Skip to content


Kentucky Trivia

You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.”  Wendell Berry

August 7, 1776, the 1st recorded marriage in Kentucky took place at Fort Boonesborough.  Elizabeth (Betsy) Callaway married her Knight in Shining Armor, Samuel Henderson.  Squire Boone performed the ceremony.  Samuel, in Daniel Boone’s rescue party, rescued his bride, her sister, and Jermima Boone from Native Americans three weeks earlier.  Customary frontier celebrations included fiddle music, dancing and excellent banter.  The party featured home grown watermelons, the 1st grown at the settlement; a very proud moment.  Patriarch of the American Frontier by Donald Durbin, Jr.

On August 7, 1869, Kentucky had a front-row seat to the total eclipse of the sun.  The central line ran through Manchester, Mount Vernon, Harrodsburg, and Louisville.  Astronomers converged on Shelby College in Shelbyville to use the third-best telescope in the nation (bought for $4,000).  Visitors and out-of-state scientists packed the campus.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Bowling Green native Pete George Hampton, born in 1871.  In 1904, he made the 1st harmonica recording by an African American.  Pete pioneered the American blues harmonica style.

August 7, 1882, the Election Day fight and murder of Ellison Hatfield on Blackberry Creek took place.  It is often referred to as the notorious pawpaw tree incident.

August 7, 1915, Deputy Sheriff Grover Cleveland Blanton, Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office, died by a gunshot in Quicksand by two men in retaliation for an arrest that had occurred six months prior.

August 7, 1920, four-year-old Man o’ War won Saratoga’s 1 3/16M Miller Stakes in 1:56.60; his 6th race of the year with a record crowd of 35,000.  Fans swarmed the saddling area to see Big Red, and 12 Pinkerton guards watched the crowd.  Earl Sande received his only mount on greatness, replacing Clarence Kummer, who nursed a shoulder injury.  At the odds of 1-30, yielding 12 and 17 pounds respectively to Donnacona and King Albert, Man o’ War took an early lead, and won by six lengths.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Shelby County native Maurice Rabb Jr., born in 1939.  He pioneered work in cornea and retinal vascular diseases.

The Act of August 7, 1946, authorized a commemorative coin to honor Booker T. Washington and his life.  The Treasury 1st picked designer Charles Keck, but when Isaac Scott Hathaway offered to design the coin for free, they made the switch, making him the 1st African American to create an American coin.  Hathaway, from Lexington, also designed the Washington-Carter Commemorative coin a few years later.

August 7, 1947, Conservation Officer John C. Martin, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, died from a gunshot while investigating out-of-season squirrel hunting.

August 7, 1950, Army PFC Russell G. Davis from Clark County, Army PVT Louis M. Gill from Jessamine County, Air Force 1stLT Charles B. Moran from Horse Cave in Hart County, Marine Corps PFC Robert E. Williams from Covington in Kenton County, and Army PFC Arthur A. Williams from Harlan County, died in the Korean War.

August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing President L. Johnson “to take all necessary measures” in Vietnam.  By January 1, 1965, America had 23,300 troops in Vietnam.  On February 7, the U.S. Air Force started bombing North Vietnam.  On July 28, Johnson doubled the number of draft calls and soon after troops levels went from 75,000 to 125,000.

August 7, 1968, Army PFC Walter L. Walls from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

August 7, 1969, Army SGT Lionel Workman from Clearfield in Rowan County died in the Vietnam War.

August 7, 1970, Marine Corps SGT Richard M. Seymore from Princeton in Caldwell County died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lily native Silas Dwane House, born in 1971 in Laurel County.  His fiction focuses on the natural world, working-class characters, and the plight of the rural place and rural people.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Michael Corbett Shannon, born in 1974.  He earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the Sam Mendes drama Revolutionary Road (2008) and the Tom Ford psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016).

Saturday, August 7, 1976, Governor Julian M. Carroll upon dedicating the monument to the Old Oak Political Tree during the Fancy Farm picnic“Lightning struck this 133 year old oak tree on April 15, 1974.  The tree trunk remains as a symbol of the years since 1880 where political speeches were made on the first Saturday in August, at Fancy Farm’s annual picnic.  Some of America’s greatest statesmen have spoken under the shade of this great oak tree.”

August 7, 1978, the Gambler played the Western Kentucky State Fair in Hopkinsville.

Click for a photograph taken on August 7, 1979, in downtown Wheelwright in Floyd County.  At the time, slightly more than 800 people lived in the Eastern Kentucky town.  Elk Horn Coal Co. founded the community in 1916 and named it after its president, Jere H. Wheelwright.

August 7, 1981, Detective Darrell Vendl Phelps, Kentucky State Police, died from gunshots while he and another officer moved through a Edmonson County marijuana field.

On Saturday, August 7, 1982, for those not playing bingo or standing in the barbeque line, speeches by Governor J.Y. Brown, Lt. Gov. M.L. Collins, and Grady Stumbo were in full swing.  Over 8,000 people attended the weekend picnic, and Mary Ann Tobin, running for auditor, showed off her talking dog puppet.

On August 7, 1992, Governor B. Jones’s 12-year-old Sikorsky helicopter crashed in Shelby County with five others on board.  No one suffered life-threatening injuries.

Saturday, August 7, 1999, Governor P. Patton kicked off the political speeches at Fancy Farm in an election year.  The governor could run again for the 1st time in 200 years.  Mitch would not even mention the GOP candidate for governor, Peppy Martin, in his speech.  Mitch got offended after Peppy told the press, “She needed to develop a China connection.  Mitch has a Chinese connection why can’t I.”

August 7, 2007, Louisville’s 101°F broke the 99°F set in 1930.  The previous time Louisville had triple digits occurred on July 30, 1999.  In 2007, 39 individuals died in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky, from the heat.  Paducah had 28 straight days of 90 °F plus temperatures, a record broke in 2010.

August 7, 2010, six went to post, including the Kentucky Derby winner in Saratoga’s GI $750,000 Whitney Handicap Stakes; a nose decided it.

On August 7, 2014, President Barry Obama authorized targeted airstrikes in Iraq to guard American interests five years after he received his peace prize.  In 2016, President B. Obama dropped at least 26,171 bombs around the globe, a 72-bomb-a-day average.  On some of those days he wore a tan suit.

August 7, 2015, Sergeant David Ray Gibbs, Kentucky State Police, died when his patrol car crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle during a period of rain.

On August 7, 2020, the Kentucky teachers’ union wanted in-person learning until infections declined.  Who could blame them?  Working from home has advantages.

On August 7, 2020, federal prosecutors sued to seize control of a downtown Louisville building, formerly PNC Plaza.  They alleged that billionaire Ukrainian oligarchs secretly owned it and used it to launder big bucks.

Saturday, August 7, 2021, Rep. James Comer joked that Hunter Biden sent some original artwork to Fancy Farm as Lily Douthitt of Paducah held up a child’s drawing.  No Kentucky Blue politicians showed up to speak at the 141st Fancy Farm event, it was that bad, but the food was that good.

August 7, 2021, only five went to post for Saratoga’s GI, $1,000,000 Whitney Stakes for four-year-olds and upward.  All the good horses were in the shed or broke down by four.

On August 7, 2021, UK track and field alumna Sydney McLaughlin and Team USA won gold in the 4×400-meter relay on the final day of the Olympic track and field competition.