TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 14, 1855, Kentucky and Louisiana battled when Tom Wells, Lecomte’s owner, challenged Lexington’s owner in a head-to-head “rubber” match for $20,000.  This time there was no question; Lexington won, with a total time of 7:23 ¾ in four-mile heats.  When it was all over, the crowd could be heard, “Besides the $20,000 purse, there were surely some plantations that changed hands today.”  This race was the last for both horses.  Lexington’s skeleton is in the Smithsonian Institute, while Lecomte has a Louisiana town named in his honor, even though misspelled – Lecompte.

April 14, 1861, after a thirty-four-hour bombardment, which had set Fort Sumter aflame, Louisville native Major Anderson agreed to evacuation terms and lowered the Stars and Stripes.  The Major had led his men admirably on the South Carolina coast during months of uncertainty until the Civil War erupted two days earlier.  On April 14, 1865, General Anderson would return to the fort and raise the 33 star flag to celebrate a Union victory.  

April 14, 1864, the Battle of Salyersville is fought in Magoffin County, resulting in a Federal victory.  It was the largest skirmish fought in the county.

April 14, 1865, 10: 15 p.m., President Abraham Lincoln was shot in Ford’s Theater.

Kentucky Trivia:  President Lincoln was the first bearded U.S. President, the first to hold a patent and the first to be in an inaugural photograph.  John Wilkes Booth can also be seen in the photo, standing on a balcony above.

April 14 Picture

April 14, 1885, Richmond native David Rowland Francis became St. Louis’s 26th mayor.  He would go on to become the U.S. Ambassador to Russia.

April 14, 1897, Deputy Constable James Green, Union County Constable’s Office, was shot and killed as he and another county constable escorted two prisoners to jail.

April 14, 1904, Town Marshal Frye Haley, Lebanon Junction Police Department, died while attempting to arrest a man on the front porch of the Sparks Hotel.  Another man interfered with the arrest; a gunfight ensued; and Marshal Haley and the man who interfered shot and killed each other.

April 14, 1925, around 14,046 fans witnessed Louisville’s Minor League AA team defeat the Brewers 3-2 for the season opener at Parkway Field.  The American Association league had eight teams, four western cities and four eastern cities.

April 14, 1931, Ohio County native Arnold Shultz died of a heart problem called a mitral lesion.  However, legend says he died due to poisoning by a white musician who was jealous of him.  Arnold significantly heavily influenced the “thumb-style” or “Travis picking” method of playing guitar.

April 14, 1932, Deputy Sheriff Sim Lockard, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, was shot in the back and killed as he and several prohibition agents raided a still near Gray.  Despite being wounded, he returned fire and fatally wounded the subject.

April 14, 1945, Kentucky basketball player Kenneth England from Campbellsburg died in Italy from wounds received while crossing a mine field in WWII.  He played for Kentucky from 1940-42.

April 14, 1949, the 11-day Spring Meet opened with a new inside aluminum rail, which replaced the conventional wooden rail.  The new rail, which cost approximately $5,000, was the first of its kind at an American race track.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Nashua, foaled at Belair Stud in Maryland in 1952.  Belair Stud housed many champions, including Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha.  Belair Stud’s owner, William Woodward, Sr., bred Nashua, who died in 1953.  He never had the opportunity to see Nashua’s brilliance on the racetrack.

Horse Racing Trivia:  In 1955 Nashua was sent to auction after William Woodward, Jr., was fatally shot by his wife.  The incident was called the “shooting of the century” by the national press.  A syndicate headed by Leslie Combs II bid a record $1,251,200 for Nashua.

April 14, 1967, Army PFC Robert E. McKee from Eminence in Henry County died in the Vietnam War.

April 14, 1968, Army SFC Daniel A. Branson from Hopkinsville in Christian County and Marine Corps CPL Reuben C. McMackins, Jr. from Valley Station in Jefferson County, died in the Vietnam War.

April 14, 1969, Army SGT James W. Moore, Jr. from Frankfort and Army PFC Theodore F. Siegel from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

April 14, 1975, with eight months rest, Ruffian made her 1975 debut in a 6F allowance test at Aqueduct, with Jacinto Vasquez up.  Trainer Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr., had entered her in the race the day before.  The other trainers probably would not have sent them to post had they been given time to scratch, but Whiteley had done a masterful job of concealing his plans.  Ruffian cantered effortlessly to win in 1:09 2/5.  It was Ruffian’s only race without setting or equaling a record.

April 14, 1983, Coach Joe B. Hall and Athletic Director Cliff Hagan began discussions to renew the Kentucky-Louisville basketball rivalry, at the request of the Athletics Association’s board of directors.  The two sportsmen did so reluctantly.  

April 14, 1983, Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. fired Public Protection Secretary Neil Welch for his role in the secret tape recording of a November 1981 conversation at Brown’s Florida home.

April 14, 1984, Dale Wilson of London, set a Kentucky record by catching a Largemouth Bass that weighed 13 lbs. 10.4 ozs.  The bass lived in Wood Creek Lake in Laurel County.

April 14, 1988, 20-year-old Ashley Judd spoke at a protest march at the state Capitol in Frankfort.  The protest demanded the resignation of U.K. trustee A.B. “Happy” Chandler after using a racial slur at the University’s board investment committee meeting.

April 14, 1994, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places added Fort Boonesborough to their list.

April 14, 1995, the U.S. Navy decommissioned “Darlin’ Harlan,” formally known as the USS Harlan County.  Named for Harlan County, she launched in 1971.

April 14, 2006, Joey Dixon from Elizabethtown caught a state record Skipjack Herring weighing 3.10 pounds in the Ohio River, Cannelton Tailwater.

April 21 Skipjack herring fish alosa chrysochloris
By Raver Duane

April 14, 2007, a three horse photo finish decided Keeneland’s GI $750,000 Blue Grass Stakes.  A Kentucky bred won by nose on the polytrack.

April 14, 2011, UK graduate William Nunn Lipscomb Jr. died in Cambridge, MA.  William was a Nobel Prize-winning inorganic and organic chemist working in nuclear magnetic resonance, theoretical chemistry, boron chemistry, and biochemistry.

Kentucky Trivia:  Lipscomb was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  His family moved to Lexington when he was two and lived there until he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at UK in 1941.

April 14, 2016, a Fayette Circuit Court jury awarded $5.3 million in damages to eight black men who had filed a 2014 lawsuit alleging a hostile work environment at UPS in Lexington.  

April 17, 2017, for the first time ever, a naturalization ceremony was held at Kentucky’s Capitol Rotunda.  Forty people from 25 different countries took the oath to become new American citizens in the ceremony.  Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes presided.

April 14, 2020, Kentucky announced 114 new coronavirus cases and eleven new deaths to bring the state’s totals to 2,210 and 115.  Some Kentucky lawmakers, in the meantime, worked behind the legislative scene to re-open non-essential businesses.  Highways, roads, and downtowns across the U.S. were quiet.

On April 14, 2021, Lexington became the 3rd city in Kentucky to ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ youth.  Meanwhile, the state warned that the coronavirus had spiked after three weeks of declining numbers and asked all Kentuckians to get vaccinated.  At the time, 1,605,100 Kentuckians had received a vaccine.

Kentucky Trivia:  Kentucky has administered 6.45 million covid-19 vaccines.  There are 2.55 million Kentuckians who are “fully vaccinated,” 57.2% of the population.