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Kentucky Trivia

July 31, 1849, during July the following died of cholera: 112 in Maysville, 11 in one family in Mason County, 36 in Fayette County, 59 in Paris, 141 in Louisville, 16 in Richmond, 14 in Paducah, and 40 in Covington.

July 31, 1850, Governor John J. Crittenden resigned to accept President Millard Fillmore’s appointment as Attorney General (AG).  This would be Crittenden’s 2nd term as U.S. A.G.  John L. Helm took his place as the 18th Kentucky governor; Helm would go on to be the 24th governor as well.

July 31, 1861, Missouri legislators forced out Fleming County native Claiborne Fox Jackson as their 5th governor when they heard of his plan to force state secession.

On July 31, 1863, after being captured while raiding into Indiana and Ohio, Cavalryman J.H. Morgan, Colonel Basil W. Duke, and sixty-eight raiders got caught and then confined to the Ohio State Penitentiary at Columbus.  They dug out in late November.

July 31, 1880, the 1st Fancy Farm Picnic took place near the creek that meanders near the tiny hamlet in Graves County in far Western Kentucky.  The July 31 Mayfield Messenger of July 31 announced the parish’s summertime get-together, stating, “There will be a barn dance, picnic, and a ‘gander pulling’ at Fancy Farm next Thursday.  Those who have never seen the latter should turn out on this occasion.  It will be interesting.”

On July 31, 1883, President Chester A. Arthur and several cabinet members stopped in Lexington en route to Louisville’s Cotton Exposition.  Arthur is considered the 2nd Commander-in-Chief to visit Central Kentucky.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Shelby County native Whitney Moore Young Jr. born in 1921.  President Nixon attended his Louisville funeral, when he passed.

July 31, 1944, the Breeders’ Sales Company conducts its first summer yearling sale (later called the Keeneland July Selected Yearling Sale), with 437 horses sold for $2,286,000, establishing a record total for a yearling sale.  The sale ended August 3.

July 31, 1947, Covington native Harry B. Hawes, a congressman from Missouri, died.  He is best known for the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act, the 1st U.S. law granting independence to the Philippines, and for earlier work assisting the Republic of Hawaii to become a U.S. territory.

July 31, 1947, Covington native Harry B. Hawes, a Missouri congressman, died.  He is best known for the Hare–Hawes–Cutting Act, the 1st U.S. law granting independence to the Philippines, and for earlier work assisting the Republic of Hawaii to become a U.S. territory. 

July 31, 1950, Army PFC Reynolds G. Blake from Bourbon County, Army PFC Alvin G. Bunch from Franklin in Simpson County, Army PVT Robert E. Castle from Johnson County, Army CPL Eugene Dedman from Jefferson County, Army PVT Howard W. Finn from Kenton County, Army PVT Bobby Johnson from Perry County, and Army PFC George T. Pryor from Graves County, died in the Korean War.

July 31, 1951, Hollywood movie producer Louis B. Mayer and his wife earned the winning bid of $36,000 for a half-brother of Jet Pilot at the Keeneland yearling sales.  Mr. Mayer made the top bid for the 2nd day in a row.

July 31, 1952, Army PFC Ted English from Kenton County died in the Korean War.

July 31, 1962, a U.S. District Judge sentenced eight men to five years in prison each for conspiracy to evade $387,555 in excise taxes on a number-racket operation in Covington.

July 31, 1969, Marine Corps CPL Michael A. Dwyer from Covington in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

July 31, 1970, Army SSG Edward P. Moore from Newport in Campbell County died in the Vietnam War.

July 31, 1973, an Australian upset number #1 seed and defending champion Arthur Ash in the 1st round in the Louisville Pro Classic.

July 31, 1973, the Black Workers Coalition ended their 53-day picket and boycott activity against McCory’s department store in Louisville.  At a press conference, the coalition announced the store met their demands, although neither side released details.

July 31, 1973, a group headed by John Y. and Ellie Brown purchased the Kentucky Colonels.

July 31, 1981, Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. lost round two in a legal battle to reorganize Kentucky’s Department of Agriculture.  Agriculture Commissioner Alben W. Barkley II fought the governor every step of the way.

July 31, 1984, an 85-pound pet cougar mauled April Powers, a five-year-old from Masonville, on her birthday.  She got in between the cat and the neighbor’s dogs as they growled at each other.  The owners shot the cougar following the attack.

July 31, 1989, kidnappers hung Lt. Col. William R. Higgins in retaliation for Israel’s abduction of a Muslim Clerk.  Higgins, a Danville native, was 44 years old and in Beirut at the time of the capture.

On July 31, 1990, three coal miners died, and two were injured when an underground explosion ripped through the Big Momma Coal Company’s #1 mine in Granny Rose Holler near Barbourville.

July 31, 1997, Tricon, the world’s largest restaurant company, announced they would relocate to Louisville instead of Dallas because of the quality of life, workforce, arts, school, leadership, and even its golf courses.  At the time, the $20.8 billion company was 2nd only to McDonald’s but had more restaurants.  Tricon rebranded as Yum Brand! during their move.

On July 31, 2000, a tractor trailer truck carrying liquid nitrogen crashed on I-71 near Pendleton, killing one and closing the interstate for 10 hours.  Liquid Nitrogen is very cold but not hazardous.

On July 31, 2000, a tractor-trailer truck carrying liquid nitrogen crashed on I-71 near Pendleton, killing one and closing the interstate for ten hours.  Liquid nitrogen is cold but not hazardous.

July 31, 2001, Congress passed a bill outlawing the creation of a human embryo for any purpose.

July 31, 2002, Marin County Coal Corporation agreed to pay $3.2 million in penalties and damages to the state for creating the nation’s largest slurry spill in October 2000.  They also agreed to close the 72-acre impoundment and reclaim the site.  This was Kentucky’s largest fine for a mining company.

July 31, 2010, seven go to post and four hit the wire together in Saratoga’s GI $600,000 Diana Stakes for three-year-olds and upward.

July 31, 2018, Ashland Inc. announced they were leaving Kentucky, where it had been a major corporate presence for a century.  Ashland, once an oil company and now a specialty chemicals company with operations in more than 100 countries, said it planned to move its headquarters office from Covington to Wilmington, Delaware.  Ashland’s office in Lexington closed as well.  Paul G. Blazer founded the company in 1924 in Catlettsburg as the Ashland Oil Refining Co.  Ashland split from the automotive lubricants business Valvoline in 2015.

On July 31, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 778 new positive coronavirus cases and four more deaths, ages 63, 75, 80, and 86.  The new totals stood at 30,151 and 735.  Meanwhile, Ouita Michel, a member of the Independent Coalition Restaurant, asked Senator M. McConnell to vote for $120 billion for restaurants.  The mandatory shutdowns depended on the socialist handouts.

July 31, 2021, CDC Director Rochelle Paula Walensky blamed the unvaccinated that wouldn’t wear masks for “recent setbacks” in the coronavirus.  Her message came from her donors, Pfizer, Biogen, and Merck, who gave her department $79.6 million during fiscal years 2014 through 2018.  She didn’t mention the recent resignation of two well-respected FDA officials over the rush to give booster shots.  She didn’t know that two more FDA employees would quit 30 days later over the vaccine program. 

July 31, 2021, the family of Navy Seaman 2nd Class Floyd D. Helton, 18, of Somerset, buried him in Burnside.  The USS Oklahoma Sailor died on Pearl Harbor Day.  The Navy identified him on April 23, 2020. Day.

July 31, 2021, Essential Quality’s only lost up to Saratoga’s GII $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes came in the Kentucky Derby when he finished 3rd.

Sunday, July 31, 2022, four days after record rainfall and devastating Eastern Kentucky floods, Governor A. Beshear told locals the state was still in rescue and recovery mode to find more missing people.  At a Perry County Courthouse news conference, the governor confirmed 26 people passed away.