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Kentucky Trivia

October 28, 1811, the 1st steamboat boat arrived in Louisville.  Residents congratulated Mr. Roosevelt on his success but told him they doubted they would ever see the boat again because it would not be able to go upstream.  Roosevelt invited prominent citizens to a gala dinner aboard the boat to prove them wrong and recruit investors for Fulton’s steam company.  Once everyone boarded, and much to their surprise, New Orleans headed upstream under its power and completed a brief excursion before returning to Louisville.

On October 28, 1864, the great hog scandal began when federal commander Stephen G. Burbridge issued a proclamation asking Kentuckians to sell surplus hogs to the U.S. government.  Farmers who sold to the designated contractors sustained losses estimated at $300,000 during the month the program operated.  President Abraham Lincoln ordered Burbridge to revoke the order, and the scandal ended.  The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 386

On October 28, 1869, a dog named Old Drum died by his neighbor’s doings around 8:00 p.m.  Old Drum’s owner sued the neighbor for damages and hired lawyer George Graham Vest, a Frankfort native living in Missouri.  Vest’s closing argument, known as “a man’s best friend,” is one of America’s most enduring purple prose passages.  Vest won the case, and the jury awarded $50 to Old Drum’s owner.  George Vest graduated from Centre College and Transylvania University Law. 

In the October 28, 1878 issue of the Courier-Journal, a story ran of a “Wild man of the Woods” being captured in the wilderness of Kentucky and placed on public display in downtown Louisville.

Localtonians wish Ruth Hanly Booe a Happy Birthday, born in 1891.  Little of her early life is documented, as most of her legacy began with the start of her candy company.  The company can trace its roots to 1919, when Booe, along with colleague Rebecca Gooch, became dissatisfied with their wages as substitute teachers in Franklin County.

October 28, 1893, Kentucky State College (UK) played Centre College for the 1st time.  Centre won 4-6.

October 28, 1893, Yale and Transy Law graduate Mayor Carter H. Harrison Sr. died while leading Chicago in his 2nd term.  The Lexington native inherited a Kentucky plantation and almost 100 enslaved people, but he disowned slavery to become a lawyer in the windy city.

October 28, 1900, Richmond native David Rowland Francis began his term as President of the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games.  Next, he would be U.S. Ambassador to Russia starting in 1916.

October 28, 1917, Sheriff Julius Leonard Plummer, Sr., Campbell County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to injuries sustained the previous day when he was involved in an automobile accident while driving a prisoner to the county jail.

October 28, 1919, the boat Sea Lion Branch sank on mile 157 of the Kentucky River.  Later, a small community adopted it as its name, located around Dam #9, 12 miles from Richmond.  The Kentucky River by William E. Ellis, pg: 49

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Telma Louise Hopkins, born in 1948.  Hopkins rose to prominence as a member of the 1970s pop music group Tony Orlando and Dawn, which had several #1 songs.  She also performed on the CBS variety show Tony Orlando and Dawn from 1974 until 1976.  In 1979, she made her acting debut playing Daisy in the ABC miniseries Roots: The Next Generations.  She then began working on various sitcoms, including Bosom Buddies, Gimme a Break, and Family Matters.  

October 28, 1951, Army PFC Billy Crail from Harrison County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 28, 1952, Army PVT Sherlin D. Montgomery from Harlan County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 28, 1964, actor Peter Falk signed autographs during the filming of the movie “The Great Race,” near Frankfort.  Falk played the character Maximilian Meen.

October 28, 1966, Marine Corps PFC Jessie L. Crump from Bonnieville in Hart County and Army SGT Wendell L. Wilson from Scottsville in Allen County, died in the Vietnam War.

October 28, 1971, locals carried M.W. Chuck Thomas to his grave in antebellum plantation splendor.  Two white horses, singers, and more than 1,000 friends followed the procession up a quarter-mile corridor with hanging flowers on fence rows to a lonely grave in an open field.  The funeral carried out Thomas’s specific wishes to imitate when plantation masters went to rest with a showy but graceful dignity.  Thomas owned a 3,000-acre farm known as Thomas Territory with 16 miles of highway frontage in Lyon, Trigg, Caldwell, and Christian Counties.

On October 28, 1981, Columbia native William Lance Burton appeared on the Johnny Carson Show for the 1st time.  Producers invited him back ten more times while Johnny Carson hosted and for ten performances during Jay Leno’s tenure.  He performed more than 15,000 shows in Las Vegas for over 5,000,000 people.  In 2010 he ended his 31-year Vegas show.

October 28, 1990, Louisville native Jodie Mudd won the $2.5 million Nabisco Championship in Houston.  Mudd sank three straight birdies, including one on the 1st hole of a playoff, to earn $450,000 in the world’s richest golf tournament.  His 1990 earnings now totaled $911,746.

On October 28, 1992, in a surprise move and against their own attorney’s advice, the Kentucky Racing Commission voted to give all thoroughbred intertrack 1993 racing dates in Henderson to Ellis Park and none to Riverside Downs, the harness track.  The vote stunned Riverside owners who stated the decision would put them out of business.  They did not shut down till 2009.

October 28, 1993, the Louisville Male Bulldogs and the duPont Manual Rams met for the 100th time on the gridiron.  Contrary to popular belief, this is not the oldest High School football rivalry in the U.S. that belongs to high schools in Connecticut.

October 28, 1994, after a pair of 3rd place finishes on turf, Mott shifted Cigar to dirt.  The result was an eight-length romp in a one-mile allowance race at Aqueduct.  The lopsided victory triggered a 16-race winning streak that allowed Cigar to succeed at various distances and match Citation for the longest such streak by a major American horse.  Citation swept 16 in a row from 1948-50.

October 28, 1995, Owensboro’s Brescia College announced that its board of trustees voted to launch a program that would guarantee graduates a job offer or admittance to graduate school within 12 months of graduation.

October 28, 1995, the 12th Breeders’ Cup started with heavy early morning storms over Elmont, New York.  First, there was 4-year-old Inside Information, ridden by Mike Smith, who dominated the Distaff with a 13 ½ length triumph, a BC record.  Smith also won the Juvenile aboard Unbridled’s Song.  The day, however, belonged to Cigar.  He completed an undefeated season of 10 straight wins with a rousing 2 ½ length victory under Jerry Bailey in the Classic, which also earned him Horse of the Year honors.  J. Bailey won his 3rd consecutive Classic.


October 28, 2004, Army Pfc. Stephen P. Downing II, 30, of Burkesville died fighting in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

October 28, 2007, Army Master Sgt. Thomas L. Bruner, 50, of Owensboro, died in Afghanistan, from a non-combat-related illness during Operation Enduring Freedom.

October 28, 2017, on his 5th try, Coach Mark Stoops beat Tennessee 29-26 in Lexington.  Tennessee’s Hail Mary pass on the game’s final play was caught, however Kentucky tackled the receiver on the 3-yard line.  Kentucky reached bowl eligibility for the 2nd consecutive season with the win.

On October 28, 2019, Governor M. Bevin and AG A. Beshear debated for the 4th time, this time on KET.  The mediator asked the governor if he thought he owed Kentucky teachers an apology.  He said no.  Between this blunder and firing his Lt. Governor, Matt lost and only served one term.  The Carpetbagger thought about running again for the next term, but polls shot down that thought.

On October 28, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 1,864 new cases, bringing the number to over 100,000 in Kentucky.  Meanwhile, the governor won a lawsuit over the salary of the Fish and Wildlife Commissioner, stating, “a win for the people of Kentucky, who deserve a fiscally responsible and transparent government.”

Positives:  1,864 / 101,494
Deaths:  14 / 1,442 – 1st Death 3/16/20
50&over:  1,404 / 49-30: 36 / 29&under: 2

On October 28, 2021, Toyota proposed a new $460.8 million expansion of its Georgetown manufacturing plant, already the company’s largest in the world.  The plans included a significant update that expanded the plant’s “ability to produce new products, including future electrification.”  The plant has made hybrid electric vehicles since 2006.  Georgetown had already announced the site for assembling fuel cell modules for use in hydrogen-powered heavy-duty commercial trucks starting in 2023.

October 28, 2022, while the bizarre story of Nancy Peolisi’s husband’s attack became public, a longtime Barbourville city council member and his drug dealing friend received a prison sentence for illegally dispensing drugs.  Calvin Manis, also a city pharmacist, handed out pain pills, knowing it was not the right thing to do.  The 74 -year-old received 28 years.