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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On April 24, 1884, Kentucky established a line of stages from Maysville to Lexington, Frankfort, and Louisville; the trip was two days.  Time to Washington, D.C., six days.  On the same day, two steamboats a day, each way, made regular trips between Louisville and Cincinnati.  The Story of Kentucky by Cherry and Stickles, pg: 226

April 24, 1859, James D. Porter, the “Kentucky Giant,” passed away of a heart attack in Louisville.  A special coffin 9 feet long and 2 feet wide held Mr. Porter with the rear doors of the hearse tied shut.  The grand procession to Cave Hill Cemetery occurred on April 28.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Guthrie native Robert Penn Warren, born in 1905 in Todd County.  Robert would become a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, poet, and literary critic.

April 24, 1906, Lady Navarre won the last Tennessee Derby.

April 24, 1923, Arthur M. Miller, a geology professor at the UK came to Pine Mountain Settlement School to lead an archaeological excavation.  Known as the Indian Cliff Dwelling, a student discovered ancient bones of human skeletons located near the School’s entrance.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Harlan native Cawood Ledford, born in 1926.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Lawrence and Helen Wetherby, who wed in 1930.  The 48th governor took office in 1950.  The couple had three children.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Sue Grafton, born in 1940.  She is best known as the author of the alphabet series (“A” Is for Alibi, etc.) featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California.

April 24, 1941, the closing day of the Spring Meet, Our Boots defeated Whirlaway by six lengths in the $10,000-added Blue Grass Stakes.  Whirlaway went on to win the Derby nine days later, and then the TC.  Calumet Farm won 12 races during this 11-day season, setting a record for the Spring Meet that stood till 2013 when Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey won 25 races during 16 days of racing.

On April 24, 1942, Churchill Downs-Latonia Incorporated officially changed its name to Churchill Downs Incorporated.  The name change occurred after they sold the Latonia track and their last out-of-state holding, Lincoln Fields, in Illinois.

April 24, 1948, Hellier native Vern Bickford made his MLB debut with the Boston Braves at age 27.

April 24, 1950, as Americans read their morning news, the bolded headlines told of a nationwide walkout by phone workers set for 6:00 a.m.  Local newspapers reported 500 Kentucky phone workers would participate in Danville, Frankfort, Somerset, Bowling Green, and the larger cities.  The government stepped in and resolved the issue within 24 hours.

April 24, 1951, Army CPL Paul C. Bryant from Jefferson County, Army PVT Henry Page from Kenton County, Army PVT Jessie T. Tibbs from Warren County and Army CPL Gilbert Whitaker from Pulaski County, all died in the Korean War.

April 24, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson traveled to Inez and made a surprise visit to Tommy Fletcher’s home to declare a “War on Poverty.”  Secret Service appeared out of nowhere, got permission from Mr. Fletcher, and hours later, a small army of politicians, aides, and reporters invaded the home to watch the most powerful man in the world talk to the man who became the symbol for the poverty war.  Reporters would often find their way back to his home to update his life, and Mr. Fletcher grew tired of being that symbol over time.  He died in 2004 at age 78 and is remembered as a loving, very kind-hearted person.”

April 24, 1970, Army SP4 James R. Case from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Jeff Brohm, born in 1971, head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers.  

April 24, 1974, Sergeant William Clay Frederick, Paris Police Department, accidentally died from his own weapon when it malfunctioned.

April 24, 1979, Lexington native Derek Bryant made his MLB debut with the Oakland A’s at age 27.

April 24, 1981, Bill Shoemaker became the 1st jockey to win 8,000 races, 2,000 more than any other jockey at the time.  The win came aboard War Allied at Hollywood Park’s 1st race.

April 24, 1985, Governor Martha L. Collins called out corporations and told them to start paying their fair share of taxes, which had steadily declined over recent years.  She went on to state, “This decline needs to stop.”

April 24, 1986, two women ended their bizarre murder spree that killed five people within four hours in Lexington.  The victims were either shot, stabbed, burned, or run over by a car.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Taylor Mill native Carly Pearce, born in 1990 in Kenton County as Carly Cristyne Slusser.

April 24, 1991, Spalding University’s 19th annual Rat Derby was rocked by allegations that trainers for General Ratton, a male wearing hot pink, had used steroids to better his performance. 

April 24, 1998, H.R.H.  Princess Royal, Princess Anne of England, attended the closing day of Keeneland’s 15-day Spring Meet.  She presented the trophy for the inaugural running of the Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, Keeneland’s 1st steeplechase race—renowned British mystery writer Dick Francis also attended.  Anne’s ex and their son were across town working the Rolex Three-Day Event.

April 24, 2000, the Keeneland Foundation would be officially restructured as a non-profit organization.  The new (501) c3 status allows Keeneland to accept contributions and give donors tax breaks.  

April 24, 2009, the F.B.I. accused Karen Sypher of trying to extort $10 million from Rick Pitino in federal court.  They alleged she wanted money in exchange for her silence in a criminal case that the coach would be facing in connection with his basketball team.

April 24, 2013, Overbrook Farm euthanized the great sire Storm Cat at 30 over infirmities of old age.  At the height of his popularity, he demanded $500,000 for each cover.

April 24, 2018, Cherry Ale-8-One rolled off the Winchester production line.  The company considered other flavors for their 1st new change but decided on an idea from their customers who added a squirt of cherry syrup to the ginger soft drink.

On April 24, 2019, a former state employee and Governor Bevin supporter sued Kentucky.  The administration fired her after she helped organize a teacher protest at the state capitol.  On the same day, Bevin’s administration continued investigating Kentucky teacher sickouts, forcing Attorney General A. Beshear to take the battle to court.

April 24, 2020, Kentucky reported 322 new positives, and nine more individuals died for a total of 200 deaths.  Meanwhile, the state made it possible for all Kentuckians to vote using mail-in ballots during the primary lockdown.  The Federal Drug Administration warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Trump as a coronavirus treatment.

April 24, 2021, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, formed in 2019, finally reported that the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Humana spent the most money and time lobbying the executive branch.  The report covered fiscal year ending June 2020, covering two administrations.  To round out the top ten: Deloitte, AT&T, Kentucky Wired, Anthem, UPS, Kentucky Beverage Association, CSX, and New Venture Fund.