On October 21, 1788, Lincoln County Court ordered a road between William Whitley’s Station to the Lincoln County Court House. Mr. Whitley built the 1st brick house west of the Allegany Mountains. He also created the 1st horse track called Sportsman Hill, which the locals loved.
On October 21, 1793, Lexington trustees printed a decree in the Kentucky Gazette to stop racing thoroughbreds through the streets of Lexington after several close encounters of flying horseshoes hitting spectators. Racing moved then to “the lower end of the Commons (Water Street), where they also showed stud horses.” The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 22
October 21, 1794, the duel between General Thomas Kennedy of Garrard County and William Gillespie of Madison County took place at Paint Lick in Garrard County. Trouble arose over a business transaction. Gillespie died on the 1st fire; Kennedy escaped unharmed, the bullet passing through his clothes under his left arm. Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 4
October 21, 1861, the Battle of Camp Wildcat took place in northern Laurel County, now the Daniel Boone National Forest. The early Civil War battle was Kentucky’s 2nd battle and the 1st Union victory of the war. The Confederates occupied Cumberland Gap while the Union Army established a camp at Wildcat Mountain to obstruct the passing of Wilderness Road. Seventy-eight men died before the Confederates retreated to Tennessee (US 25; CS 53).
On October 21, 1950, Western Kentucky played Georgetown in football for the last time. WKU won for the 9th time in a row, 41-13 at home. The series ended with a 9-1 record; Georgetown won the 1st game, 6-0 in 1927.
On October 21, 1960, the federal government bought Crystal Cave and the 200 acres that went with it. This left one piece of privately held land, Great Onyx Cave (220 acres), that remained inside the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park’s 51,000 acres. They would buy Great Onyx before the year ended to end the long struggle.
October 21, 1989, Alfred Rawls rushed for a career-high 192 yards and two touchdowns, including a 73-yard dash with three minutes left, to give Kentucky a 27-21 victory over Louisiana State University.
October 21, 1995, Florence hosted the 20th annual Bean Bash, just in time for the founder to enjoy the festivities. He had just exited prison for being a corrupt politician during the BOPTROT scandal and was ready to have fun.
On October 21, 1995, the world’s largest bat rolled into Louisville at 120’ and 34 tons. The Louisville Slugger stands outside Hillerich and Bradsby’s.r. J. F. Hillerich opened his woodworking shop in Louisville in 1855.
October 21, 1996, UK fired Coach Bill Curry, in the middle of the season, after seven years as the schools head football coach. His record stood at 23-51 and 1-6 as of the firing. The University honored the remainder of Coach Curry’s contract – two years for $610,000 and those of his assistants. The Cincinnati Bengals also fired their head coach Dave Shula who posted a 19-51 record in four and half years.
October 21, 1999, Dr. Wayne E. Oates, a Louisville theology psychiatry professor who wrote 57 books and coined the term “workaholic,” passed away. He is also considered the father of pastoral care; an area of study that combines psyco-therapy with a theological interpretation.
On October 21, 2002, America’s highest court refused to consider a Kentucky murderer’s claim that executing juvenile offenders is unconstitutional. The offender was 17 years old at the time of the offense. Governor P. Patton had the final decision, and he chose not to execute.
October 21, 2007, Governor E. Fletcher and challenger Steve Beshear debated on television in the WHAS station less than a month before the election. They sparred over ethics, funding social services, health care, and casino gambling. They also argued who was a better hunter.
October 21, 2011, from the White House, President Obama stated, “As a candidate for President, I pledged to bring the war in Iraq to a responsible end, and today, I can report that, as promised, the rest of our troops in Iraq will come home by the end of the year. After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.” This now referred to as Obama’s “Mission Accomplished” moment.
October 21, 2015, the SEC preseason media poll placed Kentucky #1, followed by Vandy and Texas A & M. Coach Cal’s team did not disappoint, winning the SEC regular season as co-champions and the SEC tournament. The Cats were ineligible for postseason play due to self-imposed postseason ban.
On October 21, 2020, Kentucky “entered the 3rd stage” of the pandemic as students stayed home from school. Governor A. Beshear, “This 3rd escalation is very real and very concerning. It’s already more concerning than the [escalation] we had in July. There’s so much we don’t know about this virus, but we do know how to stop the spread.” Meanwhile, the governor scored another homerun when AppHarvest officially opened its 1st high-tech greenhouse in Morehead a day after they broke ground in Richmond spread.
October 21, 2021, Governor A. Beshear tweeted, During today’s #TeamKentucky update, Gov. Beshear asked individuals to keep encouraging vaccinations and masking up indoors to protect the lives of our loved ones.
On October 21, 2022, Warren County Public Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton won the Superintendent of the Year by the National Association of School Superintendents. Warren County was the 4th largest and fastest-growing public school district in Kentucky. Clayton created Kentucky’s 1st international high school (Geo International High School), he opened the 1st Computer Science Immersion Elementary School in Kentucky, established the Beacon Virtual Academy, Jackson Academy Alternative Elementary schools, and set the state’s most energy-efficient school district since 2021.