TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Simon Kenton, born in 1755.  Simon’s friends included Daniel Boone, Simon Girty, Spencer Records, Thomas S. Hinde, and Isaac Shelby.  He served in the U.S. Revolution, the Northwest Indian War, and the War of 1812.  In 1778 he was adopted by the Shawnee people.

April 3, 1798, eight men declared their intention to establish the Jefferson Seminary in Louisville and called upon their fellow citizens to join them in pledging funds for land, buildings, and teachers.  This event marked the beginning of an advanced education level for the young people of a frontier settlement barely two decades old.  Today the institution is known as The University of Louisville.

April 3, 1878, The New York Times published a small piece on a upcoming race:

“Col. M. Lewis Clark, Jr., President of the Louisville Jockey Club, has perfected arrangements by which Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarthy are to run four-mile heats at Louisville, July 4 next, for the sum of $10,000.  Two or three other races will be given at the same time.  The owner of Mollie McCarthy thinks she can beat any horse in the country.  The mare will be brought from California to Louisville in Budd Doble’s car, which has been chartered for the round trip, and will probably arrive here about the first of May to prepare for the contest. 
Ten Broeck was never in better condition than at present.

April 3, 1886, Carlisle County was created from Hickman County and was named in honor of John G. Carlisle, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.  The county seat is Bardwell.  Other localities include: Arlington, Cunningham, Geveden, Milburn, and Mississippi.  Carlisle County was the 119th county created in Kentucky, the last county created in the 19th century.  The county covers 199 square miles.

1280px Map of Kentucky highlighting Carlisle County.svg
By David Benbennick

April 3, 1924, Owensboro native Beulah May Annan shot her lover Harry Kalstedt in his back in their bedroom.  Her story inspired Maurine Dallas Watkins’s play Chicago in 1926.

April 3, 1949, Patrolman Chester W. Korfhage, Jefferson County Police Department, was killed in an automobile accident while on patrol.

April 3, 1950, Kentucky’s once-mighty American Turf Association came to an end as stockholders voted to dissolve the association.  Shareholders of the association exchanged their shares on a one for one basis for Churchill Downs Incorporated stock.

April 3, 1952, Army CPL Wilburn Helton from Bell County and Army PFC Louis A. Pennington from Elliott County, died in the Korean War.

April 3, 1954, more than 15,000 braved chilly weather and wrapped around the Jefferson Memorial to view Washington’s Cherry Blossom festival pageant.  Kentuckian Frances May Fischer, 17, was crowned Cherry Blossom Queen by Chief Justice Earl Warren.

On April 3, 1967, an air taxi plane crashed at the Lexington Airport, killing the pilot and all eight passengers.  Officials later claimed the aircraft was overloaded and tail-heavy.

April 3, 1968, Army PFC James Miracle Jr. from Pineville in Bell County died in the Vietnam War.

April 3, 1970, Army CW2 Willard L. Clemons and Navy FN Joseph D. Johns, both from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

April 3, 1974, 3:25 p.m., a rare F5 Tornado touched down in Brandenburg.  Before the day ended, 30 mostly F4 tornadoes touched down in the Commonwealth.  Over sixty-three Kentuckians died from these tornadoes.  The 1974 Super Outbreak was the second-largest tornado outbreak on record for a single 24-hour period, just behind the 2011 Super Outbreak. 

April 3, 1980, Patrolman Christopher M. Dunn, Jefferson County Police Department, died after he and another officer took a man into custody outside a Lyndon Food Mart.  A 15-year-old female companion of the man took a revolver from the man’s truck and shot Patrolman Dunn in the back.

April 3, 1982, Depoy native Warren Mercer Oates died.  Warren was best known for several films including The Wild Bunch (1969), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974), as officer Sam Wood in In the Heat of the Night (1967).  Some of his films achieved cult status, such as The Hired Hand (1971), Two-Lane Blacktop (1971), and Race with the Devil (1975).  Oates also portrayed John Dillinger in the biopic Dillinger (1973).

April 3, 1993, Kentucky faced Michigan in the NCAA semifinals, marking UK’s 10th Final Four appearance.  An 81-78 overtime loss ended Kentucky’s season at 30-4 and marked All-American Jamal Mashburn’s last game in UK blue.

April 3, 1998, UK’s W.T. Young Library opened its doors.  Mr. Young initiated the project with a $5 million donation.  The final cost exceeded $58 million from nearly 15,000 donors representing all 120 counties.  Each of the six floors is approximately the size of a football field and the whole library houses 1.2 million books.  

Kentucky Trivia:  W.T. Young Library’s chandelier located in the 5th-floor rotunda reading room weighs over 3,000 pounds.  It crashed to the 5th floor in 2014 while making repairs.

April 3, 2002, the Geological Society of America, in Lexington, announced that Daniel Phelps found an extremely rare 300 million-year-old lizard track in Perry County.  It was the first find of its type in the region and the second find in Kentucky.

April 3, 2005, Army SGT James A. Sherrill, 27, of Ekron, died in Iraq fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

April 3, 2006, Churchill Downs CEO, Tom Meeker, threatens to move their headquarters out of state.  He was addressing a luncheon meeting and was frustrated at Kentucky legislatures’ attitude about extended gambling.

April 3, 2008, Rupp Arena opens its doors for the Bill Keightley Memorial. 

April 3, 2009, Keeneland opened its 15-day Spring Meet and also opened the restored Keene Place to the public.  Built in 1805 by the Keene family, the mansion sits on a portion of land that was once part of Keeneland Stud Farm.  One of the oldest homes in Central Kentucky, Keene Place has been a prominent Lexington fixture.  In 1825, the mansion welcomed the Marquis de Lafayette of France, for whom Fayette County is named and who served as an American General in the Revolutionary War alongside his close friend, Gen. George Washington.  Keeneland purchased the home and its 15 surrounding acres in 2003, and undertook, in partnership with the Center for Historic Architecture and Preservation, an extensive restoration, with the goal to protect the mansion and its historical integrity.  Keene Place is available to the public for meetings, receptions and special events.

April 3, 2011, a Kentucky bred wins Gulfstream’s GI $900,000 Florida Derby by a head.

April 3, 2012, Kentucky’s basketball team returned home to its adoring fans a day after defeating Kansas 67-59 to win the school’s 8th NCAA championship.

April 3, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 90 new cases and six new deaths that total 831 positive cases and 37 related deaths.  The state hurries to spend over $10 million on two temporary hospitals in Lexington and Louisville.  The facilities will never see one patient.

April 3, 2021, the coronavirus trends continued to drop.  Governor A. Beshear “Let’s remember as we work towards defeating the virus, we can’t quit,” reiterating the importance of a statewide mask mandate and the importance of keeping rules and restrictions limiting in-person interactions.