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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

May 18, 1808, Elijah Craig passed away in Georgetown.  A former Baptist preacher, he received jail time in Virginia for preaching without a license in 1768.  Seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity, Craig migrated to Kentucky County in 1782 and bought 1,000 acres in Georgetown.  He became one of Kentucky’s 1st educators and capitalist entrepreneurs who created the 1st classical school, the 1st fulling mill (for cloth manufacturing), 1st paper mill, 1st ropewalk (for manufacturing rope from hemp), and the 1st lumber and gristmill.  In 1789 Craig founded a distillery for which he is best known.

On May 18, 1820, a watering hole for elk herds named Elkton, located on the Elk Fork of the Red River, incorporated in Todd County.  Today, Elkton is the county seat.

On May 18, 1853, the steamboat Eclipse arrived in Louisville from New Orleans in record time – 4 days, 9 hours, and 31 minutes.  Built the previous year in New Albany, Indiana, Eclipse was an enormous vessel – 350 feet long, weighing 1,117 tons, and standing three times taller than most steamboats – and one of the largest ever built west of the Appalachian Mountains.  A side-wheeler, Eclipse was a marvel compared to typical steamboats of the mid-19th century; one awestruck traveler reported it was one of three wonders in America.  The boat was damaged beyond repair at New Orleans when she exited a levee into the path of another boat in 1860.

Tuesday, May 18, 1880, Fonso won the 6th Kentucky Derby over four others, going the 1 ½ in 2:37.50, in dust five inches deep, the dustiest Derby ever.  Tice Hutsell gave George Lewis a leg up for owner John Snell Shawhan.  A foul claim by the rider of Kimball against Fonso did not stand.  The winning connections earned $3,800.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Jamestown native Cy Barger, born in 1885.  Cy was a right-handed starting pitcher and left-handed batter who played for the New York Highlanders, Brooklyn Superbas and Dodgers, and the Pittsburgh Rebels in the Federal League.

May 18, 1886, the General Assembly approved an act that established a State Normal School for the multi-purpose of educating colored citizens and creating colored teachers.  The school is now Kentucky State University.

Friday, May 18, 1887, Dunboyne won the 15th Preakness Stakes over three contenders.  The winning owner, W. Jennings, and his connections earned $1,725.  Dunboyne did not run in the Derby, which ran one week earlier.

On May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision.  The justices ruled that the “separate but equal” provision of private services, mandated by the state government, is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.  However, one Justice dissented: John M. Harlan: “The Great Dissenter,” a Kentucky native and Centre College graduate.

May 18, 1920, Man o’ War won the 45th running of the Preakness by 1 1/2 lengths over Upset and seven others as he stretched out to 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.60.  Paul Jones, who won the Kentucky Derby, was not eligible because he was a gelding.  Man o’War had a new jockey, Clarence Kummer, who would stay on the colt except for two races.  Net value to winner, $23,000, 2nd $3,000, 3rd, $2,000, and 4th $1,000.

May 18, 1944, Patrolman Houston Greene, Kentucky Highway Patrol, died and a fellow officer was seriously wounded by two men who ambushed them as they walked out of a drug store in Pineville.

May 18, 1951, Army PVT Walter E. Davis from Fayette County, Army PVT Ernest E. Edge from Ohio County, Army SFC Norris Fugate from Knott County, Army PVT Curtis W. Qualls from Henderson County, Army CPL Clyde H. Sears from Fayette County, and Army SGT Willie Allen, Jr from Perry County, all died in the Korean War.

May 18, 1958, Deputy Sheriff Jack B. Mills, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, died by a gunshot while checking a wrecked pickup truck on Highway 23.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Morganfield native Debbie Dadey, born in 1959.

On May 18, 1964, the stables of Miles Park in the West end of Louisville caught fire and killed 26 horses.  The original wooden barns dating back to 1908 were destroyed.  The racetrack opened at the end of Cecil Avenue in 1908, in 1956 they began to race thoroughbreds, and in 1975 they closed.

May 18, 1966, Army LTC Ernest E. Lane from Kyrock in Edmonson County and Army SFC Aster Watts from La Porte in Jefferson County, died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1967, Army SP4 Stanley M. Jamrozy from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1968, Army SGT Henry Jackson from Pineville in Bell County, Army SGT Carl E. Shirley from Louisville, and Army SGT Julian T. Fields from Pikeville, all died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1969, Army SP4 Gregory D. Cornett from Putney in Harlan County, Army CPL Bobby G. Newby from Winchester in Clark County, and Army SP4 George E. Tackett from Olive Hill in Carter County, all died in the Vietnam War.

On May 18, 1972, congress held hearings about concerns of fake TV news coverage.  “It’s our job to police this (broadcasting) industry and make it better,” said Chairman Harley Staggers, D-WVA, of the House Commerce Committee.  I wonder what he would say about cable news today.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Winchester native and Hollywood actor Matt Long, born in 1980.

On May 18, 1993, Bruce Wilkinson, nephew of Governor W. Wilkinson, received a three-year prison sentence for extorting a bribe while working for his uncle.  Current Governor Brereton Jones had no comment.

May 18, 2002, watch the 127th Preakness Stakes for a $1,000,000 purse.

On May 18, 2009, West Liberty native Joe Nickell, an American skeptic and investigator of the paranormal, received an award for promoting science in popular media at the 3rd Annual Independent Investigative Group (IIG) Awards.

May 18, 2019, Kentucky bred War of Will won the $1,650,000 Preakness Stakes.  Country House, the 2019 Kentucky Derby winner by disqualification did not race due to a virus; which marked the 1st time the Derby winner did not race in the Preakness Stakes since 1996.  The field also did not include Maximum Security, who crossed the finish line 1st but also declined to race.  His owner indicated that without a chance of winning the Triple Crown, he felt that the two-week gap between the Derby and Preakness was too short.

May 18, 2022, George Bush put his foot in his mouth again, “The decision of one man, to launch a wholly unjustified and brutal invasion of Iraq.  I mean, of the Ukraine. Iraq too. Anyway — I’m 75.”