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Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Simon Kenton, born in 1755.  Simon’s friends included Daniel Boone, Simon Girty, Spencer Records, Thomas S. Hinde, and Isaac Shelby.  He served in the U.S. Revolution, the Northwest Indian War, and the War of 1812.  In 1778, the Shawnee people adopted him.

April 3, 1792, Kentucky’s Constitutional Convention opened in Danville to write the 1st draft, with representatives attending from the nine counties.

April 3, 1798, eight men declared their intention to establish the Jefferson Seminary in Louisville and called upon their fellow citizens to join them in pledging funds for land, buildings, and teachers.  This event marked the beginning of an advanced education level for the young people of a frontier settlement barely two decades old.  Today that institution is the University of Louisville.

April 3, 1878, The New York Times published a small piece on a upcoming race:  Col. M. Lewis Clark, Jr., President of the Louisville Jockey Club, perfected arrangements by which Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarthy to run four-mile heats at Louisville, July 4 next, for the sum of $10,000.  Two or three other races will be given at the same time.  The owner of Mollie McCarthy thinks she can beat any horse in the country.  The mare will be brought from California to Louisville in Budd Doble’s car, which has been chartered for the round trip, and will probably arrive here about the 1st of May to prepare for the contest.  Ten Broeck was never in better condition than at present.

April 3, 1882, lawmen shot Jesse James in the back in St. Joseph, MO.  Bob Ford, a gang member, killed him to collect a $10,000 reward offered by the Missouri governor.  Jesse died at 34 after living a lawless career for 16 years.  Jesse’s parents were Kentuckians; his father hailed from Adairville in Logan County and his mother from Woodford County.

April 3, 1886, Kentucky created Carlisle County from Hickman County and named it in honor o John G. Carlisle, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The county seat is Bardwell.  Other localities include Arlington, Cunningham, Geveden, Milburn, and Mississippi.  The 119th county was the last county created in the 19th century, covering 199 square miles.

By David Benbennick

April 3, 1924, Owensboro native Beulah May Annan shot her lover Harry Kalstedt in his back in their bedroom.  Her story inspired Maurine Dallas Watkins’s play Chicago in 1926.

April 3, 1949, Patrolman Chester W. Korfhage, Jefferson County Police Department, died in an automobile accident while on patrol.

April 3, 1950, Kentucky’s once-mighty American Turf Association ended as stockholders voted to dissolve the association.  Association shareholders exchanged their shares on a one-for-one basis for Churchill Downs Incorporated stock.

April 3, 1952, Army CPL Wilburn Helton from Bell County and Army PFC Louis A. Pennington from Elliott County, died in the Korean War.

April 3, 1954, more than 15,000 braved chilly weather around the Jefferson Memorial to view Washington’s Cherry Blossom festival pageant.  Chief Justice Earl Warren crowned Kentuckian Frances May Fischer, 17, Cherry Blossom Queen.

On April 3, 1967, an air taxi plane crashed at the Lexington Airport, killing the pilot and all eight passengers.  The investigation found the aircraft was overloaded and tail-heavy.

April 3, 1968, Army PFC James Miracle Jr. from Pineville in Bell County died in the Vietnam War.

April 3, 1970, Army CW2 Willard L. Clemons and Navy FN Joseph D. Johns, both from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

April 3, 1974, at 3:25 p.m., a rare F5 Tornado touched down in Brandenburg.  Before the day ended, 30 mostly F4 tornadoes touched down in the Commonwealth.  Over sixty-three Kentuckians died from the 1974 Super Outbreak; the 2nd largest tornado outbreak on record for a single 24-hour period, just behind the 2011 Super Outbreak.  This tornado hit Louisville’s Exposition Center for $2 million in damages.

April 3, 1980, Patrolman Christopher M. Dunn, Jefferson County Police Department, died after he and another officer took a man into custody outside a Lyndon Food Mart.  A 15-year-old female companion of the man took a revolver from the man’s truck and shot Patrolman Dunn in the back.

April 3, 1982, Depoy native Warren Mercer Oates passed over.  His acting resume included The Wild Bunch (1969), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), as officer Sam Wood in In the Heat of the Night (1967).  Some of his films achieved cult status, such as The Hired Hand (1971), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), and Race with the Devil (1975).  Oates also portrayed John Dillinger in the biopic Dillinger (1973).

April 3, 1993, Kentucky faced Michigan in the NCAA semifinals, marking UK’s 10th Final Four appearance.  An 81-78 overtime loss ended Kentucky’s season at 30-4 and marked All-American Jamal Mashburn’s last game in UK blue.

April 3, 1997, the Greenup County basketball coach lost his job after taking his team to Hooters after their Sweet 16 basketball game in Lexington.  He had coached at the high school for 17 years.

April 3, 2002, the Geological Society of America, in Lexington, announced that Daniel Phelps found an extremely rare 300 million-year-old lizard track in Perry County, the 1st find of its type in the region and the 2nd find in Kentucky.

April 3, 2005, Army SGT James A. Sherrill, 27, of Ekron, died in Iraq fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On April 3, 2006, Churchill Downs CEO Tom Meeker threatened to move their headquarters out of state.  He dropped the warning during a luncheon meeting because he was frustrated with the Kentucky legislature’s attitude about extended gambling.

April 3, 2008, Rupp Arena opens its doors for the Bill Keightley Memorial. 

April 3, 2009, Keeneland opened its 15-day Spring Meet and also opened the restored Keene Place to the public.  Built in 1805 by the Keene family, the mansion sits on a portion of land that was once part of Keeneland Stud Farm.  One of the oldest homes in Central Kentucky, Keene Place has been a prominent Lexington fixture.  In 1825, the mansion welcomed the Marquis de Lafayette of France, for whom Fayette County is named and who served as an American General in the Revolutionary War alongside his close friend, Gen. George Washington.  Keeneland purchased the home and its 15 surrounding acres in 2003, and undertook, in partnership with the Center for Historic Architecture and Preservation, an extensive restoration, with the goal to protect the mansion and its historical integrity.  Keene Place is available to the public for meetings, receptions, and special events.

April 3, 2011, a Kentucky bred won Gulfstream’s GI $900,000 Florida Derby by a head.

April 3, 2011, a Kentucky bred won Gulfstream’s GI $900,000 Florida Derby by a head.  The winner ran three more times, including 8th place in the Derby.

April 3, 2012, Kentucky’s basketball team returned home to its adoring fans a day after defeating Kansas 67-59 to win the school’s 8th NCAA championship.

On April 3, 2021, a Kentucky bred horse won the GII $800,000 Blue Grass Stakes.  The 50-cent Pick-3 paid $4.75.  Essential Quality won his fifth race in a row.  In the Derby, he finished third.