TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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May 20, 1777, in the early morning hours, while the women were milking cows outside the gates, Logan’s Fort was attacked by more than 100 Native Americans, supported by British troops, and a 13-day siege began.  The fort was sheltering seven families, including Benjamin Logan and William Whitley, six single men, a free African American, and the rest women.  The Siege left two men dead, but the fort survived.

Kentucky Trivia:  Native Americans tried several times to capture Logan’s Fort or St. Asaph.  They named the settlement Standing Fort, which was later contracted to Stanford.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Bryantsville native Henry Smith, born in 1798 in Garrard County.  Henry was the first American-born Governor of the Mexican territory of Texas and briefly presided over the revolution there, serving during the Battle of the Alamo, Battle of Goliad, and Battle of San Jacinto.

May 20, 1837, a steamboat ascends Big Sandy River 90 miles to Prestonsburg, Floyd County, with Spring supplies.  The next steamboat took a pleasure party even further up the river.  Coal, of the finest quality, was found upon the river banks.

May 20, 1846, James Jackson of Lexington and Robert Patterson of Frankfort dueled.  The met near Bethlehem, Indiana.  Thomas Marshall acted for Jackson and George Crittenden for Patterson.  After exchanging shots without effect, the difficulty passed.
History of Kentucky, Vol. 1 pg: 53 by Richard Collins

May 20, 1861, Governor Magoffin proclaimed the state’s neutrality.
The Civil War in Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Woodlake native Madeline (Madge) McDowell Breckinridge, born in 1872 in Franklin County.  Madge grew up on her great-grandfather’s estate Ashland.  She went on to become a major figure in the women’s suffrage movement in Kentucky.

Tuesday, May 20, 1879, Lord Murphy won the 5th Kentucky Derby going 1 ½ miles in a record time of 2:37.  Lord Murphy was knocked almost to his knees by Ada Glenn on the first turn with a field of nine horses, but managed to pull himself up from 7th to 1st place at the mile marker to win over the fast-approaching Falsetto.  Lord Murphy was originally named Patmus and was a grandson of Lexington.  He was owned by Geo. W. Darden & Co., trained by George Rice, ridden by Charlie Shauer.  Famed jockey Isaac Burns Murphy finished second.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to South Keene native Jimmy Blythe, born in 1901 in Jessamine County.  Blythe is known to have recorded as many as 300 piano rolls, and his song “Chicago Stomp” is considered one of the earliest examples of boogie-woogie music to be recorded.

May 20, 1926, Constable Thomas J. Wilder, Perry County Constable’s Office, was shot and killed while taking a woman to jail after arresting her at a local carnival.

May 20, 1939, Constable William Larkin Stapleton, Lincoln County Constable’s Office, was shot and killed when he attempted to intervene in a domestic disturbance on Main Street in Crab Orchard.

May 20, 1951, Army PVT Richard B. Paschall from Graves County and Army CPL Cleveland G. Thompson from Bourbon County, died in the Korean War.

May 20, 1967, watch the 92nd running of the Preakness Stakes.

May 20, 1967, Marine Corps LCPL Richard A. Hardin and Marine Corps PFC Larry L. Williams both from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 20, 1970, Army PFC Thomas J. Kelso from Louisville died I the Vietnam War.  

May 20, 1970, lights are installed at Miles Park in Louisville, hoping that night racing will save the track from failing.

May 20, 1976, President Ford unrolled the red carpet for 54 members of the Kentucky Press Corps. Willie Dawahare of Hazard, representing WKYH-TV, presented the President with a red Kentucky tie with his store name on the back.  David Hacker and Ralph Gabbard, representing WVLK and WKYT, gave him a UK Football helmet and knighted him an honorary Wildcat.  Five days later, Kentucky held its first presidential primary election.

May 20, 1984, due to President Reagan’s massive military buildup, the U.S. military budget accumulated the largest backlog of money since the Vietnam War, creating problems for the Pentagon and Congress.  The money did not trickle down fast enough.

May 20, 1996, UK’s championship squad makes an official visit to the White House at the invitation of President Clinton.  Tony Delk and Mark Pope present President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore with UK jerseys.

May 20, 1998, the death/burial site of Edward Boone in Bourbon County was recognized a Kentucky Landmark by the Kentucky Heritage Council.

May 20, 2006, Kentucky’s worst mining explosion in 17 years occurred, with five deaths in Harlan County.  The 1:22 a.m. blast in Holmes Mill rocked Kentucky Darby LLC mine #1 near the Virginia border.  One miner was able to crawl to safety. 

May 20, 2007, Lexington native Tyler Clippard made his MLB debut with the New York Yankees.

May 20, 2015, five major U.S. banks agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and pay more than $5.5 billion in penalties for manipulating the world’s foreign exchange market for direct profit.  Not one banker went to prison.

May 20, 2017, watch the 142nd Preakness Stakes.

May 20, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 166 new coronavirus cases for an 8,167 total.  He also relayed the news of ten new deaths for the 376 total.  Meanwhile, a porotype vaccine that protected monkeys from coronavirus provides “new hope” for human vaccines.