TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

May 12, 1886, Cynthiana native Caleb Walton West began his 2nd term as governor of the Utah Territory.

May 12, 1888, Officer Thomas Donlon, Lexington Police Department, died from a gunshot while attempting to arrest a drunk man in a stable on North Mill Street.

Wednesday, May 12, 1897, Typhoon II beat five others to win the 23rd Kentucky Derby.  For the 2nd year, Churchill used the classic 1 ¼ miles distance.  This year, the field went in 2:12 ½ on a heavy track.  Julius C. Cahn owned and trained the colt with Fred Garner up to win $4,850.  Typhoon II was the last of three Derby winners bred in Tennessee.

May 12, 1908, the U.S. granted Nathan B. Stubblefield a patent for his “Wireless Telephone” (there was no word for radio at the time).

On Wednesday, May 12, 1909, the Preakness returned to Pimlico and has stayed ever since.  Effendi won with Willie Doyle aboard.  Pimlico made it a one-mile race, used once before in 1910.  Several traditions enjoyed today came from the spontaneity of the 1909 Preakness renewal.  For example, the musical rendering of “Maryland My Maryland” began when a bugler, moved by the day’s spirit, began playing Maryland’s historic state song.  Inspired by the music, the rest of the band joined in, and the crowd reacted enthusiastically.  This Preakness also inaugurated the “painting of the colors” atop the weather vane to honor the winning horse.

May 12, 1917, Omar Khayyam, foaled in England, won the 43rd Kentucky Derby and became the first foreign bred horse to win the roses.  The winning connections of owner C. K. G. Billings and Frederick Johnson, trainer Charles T. Patterson, and jockey Charles Borel won their only Derby and earned $16,600.  Omar Khayyam came to America as a yearling due to wartime conditions in England.

May 12, 1917, Kalitan won the 42nd Preakness Stakes, one of two times the Derby and Preakness ran on the same day.  Kalitan became the first Preakness winner to receive the most valuable trophy in sports, the Woodlawn Vase.

Horse Racing Trivia:  Tiffany and Company created the Woodlawn Vase in 1860 for the Woodlawn Racing Association in Louisville.  Caretakers buried it to keep it from falling into the wrong hands during the Civil War.   Starting in 1866, several tracks honored their stakes winners with the trophy; including tracks in Louisville, New Jersey, Coney Island, and finally staying in Baltimore in 1917.

Monday, May 12, 1924, Nellie Morse won the 49th Preakness Stakes at 1 1/8 miles.  From 1911 to 1924, the 1 1/8 distance determined the winner.  In 1925, the distance would change to 1 3/16 miles, the distance today; however, Pimlico would still experiment with other distances in the coming years.

May 12, 1953, Louisville proposed an ordinance that would ban the honking of a car horn unless in emergencies.  The fine for such an offense would range from $5 to $25.  

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Newport native Jerry Trimble, born in 1963.  Jerry is an actor, stuntman, youth motivational speaker, and former world kickboxing champion.

May 12, 1967, Air Force A1C Lawrence E. Lewis from Ashland in Boyd County died in the Vietnam War.

May 12, 1968, Army PFC James R. Lee from Louisville and Army SGT Robert M. Fletcher from Lynn from Greenup County died in the Vietnam War.

May 12, 1969, Marine Corps PFC Charles W. Ford from Louisville and Marine Corps PFC Marion D. Powell from Vine Grove from Hardin County died in the Vietnam War.

May 12, 1970, Army PFC Ronald E. Campbell from Richmond died in the Vietnam War.

May 12, 1973, the Kentucky Colonels lost the ABA Finals, in Game 7, to the Indiana Pacers 88-81.

May 12, 1979, Patrolman Albert Berry Sallee, Jr., Louisville Police Department, died on his motorcycle when he lost control and struck a guardrail.  All of the motorcycle officers had just been instructed to return to the station to pick up automobiles because of rain.

May 12, 1982, Harlan County Sherriff Paul Browning claimed a sniper shot him.  His deputy claimed he shot himself.  The shooting happened when Browning was on trial for plotting to kill two Harlan County officials.  Fast forward to 2008, Browning died from a gunshot wound to the head; his murderer then burned his body.

May 12, 1994, Easy Goer, winner of the Gotham, Travers, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Wood Memorial, Whitney, Woodward, and Belmont, passed away.  

May 12, 1997, UK’s director of athletics, C.M. Newton, introduced Orlando “Tubby” Smith as head coach.

May 12, 2001, a group representing 30 water utilities, serving 2.7 million people, up and down the 981 miles long Ohio River, urged tighter controls on pollutants, including ammonia and some pathogens.  

May 12, 2007, Lexington native Austin Kearns in a home game against the Florida Marlins, hit a bases-empty inside-the-park home run, the first-ever for a Washington National player.

May 12, 2008, Shirley Cunningham, Jr., William Gallion, and Melbourne Mills, Jr. go on trial for the infamous fen-phen scandal.  The three lawyers supposedly bilked their clients out of $94 million in settlement money.

May 12, 2011, former Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge admitted in federal court that he was involved in numerous illegal activities during his tenure as sheriff, including conspiracy to commit extortion, distribute oxycodone, and money laundering.

May 12, 2016, ex-president Bill Clinton popped in on Thursday Night Live in Lexington.  He campaigned for his wife’s presidential run.  Bill visited twice in one week due to the May 17 primary.  Bill Clinton repealed the Glass Steagall Act in 1999, a move that enabled Wall Street to become a nonstop gambling orgy.

May 12, 2020, as Kentucky reopened, Governor A. Beshear announced 191 new positive cases and ten new deaths for totals of 6,853 and 321.  Several Kentucky citizens filed a federal lawsuit against Andy for his bans on mass gatherings. The plaintiffs wanted to continue their political rallies and protests.  Meanwhile, Dr. Fauci warned against the “really serious” consequences of reopening too soon.

On May 12, 2021, many Kentuckians went into panic mode by buying all the gasoline they could find after a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.  State Transportation Secretary Jim Gray declared a state of emergency to speed up gas delivery to Kentucky.  The order waived restrictions on how long a truck driver could drive.  Meanwhile President Biden and Senator McConnell met for the 1st time since Biden took office.  The two have worked together for 35 years and both men are accountable to the same donors.