October 12, 1808, the most important theatrical event in the Western Country occurred with the opening of Luke Usher’s New Theater in Lexington, capable of seating 500-600 people. The building was formerly a brewery. The first production was a comedy, Richard Cumberland’s The Sailor’s Daughter. It was the first permanent theater in the early west.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg:27
October 12, 1920, Man o’ War runs in his last race in the Kenilworth Park Gold Cup (1 1/4M) at Kenilworth Park in Canada, it was a match race against Sir Barton. The highly anticipated event became the first race to be filmed in its entirety, with the resulting footage later shown in movie theaters across the country. Man o’War got in with 120 lbs., against Sir Barton’s 126 lbs. Moments before the race, jockey Earle Sande was removed from Sir Barton and substituted with Frank Keogh. Sir Barton never had a chance. The final time was 2:03.00. Man o’ War’s share of the purse made him the highest-earning horse in American history. The gold trophy presented in the winner’s circle, designed by Tiffany & Co, was later donated by Mrs. Riddle to Saratoga and is now used as the trophy for the Travers Stakes.
October 12, 1924, Mary Barr Clay of Lexington passed away. She was the eldest daughter of Cassius Marcellus Clay and his wife Mary Jane Warfield. She became the first Kentuckian to hold the office of president in a national woman’s organization when she was elected president of the American Woman Suffrage Association in 1883. During her career, she corresponded with Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Alice Stone Blackwell and other leading suffragists and brought many of them to Kentucky for speaking engagements.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Newport native Irving Lee Goode born in 1940. Irving played thirteen seasons in the National Football League and named to the Pro Bowl Team twice. In 1973 he won a Super Bowl ring with the Miami Dolphins.
October 12, 1946, Steve Black, left, of Frankfort presented a ribbon to Colonel Carl W. Raguse, riding El Foxo, who received a blue ribbon in the open jumping class during the Iroquois Hunt Club horse show at W. Fauntleroy Pursley’s farm on Athens-Boonesboro Road. The club’s horse show included a horse pulling contest and a beef barbecue.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Governor and Mrs. Nunn, who wed in 1950. Governor Nunn and Beula Cornelius Aspley had two children – Jennie Lou, born in 1951, and Steve, born in 1952. Aspley also had three children from her first marriage. Nunn left the Methodist denomination in which he had been raised after marrying Aspley, joining her as a member of the Christian Church.
October 12, 1951, Army SGT Herbert F. Clark from Marion County, Army CPL Clellan H. Decker from Edmonson County, Army CPL Raymond Tackett from Johnson County and Army CPL Marshall Winkfield from Woodford County, died fighting in the Korean War.
October 12, 1952, Russell native Ernest Edison “Ernie” West ran through heavy fire to rescue his wounded commander, Capt. Gividen, after they had fallen into an ambush. As he was pulling the Captain to safety, three hostile soldiers attacked. West shielded the commander with his body and killed the attackers with his rifle, suffering a wound that resulted in losing his eye in the process. Despite this injury, he remained on the field and assisted in the evacuation of other wounded men, at one point killing three more hostile soldiers. For these actions, the U.S. military’s presented him with the highest decoration, the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ernie was raised in an orphanage in Nicholasville.
October 12, 1983, Martha Layne Collins and Jim Bunning, the two candidates for governor, had a rare face to face exchange in the only televised debate of the general election campaign. The hour-long debate showed on KET, WHAS and WKYT. One would replace John Y. Brown, Jr.
On October 12, 2011, Russell Springs native Lowell Hayes Harrison passed away in Owensboro. Mr. Harrison was an American historian specializing in Kentucky who graduated from College High in Bowling Green. He received a B.A. from WKU in 1946, then enrolled at New York University, where he earned an M.A. in 1947 and a Ph.D. in 1951, both in history. Harrison has authored 115 articles and 11 books.