TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

May 11, 1785, Lexington trustees held their first meeting of the year and issued deeds for “Inn Lots” to Evan Francis, Simon West, Casper Carsner, and Percival Butler.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 19

On May 11, 1847, Henry Clay gave Abraham Lincoln the book The Life And Speeches Of Henry Clay Vol. 1.  The inscription on the flyleaf read:  “To Abraham Lincoln:  With constant regard to friendship H. Clay Ashland.”  The book contained the life and speeches of Henry Clay.  Henry Clay revered his influence on the young native Kentuckian.

May 11, 1871, Robert Fox won a lawsuit in the U.S. district court in Louisville against the Central Passenger Railroad Company for denying him access to its streetcars.  It was filed in federal court because the state courts did not allow black testimony.  The monetary award was small, $15, but it represented a huge symbolic victory for Louisville’s black community.  The day of the ruling and the next day, Louisville witnessed intense and violent demonstrations on their streetcars, clogging the streets and wreaking havoc on the city’s public transportation system.  It all culminated with the beating of a black youth, Carey Duncan, who refused to leave a streetcar.

May 11, 1887, Kentucky Republicans nominated William O’Connell Bradley for governor to oppose Democrat Simon B. Buckner, a former Confederate general.  In his acceptance speech, Bradley implored Kentuckians to realize that the Civil War was over and to discontinue their practice of electing ex-Confederate democrats to public office.

Wednesday, May 11, 1887, 17-year-old Hutchinson Station native Isaac E. Lewis rode the 13th Kentucky Derby winner, Montrose, a mile and a half in 2:39 1/4.  Fifteen of the first 28 Derbies, African American jockeys won.  Brothers Alexander S. and Isaac Labold owned the colt and hired John McGinty as the trainer.  The winning connections earned $4,200.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Natlee native Rear Admiral Willis Augustus “Ching” Lee Jr., born in 1888 in Owen County.  A skilled sport shooter, Willis won seven medals in the 1920 Olympics shooting events, including five gold medals.

Wednesday, May 11, 1892, Alonzo “Lonnie” Clayton rode Azra to victory in the 18th Kentucky Derby in a three-horse field.  Fifteen-year-old Lonnie became the youngest jockey ever to win the Derby.  The duo also won the Clark Handicap and Travers Stakes later in the year.  Lonnie was one of the 15 African Americans to win the first 28 Derbies.  The mile and half went 2:41 ½ on a heavy track to win $4,230 for owner Bashford Manor and trainer John H. Morris.

May 11, 1902, Deputy Sheriff Jesse Mitchell, Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot aboard an excursion steamer on the Green River near Spottsville.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Minerva native Stanley Forman Reed and Winifred Elgin, who wed in 1908.  Winifred graduated from Lexington’s Campbell-Hagerman College.  The new couple moved to New York City and Reed continued his study of law at Columbia University for a year.

May 11, 1912, Worth won the 38th Kentucky Derby for H.C. Hallenbeck, trainer F.M. Taylor, and jockey C. Shilling in 2:09 2/5 on a muddy track to win $4,850.  The favorite won by a neck in the seven-horse field.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Foster Brooks, born in 1912.  

On May 11, 1914, Gulnare native John Caldwell Calhoun Mayo died.  John attracted corporate interest in Eastern Kentucky’s coal deposits, which led to the development of commercial coal mining in the region.  His “broad form deed” changed the coal mining game in the early 1900s.

May 11, 1918, Exterminator won the 44th Kentucky Derby.  Without the benefit of a single prep race in 9 ½ months; Exterminator shocked the world by winning over a muddy track in 2:10 4/5.  He beat seven others, including the favorite, War Cloud, and paid $61.20 to win.  It was the beginning of a long, illustrious career for the colt and a love affair with the fans.

“Who is it laughs at years that flow?
Who is it always gets the dough?
Whose only creed is go and go?
Exterminator.”

Kentucky Trivia:  When Man o’ War was three and Exterminator five, the two owners agreed to have a match race, but it never materialized.  Exterminator competed in 99 races, winning 50 while finishing second and third 17 times each.  The 100th “start” was an exhibition run by Exterminator alone at Hawthorne Race Course.   Exterminator retired at age nine.

On May 11, 1924, Louisville’s National Better Homes Week convention showcased an “electrical home.”  The exhibitors pointed out that home electricity is actual, and women no longer need to wash clothes or dishes by hand.

May 11, 1935, Kentucky bred Omaha won the 60th Preakness for the 2nd leg of the Triple Crown.

May 11, 1940, Colonel Edward R. Bradley’s Bimelech won the Preakness and wore the Black-Eyed Susans floral blanket for the first time.

May 11, 1950, Patrolman Clarence Lee Meenach, Russell Police Department, died from a gunshot with his own service weapon while processing a prisoner.

May 11, 1953, Lexington native David “Davey” S. Moore made his professional debut, age 19, beating Willie Reece by a decision in six rounds.  He boxed eight times in 1953, with a total record of six wins, one loss, and one no contest.

May 11, 1967, Army PFC Waddel Evans from Hopkinsville in Christian County died in the Vietnam War.

May 11, 1968, Army SGT Michael D. Mueller from Louisville and Army SSG Pearl Bush from Little in Breathitt County died in the Vietnam War.

May 11, 1969, Army SP5 Edward Barlow from Hebron in Boone County and Marine Corps PFC Chester J. Wartman from Ft. Mitchell in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

May 11, 1970, Air Force LTCOL Jerry Pyle from Richland in Hopkins and Army SP4 Danny J. Taulbee from Lee City in Wolfe County died in the Vietnam War.

May 11, 1992, in a year that saw two sheriffs and a deputy slain in the line of duty, law enforcement officers from across the state gathered in Frankfort for the 15th annual Kentucky’s Peace Officer’s Memorial Service.

May 11, 2013, the largest archery tournament ended in Louisville, according to the Guinness World Records.  The National Archery Schools Program had 9,426 participants at the Kentucky State Fair.

On May 11, 2020, a Richmond daycare center sued a Wisconsin insurance company for $400,000 after they denied an insurance claim, for business interruption, during the coronavirus pandemic.  Governor A. Beshear ordered all daycare operators to close on May 20.  The governor in his daily update told Kentuckians, “We’ll get past this; we’ll get to the vaccine stage.  Our battle and our war is still going on.”

May 11, 2021, Bob Baffert began his campaign to clear his name when he explained that an ointment caused the drug overage.  Meanwhile, according to Smartasset.com, Lexington and Louisville were in the top 10 U.S. cities for recent college graduates to move to.