TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

July 25, 1816, the 1st Kentucky State Fair took place, making Kentucky’s fair one of the oldest in the U.S.  Colonel Lewis Sanders of Fayette County (no known relation to the Colonel) organized it just north of Lexington.  Sanders asked citizens to bring along their finest cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses and awarded silver cups, thus the tradition of giving julep cups as livestock prizes began.  The event did not become an official state fair until 1902.

July 25, 1848, locals dedicated Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.  The 296-acre Victorian era National Cemetery and arboretum grew from various tracts from adjoining landowners over thirty years.  Within the grounds, known in the mid-1800s as the “city of the dead,” are sixteen miles of paved roads, five lakes, and one quarry.  

Kentucky Trivia:  Locals got the cemetery’s name from the cave on the east bank of the main lake below the Administration Office.  As of 2012, over 130,000 people were interred on the grounds, and there is ample room for burial of many more citizens.

On July 25, 1863, Confederate Colonel John S. Scott and his men were met by a group from the Union’s 44th Ohio Infantry in a skirmish in Whitley County.  Scott’s men of about one thousand six hundred came into Kentucky from east Tennessee in an attempt to destroy the federal communication lines and refill their provisions.

July 25, 1874, Edward Troye Swiss-born American painter of Thoroughbred horses died in Georgetown.

July 25, 1882, Town Marshal Richard Dobbyns Lane, Augusta Police Department, died when a man approached him and opened fire with a double-barrel shotgun in an unprovoked attack.  Marshal Lane and several other men, including the town mayor, were on the street talking when the incident took place.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Williamstown native Stanley Atwood “Daddy” Boles, born in 1887.  As UK’s athletic director from 1917 through 1933, he hired Coach Rupp.  He also served as head coach of the football and men’s basketball teams for one season each.

July 25, 1921, ground broke on the new Governor’s Mansion.  Several problems arose during construction including water and sewage system issues, and fire safety concerns that necessitated the use of stone instead of wood in some of the interior walls.

July 25, 1932, Deputy Sheriff Stanley Clay Helton, Deputy Sheriff Marion Stapleton Menifee County Sheriff’s Office, both died from gunshots by a man wanted for the murder of a local farmer the previous day.

July 25, 1936, a judge sentenced Rainey Bethea to death by hanging for rape.  Mistakes in performing the hanging, and the surrounding media circus, contributed to the end of public executions in the U.S.

July 25, 1940, the Post Office Department began delivering its most valuable mail shipment — more than $9 billion in gold bullion, sent from the U.S. Assay Office in New York to underground vaults in Fort Knox.  During World War II, vast amounts of gold had been shipped to New York from war-torn Europe.  The Department took six months to complete the delivery, using 45 specially guarded trains, racking up $1.8 million in postage and fees.

On July 25, 1947, a small group of Abraham Lincoln experts presided over private Lincoln papers opened for the first time.  The panel did not believe the newly opened collection would produce startling new information about the Great Emancipator.  Robert Todd Lincoln, President Lincoln’s only surviving son, impounded, for some reason, his father’s papers until 21 years after Robert’s death.

July 25, 1949, Sheriff Everett Montgomery Gibson, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot when he and a county patrolman investigated an illegal moonshine still.

July 25, 1950, Army PVT Wilbur Beasley from Rowan County, Army PVT James B. Sandefur from Daviess County, Army PFC Clyde D. Spradlin from Floyd County, Army PVT Robert L. Spurlock from Harlan County, Army PFC Eugene R. Thompson from Bell County, Army PFC James A. Wallen from Floyd County, Army SGT Junior R. McDowell from Caldwell County, Army PFC David L. Campbell from Menifee County, and Army CPL Delbert G. Elder from Boyle County, all died in the Korean War.

July 25, 1951, Army PFC Clinton G. Maye from Bourbon County died in the Korean War.

July 25, 1953, Marine Corps PFC Homer F. Gribbins from Spurlington in Taylor County, Marine Corps PFC Donald Beam from Mt. Sterling in Montgomery County, Marine Corps PFC Ruby L. Meade from Paintsville, Marine Corps PFC Jack B. Reesor from Louisville, Marine Corps PFC James L. Cook from Louisville, Marine Corps PFC Eugene E. Dodge from Paducah, and Army SGT Johnnie Dues from Grant County, all died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Maceo native Marty Brown, born in 1965.

July 25, 1970, Army SGT Harold M. Hardin from Elk Horn in Taylor County died in the Vietnam War.

July 25, 1973, a seven-man syndicate, four Japanese men, purchased a son of Bold Ruler for $600,000 at the Keeneland Summer Yearling Sale.  The purchase set a world record for a yearling; however, the world record for a horse sold at auction remained at $725,000.  The two-day Keeneland sales smashed all previous Keeneland sale records and statistics.

July 25, 1974, former UK basketball coach Adolph Rupp, center, and Kentucky Fried Chicken founder Col. Harland Sanders, right, cut a cake in observance of Lexington radio station WJMM’s first anniversary.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Nolan Smith born in 1989.  Nolan won a NCAA championship ring in 2010 with Duke.

July 25, 1990, responding to President H.W. Bush’s directive, federal officials in Lexington told the press they were stepping up their efforts in prosecuting Kentucky bankers defrauding their clients.  Then they announced three indictments, including a Carter County bank president.

July 25, 2000, a federal judge ruled Kentucky could not build a Ten Commandments monument on Capitol grounds.  Meanwhile, the Concorde crashed in Paris, France, and killed 133 people.  The plane’s only crash.

On July 25, 2016, construction crews used explosives to demolish the original 1932 Eggner Ferry Bridge, a four-lane bridge in Trigg and Marshall Counties.

July 25, 2020, a Kentucky bred won Saratoga’s GI Alfred G. Vanderbilt Stakes for three-year-olds and upwards.

July 25, 2021, ZZ Top rocked out in Berea.  The band’s guitar tech, Elwood Francis, who has lived in Lexington, stepped in to play with the legendary rock band when Dusty Hill could not make it; Dusty died July 28, 2021.

July 25, 2021, the number of child abuse and neglect reports received by state social workers plunged by 43% compared to the previous spring.  Kentucky had the highest child abuse rates in America for the past two years, and the closed schools due to coronavirus caused the decline in reports.  However, Kentucky didn’t suddenly become a much safer place for children during the stress of a pandemic, mass unemployment, and social distancing.

July 25, 2021, UK student Will Shaner won a gold medal in the men’s 10-meter air rifle, while two opposing and heavily armed militias arrived in Louisville to continue the Breonna Taylor protest.  Louisville police did separate the Not F#^@ing Around Coalition (NFAC) and the “Three Percenters, both from Atlanta.”

July 25, 2021, Lee Kiefer, who grew up in Lexington, became the 1st American foil fencer in history to win an individual Olympic gold medal.  It was the 3rd gold medal for the U.S. Women’s fencing team.  Japan hosted the games.  She is now a medical student at UK’s College of Medicine.