TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to La Grange native Jack Retherford Starkey, born in 1922.  Jack is known better as Buddy Pepper, a pianist, songwriter, arranger, and actor who wrote several songs for Universal Pictures.

April 21, 1931, Guard William Moneymaker, Kentucky Department of Corrections, died by an inmate with a hatchet.

April 21, 1939, John Y. Brown, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, was struck in the jaw by a Jackson County Deputy Sheriff in the city of McKee.  Brown was in town arguing a case for two United Mine Worker organizers arrested in McKee by Sheriff Pence.  The charges included “banding and confederating, driving an automobile while drunk, carrying concealed deadly weapons, and illegal transportation of liquor.”  Mr. Brown said a near free-for-all in the County Judge’s office ended with “about eight deputy sheriffs” pointing guns at me.”  Sheriff Pence, a coal operator and owner of a fleet of coal trucks, arrested the organizers.  However, sheriff Pence was not present in the brawl and went missing for the next few days after the arrest.  Brown was unsuccessful at his run.

April 21, 1943, Ocean Wave wins the Blue Grass Stakes held at Churchill Downs.

April 21, 1950, Governor Earl Clemments predicted Kentucky would break last year’s record tourism numbers.  In 1949, 1,408,000 people registered in state parks and tourists spent $228,000,000.

April 21, 1951, Army PVT Clarence R. Grogan from Calloway County died in the Korean War.

On April 21, 1952, Lexington seized and destroyed thirteen slot machines at several American Legion lodges.  In the meantime, 2,000 slot machines were still in limbo after the F.B.I. seized them in Eastern Kentucky.

April 21, 1953, Air Force A2C James A. Elliott from Louisville died in the Korean War.

April 21, 1956, Elvis Presley had his first #1 hit with Heartbreak Hotel.

April 21, 1958, Gertrude Morris spoke at the annual meeting of Planned Parenthood in Lexington’s Phoenix Hotel and informed the audience contraception by a pill is in the near future.  

April 21, 1961, twenty-one African-Americans were arrested for picketing six Louisville downtown eating establishments for 3.5 hours.  They took seats in all the restaurants but were refused service and told to leave each one.

April 21, 1963, the thermometer reached a record 85.9 degrees at 4:30 p.m., breaking a 72-year-old record.  The previous record was 1891 at 85.5.

April 21, 1965, 22 of 36 horses on the Manchester Farm in Lexington died after a two-story barn caught fire.  Owner Duval Headley estimated the loss at $750,000.

April 21, 1970, Army SGT Gary A. Schoborg from Covington in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Robert Allen Riggle Jr., born in 1970.

April 21, 1971, the U.S. Bureau of Mines reported that Kentucky again topped the list with the most coal miner deaths for the 1st quarter of 1971, 17 out of 57.

April 21, 1978, Betty Ford told the world she was an alcoholic.

April 21, 1980, the U.S. Forest Service did some control burning on four acres in the Daniel Boone National Forest to make the area more attractive to the red-cockaded woodpecker.

April 21 Picoides borealis USMC2005729133853B
By Lance Cpl. Matthew K. Hacker

April 21, 1983, federal agents raided Jimmy Lambert’s two homes and Arnold Kirkpatrick’s former residence at Spendthrift Farm.  The dynasty had ended.

April 21, 1985, Governor Martha Layne Collins visited Panama with U.S. Congressmen and Generals to see firsthand the 12 Kentucky guardsmen involved in the “Blazing Trials” training exercise that built local roads.

April 21, 1990, Racing Hall of Famer Go for Wand wins the Ashland Stakes 11 days after taking the Beaumont Stakes.  Keeneland offered its first simulcast race during a live card, the Arkansas Derby (G2).

April 21, 1991, Thunder Over Louisville kicked-off the Kentucky Derby Festival.

April 21, 1991, two Louisville Cardinals were drafted in the NFL.  Ted Washington went in the 1st round while Browning Nagel waited till round two. 

April 21, 1993, the government’s key witness, former lobbyist John W. “Jay” Spurrier III, testified about behind-the-scenes legislative maneuvering.   The prosecutors laid the groundwork to show former House Speaker Don Blandford sold his influence for $1,500.

April 21, 1998, Churchill Downs Incorporated finalized the purchase of Ellis Park Racetrack in Henderson.  The track had been sold three times since the 1998 purchase.  Laguna Development Corporation of New Mexico is the current owner.

April 21, 2000, Governor Patton changed his mind and signed a bill that significantly increased state legislators’ pension.  Patton had said he would veto the measure because it was snuck in at the last minute and had no discussion.

April 21, 2001, Mark Smith from Lexington caught a state record Gold Eye weighing 2 lbs. 64ozs. in the Kentucky River.

April 21 goldeye
USFWS Mountain-Prairie

April 21, 2006, Army CAPT Clayton L. Adamkavicius, 43, of Fairdale, died of injuries in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.

April 21, 2006, Tara Reed Conner, who moved to Russellville when she was six weeks old, won the Miss USA Pageant in Maryland.

April 21, 2010, LG&E reported their ash pond at the Cane Run Road plant leaked into the Ohio River.  Monitoring wells indicated that 1,200 pounds of ash a day escaped through the bottom of the ash pond.

Kentucky Trivia:  There are 44 high-hazard coal ash storage impoundments in the Commonwealth.  We produce nine million tons of coal ash per year and rank 5th for coal ash generation in the U.S.

April 21, 2016, Prince died at age 57.

April 21, 2018, Santa Anita hosted the GII $200,345 Kona Gold Stakes for three-year-olds and upward going six and one half furlongs on the dirt.  A Kentucky bred, Keeneland graduate took home $120,000.

April 21, 2020, the state announced expanded testing for the coronavirus into Somerset, Pikeville, Paducah, and Madisonville.

April 21, 2020, officials discovered earlier known U.S. coronavirus deaths in California on February 6 and February 17, making them the earliest known pandemic victims in the U.S.  Meanwhile, Kentucky announced 17 new coronavirus deaths; 13 were nursing home residents.  The totals included 33,328 Kentuckians tested, 3,192 positive, and 171 deaths.

April 21, 2021, Kentucky reported that several state workers cheated the unemployment system during the Covid lockdown in 2020 and took over $116,000 while working full-time.  Kentucky’s unemployment system was not adequately prepared for the pandemic, and this theft added insult to injury.  Governor A. Beshear, “This virus isn’t going away.  We have to come together to stop it.  We have the power to stop this pandemic now, and the way we can do that is getting vaccinated.”