How do poems grow? They grow out of your life. Robert Penn Warren
August 19, 1782, the Battle of Blue Licks occurred near present-day Mount Olivet in Robertson County. The last major battle of the American Revolutionary War pitted Kentucky settlers against Native Americans and the British Crown. The battle occurred ten months after the surrender at Yorktown, which ended the war in the east. Blue Licks was the last victory for the British and Natives and a disaster for Kentuckians. Seventy-two Kentuckians died; more than a third of their force and their opponents lost only three men. It was also the last major Native American battle in Kentucky, although minor skirmishes and raids would continue until the early 1800s.
Kentucky Trivia: Israel Boone died in the battle when he got shot in the heart. His father, Daniel, tried to carry his body off the battleground but had to leave it behind to save his own life. The defeat marked the lowest point in America’s push for the West.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Georgetown native and controversial Union General Stephen Gano Burbridge, born in 1831. The “Butcher of Kentucky” commanded the Kentucky forces in 1864. When guerrillas carried out attacks against Unionists, he responded with martial law and handed out punitive actions against them.
August 19, 1881, Pulaski County native Brent Woods participated in a battle at Gavilan Canyon in New Mexico against Chief Nana and a small band of Apaches. After the deaths of six men in his cavalry, Woods took command and fought to save the lives of many of his comrades. Thirteen years later, he received the Medal of Honor for his action.
August 19, 1884, City Marshal Jesse Offut of the Franklin Police Department, died as he and the city’s deputy marshal accompanied a prisoner to a local saloon. They had arrested the man for drunkenness and agreed to let him go to the saloon to secure a bondsman. As they walked along the street the prisoner fell back a few steps, pulled out a gun, and opened fire.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Perry County native Ronald Coleman “Spec” Lacy, born in 1929. After graduating from Winchester Shawnee High School; he attended UK and the Lexington Bible College. In 1955, he won Mr. Kentucky. In 1957, he won Mr. America and later voted the Most Muscular Man in America.
On August 19, 1933, the Kentucky Theatre reopened. The Phoenix Amusement Co. acquired the Kentucky Theatre and the State Theater in 1933. This opening night showed off improvements in the new sound equipment, repainted/recovered seats, and a raised floor to minimize future flood damage. In 1933, the company also owned the Strand and Ben Ali theaters.
August 19, 1934, Sheriff P. L. “Fay” Little, Menifee County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to injuries sustained three days earlier when struck by an automobile while standing with a group of people at the scene of a fatal shooting.
On August 19, 1955, North Koreans shot down a plane with two Americans onboard. An observer, Charles Brown from West Louisville, went missing with the pilot. The story captured the nation’s headlines.
On August 19, 1960, the jubilant Air Force celebrated history’s 1st aerial catch of a capsule ejected from an orbital satellite, bringing man’s journey into space a giant step closer. They caught the device over Hawaii, which contained data from spy and missile warning satellites. Earlier in the month, the military tracked and found a Discoverer XIII Capsule in the ocean. Meanwhile, Washington began to talk about medical aid for the elderly. JFK favored the legislation, while President Eisenhower opposed it.
August 19, 1967, Damascus, with the “Shoe” on board, unleashed a powerful rush leaving the backstretch to win the 98th Travers Stakes by 22 lengths in record-equaling time in the slop. He had trailed by 15 lengths in the early goings. The second-largest crowd of 28,576 stood in awe.
August 19, 1978, the 109th Travers stamped its mark on one of the greatest seasons horse racing fans ever enjoyed when Alydar and Affirmed met for the 10th and final time. This running provided one of the most memorable objections in racing.
August 19, 1982, it took a governor and a general to get it done finally, but Louisville’s airport authority approved plans for a new $50 million terminal and extended runways. Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. and Brigadier General Carl Black worked together to make it happen.
On August 19, 1987, the Louisville Zoo announced they became a private foundation to expand and improve the 18-year-old facility, to hopefully make it self-supporting. A campaign to raise millions for a Great Ape House rose to the top of the agenda.
Sunday, August 19, 2000, Tiger Woods went into the final round at the PGA Championship at Valhalla with a one-shot lead and held on. Tiger won in a three-hole playoff over Bob May for his 5th major, his 2nd straight PGA Championship, and his 3rd PGA victory for 2000. Valhalla also hosted the event in 1996.
August 19, 2003, a former Pulaski County deputy sheriff and his friends admitted to complicity in killing Sheriff Sam Catron. They gunned him down immediately after his campaign speech in April. The former deputy sheriff was running for sheriff against Catron at the time of the murder.
On August 19, 2019, an Ashland doctor agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle accusations of defrauding Medicare, Medicaid and excessively pushing drugs on addicts. The settlement did not include a finding of wrongdoing. Drug pushers in white coats need to start going to prison instead of slaps on the wrist if the opioid crisis is to get better.
On August 19, 2020, as students in Kentucky schools sat 6 feet apart with masks on, the state announced virus statistics for public schools would be available online. Fayette County reported they had employed more African-American principles for the 2020-21 school year than ever before. UK started to report the number of positive coronavirus cases on campus and hired contact tracers, an impossible task for active college students. In addition, some Frankfort lawmakers questioned the credibility of the state’s coronavirus data, calling it perplexing.
August 19, 2021, in an attempt to slow down the coronavirus, Governor A. Beshear warned, “the state reached a critical point with hospital capacity and staffing and the facilities would be overrun with patients very soon.“