TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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June 16, 1774, Fort Harrod, Kentucky’s first white settlement, became established.  James Harrod led 30-37 men down the Ohio River, 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.  Here they erected cabins and surveyed one acre in lots and 10 acres out lots that became their new town’s footprint.  Fort Harrod is also referred to as Harrod’s Town or Oldtown.

On June 16, 1778, when he learned that Blackfish was preparing to attack Boonesborough with a large force, Boone 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 the Kentucky settlement at Harrodsburg with 7-10,000 people attending, 1,500 ladies.  Four hundred military men in ten regiments lined up in elegant uniform.  The sermon was given by the Rev. Joseph Stiles, with Ben Hardin as quest speaker.

Localtonians wishes 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 wishes 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, was shot and killed as he and another officer investigated a disturbance at a local saloon.

June 16, 1906, the cornerstone of the current capitol building was laid in a grand ceremony with an estimated 20,000 onlookers.  J.C.W. Beckham the 35th Kentucky Governor presided.  The exact location of the cornerstone is unknown, although a plaque commemorating the event is located on the northwest rotunda pier wall.  The distinguished architect was Frank Mills Andrews, a native of Iowa who practiced throughout the Midwest.  The capital was open 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 wins the 49th Belmont Stakes over three others, going the 1 3/8 mile in 2:17:4/3, setting a new track record.  The winning connections earn $5,800.  August Belmont, Jr. bred Hourless, in France.  He was foaled at Bedfordshire, England by Leopold de Rothschild.  With WWI raging in Europe, Hourless was exported to the U.S.

Friday, June 16, 1922, Pillory wins the 54th Belmont Stakes over three others going the 1 3/8 mile 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, was shot and killed 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, was shot and killed 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, was shot and killed 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 the founding of Fort Harrod.  Fort Harrod was the first Anglo-Saxon settlement west of the Alleghenies.

June 16, 1945, Polynesian wins the 70th Preakness Stakes going the 1 3/16 in 1:58 4/5 to earn $66,170.  This was the only time the Preakness ran in June in Baltimore.  It was held five times in June while run in New York.  Polynesian beats 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, Needles wins the 88th Belmont Stakes beating C.V. Whitney’s colt by a neck and Calumet by 2 lengths.  The winning time of 2:29 4/5 earns $83,600.  The Florida bred just missed the Triple Crown after winning the Derby and placing second in the Preakness.

Localtonians wishes 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, 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, was struck and killed by a drunk driver.

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

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