TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Scott County native James Fisher Robinson, born in 1800.  James was our 22nd Governor serving the remainder of the unfinished term of Governor Beriah Magoffin.   Magoffin handpicked Governor Robinson when he was forced out of office in 1862.  Governor Robinson served for one year and two weeks.

October 4, 1862, Confederate artillery fired a salute as Southern troops escorted Confederate Governor Richard Hawes through Frankfort.  Upon reaching the Old State Capitol, Hawes’s inauguration began in the House of Representatives’ chamber.  Bragg, Hawes, and others gave speeches, but the ceremony was quickly interrupted.  Confederate colonel David Urquhart wrote that “the inaugural was being read when the booming of cannon . . . announced the near presence of the enemy.”  With Union troops approaching, Hawes “cut short his inaugural address,” and the ball planned for that evening was canceled.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native James Bennett Pritchard, born in 1909.  The Asbury College graduate was honored with the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement in 1983 from the Archaeological Institute of America.

October 4, 1919, Kentucky hosted Georgetown to open the Wildcat’s football season winning 12-0.  Kentucky would play seven more games in the season and in each game, Kentucky or their opponent would score zero points.  They ended with a 3-4-1 record, the Vandy game neither team scored.

October 4, 1922, the Kentucky Theatre opened with great fanfare and an impressive opening night production.  The opening program began with a musical overture played on the expensive Wurlitzer Unit Orchestra organ.  Next, the audience sang “My Old Kentucky Home” while lyrics were projected on the screen.  Governor Edwin P. Morrow then delivered a dedication speech and finally, the movie program started.  A short comedic parody of Valentino’s The Sheik, followed by a newsreel, and then the feature, a historical romance entitled The Eternal Flame.

On October 4, 1924, Male High’s football team was in Chicago to play Austin High School in the first football game in a brand new lakefront sports facility named Grant Park Municipal Stadium.  Male defeated Austin by a score of 26-0.  A little over a year later, the Stadium was renamed Soldier Field.

October 4, 1924, Kentucky shutout Louisville for the 6th time in the 6th Governor’s Bowl, this time 29-0.  The next shutout would be in 2004 when the Cards scored 28 points.

October 4, 1930, Coach Harry Gammage and his Kentucky Wildcats opened their season hosting Sewanee and shutting them out 37-0.  Kentucky played eight games.  In six of those games, Kentucky or their opponent would score zero points.

October 4, 1944, U.S. Marine Wesley Phelps, from Neaufus in Butler County, died heroically in WWII fighting Japanese forces.  He posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of life during the Battle of Peleliu.

October 4, 1947, see a picture of Keeneland Race Course, just before the beginning of the fall meet.  The track started racing in April 1936, 11 years before this image was taken.

October 4, 1969, see a picture of a horse getting a workout on the backside of Keeneland on the morning of the first day of the Fall Meet.  The opening day crowd of 12,020 of the 15-day meet wagered $661,968 that day.

October 4, 1974, Governor Wendell Ford used a breaking plow to turn the turf at the groundbreaking for the Kentucky State Horse Park.  The Kentucky Horse Park is Kentucky’s largest state-owned tourist attraction.  The working horse farm and an educational theme park opened in 1978.

October 4, 1989, at 11:45 a.m., Secretariat, affectionately known as “Big Red,” was given a lethal injection at Claiborne Farm in Paris.  He was 19 years of age and suffered from laminitis, a painful and usually incurable degenerative disease of the hoofs’ sensitive inner tissues.  Dr. Thomas Swerczek, a professor of veterinary science at the U.K., performed the necropsy.  “All of the horse’s vital organs were normal in size except for the heart, we were all shocked,” Swerczek said.  “I’ve seen and done thousands of autopsies on horses, and nothing I’d ever seen compared to it.  The heart of the average horse weighs about nine pounds. Secretariat’s heart was almost twice the average size, and a third larger than any equine heart I’d ever seen.  It wasn’t pathologically enlarged, all the chambers and the valves were normal, it was just larger.  I think it told us why he was able to do what he did.”

October 4, 1997, Hal Mumme, in his first season, utilized Tim Couch to complete a 26-yard touchdown pass to Craig Yeast, in overtime, in Lexington, to stun Alabama, 40-34.  This was the second time in 34 tries Kentucky beat the Tide.

October 4, 1997, the USS Higgins (DDG-76) was christened by Higgins’ widow, Robin Higgins.  The destroyer was named for Danville native USMC Colonel William R. Higgins, who was captured, tortured and murdered in 1988 by Hezbollah during a UN peacekeeping mission to Lebanon.

October 4, 2007, Kentucky filed a lawsuit in Pike County against Connecticut’s Purdue Pharma, the oxycontin maker.  Kentucky AG Greg Stumbo claimed that Purdue knew the powerful pain-killer was being abused but did nothing to stop it.  Kentucky contends that Purdue misled pharmacies, physicians, and patients about their product’s addictive and dangerous nature.  The state and nation went after the drug dealer Dr. Richard Sackler, a member of the billionaire family that founded and controls Purdue Pharma.

October 4, 2012, the Louisville Metro Government paid $8 million to Edwin Chandler for spending nine years in prison for a murder he did not commit.  Mr. Chandler’s lead council stated, “We are pleased that settlement recognizes that this was not just an innocent mistake but was the result of a very serious misconduct.”  The city had already settled a similar $4 million lawsuit in 2001. 

October 4, 2018, the KFC Yum Center! hosted their first NBA game when the 2013 NBA Champion Miami Heat faced off against the New Orleans Pelicans in a preseason contest.

October, 4, 2019, the most baseball pitches thrown in 8 hours (individual) is 2,633.  This was achieved by Matthew Graf in Louisville.  Matthew set out on this record breaking attempt to raise money through a live stream for the adoption him and his wife were pursuing.