TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Happy Birthday Kentucky

June 1, 1789, Transylvania Seminary held their first session in Lexington after moving from Danville.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 16

June 1, 1789, Native Americans broke into the house of Edmond Stephenson in Madison County and wounded one person.  A number of horses had been stolen prior.

June 1, 1792, the Kentucky State Act admitting Kentucky into the Union took effect.  Under the Presidency of George Washington, Kentucky became the 1st state west of the Appalachian Mountains and the 15th state in the young Union.  It took eight years, ten statehood conventions, four Congressional enabling acts, and Virginia’s consent to make it happen.

Kentucky Trivia: The 15-star flag represented the original colonies plus Vermont and Kentucky and flew from 1777-1795.  It was the second of 27 flags that have defined America.  The 15-star flag inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” after he saw it fly over Fort McHenry following a British bombardment during the War of 1812.  The 22-star flag followed.

June 1, 1800, Kentucky’s second constitution goes into operation and is unchanged for 50 years.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Boyle County native John Marshall Harlan, “The Great Dissenter,” born in 1833.

June 1, 1883, according to Lexington officials, 489 persons died from cholera during a period of about two months.  However, the bulk of the deaths in Lexington took place in the first few weeks of June.  A house near Short Street had ten persons die in it; this was reportedly a house of entertainment.

June 1, 1899, Constable Jim Beltzer, Leslie County Constable’s Office, died from a gunshot as he escorted a convict to the county jail.

June 1, 1900, Garrard County native, Carry A. Nation, struck her first saloon to fight the evils of liquor.  In 1880, Kansas residents voted for prohibition, but saloonkeepers primarily ignored the law.  Carry would change all that.  First, she prayed in front of the saloons, and then she used rocks, bricks, and other objects for attacks; she later turned to the hatchet.

June 1, 1912, Patrolman J. Coleman Dawson, Owensboro Police Department, died from a gunshot while attempting to arrest a suspected horse thief just across the Indiana state line.

On June 1, 1916, Louisville native Louis Brandeis became the first Jewish justice on the U.S. Supreme Court with a 47-22 Senate confirmation vote.  Congress had always approved nominations on confirmation day; however, Brandeis’s religion changed that.  Hoping to embarrass Brandeis, the senate held a public hearing on a Supreme Court nominee for the first time in history.  They confirmed President Wilson’s nominee four months later.  The “Robin Hood of the Law” staved off the corporate takeover of America by decades.

June 1, 1934, Patrolman George Carroll, Irvine Police Department died in a shootout between a suspect and other officers.

June 1, 1934, UK dedicated a bronze statue of James Kennedy Patterson to commemorate the university’s 1st and longest president.  The 1,800-pound art piece depicts Patterson seated and holding a walking stick in one hand and a sheaf of papers in the other.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Henderson County native Sam Ball, born in 1944.  Sam played on the Super Bowl Champion (V) Colts.

June 1, 1952, Army CPL Earnest L. Vinson from Lewis County died in the Korean War.

June 1, 1953, Britain crowned Queen Elizabeth II.  She took time to congratulate the British expedition who successfully scaled Mt. Everest for the 1st, time three days earlier.

June 1, 1960, a former Food and Drug (FDA) Administrator told the press that he advocated for a shakeup of the FDA staff and news laws to drive dangerous or untested medicines off the market.  The FDA and big pharma have exchanged employees for decades, causing significant conflicts of interest.

June 1, 1968, Army 1LT Thomas L. Butler from Monroe in Hart County died in the Vietnam War.

June 1, 1969, Army SGT Bertram A. Carr from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

June 1, 1969, Sheriff James Madison Sizemore, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, died while serving warrants in Ephram Creek.  He took five bullets with a high powered rifle as he stepped out of his car.

June 1, 1970, Marine Corps SGT Roe Hopson, Jr. from Milo in Martin County died in the Vietnam War.

On June 1, 1971, the Kentucky school system and the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s (KHSAA) long drawn-out conflict came to a head when the schools threatened to sue.  The schools claimed blacks lacked representation on the KHSAA Board of Control.

June 1, 1981, the 1st Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Bowing Green.

June 1, 1982, Governor J. Brown, Jr. created Garden Week, the first week of June.

June 1, 1992, Kentuckians celebrated 200 years of statehood.

June 1, 1996, police arrested Woody Harrelson in Lee County after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana.

June 1, 1996, Cigar romped at Suffolk Downs in the Massachusetts Handicap to extend his winning streak to 15.

On June 1, 2003, Kentucky removed tolls from the Daniel Boone Parkway connecting Hazard and London.  Congressman Hal Rogers secured the federal funds to pay off the debt.  Governor Patton requested the road be renamed for the congressman as a reward.  The name change caused quite a stir.

June 1, 2015, Viper native Jean Ruth Ritchie, folk singer, songwriter, and Appalachian dulcimer player, called by some the “Mother of Folk,” passed away in Berea at age 90.

On June 1, 2017, members voted Marion Miley into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.  Meanwhile, President Trump withdrew America from the Climate Accord.  In Lexington, the downtown Peregrine Falcon population doubled from three to six.

On June 1, 2018, President Trump took immediate steps to bolster the struggling coal-fired power plants, to keep them open, calling it a matter of national and economic security.  In Frankfort, the Martin County Concerned Citizens activist group, the Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center, and the national Food & Water Watch Group asked AG A. Beshear to investigate the Martin County Water District for corruption.

On June 1, 2019, Henry Clay graduate Anna Marie Gilligan received admission to West Point, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy, a feat rarely accomplished.  Meanwhile, Governor M. Bevin began a political feud when he announced an investigation into Governor S. Beshear’s administration.

On June 1, 2020, Louisville fired its Police Chief when two officers failed to activate their body cameras during the shooting death of a store owner during a protest against police brutality.  They failed to use the body cameras before.  Meanwhile, the state’s death toll from coronavirus rose to 439; the individuals ranged from 33 to 98.