July 28, 1924, Raceland, in Chinnville, held the inaugural Raceland Derby. The race attracted five Kentucky Derby horses—including the winner Black Gold, who had already won three other derbies that year. A record crowd of 27,000 packed the grandstand. Many called it the “Million Dollar Oval” because of its ornate appearance year.
July 28, 1940, Deputy Sheriff James Henry Bowlin, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained on April 21, 1940, while attempting to arrest three men who assaulted his son following a public meeting at Frakes.
July 28, 1943, American Airlines Flight 63, a Douglas DC-3, crashed near Trammel in Allen County. The crew lost control due to severe turbulence and violent downdrafts; 20 of the 22 people on board died.
July 28, 1949, a bay son of War Admiral, Lady Lark, brought the top price at Keeneland’s Summer Yearling Sales. Hip number 390, consigned by Mereworth, sold to George Ring for $27,000. In the background are auctioneers George Swinebroad, left, and Joe Palmer.
July 28, 1950, Sheriff Roy Conway, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, died in his front yard by two brothers angry over his crackdown on bootlegging and gambling. Sheriff Conway and his deputies had raided their father’s drinking establishment earlier. The two boys shot the Sheriff in the back.
July 28, 1960, Kentucky Finance Commissioner Robert F. Matthews, Jr, disqualified Lexington’s Quality Meat Packing Company, the source of 90% of all meat consumed at state institutions, from future state bids. The Commish removed the company after repeated warnings that they had delivered to Eddyville Penitentiary a consignment of bacon so salty that “the prisoners wouldn’t eat it.”
July 28, 1970, Frank Burk, Jr., the son of Louisville’s mayor, reacted quickly and saved the life of a four-year-old girl. After onlookers pulled her unconscious from an unsupervised public pool, Frank gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
July 28, 1985, federal and state authorities began investigating allegations of absentee vote fraud in at least seven counties, including Knox, Magoffin, Marion, Monroe, Clinton, Russell, and Garrard.
July 28, 1990, federal authorities indicted Kentucky pharmacists for illegally selling painkillers, tranquilizers, and sleeping pills. During the previous 18 months, in an unprecedented wave of criminal cases, nine Kentucky pharmacists illegally dispensed drugs, allegedly. Yet, not one received discipline from the Kentucky Pharmacy Board. Does Big Pharma own everyone?
July 28, 1992, the first 19 inmates arrived at the new federal minimum-security prison in Clay County. Many of the locals complained when only 23 of the 184 people hired were actually from the county.
July 28, 2005, Governor E. Fletcher said he made a mistake by asking his field offices to help with applications for civil service jobs. He went on to say that, in retrospect, dismantling the old patronage system produced a vacuum that needed filling. He made the statements at the 1st meeting of a task force to study the state merit system.
By July 28, 2012, the impact of an estimated 2,000 mining layoffs in 2012 began to hit Eastern Kentucky coal communities. The federal government’s war on coal, historically low prices for natural gases, and the unseasonably warm winter of 2011-12 left power plants with coal stockpiles.
July 28, 2015, after a long wait, the northbound lanes of I-65 from Louisville to Jeffersonville, IN, opened on the Abraham Lincoln Bridge. The bridge officially opened in December. The new bridge replaced the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge, known locally as the Second Street Bridge.
On July 28, 2017, Fort Knox native Randolph Bresnik launched into space, from Kazakhstan, aboard the Soyuz MS-05 to work on the International Space Station. Bresnik returned to Earth on December 14, 2017. The Soyuz MS-05 landed on 8:38 UTC. The mission duration was 138 days, 16 hours, 56 minutes, and 37 seconds.
On July 28, 2020, while Lexington set a record for the number of new cases, the governor announced 532 new coronavirus cases and ten new deaths bringing the totals to 28,126 and 719. He then pleaded to Kentuckians not to travel out of state and singled out downtown Lexington bars for not enforcing new rules to help stop the spread.
July 28, 2022, six months after the last round of destruction, historic flooding once again consumed Eastern Kentucky taking at least three lives overnight, trapping hundreds in their homes and leaving thousands homeless. Heavy flooding occurred in Breathitt, Floyd, Perry, Knott, Leslie, Pike, and Magoffin Counties. Governor A. Beshear declared a state of emergency and called the disaster, “one of the worst and most devastating flooding events in Kentucky history.”