October 19, 1818, Kentucky gained 2,000 square miles with the Jackson Purchase. The agents were the U.S. and the Chickasaw Indian Nation. Representing the U.S. were the aging Isaac Shelby, Revolutionary War hero and twice Kentucky governor and Gen. Andrew Jackson, later the U.S. President. Representing the Chickasaws were Levi and George Colbert, Chinubby (the Boy King), and Tishomingo. The purchase now includes eight Kentucky counties.
October 19, 1895, Deputy Marshal Todd Vittitoe, Elizabethtown Police Department, died from a gunshot wound as he and the town marshal attempted to break up a fight between two men. One of the men in the fight shot at the other one, but missed, and the round fatally struck the marshal.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Jimtown native Georgia Davis Powers, born in 1923. Ms. Powers served for 21 years as a state senator in the Kentucky Senate. In 1967, she was the first person of color and the first woman elected to the senate. During her term, she was “regarded as the leading advocate for blacks, women, children, the poor, and the handicapped.”
October 19, 1951, Air Force SSGT N. Brandon from Princeton in Caldwell County, Army CPL Denver King from Letcher County and Army PFC Franklin H. Watts from Mercer County, all died fighting in the Korean War.
October 19, 1970, the annual Court Days in Mt. Sterling began. Like the last 100 years, people came to town to swap knives, guns, dogs, antiques and hundreds of other items. Court Day is a throwback to the pioneer era when the circuit judge came to town, for the day, each quarter of the year. Initially, only mule and hound-dog trading took place.
October 19, 1980, Presidential candidate Ronald Reagan arrived at Standiford Field and later rode the Belle of Louisville with campaign workers and school children. Today the airport is named the Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport.
October 19, 1987, federal officials stopped a theft ring in Cumberland County that hauled in hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales of caviar acquired through illegal fishing. The officials charged the ring with conspiracy to bribe a U.S. deputy game warden in order to fish illegally, along with other federal crimes.
October 19, 1990, Governor Wallace Wilkerson barred new landfills in Kentucky temporarily. He also capped the amount of waste that existing landfills could accept so the state wouldn’t be a “dumping ground” for out-of-state trash. He did this to ensure that legislators would pass new landfills laws.
October 19, 1997, in a move described as unprecedented, the state pushed ahead with plans for a new Bullitt County Courthouse, even though county officials, while not opposed to the idea, never formally voted for the $6.4 million project.
October 19, 1998, the PGA announced the Valhalla Golf Club would be home to the 2004 Senior PGA Senior Championship and the 2008 Ryder Cup. Valhalla had already successfully hosted the 1996 PGA Championship won by Mark Brooks.
October 19, 2000, the Kentucky State Data Center announced that Lexington would pass Louisville as the state’s largest city if Louisville did not approve the Louisville-Jefferson County measure. From 1990 to 2000 Louisville population declined to 253,128 loosing 16,710 while Lexington grew by 18,149 to 243,785. Based on the trend, Lexington would become the largest city by 2001.
October 19, 2016, Louisville reached a grim milestone when it recorded its 100th homicide for the year, reaching the triple digits for the first time in four decades. The FBI’s 2016 Crime report revealed that Louisville’s homicide problem is deeper than the numbers suggest.