August 21, 1836, in the evening, Lexington’s Grand Masonic Hall caught fire. Local fire engines Kentuckian, Resolution, and Lyon responded to the call, but the building collapsed around midnight. The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington, by J. Winston Coleman, Jr. pg: 39.
On August 21, 1849, John Wesley Hunt passed away in Lexington after a successful business career. One of his 1st ventures was a dry goods store; which morphed into the hemp industry, packaging cotton bales for shipment. He was president of the Farmers and Mechanics Bank of Lexington, led the establishment of Eastern State Hospital for the mentally ill, and was a member of the board of trustees of Transylvania University. In addition, John dabbled in the horse industry by transferring English stallions from the East. The 1st millionaire west of the Allegany Mountain had a grandson named John Hunt Morgan, a Confederate General and a great-grandson Thomas Hunt Morgan, the famed scientist.
August 21, 1920, in his 17th race, with Andy Schuttinger in the irons, Man o’ War won the Travers Stakes. The overflow crowd witnessed Big Red go the 1 ¼ mile in 2:01.8, equaling Sir Barton’s track record set earlier in the year. The record stood until 1941.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Hazel native Jackie DeShannon, born in 1941 in Calloway County. She is best known as the singer of What the World Needs Now Is Love and Put a Little Love in Your Heart.
On August 21, 1955, another internationally known Kentucky UFO incident occurred, in the tiny town of Kelly, near Hopkinsville, when a bright streak of light disappeared behind a tree line near. Shortly after that, about a dozen small creatures with large pointy ears, claw-like hands, spindly legs, and glowing yellow eyes attacked a family of five adults and seven children. According to the family, they held the creatures off with gunfire as best they could, but their weapons didn’t seem to have an effect. Instead, they just made a sound that “resembled bullets striking a metal bucket.”
On August 21, 1960, billed as the largest circus under canvas, the Clyde Beatty-Cole Brothers Circus came to Louisville. A crowd of four thousand gathered under the 11-acre, three-ring tent to see 250 performers and 150 animals.
August 21, 1990, a state-wide poll showed that 74% of Kentuckians wanted the casino issue on the ballot as a constitutional amendment. The same survey also showed Kentuckians favor casino gambling by a slim margin.
August 21, 2005, Carlisle County farmer Don Thornsbrough told the press he built three new hog barns for an out-of-state corporation because swine paid more; and they were easier to raise than chickens. Tosh Farms planned to open 50 more barns in Kentucky, increasing the state hog population by 38%.
Kentucky Trivia: Hogs and pigs brought Kentucky farmers $128 million in 2020, up by more than $16 million the year prior. With more than 1,600 operations across the state, Kentucky ranked 17th in the nation for total swine production. Found throughout the state, a majority are raised in Western Kentucky, near production of their primary food source of corn and soybeans.
On August 21, 2009, 60 to 80 inmates rioted at Danville’s Northpoint Training Center. They set five buildings on fire, including the kitchen, medical, visiting, canteen, and a multi-purpose facility. By 10:30 p.m., the prison’s Corrections Emergency Response Team subdued the situation. They rioted over food issues.
On August 21, 2017, the accused predator lender and tax evader, Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, traveled to Ft. Knox to meet with Mitch and Governor M. Bevin to visit the U.S. Gold Depository. Mnuchin claimed it was the 1st time Fort Knox opened its vaults to outsiders since 1974.
On August 21, 2019, President D. Trump addressed a national veterans’ conference in Louisville, touting his administration’s record on helping veterans. He then signed an executive order to expedite erasing the veterans’ student debt for those who are permanently disabled. “Nobody can complain about that, right? Nobody can complain about that,” the president stated.
On August 21, 2020, the 1st school district in Kentucky to open in-person learning announced they would shut down. Through social media, Green County Superintendent William Hodges said he closed the doors due to increased coronavirus activity after he received unofficial notice of an employee at Green County High School testing positive.
August 21, 2021, President J. Biden claimed we had “no indication” that American citizens were struggling to access the Kabul airport. Yet, at almost the same time, reporters in Afghanistan described the extremely dangerous conditions facing U.S. citizens trying to get to the airport. Meanwhile, ex-president Trump got booed at his Alabama rally for telling people to get vaccinated.
August 21, 2021, the captured FDA tweeted, You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y’all. Stop it. The tweet summarized the bizarre attacks on the inexpensive, Nobel Prize awarded, and very safe drug Ivermectin.