August 26, 1828, the Commonwealth swore in Thomas Metcalfe as the 10th governor. Joseph Desha, the outgoing governor, disliked Metcalfe so much he didn’t leave the residence till September 2. He believed that Metcalfe, a stonemason, was not worthy of being governor. The Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 2 by Kentucky Historical Society; pg: 15
August 26, 1921, Chief of Police James Melvin, Paintsville Police Department, and a Federal Prohibition Agent J. H. Reynolds died while searching for an illegal still in Johnson County. A group of five suspects opened fire on the officers.
August 26, 1924, Patrolman Melvin Gregory, Harlan County Police Department, died in an ambush while speaking with a boy in Harlan. They sentenced the murderer to life, however, Governor William J. Fields pardoned him in 1927 after the judge in the case said he thought the suspect was innocent.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Hopkinsville native Jerry David Claiborne, born in 1928. UK’s 31st football coach led Kentucky to a national academic title by winning the 1989 CFA Academic Achievement Award for having the highest graduation rate.
August 26, 1935, Governor R. Laffoon pardoned 239 men from the Eddyville Penitentiary with convictions ranging from chicken stealing to murder. The governor freed the men on the condition they go home “and live sober, decent lives.”
August 26, 1946, Miss Madonna Smith of Jenkins got word she would represent Kentucky in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City. The Kentucky State Fair crowned the original winner two nights earlier, a 17-year-old high school senior. Miss America contestants had to be 18 years old.
August 26, 1953, women who brazenly expose their forms “to the gaze of the public” by wearing shorts are “straight on the road to hell” and are “ruining the morale of the people,” a delegation of 30 church members told the Winchester City Commissioners.
On August 26, 1963, a gunman who kidnapped seven persons died by a gunshot from the Lexington Police near Harrodsburg after a 100-mile chase. Those abducted included a law officer, a married couple, and their four children. The chase started in Campbell County.
August 26, 1968, murder by firearms increased sharply in the U.S. from 1962-67; Kentucky reported the 2nd highest percentage in the nation. Vermont had 26 murders, with 83.3% committed with firearms. Kentucky had 1,158 Firearms for 77.3%.
August 26, 1980, while almost 700 students wait for dorm rooms at UK, KSU hosted the 33rd annual State NCAAP convention. Kentucky called it the worse housing shortage in eight years and KSU needed some good PR.
August 26, 1985, Governor Martha L. Collins gave John Henry a rub on the nose when he arrived at Lexington’s Airport. The two-time Eclipse Horse of the Year came home to Lexington for his retirement at the Kentucky Horse Park. John Henry won a Grade I at nine, the oldest to achieve the feat. He lived in the Horse Park for 22 years.
August 26, 1990, Kentucky’s NCAAP called on former Governor L. Nunn to resign as Chairman of the Kentucky State University Board of Regents as the battle between Nunn and the School’s president continued.
August 26, 1995, an estimated 10,250 fans, a Thoroughbred Bowl record, turned out to watch Leslie County High School star Tim Couch play in Lexington for the 1st time. He lived up to all the hype beating Highlands 44-42 in the 11th annual Thoroughbred Bowl Game at Tates Creek High School. Couch, a 6-foot-5, 210-pound senior, connected on 17 of 30 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also carried the ball 22 times for 112 yards and ran for three touchdowns.
On August 26, 2009, Breckinridge County High School’s head football coach took 20 players on a field trip to his church, where nearly half got baptized. One child got saved without his parents’ knowledge, which didn’t go over too well.
August 26, 2011, dignitaries, including Governor S. Beshear, dedicated a memorial for the 49 people who died in the fatal Comair 5191 flight five years after the accident. The ceremony took place at UK’s Arboretum.
On August 26, 2017, NYRA sponsored the $1,250,000 GI Travers Stakes, and an impressive field went to the gate including the three winners of the Triple Crown races. The Keeneland graduate $2 trifecta paid $2,245.
On August 26, 2020, as Kentucky school districts began virtual learning, Governor A. Beshear continued to alarm the public over the number of positive cases (696). The governor rejected CDC’s new testing guidelines and urged people to get tested often, like when the virus began.
On August 26, 2021, the MIC confirmed that 13 U.S. service members died and 18 were wounded after a suicide bomber exploded near the Afghanistan airport. One of many events that led to the greatest U.S. military failure in modern times was when we left after 20 years of occupation. America supposedly killed the man responsible in April 2023.
August 26, 2021, Governor A. Beshear stated that some hospitals were so overrun with coronavirus patients that doctors had to choose between treating patients “bleeding out” or caring for the virus inflicted. A state record of 2, 115 coronavirus patients stayed in hospitals; the previous record was 1,817 in December 2020.
August 26, 2022, Kentucky’s Special Session wrapped up after three days to address the catastrophic floods in Eastern Kentucky. The governor publicly signed the legislation which included $235 million for the flood victims. The law makers also provided relief for Western Kentucky “to cover lost tax revenue.”
Friday, August 26, 2022, Doug O’Neill, the G.O.A.T., made his final victory pass at the prestigious World Championship Horse Show at the State Fair. He retired at age 13 after winning every major horse show in the country, including the 2016 World Grand Championship Three-Gaited Pass, the granddaddy of them all.