TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Shepherdsville native James Turner Morehead, born in 1797 in Bullitt County.  James was our 12th governor and served a term as U.S. Senator.  

May 24-25, 1840, Kentucky organized a grand celebration of Kentucky’s 1st settlement at Boonesborough in Madison County.  Between 7,000 and 10,000 people attended, 3,000 were ladies.  Governor Wickliffe reviewed 11 military companies.  Mrs. French, a daughter of Col. Richard Calloway, kidnapped by Native Americans, also participated, along with other pioneers.  A great torrent of rain caused havoc on the festivities.

Thursday, May 24, 1900, Ildrim won the 34th Belmont Stakes over six others by a head and set a new stakes record.  The 1 3/8 miles had a post time of 4:33 and went in 2:21 ¾.

Wednesday, May 24, 1905, Tanya won the 39th Belmont Stakes, the 1st running at Belmont Park.  Tanya became the second filly to win the race.  The distance was 1 ¼  miles and she went off as the favorite at 2-1 over six other colts.  The winning connections earned $16,240.  It would take another century before another filly would win when Rags to Riches won in 2007.  As a two-year-old, Tanya won the Hopeful, National Stallion, and Spinaway Stakes.

On May 24, 1935, Springfield native and Reds pitcher Paul Derringer started the first night game in major league history.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt turned on the stadium lights from the White House, and the Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2–1.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Nicholasville native Donald Alan “Don” Brumfield, born in 1938.  Brumfield held the Churchill Downs record for the all-time leading rider in races won (925) until Pat Day broke it.  Don also won 16 riding titles under the Twin Spires.

May 24, 1951, Army 1LT Randall G. Sammons from Fayette County and Army PFC Willie Beckley from Jefferson County died in the Korean War.

May 24, 1960, Patrolman Delmar Whitworth, Sr., Jefferson County Police Department, died in an automobile accident while responding to a call.  The patrol car crossed the center median and struck another car head-on.

May 24, 1967, Army SP4 William J. Scherle from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 24, 1968, Army SP4 Larry R. McFadden from Paintsville in Johnson County and Marine Corps PFC Jerry L. Hilbert from Jefferson County died in the Vietnam War.

May 24, 1969, Army SFC Orville Hampton from Cattlesburg in Boyd County and Army PFC Gary A. Wallace from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

On May 24, 1971, Glasgow native Denny Doyle hit a home run, as a Philly, against Cincinnati pitcher Gary Nolan; it was the only hit in the game.  Doyle has the distinction of having the only hit in three one-hitters during his career.  This was the 2nd of his three games.

May 24, 1976, Muhammad Ali (52-2) fought Richard Dunn (33-9) in Olympic Hall, Munich, West Germany.  Ali’s skills were waning, and Dunn fought hard.  But Ali knocked him down five times in five rounds before the fight stopped.  Dunn was the last fighter Ali would knock down.  After the fight, Ali donated his gloves to a British boxer who had lost his eye.  Inside the gloves it was written: “Ali wins” in one, and “Round five” in the other.

May 24, 1981, Louisville surgeon Dr. Walter Hume, Jr. spoke out on the spiraling cost of hospital stays in Kentucky and elsewhere in the U.S.  The daily hospital bill of an average patient had doubled in the past five years.  To compound the issue, Kentucky Department of Insurance approved a rate hike for Blue Cross to raise plans 25%.

May 24, 1982, Betty Truax from Finchville caught a state record Redear Sunfish (Shellcracker) weighing 3 lbs., 1 oz. in a Shelby County farm pond.

May 24 ShellcrackerFish

May 24, 1988, Carrie Dalton, a former state prison teacher, turned herself in to the State Police.  She shocked media, friends, and colleagues when she allegedly helped a convicted killer escape and joined him on the run.

Kentucky Trivia:  In 1983, Kentucky had 8,525 people locked up in jails or prisons.  In 2015, that number became 33,025, a 287% increase.  Black people are 9% of Kentucky’s population; however, they make up 20% of the prison population.  Since 1980, the number of women in jails increased by 1,694%, and in prisons, 2,317%.

May 24, 1997, Affirmed broke his maiden at Belmont Park.  He won his next race, the Youthful Stakes, on June 15, where he defeated Alydar by eight lengths.

May 24, 2001, preliminary findings pointed to cyanide poisoning from caterpillars which caused losses of foals and fetuses on Kentucky horse farms.  The leaves of the Black Cherry trees contained cyanide.  The caterpillars would eat the leaves, which have immunity to the poison, and the horses would eat the caterpillars.  More than 500 cases of stillbirths and deaths of newborn thoroughbred foals shook the industry.

May 24, 2007, President G.W. Bush nominated Cardiologist Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr. to serve as the new U.S. Surgeon General.  Holsinger’s nomination became controversial over anti-gay bias, and the Senate never voted on him.  Dr. Holsinger served as secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for Kentucky and chancellor of the UK Chandler Medical Center for nine years.  He graduated with biblical studies from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore.

May 24, 2009, Carl Rowe caught a state record Gizzard Shad weighing 4.08 pounds in the Ohio Rive r (Greenup L&D).

mAY 24 Gizzard Shad

May 24, 2020, Kentucky native Garlin “Muri” Conner earned his Medal of Honor in 1945, but it wasn’t till 2018 when President D. Trump awarded it to his widow.  He finally got his due after family and friends campaigned for 22 years to prove he deserved America’s highest military honor.  At the conclusion, Mrs. Conner stated, “I have learned more about what he had done after he passed away than I did the entire 58 years I lived with him.”

May 24, 2020, calling it a “vile” and “shameful” act, Kentucky Republicans and Democrats swiftly condemned the effigy of Governor A. Beshear, following a 2nd Amendment rally.  A sign on the effigy said, “sic semper tyrannis,” which translates to “thus always to tyrants,” a phrase used by John Wilkes Booth after shooting President Lincoln.

May 24, 2021, as the real estate market continued to boom in the Commonwealth, Senator Rand Paul announced he would not take the coronavirus vaccine.  He claimed to have natural immunity after testing positive in in 2020.