Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Richard Henderson, born in Hanover County, Virginia in 1735. Even though his Transylvania government failed, North Carolina and Virginia compensated him for improvements he made to Kentucky lands.
April 20, 1898, as Baldy George Baker’s family laid him to rest in Laurel County, shots rang out from the woods and the funereal hastily moved to another location. Not even a short truce seemed possible for the infamous Clay County feud between the Howards and Bakers.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Mayfield native Ellis Wilson, born in 1899. In 1928, Wilson moved to Harlem, where he joined the Harlem Artists Guild. At the time, black artists could not exhibit their work in mainstream galleries. He became an active member of the Harlem Renaissance, a collaborative effort to promote and display the work of black artists. The artist participated in many of the exhibitions associated with the movement.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Lionel Leo Hampton born in 1908. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Teddy Wilson, Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Quincy Jones. He received the National Medal of Arts in 1996.
On April 20, 1911, the infamous Livermore Lynching occurred with the world watching McClean County. The black manager of a segregated poolroom, Will Potter asked Clarence Mitchell, a young white man to leave. A fight ensued and Potter fired two shots at Mitchell. The city marshal immediately arrested Potter and brought him to the local theater, securing him in a dressing room behind the stage. A mob of 50 gathered, took Potter to the center of the stage, tied him to a pole, and turned on the stage lights. The mob sat in the orchestra pit, and on cue, fired 200 shots; nearly half entered the body of Mr. Potter. The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 563
April 20, 1920, Deputy Sheriff Jerry Cornett, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained two weeks earlier while arresting several men for possessing moonshine at the Fourseam Block Colliery Company mine camp on Buffalo Creek, three miles from Hazard.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to River native Frank Brown, born in 1922 in Johnson County. He earned his memorable nickname, Hylo, after he wowed a DJ with his voice range on The Prisoner’s Song, a 1920s hillbilly hit. The Grand Ole Opry member lost a bet with Bill Monroe to see who could grow the longest sideburns.
On April 20, 1929, with the Kentucky Theatre’s success, the Lafayette Amusement Company opened a 2nd theater right next door. This 950-seat State Theatre, with a 200-seat racially segregated balcony, showed second-run features with lower ticket prices complementing the Kentucky.
April 20, 1940, despite dog racing being illegal, a group of Northern Kentucky men began a movement to reopen the greyhound dog racing facility at Tacoma Park. The park closed three years earlier after the State Police raided the track by Governor Chandler’s orders.
April 20, 1956, Lt. Governor Harry Lee Waterfield and his family moved into the newly renovated Old Governor’s Mansion in downtown Frankfort. The 2nd oldest governor’s residence in the U.S., the Federal-style structure housed 35 governors. The 1st was James Garrard, Kentucky’s 2nd governor, in 1797, and ended after James McCreary’s 2nd term as the 27th governor in 1914.
April 20, 1960, UK President Frank Dickey asked all students to attend Temperance lectures on the main campus and the branches throughout the entire state. He directed the School of Journalism to arrange for lectures on the effects of alcohol on the human body as required by state law.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Allan Houston, born in 1971. In 1988, he led Ballard to a State Championship, and in 1993 he graduated from Tennessee as the all-time leading scorer, a record he still holds. He played in the NBA from 1993-2005 as a shooting guard.
April 20, 1981, the Kentucky State Racing Commission scratched Johnlee n’ Harold from the upcoming Derby. The owner refused to take a lie detector test. The commission felt the horse’s real owner was Harold Smith, a man under a $21 million federal embezzlement investigation. Harold was also the promotor for Muhammad Ali Professional Sports, Inc. The well regarded colt placed 2nd in the Santa Anita Derby.
April 20, 1991, Martha Wilkinson’s gubernatorial campaign announced they wanted to make it illegal for individuals doing business with the state to give gifts or money to lawmakers’ campaigns. The 1st Lady of Kentucky made the proposal because she got tired of reading “story after story after story” about her campaign donors who received large state contracts from her husband’s administration. She added, “I will help newspapers write about other stories.”
Kentucky Trivia: Martha Wilkinson created “Martha’s Army” to fight adult illiteracy. The army used a telephone hotline and financial incentives to encourage Kentucky high school dropouts to earn a GED. In 1990, country-music singer Waylon Jennings, who dropped out of school in the 10th grade, earned a GED through Martha’s Army.
April 20, 2000, on the 1st anniversary of the shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado, law-enforcement students at Prestonsburg Community College staged a mock takeover of the college’s administration building.
April 20, 2011, Mickey Nilsson, a 62-year-old resident of Bardstown, demonstrated his car that ran on Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey. According to Mickey, it ran on almost any bourbon created; however, the engine preferred Maker’s Mark.
April 20, 2018, the Trump Administration touted Ashland native Gina Haspel’s love of UK basketball. They wanted their pick to lead the CIA to appear more likable before the nomination hearings. Her critics, including Senator R. Paul, claimed she was the head cheerleader of waterboarding. She led the agency many want to abolish from 2018-2021.
April 20, 2020, Governor A. Beshear told superintendents that K-12 schools would not reopen for in-person classes for the remainder of the school year. Instead, he wanted all schools to continue non-traditional learning and be creative for celebrations like graduations. At the time of the announcement, 3,000 Kentuckians had tested positive, and 154 persons had died from the flu strain.
April 20, 2021, Lexington held anti-violence protests after numerous needless deaths and 37 state workers allegedly got paid $116,978 in jobless benefits; the abundance of all that stimulus money got them thinking. Meanwhile, after a long search to identify him, the F.B.I. arrested Stephen Randolph, a Harrodsburg resident. He participated in the January 6 riots and told agents the riot was “@#*^#* fun.”
On April 20, 2021, The Nature Conservancy added a small but important piece of land to the Big South Fork National River and Recreational Park in Southeastern Kentucky. The 460-acre tract was one of the largest remaining pieces of privately-held land, called an in-holding, inside the 125,000-acre park.
April 20, 2022, Deputy Sheriff James “Jerry” Critchelow, Ohio County Sheriff’s Office, died five days after suffering a heart attack while directing traffic on Route 231 in front of Ohio County High School.