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Kentucky Trivia

On August 3, 1863, Saratoga opened for the 1st time on the grounds still used today.  “Mr. Morrissey deserves great credit for the excellent manner in which the whole detail of his attractive entertainment is managed.”  So wrote an approving reporter on August 4, 1863, edition of the Daily Saratogian.  John Morrissey, a gambler, casino owner, ex-boxing champion, and future congressman, opened his track a month after the Battle of Gettysburg.

August 3, 1866, the Gallatin County Race Riot took place between whites and blacks, in Northern Kentucky, where the black population was relatively small.  According to historians Lowell H. Harrison and James C. Klotter, “A band of five hundred whites in Gallatin County forced hundreds of blacks to flee across the Ohio River.”

On August 3, 1872, Bowling Green native Franklin M. McDonald escorted a mail coach from Jacksboro to Fort Griffin in Texas.  Fifteen miles from Fort Belknap, a band of eight to ten Kiowa Native Americans Natives attacked.  For his bravery, he received the Medal of Honor.  On December of 1873, McDonald deserted the Army and was never heard from again.

August 3, 1878, the Golden Crown Steamboat landed at the public wharf in Fulton County.  Days later, Charlie Hendricks and his sister Louisa became Hickman’s 1st reported yellow fever cases.  By the end of August, 42 new cases developed.   Unfortunately, tracking accurate numbers of deaths proved difficult.  Additionally, all of the resident physicians, save for one, died.  Ultimately, 32.2% of the 1,500 Hickman residents would die from yellow fever.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Stanford native Sophia Kindrick Alcorn, born in 1833.  The inventor of the Tadoma communication method for the deaf and blind; she advocated for the rights of people with disabilities as a profession.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Paducah native John Scoops, born in 1900.  John taught school in Dayton, TN, when the Volunteers charged him with violating their Butler Act, which prohibited teaching human evolution in Tennessee schools.

August 3, 1907, Special Officer Marcus M. Martin, Gracey Police Department, died from a gunshot while patrolling a section of town by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad tracks in Christian County.

August 3, 1920, Patrolman John G. Tyler, Louisville Police Department, died when he struck a milk truck that had no lights, parked in the street.

August 3, 1936, Sheriff Fred B. Mason, Laurel County Sheriff’s Department, died from a gunshot by a former prisoner as he and a deputy attempted to break up a disturbance at a church meeting.  Sheriff Mason and his deputy returned fire killing the suspect.  The state paroled the suspect for a 1921 murder years earlier.

August 3, 1937, Officer Frederick F. Barton of the Louisville Police Department died after accidentally getting shot by another officer clearing his jammed firearm.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native George M. Whitesides, born in 1939.  George is a chemist and taught chemistry at Harvard for years.  He is known for his work with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, organometallic chemistry, microfluidics, and nanotechnology.  A prolific author and patent holder, he received the highest Hirsch Index Rating of all living chemists in 2011.

August 3, 1951, Deputy Sheriff Dave Coleman, Jr., Pike County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot in Phelps, while investigating a disturbance.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Johnny Graham, born in 1953. Johnny played lead/rhythm guitar, trumpet, and percussionist in the funk band Earth, Wind & Fire from 1973-1983.  

August 3, 1966, Marine Corps SSGT Edwar T. Crooks from Mt. Sterling died in the Vietnam War.

August 3, 1967, Army PFC Freddie D. Lawson from Siler in Whitley County died in the Vietnam War.

Thursday, August 3, 1972, the American Party Convention began at the state fairgrounds.  Freedom Hall hosted over 2,000 delegates and alternates as they chose their presidential nominee.

Saturday, August 3, 1974, Governor W. Ford and incumbent U.S. Senator Marlow Cook went head to head at Fancy Farm for the senate seat.  Ford called Marlow “a man who doesn’t have time to for Kentuckians and who stays in D.C. making deals with big business.”  Marlow said Ford’s administration dispensed contracts and other favors to his political cronies.  Marlow lost the election and resigned before his term ended.

Kentucky Trivia:  Former Governor Chandler believed he played an important role in making the Fancy Farm Picnic the important statewide political event it is today.  “I guess I was one of the first candidates for statewide office to ever go to Fancy Farm.”  Chandler said in a recent telephone interview.  “I ended my 1931 campaign for lieutenant governor down there.  I won that election and thought Fancy Farm was good luck, so I kept going back.”

August 3, 1977, President J. Carter signed the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA).  The act arose out of environmental concerns from strip mining.  The U.S. had mined coal since the 1740s, but surface mining became widespread in the 1930s.  Yes, it took many decades for Washington to address the issue.

August 3, 1995, an Indiana Congressman, while investigating the raid on Branch Davidian compound in Waco, TX, insulted Kentucky.  The attention-grabbing politician said the only law David Koresh broke was having sex with minors.  “Do you send tanks and government troops into large sections of Kentucky and other places where this occurs?”

August 3, 1996, a Kentucky bred, Keeneland graduate exacta won the GI $600,000 Whitney Handicap Stakes.  It is never over till it’s over.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to the Lexington Legends, born in 2000.  The team mascot, Big L, was a muscular ball player with a massive mustache.  The Legends owner, Alan Stein, stated that any resemblance between him and the mascot was purely coincidental.

On August 3, 2010, UK announced they wanted more money for basketball tickets even after record revenue from the SEC.  The tickets themselves raised $7.  However, the mandatory donation to the K-Fund seemed extreme, from $1,350 to $5,000 annually for lower arena.

Friday, August 3, 2018, incoming NRA President Oliver North spoke at the annual “night before Fancy Farm event” in Calloway County.  He addressed the January Marshall County School shooting.

Saturday, August 3, 2019, the Fancy Farm Line-up:
Welcome: Fancy Farm Political Chairman Mark Wilson
Invocation: Owensboro Diocese Bishop William Medley
National Anthem: Stephanie Hayden
My Old Kentucky Home: Emily Portman Drake
Emcee:Bill Goodman
State Sen. Stan Humphries
State Rep. Richard Heath
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
U.S. Rep. James Comer
Gov. Matt Bevin
Attorney General and governor candidate Andy Beshear
Lt. Gov. candidate Ralph Alvarado, (Bevin’s running mate)
Lt. Gov. candidate Jacqueline Coleman, (Beshear’s running mate)
Agriculture Commissioner candidate Robert Conway
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles
Secretary of State candidate Mike Adams
Secretary of State candidate Heather French Henry
Attorney General candidate Daniel Cameron
Attorney General candidate Greg Stumbo
Treasurer Allison Ball
Treasurer candidate Michael Bowman
Auditor candidate Sheri Donahue
Auditor Mike Harmon
Kentucky State Supreme Court candidate Shea Nickell
Kentucky State Supreme Court candidate Whitney Westerfield

August 3, 2019, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate won Saratoga’s GI $1,000,000 Whitney Handicap Stakes for three-year-olds and upward.

August 3, 2020, calling it a positive day, the governor announced, from the rotunda, only 323 new cases and two deaths, ages 75 and 99 from the coronavirus.  This came after daily numbers in the 500s and 600s.  Approximately 31,508 Kentuckians had caught the virus and 744 had died.

August 3, 2021, Fayette County school officials told students/staff/visitors to wear masks for the 2021-22 school year.  The governor’s office issued a correction; masks inside state offices are not mandated but instead “strongly encouraged.”  The Delta variant had alarmed the alarmist again.  New York began to ask for vaccination cards.

On August 3, 2021, UK track star Sydney McLaughlin won her 1st Olympic gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles, obliterating her world-record time.  This Tokyo Olympic performance somehow managed to exceed her massive expectations.  McLaughlin completed the race in 51.46 seconds, shaving nearly a half-second off the world record she had set six weeks earlier.

August 3, 2022, as celebrities Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers did their part to help the victims of last week’s Eastern Kentucky flood, the governor announced he wanted a special session to address, among other things, the historic flood.  The Commonwealth could afford to be generous.  Frankfort had a budget reserve “Rainy Day” trust fund of $2.7 billion thanks to the federal government’s coronavirus pandemic monies.