TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

May 18, 1808, Elijah Craig passed away in Georgetown.  A former Baptist preacher, he received jail time in Virginia for preaching without a license in 1768.  Seeking religious freedom and economic opportunity, Craig migrated to Kentucky County in 1782 and bought 1,000 acres in Georgetown.  He became one of Kentucky’s 1st educators and capitalist entrepreneurs who created the 1st classical school, the 1st fulling mill (for cloth manufacturing), 1st paper mill, first ropewalk (for manufacturing rope from hemp), and the 1st lumber and gristmill.  In 1789 Craig founded a distillery for which he is best known.

On May 18, 1820, a watering hole for elk herds named Elkton, located on the Elk Fork of the Red River, incorporated in Todd County.  Today, Elkton is the county seat.

Tuesday, May 18, 1880, Fonso won the 6th Kentucky Derby, over four others, going the 1 ½ in 2:37.50, in dust five inches deep, the dustiest Derby ever.  Tice Hutsell gave George Lewis a leg up for owner John Snell Shawhan.  A foul claim by the rider of Kimball against Fonso did not stand.  The winning connections earned $3,800.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Jamestown native Cy Barger, born in 1885.  Cy was a right-handed starting pitcher and left-handed batter who played for the New York Highlanders, Brooklyn Superbas, Dodgers, and for the Pittsburgh Rebels in the Federal League.

May 18, 1886, the General Assembly approved an act that established a State Normal School for the multi-purpose of educating colored citizens and creating colored teachers.  The school is now Kentucky State University.

Friday, May 18, 1887, Dunboyne won the 15th Preakness Stakes over three others.  The winning owner, W. Jennings, earned $1,725.  The Derby ran one week earlier.

May 18, 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision.  The justices ruled that the “separate but equal” provision of private services, mandated by the state government, is constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause.  One Justice dissented: John M. Harlan: “The Great Dissenter,” a native of Kentucky and a graduate of Centre College.

May 18, 1920, Man o’ War won the 45th running of the Preakness by 1 1/2 lengths over Upset and seven others as he stretched out to 1 1/8 miles in 1:51.60.  “Paul Jones, who won the Kentucky Derby, was not eligible because he was a gelding.  Man o’War had a new jockey, Clarence Kummer, who would stay on the colt, with the exception of two races.  Net value to winner, $23,000: 2nd, $3,000, 3rd, $2,000, and 4th, $1,000.

May 18, 1929, Clyde Van Dusen won the 55th Kentucky Derby over 20 other entries.  He was the 7th gelding to win but it would take another 74 years before the next gelding took the roses, Funny Cide.  Jockey J. Linus McAtee won his 2nd and last derby for owner/breeder Herbert P. Gardner and trainer Clyde Van Dusen.  The winning time of 2:10 4/5 over a muddy track earned $53,590.

May 18, 1944, Patrolman Houston Greene, Kentucky Highway Patrol, died and a fellow officer was seriously wounded by two men who ambushed them as they walked out of a drug store in Pineville.

May 18, 1951, Army PVT Walter E. Davis from Fayette County, Army PVT Ernest E. Edge from Ohio County, Army SFC Norris Fugate from Knott County, Army PVT Curtis W. Qualls from Henderson County, Army CPL Clyde H. Sears from Fayette County, and Army SGT Willie Allen, Jr from Perry County, all died in the Korean War.

May 18, 1958, Deputy Sheriff Jack B. Mills, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, died by a gunshot while checking a wrecked pickup truck on Highway 23.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Morganfield native Debbie Dadey, born in 1959.

May 18, 1966, Army LTC Ernest E. Lane from Kyrock in Edmonson County and Army SFC Aster Watts from La Porte in Jefferson County, died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1967, Army SP4 Stanley M. Jamrozy from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1968, Army SGT Henry Jackson from Pineville in Bell County, Army SGT Carl E. Shirley from Louisville, and Army SGT Julian T. Fields from Pikeville, all died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1969, Army SP4 Gregory D. Cornett from Putney in Harlan County, Army CPL Bobby G. Newby from Winchester in Clark County, and Army SP4 George E. Tackett from Olive Hill in Carter County, all died in the Vietnam War.

May 18, 1972, congress held hearings about concerns over fake TV news coverage.  “It’s our job to police this (broadcasting) industry and make it better,” said Chairman Harley Staggers D-WVA, of the House Commerce Committee.  I wonder what he would say about cable news today.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Winchester native and Hollywood actor Matt Long, born in 1980.

May 18, 1993, Bruce Wilkinson, nephew of Governor Wilkinson, received a three year prison sentence for extorting a bribe while working for his uncle.  Current Governor Brereton Jones had no comment.

May 18, 2000, a Southern Baptist Committee stated that women should not be ordained as senior pastors.

On May 18, 2000, the U.S. Coastguard used massive pumps and compressors to churn air into oxygen-depleted water in hopes of stopping a massive fish kill in the Kentucky River.  Bureaucrats never issued an official cause; however, 200,000 gallons of Wild Turkey bourbon flowed into the river on May 9.

May 18, 2002, watch the 127th Preakness Stakes for a $1,000,000 purse.

On May 18, 2009, West Liberty native Joe Nickell, an American skeptic and investigator of the paranormal, received an award for promotion of science in popular media at the 3rd Annual Independent Investigative Group IIG Awards.

May 18, 2020, UK fired the nation’s greatest cheer coach, Jomo Thompson, after a full investigation into hazing incidents.

Kentucky Trivia:  UK cheerleading started in 1905 with an all-male squad.  The first coed squad began in 1938 with four males and four females.  The coed squad became the norm in the late 60s.  Kentucky has 24 UCA National Titles, more than all other schools combined.  The Wildcats finished third in 2019, ending a four-year championship streak.