On October 15, 1796, the Kentucky Gazette ran the 1st written record of the Wilderness Road. It read, “The Wilderness Road from Cumberland Gap to the settlements in Kentucky is now completed. Wagons loaded with a ton weight, may pass with ease, with four good horses.” Before that time, most people called the route either Kentucky Road or the road to the Holston settlements, depending upon travel direction. John Filson’s map, the old trail is called “The Road from the Old settle[ments] thro’ the great Wilderness.”
On October 15, 1824, The Great Debates began in Washington, Mason County, between Elder Alexander Campbell and the Rev. William L. McCalla. They ended a week later. Kentucky in Retrospect 1792-1697 by Lila Jones Kington, pg: 57
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Ora Francis Porter, born in Sugar Grove, Butler County, in 1879. She graduated from Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute in 1901 to become Bowling Green’s 1st registered nurse. She retired in 1960.
October 15, 1883, Marshal Ambrose Wilson, Sadieville Police Department, did while breaking up a disturbance at a local saloon. He had taken one of the men outside to persuade him to go home when the man produced a gun and opened fire, striking Marshal Wilson three times.
October 15, 1904, Kentucky State College (UK) defeated Berea College 42-0. Coached by Fred Schacht in his 1st of two years, the Wildcats completed the season 9-1. Coach Schacht’s tenure ended with a 15-4-1 record.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Hindman native Carl D. Perkins, born in 1912. Congressman Perkins did not sign the 1956 Southern Manifesto and voted in favor of the Civil Rights Acts of 1957, 1960, and 1964, where he was the only yes vote from Kentucky. Mr. Perkins attended Hindman High School, Caney Junior College (now Alice Lloyd College), and U of L Law School.
October 15, 1915, Beach Comber stumbled out of the gate in a Latonia race and through his jockey, Louisville native Carl Goose, to the ground where another horse stumbled over him. Carl, 22 years old, sustained a fractured skull, never regained consciousness, and died. Carl won the 1913 Kentucky Oaks aboard Cream. Carl used the last name Ganz, the German name for Goose, because his brother Roscoe rode and didn’t want people to confuse them. Carl’s brother Roscoe rode the 1913 Kentucky Derby winner. After Carl’s death, Roscoe devoted his life to safety regulations to protect jockeys.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Guitarist Mickey Baker, born in 1925. In 1936, he entered an orphanage at 11 and ran away, traveling the U.S. The orphanage quit looking for him, and at 16, he stayed in New York City. He washed dishes, hung out in the pool halls and soon gave up working to become a full-time pool shark. Then, at 19, Baker decided to change his life and started playing music and created his signature riffs that helped push rhythm & blues into rock & roll.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Elmer Whitaker, born at home in the Christopher section of Perry County in 1928. Elmer’s grandfather, Dr. Felix Wooten, graduated from Transylvania College, and his great-grandmother, Rebecca Feltner, was a Leslie County midwife. The Hazard coal operator and Kentucky banker also owned part of Hazard’s radio station WSGS. The station’s call letters represent the original owners’ names – Whitaker, Sparkman, Gorman, and Sturgill. Elmer Whitaker died in 2014.
October 15, 1932, Policeman Blucher Soyars, Russellville Police Department, and Special Agent Frank Mather of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms died from a gunshot accidentally during a case of mistaken identity.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Keeneland, born on Thursday, October 15, 1936, at 1:53 p.m. At this time, a spotted pony carrying outrider Joe Moran stepped into the plowed dirt and led eight prancing thoroughbreds in the 1st post parade at Keeneland Racecourse. Royal Raiment won the $1,000 allowance for two-year-old fillies. John Jay Whitney owned the grey filly J.W. Healy trained, and John Gilbert rode the winner. The 1st day featured seven races worth a total purse prize of $7,380, where 8,000 fans wagered $74,639.
Kentucky Trivia: Paid attendance for the 1st nine-day fall meet totaled 25,337. The 1styear was a moderate success for the Keeneland Association. The financial statement for the year, however, revealed a net loss of $3.47.
October 15, 1949, the Kentucky Wildcats shut out their 4th team in a row by beating The Citadel 44-0 in Lexington. The Bear Bryant team had already shut out LSU (19), Ole Miss (47), and Georgia (25). They would finish the season 9-3 ranked 11th in the nation, losing to Santa Clara in the Orange Bowl.
October 15, 1957, Chief of Police Willard Cash Milstead, Princeton Police Department, died from a gunshot while placing a 2nd suspect under arrest at the scene of a domestic disturbance. The other officer shot and killed the suspect.
6:40 p.m. (CST), October 15, 1959, at 31,500 feet above the farming community of Hardinsburg, two U.S. Airforce aircraft collided. The collision generated an intense fireball seen 150 miles away in Cincinnati and Indiana and landed two miles from each other. The KC-135 landed near the farm of Mrs. Ruby Jones and Mr. Briscoll Thurman’s farmhouse. The main portion of the B-52 hit the ground near the Whitier Farm, with other significant wreckage on the Reason Sebastian Farm near the village of McQuady.
October 15, 1982, 12:01 a.m., UK basketball held their 1st practice of the year at Memorial Coliseum, named “midnight scrimmage.” An estimated 5,100 fans watched the team after participating in a shooting contest and a ticket raffle. NCAA rules prevented any practice before this day.
October 15, 1991, UK A.D. C.M. Newton talked with NBA star Michael Jordan after a Chicago Bulls’ practice before their exhibition game. A crowd of 20,775, more than double the largest to see a pro game in Lexington, saw Jordan score 20 points in his 22 minutes during the 98-83 win over the Seattle.
On October 15, 2020, Governor A. Beshear stated the virus was “getting worse, not better” when he announced 20 deaths. Quarantined inside the mansion he claimed, “If people don’t start wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, we will continue to have days like this; we have to do better.” Meanwhile, in Washington, Dr. Fauci warned Americans to rethink their thanksgiving plans with family. In an interview later that day about herd immunity he stated, “The idea that a disease will stop spreading once nearly everybody has contracted it, is total nonsense.”
October 15, 2021, defense attorney Christopher Spedding successfully defended ex-UK Student Jacob Heil from reckless homicide. Jacob tragically killed 4-year-old Marco Shemwell with his car while leaving a UK football game in 2018. Heil’s blood alcohol content was .038; the legal limit for persons under 21 is .02.
October 15, 2022, Rep. Thomas Massie tweeted, This is inappropriate behavior. It’s not endearing or charming; it’s creepy. The fact that he’s been using this line for decades while touching girls doesn’t make it OK.