TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 15, 1779, a party from Harrodsburg left the fort to explore another settlement.
Lexington, 1779 Pioneer Kentucky As Described By Early Settlers by Bettye Lee Martin

April 15, 1861, President Lincoln called for 75,000 90-day troops to suppress the rebellion.  Governor Beriah Magoffin refused, as Kentucky would furnish no troops “for the wicked purpose of subduing her sister southern states.”  Kentucky thus faced the question, ‘Secede or join the Union?

April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died in the Petersen family’s boarding house at 7:22 a.m.  Andrew Johnson takes the oath to become the 17th U.S. President.

April 15, 1888, Joe Eversole, his brother-in-law, Nick Combs, and Judge Josiah Combs were riding toward Big Creek in Perry County when a hail of bullets came from nowhere as part of the French-Eversole Feud.

April 15, 1892, Lexington native Mary E. Britton spoke to the Kentucky General Assembly joint Railroad Committee.  She represented a delegation of women protesting the Separate Coach bill.  In her speech, she questioned the white supremacists’ assumptions about their monopoly on virtue, intelligence, and aestheticism.

April 15, 1899, Deputy Marshal John Centers, Jackson Police Department, died by gunshot while attempting to arrest a man for disorderly conduct.  He was sentenced to life in prison but released after serving only three years.

April 15, 1912, Lutie Davis Parrish, 59, a Lexington native who lived in Woodford County, was on the Titanic when it sunk.  She boarded the Titanic in Southampton, England, five days prior as second-class passenger.  Parrish was one of the oldest persons rescued at the time of the sinking.

Kentucky Trivia:  At least two other Titanic passengers had Kentucky ties.  Georgetown native Charles Hallace Romaine, 45, was a first-class passenger but did not live in Scott County when he was on the ship.  He survived by getting on a lifeboat.  He died in 1922 in New York City when a taxi hit him.  Dr. Ernest Moraweck, a longtime Louisville physician who listed his address as Frankfort, died, but his body was never recovered.

April 15, 1922, Deputy Sheriff John Taylor, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, died by ambush on his way to Mill Creek while conducting an investigation into moonshining.

April 15, 1923, Purchase, “The Adonis of the Turf,” along with forty other horses, died in a barn fire at Harry F. Sinclair’s Rancocas Stable in New Jersey.  As a three-year-old, Purchase won the Jockey Club Gold Cup, Southampton Handicap, Stuyvesant Handicap, Dwyer Stakes, Empire City Derby, Huron Handicap, Saratoga Handicap, and the Saranac Handicap.

April 15, 1924, a public address system with a single speaker became operational at Parkway Field for the first time at the Louisville Colonels 1924 season opener.  “By means of a microphone on the diamond connected by wire with horns that have been installed throughout the stands, it will be possible for a song leader to direct the entire crowd in signing.”  The Colonels were part of the American Association Minor League AA Professional Baseball League.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Burkesville native Walter Darlington “Dee” Huddleston, born in 1926.

April 15, 1934, Deputy Sheriff Bige Gross, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, died on the courthouse steps by another deputy who was seeking revenge over a previous shooting.  

April 15, 1951, Army CPL Lewis P. Howard from Nelson County died in the Korean War.

April 15, 1970, Army SP4 Perry L. Woosley from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

April 15, 1970, about 100 UK students joined the Lexington Peace Council for a silent demonstration in front of the Fayette County Courthouse to protest the Vietnam War.

On April 15, 1970, Acting Governor William Sullivan achieved a minor triumph during his short tenure; he outfoxed the press corps.  Five newsmen decided to March into the governor’s office with mock seriousness and tried to throw him off-balance with a range of questions ranging from the significant to the ridiculous.  Both Governor L. Nunn and Lt. Governor W. Ford were out of Kentucky.

Kentucky Trivia:  William L. Sullivan had a long and distinguished career in Kentucky politics.  He was a member of the Kentucky State Senate for 20 years, ten of them as either majority leader or president pro tempore.  He also served as acting lieutenant governor for more than a year, and was acting governor on more than 60 occasions.

April 15, 1971, Army SGT Bruce E. Butcher from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Chris Stapleton, born in 1978.

April 15, 1980, the General Assembly ended late in the night, but not before legislators provided judges and future lawmakers a present of higher wages.  A provision attached at the last minute to SB 102 gave the state’s 138 lawmakers a 100% pay raise, effective in 1984.

April 15, 1988, Claude Mills, father of UK recruit Chris Mills, stated again that neither he nor his son accepted a $1,000 bribe from UK.  “We are not stupid; we are not going to accept $1,000.”  A Los Angles newspaper stated the Chris received 20 $50.00 bills from Kentucky.

April 15, 1992, Governor B. Jones endorsed a proposal for a new $62 million four-lane highway between Lexington and Paris as an alternative to widening Paris Pike. 

April 15, 1992, New Yorker Leona Helmsley reported to federal prison in Lexington for not paying taxes.  She flew to Louisville in her private jet and then drove to her new temporary home.  She served 19 months and died in 2007 in Greenwich, Connecticut.

April 15, 1995, longshot Wild Syn led from wire-to- wire to capture the 71st running of the $500,000 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland.  He was the only horse in the field who had not won a stakes.

April 15, 2000, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Shaun Alexander in the first round.  Shaun was the 19th overall pick.

April 15, 2002, State Police arrested Jeffrey A. Morris and Kenneth “Fingers” White.  The two allegedly conspired with Danny S. Shelley to kill Pulaski County Sheriff while the Sheriff campaigned.

April 15, 2006, Marine CPL Justin D. Sims, 22, of Covington, died fighting in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

April 15, 2008, Kentucky’s Romeo Law was passed.  Romeo, a Yellow Labrador, was filmed being viscously attacked.  Following the Pulaski County criminal case, which caught state-wide attention, legislators brought a bill named after Romeo to make crimes against animals have harsher punishments.

April 15, 2012, Marine CPL Aaron M. Faust, 22, of Louisville, died in Afghanistan, while supporting combat operations in Operation Enduring Freedom.

April 15, 2017, a Kentucky bred won Keeneland’s GIII $200,000 Lexington Stakes in a three horse photo finish.  The $2 Keeneland graduate exacta paid $110.60. 

April 15, 2018, Governor Bevin apologized for saying teachers who protested in Frankfort left their students vulnerable to sexual assault.  He made the statement two days earlier.

April 15, 2020, speaking over the muffled shouts of protestors outside the Capitol, Governor A. Beshear reported 88 new coronavirus cases and seven more deaths bringing the totals to 2,291 and 122.  The protestors held signs saying, “Reopen Kentucky,” “Liberty is Essential,” and “We Want to Work.”

April 15, 2021, “It is at least a warning that a 4th wave is possible here,” Governor A. Beshear said in a live update.  “We can prevent it.  We have to vaccinate as quickly as possible.”  He warned of a “4th wave” because the positive cases were slightly higher than the previous week.  Meanwhile, Black faith leaders around Kentucky demanded a ban on no-knock warrants.