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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On May 5, 1884, Knott County came into existence from Perry County, Breathitt County, Floyd County, and Letcher County.  Hindman is the county seat, named for James Proctor Knott, the 29th governor.  Other localities include Pippa Passes, Vicco, (part) Anco, Bath, Bearville, Betty, Breeding Creek, Carrie, Dema, (part) Elic, Elmrock, Emmalena, Fisty, Garner, Handshoe, Hollybush, Indian Grave, Irishmans, Kite, Leburn, Littcarr, Mallie, Mousie, Pine Top, Raven, Ritchie, Sassafras, Soft Shell, Spider, Talcum, Tina, Topmost, Vest, and Wiscoal.  The 118th county created, Knott County covers 352 square miles.

By David Benbennick

Tuesday, May 5, 1908, Stone Street captured his only stakes win in the 34th Kentucky Derby on a muddy track in 2:15.20, the slowest Derby for the 1 ¼ mile distance.  Owners C. E. “Bud” & John W. Hamilton, trainer John W. Hall, and jockey Arthur Pickens completed the winning connections to earn $4,850.  Arthur rests in peace in the Maysville Cemetery.

By Public Domain

May 5, 1916, Richmond native David Rowland Francis became the U.S. Ambassador to Russia for one year.

May 5, 1928, Patrolman Thomas D. McNichols, Louisville Police Department, died when his patrol car overturned at Greenwood Avenue and South Western Parkway.

May 5, 1929, Deputy Sheriff Elihu L. Simpson, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, died from an ambush in the Blackmont section of the county while en route to serve a warrant.

May 5, 1931, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, Special Deputy Daniels and Special Deputy Arthur Lee died in the “Battle of the Evarts.”  The gun battle between local striking miners and “officials” of the Black Mountain Coal Company incurred four deaths, the two mentioned above, one other “official” and one miner.  The 15-minute shootout ended when the Kentucky National Guard stepped in.

On May 5, 1934, New Jersey-bred Cavalcade won the 60th Kentucky Derby for automotive heiress Isabel Dodge Sloan’s Brookmeade Stable.  Jockey Mack Garner finally won on his 13th try.  The trainer, Robert Augustus Smith, won his 1st and only Derby, as did Mrs. Sloan.  The winning time of 2:04 earned $28,175.

On May 5, 1936, Frankfort made Kentucky’s four racetracks pay back taxes totaling several hundred thousand dollars.  Churchill paid $2,500 a day at the time, Latonia $1,000 a day, and Dade Park and the Lexington track $500.  Meanwhile, Kentucky’s top educators attended Harvey Bibb’s inauguration for Morehead State Teachers College, the school’s 3rd president.  Lexington’s WLAP radio station also changed hands on this day.

On May 5, 1954, Nashua debuted at Belmont Park, galloping away from a field of maidens to win by three lengths.

May 5, 1956, Needles came from 25 lengths out, through traffic, to win the 82nd Kentucky Derby in 2:02 3/5, the 1st Florida-bred to do so.  Owners Jack Dudley & Bonnie Heath, jockey David Erb, and trainer Hugh L. Fontaine earned $123,450 for 1st place.  

May 5, 1962, California bred Decidedly won the 88th Kentucky Derby for El Peco Ranch (George A. Pope, Jr.), jockey Bill Hartack, and trainer Horatio Luro in a blazing 2:00 2/5 that set a Derby record.  The winning connections earned $119,650.

May 5, 1966, Army SP4 Machughlen Meece from Drum in Pulaski County died in the Vietnam War.  

May 5, 1968, Army CPL Cortland E. Dennison from Cave City in Barren County, Army SSG Herman G. Goodall from Beaver Dam in Ohio County, and Marine Corps CPL Alvin C. Knight from Elizabethtown in Hardin County died in the Vietnam War.

On May 5, 1969, John Fetterman, staff writer for the Louisville Times & Courier-Journal, won Pulitzer Prize for local reporting of a general nature.  He received the award for his photo-text story of an American soldier whose body returned from Vietnam for burial in his hometown of Amburgey.

On May 5, 1973, Secretariat won the 99th Kentucky Derby in 1:59 2/5 to earn $155,050 and the track record.  Out of 22 Churchill Downs track records, Secretariat’s is the oldest.

On May 5, 1974, Lexington began its special bicentennial observance with, among other events, two horse races down Vine Street, one a thoroughbred contest and the other a Standardbred race. Lexington outlawed horse racing in public streets around 1789 out of safety concerns for the spectators.

May 5, 1979, Lexington bred Spectacular Bid won the 105th Kentucky Derby for Hawksworth Farm, trainer Bud Delp, and jockey Ron Franklin in 2:02 3/5 and earned $228,650.

On May 5, 1981, Frankfort and Lexington Police detectives arrested a Florida man in a Versailles Road hotel with one pound of cocaine worth $200,000, the largest amount of the white powder seized in the Commonwealth.

On May 5, 1986, Toyota Motor Corporation broke ground for its $800 million auto-assembly plant and announced that it would give $1 million to help upgrade public facilities in Georgetown and Scott County.  Governor Collins applauded the gift saying, “It is evidence that Kentucky has indeed gained an outstanding corporate citizen.”

May 5, 1994, the Green River Shell Middens Archeological District became a National Historic Landmark and also received admission to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  The district lies in five counties: Butler, Henderson, McLean, Muhlenberg, and Ohio Counties.

May 5, 2001, Monarchos won the 127th Kentucky Derby for John C. Oxley, John T. Ward, Jr., and Jorge Chavez.  The winning time of 1:59.97, one of the few times the race ran under two minutes, earned $812,000.  Lexington native Tom Hammond overcame a serious illness, just in time, to live his dream of broadcasting the race.  It would be NBC’s 1st telecast.

Tuesday, May 5, 2004, two men arrested by the Kentucky State Police for 800 pounds of cocaine in Henry County prepared for their arraignment the following day.  The police found the powder during a traffic stop on I-71.  Officials said it may have been the largest amount seized in the state.

May 5, 2007, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II fulfilled a long-held ambition and attended the Kentucky Derby.  On her 5th public visit to Kentucky, she witnessed Street Sense win the 133rd Kentucky Derby.  Not sure if winning owner James B. Tafel or trainer Carl Nafzger met the Queen, but Jockey Calvin Borel did two nights later at a White House dinner.  The winning time of 2:02.17 earned $2,210,000.

May 5, 2012, I’ll Have Another won the 138th Kentucky Derby.  The good luck connections of Canadian businessman J. Paul Reddam, Doug O’Neill, and jockey Mario Gutierrez won their 1st Derby together.  They won again with Nyquist.  A record crowd of 165,307 watched a winning time of 2:01.83 receive $1,459,600.

By May 5, 2013, Kentucky police had issued 976 citations for texting while driving from 2011 to 2013.  Kentucky has 3.1 million drivers.  Twenty-six counties issued zero citations.  Louisville gave 126, Lexington 68, Pulaski 45, Daviess 41, Warren and Hardin 39, and Boyd 36.  So few tickets are issued because it is hard to tell what a driver is doing.  Kentucky enacted the law in January 2011 and is one of 39 states with the ban.

On May 5, 2018, Justify started his journey to the 13th Triple Crown when he captured the 144th Kentucky Derby.  Woodford Reserve sponsored the race for the 1st time.  The owners included: WinStar Farm (Majority Owner), China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, and Starlight Racing.  Mike Smith won his 2nd Derby, and Bob Baffert his 5th.  The winning time of 2:04.20 earned $1,432,000.

On May 5, 2021, taking advantage of a new Kentucky law, more parents than average requested their child repeat the school year.  The “do-over” law helped children who struggled with virtual learning during the lockdowns.  

May 5, 2022, the FDA restricted access to Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine because of blood clotting risks they discovered weeks after the 1st dose was given in the Spring of 2021.  The single-dose would now only be available to people 18 and older.