TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

April 30, 1789, George Washington became the 1st President of the United States.

April 30, 1861, Senator Crittenden wrote his son: “Kentucky has not seceded, and I believe never will.  She loves the Union and will cling to it as long as possible.  And so, I hope, will you….God knows what is it to be the end.”

April 30, 1895, Fulton Gordon murdered his wife, Nellie Bush Gordon, and her lover.  Fulton Gordon’s father was governor at the time.  The double murder took place at the disreputable resort of Lucy Smith, who was in part blamed for providing accommodations for the illicit lovers.  The murder made the front page of The Courier-Journal for over a week straight.

April 30, 1900, Governor Taylor presented his case to the U. S. Supreme Court to keep the governorship.

On April 30, 1900, Casey Jones’s passenger train collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi, to save the lives of many.  Various stories, song ballads, and even a television show immortalized his exploits.  He rose through the engineering ranks only to die in his prime.  Casey Jones grew up in Cayce between Hickman and Fulton.

April 30, 1902, Meade County lynched Ernet Dewley, a black male, for murderous assault.

April 30, 1922, A Ladies’ Man premiered at the brand new Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles.  Hunt Stromberg directed this movie along with 73 others.  The Louisville native also won a 1936 Academy Award.

April 30, 1923, Constable John Coles, Estill County Constable’s Office, died from a gunshot after raiding a moonshine still approximately seven miles from Irvine.

April 30, 1931, Jailer Arthur Waggoner Bowman, Hart County Jail, died from a gunshot while riding with a posse searching for a man wanted on a shooting charge.  

April 30, 1938, Patrolman Frank E. Herrmann, Jefferson County Police Department, died after being struck by a car while investigating a package left in the roadway at Brownsboro Road.

On April 30, 1956, Alben Barkley died.  Senator Barkley was telling 1,000 students at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA:  “I’m glad to be a junior [senator], I’m glad to sit on the back row; for I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty.”  Barkley then had a heart attack and tumbled into a microphone stand.  To add to the drama, Mrs. Barkley watched helplessly in the audience.  The 35th U.S. V.P. returned by a private ten-car train home to Paducah.

Kentucky Trivia:  Alben William Barkley graduated from Marvin College, a Methodist school in Clinton in 1897 with a Bachelor of the Arts Degree.  The school closed in 1922.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Owensboro native Michael Waltrip, born in 1963.  Michael is a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, having won the race in 2001 and 2003.

April 30, 1963, the steamboats Belle of Louisville and Delta Queen squared off against each other for the first time in their 12-mile race.  The Delta Queen won.  It was the beginning of an unparalleled river tradition every year on the Wednesday before the Derby.  In 2008, the Delta Queen retired from service, and the Belle of Cincinnati took her place.  In 2102 the Great Steamboat Race added the American Queen.

April 30, 1966, Police Officer O. J. Weldon, Cumberland Police Department, died by gunshot while investigating a possible domestic disturbance at a local home.

April 30, 1967, Marine Corps John B. Appleton from Louisville and Marine Corps LCPL Marvin A. Schafer from Butler in Pendleton County, all died in the Vietnam War.

April 30, 1968, Army SP4 Ernst Burton from Ewing in Fleming County died in the Vietnam War.

April 30, 1969, Army SGM Lovell F. Coen from Radcliff died in the Vietnam War.

April 30, 1971, the 38th annual dinner of the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels took place in the Kentucky Hotel.  More than 700 Colonels and their guests ate, drank, talked, and listened to each other at the traditional Derby eve banquet.  Canonero II won the 97th Kentucky Derby the next day.

April 30, 1973, the Kentucky Colonels beat the Indiana Pacers in Game Two of the ABA finals, 114-102, in Freedom Hall.

April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War ended.  There were 1,066 Kentuckians who gave their lives for this military conflict.

April 30, 1975, Ruffian’s 6th race was the 7F Comely Stakes (GIII) in Aqueduct, Jacinto Vasquez up.  Ruffian set a stakes record and achieved something that not even Secretariat, Kelso, or Citation had accomplished; she created a minus win pool, both at the track and at off-track betting.  Such universal confidence in a favorite was almost unheard of; occasionally, a top horse would create a minus pool to show, but Ruffian’s fans had bet enough money on the filly to win that a minus pool resulted.  The track paid out more money than it had received. 

April 30, 1976, Muhammad Ali (51-2) fought Jimmy Young (17-4-2) in Capital Centre, Landover, MD.  Ali was the heaviest he’d ever been and produced what many thought was the worst performance of his career, but Young only wanted to survive.  The fight went 15 rounds, and Ali won by unanimous decision.

April 30, 1993, a nearly three-year federal investigation of public corruption in Kentucky reached a climax with the extortion and racketeering convictions of former Kentucky House Speaker Don Blandford.  During the 1992 legislative session, the FBI conducted an inquiry and sting operations known as Operation BOPTROT.  The sting resulted in 21 convictions of sitting legislators, former legislators, or lobbyists from both parties.

April 30, 2000, Thomas Malone from Crofton caught a state record Brown Trout weighing 21 pounds in the Cumberland River, Lake Cumberland Tailwaters.

April 30 Brown Trout
By Helge Busch-Paulick

April 30, 2009, Governor S. Beshear announced a Warren County woman was in a Georgia hospital with Swine Flu or H1N1, Kentucky’s first confirmed case.  The woman had recently returned to Kentucky from a trip to Mexico and a couple of days later traveled to Georgia, where she fell ill.

On April 30, 2020, President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, an initiative to produce a vaccine for the coronavirus as quickly as possible, with CDC as an integral member.  In addition, airlines announced rules requiring face masks.  Approximately 220 Kentuckians had died from coronavirus, 330 citizens were in hospitals, and 178 were in intensive care units.  The first Kentucky death occurred in mid-March.  

April 30, 2021, Churchill Downs ran the 147th Kentucky Oaks with 40-50% capacity and Disneyland opened after being shut down for 13 months.  Both entertainment facilities required masks and social distancing.  Vaccination mandates began to enter into the equation as Berea College told all students they must be vaccinated to attend in-person classes.  Over 100 million Americans had received their vaccinations.