TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On June 16, 1774, locals established Fort Harrod, Kentucky’s first white settlement.  James Harrod led 30-37 men down the Ohio River and then up the Kentucky River to Landing Run Creek.  They then traveled overland until they crossed the Salt River to a large spring in present-day Harrodsburg in Mercer County.  They erected cabins and surveyed one acre in lots and 10 acres out lots that became their new town’s footprint.  People also refer to Fort Harrod as Harrod’s Town or Oldtown.

On June 16, 1778, when Boone overheard Blackfish’s plans to attack Boonesborough with a large force, he eluded his captors and raced home, covering the 160 miles (260 km) to Boonesborough in five days.

June 16, 1841, Kentuckians celebrated the 66th anniversary of Harrodsburg’s settlement with 7-10,000 people attending, 1,500 ladies.  Four hundred military men in ten regiments lined up in elegant uniforms.  The Rev. Joseph Stiles gave the sermon, with Ben Hardin as quest speaker.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Belle Brezing, born Mary Belle Cocks in 1860.  Belle used to work in Mary Todd Lincoln’s childhood home, long after Mary had grown up.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lewis County native Alma Bridwell White, born in 1862.  An interesting character, she became the first woman bishop in the U.S. and was a proponent of feminism.  She also associated herself with the KKK and was involved in anti-Catholicism, antisemitism, anti-pentecostalism, racism, and hostility to immigrants.  She had a strong following.

June 16, 1895, Policeman Charles Evans, Mount Sterling Police Department, died from a gunshot as he and another officer investigated a disturbance at a local saloon.

On June 16, 1906, J.C.W. Beckham, Kentucky’s 35th governor, laid the cornerstone of the current capitol building with an estimated 20,000 onlookers.  The exact location of the cornerstone is unknown, although a plaque commemorating the event is on the northwest rotunda pier wall.  The distinguished architect was Frank Mills Andrews, a native of Iowa who practiced throughout the Midwest.  Kentucky opened its capital for business four years later.

June 16, 1908, William N. Barkley, Fayette County Constable’s Office, suffered a fatal heart attack while struggling with a being drunk in public.

June 16, 1917, Hourless won the 49th Belmont Stakes over three others, going the 1 3/8 miles in 2:17:4/3, setting a new track record.  The winning connections earned $5,800.  Bred at August Belmont, Jr.’s Haras de Villers in Foucarmont in Upper Normandy, France, his birth occurred at Leopold de Rothschild’s Southcourt Stud in Southcote, Bedfordshire.  He came to the states with WWI raging in Europe.

Friday, June 16, 1922, Pillory won the 54th Belmont Stakes over three others going the 1 3/8 miles in 2:18 4/5.  The connections picked up $38,700.  Pillory won the Preakness but didn’t run in the Derby.

June 16, 1935, Cline Tackett, Pike County Constable’s Office died from a gunshot as he and another deputy attempted to arrest three brothers for being drunk in public at Robinson Creek.

June 16, 1940, Hartley Gillum, Mayfield Police Department, died from a gunshot while attempting to serve a warrant on a suspected bootlegger.  Three days later when he resisted arrest, six officers shot and killed him.

June 16, 1941, Policeman Jerry Lee, Garrett Police Department, died outside of the local coal company’s poolroom while on patrol.  He was shot with a high powered rifle at close range.

June 16, 1942, local children portrayed a scene in a pioneer log school during a celebration of the 168th anniversary of Fort Harrod’s founding, the first Anglo-Saxon settlement west of the Alleghenies.

June 16, 1945, Polynesian won the 70th Preakness Stakes going the 1 3/16 miles in 1:58 4/5, and earned $66,170.  This was the only time the Preakness ran in June in Baltimore.  It was held five times in June in New York.  Polynesian beat Derby winner Hoop Jr.

June 16, 1951, Army SFC Mike H. Mundy from Jefferson County and Marine Corps PFC Joseph L. Rogers from Versailles, died in the Korean War.

June 16, 1953, Army PVT Ray C. Alley from Pike County died in the Korean War.

June 16, 1956, D & H Stable’s Needles won the 88th Belmont Stakes by beating C.V. Whitney’s colt by a neck and Calumet’s entry by two lengths.  Heath and Dudley, oil friends who lived in Florida, just missed the Triple Crown when they placed 2nd in Maryland.  Needles was the 1st Florida bred to win the Derby.  The winning time of 2:29 4/5 earned $83,600.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Darrell Griffith, born in 1958.

June 16, 1966, Army PFC Norman Spencer from Frenchburg in Menifee County died in the Vietnam War.

June 16, 1967, Army CPL Eugene Sester from Fall Rock in Clay County died in the Vietnam War.

June 16, 1968, Army PFC Alfred E. Whitehead from Harlan died in the Vietnam War.

June 16, 1970, Army SP4 Bobby W. Powell from Robards in Henderson County died in the Vietnam War.

June 16, 1971, KFC announced they would merge with Connecticut-based Heublein Inc., a specialty food and alcoholic beverage corporation.  The company, once too large for the Colonel to handle, grew too mammoth for John Y. Brown as well.  Brown, at age 37, left the company with a personal net worth of $35 million.  He would be two weeks shy of his 46th birthday when he became governor.

June 16, 1983, Patrolman Jack D. Claywell, Grayson Police Department, died when his patrol car was struck by a suspect’s vehicle during a vehicle pursuit.

June 16, 1984, Officer Donald Ray Williams, West Point Police Department, died by a drunk driver.

June 16, 1990, Ashland Chairman John Hall told a sympathetic audience that his company was unjustly accused, days after losing a court case and forced to pay $10.3 million to nearby neighbors.

June 16, 2000, Kentucky Speedway, a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) tri-oval speedway in Sparta, opened.

On June 16, 2013, opponents of Bluegrass Pipeline pointed out what they have been saying for years, “the Corvette Museum and Adair County gas explosion are due to the unstable karst topography of Central Kentucky.”  The two incidents happened weeks apart, both due to geological instability.

June 16, 2019, Wayland native Kelly “King” Coleman died.  Coleman is the All-time Kentucky High School career scorer, with 4,337 points.

June 16, 2020, officials with the U.S’s Operation Warp Speed announced the coronavirus vaccine would be free for elderly patients and other vulnerable populations who couldn’t afford it.

On June 16, 2020, the Creation Museum received an online threat that read: “There is a bomb underneath the Alliosaurus exhibit it will go off at 12 noon today! Hail Satan!!!!!

On June 16, 2021, UK told the press they would begin a new clinical trial to test the safety and effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine in 200 children from 6 months to 11 years old.  The University was one of 90 sites that participated in KidCOVE.