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June 24, 1778, George Rogers Clark, 26, and 175 men “shot the falls” of the Ohio River in canoes during a total eclipse of the sun.  They had inhabited Corn Island for a month and were ready to continue their exploration.  In one of the most heroic deeds in American history, they landed at Fort Massac on the mouth of the TN River.

June 24, 1820, President Madison, General Andrew Jackson, and other national leaders dined with the Freemasons in LouisvilleThe Story of Kentucky by Cherry and Stickles pg 225

June 24, 1882, Marshal James B. Day, Frenchburg Police Department, died by a gunshot by a group of men who were upset with Marshal Day over an arrest of several friends the previous evening.

June 24, 1890, Breckinridge County lynched Henry Watson, a black male, for an alleged rape.

June 24, 1893, Cushing’s Boundless won the 10th American Derby at Washington Park in Chicago.  Regarded as one of the greatest racing events in the history of the West, a record crowd of 65,000 witnessed a record $50,000 purse.  The track entertained Chicagoans and the metropolitan area from 1884 until 1977.

June 24, 1898, John Howard died by gunshot at his home on Sexton Creek as he sat in his home.  Grabbing his pistol, he ran outside, saw a man running toward the woods, and dropped him with a single shot, only to be hit again and killed.  There were no arrests.  This murder was one of many that rose from the feud between the Baker and Howard/White families in Clay County’s Hundred Year War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lee City native Edgar Tolson, born in 1904 in Wolfe County.  Tolson 1st came to national attention through the “Grassroots Craftsmen,” an initiative of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty that helped Appalachian craftspeople sell their works.

On June 24, 1931, doctors advised Alben W. Barkley to stay off his feet for two months.  Alben had broken a bone in his knee and fractured a wrist in a car accident in WVA.  The U.S. Senator went home to Paducah to rest.  Meanwhile, one of the first around-the-world tourist flights reached Germany.

The June 24, 1934 headlines from The Lexington Leader included, “Pair Hold up Road Foreman and Take $70,” “Baker Killing in Clay County Still Unsolved,” “5 From Clay Are on Trial for Homicide,” “American Embassy Bombed in Mexico,” “Third Slaying In Weeks in Manchester,” “Shooting is Fatal To Louisville Cop.”

June 24, 1946, upon appointment by President Truman, Frederick Moore Vinson became the 13th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  His tact reduced personal animosities that had arisen on the court.  As a judge, his interpretation of the powers of the federal government often led him to reject claims of the individual right asserted in opposition to the exercise of governmental authority.  Perhaps his best-known opinions, however, are those upholding the rights of members of racial minorities under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

June 24, 1951, Army PFC Jessie J. Bretz from Nicholas County died in the Korean War.

June 24, 1952, Marine Corps PFC Charles C. Goff from Louisville, Marine Corps FC Billy J. McDaniel from Philpot in Daviess County, and Army PFC Edward N. Stinnett from Jessamine County, died in the Korean War.

June 24, 1953, Army SGT Forest Embry from Grayson County and Army CPL William M. Schardein from Jefferson County, died in the Korean War.

June 24, 1964, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) told all American tobacco companies they had till January 1, 1965, to put warnings on their products stating “cigarette smoking is dangerous to health and may cause death from cancer and other diseases.”

June 24, 1965, Marine Corps PFC Frank L. Adamson from Dayton in Campbell County died in the Vietnam War.

June 24, 1966, Marine Corps PVT Ronnie C. Jones from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

June 24, 1967, Army PFC Jeffrey D. McGuire from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

June 24, 1968, Army SSG Carl B. Helm from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

June 24, 1969, Army SSG James T. Moore from Bloomfield in Nelson County died in the Vietnam War.

June 24, 1974, Elvis, 39, rocked the Fair & Expo Centers Freedom Hall wearing a pantsuit that featured blue sequined peacocks on the front and back and peacock feathers on the flared trousers.

June 24, 1977, a horse thief stole Franfreluche, the 1970 Canadian Horse of the Year, from Claiborne Farm.  The mare was in foal to Secretariat, which created national attention and set off an international search.  They found her on a Tompkinsville Farm, 196 miles away, being ridden by children.

On June 24, 1979, locals dedicated Six Mile Island Nature Preserve, an 81-acre island in the Ohio River.  The island is known for a variety of water birds.  The goal is to return the island to its natural state, a unique opportunity to study the riverine island systems’ ecology.  During the Kentucky Derby Festival, the Great Steamboat Race turns around at Six Mile Island as the halfway marker.

June 24, 1980, Governor J.Y. Brown, Jr. entered a hospital for chest pains while his close associate told the press the feds had monitored the governor’s calls with Jimmy Lambert.  Federal authorities also monitored phone calls of at least 50 other high-profile Kentuckians.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Whitesburg native Jessamyn Laurel Duke, born in 1986.

June 24, 1992, the long-awaited 7-2 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for people to sue cigarette companies for injuries and death of smokers.  The verdict worried many Kentucky farmers and warehouse operators.  The court also strengthened its 30-year ban on officially sponsored worship in public schools by prohibiting prayer at public school graduations.

June 24, 1994, two coal trucks stopped and had lunch at Burger Queen in Bell County.

On June 24, 2000, Whitney Boyles, center, became Miss Kentucky 2000.  She is shown with Miss America Heather Renee French, left, with reigning Miss Kentucky Shanna Moore at the Transylvania University’s Haggin Auditorium.

June 24, 2001, the 1st year Kentucky celebrated Kentucky National Guard Day in the Commonwealth.

June 24, 2004, Jockey Patricia “P.J.” Cooksey, 46, ended a trailblazing 26-year career in the saddle when she finished 3rd in a race at Churchill Downs for Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Degenerate Gambler.  Cooksey, the all-time leading female rider at Churchill Downs and the 1st woman to ride a stakes winner on the oval wiped away tears as she exchanged hugs with friends and admirers after the race.

June 24, 2010, Kentucky made history again when the Wildcats had five players drafted in the 1st round of the NBA draft.  John Wall became the 1st Wildcat to be the # 1 overall pick when Commissioner David Stern called his name for the Washington Wizards.  The Sacramento Kings, with the 5th pick, chose DeMarcus Cousins.  Patrick Patterson went 14th to the Houston Rockets, Eric Bledsoe went 18th to the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Orlando Magic picked Daniel Orton 29th.

Effective June 24, 2015, the Hurricane Creek coal mine site in Leslie County, where 38 miners lost their lives on December 30, 1970, became a state historic site.

June 24, 2016, UK’s Board of Trustees unanimously gave President Eli Capilouto a 48% increase in his base pay to $790,00 a year and a three-year extension.  

June 24, 2020, as cities opened backed up, many communities still banned kids from playing on public playgrounds.  The governor urged everyone to wear masks and said, “The moment we stop following the rules is when a breakout will happen.”  For the day, the state reported the death of an 89-year-old and 229 new cases.  Meanwhile, the governor addressed Kentucky’s unemployment administration issues, causing long waits for much-needed benefits.

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 in Hobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that abortion is not a constitutionally protected right and, in so doing so, overruled Roe vs. Wade.  The ruling kicked it over to the states to make their own decisions.  Kentucky’s trigger Law kicked in immediately, making it illegal to have an abortion in the Commonwealth.