Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
May 9, 1798, the Lexington census as reported by the town trustees consisted of males above 12: 462, females: 307, whites under 12: 346, negros: 360. The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 24
May 9, 1829, Transylvania University’s main building, situated in the middle of Gratz Park, burned to the ground in less than two hours. For decades the cause of the fire remained a mystery until former student Cassius Marcellus Clay admitted that “My black servant stuck a tallow candle to the steps when he blacked my boots, went to sleep, and the flames went up like powder.”
On May 9, 1888, Tony “Icebox” Chamberlin became the 1st and only switch pitcher to win a game in professional baseball using both hands. Icebox threw the last innings right-handed to secure a Louisville Colonels victory over Kansas City 18-6. Baseball In Louisville by Anne Jewell
Thursday, May 9, 1889, Spokane won the 15th Kentucky Derby for Noah Armstrong, trainer John Rodegap, and jockey Thomas Kiley. The mile and half in 2:34.50 earned $4,880. Spokane is the only horse foaled and trained in Montana ever to win the Derby, doing it the same year Montana became a state.
May 9, 1896, U.S. Secretary of Treasury John G. Carlisle of Kenton County gave his infamous hometown speech. The once remarkably popular political figure became so disliked due to the financial panic of 1893 that he left the stage due to a barrage of abuse and rotten eggs thrown at him. Feeling rejected, he retired from public life, sold his house in Covington, and remained in New York until his death.
On May 9, 1911, the Black Patch Tobacco War finally ended when the Supreme Court ruled in the U.S. v. American Tobacco Co. case that Duke Trust did create a monopoly and violated the 1890 Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The Duke Trust bought all the coveted black patch tobacco, which caused death and destruction to many Western Kentuckians. The violence had long ended by the court’s decision.
Monday, May 9, 1914, the favorite Old Rosebud won the 40th Kentucky Derby. Trainer Frank Weir placed John McCabe in the irons, going 2:03 3/5, to set a new track record. Seven horses started, and owner H.C. Applegate received $9,125. J. E. Madden bred the colt in Kentucky.
Kentucky Trivia: Old Rosebud rested for three years after being hurt but returned as a six-year-old. Nicknamed “The Courageous Cripple,” he won 15 of his 21 starts that season and earned the title of undisputed Horse of all Ages. It is widely considered one of the most remarkable comebacks in North American history.
Sunday, May 9, 1915, the day after Regret won the Derby, the Daily Racing Form quoted Harry Payne Whitney as saying, “I do not care if Regret never wins another race, nor if she never starts in another race, she has won the greatest race in America and I am satisfied.” Suddenly, the Kentucky Derby was on the rise again.
Friday, May 9, 1930, Gallant Fox, owned by Belair Stud, won the 55th Preakness Stakes, going the one mile and three-sixteenths in 2:00 3/5 to win 51,925. He won the 56th Kentucky Derby eight days later and the 24th Belmont three weeks after the Derby. Gallant Fox won the 2nd Triple Crown.
On Saturday, May 9, 1931, the 56th Preakness Stakes ran, and from this day forward, it will always run on Saturdays. Maryland had run it every day except Sunday. Mate won the 5th race going 1 3/16 mile in 2:00.60, and earned $48,225. For the 2nd year in a row, the Derby ran after the Preakness, this time with seven days rest. Mate finished 3rd in Kentucky.
On May 9, 1936, Bold Venture won the 61st Preakness Stakes and earned $27,325. They went to post at 5:18 p.m. and went the 1 and 3/16 miles in 1:38. He also won the Derby seven days earlier. Undefeated in his three-year-old season, and with two legs of the Triple Crown won, Bold Venture bowed a tendon and retired.
On May 9, 1955, government officials recommended postponing the anti polio-vaccination until all vaccine-making and testing was double-checked for safety. These were SOPs before corporations captured America’s governmental institutions.
At approximately 2:40 a.m. on May 9, 1961, three city detectives burst into room 314 of the Glenn Hotel in Newport, the same building as an illegal gambling casino and strip-tease joint called the Tropicana. The “mob” had given George W. Ratterman, an ex-NFL player, and soon-to-be sheriff, a roofie during a meeting the night before to discuss moving Tropicana out of Campbell County. George regained consciousness in the hotel room as police arrested him for prostitution and disturbing the peace. In Newport’s sensational trial that followed, it became apparent gambling interests worked with law enforcement to discredit Ratterman and the reform movement. As a result, the U.S. Department of Justice found six persons, police officers included, guilty of violating Ratterman’s civil rights. In November 1961, Ratterman and the other reform ticket candidates swept into office. The operators of the casinos and nightclubs left town.
May 9, 1970, Army CPT Rhonald L. Durham from Somerset, Army SGT Chester G. Hall from Robinson in Harrison County and Army SGT Richard A. Wells from West Van Lear in Johnson County, all died in the Vietnam War.
May 9, 2000, a fire destroyed 17,000 barrels of whiskey in a seven-story aging warehouse at the Wild Turkey Distillery in Anderson County. Burning whiskey flowed from the warehouse, setting the woods on fire and causing limestone deposits to explode. An estimated 20% flowed into the Kentucky River. The alcohol spill depleted the river’s oxygen, killing an estimated 228,000 fish along a 66-mile stretch. The company paid $256,000 to the state to restore the river’s fish population.
On May 9, 2018, Ashland native Gina Haskell addressed Congress to convince 50 Senators to confirm her as the 1st female and 1st career operations officer to head the C.I.A. Rand Paul vehemently opposed President Trump’s nominee. During the hearings, she promised not to torture prisoners as they did in George Bush’s administration. Two Elephants voted against Gina, and five Donkeys voted yes.
On May 9, 2020, the Justice Collective Organization organized a protest that urged Governor A. Beshear to cancel rent and mortgage payments as citizens grapple with the pandemic. U.S. unemployment hit 14.7%, the worst rate since the Great Depression. With 20.5 million people out of work, the hospitality, leisure, and healthcare industries took the greatest hits, however low-income and minority workers suffered the most.
May 9, 2022, Andy Warhol’s 1964 Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, a forty-by-forty-inch silkscreen portrait of Marilyn Monroe, sold for roughly $195 million at an auction held by Christie’s in New York City, the highest ever paid at auction for a work by an American artist, eclipsing the $110.5 million fetched by Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 Untitled in 2017.