TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

I love my grandpa so much.  I’ve just spent so many times with him on the golf course.  He’s watched me play and win so many junior golf tournaments.  Justin Thomas

August 18, 1855, Governor Thomas “Stone Hammer” Metcalfe, our 10th governor, passed away of cholera at Forest Retreat in Nicholas County, his home.  Henry Clay named the estate when he first visited the newly-built house; he told Tom he had a veritable “Forest Retreat.”

Kentucky Trivia:  Metcalfe was the 1st Kentucky gubernatorial candidate nominated by party convention rather than the caucus system.  He drove the 1st spike in the first railroad west of the Appalachian Mountains, from Lexington to Frankfort, and was one of two governors who helped build the 1st governor’s mansion.

August 18, 1862, James F. Robertson became the 22nd governor when Governor B. Magoffin got pushed out of office and resigned.  Magoffin agreed to leave if he hand-picked his successor.  Governor Robertson carried out the remainder of Magoffin’s original term of one year and 14 days.  Robertson drew criticism from President A. Lincoln’s administration for opposing the Emancipation Proclamation.

August 18, 1862, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith took Barbourville, and then took 50 wagons carrying provisions to the Cumberland Gap.
The Civil War in Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Prestonsburg native George B. Martin, born in 1876.  George served as Kentucky’s 25th Class II U.S. Senator.

August 1884, the Rowan County War began.  The Tolliver – Martin Feud would last till 1887.

August 18, 1926, Deputy Sheriff James “Jim” Fee, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, died by a man he had arrested earlier in the day for selling liquor.  After being released on bond, the man returned Deputy Fee’s home and shot him.

August 18, 1934, City Marshal Caleb Dunn, Jackson Police Department, died in a shootout at the police station.

August 18, 1943, Patrolman William Preston Bryant, Louisville Police Department, succumbed to gunshot wounds the previous day when he was shot during a traffic stop while patrolling Beat 47.

August 18, 1950, Army PFC Victor Akers, Jr. from Lawrence County and Army PVT Joe Robinson from Menifee County died in the Korean War.

On August 18, 1961, Humana came into existence as Extendicare Inc. in Louisville.  A few men would get filthy rich later down the road.

On August 18, 1962, a photo finish decided one of the most memorable races in horse racing history.  Two champions eyeballed each other for the entire 10 furlongs, it was a shame that they couldn’t finish in a dead-heat.

August 18, 1965, Army MAJ Donald G. Radcliff from Louisville and Marine Corps SSGT James A. Smith from Warsaw in Gallatin County died in the Vietnam War.

August 18, 1968, Patrolman Earl J. Bertram, Jefferson County Police Department, succumbed to injuries sustained five years earlier when he was involved in an automobile accident responding to a call.

August 18, 1969, Long John Silver’s 1st store opened in Lexington on 301 Southland Drive just off Nicholasville Road.  The chain began as a division of Jerrico, Inc., a publicly owned corporation, which also operated Jerry’s Restaurants, a chain of family restaurants which also began in Lexington.

August 18, 1974, a General Accounting Office (GAO) study of the controversial Red River dam project concluded that the economic benefits were overstated and should be recalculated before work proceeded.

August 18, 1979, A.T. Collins and two others shot and killed George, his wife Jesse, and their daughter Phyliss Napier.  For decades, the Napier – Collins family feud happened in the Elk Creek area of Clay County, 17 miles north of Manchester.

August 18, 1979, General Assembly loved the mud just as much as he loved the Spa, and as a result, he ran the performance of a lifetime.  The Travers Stakes hosted one of the most unbelievable performances in horse racing history.

August 18, 1983, Patrolman Ricky Allen LaFollette, Louisville Police Department, drowned in a scuba diving accident on the Tennessee side of Dale Hollow Lake while on a training dive with his department.

August 18, 1995, state police acting on a tip raided former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Dan Jack Combs’s Floyd County home and found a marijuana plant growing.  Both Combs and his 16-year-old son were ticketed with possessing and cultivating the plant.

August 18, 2008, Linda Rice trained the 1st four finishers in the Mechanicville Stakes at Saratoga, dubbed the “Rice Superfecta.”

August 18, 2010, Navy Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Collin T. Thomas 33, of Morehead, died in Afghanistan fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

August 18, 2018, a Keeneland graduate exacta took Saratoga’s GI $600,000 Alabama Stakes.  The Kentucky bred won $330,000 for 1st place.

August 18, 2016, Reba opened up the Kentucky State Fair.  ABBA played the following night.

August 18, 2019, Justin Thomas won the BMW Championship, his 10th PGA victory by three strokes.  He shot a course record 61 on Saturday and never looked back.

On August 18, 2020, Governor S. Beshear announced that 12 people died from the coronavirus and introduced a new plan to track positive cases in the schools, adding more responsibility to an already overburdened system.  The state counted over 40,000 positive cases, including Louisville’s 10,000.  “Our wildfire is getting more intense, and it is spreading.  We’re having widespread community transmission,” Dr. Moyer, Louisville’s Public Health Department.  Meanwhile, the city announced some much-needed good news; Jefferson County High School graduates would receive two years of tuition-free college.

Positives:  627 / 40, 299
Deaths:  12 / 830 – 1st Death March 16, 2020
50&over: 805 / 49-30: 24 / 29&under: 1
Coronavirus deaths are counted if a deceased person tested positive, regardless of the cause.

On August 18, 2021, Frankfort introduced a bill to stop the employee-driven vaccine mandate.  The politics of division reared its ugly head yet again over the coronavirus.  This new divisive point came after Kentucky healthcare facilities mandated the vaccine.