TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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April 24, 1859, James D. Porter, the “Kentucky Giant,” passed away of a heart attack in Louisville.  A special coffin 9 feet long and 2 feet wide held Mr. Porter with the rear doors of the hearse tied shut.  The grand procession to Cave Hill Cemetery occurred on April 28.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Guthrie native Robert Penn Warren, born in 1905, in Todd County.  Robert would become a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, poet, and literary critic.

April 24, 1906, Lady Navarre won the last Tennessee Derby.

April 24, 1907, Deputy Sheriff H. C. Treadway, Owsley County Sheriff’s Office, died after being overtaken by leaking gas in a hotel in Frankfort.

April 24, 1923, Arthur M. Miller a geology professor at the UK came to Pine Mountain Settlement School to lead an archaeological excavation.  Known as the Indian Cliff Dwelling, a student discovered ancient bones of human skeletons located near the School’s entrance.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Harlan native Cawood Ledford, born in 1926.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Lawrence and Helen Wetherby, who wed in 1930.  The 48th governor took office in 1950.  The couple had three children.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Sue Grafton, born in 1940.  She is best known as the author of the “alphabet series” (“A” Is for Alibi, etc.) featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, California.

April 24, 1941, the closing day of the Spring Meet, Our Boots defeated Whirlaway by six lengths in the $10,000-added Blue Grass.  Whirlaway went on to win the Triple Crown.  Calumet Farm won 12 races during the 11-day season, setting a record for the Spring Meet that stood till 2013.  Kenneth L. and Sarah K. Ramsey won 25 races during 16 days of racing.

April 24, 1942, Churchill Downs-Latonia Incorporated officially changed their name to Churchill Downs Incorporated.  The name change took place after they sold the Latonia track and their last out-of-state holding, Lincoln Fields, in Illinois.

April 24, 1948, Hellier native Vern Bickford made his MLB debut with the Boston Braves at age 27.

April 24, 1950, as Americans read their morning news, the bolded headlines told of a nationwide walkout by phone workers set for 6:00 a.m.  Our newspapers reported 500 Kentucky phone workers would participate in Danville, Frankfort, Somerset, Bowling Green and the larger cities.  The government stepped in and resolved the issue within 24 hours. 

April 24, 1951, Army CPL Paul C. Bryant from Jefferson County, Army PVT Henry Page from Kenton County, Army PVT Jessie T. Tibbs from Warren County and Army CPL Gilbert Whitaker from Pulaski County, all died in the Korean War.

April 24, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson traveled to Inez and made a surprise visit to Tommy Fletcher’s home to declare a “War on Poverty.”  Secret Service appeared out of nowhere, got permission from Mr. Fletcher, and hours later, a small army of politicians, aides, and reporters invaded the home to watch the most powerful man in the world talk to the man who became the symbol for the poverty war.  Reporters would often find their way back to his home to update his life, and Mr. Fletcher grew tired of being that symbol over time.  He died in 2004 at age 78 and is remembered as a loving, very kind-hearted person.”

April 24, 1970, Army SP4 James R. Case from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Jeff Brohm, born in 1971, head coach of the Purdue Boilermakers.  

April 24, 1974, Sergeant William Clay Frederick, Paris Police Department, was accidentally shot and killed with his own weapon when it malfunctioned.  He was survived by his wife.

April 24, 1979, Lexington native Derek Bryant made his MLB debut with the Oakland A’s at age 27.

April 24, 1981, Bill Shoemaker became the 1st jockey to win 8,000 races, 2,000 more than any other jockey at the time.  The win came aboard War Allied at Hollywood Park’s 1st race.

April 24, 1985, Governor M.L. Collins called out corporations and told them they needed to start paying their fair share of taxes, which had steadily declined over the recent years.  She went on to state, “this decline needs to stop.”

April 24, 1986, two women ended their bizarre murder spree that killed five people within four hours in Lexington.  The victims were shot, stabbed, burned, and run over with a car. 

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Taylor Mill native Carly Cristyne Slusser, born in 1990 in Kenton County.  She is better known as country music singer Carly Pearce.

April 24, 1991, Spalding University’s 19th annual Rat Derby was rocked by allegations that trainers for General Ratton, a male wearing hot pink had used steroids to better his performance. 

April 24, 1994, hundreds of thousands packed both sides of the Ohio River to watch the 6th annual Thunder Over Louisville.  The show opened with the Air Force’s new B-IB Bomber appearance, followed by the 3rd largest fireworks show in history and an appearance of a “flying saucer.”

April 24, 1998, H.R.H. The Princess Royal, Princess Anne of England attends closing day of the 15-day Spring Meet to present the trophy in the inaugural running of the Royal Chase for the Sport of Kings, the first steeplechase race ever held at Keeneland.  Renowned British mystery writer Dick Francis is also in attendance.

April 24, 2000, the Keeneland Foundation officially restructured as a non-profit organization.  The new (501)c 3 status allows Keeneland to accept contributions and give donors tax breaks.  

April 24, 2009, the F.B.I. accused Karen Sypher of trying to extort $10 million from Rick Pitino in federal court.  They alleged she wanted money in exchange for her silence in a criminal case the coach would be face in connection with his basketball team.

April 24, 2013, the great sire Storm Cat died by euthanasian on William T. Young’s Overbrook Farm at 30 due to the infirmities of old age.  At his height, he demanded $500,000 for each cover.

April 24, 2015, Keeneland’s 54th running of the GIII $150,000 Bewitch Stakes had a DQ and ended up a Keeneland graduate trifecta.  Fillies and mares four-year-olds and upward went one and one half mile.

April 24, 2019, a former state employee and Governor Bevin supporter, sued Kentucky for being fired when she helped a group organize a massive teacher protest at the state capitol.  On the same day, Bevin’s administration stated they would not be backing down on its investigation into Kentucky’s teacher sickouts, forcing Attorney General A. Beshear to take the battle to court.

April 24, 2020, Kentucky reported 322 new positives, and nine more individuals died for a total of 200.  Meanwhile, the state made it possible for all Kentuckians to use mail-in ballots in the upcoming primary.  The Federal Drug Administration warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Trump as a coronavirus treatment.

April 24, 2021, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission, formed in 2019, finally reported that the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Humana were the top two organizations that spent the most money and time lobbying the executive branch.  The report covered fiscal year ending June 2020, covering two administrations.  To round out the top ten: Deloitte, AT&T, Kentucky Wired, Anthem, UPS, Kentucky Beverage Association, CSX, and New Venture Fund.