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
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.
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, 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.
On April 4, 2015, Kentucky lost to Wisconsin in the semi-finals of the NCAA. Kentucky reached the Final Four with a 38-0 record. No D1 team had completed an unbeaten season since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers. With a deep roster, Calipari had options, and the Wildcats overwhelmed ordinary opponents. The Cats held a 44-7 halftime lead against UCLA and prepared for their Wisconsin semi-final by watching a video of Secretariat crushing his opponents in the Belmont Stakes. After the 71-64 Badger loss, “We know we had a great season,” said UK guard Tyler Ulis. “But everybody understands that we did it for nothing.”
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.
On Saturday, April 4, 2020, 92 new + coronavirus cases brought the state total to 917. Governor A. Beshear also announced three new deaths at his daily live televised update. “At least” 40 Kentuckians had died. The governor, against some county officials’ concerns, kept hiking trails opened. However, Keeneland sat empty on what would have been Blue Grass Stakes day.
April 4, 2020, as cases continued to surge, countries kept their borders sealed. American businesses shut down (leading to massive job losses), schools closed, sporting events stopped, and college students went home. People started wearing masks and practicing “social distancing.” Meanwhile, medical frontline workers are praised while other frontlines are ignored.
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.