Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
On May 8, 1798, John Bradford & Son established The Guardian of Freedom, Kentucky’s 6th newspaper, in Frankfort. Kentucky in Retrospect by Lila Jones Kington, pg 39.
On May 8, 1825, The Marquis de Lafayette’s steamboat, The Mechanic, sank in the Ohio River, causing the General to lose his property and money. Having spent the night on the banks of the Ohio, The Paragon rescued the party and took them to Louisville. Lafayette continued his American tour of all the American states, a 6,000-mile journey accomplished by stagecoach, horseback, barge, and steamboat.
On May 8, 1915, Regret won the 41st running of the Kentucky Derby, the 1st filly to do so. She generated significant publicity for the race. Churchill Downs president Matt Winn observed that because of Regret’s win, the Derby became an American institution. Owner Harry Payne Whitney bred the filly in New Jersey and won his 1st Derby of two; he entered 19 horses throughout his life. Trainer James G. Rowe Sr. and jockey Joe Notter helped the filly run in 2:05.40 which earned $11,450.
May 8, 1920, Paul Jones won the 46th Kentucky Derby for owner Ral Parr, jockey Ted Rice, and trainer William M. Garth in 2:09 and won $30,375. John Madden bred the colt. Man o’ War did not run. Owner Sam Riddle did not like racing in Kentucky, nor did he think three-year-olds were ready to go 10 furlongs as early as May. He would change his mind by the time War Admiral came around. Man o’ War stayed in the east and prepared for the Preakness. Harry Payne Whitney’s Upset comes in 2nd by a nose to Paul Jones and a length and a half to Man o’ War in Maryland.
On May 8, 1928, Sheriff Arthur J. Brookshire, Estill County Sheriff’s Department, died by bootleggers during an investigation. He and the Irvine Police Chief had stopped a couple on horseback, and the sheriff asked to search the wife’s saddlebags. The husband refused without a warrant so the Chief returned to town to obtain a one. When they returned, they found Sheriff Brookshire dead from a gunshot.
On May 8, 1929, locals reported a street fight between employees of the Louisville Herald-Post and the Louisville Courier-Journal on two different downtown blocks. Although the punches stopped before the police arrived and they saw bloody faces, nothing occurred in their presence to justify arrests.
May 8, 1937, War Admiral won the 63rd Kentucky Derby for Samuel D. Riddle’s Glen Riddle Farm and trainer George Conway. The jockey, Charles Kurtsinger, won his 2nd derby. The son of Man o’ War went in 2:03 1/5 and earned $52,050. He later became the 4th Triple Crown winner. The record crowd saw the 1st woman to saddle a Derby starter; Mary Hirsch owned and trained No Sir.
On May 8, 1940, while 150 Harlan miners refused to work due to safety concerns, John Daniel resigned as chief mine inspector and director of the State Department of Mines and Minerals. The Union was not aware of the strike when asked for comment.
On May 8, 1967, UK President John W. Oswald spoke to 2,300 graduates who received degrees at the university’s commencement ceremonies in Memorial Coliseum. In 2023, 5,811 graduates received degrees in May.
On May 8, 1968, a white Louisville police officer, Michael Clifford, pulled over Black schoolteacher Charles Thomas, who was friends with Manfred Reid, a real estate broker. Seeing his friend harassed, Reid confronted the police, who then beat and arrested both men. Officials suspended the officer for brutality, but a Civil Service Board reinstated him weeks later.
May 8, 1986, Conley-Greene Rockshelter (15EL4) in Lytten, Elliott County, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Excavations at the site suggest a single or limited occupation during the Early Woodland sometime between 569 to 624 B.C.
On May 8, 2017, a federal report claimed eight Eastern Kentucky counties had the biggest decline in life expectancy in America between 1980 and 2104. Owsley County saw the most significant drop in the nation at 2.3 years or 2.3%. Lee, Leslie, Breathitt, Clay, Powell, Estill, and Perry followed.
On May 8, 2018, Washington lawmakers from both sides of the aisle came together and accused pharmaceutical companies of ignoring suspicious activity resulting in opioid pills flooding Appalachian streets.
On May 8, 2020, UK canceled its planned spring commencement day due to the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, publicly traded ARC Coal Company received $2.7 million from a government pandemic relief program. ARC months earlier refused to pay their miners and only did so after men blocked the trains from hauling their coal to market.
May 8, 2021, the state announced the Workers’ Comp Fund paid more than $860,000 to dead people. The story behind the incompetence was disconcerting. Meanwhile, communities began to reopen slowly to prepare for outdoor summer activities.
On May 8, 2019, First Lady Jill Biden visited with Ukraine’s First Lady for a Mother’s Day meeting to support the proxy war over gas pipelines. She traveled under the cloak of secrecy and became the latest high-profile American to enter the worn-torn nation during the 10-month-old war with its neighbor, Russia. The pro-war propaganda by celebrity forces was and is unprecedented in American history.