TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

July 8, 1774, Shawnee killed two men under James Harrod’s leadership at Oldtown while a small group surveyed the Fontainbleau Spring area.  The others escaped back to the Salt River camp, three miles away.
History of Kentucky by Lewis Collins and Richard H. Collins

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Richmond native and Kentucky’s 27th and 37th governor, James B. McCreary, born in 1838.

July 8, 1896, Scott native Sallie Ward, one of Kentucky’s most vivacious belles of the 19th century, drew her last breath in her apartment in the fashionable Galt House hotel in Louisville.

July 8, 1899, Deputy Sheriff James Stubblefield, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to gunshot wound sustained two days earlier while attempting to arrest a man on an outstanding warrant.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Simstown native John Simms “Shipwreck” Kelly, born in 1910.  A legendary football player, who gained his nickname from Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly, famous for pole-sitting in the 1920s.

July 8, 1911, shortly after midnight, James Buckner, an 18-year young black man, became the 1st person to die by electrocution in Kentucky.  The prison doctor, Dr. R. H. Moss, nearly got electrocuted as he examined Buckner before the electricity got turned off.  Buckner stabbed to death police officer Robey at Lebanon in Marion County.  Robey had gone to investigate a disturbance and arrested Buckner and another lad, Jesse Smith.  The two boys turned on Robey and stabbed him 16 times.  They were quickly re-arrested, taken to jail in Louisville and kept safe from a spontaneous lynching.

July 8, 1938, President F. D. Roosevelt visited Covington’s Latonia Race Track for the senate primary.  It was part of the cross country speaking tour where had spoken in Ohio earlier that day.  He specifically came to throw his support behind Senator Alben W. Barkley, who battled Happy Chandler.  Chandler showed up at the airport to greet the President and somehow managed to arrive at the track with the President and Barkley.  Happy lost but was appointed Senator the next year.

July 8, 1946, installation of new elevators began in the state Capitol building.  Chicago’s Otis Elevator Company received the $20,930 contract to replace the ancient, creaky, old ones.  The new elevator doors have Kentucky’s Great Seal and motto.

July 8, 1950, Army COL Robert R. Martin from Jefferson County died in the Korean War.

July 8, 1951, Army PVT Patrick H. Ford Jr. from Jefferson County died in the Korean War.

July 8, 1953 Army PFC James R. Winston from Christian County died in the Korean War.

July 8, 1956, Happy Chandler, on Meet The Press, told the country that he would support the Democratic nominee for Kentucky governor, even if it was Wetherby.

July 8, 1960, Governor Combs told the press he would launch the much anticipated program to clean up and beautify Kentucky.  He said the program is statewide but the emphasis will be in Eastern Kentucky, where the problem is the largest.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Anchorage native Joan Osborne, born in 1962.

July 8, 1965, Kentucky State Police Trooper Delano G. Powell died when he responded to a complaint of a man shooting a shotgun at his residence in Breathitt County.  The suspect, who hid in an outbuilding shot Trooper Powell twice in the chest as he got out of his car.  Minutes later he shot and wounded another trooper as he arrived on the scene.

In Greenville, July 8, 1965, Governor Breathitt said that strip mining problems in Western Kentucky “could be licked” with new regulatory legislation and cooperation between coal operators and the TVA.  The governor toured the state, inspecting different mines.

July 8, 1967, Army SSG James L. Cotton Jr. from Oak Grove died in the Vietnam War.

July 8, 1968, Army SGT William R. Hopkins from Pikeville died in the Vietnam War.

July 8, 1969, Army PFC Bobby L. Gentry from Winchester died in the Vietnam War.

July 9, 1970, the U.S. Census Bureau said Kentucky picked up 122,156 residents during the past decade to bring its population to 3,160,312, a 4% increase.

July 8, 1976, one of the classic historic attractions in Kentucky, the Pennyroyal Area Museum opened in Hopkinsville.

July 8, 1982, describing it as “probably the most difficult and unexpected decisions” of his political career, U.S. Senator Wendell Ford announced he would not seek the Democratic nominee for Governor in 1983.

July 8, 1983, Tommy Thompson from Bardwell caught a state record Chain Pickerel that weighed 5 lbs. and 6 ozs. in Forked Lake in Carlisle County.

July 8, 1986, the SEC charged Ashland Oil Inc. and its former chairman with bribing a foreign official to secure crude oil.  The federal government agreed to drop the charges if Ashland Inc. promised not to bribe anyone anymore; Ashland pinkie promised.

July 8, 1988, Governor Wilkinson declared what may have been the state’s first state water emergency due to a drought.

On July 8, 1991, the 42-count federal trial against Breathitt County Sheriff Dean Spencer started in London.  This case had more twists and turns than the average bad cop story.  Spencer’s trial included killer FBI agents, bribery, undercover detectives, pay-offs, and of course drugs.

On July 8, 1996, the NCAA released final attendance records for the basketball season.  UK not only beat Syracuse for the national championship, but they also dethroned the Orangemen in Division I attendance for the 1st time in 12 years.  Kentucky averaged 23,895 per home game.

July 8, 2000, General Express set a world record when he went five furlongs on the turf in :54.60 in the Decathlon Stakes at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.  General Express eclipsed the mark of :54.97 set by Klassy Briefcase in a Monmouth allowance race on June 8, 1991.

July 8, 2002, William Shatner drove Revival to victory in the Fine Harness Amateur, Gentleman to Drive class, on the opening night of the 66th annual Lexington Junior League Horse Show at the Red Mile in Lexington.

July 8, 2008, Army CPL William L. McMillan III, 22, of Lexington, died in Iraq fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

July 8, 2015, the American Veterans Traveling Tribute Vietnam Wall, a 300-foot-long replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., opened at the Kentucky Horse Park.

On July 8, 2019, federal officials arrested Jeffrey Edward Epstein for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.  Flight records obtained in 2016 show Bill Clinton flew 27 times to at least a dozen international locations on Epstein’s jet.  In a 2002 New York magazine article, Donald Trump remarked,  “I’ve known Jeff for fifteen years.  Terrific guy.  He’s a lot of fun to be with.  It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.  No doubt about it – Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

July 8, 2020, Kentucky recorded its 2nd highest daily total for the coronavirus at 371.  As a result, the Courier-Journal printed a front-page editorial urging the governor to mandate masks.  The governor issued the mandate the next day.  In addition, one in three Kentuckians were on Medicaid, a 10% increase due to the economy shut down.

July 8, 2021, President Biden told the world that U.S. Troop withdrawal from Afghanistan “is moving ahead of schedule.”  America’s longest war ended in complete embarrassment for the nation and the military-industrial complex.  Meanwhile, Kentucky’s public health commissioner announced an increase of positive coronavirus cases after two months of declining numbers.  The governor stated the vaccinated need not wear mask indoors but urged the unvaccinated to do so.