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Kentucky Trivia

I am firm in my belief that a teacher lives on and on through his students.  Good teaching is forever and the and the teacher is immortal.  Jesse Stuart

October 14, 1803, Meriwether Lewis arrived at Clarksville, across the Ohio River from present-day Louisville, to meet up with William Clark.  Clark’s African-American slave York and nine men from Kentucky are added to the party.  This date is considered the start of their exploration west.

October 14, 1816, George Madison, Kentucky’s 6th governor, became the 1st Kentucky governor to die in office, 39 days after taking the oath.  In ill health, Kentuckians overwhelmingly elected him in part due to his distinctive service in three wars.  Madison traveled to Blue Lick Springs, at the time in Bourbon County, for his health soon after the election, but became too weak to return to Frankfort for the inauguration.  Madison took the oath of office on September 5, at the springs, where he also passed, forty days later.

October 14, 1816, Gabriel Slaughter became the 7th Kentucky governor and the 1st to ascend to that office upon the death of the sitting governor.

On October 14, 1922, Kentucky hosted Louisville for the 5th time and won 73 to 0.  The series stood at 5-0, all wins being shutouts.  Coached by William Juneau, Kentucky would end the season with a 6-3 record.

October 14, 1934, E.P. Dutton & Co. published Jesse Stuart’s rambling and powerful collection of 703 sonnets called Man With a Bull-Tongue Plow.  Today, the Jesse Stuart Foundation publishes his books.

On October 14, 1939, Constable Thomas Walton Centers, Breathitt County Constable’s Office, died from a gunshot while keeping the peace during an argument between two men playing cards in Clayhole.

October 14, 1941, Mrs. James B. Haggin of Versailles donated a Matthew H. Jouett portrait of Dr. Benjamin Wilson Dudley, a member of the medical facility of Old Transylvania College, for 33 years.  She presented the painting in a formal ceremony in Morrison Hall.

October 14, 1951, Army PFC Anthony Combs from Clark County, Army PFC James D. Gardner from Fleming County, Army CPL Johnson S. Harris from Boyd County and Army SFC Virlen E. Kelly from Pike County, all died fighting in the Korean War.

October 14, 1952, Army CPL Ray Church, Jr. from Knott County, Army PVT John L. Dillon from Campbell County, Army PFC James E. Fain from Hopkins County, Army PFC Henry E. Gibson from Floyd County Army CPL Marvin Williams from Knox County and Army 2LT Stuart M. Blazer from Monroe County, all died fighting in the Korean War.

October 14, 1962, President Kennedy greeted crowds outside St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Louisville, where he attended Sunday Mass.  He was in Louisville campaigning for the presidency and had spoken at the State Fairgrounds the day before.

October 14, 1966, Marine Corps LCPL, James C. Dobson from Shively died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 14, 1967, the Kentucky Colonels played their 1st game in the ABA, losing to the Indiana Pacers 95-117 on the road.  McHenry native John Givins coached the Colonels.  The starting lineup included Darel Carrier, Randolph Mahaffey, Cotton Nash, Goose Ligon, and Kendall Rhine.

October 14, 1968, Marine Corps LCPL, John R. Parsons from Combs in Perry County died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 14, 1975, two men accused of a kidnapping tried to use UK running back Sonny Collins as an alibi.  Collins told the police he saw the men, but it wasn’t till 1:00 a.m., which didn’t support their defense.  One of the kidnappers was an All-American on UK’s 1974 team, and the other a team manager.

October 14, 1978, the Jockey Club Gold Cup had six entries that included Seattle Slew, Affirmed, and Exceller.  

October 14, 1982, one of Kentucky’s largest auctions ever held took place when Villa Blanca horse farm went on the block to settle its $8.7 million debt.  The 262-acre Georgetown farm came with 40 thoroughbreds, 11 miles of wood fence, five miles of blacktop roads, an 8,000-square-foot house, an indoor pool, a manager’s house, four barns, a 10-acre lake, and a half-mile track.  A Venezuelan Corporation lost the farm and a pair of Venezuelans bought it for $3.6 million.

October 14, 1989, Patrolwoman Regina Woodward Nickles, Harrodsburg Police Department died while investigating a suspicious person in the parking lot of an automotive store.  She and her partner were approaching the suspect when he turned and fired.

On October 14, 1993, Kentucky prosecuted Bill Collins after a seven-week trial and sentenced him to five years and three months in federal prison, the low end of federal sentencing guidelines.  He and his wife left the governor’s mansion six years earlier.  Prosecutors alleged he exploited people who did business with the state to invest nearly $2 million with him.

October 14, 2003, began the 200th anniversary celebration in downtown Louisville, marking the beginning of the Lewis & Clark expedition.  Part of the activities included the statue unveiling of William Clark’s slave York.  Ed Hamilton, who lived in Louisville, sculpted York from bronze.

October 14, 2003, Governor Edward Thompson Breathitt Jr. died at age 78 in Lexington.  Four days earlier, he had collapsed while making a speech at the Lexington Community College.  During his term as governor, Breathitt chaired UK’s Board of Trustees, placed the state’s community colleges under the university’s governance, achieved university status at four state colleges, and established KET and Kentucky’s vocational education system.

On October 14, 2007, the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention reported that Americans were dying less from cancer due to anti-smoking efforts, early detection, and better treatment.  The report claimed that Kentucky has the highest cancer death rates in the U.S.

October 14, 2011, President Obama decided to drop his most crucial aspect of Obamacare, the long-term care insurance plan.  Many experts claimed at this point it became a money grab for big pharma and health insurance companies.

On October 14, 2013, The Washington Post reported that the NSA collected over 250 million email inbox views and contact lists yearly from online services like Yahoo, Gmail, and Facebook.  The documents provided by Eric Snowden showed the agency collected the data in bulk from massive fiber optic cables that carry most of the world’s telephone and Internet traffic.

On October 14, 2014, the Belle of Louisville’s 100th Anniversary celebration began.  The multi-day festivities enjoyed a $1 million budget.  It was the largest gathering of riverboats since 2006 along Louisville’s shorelines, and approximately 300,000 people gathered.  The Belle of Louisville is the oldest authentic river steamboat in the U.S. and the 2nd oldest in the world.  On October 18, 1914, the steamboat launched under the name Idlewood.

October 14, 2017, a Kentucky bred won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup GI by half a length to take home $300,000.

On October 14, 2019, Kentucky announced it expected to pay $272 million over two years to support Governor M. Bevin’s changes to Medicaid, roughly twice that of four other states overhauling their Medicaid program.  Ironically, “Small Government” Bevin wanted to pay for an enormous and unnecessary bureaucracy to track peoples’ work credits.

On October 14, 2020, it became public that Congressman Hal Rogers, another politician in office way too long, spent nearly $1 million from his political funds despite being a lock for re-election.  He paid $3,000 a month for his wife’s salary which included “event planning, trips, and other extravagant treats.”

Kentucky Trivia:  Hal Rogers sits on one of the most influential committees in Congress, the House Appropriations.  He doles out federal defense and homeland security funds to his donors, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and other billion-dollar defense contractors.  He successfully handed out so much free money to his district that they named a road for him, and he let them do it.

On October 14, 2021, a panel of outside advisors to the FDA unanimously recommended a half-dose booster shot for the young and old with health problems who received the Moderna vaccine six months prior.  The panel earlier recommended the same experimental booster dose for people who received the Phizer jab.  Meanwhile, a scab for the Heaven Hill Distillery flipped his truck over while rudely gesturing to striking workers as they picketed the Bardstown facility.

October 14, 2022, in another example of corporate dominance over the American people, Kroger announced they would buy Albertsons for $25 billion upon regulatory approval.  The two companies have 710,000 workers, many of whom barely earn a living wage, with stores reaching 85 million households.  Kroger has 104 grocery stores across 54 cities in Kentucky.