TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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On September 14, 1814, the Star Spangled Banner was written by Francis Scott Key as he gazed at Old Glory with 15 stars and stripes flying over Fort Henry, not the British Union Jack, announcing an American victory.

September 14, 1862, the Battle and Siege of Munfordville or Battle for the Bridge began in Hart County when Confederate Gen.  Braxton Bragg’s Army of the Mississippi met Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s Union Army of the Ohio.

On September 14, 1875, three months pregnant, Belle Brezing married James Kenney, but never lived with him.  After the wedding ceremony she returned to her mother’s house.  Nine days later, Brezing wrote to Cook asking for a gun.  Cook was found outside Brezing’s house with a bullet in his skull.  Kenney immediately left Lexington and didn’t return for ten years.  The death was recorded as a suicide, but popular opinion said that Cook was murdered.

September 14, 1887, Woodford County native Luke Pryor Blackburn, Kentucky’s first physician governor (1879-83) passed away and was buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.

September 14, 1901, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., often referred to as Teddy, became the 26th president of the United States.  President William McKinley died from an assigns bullet.

September 14, 1908, the Kentucky State Fair opened.  This would be the first time the exhibitions will be in a permanent home; Louisville’s West End at the newly created Kentucky State Fairgrounds.

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September 14, 1931, the first night baseball game in Kentucky, took place at Parkway Field in Louisville.  The traveling “House of David” team from Michigan brought their portable lighting system to town against the Louisville All-Stars.  Fleming County native “King” Benjamin Purnell formed the visiting team.  Seven thousand paid patrons came for the triple attraction night: the star-studded players, the incandescent lights, and the presence of Grover Cleveland Alexander, one of baseball’s immortals.

September 14, 1939, Cecilia native, Roy Bruner made his MLB debut with the Philadelphia Phillies.

September 14, 1946, Bess, “the horse with the human mind,” led by trainer Joe Atkinson, mounted the steps of the Fayette County courthouse as several thousand people watched, filling the courthouse lawn and completely blocking Main Street.

September 14, 1950, Army PVT Henry E. May from Franklin County died in the Korean War.

Finally, on September 14, 1955, the title deeds from the three states were presented to the Secretary of the Interior, and Cumberland Gap National Historical Park became official.  The original purchase of land transferred to the Department of the Interior was 20,185.04 acres.  It was a long 15-year battle.

September 14, 1968, Floyd Patterson fought Louisville native Jimmy Ellis in Stockholm, Sweden.  Ellis won by decision in 15 rounds to successfully defend his WBA Heavyweight title.

September 14, 1968, Army SP4 Claude Perry from Pathfork in Harlan County died in the Vietnam War.

September 14, 1973, Army SP4 William D. Harris from Madisonville in Hopkins County died in the Vietnam War.

September 14, 1976, Fort Knox native Len Barker made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers.

September 14, 1987, David Bowie played before a crowd of 9,000 in Rupp Arena on his Glass Spider Tour, which also featured guitarists Peter Frampton and Carlos Alomar.

Kentucky Trivia:  Jerry Lee Lewis played the first Rock and Roll concert in Rupp Arena, in 1976.

February 14, 1989, the Standard Gravure shooting occurred in Louisville when a 47-year-old pressman killed eight people and injured twelve at his former workplace before committing suicide.  The weapons used were an AK-47 semiautomatic assault rifle, two MAC-11 semiautomatic pistols, a .38 caliber handgun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol and a bayonet.  The shooting is the deadliest mass shooting in Kentucky and one of the most deadly mass shootings in U.S. history.  The murders resulted in a high-profile lawsuit against Eli Lilly and Company, manufacturers of the antidepressant drug Prozac, which the shooter had begun using during the month before his shooting rampage.  The victims included: Richard O. Barger, 54, Kenneth Fentress, 45, William Ganote, 46, James G. Husband, 47, Sharon L. Needy, 49, Paul Sallee, 59, Lloyd White, 42, James F. Wible Sr., 56.

September 14, 1995, Curtis S. Harper was robbed and murdered at his business, Harper Hams, in Clinton.  Mr. Harper was beaten violently and possibly robbed of his cash box and other monies from the business office.  All leads have been exhausted at this time and this case has gone cold.

On September 14, 2004, the Lee Adjustment Center, a private prison in Lee County, experienced a riot.  Some say the importation of 400 prisoners from Vermont and a drastic cut back in privileges caused the violence.

September 14, 2013, a touchdown pass helped Teddy Bridgewater overcome one of his slowest starts, but soon everything else fell into place for No. 7 Louisville as they beat Kentucky 27-13 in Lexington.  The series record now stood at 14-12 in favor of Kentucky.

September 14, 2018, Derby City Gaming officially opened.  The $65 million-dollar facility includes 1,000 historical racing machines in a 45,000 square foot gaming and entertainment floor.