The best audience is one that is intelligent, well-educated, and a little drunk. Alben W. Barkley
August 12-14, 1782, a war party consisting of Captain Caldwell, Simon Girty, Shawnee, and Wyandot Warriors of about 300 strong came into Kentucky. Small detachments dispersed to several forts, but the main body went on to Hoy’s Station. At Hoy’s Station, the war party captured Captain William Hoy’s son and another boy. The pioneers pursued the war party but got ambushed; Hoy and the remaining men retreated, leaving the dead and wounded. The remaining men returned to the fort to await re-enforcements from Lexington. The war party had the fort under attack until nightfall, killing five to six more settlers. Then, finally, they demanded that the fort surrender; when they refused, the war party feasted on their cattle and vegetables and then left.
August 12, 1881, Covington native Thomas Shaw served in the 9th Cavalry Regiment. On that day, he participated in the Battle of Carrizo Canyon in New Mexico pursuing Nana and his band of Apache Warriors. For his actions during the engagement, Shaw received the Medal of Honor nine years later.
On August 12, 1882, the 1st mule-drawn streetcars debuted on the streets of Lexington. Thirty mules and 15 small wooden cars utilized nine miles of track. The streetcars needed an extra mule when ascending the South Broadway hill. The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 61
August 12, 1949, Congress approved one gold medal in recognition of V.P. Alben Barkley. Copies in bronze would be available to purchase. The Treasury Secretary would determine the emblems, devices, and inscriptions for the mint to strike.
August 12, 1950, Army CPL John J. Aspden from Jefferson County, Army PFC Bob T. Amis from Perry County, Army PFC Carlis E. High from Bracken County, Army CPL Arvis F. Roy from Casey County, and Army CPL Charles K. Williams from Knott County, died in the Korean War.
On August 12, 1972, the state prevented a local businessman from building a carnival-like amusement park atop a cliff that overlooked the Cumberland Falls State Park. The entrepreneur said he would spend every dollar he had to fight the decision.
On August 12, 1984, baseball elected Ekron native Pee Wee Reese into their Hall of Fame. His primary team was the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing shortstop as team captain. However, his most significant action on a baseball field may have been before one game in particular. In 1947, the Dodgers visited Cincinnati, and the fans and opposing players heckled rookie Jackie Robinson. Reese calmly approached Robinson, put his arm around his teammate’s shoulder, and chatted. The small gesture was critical in both Robinson’s career and African Americans’ acceptance in baseball and to some extent American society.
August 12, 1997, contractors began refurbishing the 142-year-old Switzer bridge in Franklin County. The county’s only covered bridge collapsed in March after the creek flooded and destroyed one of the foundations. The bridge stayed afloat for two days. Finally, it rested on the creek bank. Once a fixture of Kentucky’s landscape, fewer than a dozen covered bridges remain as of 2022.
August 12, 2005, Franklin native Brad Kelley bought Bluegrass Farm across the street from the Lexington airport and Calumet Farm. One previous owner, Nelson Bunker Hunt, raised horses on the land. However, Kelley purchased the farm from exotic animal breeders. Kelley, who once owned a majority of stock in Churchill Downs, planned to turn the farm back into a horse nursery. The tobacco billionaire would buy Calumet seven years later.
On August 12, 2019, Yum! Brands announced David Gibbs would replace Greg Creed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). In 2019, David made over $13 million. In 2020 he earned over $10 million and donated over $900,000 to ease his employees’ coronavirus hardships. In 2021, he rewarded himself handsomely for his generosity and paid himself $27 million. Talk about a dog and pony show but remember, don’t hate the player, hate the game.
Kentucky Trivia: Yum! Brands operates on an extremely high median worker-to-CEO pay ratio, an embarrassing: 2,108:1. The wage for the median employees was $13,082. Yum notes that 90% of the employees are part-time and at least 50% have been employed less than a year. A significant stockholder, SOC Investment Group, tried to get David’s gaudy 2021 salary stopped through SEC filings.
August 12, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced a single-day record for positive cases (1,163) and seven deaths. Many private Kentucky schools balked at the governor and planned to open their doors for in-person learning. Meanwhile, Churchill Downs eliminated all general admission and infield seating and required the 27,000 lucky fans to wear masks for the September 5th Kentucky Derby.
On August 12, 2021, the drive to vaccinate children intensified. Kentucky’s most prominent newspapers focused on how many children tested positive while persuading children 12 and up to get the experimental vaccine. One paper reported two deaths under 19 since March 2020. The Wall Street Journal stated on July 8, 2021, “the slight risk of children dying from Covid-19 might be even lower than previously thought, researchers found in comprehensive new studies, so low in fact it was hard to place a percentage.