TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

June 15, 1778, the Shawnee returned from an unsuccessful raid against Donelly’s Fort on the Greenbrier River in today’s WVA.  Smarting for revenge, they decided on an immediate surprise attack and capture of Fort Boonesborough.

June 15, 1800, the Red River Meeting House near Russellville hosted the first camp meeting of the “Great Revival.”

By June 15, 1849, most people had already left Kentucky, for those headed to California’s veins of gold.  The trip took 85 -100 days, starting in Independence, Missouri.

June 15, 1857, Stephen Bishop the famed spelunker of Mammoth Cave died.  Bishop’s master introduced him to the Cave in 1838.

June 15, 1881, the dedication of Mill Springs National Cemetery for Union soldiers took place in Pulaski County at Nancy.  At the end of 1862, Congress established 12 national cemeteries, including Mill Springs.  However, it wasn’t until 1867 that Congress passed comprehensive legislation to create formal burial sites.  That same year William Logan, donated the land.  Locals say Union and Confederates rest in peace in the cemetery.

June 15, 1882, Montgomery County lynched James Mitchell a black male for rape, Kentucky’s 5th recorded lynching.

June 15, 1918, Johren beat three others in the 50th Belmont Stakes going 1 3/6 miles in 2:20 2/5 to win $8,700.  Henry Payne Whitney owned and bred the colt.  War Cloud became the first to compete in all three Triple Crown races.  He placed 2nd in the Belmont, Preakness, and 4th in the Derby.

June 15, 1924, Pebworth native, Hall of Famer and rookie New York Yankee Earle Combs broke an ankle sliding into home plate at Cleveland’s League Park.  The Yankees had just won a bidding war for his services.

On June 15, 1926, Todd County lynched Primus Kirby, a black male, for assault, making it the last recorded lynching in Kentucky.

June 15, 1934, Patrolman Clinton M. Johnson, Jefferson County Police Department, died in a motorcycle accident when he side-swiped a car.  He had only been with the agency for two months.

June 15, 1935, Somerset native Edwin P. Morrow, 57, our 40thgovernor, passed away unexpectedly in Frankfort.  His father and uncle were also governors, and founding fathers of Kentucky’s Republican Party.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday Lexington native James Albert Varney Jr., born in 1949.

June 15, 1952, Army PFC Earl F. Spradling from Lawrence County died in the Korean War.

June 15, 1953, Army CPT John R. Bridges from Henderson County, Air Force 1LT Marce P. Dunn from Paducah, and Army PVT Ralph Sullivan, Jr. from Union County, died in the Korean War.

June 15, 1957, Gallant Man won the 89th Belmont Stakes going 1 ½ miles in 2:26 3/5 to win $78,350.  William Shoemaker won his 1st of five Belmonts, and Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud won his only Triple Crown race.  Gallant man placed 2nd in the Derby and skipped the Preakness.

June 15, 1968, Marine Corps PFC David M. Bertham from Campbellsville, Navy HN James D. Cruse from Paducah, and Marine Corps PFC Richard L. Fitts from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

June 15, 1969, Army SGT Alton R. Phillips from Campbellsville in Taylor County died in the Vietnam War.

June 15, 1971, Cheryl White, atop her father’s horse, became the first black female jockey in the United States.  She finished 11th in her first race, on a gelding named Ace Reward.

On June 15, 1980, sixty-seven dogs, 400 sheep, and 1,000 spectators gathered for the 21st annual event Bluegrass Open Sheep Dog Trials at Walnut Hall Farm.  Today, the competition is known as the Bluegrass Classic Sheep Dog Trial and is held every May at Masterson Station Park in Lexington, free of charge.  It is considered one of the longest-running and most prestigious competitions in the country.

Kentucky Trivia: You may know fruit-filled Pop-Tarts are made in Pikeville along with the Nutri-Grain bar, but did you know the Top 10 Untold Truths of Pop Tarts?

June 15, 1987, Steven Curtis Chapman released his debut album First Hand, by Sparrow Records and featured the single “Weak Days.”

June 15, 1991, Governor Albert Benjamin (“Happy”) Chandler Sr. passed away at his home in Versailles.  The “Boy Governor” was Kentucky’s governor twice (35-39, 55-59).  Chandler’s first administration produced one of the most productive Frankfort had seen.  Through his reorganization, reform, frugality, and higher taxes, he dominated the legislature.  Chandler resigned as governor in 1939 to be a U.S. Senator.  In 1945 he resigned from the senate to become the baseball commissioner.  In 1955 he became governor again.  He rest in Pisgah Presbyterian Church near Versailles.

On June 15, 2003, W. Longest, R. Dozer, B. Decker, and R. Moore built a rideable chopper-style motorcycle with 15 feet-long forks.  William rode it on a public road near Georgetown.  It set a world record for the largest chopper-style bike according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

June 15, 2010, President Obama told Americans that BP would pay to clean the Gulf of Mexico after they caused one of the worst man-made ecological disasters in recent history.

June 15, 2019, Kentucky Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton’s fired aide told a conservative audience that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was behind booting her boss.  The senator said he never discussed the matter.

On June 15, 2020, in a 6-3 count, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a landmark civil rights law protects gay, lesbian, and transgender people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LBGT rights from a conservative court.

June 15, 2021, the U.S. death toll attributed to the coronavirus reached 600,000.  The death toll world-wide topped 3.8 million.  Simultaneously the last state governments lifted restrictions and citizens lined up for vaccination.  Today, Google says 591 million doses have been administered and 222 million (67.3%) Americans are fully vaccinated.