TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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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 first camp meeting of the “Great Revival” was held at the Red River Meeting House near Russellville.

June 15, 1849, a vast majority of people had left Kentucky, that were going to go, for 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 was introduced to the Cave in 1838 by the man who enslaved him.

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, James Mitchell a black male was lynched in Montgomery County for rape, the fifth recorded lynching in the Commonwealth.

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

June 15, 1918, Johren beats three others in the 50th Belmont Stakes going 1 3/6 mile in 2:20 2/5 to win $8,700. Henry Payne Whitney was owner and breeder.  War Cloud became the first to compete in all three Triple Crown races.  He placed second in the Belmont and Preakness and fourth in the Derby.

June 15, 1926, Primus Kirby, a black male was lynched in Todd County for assault.  Out of 135 recorded lynchings in the state, this was the last one.

June 15, 1934, Patrolman Clinton M. Johnson, Jefferson County Police Department, was killed 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 40th Governor, passed away unexpectedly in Frankfort.  His father and uncle, also a Governor, were the founding fathers of Kentucky’s Republican Party.

Localtonians wishes 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 wins the 89th Belmont Stakes going 1 ½ mile in 2:26 3/5 to win $78,350.  William Shoemaker wins his first of five Belmonts, and Hall of Fame trainer John Nerud wins his only Triple Crown race.  Gallant man placed second 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.

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 the longest-running and most prestigious trial 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, 1991, Governor Albert Benjamin (“Happy”) Chandler passed away at his home in Versailles.  The “Boy Governor” was Kentucky’s Governor twice (35-39, 55-59).  Chandler’s first administration was one of the most productive in the state’s history.  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 commissioner of baseball.  In 1955 he became Governor again.  He rest in Pisgah Presbyterian Church near Versailles.

June 15, 2003, William Longest, Rick Dozer, Bill Decker and Rob Moore built a rideable chopper-style motorcycle with 15 feet long forks.  William rode it on a public road near Georgetown.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, this set a world record for largest chopper-style bike.

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.