TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 4, 1818, Congress requested that President James Monroe present Kentuckian Richard Mentor Johnson a sword in honor of his “daring and distinguished valor” at the Battle of the Thames.  Johnson was one of only 14 military officers to be presented a sword by Congress before the American Civil War.

April 4, 1833, the town of Maysville catches fire and destroys five businesses and one home.
The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 622

April 4, 1841, President William Henry Harrison dies after only 30 days in office.  President John Tyler takes the oath to become the 10th U.S. President.

April 4, 1843, the first Tater Day began in Benton in Marshall County.  The festival began as a spring celebration and brought locals together to trade goods such as guns, ‘coon hounds, tobacco, livestock, potatoes, and other Ag products.  The tradition continues with a parade, carnival rides, vendors, and flea markets every first week of April.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Isaac Scott Hathaway, born in 1872.  Isaac was an artist and educator who created masks and busts of important African American leaders and was the designer of the first two U.S. coins to feature black Americans.

April 4, 1890, the General Assembly approved a resolution “providing for the relief of the sufferers from the recent tornado that passed through the Kentucky.”

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Sylvester Weaver, born in 1897.  Sylvester worked a number of jobs in Louisville while playing blues guitar and becoming a pioneer of country blues.  

April 4, 1911, Lawrenceburg native James Beauchamp Clark became the 36th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Scottsville native Norris “Norro” Denton Wilson, born in 1938.  Norro was a country music singer-songwriter, producer, and member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

April 4, 1949, Ralph Beard #12 from Louisville (Male), Wallace Jones #27 from Harlan (High), Ken Rollins #26 from Wickliffe, Alex Groza #15 and Cliff Barker #23, all had their UK jerseys retired.  

April 4, 1951, Army PFC Archie L. Reynolds from Owsley County and Army PVT Jack W. Hughes from Letcher County died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Kelso, born in 1957 on Claiborne Farm in Paris.  

April 4, 1967, Army SFC Robert T. Sickels from Richmond died in the Vietnam War.

April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King is assassinated around 6:05 p.m. in Memphis.

April 4, 1968, Army SGT Jerry W. Shain from Cromwell in Ohio County died in the Vietnam War.

April 4, 1969, as president of the Thoroughbreds Breeders of Kentucky (TBK), Warner L. Jones, announced the organization would gift the 30 sitting Republican U.S. Governors, a Kentucky bred racehorse.  The horse was a son of the 1963 Kentucky Derby Winner Chateaugay.  Each state Governor received a stock certificate of ownership and a copy of the official Jockey Club Registration papers.  The 30 owners would be known as the Governor’s Stable, Inc., and any proceeds would go to the Grayson Foundation.

April 4, 1969, Army SGT J. C. Jenkins from Corbin died in the Vietnam War.

April 4, 1970, Army SSG Marcus R. Davis from Evarts in Harlan County died in the Vietnam War.

For his actions on April 4 – April 8, 1970, Henderson native Gary Lee Littrell earned the Medal of Honor during combat operations in Vietnam.

April 4, 1971, Army SP4 Thomas L. Blatz from Shepherdsville in Bullitt County died in the Vietnam War.

April 4, 1971, Liberty native Carl William Mays died.  Mays threw the pitch that fatally injured Beaver Dam native Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians in 1920, the only MLB player to die due to an on-field injury.

April 4, 1973, Lieutenant Smith, Kentucky State Police, died from a gunshot wound he received on November 10, 1972 while attempting to arrest a murder suspect in Warren County.  The suspect was convicted of Lieutenant Smith’s murder.

April 4, 1978, Kentucky attorney Gatewood Galbraith is shown a year after he graduated from University Kentucky law school.  Galbraith died in 2012, just two months after running his fifth campaign for Governor.

Kentucky Trivia:  Gatewood Galbraith on the stump, “We’re going to take the government out of your bedroom, your bloodstream, your brain, your bladder, your business, your billfold, your back pockets, your bingo halls and your Internet bulletin boards.”

April 4, 1983, John McDonogh from Jeffersontown caught a state record Lake Trout weighing 5 lbs., 5 ozs. in the Cumberland River, Lake Cumberland Tailwaters.

April 4, 1983, the 6th NASA Space Shuttle (STS-6) mission and the maiden flight of the Space Shuttle Challenger launched from the Kennedy Space Center.  Franklin Story Musgrave, who considers Lexington his hometown, was on board.  He is the most formally educated astronaut with six academic degrees and the only astronaut to fly aboard all five Space Shuttles.

April 4, 1989, Kentucky Governer Wallace Wilkinson bought the state’s first lottery ticket at a Thorntons gas station and food mart in Louisville.

April 4, 2007, Army CPL Joseph H. Cantrell IV 23, of Ashland, died in Iraq of wounds sustained when a bomb detonated near him during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

April 4, 2015, Keeneland’s GI $1,000,000 Bluegrass Stakes is a Keeneland graduate superfecta.

April 4, 2017, the Carroll County Sheriff resigned from office after pleading guilty to 11 charges of stealing painkillers from a cancer patient.

April 4, 2020, ninety-two new positive coronavirus cases brought the state total to 917.  Three new deaths created a total of “at least 40.”  Governor A. Beshear, against some county officials’ concerns, allowed hiking trails to remain open.  As cases continue to surge, countries keep their borders sealed.  Businesses shut down (leading to massive job losses), schools close, sporting events cancel, and college students go home.  People start wearing masks and practicing “social distancing.”

April 4, 2021, Harlan County Beer Company planned to open its doors, according to a 2021 newspaper article.  Also, Chuck Norris sued Harlan County promoter, Chris Lewis.  Chris said the suit was ridiculous.  News about the coronavirus finally begins to fall off the front two pages of major newspapers.