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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On June 4/5, 1775, eight hunters/explorers from Harrod’s Fort came to Central Kentucky to establish a settlement north of the Kentucky River.  They camped at a large spring, later known as McConnell’s Spring, on today’s Manchester Street, downtown Lexington.  The camp received word that America had won the 1st battle of the American Revolution, fought near Lexington, Massachusetts.  Hence, they named the place they were camping and the future settlement “Lexington.”  William McConnell would build a small cabin, but due to Native Americans’ threats, the party returned to the safety of Fort Harrod.  The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 15

June 4, 1792, on a special day for Kentucky, Lexington hosted Kentucky’s 1st legislative session on the 2nd floor of the Market House on Main Street.  The session inaugurated Isaac Shelby, a Democratic-Republican, as Kentucky’s 1st governor.   The session continued until June 29.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Boone County native Margaret Garner, born into slavery in 1834.  Margaret Garner’s story of her willingness to kill her child to prevent them from returning to a life in bondage received national attention.  A growing number of people began to view slavery as an inhumane institution by the late 1850s.  The story of Margaret Garner is the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel Beloved.

June 4, 1846, local volunteers assembled at Old Morrison on the Transylvania campus where professor B.H. McCowen spoke, and each man received a bible before leaving for the Mexican War.  Captains Cassius Clay and Oliver H.P. Beard led the two companies.  The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr. pg: 42.

June 4, 1870, Kingfisher won the 4th Belmont Stakes going 1 5/8 miles in 2:59 ½ to win $3,750.  Lexington sired the winner.  The Preakness began in 1873 and the Derby in 1875.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Fontaine Talbot Fox, Jr., born in 1884.  A cartoonist and illustrator; he is best known for writing and illustrating his Toonerville Folks comic panel, which ran from 1913 to 1955 in 250 to 300 newspapers across North America.

Fontaine Fox’s “So This is Toonerville!!”, showing the full cast of his cartoon feature, was drawn exclusively for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1928.

June 4, 1888, Arabella Clement Gunn became the 1st woman graduate of UK, named State College of Kentucky at the time.  President James K. Patterson asked, “I suppose you will not want to sit up on the platform with the young men on Commencement Day, will you Miss Gunn?”  Her reply was brief, “I’ve been through four years in classes with them, and I don’t see why I shouldn’t sit on the platform with them now.”

On June 24, 1923, Frank Hayes won a steeplechase race despite suffering a fatal heart attack during his race at Belmont Park.  Hayes died in his 1st win as a jockey, somewhere in the latter part of the race, but his body remained in the saddle.

June 4, 1931, the 1st Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival occurred at Clear Creek Springs in Bell County at the urging of Ms. Annie Walker Burns.  Her original purpose was to honor Dr. Thomas Walker, the 1st European to enter Kentucky and who, along with a party of explorers, visited the present site of Pineville in 1750.  Ms. Burns loved history and the beauty surrounding Pineville and appealed to Governor F. D. Sampson of Barbourville to initiate some event to honor Dr. Walker.

June 4, 1932, Faireno won the 64th Belmont Stakes going the 1 ½ miles in 2:32 4/5, and earned $55,120 for Belair Stud’s 2nd Belmont victory.  The iconic stable would win four more.  Faireno skipped the May 4 Preakness and May 7 Derby; Burgoo King won them both.

June 4, 1938, Pasteurized won the 70th running of the Belmont Stakes in 2:29 2/5, winning $34,530.  Pasteurized did not enter the May 7 Derby or the May 14 Preakness.

On June 4, 1948, William Worthington passed.  Mr. Worthington’s land in McLean County, comprised of approximately eight square miles, gained a nickname, “the Island.”  When the Green River and other bodies of water nearby overflowed, the land became surrounded by water.

June 4, 1951, Harlan County native Carl Henry Dodd received the Medal of Honor for his actions during the fight for Hill 256 in Korea during Operation Thunderbolt six months earlier.

President Harry S. Truman (center) with Dodd, standing to the President’s right, and other Medal of Honor recipients shortly after presenting them with their medals.

June 4, 1966, Amberoid won the 98th Belmont Stakes going in 2:29 3/5 and earned $117,700.  Hall of Fame jockey William Boland won his 2nd and last Belmont.  Hall of Fame trainer Lucien Laurin won his 1st of three.  Amberoid placed 7th in the May 7 Derby and 3rd in the May 21 Preakness; Kauai King won them both.

June 4, 1969, Army WO1 Edwin F. Sholar from Murray died in the Vietnam War.

June 4, 1970, Army SGT Robert E. Phipps from Hopkinsville in Christian County died in the Vietnam War.

On June 4, 1973, locals gathered and discussed Kentucky’s new law that changed the way “the system” handled individuals with alcohol problems.  Kentucky would now provide addicts with support groups and other services to address the root causes instead of only imprisoning them.

June 4, 1975, Trooper John Wayne Hutchinson, Kentucky State Police, died while arresting a suspect in McCreary County.  Before he died, Trooper Hutchinson returned fire, and killed the suspect.

On June 4, 1983, Susan Zabenco, chief scorekeeper, worked on the massive Rolex Three Day Event scoreboard.  In 1978, the Kentucky Horse Park hosted their 1st Three Day Event and has stayed ever since.

June 4, 2000, Fusaichi Pegasus withdrew from the $1 million Belmont Stakes due to a minor foot injury.  For the 1st time in 30 years, neither the Derby nor Preakness winner ran in the 3rd leg of the Triple Crown.

June 4, 2003, a federal jury decided that Yum! Brands stole the idea of the feisty-talking Chihuahua and ordered Yum! to pay two Michigan men $32.1 million.  The food company just bought Taco Bell a year earlier.

June 4, 2006, Keeneland had all sleeves rolled up as they replaced the historical surface.  By the time the October Meet started, the track would have wider turns, a longer homestretch, and a synthetic surface, Polytrack.  The major facelift moved the winners’ circle, created a new infield tunnel, space for 3,500 fans, a new tote board, and other electronic upgrades.

June 4, 2010, Michael VonAllmen’s nearly 30-year nightmare ended after a judge threw out his 1981 rape conviction in a Louisville courtroom.  He spent 11 years in prison.  The mug shots of the guilty man and Michael were uncanny.

June 4, 2013, federal officials announced a technology breakthrough that could virtually eliminate the drunken driving within five years.  Drinking while driving kills 10,000 Americans annually.

June 4, 2018, Charles Martin Newton passed away.  Newton landed his 1st basketball coaching job at Transylvania University (then Transylvania College) in Lexington on a recommendation by A. Rupp.  While at Transylvania he recruited the school’s 1st black player.

June 4, 2020, Attorney General D. Cameron told state lawmakers, “Governor A. Beshear’s unprecedented use of executive authority during the coronavirus emergency should be checked by the legislature.”  The governor declared an emergency on March 6 with no end date.  Meanwhile, the governor announced 295 new cases as the economy reopened.

June 4, 2021, Governor A. Beshear announced the incentive program to persuade more people to vaccinate for coronavirus.  Three Kentuckians 18 years or older would win a million dollars, and 15 Kentuckians ages 12 to 17 would receive full scholarships to a public college or technical school.  Meanwhile, in Western federal court, Dino Gaudio, Louisville’s assistant basketball coach, pleaded guilty to extortion.  He threatened the school to expose the team’s NCAA violations if they didn’t pay him $425,000.