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February 17, 1795, J. H. Stewart’s Kentucky Herald became the 2nd newspaper produced in Kentucky; however, it later consolidated into the Kentucky Gazette.

February 17, 1823, Henry Clay submitted the 1st amicus curiae to the U.S. Supreme Court.

February 17, 1880, Ballard County Courthouse burned with most of its records destroyed.

February 17, 1902, Deputy Sheriff Charles Cecil and Posseman John Doyle from the Bell County Sheriff’s Department died at a saloon near Middlesboro, attempting to arrest mule thieves.  As a posse arrived on the scene, the bartender opened fire from a window, killing Deputy Cecil.  His companions returned fire, killing the bartender and an ensuing gun battle began.

February 17, 1911, State University, Lexington, (UK) Blue and White Five defeated Georgetown College 47-22 in the Georgetown Gymnasium.  State University had many students accompanying them.  Still, no substitutes played during the game.

February 17, 1929, Deputy Sheriff W. H. Carter, Letcher County Sheriff’s Office, died while attempting to arrest a man for being drunk in the streets of Neon.  During the arrest, the man pulled out a pistol and shot Deputy Carter twice before the gun jammed.

January 17, 1931, the U.S. Senate approved funding for the George Rogers Clark Monument spearheaded by Senator A. Barkley, who secured $100,000 for the project.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt traveled to Harrodsburg for the November 1934 dedication.

February 17, 1934, Kentucky basketball established a national record with its 23rd consecutive win (47-27 over Vanderbilt).  A near riot erupted as fans vied for seats in Alumni Gym.

February 17, 1942, the U.S. Navy repurchased the USS Phenakite yacht for $65,000 and reconverted it for naval service.  This famous vessel ended up grounded in a Boone County creek.

February 17, 1947, the federal government announced Kentucky school children would receive 75,378 pounds of jam.  The feds wanted each Kentucky child to receive 1.1 lbs. of jelly; therefore, they distributed 19,278 lbs. of peach and 56,100 lbs. of plum.

February 17, 1953, Army SGT Roy D. Collier from Laurel County died in the Korean War.

In a Paris speech on February 17, 1955, candidate Happy Chandler launched a full-scale attack on Kentucky’s Democratic Governor L. Weatherby.  The former Democratic governor attacked everything about the state’s operations, from finance to highways.  Chandler won his 2nd term in November.

February 17, 1962, Governor Bertram T. Combs received the Keep America Beautiful award for his work on cleaning up Kentucky’s highways.  He also secured passage of a bill requiring auto junkyards near major roadways to be screened from view by fences.

US Forest Service

February 17, 1968, Army SSG George M. Kihnley from Louisville, Marine Corps SGT Carl Cecil Lowery from Lexington and Navy PO2 Clayborn W Ashby, Jr. from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

February 17, 1969, Marine Corps Dickie G. Keeler from Dexter in Calloway County died in the Vietnam War.

February 17, 1970, Kentucky teachers threatened a statewide walkout over opposition to a bill named “professional negotiations.”  Committee Chairman Rep. James Murphy Newport tried to shame the teachers’ leader, Marvin Dodson, telling him, “It strikes me as being very unprofessional for the teachers to talk of strikes and let the kids go uneducated.”  The schools announced basketball games would be canceled if the strike happened.

February 17, 1977, Kentucky Central Life Insurance Company received Lexington’s approval to build a $15 million, 22-story office building, to be named Kincaid Towers, on the site of an old hotel.

February 17, 1982, Louisville dedicated the 41-acre Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve.  Beargrass Creek feeds the Ohio River with three major forks, runnng across most of Jefferson County.  Beargrass is a nickname for the yucca plant that grew abundantly for the bears to eat on the creek’s banks.  This urban green space also attracts birdwatchers from far and wide.

February 17, 1985, Murray P. Haydon became the 3rd person to undergo a permanent Artificial Heart (AH) implant.  Dr. William C. DeVries operated in Louisville.  Haydon, 59, lived 16 months on the mechanical pump.  William J. Schroeder, the 1st recipient, remained the world’s only patient with a permanent AH.  Mr. Haydon and Mr. Schroeder both passed away in 1986.

February 17, 1990, a federal judge approved a $30 million settlement for a class action lawsuit against Ashland Oil Inc.  Citizens sued over a 1988 oil spill that polluted the Monongahela and Ohio Rivers in three states.

February 17, 1996, workers struck Kentucky’s largest company, Ashland Oil Inc., at the massive refinery in Catlettsburg for the 1st time in 16 years.  Ashland removed job definitions that workers claimed would compromise the plant’s safety.

On February 17, 2002, officials released a report showing horse tracks and groups that wanted to legalize slot machines spent $79,000 lobbying Frankfort legislators in January, the most money spent by any group that month.  Churchill Downs spent the most at $26,912.  Meanwhile, UK held the inaugural ceremony of President Lee Todd in Memorial Coliseum.

February 17, 2005, as State Senators tried to provide healthier lunches for school children, the Kentucky Supreme Court made a rare move and agreed to reconsider one of their earlier decisions, Shane Ragland’s murder conviction.

On February 17, 2006, the Kentucky House passed a bill enabling Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) to prescribe controlled substances.  Opponents worried that it would exacerbate the prescription drug abuse problem plaguing the Commonwealth.  It eventually became law.

February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the $800 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the most extensive stimulus relief package in American history. The funds went everywhere: federal agencies, states, localities, for-profit corporations, nonprofit organizations, individuals, grants, contracts, loans, tax benefits, and others.

February 17, 2011, Governor S. Beshear and state lawmakers criticized the EPA and created two legislative panels to shield Kentucky coal mining from federal pollution rules.

February 17, 2013, after announcing to the world a recipe change, Rob Samuels, Maker’s Mark’s COO, reversed his decision to lower the alcohol amount and kept it 90 proof.  Tweeting to his followers, “You spoke, we listened.”  Samuels spoke about how it humbled him.

February 17, 2018, a Kentucky bred won the Fairgrounds GII $400,000 Risen Star Stakes for points to enter the Kentucky Derby.  The winner finished 6th for the roses.

February 17, 2019, Campbellsville native J.B. Holmes won the Genesis Open over fellow Kentuckian Justin Thomas by one stroke.  Holmes enjoyed his 5th PGA victory.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2021, over 3.4 million people in the U.S., 131,000 in Kentucky, and 5,000 in Jackson County lost electricity due to a massive winter storm.  Wednesday also had the lowest number of new cases in a month, one of several indicators the virus was endemic.  However, Governor A. Beshear stated, “It’s too early to relax, and we must remain vigilant.”

February 17, 2022, the Senate passed Bill 83 which stated girls should not be open to members of the male sex in middle and high school sports.  In addition, the Senate made an amendment to exempt elementary-age children.  While it passed 27-8, chanters screamed, “Let them play” in the Rotunda.

On February 17, 2023, inflation made Governor A. Beshear go against his party when he signed House Bill 1 to lower the state’s personal income tax rate from 4.5% to 4%.  The major party had it as its #1 priority, and it passed through both chambers on a party-line basis.  The governor’s party cited ramifications for the state budget and benefiting the wealthy.