TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it.  Wendell Berry

August 7, 1776, the 1st recorded marriage in Kentucky took place at Fort Boonesborough.  Elizabeth (Betsy) Callaway married her Knight in Shining Armor, Samuel Henderson.  Squire Boone performed the ceremony.  Samuel, in Daniel Boone’s rescue party, rescued his bride, her sister, and Jermima Boone from Native Americans three weeks earlier.  Customary frontier celebrations included much fiddle music and dancing and the excellent banter.  The celebration featured home grown watermelons, the 1st grown at the settlement and of which the entire colony was very proud.
Patriarch of the American Frontier by Donald Durbin, Jr.

On August 7, 1869, a total sun eclipse occurred, and Kentucky had a front-row seat.  The central line of the eclipse ran through Manchester, Mount Vernon, Harrodsburg, and Louisville.  Astronomers converged on Shelby College in Shelbyville because they owned the third-best telescope in the nation (bought for $4,000).  Visitors and out-of-state scientists packed the campus.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Bowling Green native Pete George Hampton, born in 1871.  In 1904, he made the 1st harmonica recording by an African American.  Pete pioneered the American blues harmonica style.

August 7, 1882, the Election Day fight and murder of Ellison Hatfield on Blackberry Creek took place.  It is often referred to as the notorious pawpaw tree incident.

August 7, 1915, Deputy Sheriff Grover Cleveland Blanton, Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office, died by a gunshot in Quicksand by two men in retaliation for an arrest that had occurred six months prior.

August 7, 1920, four-year-old Man o’ War won Saratoga’s 1 3/16M Miller Stakes in 1:56.60.  It was his 6th race of the year, and a record crowd of 35,000 attended.  Fans swarmed the saddling area to see Man o’ War, which twelve Pinkerton guards surrounded.  Earl Sande received the mount, his only ride on Big Red, replacing Clarence Kummer, who had a shoulder injury.  At the odds of 1-30, yielding 12 and 17 pounds respectively to Donnacona and King Albert, Man o’ War took an early lead, and won by six lengths over Donnacona.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Shelby County native Maurice Rabb Jr., born in 1932.  Maurice pioneered work in cornea and retinal vascular diseases.

The Act of August 7, 1946, authorized a commemorative coin to honor Booker T. Washington and his life.  The Treasury 1st picked designer Charles Keck, but when Isaac Scott Hathaway offered to design the coin for free, they made the switch, making him the 1st African American to create an American coin.  Hathaway, from Lexington, also designed the Washington-Carter Commemorative coin a few years later.

August 7, 1947, Conservation Officer John C. Martin, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, died from a gunshot while investigating out-of-season squirrel hunting.

August 7, 1950, Army PFC Russell G. Davis from Clark County, Army PVT Louis M. Gill from Jessamine County, Air Force 1STLT Charles B. Moran from Horse Cave in Hart County, Marine Corps PFC Robert E. Williams from Covington in Kenton County, and Army PFC Arthur A. Williams from Harlan County, died in the Korean War.

August 7, 1964, Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution authorizing President L. Johnson “to take all necessary measures” in Vietnam.  By the end of 1964, there were 23,300 American troops in the country.  On February 7, 1965, the U.S. Air Force began bombing North Vietnam.  On July 28, Johnson doubled the number of draft calls and announced that the troop deployment would rise from 75,000 to 125,000.

August 7, 1968, Army PFC Walter L. Walls from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

August 7, 1969, Army SGT Lionel Workman from Clearfield in Rowan County died in the Vietnam War.

August 7, 1970, Marine Corps SGT Richard M. Seymore from Princeton in Caldwell County died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lily native Silas Dwane House, born in 1971 in Laurel County.  Silas is a music journalist, environmental activist, and columnist.  His fiction works are attentive to the natural world, working-class characters, and the plight of the rural place and rural people.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Michael Corbett Shannon, born in 1974.  He has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in the Sam Mendes period drama Revolutionary Road (2008) and the Tom Ford psychological thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016).

Saturday, August 7, 1976, Governor Julian M. Carroll dedicated the monument to the Old Oak Political Tree during the Fancy Farm picnic weekend.  “Lightning struck this 133 year old oak tree on April 15, 1974.  The tree trunk remains as a symbol of the years since 1880 where political speeches were made on the first Saturday in August, at the Fancy Farm annual picnic.  Some of America’s greatest statesmen have spoken under the shade of this great oak tree.”

August 7, 1978, the Gambler played the Western Kentucky State Fair in Hopkinsville.

Click for a photograph of August 7, 1979, in downtown Wheelwright in Floyd County.  At the time of this photo, slightly more than 800 people lived in the Eastern Kentucky town.  Elk Horn Coal Co. founded the community in 1916 and named it after its president, Jere H. Wheelwright.

August 7, 1981, Detective Darrell Vendl Phelps, Kentucky State Police, died from gunshots while he and another officer moved through a marijuana field while investigating illegal cultivation in Edmonson County.

On Saturday, August 7, 1982, for those not playing bingo or standing in the barbeque line, speeches by Governor J.Y. Brown, Lt. Gov. M.L. Collins, and Grady Stumbo were in full swing.  Over 8,000 people attended the weekend picnic, and Mary Ann Tobin, running for auditor, showed off her talking dog puppet.

On August 7, 1992, Governor Brereton Jones’s 12-year-old Sikorsky helicopter crashed in Shelby County with five other people aboard.  No one suffered life-threatening injuries.

Saturday, August 7, 1999, Governor P. Patton kicked off the political speeches at Fancy Farm Picnic in an election year.  The governor could run again for the 1st time in 200 years.  Lt. Gov Steve Henry, A.G. Ben Chandler, and Speaker Jody Richards stood in his way.

August 7, 2007, Louisville’s 101°F broke the 99°F record set in 1930.  The last time Louisville had triple digits was July 30, 1999.  In 2007, 39 deaths from, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, and Kentucky, were from the heat.  Paducah had 28 straight days of 90 °F plus temperatures, a record that was broken in 2010.

August 7, 2010, six went to post including the Kentucky Derby winner in Saratoga’s GI $750,000 Whitney Handicap Stakes and it was decided by a nose.

August 7, 2015, Sergeant David Ray Gibbs, Kentucky State Police, died when his patrol car crossed the center line and struck an oncoming vehicle during a period of rain.

August 7, 2020, Federal prosecutors sued to seize control of a downtown Louisville building formerly known as PNC Plaza.  They alleged it was secretly owned by billionaire Ukrainian oligarchs and used to launder billions of dollars they plundered from a bank they owed in the eastern European country.

August 7, 2020, the Kentucky teachers union sated they did not want in-person learning until infections declined.

Saturday, August 7, 2021, Rep. James Comer joked that Hunter Biden sent some original artwork to Fancy Farm as Lily Douthitt of Paducah held up a child’s drawing.  Unfortunately, no Kentucky Democrat politicians showed up to speak at the 141st Fancy Farm event.

August 7, 2021, only five go to post for Saratoga’s GI, $1,000,000 Whitney Stakes for four-year-olds and upward.