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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On May 1, 1769, Daniel Boone, John Finley, and four others set out for the Cumberland Gap using the same route Dr. Walker had used 19 years earlier.  They were gone for two years.  The Story of Kentucky by Cherry and Stickles pg: 31

On May 1, 1775, Benjamin Logan arrived in Kentucky County, Virginia, with a survey party led by John Floyd and erected “a little town” they named St. Asaph’s.  Logan built a cabin and planted a corn crop, which he would later use as proof to claim 1,400 acres, despite returning to Eastern Virginia and not returning until March 1776 with his family.  Today Logan’s Fort resides in Lincoln County.

On May 1, 1780, Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson signed the town charter of Louisville, named in honor of King Louis XVI of France, whose soldiers aided Americans in the Revolutionary War.  Col. George Rogers Clark settled Louisville in 1778 near the rapids of the Falls of the Ohio River, a natural barrier to river travel and thus a stopping point.

May 1, 1851, one of the coldest Springs ever known in Northern Kentucky continued with temperatures from 20 to 28 degrees.  The heavy black frost killed whole fruit orchids, grapes, and many tender trees.

May 1, 1897, the Tennessee Centennial Exposition in Nashville unveiled Louisville sculptor Enid Yandell’s PALLAS ATHENA, which stood 40-feet tall, the largest statue in the world at the time, designed by a woman.

By Unknown Photographer; 1896

May 1, 1905, the Seelbach Hotel celebrated its grand opening, drawing 25,000 visitors to its five-hour public inspection, including the South’s 1st roof garden.  Over the years, celebrities and dignitaries visited, including Presidents Taft, Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, and Clinton.  Another special guest, Al Capone, left his legacy with the large mirror he sent from Chicago so that he could watch his back.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Mayfield native Bobbie Ann Mason, born in 1940.  A novelist, short story writer, essayist, and literary critic, Bobbie’s memoir became a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

May 1, 1943, Colonel Matt Winn nicknamed the 69th Kentucky Derby the “Street-Car Derby.”  He lobbied Washington hard to run the 1943 Derby despite many war restrictions.  He promised to organize a “Street-Car Derby,” banning out-of-state patrons and the locals’ automobiles to the track.  Count Fleet won with the shortest odds in Derby history at 2-5.  He would become the 6th Triple Crown winner.

On May 1, 1944, Hazard in Perry County voted “Dry” in a local option election by 876 votes.  Locals cast 4,332 votes.  The county voted wet in a similar election in 1938.

May 1, 1948, Warren Wright’s Citation won the 74th Kentucky Derby in 2:05 2/5.  Eddie Arcaro and Ben Jones completed the connections.  Calumet Farm won their 3rd Derby and 2nd Triple Crown with Citation, the 8th colt to do so.

May 1, 1953, Happy Chandler greeted and welcomed comedian Bob Hope at the Blue Grass Field in Lexington for Derby Week.

On May 1, 1954, Determine won the 80th Kentucky Derby, the 1st grey colt to wear the Roses.  Determine went in 2:03 to earn $102,050.  The owner, Mr. Crevolin, thrust the trophy up in the air, where he lost control.  The lid flew off, and the base came crashing down, landing on his foot.  Although he broke his foot and damaged the trophy, he won the Kentucky Derby.

On May 1, 1956, Governor Happy Chandler told the press he would not comment on his choice to succeed Senator Alben Barkley till after the Washington Funeral and Kentucky burial.  However, a little-known state law stated that Chandler’s political enemy Earl Clements would choose the new Senator.  So the storm began to brew.

May 1, 1965, Kentucky bred Lucky Debonair won the 91st Kentucky Derby after winning the Santa Anita Derby and Bluegrass Stakes.  The winning time of 2:01 1/5 for owner Ada L. Rice Racing Stable, trainer Frank Catrone, and jockey Willie Shoemaker won $112,000.

May 1, 1968, Marine Corps CPL David A. Jones from Ft. Thomas in Campbell County died in the Vietnam War.

May 1, 1970, Army SSG Robert L. Collett, Jr., from Ages in Harlan County, Army SP5 Lowell T. Jarboe from Clarkson in Grayson County, and Army PFC Thomas J. Kaaufman from Lexington, died in the Vietnam War.

May 1, 1971, Cañonero II, a Kentucky bred and Venezuelan champion, won the 97th Kentucky Derby with Gustavo Ávila up in 2:03 1/5.  Venezuelan owner Edgar Caibett hired Juan Arias to condition the colt.  The Keeneland graduate sold for $1,200 and won $145,500, the richest Derby to date.  Fans wagered $6,389,567 to set another Derby record.

May 1, 1972, Muhammad Ali (36-1) fought George Chuvalo (66-17-2) in Pacific Coliseum, Vancouver, British Columbia.  In his 2nd fight against the Canadian, Ali hit Chuvalo at will, but the bout still went 12 rounds.  Ali loathed hurting fighters that he could beat easily.

May 1, 1973, the 1st commercial barge traffic on the Kentucky River above Frankfort in the last ten years began.  The barges operated between the mouth of the river at Carrollton and the Boonesboro area at mile 175.5.  The Commonwealth Towing Company warned pleasure boats to be careful on all of the river’s 263 miles.

May 1, 1976, surgeon, civil rights organizer, and Murray native Theodore Roosevelt Mason Howard passed over.

May 1, 1976, Laz Barrera’s work with Bold Forbes was one of the great training jobs in Kentucky Derby history, as the Puerto Rican Rolls Royce won by a length over favored Honest Pleasure.  With his 1st Derby starter, Barrera used two-mile gallops to prepare for longer distances rather than short workouts.  The colt started his career in Puerto Rico, and the $15,200 yearling purchase also gave Puerto Rican product Angel Cordero his 2nd Derby in three years.

On May 1, 1978, Town and Country magazine claimed 200,000 millionaires lived in the U.S., the wealthiest individual being Daniel K. Ludwig, an 80-year-old extremely shy New Yorker worth $3 billion, more than the Rockefellers.  The Mellon and du Pont were the wealthiest families.

May 1, 1982, Gato Del Sol won the 108th Kentucky Derby.  Arthur B. Hancock III and Leone J. Peters co-owned and bred the colt in Paris at Stone Farm.  Jockey Eddie Delahoussaye and trainer Edwin J. Gregson completed the winning connections.  Starting from post 18 at odds of 21-1, he charged home to win by 2 1/2 lengths in 2:02.40 to win $428,850.

On May 1, 1984, the Detroit Free Press reported that Michael Jackson and his five brothers would kick off the “Victory Tour” in Rupp Arena, followed by 13 North American stops.  They never came, and the tour opened in Arrowhead Stadium in St. Louis.  The tour set the highest-grossing record when it made $75 million ($196 million in 2022).

On May 1, 1989, Chris Antley’s streak of winning a race every day ended at 64 days.  In a career that spanned from 1983 until he died in 2000, he won 3,480 races with documented purse earnings of $92,261,894.

On May 1, 1993, Virginia bred Sea Hero won the 119th Kentucky Derby.  Owner Paul Mellon, 85, one of the wealthiest men in America, had already begun dispersing his thoroughbred holdings.  Mack Miller hired Jerry Baily, who came home in 2:02.42, which earned the connections $735,900.

On May 1, 1994, one of the most grueling and divisive legislative sessions ended in failure at midnight in Frankfort.  The lawmakers came up $600 million short of balancing the budget.  They also failed to address the state’s healthcare disasters adequately.  Governor B. Jones stated he would veto then burn the budget and healthcare laws they passed.  A special session came next.

May 1, 1999, the 125th Kentucky Derby winner Charismatic came from the claiming ranks to win the Roses for D. Wayne Lukas, Chris Antley, and Robert B. & Beverly J. Lewis.  The winning time of 2:03.29 earned $886,200.  Donald Trump attended with his girlfriend, Melania Knauss.  They would marry six years later.

May 1, 2003, Frankfort native Miss Elizabeth died in the home she shared with wrestler Lex Luger.  Elizabeth Ann Hulette gained famed in her role as the manager to wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage and others.

On May 1, 2003, President George W. Bush lied again to the American public, this time to a televised audience on the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln standing in front of a banner that read “Mission Accomplished.”  Bush, who launched the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq six weeks earlier with lies, had a shoe thrown at him in December 2008.  In December 2011 a majority of troops left; however there are still boots on the ground today.

May 1, 2004, Smarty Jones, ridden by Stewart Elliott, improved his record to 7-0 when he won the 130th Kentucky Derby, making him the 1st undefeated Derby winner since Seattle Slew in 1977.  His connections cashed the largest horse racing payday in North American history, $5,854,800.  To celebrate Oaklawn Park’s 100th anniversary, the track’s owner, Charles Cella, promised a $5 million bonus to any 3-year-old who swept Oaklawn’s Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and the Kentucky Derby.

On May 1, 2009, President Obama voiced hope that the Swine Flu virus would run its course “like the ordinary flu.”  This came after 141 people tested positive in 19 states and 400 U.S. schools closed.  Central Kentucky businesses saw a mixed reaction to the swine flu fears.

May 1, 2009, Rachel Alexandra won the 135th Kentucky Oaks by 20 1⁄4-lengths, by far the largest margin in Oak’s history.  The Kentucky bred earned $336,914.

May 1, 2010, Super Saver won the 136th Kentucky Derby.  Jockey Calvin Borel captured his 3rd Derby in the last four years, while trainer Todd Pletcher picked up his 1st Derby victory in 25 tries.  The winning time of 2:04 4/5 earned $1,425,500.

May 1, 2015, Campbell Brown, 47, a 5th-generation Brown family member, began his tenure as President of the Old Forester brand.  George Garvin Brown, who started the company in 1870, still has his signature on the bottle.

On May 1, 2020, the governor reported an increase of Kentuckians remained in hospitals due to coronavirus at 334, 178 resided in intensive care, and 1,752 individuals had “recovered” from the virus.  Unfortunately, Governor A. Beshear also announced eight deaths of 248.  Meanwhile, UK announced it would reopen the campus next August, but city pools stayed closed for the summer.

On May 1, 2021, the “Transition Derby” helped the country inch toward normalcy after the coronavirus lockdowns.  The track allowed 40%-50% capacity.  They also banned Lasix for the 1st time in a Kentucky Derby.  However, this Derby is the year Bob Baffert got caught cheating.  On May 9, news broke that Medina Spirit tested positive for betamethasone.  On February 21, 2022, the Kentucky stewards officially made Mandaloun the official winner of the 147th Derby.

On May 1, 2022, The Judds and Ray Charles joined the Country Music Hall of Fame a day after Naomi died.  Meanwhile, McCracken County suspended a teacher after they created fraudulent vaccine cards so six students could go on a field trip.