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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 4, 1818, Congress requested that President James Monroe present Kentuckian Richard Mentor Johnson a sword in honor of his “daring and distinguished valor” at the Battle of the Thames.  Only Johnson and 13 other military officers received a sword by Congress before the American Civil War.

April 4, 1833, the town of Maysville caught fire and destroyed five businesses and one home.  The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 622

April 4, 1841, President William Henry Harrison died after 30 days in office.  President John Tyler took the oath to become the 10th U.S. President.

Monday, April 4, 1843, the 1st Tater Day began in Benton in Marshall County.  The festival started as a spring celebration where locals came together to trade goods such as guns, ‘coon hounds, tobacco, livestock, potatoes, and other Ag products.  The tradition continues with a parade, carnival rides, vendors, and flea markets the 1st week of April.  Many sources have 1842 as the 1st year.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Isaac Scott Hathaway, born in 1872.  The artist and educator created masks and busts of influential African American leaders.  He also designed the 1st two U.S. coins to feature black Americans.

April 4, 1890, the General Assembly approved a resolution “providing for the relief of the sufferers from the recent tornado that passed through Kentucky.”

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Sylvester Weaver, born in 1897.  Sylvester worked a number of jobs in Louisville while playing blues guitar and becoming a pioneer of country blues.

April 4, 1911, Lawrenceburg native James Beauchamp Clark became the 36th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Scottsville native Norris “Norro” Denton Wilson, born in 1938.  The country music singer-songwriter, producer, is a Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member.

April 4, 1949, UK retired the jerseys of Ralph Beard #12 from Louisville (Male), Wallace Jones #27 from Harlan (High), Ken Rollins #26 from Wickliffe, Alex Groza #15 and Cliff Barker #23.  

April 4, 1951, Army PFC Archie L. Reynolds from Owsley County and Army PVT Jack W. Hughes from Letcher County died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Kelso, born in 1957 on Claiborne Farm in Paris.  

April 4, 1967, Army SFC Robert T. Sickels from Richmond died in the Vietnam War.

On April 4, 1969, Warner L. Jones, president of the Thoroughbreds Breeders of Kentucky, announced the organization would gift the 30 sitting Republican U.S. governors a Kentucky-bred racehorse, a son of the 1963 Kentucky Derby Winner, Chateaugay.  Each governor received an ownership stock certificate and a copy of the Jockey Club registration papers.  The horse ran with the Governor’s Stable, Inc. silks, and all proceeds went to the Grayson Foundation.

April 4, 1969, Army SGT J. C. Jenkins from Corbin died in the Vietnam War.

April 4, 1973, Lieutenant Smith, Kentucky State Police, died from a gunshot wound he received on November 10, 1972 while arresting a murder suspect in Warren County.  The state eventually convicted the suspect.

Torrential rains from April 2-5, 1977, caused devastating flooding in Southeast Kentucky.  Record floods occurred on the Tug, Levisa Forks of the Big Sandy River, the upper Cumberland River, the Guyandotte River, the Clinch and Powell Rivers, the North Fork of the Kentucky River, and the Holston River.  As a result, the Feds declared 15 Kentucky counties disaster areas, including Bell, Breathitt, Floyd, Harlan, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Perry, Pike, and Whitley.  Ten Kentuckians died with $175 million in damages, $711 million in 2016 dollars.

April 4, 1989, Governor W. Wilkinson bought Kentucky’s 1st lottery ticket in a Louisville Thorntons gas station.

April 4, 2007, Army CPL Joseph H. Cantrell IV 23, of Ashland, died in Iraq fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

April 4, 2017, the Carroll County Sheriff resigned from office after pleading guilty to 11 charges of stealing painkillers from a cancer patient.

On April 4, 2018, several hundred people marched to the Capitol on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death to reflect on his legacy.

On April 4, 2019, the Kentucky Racing Commission reported horse facilities at Kentucky horse tracks nearly doubled in 2018.  Fatalities went from 17 in 2017 to 36 in 2018.  Since the commission began tracking deaths 13 years ago, Kentucky has not reported deaths like this.  The numbers may be higher.  Kentucky only reports track deaths and not training fatalities like California.

April 4, 2021, Chuck Norris sued Harlan County promoter, Chris Lewis.  Chuck said Chris stiffed him after he appeared at Bubba Fest, a southern fried comic con held in TN.  News about the coronavirus fell off the newspapers’ front pages.

April 4, 2022, while Frankfort lawmakers chip away at a strong Farm Pollution bill to please their corporate donors, Washington, D.C. pushed war, not peace, after they claimed Russia is bad.