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Kentucky Trivia

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Mason County native Alexander William Doniphan, born in 1808.  An attorney, soldier, and politician he prevented the execution of the Mormon Church leader Joseph Smith, at the close of the 1838 Mormon War.  He also authored a legal code that still forms the basis of New Mexico’s Bill of Rights.

July 9, 1850, President Zachary Taylor, a Whig, died in office after serving just 16 months.  President Millard Fillmore, also a Whig, became the 13th president.

July 9, 1862, Morgan’s men made their 1st raid when they took Tompkinsville in Monroe County.  Raiders captured 30 retreating Union soldiers and destroyed tents and stores.  Then they took 20 wagons, 50 mules, 40 horses, sugar, and coffee supplies.

July 9, 1883, Latonia Race Track opened in Covington.  Isaac Murphy would go on to win five Latonia Derbies.  Patrons referred to the spectacular infield as “America’s most beautiful race track.”  It would stay open for 56 years.

On July 9, 1921, moonshiners killed two dry raiders, and a posse formed immediately in Bardstown, consisting of 50 lawyers, bankers, business people, and a preacher.

July 9, 1925, UK’s College of Agriculture announced:  The average acres of tobacco between 1921 and 1925 was 513,000 acres.  The average production per year was 403,127,000 pounds, and the average value of the crop was $70,401,000.  Tobacco grew on over 50% of Kentucky farms and comprised 1/3 of the state’s economy.  

On July 9, 1930, Knox County Deputies arrested a former deputy constable and the Knox County Sheriff for the murder of a 24-year-old moonshiner during a dry raid.  The Knox County constable shot the boy in the back but found no still on the farm.  The arrest came after a two-day search for the lawmen on the Knox/Whitley County border.

July 9, 1953, Marine Corps 2nd LT Solomon L. Van Meter III from Lexington died in the Korean War.

July 9, 1955, David L. Hayes from Leitchfield caught an all-tackle world record 11 lb. 15 oz. smallmouth bass in Dale Hallow Lake, Phillip’s Bend area.  He used a pearl-colored Bomber 600 lure.  David reeled in the 27-inch long small-mouth-bass from the Kentucky side of the lake.  The Dale Hollow State Resort Park Marina renamed their boat ramp the David L. Hayes Boat Ramp to commemorate this legendary catch.  The sign marking the ramp includes a life-sized image of the record fish.

July 9, 1956, Life magazine printed an article by Robert Penn Warren that recanted his earlier views on segregation during the civil rights movement, titled, Divided South Searches Its Soul.

July 9, 1958 Kincaid Lake State Park joined the Kentucky State Parks System.

July 9, 1968, Navy HN Robert E. Ash from Pleasure Ridge Park from Jefferson County died in the Vietnam War.

July 9, 1969, Army SGT Thomas J. Barnes Jr. from Elizabethtown died in the Vietnam War.

July 9, 1970, President R. Nixon asked for a major reorganization “to coordinate efforts to understand, protect and enhance the nation’s environment.”  He wanted the government to regulate pollution control by a new department called the EPA.  He also asked for air and sea research operations to be controlled by another new government agency called NOAA.

July 9, 1972, John Y. Brown Jr.’s 19-hour Democratic Party fundraiser in Miami Beach ended on a successful note with $5 million in total donations.

July 9, 1978, Lt. Governor Thelma Stovall spoke to her largest audience of her career at the Equal Rights Amendment rally in Washington D.C.  Over ten thousand people cheered Kentucky’s Lt. Governor as she spoke from the U.S. Capitol’s steps.

July 9, 1983, Kentucky learned that it emerged as the nation’s leader in prosecuting abuse and neglect cases of nursing home patients.

July 9, 1985, corporations in Kentucky politely went along with Governor M. L. Collins’s plan to tax them.  This news made front-page headlines across Kentucky as it was a rare and noteworthy occasion when those about to be taxed remained quiet.  Meanwhile, in Washington, Senators McConnell and Ford voted to allow the interstate sale of guns.

July 9, 1992, in a radical shift in strategy, Humana, Inc. announced it would split itself into two different entities to make more money.  One publicly held company would operate Humana Hospitals, and the other would administer insurance plans.  It’s good to be greedy.

On July 9, 1996, nine peregrine falcons from South Dakota arrived at Kentucky Utility’s E.W. Brown Generating Plant near Lake Herrington.  The 5-week old chicks had transmitters on as they learned to fly.  Conservationists released forty-five falcons at the plant or in downtown Lexington since 1993.

July 9, 1997, Frankfort proposed controversial changes to its legislative ethics code so the wheels wouldn’t squeak.  One of the changes allowed lobbyists to contribute to campaigns, and another had them stop listing legislators who they spent money on.  Ivonne Rovira, of Common Cause Kentucky, which promotes citizens’ involvement in government, said she was appalled.

July 9, 2000, Pete Sampras won a record 7th Wimbledon Men’s Championship and his 13th grand slam, which made him king of the slams.  Before the 2023 tournament, Federer had 8 Wimbledon titles, Djokovic and Sampras had 7, Borg had 5, and Becker and McEnroe had 3.

July 9, 2004, Governor E. Fletcher discussed the negative images often associated with Kentucky.  Therefore, he announced a $15 million-a-year image makeover.  The state hoped to have a slogan by the end of August.  Suggestions included: “Kentucky; Unbridled” or “Kentucky; and you’re off.”

July 9, 2006, a 5-year-old won the GI $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park by a nose.

July 9, 2010, Governor S. Beshear announced he would furlough 36,000 state workers for six days spread throughout the year.  It marked the 1st time in Kentucky’s modern history that a state-wide furlough occurred.  The action supposedly saved $24 million.

July 9, 2011, Kentucky Speedway in Sparta hosted its 1st NASCAR event obtaining a major goal.  Kyle Busch won the Quaker State 400, a 400.5-mile NASCAR Cup Series race.  Joe Gibbs owned the Toyota, which M&M sponsored.  Major traffic and parking issues overshadowed the race, and 20,000 ticketed fans missed the race.

July 9, 2012, a judge ruled that Kentucky childhood officials must release public records of child abuse cases where a child died.  The ruling upheld an earlier court decision for the Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald Leader over the state’s desire to keep the records secret to protect potential victims.

July 9, 2015, Winchester Commissioners Rick Smith, Vanessa Oaks Rogers, and JoEllen Reed voted to let the Allen Company mine the land near Fort Boonesborough.  Clara Sipple, the Kentucky River Authority Chairwoman, and locals became visibly upset.

July 9, 2019, former Marine Corps fighter pilot and corporate tool Amy McGrath announced she would try to take the seat of the sharpest corporate tool in the shed, Mitch.

On July 9, 2020, Governor A. Beshear issued his 1st mask mandate after announcing 333 new cases and four deaths.  Meanwhile, a state judge knocked down the governor’s mandate to restrict Kentucky’s 548 agritourism businesses.  Evans Orchid in Scott County wanted to host a wedding during the restrictions, hence, Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles and AG D. Cameron sued.

July 9, 2021, Governor A. Beshear stated Kentucky’s “economy is on fire” after the general fund receipts totaled $12.8 billion, a 10.9% increase over last year.  Making it the highest annual growth rate in 26 years which created a $1.1 billion budget surplus.

July 9, 2022, Stephen Stallings, Jared Wolfe, Matt Harris, Andrew Stephens, Matti Schmid, and Josh Teater, all with Kentucky connections, played in the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville.  Stallings and Teater made the cut, and Matti shared the lead after two rounds.