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July 5, 1863, General J. H. Morgan’s Raiders battled Lieutenant Colonel Charles S. Hanson’s small Union force for nearly six hours in Lebanon.  During the fight, the Confederates pushed the federals through the town.  The Union troops used the L & N Railroad Depot as a defensive position, and Morgan tried to burn them out by setting fire to nearby buildings.  The strategy worked, and the Union troops surrendered.  The raiders burned Lebanon’s clerk’s office along with treason indictments against some of his men.  Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg:30

July 5, 1881, Hal Price McGrath passed away, six years after winning the 1st Kentucky Derby with Aristides.  Born in the tiny hamlet of Keene, near Lexington, he grew up poor in nearby Versailles.  As legend goes, he ran with crooked dice artists, abstracted protection fees from touring gamblers and by his 20s, McGrath rode the riverboats as a gambler.  Next, he took off in the California Gold Rush of 1849, working the mining camps as a gambler and sharpie.  He came back east and opened a gambling house in New Orleans; even widows of Confederate soldiers fell for his swindles.  McGrath moved on to New York and made a fortune running a gambling house, cashed in and moved back home in style.  McGrath started McGrathiana Farm and bred Aristides.  He gave extravagant dinner parties, inviting politicians, horsemen, and anyone in high Kentucky society.  Later known as Maine Chance Farm; today the land is called Coldstream Farm.

July 5, 1919, Man o’ War, who had just finished his vacation in Aqueduct for 12 days, took the 30th running of the 6 furlongs Tremont Stakes for $4,800 of the $6,000 purse.  He beat two others in 1:13.00, carrying 130 lbs.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Depoy native Warren Mercer Oates, born in 1928.  He is best known for his performances in several films directed by Sam Peckinpah, including The Wild Bunch (1969) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974).  Another of his most acclaimed performances was as officer Sam Wood In the Heat of the Night (1967).

July 5, 1936, the Courier-Journal front page ran a story about 10,000 people preparing to witness the “unprecedented spectacle of a woman sheriff springing the trap at the execution in Owensboro on July 31 of Rainey Bethea, 22, a Negro.”

July 5, 1950, Army PFC Jimmie Allen from Floyd County, Army PVT Norman G. Cawthorn from Jefferson County, Army PFC Boyd E. Cox from Whitely County, Army CPL William C. Denson from Franklin in Simpson County, and Army PFC Ransome Wolford, Jr from Pike County, died in the Korean War.

July 5, 1951, Army PFC Ralph Middleton from Harlan County died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Virgie native and 1982 Mr. Basketball Todd May, born in 1964 in Pike County.

July 5, 1966, Army 1st Lt. Jerry A. Roberts from Cerulean in Trigg County died in the Vietnam War.

July 5, 1968, Kentucky added Cassius M. Clay’s White Hall to the Kentucky State Parks System.

By Jim Bowen

July 5, 1971, Tom T. Hall released The Year That Clayton Delaney Died.

On July 5, 1972, eight UK students pleaded guilty to drug charges ranging from amphetamines, LSD, heroin, and marijuana.  No word if they attended the fireworks at Stoll Field later that evening.

July 5, 1981, Barbara Zaleski reached for her whip during the barrel-racing event at the three-day Hall of Champions Rodeo at the Kentucky Horse Park.  The Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association sanctioned the event the Rotary Club supported it.

July 5, 1985, Patrolman William R. Burns from the Radcliff Police Department died after overcome by gas fumes rescuing a sewer department employee trapped in an underground lift station.

July 5, 1990, the U.S. Labor Department levied the largest fine in U.S. mining history.  The $507,996 against Pyro Mining Company stemmed from an investigation of the 1989 mine disaster in Sullivan, Union County, where ten miners died.

July 5, 1992, John Shell of Leslie County, billed as the oldest man in the world, passed over.  His exact age is a mystery.

July 5, 1995, the federal government reached a $60 million settlement to clean up Maxey Flats, a nuclear waste dump, in Fleming County.  Engineers estimated $100,000,000 in clean up cost.  Over 600 private and governmental organizations dumped between 1963 and 1977.  

July 5, 2000, the 1st inmate released from a Kentucky prison due to DNA testing walked out a free man after serving seven years.  Someone robbed and raped two women in the same apartment complex within a month; William Gregory lived there in 1992.  They convicted him in 1993 to 140 years.

July 5, 2002, Kentucky’s 57th governor Wallace Wilkinson passed away.

July 5, 2007, in an unprecedented move, the state house shut down rather than work.  The Donkeys refused to work, while the Elephants wanted to roll up their sleeves.  The institution then debated the constitutionality of not working, which prompted a stand-off between the house and Governor E. Fletcher.  The governor didn’t appreciate the cheap shot but gave them 72 hours of leave.

July 5, 2014, a Kentucky bred won the GI $1,250,000 Belmont Derby by a neck.  The red cap, black silks, and Kentucky conditioner earn the victory.

July 5, 2018, President D. Trump tweeted that Lexington native Scott Pruitt resigned as EPA’s leader.  Pruitt made Trump look bashful, when too many “incidents” happened too close together.

On July 5, 2020, a report indicated 48,370 Kentucky businesses received $5.2 billion from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a socialist program to help overcome the coronavirus.  Critics pointed out a majority funneled upward to a small minority.  In Kentucky, 41,932 businesses received $150,000 or less, and 6,438 firms received more than $150,000, including 53 companies that got between $5 and $10 million.  The government gave away trillions in the name of a virus that “wasn’t that deadly” according to Bill Gates.

On July 5, 2021, the nation fell just short of giving at least one experimental vaccine shot to 75% of Americans. Therefore, the Biden administration moved away from mass vaccination sites and marketed the drug directly to the people.  Local concerts, parades, fairs, and back-to-school events, throughout the nation, hosted mobile vaccination sites.

On July 5, 2023, a Federal judge blocked the Biden administration from communicating with social media companies to take down COVID-19 information that did not meet the White House narrative.  The judge ordered a slew of federal agencies and over a dozen top officials not to communicate with social media companies about taking down “content containing protected free speech” posted on the platforms.  The government could communicate in efforts to curb illegal activity and address national security threats.