Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
May 22, 1825, The Marquis de Lafayette, the namesake of Fayette County, left the Commonwealth after a 12 day visit in the region. Kentucky in Retrospect by Lila Jones Kington pg; 59
On May 22, 1830, in one of the most controversial acts of its time, the Maysville Road Act passed, which authorized the purchase of 50,000 worth of stock in the Maysville, Washington, Paris, and Lexington Turnpike Company. The four-mile macadamized road connected Maysville and Washington and was a significant advancement in road construction technology. Motorists passed in virtually any weather conditions; it also significantly reduced freight costs by allowing for heavier loads.
May 22, 1863, Covington native Charles W. Rundle and Newport native William Steinmetz, while fighting in the Battle of Vicksburg, earned the Medal of Honor for taking part in the “volunteer storming party.” Around 150 unmarried volunteers charged a heavily fortified Confederate position; Rundle and Steinmetz answered the call.
Tuesday, May 22, 1877, Baden-Baden won the 3rd Kentucky Derby against ten others. William “Billy” Walker, an African American jockey born into slavery, guided home the winner in 2:38 for the 1 ½ mile test. African American Edward D. Brown conditioned the colt. Mr. Brown started as a jockey, then trained and eventually owned numerous thoroughbreds. Owner Dan Swigert, who started and named Elmendorf Farm before Mr. Haggin bought it, collected $3,300.
Kentucky Trivia: Decades after Abraham Lincoln emancipated enslaved people across the country; African American jockeys dominated the sport. Jimmy Winkfield was one of the last black jockeys to ride in the Derby, winning on Alan-a-Dale in 1901 and His Eminence in 1902. By 1904, Churchill Downs and other tracks had banned African American jockeys. From 1921 to 2000, not one black man had a mount.
May 22, 1897, Health Officer John J. Sullivan, Lexington Police Department, accidentally died when another officer nearby stood from his chair, knocking his gun to the floor, making it discharge, and striking Officer Sullivan.
May 22, 1902, the Wireless Telephone Company of America is incorporated to capitalize on Nathan Stubblefield’s invention of the radio transmitter-receiver, aka “the wireless telephone.” Stubblefield refused large sums of money for the design opting for stocks instead. He then went on tour to promote and demonstrate the new invention to potential investors. The tour was not as successful as he had hoped. He came home and became an eccentric hermit, moving from shack to shack, and subsisting on donations from friends and family. He died in 1928 of starvation in his hometown of Murray.
May 22, 1905, Deputy Sheriff William C. Brown, Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, died by a gunshot by a suspect who had shot and wounded the Lewisport town marshal and several other men the previous day.
May 22, 1909, Patrolman H. Clarence Conner, Jefferson County Police Department, died after responding to a fight at a tavern. During an arrest the suspect was able to gain control of Patrolman Conner’s service weapon and shot him in the head.
May 22, 1932, Baxter in Harlan County erected The Coal Monument honoring Kentucky coal miners and the coal industry. Rather than traditional stone, the obelisk is made of coal blocks. It is literally in the road where U.S. Highway 421 and Highway 119 intersect.
May 22, 1968, Marine Corps CAPT Robert E. Harris from Russell in Greenup County, Army PFC Anthony D. Hatcher from Cave City in Barren County, Army PFC Sammy L. Scott from Peytonsburg from Cumberland County, and Marine Corps SSGT William B. Hughes from Vanceburg in Lewis County, died in the Vietnam War.
May 22, 1974, Ruffian ran her 1st race in a 5.5F maiden special at Belmont Park; Jacinto Vasquez received the mount. Frank Y. Whiteley, Jr., kept her talent a secret, and she went off at 9-2. She quickly went to the front, easily extended her lead to 15 lengths, and tied the track record of 1:03, something no other two-year-old had ever done while breaking their maiden race. Ruffian’s impressive debut was later called the “greatest race ever run by a 1st-time starter.”
May 22, 1986, H.M. Queen Elizabeth II landed in Lexington to begin a private, five-day visit to Kentucky. She came to inspect thoroughbred farms and several mares she kept in the area. H.M.’s 1st visit occurred in October 1984; this was her second.
On May 22, 2006, the U.S. Attorney General (AG) under President George Bush hinted in a Washington Post interview that journalists might be charged for any disclosure of classified national security information. At the time, many journalists faced the threat, including a New York Times reporter, Judith Miller, who was in jail for refusing to reveal a source for her story.
On May 22, 2015, Gilbert “Toby” Curtsinger, the alleged ringleader of a bourbon theft and steroid trafficking ring, requested his trial move out of Frankfort. Curtsinger and five others allegedly used their jobs at Buffalo Trace Distillery to sell Pappy Van Winkle and Wild Turkey.
May 22, 2018, locals went to the polls and had some unique names to grab the voters’ attention with unique names. “Booger” Jude ran for Jailer in Martin County. “Duck” Moore ran for Jackson County Clerk. “Tobo” Bryant ran for mayor of Irvine. “Pear Hair” Webb ran for Carlisle jailer.
May 22, 2020, V.P. Kamala Harris, a U.S. Senator and Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia asked the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately investigate the shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, which happened on March 13.
On May 22, 2021, for the 1st time in 11 months, the daily average of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. fell below 30,000, confirming that the pandemic had lessened and had reached the endemic stage. Meanwhile, President Biden told corporations to pay people more money if they wanted to find employees.
After a dramatic Sunday playoff on May 22, 2022 Justin Thomas won the PGA Championship. The 29-year-old finished his final round a shot behind then-leader Mito Pereira. However, the Chilean hit his 18th hole drive into the water for a double bogey, and the major went to a playoff between the two compatriots. As a result, Thomas lifted his 2nd Wannamaker trophy for his 2nd major win.