TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 10, 1673, Abraham Wood, active in opening Virginia’s western frontier to trade, supported more explorers led by James Needham and Gabriel Arthur.  This group was one of the first known to travel the Warrior’s Path and cross the Cumberland Gap.  Gabriel Arthur was captured by the Shawnee the following spring.
Gateway – Dr. Thomas Walker & the Opening of KY by David M. Burns; pg: 16

April 10, 1783, while riding to the salt works from Floyd’s Station on Beargrass Creek, Col. John Floyd was fired upon by Native Americans and died, along with a friend.  They also shot his brother’s horse out from under him.  His brother carried Col. Floyd to the salt works, where he died.  The Floyd family was one of Louisville’s first families, arriving in 1774, bought 2,000 acres, and built Floyd’s Station, a mile from present-day St. Matthews.

April 10, 1823, Danville established the Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb, later called the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD).  It was the 1st state-supported school of its kind in the nation and the first school for the deaf west of the Alleghenies.  The deaf were a special concern of Gen. Elias Barbee, a Kentucky state senator, whose daughter, Lucy, was deaf.  

April 10, 1901, Officer John T. Crum, Danville Police Department, was shot and killed while investigating illegal alcohol sales at a local establishment.  The killer was executed in a public hanging in December.

April 10, 1906, Newport native Nathaniel Southgate Shaler died.  A paleontologist and geologist, he wrote extensively on the theological and scientific implications of the theory of evolution.  Born to a slave-holding Shaler studied at Harvard College’s Lawrence Scientific School.  After graduating in 1862, Shaler went on to become a Harvard fixture for over 20 years.  Early in his professional career Shaler was broadly a creationist and anti-Darwinist.

April 10, 1918, Sergeant Thomas J. Fitzgibbons, Louisville Police Department, succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day while attempting to arrest a robbery suspect at his home.

April 10, 1920, following a three-hour session of Kentucky Wesleyan College’s Executive Board, it was agreed that Professor Ralph Demaree would not discuss evolution again.  But, to keep his job till June 1, he had to write an apology statement, which The Courier-Journal printed.

April 10, 1931, Ashland native Clyde McCoy’s orchestra performs Black And Tan Fantasy,written by Bud Miley and Duke Ellington.  

April 10, 1948, Officer Oscar Roberts, Fayette County Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to make a misdemeanor arrest at the Keeneland Track.  The 26-year-old suspect was tried twice and acquitted both times.

April 10, 1950, the yearlong “War of the Barrels” ended.  The fact is that whiskey has to be aged in new charred-oak kegs.  From 1944 to 1946, some Northern U.S. distilleries utilized used barrels because new ones were not available.  Used barrel forces lobbied U.S. regulators, and in April of ’49, the definition of whiskey changed.   A year-long battle ensued, pitting the new forces against the used forces.  Eventually, the definition remained the same.

On April 10, 1961, Governor B. Combs appropriated $50,000 to construct a floral clock on the state Capitol’s lawn.  Combs had seen a similar clock in Scotland and believed it would be a colorful addition to the grounds.

Kentucky Trivia:  Happy Chandler mocked the clock, declaring “Well, they don’t say its half past two in Frankfort anymore.  They say its two petunias past the jimson weed.”  However; according to John Ed Pearce, the clock became one of the most talked-about and visited tourist attractions in the state and the most visited place in Frankfort.

April 10, 1968, Army SP4 Clyde C. Collins from Jackson in Breathitt County died in the Vietnam War.

April 10, 1970, Lynn native and Cincinnati Red Don Gullett debuted on the road against the San Francisco Giants.  He had an outstanding rookie season, appearing in 44 games (42 in relief) posting a 5-2 record and a 2.43 earned run average.

April 10, 1975, directors decided to delay the opening of Kentucky Horse Park for two years.  The opening of the 963-acre facility, initially set to open in 1976, was moved to mid-1978 to coincide with constructing a highway interchange on I-75 to serve the park better.  The park opened in September 1978 and is now 1,224 acres.

April 10, 1980, Octagon Hall, in Simpson County, near Franklin, received admission to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.  Octagon Hall is known as one of the most haunted places in the South.

April 10 Octagon Hall Simpson Co. KY
By Kenton Dickerson

April 10, 1984, allegedly Wallace Wilkinson was kidnapped by his business partner Jerome Jernigan.  Mr. Jernigan would say otherwise.  Three years later, Wallace became governor.

April 10, 1990, Keeneland bugler George “Bucky” Sallee played Boots and Saddles at Leslie Combs II’s funeral at the Lexington Cemetery.  Combs, 89, founder of Spendthrift Farm, died of cancer.

April 10, 1997, Louisville native Michael Anthony Dorris died.  Michael was a novelist and scholar who was the First Chair of the Native American Studies program at Dartmouth College.  His works include the novel A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987) and the memoir The Broken Cord (1989).

April 10, 2000, Randy Kimbrough, a former finance chief in the State Department of Education, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $500,000 in state and federal education money.  Her husband had a mail fraud charge pending in relation to the case. 

April 10, 2006, Army SPC James W. Gardner, 22, of Glasgow, died from non-combat-related causes in Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

April 10, 2009, Army Staff SGT Gary L. Woods Jr., 24, of Lebanon Junction, died fighting in Iraq in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

April 10, 2009, Louisville native Shawn Kelley made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners.

April 10, 2011, Army PFC Brandon T. Pickering, 21, of Fort Thomas, died in Germany of wounds sustained in Afghanistan fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

April 10, 2015, Keeneland’s GI $300,000 Maker’s 46 Mile for four-year-olds and upward is a Keeneland graduate trifecta.

April 10, 2015, the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame inducted Lexington natives and cousins Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell.

April 10, 2017, Governor M. Bevin and Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky (TMMK) president Will James announced a $43.5 million incentive package to modernize the Georgetown plant.

April 10, 2020, Kentucky announced 242 new positive coronavirus cases, the largest single-day increase, bringing the state total to 1,693.  Eleven new deaths brought that total to 90.  Governor Beshear stated that anyone who went to Easter Sunday services would violate his executive order.  Senator Rand Paul tweets:  “Taking license plate numbers at church?  Quarantining someone for being Christian on Easter Sunday?  Someone needs to take a step back here.”  Cases surge in Russia.

April 10, 2021, vaccination mandates become routine as people venture out.  Colleges, businesses, airports, restaurants, and others asked visitors for proof of vaccination.  Employees are told to get vaccines or lose their jobs.  Also, on this day, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a state could not prevent people from gathering in homes for bible study.