October 11, 1842, Joseph Desha, Kentucky’s 9th Governor passed away in Georgetown. He is buried on his Georgetown property and the state erected a monument over his grave. In 1880, both Desha’s body and the monument were moved to the Georgetown Cemetery.
On October 11, 1887, Kentucky State University formally opened. The original name was the State Normal School for Colored Persons and was only the second state-supported institution of higher learning in Kentucky. During the euphoria of Frankfort’s 1886 centennial celebration, the city donated $1,500 towards the purchase of land for a new college on a bluff overlooking Frankfort. The new school opened with three teachers, 55 students, and John H. Jackson as president. Recitation Hall, now Jackson Hall, was the college’s first permanent building.
October 11, 1924, Old Latonia hosted the International Special Races that pitted America’s best horses against Europe’s best. It certainly was “a feather in the cap” for the Covington track to be chosen to host this grand race and affirmation of the local track’s overall importance. The old track never looked better. The three spires above the grandstand stood majestically as the loud Klaxton sounded its final warning, and the field of eight horses drew near the starting line. Sixty thousand fans were in attendance that day, and their nostalgic recollections of having seen the great race were to carry forward long past the event itself. At the start of the race, home-town boy, Mack Garner, pushed the speedy Kentucky-bred Chilhowee to the front only to be passed at the three-quarters pole by Sarazen, the pride of the East. It was a brilliant move that also helped set an American track-record winning time for a mile race. Epinard, the European Champion, was game throughout. He made a gallant attempt to catch the leader but fell short and had to settle for second place.
October 11, 1924, the Wildcats beat the Georgetown Tigers 42-0. This would be the last game of the interstate match-up. The series ended with a record of 6-0 in four shutouts. This was Fred Murphy’s first year as UK’s head coach.
October 11, 1936, the Keeneland Association hosted an open house to introduce the public to the new Totalizator® tote board, first of such machines to be installed in Kentucky. More than 15,000 people attended.
August 11, 1946, the Scott County 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America show took place on Georgetown’s Hamilton Street. Prizes totaling $735 were awarded at the show, which had four ring shows featuring 20 animals.
October 11, 1958, Trooper Herbert C. Bush, Kentucky State Police, was killed in an automobile accident while attempting to stop a speeding vehicle in Lincoln County. He was survived by his wife and son.
October 11, 1984, the inaugural running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup took place. Her Majesty presented the winning trophy. Keeneland didn’t have an actual winner’s circle before her 1984 visit. For regular races, the winning photo took place in a circle of chalk drawn on the track; for stake races, winners received their trophy on the infield grass. Per the wishes of the Queen’s security team, Keeneland built a proper winner’s circle. Cherry Valley Farm’s Sintra won.
Apollo High School’s Rex Chapman, photographed October 11, 1985, in Owensboro. Chapman was one of the most heavily recruited high school basketball players to ever come out of Kentucky. This photo ran with a story chronicling the hype and pressure surrounding his recruitment.
October 11, 2000, the Inez coal sludge from T. Massey Coal Company’s lifeless 72-acre, 2.2-billion-gallon waste lagoon, suffered a crack, releasing 250 million gallons of slurry. The water supply for over 27,000 residents was contaminated and all aquatic life in Coldwater Fork and Wolf Creek died. Martin County’s torrent of sludge was more than 20 times the volume of the Exxon Valdez’s crude oil spill in Alaska. It was twice that of its biggest forerunner among coal-mining spills, 28 years ago in Buffalo Creek, W.VA., which killed 125 people and swallowed 500 homes. Governor Paul E. Patton declared a ten-county emergency.
October 11, 2012, the Vice Presidential Debate took place in Centre College in Danville. The Nielsen Company reported that an estimated 51.4 million people watched the debate, 18.5 million fewer than watched the Joe Biden-Sarah Palin debate in 2008, but the most for a vice presidential debate since George H. W. Bush-Geraldine Ferarro in 1984.
October 11, 2014, Keeneland graduates finished 1,2,3,4 against three other entries for the 30th running of the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup GI at the Keeneland Racecourse. The first to cross the finish line won $300,000.