Gratitude is when memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. Lionel Hampton
August 31, 1857, the annual exhibition of the U.S. Agriculture Society began in Louisville, the 1st ever held west of the mountains for a magnificent display of livestock. Among the distinguished visitors was Lord Napier, the British Ambassador, living in Washington, D.C.
Kentucky Trivia: The 38-acre Fairgrounds included; exhibition halls, a trotting track, and an amphitheater. The livestock shows accommodated 10,000, and the facility existed from 1853 to 1873. Today’s Crescent Avenue off Frankfort Avenue was the grand “promenade” entryway. The Kentucky Historical Society installed a $2,500 state historical marker to designate the Fair Grounds and dedicated it to the late historian Samuel W. Thomas, who lived on Crescent Avenue.
Sunday night, August 31, 1862, the legislatures met in an extraordinary session. After completing their business, they agreed to adjourn out of respect for the Confederate Army fast approaching. The body decided to meet in the Louisville courthouse on September 2.
August 31, 1923, scientists completed testing to determine the audibility of radio waves inside Mammoth Cave while others stood by in the Louisville station. A black tour guide assisted graciously with the experiment, the 1st of its kind.
August 31, 1950, Army SGT William G. McGowan from Campbell County, Army PFC Willis W. Mobley from Carter County, Army PVT Charlie Neace, Jr. from Breathitt County, and Army PFC Charles H. Snelling from Franklin County, died in the Korean War.
August 31, 1955, Dr. Lucius Ernest Smith from Sacramento, McLean County, passed away. Smith graduated from UK in 1915 and received an M.D. from Johns Hopkins. He then doctored more than a decade in Africa before returning to Breathitt County, where he battled tuberculosis, the state’s # 1 killer among preventable diseases. In 1930 Smith moved to Louisville and dedicated the remainder of his career to eradicating the disease. Knowing that the sickness could be prevented and treated in its early stages, he launched a statewide educational crusade. Smith encouraged Kentuckians to have physical checkups and chest X-rays and urged schools to teach personal and public hygiene courses. He rests in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery.
August 31, 1955, Swaps (West) and Nashua (East) met in the highly touted East vs. West $100,000 winner-take-all match race at Washington Park in Chicago in front of 35,262. Eddie Arcaro rode Nashua, trained by Jim Fitzsimmons; they wanted revenge for losing to Swaps in the Kentucky Derby. The unknown Willie Shoemaker rode Swaps, and a rough cowboy, Mesh Tenny, trained him. They never met again after this race; however, their two-race rivalry is among the most famous in American racing history. Nashua won by 6.5 lengths.
August 31, 1964, Mrs. Marion L.L. Short from Lexington and her friend landed their helicopter in Lexington to set an official world record distance flight by women helicopter pilots. They took a week and six overnight stops to complete the 2,300-mile flight from Culver City, CA. “We made 25 stops in all; it was just like a pogo stick, said Mrs. Short.
On August 31, 1982, Kentucky dedicated the Falls of the Ohio as a national wildlife conservation area. The 1,000-acre site of the Ohio River and its banks contain a fossilized coral reef estimated to be 400 million years old and was once part of the sea floor.
August 31, 1996, Kentucky set a then-Commonwealth Stadium record for largest attendance (59,384) as Louisville crushed the Cats 38-14 in the 9th Governor’s Cup. Tim Couch threw for 101 yards, and Louisville’s Jason Payne threw for 110. The series stood at 7-2, Kentucky’s favor, having played the 1st game in 1912.
August 31, 2003, the Governor’s Cup opened the season for the Cats and Cards. UofL won handily 40-24 in UK’s 1st ever Sunday opener. The Rich Brooks era got off to a rocky start in front of a record crowd of 70,467. Louisville won six of ten meetings since the new rivalry began in 1994, including four of the last five against Kentucky, with the previous three in Lexington. The series now stood at 10-6.
Sunday, August 31, 2008, Brook’s Cats returned two Louisville fumbles for touchdowns and set up another score with an interception in the Wildcats’ 27-2 victory in the Governor’s Cup. The series now stood at 12-9.
On August 31, 2013, Coaches Stoops and Petrino met in Titan’s Nashville stadium for their coaching debuts for their respected schools. WKU defeated UK 35-26 for their 2nd straight win, with no overtime needed like the previous year. Petrino coached for one season at WKU.
August 31, 2020, after decades of turf wars over regulating horse racing, racetracks came together to create the Horse Racing Integrity Act. Senator McConnell, from Keeneland, told the press he would introduce the bill. The bill created the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), which began in July 2022.
On August 31, 2021, unhappy with the vaccine rollout, Marion Gruber and Phil Krause, two of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) top vaccine reviewers, announced they were leaving. Gruber, an FDA veteran for three decades and the head of its vaccine review office, retired in October. Krause left the agency in November, the vaccine team’s deputy director.
August 31, 2022, the FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) of the Moderna and Pfizer experimental vaccine to use as a single booster dose at least two months after the primary shot. For the 1st time, the FDA based its authorization decision on studies involving mice instead of humans. Cha-ching said the stockholders.