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February 21, 1792, James Harrod, who established Kentucky’s 1st settlement, disappeared.  Many felt Native Americans got him, or he became sick and died while hunting.  His wife believed a man suing him killed him in the wilderness.

Kentucky Trivia:  Breathitt’s election may have set a record for Oldham County election fraud: 163% of those eligible participated in the election.

February 21, 1865, Hodgenville Courthouse burned to the ground by guerrillas; however, all courthouse records survived.  Union soldiers had used the building as barracks.  Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg: 11

February 21, 1888, the U.S. approved Nathan B. Stubblefield’s patent on the mechanical telephone.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native George Charles Devol Jr., born in 1912.  In 1954; he filed a patent for a robotic arm that could move with six degrees of freedom.  The robotic arm would become known as the Unimate Industrial Robot.  Devol’s patent represents the foundation of the modern robotics industry.

February 21, 1917, Georgetown and Kentucky met for the 2nd time in the season.  Kentucky won this time 32-18.  From The Georgetonian: “Rough playing characterized the whole affray.  “Littick was forced to declare Rodes of State out of the game on account of personal fouls.  Seven fouls were called on State and nine were chalked up against Georgetown.”

On February 21, 1922, the U.S. Army created a publicity stunt destroying confiscated moonshine stills in Newport.  The media teamed up with the government to deter people from making alcohol.  It didn’t work.

On February 21, 1924, by a vote of 24-14, the Kentucky Senate killed the Bennett Bill that tried to repeal pari-mutuel betting in the Commonwealth.  Many locals felt the Jockey Club had too much sway in Frankfort.  Some lawmakers asked why Kentuckians couldn’t bet on other sports, such as football and baseball.  It would be the last time the industry faced organization opposition.  

February 21, 1926, Deputy Marshal Schley Wilder, Perry County Constable’s Office, died arresting a man at the Allais church house.  Locals later found the suspect not guilty.

February 21, 1933, 37 people passed the bar to practice law in Kentucky.  The State Board of Bar Examiners also recommended one applicant be granted a license without an examination.

February 21, 1934, expressing hope the Kentucky legislature would ratify the Child Labor Amendment to the Constitution, Miss Francis Perkins, U.S. Secretary of Labor, addressed Kentucky’s joint session and in part said, “I hope and pray you will see this right.  Kentucky finally passed it in 1937, but it never became law.  The amendment would give power to Congress to “limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.”  The visit made national news.

February 21, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt convened the Big Four, V.P. Henry Wallace, House Speaker Sam Rayburn, Democratic House Floor Leader John William McCormack, and Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley.  The Big Four had already drafted a revenue bill; however, the president wanted more money for war and defense contractors.  Therefore, the president wanted to redraft the bill, but the Big Four refused, so days later, Roosevelt became the 1st president to veto a U.S. revenue bill.

February 21, 1949, Adolph Rupp mixed mortar during a cornerstone-laying ceremony for Memorial Coliseum.  The UK men’s basketball team played in Memorial from 1950 to 1976, compiling 306-38 record.  The structure memorialized more than 10,000 Kentuckians killed in World War II and the Korean War.  The coliseum later added the names of Kentucky Vietnam War victims.

February 21, 1951, Governor Lawrence Weatherby called a special session for March 5 to appropriate $9,250,000 of surplus funds.

February 21, 1956, state officials reported severe security weaknesses at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville that demanded immediate attention.  These included excessive contraband such as whiskey, weapons, and barbiturates smuggled in by guards, narcotics freely dispensed in the prison hospital, of which there are no full-time physicians or dentists, and the hospital is a significant fire trap.

February 21, 1961, Muhammad Ali (5-0) fought Donnie Fleeman (35-11-1) in Miami Beach Auditorium.  Clay won by technical knockout in the 7th round of a scheduled eight-round fight.  Fleeman, Clay’s 1st actual opponent, was a rugged Texan, but he couldn’t cope with Clay’s speed.  Fleeman plodded forward, and Clay picked him off at will.  The fight took seven rounds mainly because Clay decided that seven was enough.  Fleeman, 28, retired after the fight.

February 21, 1967, Army SP4 Ray M. Harmon from Flemingsburg in Fleming County died in the Vietnam War.

February 21, 1970, Dan Issel scored 51 points and Pete Maravich scored 64 in Pistol Pete’s last home game of a fantastic collegiate basketball career.  The Wildcats beat LSU 121-105 in John Parker Memorial Coliseum.  Kentucky only lost one game in the Baton Rouge facility from 1951-1971.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Affirmed, born in 1975 in Florida.  The derivation of the name “Affirmed” has been the subject of speculation.

February 21, 1991, Somerset native Senator John Sherman Cooper died in Washington D.C.  John’s resume in part read: Kentucky House Representative, U.S. Senator, 5th Ambassador to India, and 2nd Ambassador to East Germany.

February 21, 2001, former Calumet Farm President J.T. Lundy reported to a federal prison camp in Florida.  He received a 4.5-year sentence for fraud, bribery, and conspiracy.  Calumet’s former CFO, Gary Matthews, served 21 months in Manchester.

February 21, 2015, the GII $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes at Gulfstream Park is won by a Kentucky bred.

February 21, 2016, Governor Matt Bevin proclaimed that every February 21 of each year be “ALS Awareness Day.”  The day is to encourage Kentuckians to support research and an eventual cure.

February 21, 2017, Dustin Fitzgerald of Gilbertsville caught a state record Silver Carp weighing 13 lbs., 5 ozs. in the Cumberland River.

By Harka Akos

February 21, 2021, Dr. Fauci stated that Americans may still be wearing masks outside their homes in 2022 even if everything returns to “normal.”  President J. Biden made a massive push to vaccinate as many Americans as possible, and the government wanted children to start taking vaccinations in early 2022.  Meanwhile, in Kentucky, the 403 active coronavirus cases in Kentucky nursing homes were the lowest since May 2020.

February 21, 2022, more than nine months after the 2021 Derby, Kentucky racing stewards announced they struck down Medina Spirit’s win, banned Bob Baffert from Kentucky tracks for three months, and fined him $7,500.  In a statement reacting to the stewards’ decision, Churchill Downs stated, today we recognize Mandaloun as the winner of the 147th Kentucky Derby and congratulate the connections.

February 21, 2023, AG D. Cameron announced Kentucky’s Supreme Court unanimously upheld Roger Burdette’s conviction and sentence.  On Christmas Eve in 2018, Burdette murdered Louisville Metro Police Detective Deidre Mengedoht by crashing a tanker truck into her vehicle.  Burdette crashed, watching pornography under the influence of controlled substances.