TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Franklin County native Montgomery Blair, born in 1813.  Montgomery was co-counsel for Dred Scott, who sued for his freedom and lost in 1857.  In 1861, Blair wanted to be Secretary of War, but Lincoln appointed him to his cabinet as the 20th Post Master General.  Mr. Blair instituted a uniformed postage rate, free delivery in cities, and the sale of money orders to reduce the mailing of currency, which reduced post office robberies.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Shelby County native Henry Walton Bibb, born in 1815.  Bibb’s mother, Mildred Jackson, was an enslaved woman.  He never knew his father, James Bibb, a Kentucky state senator.  Henry saw each of his six younger siblings, all boys, sold away to other slaveholders.  In 1850 he published his autobiography Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave, one of the best-known slave narratives of the antebellum years.

May 10, 1865, the Lincoln assassination trial began with eight defendants.  A jury found them guilty two months later.  Four of them hanged in July, including the first U.S. woman executed, Mary Surratt.

May 10, 1875, Ten Broeck debuted as a 3-year-old in Lexington’s historic Phoenix Hotel Stakes.  Ten Broeck won easily in a field of six, which also included Aristides.  A week later, Aristides turned the tables by winning the inaugural Kentucky Derby, where Ten Broeck finished fifth.

May 10, 1876, the Kentucky Association Track held one of their greatest races when Aristides met Ten Broeck in a match race.  Two former Kentucky governors and a sitting Senator were present.  Aristides set an American record of 3:34 ½ for two and one-eighth miles.

May 10, 1884, the General Assembly turned its attention to the issue of coal-mine safety with the passage of “an act to provide for and regulate the ventilation of coal mines for the better protection of miners.”

Friday, May 10, 1889, George “Spider” Anderson won the 17th Preakness aboard Buddhist in a match race against Japhet.  Spider was the first African American jockey to win the famed race.  The Kentucky Derby ran the day before.

Wednesday, May 10, 1893, Lookout won the 19th Kentucky Derby over six others, easily, going the one mile and half in 2:39.25.  The Thoroughbred Record said of the outcome, “the event itself might be regarded as somewhat of a disappointment, in the fact that the winner so far out-classed his field that he had too easy a thing of it.”  Owners John E. Cushing and John W. Orth, trainer William McDaniel, and jockey Eddie Kunze completed the winning connections and earned $3,840.

Wednesday, May 10, 1905, Agile beat two others to win the 31st Kentucky Derby, in the smallest field ever.  Agile went 2:10 3/4 on a heavy track to win $4,850 for owner Samuel S. Brown.  Mr. Brown, a wealthy miner from another Commonwealth, Pennsylvania, owned a Kentucky Farm, which is now the Kentucky Horse Park.  He also owned part of the Kentucky Association Racetrack in Lexington.  Trainer Robert Tucker and jockey Jack Martin completed the winning connections.   Agile and Joe Cotton were the only two horses to win the Kentucky and Tennessee Derbies.

Tuesday, May 10, 1910, Donau won the 36th Kentucky Derby for owner William Gerst Sr., trainer George Ham, and jockey Frederick Herbert, going the mile and a quarter in 2:06.40.  Less than a length separated the top three finishers.  Donau saddled up for a grueling 29 races in 1909, once running four races in eight days.

May 10, 1911, the Blue Grass Stakes ran for the first time at the Kentucky Association Track.

Kentucky Trivia:  The Blue Grass Stakes has produced ten Kentucky Derby winners but none since Strike the Gold in 1991.

On May 10, 1913, Roscoe Goose rode Donerail to victory in the 39th Kentucky Derby.  A Louisville native rode the winner for the 1st time.  Roscoe’s brother, Carl, won the Oaks the same year on Cream.  Carl died in a Latonia Park racing accident in 1915, prompting Roscoe to advocate helmets for all jockeys.  Roscoe devoted the rest of his life to training young jockeys.   Kentucky inducted Roscoe into the inaugural class of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

May 10, 1919, Sir Barton won the 45th Kentucky Derby for owner J. K. L. Ross, trainer H. Guy Bedwell, and jockey Johnny Loftus in 2:09 4/5 on a heavy track to win $20,825.  The owner-trainer duo also placed second.  Before the term is coined, Sir Barton would win the 1st Triple Crown.

May 10, 1937, Matt Winn made Time Magazine‘s cover surrounded by the four Kentucky Derby favorites.  The Derby ran two days earlier.

May 10, 1943, three civilian crewmen died in the crash of an experimental military cargo plane built at Standiford Field, ten miles south of Louisville.   

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Tom Hammond, born in 1944.

May 10, 1953, Marine Corps CPL Perry O. Branden from Elizabethtown and Army PVT Richard Wilson from Perry Country, both died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fort Knox native Suzan-Lori Parks, born in 1963.  Her 2001 play Topdog/Underdog won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2002; making her the first African-American woman to receive the award for drama.

May 10, 1966, Army PVT John W. Coates from Horse Cave in Hart County died in the Vietnam War.

May 10, 1968, Marine Corps LCPL Donald W. Mitchell from Princeton in Caldwell County died in the Vietnam War.

May 10, 1969, Army CPL Robert E. Bowman from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 10, 1970, Army SFC Estill R. McIntonsh from Booneville in Owsley County died in the Vietnam War.

May 10, 1972, Army PVT James D. Groves from Maysville died in the Vietnam War.

May 10, 1975, Ruffian began her quest for the NYRA Filly Triple Crown in the Alcorn Stakes.  With Ron Turcotte up she won easily by 8 ¼ lengths.  The Mother Goose and Coaching Club American Oaks were next.

May 10, 1986, Lafayette High School won the recall division in the State finals of the Kentucky Academic Bowl.

May 10, 1991, saying she had no chance to win, Martha Wilkinson quit her governor run but declined to endorse another candidate in her party.

On May 10, 1994, Murray native Cleanth Brooks died.  Cleanth revolutionized the teaching of poetry in American higher education.

May 10, 2004, fire destroyed the landmark castle on Versailles Road in Woodford County.  Tom Post bought it the following November.

On May 10, 2020, senior citizens in facilities began to visit with family members through windows and other types of barriers while church members held services with the state’s blessing.

On May 10, 2021, Governor A. Beshear said, “Folks, we need people to keep getting vaccinated.  This is our chance to be patriotic Americans.”  He also lifted more restrictions on bars and restaurants as the economy slowly opened.  Meanwhile, President Biden told the American people they needed to get back to work.  Finally, in horse news, Medina Spirit planned on going to the Preakness without Bob Baffert.