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Kentucky Trivia

August 20, 1792, Danville established the 1st Post Office with Thomas Barbeeas as Postmaster, nearly two years before Harrodsburg, Washington, Lexington, Bairdstown (later Bardstown), Bourbontown (later Paris), Frankfort, and Louisville.

On August 20, 1794, Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne came upon the wily enemy posted in thick brushwood with guns and the Battle of Fallen Timbers began near Toledo.  Reportedly, 33 white men and several more Natives died. Some historians attribute this battle to establishing a lasting peace on the Kentucky border.  The Story of Kentucky by Cherry and Stickles pg 171.

On August 20, 1889, Morris Race Track opened in Westchester County, NY.  Described as “the finest race track in the world,” horse and buggy brought people to the track until new train tracks enabled fans direct access from the New York City area.  Hall of Fame jockey Isaac Murphy rode on opening day.

August 20, 1913, John C. C. Mayo returned to Paintsville from an overseas trip.  Johnson County’s most prominent resident received an elaborate reception from the locals but kept his diagnosis of Bright’s disease quiet.

August 20, 1920, Chief of Police Robert Philpot, Irvine Police Department died from gunshots while arresting a man for bootlegging.

August 20, 1951, Army CPL Robert L. Johnson from Floyd County died in the Korean War.

August 20, 1952, Army PVT James F. Washburn from Marshall County and Navy SN James E. Wolfe from Scottsville in Allen County, died in the Korean War.

August 20, 1952, President Harry S. Truman, in a White House ceremony, presented the Congressional Medal of Honor to Dehart native Marine Corp Colonel William Earl Barber.

August 20, 1962, a nose decided the 93rd Travers Stakes.  Bill Shoemaker rode Jaipur, and Manual Ycaza rode Ridan.  Almost from the outset, both horses were at each other’s throats.  For the entire 1 1/4 mile, they were never more than a half-length apart, and for the last mile, their heads were bobbing side by side.

On August 20, 1966, V.P. Hubert H. Humphrey dedicated Barkley Lock and Dam at Grand Rivers in Livingston County.  TVA’s 16th great structure, which took nine years to build, offers flood control, hydroelectric power, and tames the Cumberland River.  Barkley Canal, also built during the dam construction, is the only free-flowing waterway in the nation linking major lakes on two principal rivers — the Cumberland and Tennessee.  TVA named it for V.P. Alben Barkley of Lowes.

August 20, 1968, Army PFC Albert D. Smith from Glasgow in Barren County died in the Vietnam War.

August 20, 1970, Army PVT Rubert G. Humphreys from Paducah and Army SGT Marshall K. Jones from Campbellsville in Taylor County died in the Vietnam War.

August 20, 1970, the Kentucky State Fair opened their doors for 10 days of lights, crowds, animals, and rides.

August 20, 1976, Sheriff William Donald Cobb, Hart County Sheriff’s Department, died in an automobile accident while in a high speed pursuit.

August 20, 1982, the Kentucky State Police arrested Harlan County Sheriff Paul Browning, Jr. for arson, conspiracy to murder a county magistrate and a county school board member.

On August 20, 1984, the Knott County Courthouse auctioned 112-year-old state-issued land patents.  They may be worthless, or they could be worth millions; the courts had not decided.  Since the 1960s, twenty different people have owned the patents.  The grants helped start the Knott County Land Grab.

August 20, 1992, after a 13-month study that cost $376,000, the Army Corps of Engineers recommended dropping the idea of damming Eagle Creek in Owen County.  Many locals worried about losing their homes to the proposed Eagle Creek Lake.

August 20, 1994, the GI $750,000 Travers Stakes is won by a nose.

On August 20, 2003, a former Pulaski Deputy Sheriff pleaded guilty to participating in the successful plot to kill Pulaski County Sheriff Sam Catron.  Sheriff Catron was Jeff’s former boss and political rival. Three individuals went to prison for murder.  

August 20, 2003, Kitten’s Joy made his 1st start at Saratoga racetrack, finishing 5th in a five-furlong sprint on the dirt.  Today he is one of the leading sires in North America and who has great success with his runners in Europe.

August 20, 2013, Kentucky’s ACLU Chapter warned Kentucky school districts would face a court challenge if they didn’t start following federal guidelines on distributing bibles to students.

On August 20, 2016, the Kentucky Medical Services Foundation (KMSF), the $200 million billing partner of UK Healthcare, took top headlines.  The company is not well known and kept out of the public eye.  UK says the foundation aids UK in multiple missions; critics call it a UK slush fund for private jets and other luxuries.  A Judge in 2015 said it was a public institution, directed KMSF to open the records, and ruled it again in 2019.  Sick people support KMSF.

Kentucky Trivia:  A majority of KMSF monies go towards paying doctors.  However, they own $96 million in real estate and equipment.  A special fund called the “Dean’s Fund” spent $35k at Kentucky Speedway, $4k at the Iroquois Hunt Club, $136k on private jets, $700k on Eastern State Hospital, $7M for Good Samaritan Hospital, and numerous other pet projects.  Meanwhile, three in four Kentuckians are worried about affording health care.

August 20, 2016, the great filly Songbird won Saratoga’s GI $600,000 Alabama Stakes for three-year-old fillies.

August 20, 2019, a report claimed the number of coal jobs in Eastern Kentucky dropped significantly in the 2nd quarter of 2019.  Jobs dropped 15.2% compared to the same period in 2018.  Preliminary numbers showed 3,367 people were employed in the coal industry in Eastern Kentucky from April through June 2019.

On August 20, 2020, the Kentucky State Fair, a rite of passage for many Kentucky families from the Commonwealth, fell victim to the pandemic.  As a result, only competitors in the World’s Championship Horse Show and Youth Livestock competition attended.  Meanwhile, Mayor G. Fischer announced he would not participate in the September 6 Kentucky Derby due to the virus and racial justice demonstrations in Louisville.  

Positives:  726 / 41,626
Deaths:  14 / 856 – 1st death March 16, 2020
50&over:  830 / 49-30: 25 / 29&under: 1

On August 20, 2021, Brent Yonts, 72, a former state representative from Muhlenberg County, died from coronavirus after being on a ventilator for several days and fully vaccinated.  Breakthrough infections, in which vaccinated people test positive for the virus and sometimes develop symptoms, were becoming more common in the state.

On August 20, 2021, while the governor and attorney general fought in court over the masks mandates, America scrambled to overcome their most embarrassing incident in modern times, Afghanistan’s botched exit.  The MIC had 20 years to create an exit plan, and it failed.  The defense contractors had a short wait for their next war, fighting Russia on their border.

Friday night, August 20, 2022, a juvenile assaulted a staff member, confiscated the staff member’s keys and released other juveniles from their cells during a “riot” at the Adair Regional Juvenile Detention Center, a maximum-security facility.