Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
I can’t say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days. Daniel Boone
August 14, 1920, Natlee, Owen County, native Willis Augustus Lee wrapped up his meet by winning seven medals in the 1920 London Olympics shooting events, including five gold medals. He tied with teammate Lloyd Spooner for the most anyone had ever received in a single game. Their record stood for 60 years.
Kentucky Trivia: Lee remains the Kentuckian with the most Olympic medals. Trailing him, according to the Kentucky Almanac, are track and field star Ralph Waldo Rose of Louisville, who captured six medals in the 1904, 1908, and 1912 Olympics and Louisville swimmer Mary T. Meagher, who won three Olympic gold medals and a silver and bronze in two Olympics.
August 14, 1936, 5:20 a.m., Rainey Bethea, 22, became the last person to be publicly executed in the U.S. Bethea confessed to the rape and murder of a 70-year-old Lischia Edwards and was sentenced to be publicly hanged in Owensboro. A mistake in performing the hanging and the surrounding media circus contributed to the end of public executions in the U.S. Kentucky was the last state to change the law in 1938. Governor Chandler approved the execution. Over 15,000 people attended, newspapers described vendors selling hot dogs, popcorn, and drinks. “Every bar was packed to the doors down the main street, tipsy merrymakers rollicked all night, hanging parties were held in many a home,” Time Magazine, August 1936.
August 14, 1949, Patrolman John Harold Tennyson, Louisville Police Department, died from a gunshot in a running gun battle with the notorious gangster, Earl David Bircham, when he interrupted a robbery at 9:15 pm.
August 14, 1964, Former Kentucky Governor Bert Combs and then-Governor Edward Breathitt dedicated, in grand opening ceremonies, the new lodges at Buckhorn Lake State Park at Gays Creek, in Perry County.
August 14, 1974, Benton, Marshall County native Joe Creason died. His popular column, “Joe Creason’s Kentucky,” began in 1963 and documented the lives of everyday Kentuckians. Creason traveled through every Kentucky county searching for material for local stories, and he often printed material sent to him by readers. These articles were written in a quirky and simple style, featuring colorful and amusing characters.
August 14, 1990, Boyd County teachers, in a dispute over their pay raises, voted to become the 1st Kentucky teachers since 1976 to go on strike. The teachers wanted a 14% raise, the board gave them 9%.
August 14, 1996, the 11-day Kentucky State Fair opened at 7:00 a.m., exhibit building at 9:00 a.m., and the midway at 11:00 a.m. Admission was $6.00 for adults and $2.00 for children and senior citizens.
August 14, 2004, Kitten’s Joy stepped up to the Grade I level in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park. He was the 4-5 favorite and won by over three lengths. His time for the 1 1⁄4-mile race was 1:59.65, which was 2⁄5 of a second faster than older horses that ran in the Arlington Million earlier that day. The time is a still a stakes record.
August 14, 2014, Knob Creek native Anthony Young, a self-described “hillbilly oilman,” received 33 months in prison for defrauding investors. In one 12 month period, Young’s company took in $7.4 million from investors, and he spent $3.9 million on boats, cars, casino gambling, and $75,000 a month on a Lear jet.
On August 14, 2019, Kentucky public schools started a new school year with a new law. Kentucky legislators wanted “In God, We Trust” prominently displayed in each school. A minister representing Hodgenville created the bill. Fayette County schools detested the law and therefore exhibited an enlarged copy of a $1 bill to comply. The representatives envisioned children from each school getting creative to display the national motto.
On August 14, 2020, the governor signed an executive order to let Kentuckians vote through the mail. His daily briefing focused on the number of kids infected, 77 under 18 for this day which he called a “pretty significant” stat. To date, there had been one death in Kentucky under 29 years old; their medical history was unavailable. Meanwhile, Washington debated herd immunity either by vaccine or natural infections. Dr. A. Fauci warned natural infections could result in a deadlier public health crisis. “You look at America with our epidemic of obesity, hypertension, and the number of people with diabetes.”
As August 14, 2021, rolled around, public school students and their parents voiced their preference on the mask debate across the state. Meanwhile, reports showed most rural counties in eastern and western parts of the state lost residents between 2010 and 2020 to Kentucky urban areas. Pike County saw an 8.9% decline in its population from 2010 to 2020.