TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 8, 1782, John Floyd, his brother, Charles and Alexander Breckinridge traveled from Floyd’s Station on Beargrass Creek to Salt River.  Native Americans attacked them, and John was seriously injured.  With his death two days later, Kentucky had lost two of her three-county lieutenants in less than eight months.
A Kentucky Sampler by Lowell Harrison & Nelson L. Dawson

April 8, 1826, Henry Clay challenged John Randolph of Roanoke to a duel after John insulted the Kentuckian in a Senate speech.  The clash occurred near Pimmitt Run in Northern Virginia.  Both of their first shots missed.  Clay’s 2nd shot also missed, Randolph then raised his pistol and fired it in the air.  The duel ended with a handshake.

April 8, 1836, Colonel Sidney Sherman led the Kentucky Rifles at the Battle of San Jacinto.  The troops are credited with the famous war cry, “Remember the Alamo!”  This battle ended Mexico’s land disputes with the U.S.

April 8, 1854, Lecomte got his revenge and beat Lexington in a rematch.

April 8, 1864, Henry Clay’s remains and those of his wife, Lucretia (who died two days earlier), were finally laid to rest together under the grand monument in the Lexington Cemetery.  Mr. Clay died 12 years prior.

April 8, 1922, William White, a Jack’s Creek Pike farmer, shot his neighbor Arthur Johnson, 30ish, six times in a Lexington Post office, two bullets hit the victim.  Wright stood over Johnson as he died and said, “Damn You; I got you this time where you won’t come back.”  He told the police at the scene that, “I had to do it.”  Mr. & Mrs. White arrived in Lexington by buggy.   

April 8, 1931, Craig Johnson, 23, scion of a wealthy Danville family shot Hugh “Reddy” Smith, 56, also from a prominent Danville family, after an all-night dice game.  Witnesses said that Johnson was “crazed” by liquor.

April 8, 1948, was opening day of the 11-day Spring Meet during which an afternoon windstorm caused considerable damage in Central Kentucky.  The storms led to the death of a groom, injured three others, and heavily damages two barns.

April 8, 1951, Army CPL’s Earl L. Hoffman from Hardin County and William F. Ledington, Jr., from Laurel County died in the Korean War.

April 8, 1952, Army SGT Donald Burdette from Marion County died in the Korean War.

April 8, 1960, a Civil Rights Bill passed after eight weeks of 18 senators trying to stop the passage every step of the way.  This little-known Civil Rights Act helped prove racially discriminatory voter-registration practices and provided evidence to help pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  Kentucky Senators Morton and Cooper both voted in favor.

April 8, 1967, Army SGT Roger D. Cooper from Fordsville in Ohio County died in the Vietnam War.

April 8, 1968, Army SSG Robert H. Colegrove from Grayson in Carter County died in the Vietnam War.

April 8, 1969, Army SP4 James R. O’Banion from Florence in Boone County died in the Vietnam War.

April 8, 1969, acting Chief of Police Ronnie Carroll Carter, Carrollton Police Department, died when an automobile fell off of a hydraulic lift and crushed him.  He was at a local service station waiting for his patrol car to be serviced when the accident occurred.

April 8, 1970, Army SGT Troy H. Batterton from Pleasureville died in the Vietnam War.

April 8, 1972, Trooper James Willard McNeely and Patrol Officer David Childs, of the Kentucky Water Patrol drowned when their boat went over Dam 4 on the Kentucky River.  The officers were searching for two missing juveniles when the accident occurred.

April 8, 1981, a Richmond man was sentenced to death for the murder of a convenience store clerk.  It was the first death sentence handed down in Madison County in 44 years.  Kentucky electrocuted him in Eddyville in 1997, Kentucky’s first after the reinstatement of capital punishment by the U.S. in 1976.

Kentucky Trivia:  Since the reinstatement of capital punishment in the U.S. in 1976, three people have been executed in Kentucky; one in 1997, 1998 and 2008.  All three were executed for murder.  All of the executions occurred at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville.

April 8, 1987, former Governor J. Carroll asked the current Lt. Governor S. Beshear in a letter, to drop out of the gubernatorial race.  Beshear said the request was “too ridiculous to respond.”

April 8, 1992, tennis great Arthur Ashe announced that he had contracted AIDS from brain surgery.  He died in 1993 from complications due to the virus.

April 8, 1994, the Court of Appeals ruled that Kentuckians can be arrested if they’re caught driving drunk on their own property.

April 8, 1994, Francis Tuttle, 93, attends Keeneland opening day, a tradition she has kept since opening day in 1936.

April 8, 2001, Tiger Woods won the Masters giving him wins in all four majors in the same year.

On April 8, 2004, Marine CPL Nicholas J. Dieruf, 21, of Versailles, died by hostile fire in Iraq, fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Nicholas had just married three months earlier.

April 8, 2012, Butler native Nate Jones made his MLB debut for the Chicago White Sox.  

April 8, 2012, Lexington native Robbie Ross made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers.

April 8, 2013, University of Louisville’s coach Rick Pitino was formally introduced as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class of 2013 hours before taking the court for the national championship.

April 8, 2013, Louisville defeated Michigan by a final score of 82–76, winning their first national title since 1986 and the third overall.  However, five years later, the title is vacated.

April 8, 2017 Alec Baldwin returned to Saturday Night Live to impersonate President Trump with a skit set in Union. 

April 8, 2017, Keeneland’s GII $1,000,000 Bluegrass Stakes for three-year-olds, finished with a Keeneland graduate exacta.

April 8, 2017, the GI $1,002,415 Santa Anita Derby Stakes is won by a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate.

April 8, 2017, the GI $750,000 Wood Memorial ran at Aqueduct.

April 8, 2019, gubernatorial candidate Adam Edelen calls for decriminalizing marijuana possession on the stump in Lexington.  

April 8, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 204 new coronavirus cases, the highest daily increase, bringing the statewide total to 1,346.  He also reported eight new deaths bringing that total to “at least” 73.  The governor also issued an executive order that restricted entrance into grocery stores or essential life stores to one family member at a time.

April 8, 2020, after President Trump briefly entertains the idea of reopening the U.S. economy in time for Easter Sunday, the White House releases broad guidelines for how people could return to work, church, restaurants, and other venues.  The plan outlined the concept of “gating criteria,” which called for states or metropolitan areas to achieve benchmarks in reducing Covid-19 cases or deaths before taking the next step toward reopening.

April 8, 2021, after days of being off the front page, the coronavirus was back in the headlines when Governor A. Beshear begged Kentuckians to get the vaccine.  “We are in an absolute race with variants to prevent any type of 4th surge.  We need you to sign up for which ever vaccine is available.”