TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Auburn native Floyd Collins, born in 1887 in Logan County.

July 20, 1891, Anderson County lynched Sam Pulliam, a black male, for rape.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Tar Springs native Wiley Blount Rutledge Jr., born in 1894 in Breckinridge County.  Wiley was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 8th and last appointment to the Supreme Court.  He demonstrated strong liberal credentials throughout his career and consistently upheld individual’s rights, including the rights to a jury trial, practicing religion freely, being free from unreasonable searches and seizures, and not suffering cruel and unusual punishment.  Rutledge sat on the bench from 1943 until he died in 1949.

July 20, 1918, Babe Ruth wrote a thank you letter to Mr. Bradsby, head of the Louisville Base Ball Bat Company. Babe thanked him for the $100 in exchange for his signature.  Babe stated that he preferred the company’s first model, not the heavy bat that just came out.  Workers found the letter by chance in the Louisville Slugger Museum’s basement.  At one time the letter had a value of $20,000.

July 20, 1921, police raided a complete moonshining plant with five stills on the 2nd floor of a business in the very heart of downtown Paducah.  The operators were not present; however, they posted a note on their door which read, “Out to lunch.”  This was the city’s 1st dry raid.

July 20, 1930, Deputy Sheriff John Allen, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while responding to a disturbance in Pinsonfork.

July 20, 1945, six armed convicts overpowered six guards and Warden Tuggle at Frankfort’s State Penitentiary in a futile attempt to escape.  The convicts tied up the warden and told him, “We like you warden, and don’t want to kill you, but we are going to escape.”  Reality sunk in, and they gave up soon afterward.  Meanwhile, Kentucky received news they were allotted 3,100 German prisoners of war to work in factories and farms.

July 20, 1950, seventeen Kentuckians died in the Korean War:  Army PFC John B. Campbell from Garrard County, Army PVT Lester R. Garner from Lincoln County, Army CPL Ottis D. Johnson from Russell County, Army PFC George T. Kitchens from Franklin in Simpson County, Army PFC Earl R. Logston from Madison County, Army SFC James L. Matthews Warren County, Army PFC Beuford McComas from Grant County, Army SGT Neil S. Mckenzie from Jefferson County, Army SGT John R. Miller from Jefferson County, Army SGT Charles Napier from Leslie County, Army PFC Charles L Newton from Nelson County, Army PFC Jack C. Samms from Boyd County, Army PFC Logan Sebastian from Breathitt County, Army PVT Cecil E. Smith from Lee County, Army PFC Louis K. Smith from Marion County, Army PFC Irvin J, Thibodeaux from Jefferson County, and Army PFC Robert G. Vanhoose from Boyd County.

July 20, 1952 Army PVT Peter Treadway from Clay County died in the Korean War.

July 20, 1953, Army PFC Ollie L. Hearell from Livingston County died in the Korean War.

July 20, 1955, Jim Bunning made his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers.

July 20, 1962, Chief of Police James C. Smith, Barbourville Police Department, died from a gunshot after responding to a domestic disturbance.

July 20, 1962, Muhammad Ali (15-0) fought Alejandro Lavorante (19-3) in the Los Angeles Sports Arena.  Lavorante was another Argentine fighter who was discovered by Jack Dempsey.  He was Hollywood handsome with a great knockout punch.  But Clay knocked out Lavorante in the 5th round.  In his next fight two months later vs. John Riggins (not the football player), Lavorante was KO’d in the 6th round, fell into a coma and died from his injuries 19 months later at age 27.

July 20, 1966, Marine Corps CPL Danny L. Rutherford from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

July 20, 1967, Army SGT Clyde J. Stephens from Junction City in Boyle County died in the Vietnam War.

July 20, 1969, man walked on the moon at 2:56:15 UTC.

July 20, 1971, Officer Amos Alton Faulkner, Jr., Hopkinsville Police Department, died from a gunshot while attempting to quell a disturbance between a husband and wife in a bar.

July 20, 1973, Denver Earlington Tabor, Conservation Officer for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, drowned while attempting to rescue a boy who had fallen overboard from a boat in the Ohio River, near Dam 40.

July 20, 1973, Ashland Oil Inc., and its Chairman, Orin E. Atkins, acknowledged an illegal $100,000 cash contribution to President Nixon’s reelection campaign.  A new law that went into effect months earlier stated all campaign contributions must be made public.  Fred M. Vinson, Jr. acted as Ashland’s lawyer.

July 20, 1984, pageant officials asked Miss America Vanessa Williams, the 1st black winner, to step down because of nude pictures.

July 20, 1991, former 1st husband, Dr. Bill Collins, pleaded not guilty to three federal charges that he tried to profit from his wife’s term.  Meanwhile, a few miles west in Louisville, Governor Bill Clinton and presidential hopeful told an audience that he supported tobacco, a waiting period to buy a gun, and would lower healthcare costs in his first 100 days in office.

July 20, 2000, an affidavit filed in Lexington district court stated Shane Ragland showed his girlfriend the gun he allegedly used to kill Trent DiGiuro.  The murder took place six years earlier.

July 20, 2004, the movie Elizabethtown filmed in Versailles.  The movie premiered in September and starred Kirsten Dunst and Orlando Bloom.

July 20, 2010, state officials approved regulations that would allow Kentucky racetracks to offer a game that resembles slot machines, Governor S. Beshear acknowledged that some tracks may not use them.

Kentucky Trivia:  More than $2.2 billion was wagered on historical horse racing at four Kentucky racetrack facilities in the 2019-’20 fiscal year that ended in June, with gross commissions of $188.9 million.  Nearly $15.6 million went into the Thoroughbred Development Fund, $1.8 million for the Standardbred Development Fund, $650,000 for the Equine Industry Program, $320,000 to Equine Drug Research, $320,000 to the Higher Education Fund and $15.2 million to the Kentucky General Fund.

July 20, 2014, Jonathan Huether from Mt. Washington caught a state record Spotted Garr in the Kentucky Lake that weighed 4 lbs. 7 ozs.

July 20, 2015, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis testified in Federal Court that she prayed and fasted over her decision to refuse a marriage license to same-sex couples and said she believed she was upholding her oath under the constitution.

July 20, 2019, the Kentucky bred who crossed the finish line first in the 2019 Kentucky Derby also crossed the finish line first in GI $1,000,000 Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park.

July 20, 2020, declaring Kentucky in the “accelerating stage” of the coronavirus pandemic; Governor A. Beshear limited gatherings to ten people and recommended Kentuckians to quarantine for 14 days after they returned from a trip.  The governor reported 258 new positive cases and one death of a 94-year-old lady from Casey County.

July 20, 2021, Kentucky State University‘s President M. Christopher Brown II suddenly resigned from his position amid formal inquiries into the university’s finances.  Unfortunately, this was Brown’s 2nd time resigning as an Historically Black College/University (HBCU) president over finances, as he also once headed Alcorn State University.  He apparently charged $73,000 on a KSU credit card.