July 23, 1819, Bushrod Boswell, a Lexington merchant, and Samuel Q. Richardson, a Cincinnati attorney, met in a duel with pistols on the Fayette/Woodford county line. Richardson broke his arm, and Boswell escaped injury. The matter had been long-standing. The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington, by J. Winston Cleman, Jr., pg: 32
On July 23, 1826, Kentucky horsemen formed the Kentucky Association (also known as the “Kentucky Racing Association”) to promote the breeding and racing of thoroughbred horses in Kentucky. Prominent locals, including planter and politician Henry Clay, Jesse Bledsoe, Dr. Elisha Warfield, and Thomas F. Marshall, all helped establish the Association. Between 1828 and 1834, the Association acquired 65 acres of land in Lexington, today’s downtown area and built a one-mile dirt racetrack with a grandstand and stables to host thoroughbred flat racing.
On July 23, 1877, the 1st passage train ran over the entire length of the Cincinnati Southern Railroad from Cincinnati to Lexington onto Chattanooga, a distance of 157.5 miles. To make it happen, the railroad company had to build Jessamine County’s High Bridge over the Kentucky River Palisades. The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr. pg: 59
July 23, 1879, in one of Kentucky’s most sensational trials, a jury found Thomas Buford guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment for the murder of John Elliott, a federal judge, in Frankfort. On an appeal, another court found him not guilty by reason of insanity, and he went to the Kentucky Insane Asylum in Anchorage. Sometime later, he escaped but returned to die. The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 291
July 23, 1921, Deputy Sheriff Green Watkins of the Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office died as he and a posse searched for a still and then ambushed by several moonshiners. A 14-year-old boy died and another deputy was wounded as well. Two men were eventually arrested and charged with murder, but several trials ended in hung juries and it is unknown if they were ever convicted.
On July 23, 1921, the state asked Kentuckians for contributions to purchase Federal Hill, near Bardstown, where Stephen G. Foster wrote My Old Kentucky Home. They collected $10,800 over the $50,000 purchase price. It was not enough to restore the home to its original splendor, but it did buy time for the legislators to devise a plan.
July 23, 1966, the federal government changed the only national forest entirely within Kentucky’s boundary name to Daniel Boone National Forest. Since 1937, the 1,338,214-acre forest, originally named Cumberland National Forest, had nearly 30 years of debate after Kentuckians in the region objected to the name.
July 23, 1971, the Pentagon overruled Fort Knox post officials and decided that the 38 Army doctors and dentists who signed and paid for an anti-war advertisement in the Courier-Journal did not violate Army regulations after all.
July 23, 1985, a bay colt by Nijinsky II brought a world record $13.1 million at the Keeneland July Select Yearling Sale with Briton Robert Sangster and partners outbidding D. Wayne Lukas for the half-brother to Seattle Slew.
July 23, 1986, Willie Dawahare passed away. One of 11 children of an immigrant Syrian peddler, Willie helped the Dawahare clothing store grow from its beginning in Neon in Letcher County to a chain that reached beyond the mountains into Lexington, Louisville, Cincinnati, and Memphis, Tennessee.
July 23, 1990, high school students in the Governor’s Scholars Program at Centre College marched and carried signs to protest the wastewater pipeline from the Union Underwear plant to Lake Cumberland. Lexington’s Morton Junior High students rounded up $500 to give to the Lake Cumberland Trust, an origination that fought the pipeline.
July 23, 2004, Governor E. Fletcher announced that nearly two-thirds of Kentucky adults were overweight or obese. In addition, almost one-third of the state’s children were overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. The study found that the number of obese Kentuckians grew steadily over the past several decades.
Sunday, July 23, 2017, on Meet the Press, Adam Schiff stated, “At the end of the day we need to make sure that our president is operating not in his personal best interests and not because he’s worried about what the Russians might have but because what he is doing is in America’s best interest.” The following morning on Twitter, Trump called Schiff Sleazy Adam Schiff, and called the Russian collusion investigation the Dem loss excuse. Schiff responded on Twitter that the president’s “comments and actions are beneath the dignity of the office.”
July 23, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 611 new coronavirus cases (25,000+) and seven deaths (684). Meanwhile, Fayette County School Superintendent, Manny Caulk, recommended that the county begin the school year with non-traditional instruction.
Kentucky Trivia: There were 647,987 public school students for the 2019-2020 school year. The breakdown was as follows: White – 487,725 (75.3%), African American – 68,799 (10.6%), Hispanic – 49,201 (7.6%) Asian – 12,235, Hawaiian/Pacific Islander – 893, Native American – 811 and two or more races – 28,321.
July 23, 2021, Pfizer Inc. and German partner BioNTech reported the U.S. government purchased 200 million additional doses of their experimental COVID-19 vaccine to help with pediatric vaccination as well as possible booster shots, if needed. Pfizer last year signed a deal with the U.S. government for 100 million doses of the vaccine for nearly $2 billion, with an option to buy 500 million more doses.
On July 23, 2021, the Summer Olympics opened in Japan after virus delays. The Kentucky Wildcats broke all types of records, including a school-record 22 athletes participated in the Games. UK finished the Olympics with a school-record 12-medals — eight gold, three silver, and one bronze. Previously, the men’s basketball program held the record with nine medals in 1948.