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Kentucky Trivia

August 2, 1790, the 1st official census for Kentucky began.  The U.S. mandated that it be completed within nine months.  The results: 15,154 free white males of 16 years and older, 17,057 free white males under 16 years, 28,922 free white females, 114 all other free persons, and 12,430 slaves.  The total numbers of inhabitants reported was 73,677.

August 2, 1864, the Travers Stakes ran for the 1st time, a year after Saratoga opened.  The Saratoga Association named the race after their President, William R. Travers, who won the 1st edition with a horse he co-owned, called Kentucky.  Today, it is the oldest three-year-old stakes race in the U.S.

August 2, 1881, Constable James Simpson Harrison, Jefferson County Constable’s Office, died from a gunshot while attempting to serve a warrant for forgery in front of Kendall’s Store on the Salt River Turnpike.

August 2, 1882, Christian County lynched Richard Speakman and Bishop Emberton, white males, for rape.

August 2, 1882, Mason County native Roy Bean became the only “legal authority” in remote Texas.  He 1st operated his “justice” out of his tent saloon in Vinegarroon.  With the nearest court 200 miles away at Fort Stockton, he quickly became the self-proclaimed “Only Law West of the Pecos.”

August 2, 1886, Deputy Sheriff Charles Henry Tucker, Casey County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while attempting to break up a disturbance between two opposing factions on Election Day.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Dayton native Oscar Rasbach, born in 1888 in Campbell County.  Oscar composed two operettas and wrote around 20 published songs.  Most popular was his 1922 Setting of Trees, the famous poem by Joyce Kilmer.  Many 20th-century talented singers performed and recorded it.

August 2, 1901, George W. Ranck, a Kentucky writer and historian from Shelbyville, died doing what he loved.  While researching an article about Lexington’s pioneer history, he was so fixated on his work; he got struck by an oncoming train.  Mr. Ranck authored the History of Lexington, Kentucky: Its Early Annals and Recent Progress and was a prominent member of the Filson Club.

August 2, 1913, an estimated 7,000 people attended the reopening of Saratoga Race Course, the 50th anniversary of racing at Saratoga.  Old Rosebud won the featured race.  Later in the meet, he won the United States Hotel Stakes, his 10th victory in 12 races that year.  The following May he won the Kentucky Derby.

August 2, 1916, Newport, Kentucky native Brig. Gen. John T. Thompson formed the Auto-Ordnance Company to perfect his design for the Thompson sub-machine gun.

Kentucky Trivia:  The Auto-Ordnance began marketing the Thompson to private citizens as an anti-bandit weapon in 1921.  But with a price tag of $200 each (the equivalent of about $4,000 today), there were few takers.  Interestingly, the 1st large-scale order came from the U.S. Postal Service.  The Marines also bit.  Regional police departments and even Latin American governments also purchased them.  Other customers included both Chinese and Irish nationalist movements and the criminal element.

August 2, 1919, Man o’ War won the 36th running of the United States Hotel Stakes against more formidable competition at the Spa.  Upset ran second.  Despite getting a bad start and carrying 130 pounds, Man o’ War won easily by two lengths in 1:12.40.  The winner took home $7,600 from the $10,000 guaranteed purse.

On August 2, 1923, President Warren Harding died in a San Francisco hotel room, and Calvin Coolidge became the 30th president.

August 2, 1928, William Sylvester Taylor died.  William was the 33rd governor for 50 days in 1900 before the legislature intervened and elected another man to the state’s highest office.  The other man served a few days and then got assassinated.

August 2, 1941, Constable Squire Gatlin Rains, Whitley County Constable’s Office, died from gunshots in the Nevisdale area while attempting to arrest a man causing a disturbance on Election Day.

August 2, 1950, Army PFC Douglass E. Carter from Madison County, Army PVT Charles D. Payne from Harlan County, Army PVT Howard Smallwood from Pike County, and Army CPL James E. Sparks from Fayette County, all died in the Korean War.

August 2, 1951, Army PFC David J. Grayson from Fleming County and Army PVT Daniel L. Kremer from Jefferson County, died in the Korean War.

August 2, 1969, Marine Corps CPL Thomas L. Justice from Belfry from Pike County died in the Vietnam War.

August 2, 1973, Stoll Field hosted the Blue Grass National Drum and Bugle Corps Olympics.  Over 4,000 young people and their families, a majority from out of state, descended on UK’s campus and surrounding hotel rooms.  Winners received $50,000 in prizes.

Saturday, August 2, 1975, undeclared presidential candidate and Alabama Governor George Wallace spoke to a warm crowd at Fancy Farm.

August 2, 1980, U.S. Sen. Wendell Ford, left, laughed with former Gov. A.B. “Happy” Chandler, center, in 1980 at the 100th Fancy Farm Picnic. The event began to draw more statewide and national politicians in the early to mid-1970s.

On August 2, 1981, air traffic controllers went on strike, and President R. Regan told them they had 48 hours to return to work or get fired.  Many claimed what happened on August 5 had devastating consequences for American workers and their bargaining power.

Saturday, August 2, 1997, Governor P. Patton could not help but see all the road signs on his way to Fancy Farm along KY 80 in Mayfield.  Locals made it clear they didn’t want corporate hog farms moving into their part of the state.  One sign read, “Welcome To The Future Toilet Of The World If Hogs Come To Kentucky.”

August 2, 2009, Rachel Alexandra took on the boys again in Monmouth Park’s GI $1,250,000 Haskell Stakes.  She won in the slop and just missed the track record.

August 2, 2012, a two-year-old colt died while galloping.  Between November 4, 2011 and March 14, 2013, a 16 month period, Bob Baffert had seven horses die suddenly while racing or training.  All occurred on the Hollywood Park main track.  None of the sudden deaths occurred at Santa Anita or Del Mar even though Baffert had the same amount of horses at each of the three tracks.

August 2, 2014, nine went to post and a Kentucky bred won Saratoga’s GI $800,000 Whitney Stakes for three-year-olds and upward.

On August 2, 2019, a journalist informed the public who paid for the pro-Bevin, anti-A. Beshear TV ads Kentuckians had seen the past few months.  The impressive donor list included the Who’s Who in America’s business.  The other party had equally impressive donors.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fitz the Asian Elephant, born in 2019, in the Louisville Zoo.

On August 2, 2020, Justin Thomas won his 2nd WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, his 13th PGA win.  He won this event in Memphis, TN, and his 1st WGC in Akron, Ohio, in 2018.

August 2, 2020, demolition continued on UK’s 50ish-year-old, 23-story twin towers.  Crews dismantled about one floor per week.  On this date, Kirwan Tower only had 14 floors, and Blanding Tower, 17.  Meanwhile, the fast-spreading coronavirus had the world in a panic.

August 2, 2021, Norton Healthcare and Baptist Health became the latest Kentucky hospitals to require staff to be vaccinated.  UofL, UK, and other state hospitals had already mandated the experimental vaccines.  The hospitals claimed the Delta variant created a dire circumstance.

On August 2, 2022, Governor A. Beasher announced several locations for Eastern Kentucky residents displaced by the historic floods to escape the extreme heat.  The governor thanked everyone who made Buckhorn Lake State Park ready to host some long-term guests.  The public began to hear stories of how individuals died trying to save family and neighbors.