.  Observers were banned from the gallery, and everyone entering the statehouse was searched for weapons.

March 11, 1910, in the season closer, Central University beat State University, Lexington (UK) 51-9, in the “old” Boyle Humphrey Gymnasium. 

March 11, 1914, Frankfort unveiled William Goebel’s statue, “Kentucky’s martyred Governor.”  Ten years earlier, the General Assembly appropriated twenty thousand dollars for the monument.

March 11 Goebel
By Acdixon

March 11, 1920, Will Lockett died in the electric chair at the Frankfort State Penitentiary in Eddyville, known as “Castle on the Cumberland.”  Lockett was the confessed killer of Geneva Hardman, a ten-year-old white girl, in Lexington a month earlier.  His trial at the Fayette County courthouse, occurred five days after the crime, lasted barely thirty minutes, and the judge sentenced him to death. The WWI veteran admitted to several more murders before he died.

March 11, 1926, Deputy Jailer Joe West, Knox County Detention Center, died in the Knox County Jail as he locked prisoners in their cells for the night.  One of the inmates suddenly pulled a gun and shot Jailer West, killing him.

March 11, 1944, Paducah native Irvin Shrewsbury Cobb died in New York City.

March 11, 1950, Deputy Sheriff Bill Baker, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, died while attempting to arrest a man for being drunk in public near Hazard.  Deputy Baker and his partner were making checks of roadhouses in the area when they encountered the man coming out of one of the establishments.

March 11, 1951, Army PFC Glenn H. Gipson from McCracken County died in the Korean War.

March 11, 1967, Army PFC Harvey R. Chambers from Leitchfield in Grayson County and Army SP4 Richard B. Sams from Southgate in Campbell County, both died in the Vietnam War.

March 11, 1969, Army SGT John R. Jackson from Paintsville in Johnson County died in the Vietnam War.

March 11, 1971, My Old Kentucky Home is placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

March 11, 1971, White Hall is placed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

March 11 White Hall Mansion
By Jim Bowen

March 11, 1971, Lincoln Ridge native Whitney Young died in Lagos, Nigeria.

March 11, 1976, Patrolman Michael T. Smith, Jefferson County Police Department, died in a motorcycle accident at Minors Lane and Ireland Drive while attempting to catch up to a speeding motorist.  Another vehicle pulled out in front of his motorcycle, causing a collision.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Dan Uggla, born in 1980.

March 12, 1988, the house voted to propose a constitutional amendment allowing a state lottery.  On the same day federal regulators closed Paducah’s 1st Federal Savings and Loan.  Kentucky sold the first lottery ticket in April 1989.  

March 11, 1992, “Bless Your Heart,” is what House Speaker Don Blandford said to lobbyist Bill McBee in a hotel room in Frankfort after McBee slid him a $500 bribe.  This was one of humorous quotes caught on tape during BOPTROT.

Kentucky Trivia:  BOBTROT snarled 19 individuals in Frankfort.  This was the F.B.I.’s sting operation that targeted Business, Organization, and Professions Committees (BOP).  They also focused on laws regulating horse racing (TROT).

March 11, 1996, Highlands guard Jared Lorenzen called a play during an opening round game in the Boys’ Sweet Sixteen.  Henderson County rallied to stun Highlands, 62-60, ending Lorenzen’s high school basketball career.

March 11, 2004, Army Staff Sergeant Joe L. Dunigan, 37, of Benton in Marshall County was killed in Iraq, when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

March 11, 2015, Police Officer Burke Jevon Rhoads, Nicholasville Police Department, died in a vehicle collision at the intersection of U.S. 27 and Rogers Road, in Garrard County.

March 11, 2017, Santa Anita ran the GI $751,035 Santa Anita Handicap for four-year-olds and upward.

March 11, 2018, two booms, a cloud of dust, and the iconic Capital Plaza Tower, in Frankfort is no more.

March 11, 2020, UK announced they would switch to online classes for two weeks after spring break; UofL and Western take similar actions.  Meanwhile, the state tells Kentuckians to avoid large crowds and churches; Lexington’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade is canceled.  To date there were eight positive coronavirus cases; five in Harrison, two in Fayette, and one in Jefferson.

March 11, 2020, the NCAA announced a spectator-free tournament to stop the spread of coronavirus.  The next day they canceled the tournament altogether.

March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the $1.9 trillion relief package to defeat the coronavirus and nurse the economy back to health.  American citizens received $1,400.  The state announced 37 new deaths for a state total of 414,131.