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June 18, 1827, Governor Joseph Desha pardons his son Isaac from murdering Francis Baker. Isaac Desha was twice convicted, but both times, the judge set aside the verdict on procedural grounds. While awaiting a third trial, Desha attempted suicide by slitting his throat. Still, doctors saved his life, reconnecting his severed windpipe with a silver tube. Shortly after the suicide attempt, Governor Desha issued a pardon for his son.
June 18, 1881, Ansel Williamson passed away in Lexington. Born a slave in Virginia around 1806, Ansel was the first trainer to win the Kentucky Derby. Ansel chose Oliver Lewis to ride his start colt Aristides.
June 18, 1910, thousands of spectators turned out to view an air show at Churchill Downs. The highly publicized aviation demonstration featured the world famous aviator Glenn Curtiss. The event was the first demonstration of an airplane in Kentucky.
The Encyclopedia of Louisville edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 8
June 18, 1925, Deputy Constable Ira Gibson, Bell County Constable’s Office, was shot and killed as he and another deputy constable were searching a wooded, mountainous area near Edgewood for two suspects.
June 18, 1954, Sheriff Hubbard Ferguson, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Department, was last seen alive. His car was found the next day on a nearby farm, where it had been sitting all day. The sheriff’s body was found in a local creek with a gunshot wound to the head and a 22-pound iron rail tie plate tied around his neck.
June 18, 1963, Muhammad Ali (19-0) fought Henry Cooper (27-8-1) in Wembley Stadium, London. Cooper, 29, was a top fighter in Europe and had a powerful left hook, but he was a big underdog against young and brash Clay. Cooper came out strong and bloodied Clay’s nose in the first round. But by the third round, Clay had opened a bad gash over Cooper’s left eye. Instead of finishing him, though, Clay danced around and taunted Cooper. Late in the fourth round, Cooper connected with a left hook that floored and hurt Clay. He got up as the round ended. Clay then opened the gash further in the fifth round, and the fight was stopped. Clay’s fifth-round KO prediction came true.
June 18, 2006, it was announced that Louisville would be the first stop in the inaugural World Series of Video Games. The series is a circuit-style competition for PC and Xbox games. The contest crowned the world’s first official video-game champion.
Kentucky Trivia: Georgetown native, Sweet Evening Breeze, is best known for ushering in the still-thriving drag scene in Lexington. Facing a judge after being jailed for breaking an old town law forbidding the dressing as the opposite sex in public (except on Halloween), Sweets managed to convince the judge the law was unconstitutional. Abandoned as a child at Lexington’s Good Samaritan Hospital, Sweets was taken in by the staff and given a room in the hospital where she lived into her teenage years. During this time, Sweets worked, entertaining, and delivering mail to hospital patients until being trained as an orderly, a position she held for over 40 years.