Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Union County native Ormsby MacKnight, born in 1810. An astronomer and Union soldier; he published the 1st magazine in the U.S. dedicated to astronomy. He also ordered the Civil War raid known as the Great Locomotive Chase.
August 28, 1925, Ray Ross, 25, hung from a scaffold in the jail yard on East Short Street in Lexington for an alleged attack and rape of a 9-year-old female. The Fayette Circuit Court Judge ordered the hanging to occur in an enclosure and limited admittance to 100 persons. However, the local press said a huge crowd gathered and cheered loudly while watching the execution. The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 83
August 28, 1928, Constable Rucker D. Cain, Madison County Constable’s Office, died in the Needmore area while arresting a man for public intoxication. The man raised a shotgun and shot him in the chest.
On August 28, 1943, Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky governors signed a compact approving the creation of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The pact authorized the acquisition of 6,000 acres to start the project. Kentucky would provide 2,500 acres, Virginia 2,000 acres, and the Volunteers 1,500.
August 28, 1950, the question of televising the 1952 presidential nominating convention as a public service or under commercial sponsorship came under discussion by committee officials. Of course, we all know how that turned out.
August 28, 1955, the largest Rural Electrification Administration (REA) steam plant in the nation went live in Ford at the William C. Dale Power Station. The plant distributed electric power over both co-op and Kentucky Utilities lines, making it the 1st time U.S. co-ops and private companies worked together.
On August 28, 1963, Louisville native Mary Travers of Peter, Paul, and Mary, performed Blowin’ in the Wind at the Lincoln Memorial. At the same event, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd of 250,000 civil rights marchers. The trio also joined Joan Baez and Bob Dylan to lead the demonstrators singing We Shall Overcome.
August 28, 1967, Army PFC Theodore Brown from LeJunior in Harlan County, Marine Corps LCPL Michael J. Caller from Louisville, and Marine Corps LCPL William J. Hart, Jr. from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.
August 28, 1980, Governor John Y. Brown, Jr., went on KET and appealed to Kentuckians for 30 minutes, asking them to recognize the financial crisis that caused a $114 million shortfall in the state’s revenue. In addition, he wanted to prep the state for the many cuts he would later initiate.
August 28, 1984, a judge dropped all felony theft by deception charges against State Treasurer Francis Jones Mills and seven of her current employees. However, the judge left 44 misdemeanor charges for using employees to run her campaign. Meanwhile, Governor M. L. Collins ordered the state to draft a management plan for Kentucky’s water, something they did not have.
On August 28, 1990, America’s Drug Czar William Bennett visited the Daniel Boone National Forest with Governor W. Wilkinson and 13 reps from state and federal agencies that made up the governor’s Marijuana Task Force. In their 1st two months, the task force seized 300,000 plants with a street value of $2.8 billion. The party watched 12,000 plants burn.
August 28, 1999, Bruce W. Midkiff from Owensboro caught a world record 104 pound Blue Catfish in the Ohio River near Cannelton Dam Tailwaters. Bruce’s catch beat the previous state record set the same day below the same dam. Bruce caught his on a live skipjack. When he took the fish to the Game Warden in McLean County to get it officially weighed, they told him to put on hats and shirts from tackle manufactures, and they would pay him for the advertising rights and might display the fish in tanks at different stores. He declined all offers and released the fish at the Owensboro boat ramp.
August 28, 2004, the Queen of Saratoga won the 135th Travers Stakes. “It’s like a dream come true. I always wanted to see my colors on that canoe out there. It was so wonderful to see my colors at the Belmont on the jockey, but now, the canoe. I am so thrilled with the way Nick (Zito) brought this horse up.”
August 28, 2012, Chief of Police Herbert D. Proffitt, Tompkinsville Police Department, died from a gunshot when ambushed in his driveway by a man he had arrested multiple times over the past 40 years. The 81-year-old suspect fled the scene but got caught several hours later.
On August 28, 2020, Governor A. Beshear said the rate of people testing positive remains below 5%, which is “good news” in a written statement. Meanwhile, the number of new cases in Kentucky’s colleges continued to climb. The state reported eight new deaths.
On August 28, 2021, more than 30,000 stood in line to show their coronavirus paperwork before rocking out at Keeneland for the 2nd annual Railbird Festival. Meanwhile, over in Frankfort, U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie and other politicians on his side of the aisle joined a large rally protesting coronavirus restrictions.