TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 13, 1750, Dr. Walker stood in the enormous gap, a gateway which in time would be trampled by literally thousands of land-hungry immigrants in search of the rich “New Eden.”
Gateway – Dr. Thomas Walker & the Opening of Kentucky by David M. Burns

April 13, 1894, ground broke for the construction of the Cathedral Basilica in Covington.  It originally opened as St. Mary’s Church in 1837.  The 13th Century French-Gothic style’s interior was modeled after the Abbey Church of St. Denis in Paris, while the façade would mirror Notre Dame de Paris.

April 13, 1914, the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded Corbin $6,000 to build a public library.

April 13 Corbin carnignie
By Nyttend

April 14, 1920, news broke that UK would build “a massive concrete stadium” located on Stoll Field.  It would be the largest stadium in the south, seat up to 24,000 and be horseshoe in shape.  It was also announced the school would begin to raise funds for a basketball building and a statue of Dr. Patterson.   

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Karl Kroeger, born in 1932.  Karl is a composer and professor of music at several universities throughout America.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to South Portsmouth native John Herman Stephenson, born in 1941.  On June 21, 1964, while with the Mets, John was the final out of Jim Bunning’s perfect game.

April 13, 1954, Maj. Louie A. Beard, a key member of the group that founded Keeneland, died.

April 13, 1960, Robert B. Martin, state commissioner of finance was elected president of Eastern Kentucky State College.

April 13, 1960, the former medical director of a major pharmaceutical drug company accused the drug industry of profiteering and other questionable practices.  He urged Congress to crack down with restrictive legislation while addressing a U.S. Senate committee.

On April 13, 1961, Louisville native F.K.S. Thompson Riney died in Owensboro.  Florence Thompson was the first female sheriff in the U.S. to execute a prisoner.  She oversaw the Daviess County hanging of Rainey Bethea, the last man to be publicly executed in the U.S.

On April 13, 1964, Packard native Patricia Neal won best actress of the year at the Academy Awards ceremony.  Packard was an old Whitley County Coal Camp that no longer exists.  Located about 18 miles east of Williamsburg, the last residents moved out around 1950.

April 13, 1971, clean-up began after Morgantown’s worst fire in the small town’s history.  More than 150 firefighters from 14 units battled over four hours to put out the downtown fire that destroyed an entire block.

April 13, 1983, Sharon Ware resigned as Director of Licensing and Regulation because she believed that some officials in the state Cabinet for Human Resources undermined her efforts to reform Kentucky’s nursing homes.  She claimed the cabinet was working directly with the nursing home industry itself to stop the reforms.

April 13, 1987, Lt. Governor S. Beshear released state telephone records showing that 27 telephone calls were made to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from the Governor’s office during the first two years of Governor Brown’s term.  Beshear claimed that Brown gave more priority to gambling than the Commonwealth.

April 13, 1991, Strike the Gold wins the Blue Grass and returns to win the Kentucky Derby, the last thoroughbred to do so.  Alydar’s son barely survived birth and was born a “dummy foal,” caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain.  He was on oxygen for the first three days of his life. The chestnut was orphaned at four months when his mother, Majestic Gold, died of colic.  The Nick Zito trained colt foaled on Calumet Farm.

April 13, 1993, Fayette County Attorney Norrie Wake was charged with stealing more than $5,000 from his office to pay off his election campaign debts.

April 13, 1996, the Blue Grass Stakes is won by Racing Hall of Famer Skip Away, whose time of 1:47 1/5 for 1 1/8 miles remains a stakes record.

April 13, 2002, Reverend Miller, a Louisville Roman Catholic priest, retired after allegations of sexually abusing minors in the 1960s and 1970s.

April 13, 2002, former Kentucky State Supreme Court Justice Robert Stevens died in Lexington after a battle with cancer.  Stevens wrote the landmark decision prompting an overhaul of the state’s educational system.

April 13, 2002, Sheriff Samuel Wilson Catron, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, was assassinated while leaving a political rally in Shopville.  He has just given a campaign speech for the upcoming election in which he was running for his fifth term as sheriff.  A suspect shot Sheriff Catron in the head with a high-powered rifle as he placed two cakes he had just purchased from a fundraiser into his patrol car.  Sheriff Catron was wearing a vest at the time.

April 13, 2007, Transylvania’s Board of Directors approved R. Owen Williams as their new president.  Mr. Williams, once a Wall Street Banker turned historian, took an unusual path to his new position in Lexington.  The president said it was a dream come true and a lifelong ambition.

April 13, 2011, two months after Indiana confirmed a devastating bat disease, Kentucky wildlife officials announced the virus reached the Commonwealth, affecting Mammoth Cave operations.

Kentucky Trivia:  Sixteen documented species of bats live in Kentucky.  Fourteen of these species are considered permanent or seasonal residents.  Three of Kentucky’s bat species are federally endangered, the Virginia big-eared bat, the Indiana bat, and the gray bat.  The Northern long-eared bat is listed as federally threatened.

April 13, 2012, Governor S. Beshear and Senate President David Williams exchanged bitter barbs in a scathing blame game over failures in the 2012 General Assembly and the need for a costly special session to address unfinished business.

April 13, 2013, more than 500 exhibitors attended the 2013 Kentucky Cup Rabbit Show in Louisville, showcasing thousands of rabbits at the 3rd annual event, sponsored by the Kentucky State Rabbitt Breeders’ Association.

April 13, 2019, Keeneland’s GI $350,000 Jenny Wiley Stakes is won by one length, by the favorite, after digging in to hold on.

April 13, 2020, Kentucky announced 87 new positive coronavirus cases and seven new deaths for totals of 2,048 and 104.  The governor stated the numbers were inaccurate due to labs being closed over the Easter Holiday.  Woodford County moved to a four-day at-home instructional week instead of five days to give families a “mental break.”  This was the 2nd month of a statewide school shutdown.  People going through recovery programs struggle to find in-person meetings.

April 13, 2021, Kentucky suspended the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after rare instances of blood clots.  “To Kentuckians who took the J&J vaccine, you are going to be OK.” Governor A. Beshear said at a news conference.  Churchill Downs announced that only 15,000 fans would be permitted in the infield for the 2021 Derby.