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Kentucky Trivia

On October 24, 1940, 120 Foxhounds and 19 saddle horses died when fire swept through the Nelson County Stockyards, bringing a tragic halt to the Kentucky State Fox Hunters Association’s annual meeting.  Samuel Wooldridge of Versailles, former president of the association, claimed the best hounds in the United States perished, with many strains wiped out entirely, and some bloodlines would never return.

October 24, 1950, The Curious Savage, written by Louisville native John Patrick, debuted.  The comedy is about Ethel P. Savage, an elderly woman whose husband recently died and left her approximately $10,000,000.  Contrasting the kindness and loyalty of psychiatric patients with the avarice and vanity of “respectable” public figures, it calls into question conventional definitions of sanity while lampooning celebrity culture.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Hazard native Shelby Lee Adams, born in 1950.  The environmental portrait photographer and artist best known for his images of Appalachian family life was the subject of a documentary film by Jennifer Baichwal in 2002 – The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’s Appalachia.  The Toronto International Film Festival and the Sundance Festival showed the film in 2003. 

October 24, 1951, Army PFC Fredericke E. Fuhrman from Kenton County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 24, 1952, Army PFC Charles E. Liford from Harlan County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 24, 1963, Air Force SSGT Walter K. Morris from Paris died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 24, 1964, Air Force COL Don I. Williamson from Louisville died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 24, 1967, Army PFC Gary W. Hawkins from Louisville died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 24, 1968, Army CPL Everette R. Bailey from Georgetown, Army CPL Clyde D. Downard from Foster in Bracken County, and Army PFC Willie R. Tucker from Paris, all died fighting in the Vietnam War.

On October 24, 1968, the grandson of the late V.P. Alben Barkley disappeared into Cuba after hijacking a plane and abandoning his wife and three children.  William Barkley Truitt’s wife, his mother, and the F.B.I. had no reason why the freelance photographer did it.  He later received a 40-year sentence and passed away in 2003.

October 24, 1969, Army SFC John T. Demarches from Bowling Green and Army PFC Joseph R. Hagy, Jr. from Lebanon both died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 24, 1970, the Louisville Blades opened their season in the Mid-American Hockey League.

October 24, 1970, the Kentucky Conservation Council called for an immediate moratorium on Eastern Kentucky strip-mining.  It also took steps toward obtaining stronger strip-mining regulations from the 1972 legislature.  The Council represented 19 state conservation organizations and 50 individuals.

October 24, 1971, Kentucky Wesleyan College, in Owensboro, inaugurated Dr. William E. James as its 25th President.  Over 2,000 visitors and delegates from 45 colleges watched as the United Methodist Liberal Arts School held ceremonies.

On October 24, 1972, Louisville passed its long-studied ordinance, which created a 15-year franchise to operate a cable television (CATV) system.

October 24, 1980, Waylon Jennings headlined the Kentucky Cowboy Roundup, a benefit for the Kentucky governor’s mansion renovation, at the Kentucky Horse Park.

October 24, 1984, senatorial candidate Mitch McConnell campaigned in Louisville and told the Rotary Club that one-third of all Americans receive some federal assistance.  He preferred that corporations and foreign countries receive the money.

October 24, 1990, Arch Mining, the largest private employer in Breathitt County, began to notify 248 miners they would lose their jobs.  The layoff also affected workers in Perry and Knott Counties, delivering another blow to the industry and locals.

October 24, 1995, Kentucky State University received $276,000 for research on the lowly Pawpaw Tree, which grows wild on the banks of Kentucky streams.  A university official claimed the tree as a miracle plant and hoped to discover commercial relevance for the Kentucky native.

On October 24, 1997, the public became aware that three paintings from the Calumet bankruptcy were missing, or at least not where they were supposed to be, at the Kentucky Horse Park.  The paintings included A Gleam & General Duke by James N. Slick and Barbizon by Richard Stone Reeves.

October 24, 2000, the public found out about a company internal memo that stated, “a blue glow reported by workers at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant could indicate nuclear reactions occurred underground in a top-secret burial pit for atomic weapons parts.”  The memo written by a plant physicist stated a “blue glow” was 1st observed in the early 1980s.

On October 24, 2001, Stanford native Karen K. Caldwell became a U.S. District Court judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky.  President G.W. Bush appointed her.  She served until 2012, when she became Chief Judge of the same court.

Friday, October 24, 2008, changes continued for the Breeders’ Cup as it celebrated its 25th year under the San Gabriel Mountains in California.  For the 1st time, the main track was synthetic.  The purses totaled $25.5 million and they expanded to 14 races, adding the Turf Sprint, Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Marathon.  The name of the Distaff changed to the Ladies’ Classic and four-year Zenyatta christened the new name with a win.  BC raced five times on this day and nine races on Saturday.

Ladies Classic
Juvenile Fillies
Juv. Fillies Turf

October 24, 2015, Louisville businesses and individuals had paid more than $3.8 million in fines since 2003 to resolve violations of local air pollution.  The #1 violators were faulty vapor controls on gas pumps.

On October 24, 2019, UofL separated itself from John Schnatter’s naming rights deal for Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.  The news hit when the Cardinals almost completed a $63.25-million expansion of the stadium, including a major upgrade to the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex.

October 24, 2019, the U.S. Senate confirmed President D. Trump’s nomination of a UofL Law Professor Justin Walker to a lifetime appointment as a Federal Judge.  In his late thirties, Walker earned degrees from Duke and Harvard Law; he also clerked for Justices Kavanaugh and Kennedy.  The American Bar Association deemed him unqualified to be a Federal Judge because of no significant trial experience.  Senator M. McConnell had pushed hard for Walker’s confirmation.

On October 24, 2020, Trump voted in Florida while Biden campaigned in another Commonwealth, PA.  America reported the largest number of positive cases since the pandemic began.  Meanwhile, Governor A. Beshear came out of quarantine and reported the highest number of positive cases for one day, 1,738.  Fayette County Schools also received mixed reviews about its virtual learning programs. 

On October 24, 2021, the Kentucky Nursing Association reported its members were exhausted, overworked, and underpaid.  A quarter of those polled in the statewide survey said they planned to leave their job within the following year.  A national study released days later echoed the sentiments on a national level.  The following month, retirement homes reached a crisis level with a nursing shortage.

Kentucky Trivia:  As of 2019, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71,638 professionally active nurses are in Kentucky.  Of these, 58,756 are RNs.  The average hourly rate was between $27 and $31.  

On October 24, 2022, a New York judge told New York they had to reinstate the healthcare workers they fired because they refused to take the experimental vaccine.  The order commanded that all terminated petitioners be reinstated on October 25, 2022, and collect back pay from their date of termination.