TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

All the laws against us are merely public opinion in legal forms.  Allen Allensworth

On September 14, 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner as he gazed at Old Glory with 15 stars and stripes flying over Fort Henry.  If he had seen the British Union Jack, he would have written another story.

September 14, 1862, the Battle and Siege of Munfordville or Battle for the Bridge began in Hart County when Confederate Gen.  Braxton Bragg’s Army of the Mississippi met Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Union Army of the Ohio.

On September 14, 1875, three months pregnant, Belle Brezing married James Kenney but never lived with him.  After the wedding ceremony, she returned to her mother’s house with possible questions about paternity.  After nine days of marriage, Belle wrote to Johnny Cook and asked him for a gun.  Shortly after, locals found Johnny’s body in the alleyway outside the gate to Belle’s home.  There were three on the shortlist of possible fathers and two possible suspects for murder; Belle’s husband is the one who disappeared for a decade.

September 14, 1887, Woodford County native Luke Pryor Blackburn, Kentucky’s 1st physician governor (1879-83) died.  He rests in the Frankfort Cemetery.

September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., often referred to as Teddy, became the 26th president of the United States.  President William McKinley died from an assigns bullet.

September 14, 1908, the Kentucky State Fair opened for the 7th year.  This would be the 1st time the exhibitions had a permanent home; Louisville’s West End at the newly created Kentucky State Fairgrounds.

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Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Allen Allensworth, born in 1919.  Born into slavery, he escaped during the American Civil War and became a Union soldier.  Later, he became a Baptist minister, educator, and U.S. Army chaplain.  He was the 1st African American to reach the rank of lieutenant colonel.  In 1908 he helped found Allensworth, the only California city established, financed, and governed by African Americans.

September 14, 1931, the 1st night baseball game in Kentucky, took place at Parkway Field in Louisville.  The traveling “House of David” team from Michigan brought their portable lighting system to town against the Louisville All-Stars.  Fleming County native “King” Benjamin Purnell formed the visiting team.  Seven thousand paid patrons came for the triple attraction night: the star-studded players, the incandescent lights, and the presence of Grover Cleveland Alexander, one of baseball’s immortals.

September 14, 1939, Cecilia native, Roy Bruner made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.

September 14, 1946, Bess, “the horse with the human mind,” led by trainer Joe Atkinson, mounted the steps of the Fayette County courthouse as several thousand people watched.  The crowd filled the courthouse lawn and completely blocked Main Street.

September 14, 1950, Army PVT Henry E. May from Franklin County died in the Korean War.

Finally, on September 14, 1955, bureaucrats from Kentucky, VA, and TN presented their title deeds for 20,185.04 acres to the Interior Secretary, making the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park official.  The original purchase of land transferred to the Department of the Interior was.  The 15-year battle ended.

September 14, 1968, Floyd Patterson fought Louisville native Jimmy Ellis in Stockholm, Sweden.  Ellis won by decision in 15 rounds to successfully defend his WBA Heavyweight title.

September 14, 1968, Army SP4 Claude Perry from Pathfork in Harlan County died in the Vietnam War.

September 14, 1973, Army SP4 William D. Harris from Madisonville in Hopkins County died in the Vietnam War.

September 14, 1976, Fort Knox native Len Barker made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers.

September 14, 1987, David Bowie played before a crowd of 9,000 in Rupp Arena on his Glass Spider Tour, which also featured guitarists Peter Frampton and Carlos Alomar.

Kentucky Trivia:  Jerry Lee Lewis played the first Rock and Roll concert in Rupp Arena in 1976.

February 14, 1989, the Standard Gravure shooting occurred in Louisville when a 47-year-old pressman killed eight people and injured twelve at his former workplace before committing suicide.  The weapons used were an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, two MAC-11 semiautomatic pistols, a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol and a bayonet.  The shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in Kentucky and one of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history.  The murders resulted in a high-profile lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Company, manufacturers of the antidepressant drug Prozac, which the shooter had begun using during the month before his shooting rampage.  The victims included: Richard O. Barger, 54, Kenneth Fentress, 45, William Ganote, 46, James G. Husband, 47, Sharon L. Needy, 49, Paul Sallee, 59, Lloyd White, 42, James F. Wible Sr., 56.

September 14, 1995, someone robbed and murdered Curtis S. Harper at his business, Harper Hams, in Clinton.  All leads are exhausted at this time, and this case is cold.  Click to see other cold Kentucky cases.

On September 14, 2004, the Lee Adjustment Center, a private prison in Lee County, experienced a riot.  Some say the importation of 400 prisoners from Vermont and a drastic cut back in privileges caused the unrest.

September 14, 2013, a touchdown pass helped Teddy Bridgewater overcome one of his slowest starts, but soon everything fell into place and #7 Louisville beat Kentucky 27-13 in Lexington.  The series record stood at 14-12 in Kentucky’s favor.

September 14, 2018, Derby City Gaming officially opened.  The $65 million-dollar facility includes 1,000 historical racing machines in a 45,000 square foot gaming and entertainment floor.

On September 14, 2019, V.P. Mike Pence told an audience that American Pharoah bit him hard enough on the arm during a 2018 visit that he nearly collapsed.  Coolmore’s Ashford Stud Farm Manager eloquently disputed the tale.

On September 14, 2020, The Louisville Courier-Journal ran a full-page article on some questions Kentuckians and legislators had on the coronavirus data provided in the governor’s daily updates.

Positives:  342 / 57,282
Deaths:  5 / 1,065 – 1st death March 16, 2020
50&over:  1,036 / 49-30: 28 / 29&under: 1

On September 14, 2021, Fayette County school teachers, students, and visitors had to wear masks even though the new state law, passed days earlier, banned the mask mandate.  Meanwhile, a Lexington elementary school closed due to a spike in positive coronavirus cases.