TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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October 8, 1862, the Battle of Perryville in Boyle County was one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War and the largest battle fought in Kentucky.  Union Major General Don Carlos Buell led the Army of the Ohio where 845 men were killed, 2,851 wounded and 515 captured or missing (4,241). Confederate General Braxton Bragg led the Army of the Mississippi where 510 were killed, 2,635 wounded and 251 captured or missing (3,396).  Even though the Union lost more men it was considered a strategic Union victory because they retained control of Kentucky, a critical border state, for the remainder of the war.  The battle is also referred to as Battle of Chaplin Hills and or the Battle for Kentucky.

October 8, 1918, Governor James Bennett McCreary from Richmond passed away.  Mr. McCreary represented Kentucky in both houses of Congress and was Kentucky’s 27th and 37th Governor.  Most of his actions in his first term were aimed at easing the plight of poor farmers.  He also initiated the building of today’s Governor’s Mansion.

October 8, 1954, Vice President Richard Nixon shakes hands with Fayette County Patrolman Ted Hughes.  At the time of the photo, Nixon had been President Eisenhower’s vice president for almost two years.

October 8, 1955, 19th ranked Wildcats met the 4th ranked Auburn Tigers for the fifth time, this time in Birmingham.  The game ended in a tie to make the series stand at 2-1-1 in favor of Kentucky.  Blanton Collier would coach the Cats to a 6-3-1 record, shutting out Tennessee in the final game of the season.

October 8, 1960, John F. Kennedy visited Lexington.  Kennedy was a 43-year-old senator from Massachusetts who was a month away from defeating Richard Nixon in the closest presidential election in 44 years.  He was on a campaign swing through Kentucky and was picked up at Blue Grass Airport by Harry B. Miller Jr., a Lexington lawyer.  Kennedy waved to people as he rode down Main Street in an open-top convertible, seated beside Gov. Bert Combs.  The car took them to the UK campus, where they joined other prominent Democrats on an impromptu stage, a flatbed truck parked by the Administration Building.  Kennedy got applause by praising the tobacco support program and Lexington’s favorite son, Henry Clay.  He mistakenly referred to Clay as a Transylvania College graduate.  Clay was a trustee and law professor there, but not a student.

October 8, 1976, the Fryer House in Pendleton County was placed on the National Register of Historical Places.  The stone is block like in form and symmetrical in execution and underneath the house is a dirt cellar.  The roof truss system is made entirely of wood framing held together with wooden pegs instead of nails.  The Fryers first settled in Baltimore, Maryland and then in Lexington.  They started construction in 1811 and finished in 1814.

1080px Fryer House — Oct
By Christopher L. Riley

October 8, 1980, Nancy Reagan visited an apartment home for the elderly in Louisville the day after her husband’s debate against Walter Mondale in the Center for Performing Arts.  Mrs. Reagan travelled to Lexington the following day for more campaigning events.

On October 8, 1993, city officials discussed the nearly complete Native American Skeleton remains found in Louisville, off River Road, while crews moved a rail line to prepare for a riverfront development.  The Army Corps of Engineers said the remains must go to a museum; however, they later agreed Kentucky’s head archaeologist had the final say on their location.  Leaders of the American Indian Movement stated that when you “offend the spirit,” it creates problems.  They also said these were significant finds and the worst outcome would have them in museums.  The movement wanted the bodies reburied and would take legal steps to ensure it happened.

October 8, 1994, Keeneland graduate Flanders, ridden by Pat Day demolishes the other three entries in the Frizette Stakes by 21 lengths.

October 8, 1994, Belmont Park runs their $750,000 GI Jockey Club Gold Cup going one and a quarter miles.

October 8, 2005, the Louisville Cardinals crushed the Tar Heels 69-14 in Louisville.  It would be the second week in a row the Cardinals would score over 60 points.  Bobby Petrino’s team finished 9-3 for the season and would go to the Gator Bowl in Florida.

October 8, 2006, Army SPC Timothy A. Fulkerson 20, of Utica, died when a landmine detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Tikrit, Iraq.  He was fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

October 8, 2007, the long and colorful history of the great John Henry came to an end when his kidney problems and dehydration forced his keepers at the Kentucky Horse Park to euthanize him at 32.  In a career that spanned from 1977 to 1984, the gallant gelding raced 83 times and developed from a claimer into an immensely popular two-time Horse of the Year.  He won 17 Grade 1 stakes during eight years of racing that saw him rise from a $1,100 yearling purchase to a horse that won 39 races and set the sport’s all-time earnings record of $6,597,947 – every penny of it before the introduction of the Breeders’ Cup and its million-dollar purses.

October 8, 2009, four years after he started teaching English at his alma mater Ballard High School, Jay Crocker received the ultimate validation by receiving the Milken National Educator Award and a check for $25,000.  Jay stated that would be spending the bulk of his money on students and his classroom.

On October 8, 2010, William D. Gorman, the long-time Hazard mayor who helped turn the struggling coal town into a regional hub, died at 86 years old.  He was first elected in 1977 and was mayor when he passed.

October 8, 2011, Penn’s Store in Gravel Switch, Kentucky’s oldest working store was reopened in time for the annual Great Outhouse Blowout.  The store on the Boyle-Casey County line needed work after the 2010 flood from the North Rolling Fork River which almost destroyed the building.