TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

An epitaph is a belated advertisement for a line of goods that has been discontinued.  Irvin S. Cobb

August 24, 1799, angry men sawed off and stuck Micajah “Big” Harpe’s head on a pole in Henderson.  Over ten individuals lost their lives when Big and Little Harpe’s killing spree came to Kentucky.  A posse finally tracked the brothers down before they were planning to kill yet another man.  They shot Big Harpe off his horse while Little Harpe fled.  Moses Stegall’s family died by the Harp brothers in Kentucky, and they got revenge – by slowly sawing off Big Harpe’s head.  Before dying, Harpe confessed to at least 20 murders.  As a warning, Big Harpe’s head was stuck onto a pole at an intersection in Henderson, later called Harpe’s Head.  The brothers’ brutal deeds permanently stained the American frontier as America’s first serial killers.

August 24, 1812, Governor Isaac Shelby retook the oath of office to become Kentucky’s 5th governor.  Because the U.S. declared war on Great Britain in June of 1812, Shelby decided to enter the race less than a month before the election.  They mocked Shelby because of his age (he was almost 62), calling him “Old Daddy Shelby,” however he won by more than 17,000 votes.

August 24, 1824, Joseph Desha became the 9th Kentucky governor while his political rival, Henry Clay, presided over the U.S. House in his 1st term as speaker.

August 24, 1916, Deputy Constable Joel Martin Wright, Letcher County Constable’s Office, succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained 20 days earlier when he was shot by a young girl while arresting the girl’s father on a warrant.

August 24, 1918, Irvin S. Cobb published his article Young Black Joe, in The Saturday Evening Post.  The article highlighted the discipline and courage displayed by African American soldiers fighting in World War I.  It reached a national audience of more than two million readers, and was widely reprinted in the black press and in Cobb’s own book The Glory of the Coming.

August 24, 1925, Mount Morgan native Win Ballou made his MLB debut for the Washington Senators.

August 24, 1931, Augustus Everett Willson, our 36th governor passed away and rests in Cave Hill Cemetery.

August 24, 1950, Air Force MAJ Meade M. Brown from Louisville died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native, Chris Offutt, born in 1958.  He is known for his short stories and novels, but he has also published three memoirs and multiple nonfiction articles.

August 24, 1965, Marine Corps LCPL Donald D. Hansen from Burgin in Mercer County died in the Vietnam War.

August 24, 1968, Army PFC Billy Smith from Edmonton in Metcalfe County died in the Vietnam War.

August 24, 1969, Army SGT Dennis L. Henry from Bellevue from Campbell County, Army SP5 Larry Shea from Eminence in Henry County, and Army CW3 Bobby L. Tarter from Brownsville died in the Vietnam War.

Sunday, August 24, 1970, at least five major discount chains, Almart, Arlans, CSC, Tops, and Zayre, opened despite a temporary injunction ordering them not to sell most items.  The chain stores challenged Kentucky’s 169-year-old law that allowed stores only to sell “items of necessity” on Sunday.

August 24, 1982, teacher Meredith Slone surveyed his 18 pupils at Daniels Creek School in the Floyd County community of Banner.  Daniels Creek School, which began its 59th school year the day before, was one of only three one-room schools in Kentucky at the time.

August 24, 1996, it was another Keeneland graduate exacta.  This time in the GI $750,000 Travers Stakes.

August 24, 1997, the Belle of Louisville partially sank while docked.  A former employee sabotaged the vessel by opening a valve that caused a flood.

On August 24, 2000, actor Woody Harrelson celebrated his not-guilty verdict with supporters outside the Lee County District Court in Beattyville.  Harrelson went on trial for possession of marijuana after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds in 1996 in a rural field.  Louie Nunn, one of his four lawyers, celebrated with him.

August 24, 2002, Tom Durkin provided the call for the 133rd Travers Stakes in which a Keeneland graduate exacta paid $12.60.  The Kentucky bred took home $600,000 for 1st place.

On August 24, 2007, NASCAR driver Tony Stewart gave Mojo, a patas monkey, to the Louisville Zoo.  Unfortunately, it became too aggressive to keep as a pet.

August 24, 2012, after functioning in its new location for about two months, the Derby clock or Louisville Clock was rededicated at Theater Square on 4th Street, a block or more south of where it was originally placed 36 years earlier.

Kentucky Trivia:  Designed and built by local sculptor Barney Bright in 1976, the 40-foot tall mechanical clock sat on Fourth Street in Louisville.  Every day at noon, a crowd would gather to watch the mechanical figures of George Rogers Clark, Daniel Boone, the Belle of Louisville, King Louis XVI, and Thomas Jefferson race on horses around the track.  After 30 years, the clock’s workings rusted out, relocated to Kentucky Kingdom and then ended up in storage.

August 24, 2013, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate won Saratoga’s GI $1,000,000 Travers Stakes for three-year-olds.

August 24, 2019, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate won the GI $1,250,000 Travers Stakes.

August 24, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 373 new positive coronavirus cases and four new deaths.  The governor also created a $15 million fund to help renters and decided not to overturn the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s decision to allow high school sports to move forward.  Later that night, Kentucky’s AG Daniel Cameron spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention.

Positives:  373 / 43,899
Deaths:  4 / 885 – 1st death March 16, 2020
50&over:  858 / 49-30: 26 / 29&under: 1

On August 24, 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, “In order for the U.S. to reach herd immunity against coronavirus, those who are unvaccinated will need to get inoculated.  We can get herd immunity really easily if we get everybody vaccinated.”  The doctor continued to push for corporate profits until eight months later, when he finally admitted the U.S. would never reach it.  By then, Phizer had already made over $40 billion in 2020 alone.