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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

May 19, 1840, John Adair, Kentucky’s 8th governor (1820-24), died.  Kentucky historian Lowell H. Harrison opined that creating the Bank of the Commonwealth in 1820 was the most important measure implemented during his administration.  The bank made generous loans and liberally issued paper money.  The legislature revoked its license in 1823.

On May 19, 1865, Canadians arrested the future governor of Kentucky, 48-year-old Luke Pryor Blackburn, for conspiracy to kill President A. Lincoln by Yellow Fever.  Blackburn retreated to Montreal to lessen the heat of the Yellow Fever Plot.  Allegedly, Blackburn sent contaminated clothing to Lincoln.  Blackburn became Kentucky’s 28th governor in 1879 at age 63.

Wednesday, May 19, 1875, the 1st Kentucky Oaks ran at the Louisville Jockey Club, later known as Churchill Downs.  Vinaigrette won the 1 ½ mile race in 2:39¾, to earn $1,175.  The Oaks and the Derby are the oldest continuously contested sporting events in American history and the only horse races held at their original site since their conception.

Thursday, May 19, 1894, the 19th Preakness made its return at a new track and a new distance.  The Brooklyn Jockey Club’s Gravesend Course hosted the 1 1/16 mile test.  Assignee went in 1:49 1/4 at odds of 4-1.  The colt by Spendthrift earned $1,830 for the Keene family.

On May 19, 1919, Augustus O. Stanley, the 38th Kentucky governor, resigned, and James D. Black became Kentucky’s 39th governor.  Stanley left to become Kentucky’s 26th Class II Senator.  Governor Black served for seven months and devoted his term to education.  He had served as superintendent of the Knox County public schools for two years and became instrumental in creating Barbourville’s Union College.

May 19, 1928, Reigh Count won the 54th Kentucky Derby for Fannie Hertz.  Her husband founded the Yellow Cab Company in Chicago in 1915 and later the Hertz Corporation.  Trainer Bert S. Michell and jockey Chick Lang brought the colt home in 2:06 to win $55,375 for the connections.

On May 19, 1937, Henderson raised the 1st electrical pole, in front of 3,000 people, for the 1st Kentucky customers who received rural electricity from a cooperative.  Kentucky Governor A. B.  “Happy” Chandler, a Henderson native, secured rural electric power for the Bluegrass State during his time in office.

May 19, 1951, Army SGT Virgil Bach from Breathitt County, Army PFC James A. Bailey from Campbell County, and Army PFC Harold D. Branham from Pike County, died in the Korean War.

May 19, 1953, Trooper Lee Trebu Huffman, Kentucky State Police, died after being struck by a vehicle.  He had just exited his police vehicle to help an accident victim.

May 19, 1956, watch the 81st Preakness Stakes.

May 19, 1966, Air Force 1LT James N. Spangler from Mayking in Letcher County and Air Force CAPT Charles T. Hafendorfer from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

May 19, 1967, Army SP4 Guy E. McNay, Jr. from Erlanger died in the Vietnam War.

May 19, 1968, Army SGT Richard C. Coleman from Henderson died in the Vietnam War.

May 19, 1969, Marine Corps LCPL William E. Whaley III from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 19, 1970, Army SGT Billy R. Lucas from Maysville and SP4 Billy Ray Parker from Owenton in Owen County, both died in the Vietnam War.

On May 19, 1975, President Ford vetoed a bill to protect the environment against coal strip mining, saying it would boost unemployment and consumer fuel bills.  In addition, President Ford claimed that 36,000 people would lose their jobs.  Meanwhile, in Catlettsburg, the owners of a Hyden coal mine, where 36 miners died in a 1970 explosion, pled no contest to violating federal mine safety laws.

May 19, 1989, the NCAA placed Kentucky’s basketball team on three years’ probation, stopping short of issuing the death penalty.  They imposed a two-year ban on the postseason and a one-year ban on live television.  The resignation of Eddie Sutton and Cliff Hagan lighten the penalties.  Coach Pitino and C.M. Newton took control.

May 19, 1990, watch the 115th Preakness Stakes.  Triple Crown Productions provided a $1 million bonus for the horse who performed the best in all three Triple Crown (TC) races and a $5 million bonus for a TC winner.

On May 19, 1991, Kenny Perry won his 1st PGA Tournament, the Memorial, in a playoff over Hale Irwin.  The Elizabethtown native won $216,000 for his effort.

May 19, 1994, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis died in New York from lymph cancer.

On May 19, 1998, while federal authorities raided a Lexington tobacco warehouse and arrested 86 illegal immigrants, in one of the state’s largest crackdowns, the F.B.I. arrested two white supremacists in Eastern Kentucky as part of an undercover investigation.  In addition, a Floyd County Sheriff’s Deputy received a suspension after he supposedly supplied a gun to one of the men arrested.

May 19, 2003, Conservation Officer Douglas Wayne Bryant, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, died when a man he was pursuing in Fort Mitchell intentionally struck his patrol truck.

May 19, 2004, Keeneland began construction on converting the main race track from Polytrack to a dirt surface again.  They completed the project on August 15.  The track reopened for training on September 1.

May 19, 2006, even though a federal judge barred prayer during the Russell County High School graduation ceremony, it did include a religious message; Megan Chapman ensured that.  Meanwhile, President G. Bush spoke at the University of Northern Kentucky and emphasized the importance of education to keep America competitive.

May 19, 2015, Matt Bevin beat James Comer by 83 votes in the Republican primary.  Analysts thought Northern Kentucky decided the close race where Bevin beat Comer, Hal Weiner, and Will Scott.

On May 19, 2017, Swedish prosecutors discontinued their investigation against Julian Assange, saying it was impossible to proceed while Assange was in the Ecuadorean embassy.  America still wants to prosecute him, but the tide may be changing.

May 19, 2018, watch the 143rd Preakness Stakes.

On May 19, 2019, Toyota issued a strongly worded statement aimed at President D. Trump after his proclamation that “foreign automobile parts and vehicle imports was a major setback for American consumers, workers, and the auto industry.”  Toyota reminded Trump that Japan had invested more than $60 billion in the U.S. and employed 475,000 Americans.

On May 19, 2020, Kentucky recorded the highest number of deaths for one day from coronavirus, 20, just as businesses planned to reopen.  Kentucky’s death count stood at 366.  Governor A. Beshear then said he would hire 600 people to trace the contacts of those who tested positive for coronavirus.  It would unofficially be the most significant waste of money Kentucky had ever incurred, however the feds sent us billions, so why not.  In addition, Kentucky state courts announced they would resume civil and criminal proceedings on June 1.

May 19, 2021, high school seniors graduated indoors with masks, as opposed to the previous year’s ceremonies held outdoors.  Meanwhile, Mitch formally announced his opposition to a special commission on the January 6 riots, as if someone cared what he thought on the subject.