It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe. Muhammad Ali
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Kentucky’s 29th governor, Raywick native James Proctor Knott, born in 1830 in Madison County. After serving as governor, he moved to Missouri to be their Attorney General. Still, he resigned rather than swear an oath of allegiance to the federal government, just before the outbreak of the Civil War.
On August 29, 1862, the Battle of Richmond began. The Confederates won their most decisive and complete victory of the entire war in Kentucky’s 2nd largest Civil War battle. The Battle occurred in and around today’s Army Bluegrass Depot pitting Union General “Bull” Nelson against General E. Smith. The way north to Lexington and Frankfort opened up.
August 29, 1924, William E. Railey, curator of the Kentucky Historical Society, showed off the “century-old stairway the convict built,” one of the most popular “exhibits” in the Old Capitol. Railey explained Gideon Shryock designed the “lock balance” stairs, which convicts helped build. One did such a great job; Gideon helped gain his freedom. The free man went on to build a similar staircase in NJ.
Kentucky Trivia: The stairway is unique because Shryock designed it so that the keystone rock at the top, if moved 1/10 of an inch, would cause the stairway to fall because each step is supported by the step above it.
On August 29, 1935, the Keeneland Association purchased 147.5 acres of Fayette County farmland from Jack Keene. The sale included Jack’s limestone barn and his track. Keene received $130,000 in cash and $10,000 in Keeneland stock.
August 29, 1964, Sheriff Warren C. Campbell, Sr., Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being assaulted by a group of men at a local bar after making an arrest.
August 29, 1965, astronauts Cooper and Conrad returned from their record-shattering 3,338,200 mile flight that took seven days, 22 hours, and 55 minutes aboard Gemini 5 Spaceship. President L. Johnson called them soon after their Atlantic Ocean splashdown, 655 miles from Cape Kennedy.
August 29, 1976, Patrolman Michael Eugene Williams, Salyersville Police Department, died from a gunshot wound while arresting a deputy sheriff’s brother-in-law. The suspect shot him in the back while being escorted out of the building.
On August 29, 1985, in a protest reminiscent of the 60s, Morehead State University students boycotted classes while they took to the streets to support their president. The students also overwhelmingly approved a referendum to add one more year to President Herb Reinhard’s contract, which the regents refused to do.
August 29, 1988, the annual Green-Gray Sweep against marijuana continued as the Kentucky State Police and National Guardsmen confiscated plants in rural Owsley County. They found 175 plants in one hollow from a helicopter, which they chopped and burned.
Kentucky Trivia: In the 19th-century big game animals such as bison, elk, and deer began to disappear due to habitat loss and unrestricted hunting. “With other game animals in short supply, squirrels became the primary source of wild meat,” claims Dave Baker, editor of Kentucky Afield magazine. Squirrel was often one of the main ingredients in the popular slow-cooked dish burgoo, cooked in a big iron pot and served with cornbread at family or community gatherings in the region.
August 29, 1998, former Governor John Y. Brown Jr. married his 2nd beauty queen. Brown, 64 married a former Miss. Kentucky, Jill Louise Roach, 38, in an evening ceremony at his Cave Hill estate. Lee Bailey enjoyed the festivities along with 99 other guests. They divorced in 2003.
August 29, 2000, amid the cloak-and-dagger drama, Kentucky indicted Shane Ragland for the 1994 murder of Trent DiGiuro. Prosecutors used Shane’s girlfriend as their big break when she informed the police he admitted to the murder to her at the Lexington Airport bar.
August 29, 2005, Governor E. Fletcher granted pardons to his nine indicted administration officials and issued a blanket pardon for “any and all persons who have committed, or may be accused of committing, any offense” concerning the investigation. Fletcher did not pardon himself. The next day, Fletcher testified before the grand jury but refused to answer any questions.
As of August 29, 2019, not a single coal company formed in Kentucky within the past five years had posted a bond required by state law to protect miners’ wages if the company suddenly shuts down. In addition, officials in Governor M. Bevin’s administration urged lawmakers last year to pass a bill that would have eliminated the requirement.
August 29, 2020, two Louisville bars sued Governor A. Beshear for coronavirus emergency orders they describe as “contradictory, ludicrous, arbitrary, and discriminatory. Plaintiffs are and continue to be irreparably harmed in that they cannot do business and comply with the requirements, without operating at a loss,” the lawsuit read.
As of August 29, 2021, Pike County became at least the 15th Kentucky district to close due to a coronavirus surge. Last school year, communities had unlimited days for virtual learning. In 2020 lawmakers, concerned about an extended shutdown, passed a law that allowed only ten non-traditional instruction days for the 2021-22 term without being made up. Some school districts shut down anyway, saying they had to stop the spread. Other school districts quarantined hundreds of students instead of closing.
An August 29, 2022, Tweet from the governor:
✅Created nearly 8,500 jobs in 2022 alone
✅Record-shattering year when it comes to our economy!
✅Lowest unemployment rate in our history for four straight months
✅Highest annual growth rate in 31 years
✅Record rainy day fund balance of $2.7 billion