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Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Cassius Marcellus Clay and Mary Jane Warfield, who wed in 1833.  They had seven children.  When Cassius returned from Russia to Richmond in 1878 with an illegitimate son, the 45-year marriage ended in divorce.  Mary Jane’s divorce meant that she was not legally entitled to any compensation for the farm’s profitability, nor did she have any legal right to the custody of her children.  The lack of women’s rights, which led to her loss of all financial and personal assets, including children, was the driving force behind her daughters Laura and Mary Barr Clay’s nationally known suffrage work.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Newport native and Supreme Court Justice Horace Harmon Lurton, born in 1844.  His most notable opinion told the federal government they could not tell a state where to locate its Capital, as all states must be on “equal footing.”  He also served in the Confederate States Army.

February 26, 1869, the Kentucky legislature incorporated the Stanford Female Seminary.  The school closed in 1907 because it couldn’t compete with the public schools that received tax money.  It then became the Stanford Elementary School until 1931.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Henderson native Rear Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, born in 1882.  The four-star admiral commanded the U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT) during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

February 26, 1904, the Agriculture & Mechanical College of Kentucky (UK) lost to Kentucky University (K.U./Transy) 14-12 in the K.U. Gymnasium.  From the Lexington Herald, “The game of basket ball that was played last night between State College and K.U.  It was a clean game.”  By 1880, the A&M College was commonly known as State College.

February 26, 1909, State University, Lexington (UK) played Central University (Centre) for the state championship on Senior Day.  Central University won 26-20 on State’s home floor in the State College Gymnasium, the 1st game played in the gym.

February 26, 1911, the Lexington-Leader reported the Lexington Hustlers, a baseball club that broke racial barriers, met the previous week and elected four officers.  The team played their home games at Belt Line Park.

February 26, 1915, State University, Lexington (UK) traveled to Tharpe Gymnasium in Louisville to play St. Andrews who doubled them up 50-25.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Tom Kennedy, born in 1927 as James Edward Narz.  Tom’s brother, Jack Narz, was also a well-known TV announcer.  One day early in his career, James emerged as Tom Kennedy after a lunch meeting with his agent.

February 26, 1936, Federal Hill, Judge John Rowan’s home, became My Old Kentucky Home State Park.  The Georgian-style mansion has 13 rooms, 13 front windows, 13 steps to each floor in the house, 13-foot-high ceilings, and 13 feet thick walls.  The #13 paid homage to the original 13 states.

On February 26, 1937, three days after President F. D. Roosevelt created the Cumberland National Forest; Senator Alben Barkley wrote the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture.  The Senator suggested Daniel Boone National Park would be a better name for the new federal park.  The long battle to change the name had begun.

February 26, 1949, four senior members of the UK’s championship basketball team and the student manager, Humzey Yessin, gathered together before their final appearance in Alumni Gymnasium.  From left to right, Alex Groza, Cliff Barker, Yessin, Ralph Beard and Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones.  UK defeated Vanderbilt, 70-37.

February 26, 1966, Murry State received university status from state legislatures.

Students Gene Murray and Linda Edwards celebrate

February 26, 1967, Army PFC Harry P. Brightman from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

February 26, 1968, Army SSG Ernest Chaffins, Jr. from Hitchins in Carter County died in the Vietnam War.

February 26, 1970, a five-day strike by most Kentucky teachers evolved into a collection of legal battles as school boards tried to force teachers back into the classrooms.

February 26, 1971, Army SGT Michael W. Langnehs from Shively in Jefferson County died in the Vietnam War.

Kentucky Trivia:  The Rev. William E. Summers III made history in 1967 as the 1st African American in the U. S. to manage a radio station.  In 1971, he became the 1st African American radio station owner in Kentucky when he purchased WLOU, one of five original R&B stations in the Commonwealth.

February 26, 1973, Claiborne Farm announced that Secretariat syndicated for 32 shares at $190,000 each for a record $6,080,000.   

February 26, 1986, Guthrie native Robert Penn Warren became the 1st U.S. Poet Laureate after President R. Reagan appointed him.  His career included 16 volumes of poetry and ten novels.  Two volumes of poetry and one novel won Pulitzers, the only author to have won for fiction and poetry.

February 26, 1991, #13 Kentucky beat #24 Alabama 79-73 to win its 200th game in Rupp Arena and became one of two schools (along with North Carolina) to win 1,500 basketball games.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Alexandria Nichole Mills, born in 1992.  At age 18, Alexandria became Miss World 2010.

February 26, 1993, a Simpson Circuit Court jury awarded $273,000 to nine Dueling Grounds pari-mutuel clerks for being fired after they tried to form a union.

February 26, 1996, Rick Pitino made the Sports Illustrated cover.  It brought him good luck that year.

February 26, 1998, Shirley Ardell Mason, better known as Sybil, died in Lexington.

Friday, February 26, 2010, Senator Jim Bunning stood his ground and refused to vote for another spending bill.  After several Wall St. deregulations, the government bailed out them out again, and Bunning wanted to make waves about it before he left office.  The legacy media portrayed him as a bitter Senator leaving office who tried to stop unemployment benefits.  Bunning said he didn’t oppose extending the unemployment programs; he just didn’t want to add to the deficit by bailing out Wall St. gamblers AGAIN.  He made the body wait one week to get his vote.

February 26, 2011, a Keeneland graduate and Kentucky bred won Gulfstream Park’s GII $400,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes.  The winner finished 11th for the roses.

During a press conference on February 26, 2020, President D. Trump tried to complete a sentence, “The Johns Hopkins, I guess — is a highly respected, great place — they did a study, comprehensive: ‘The Countries Best and Worst Prepared for an Epidemic.’ And the U.S. is now — we’re rated #1.  We’re rated #1 for being prepared.”

February 26, 2022, a Kentucky bred won Oaklawn Park’s $300,000 GIII Honeybee Stakes for three-year-old fillies.  Secret Oath won by seven and paid $2.60.  Meanwhile, in Frankfort, the majority party pushed for dropping the income tax and pushing the sales tax.

February 26, 2023, while Israeli and Palestinian locals continued to kill each other, several County Judge Executives balked at House Bill 5 to save corporations money.  Nelson, Franklin, Bullitt, Jefferson, Anderson, Marion, and Woodford Counties came together to stop a tax break for bourbon makers, claiming it would decimate their county budgets.  Governor A. Beshear signed the bill in March.