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Kentucky Trivia

On October 30, 1870, Robert Fox, an elderly mortician, his brother Samuel, and a business partner, Horace Pearce, created the 1st Rebellious Civil Rights Act in Kentucky, later heard in court.  They entered into a near-empty trolley car at 10th and Walnut.  For black city dwellers, riding a trolley was no ordinary act.  On the contrary, it was a challenge to the entire social order.  Before long, a cluster of white drivers surrounded the three black men and began kicking them and shouting racial slurs.  Then they dragged them off the trolley into the street.  A crowd seemed ready to erupt in violence just as three police officers arrived.  The officers quickly arrested the three black men for disorderly conduct and hauled them to jail.  They eventually won in a federal court, but the civil rights battle had just begun. 

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Perryville native Elizabeth Madox Roberts, born in 1881.  Elizabeth authored novels and stories set in Washington County.  Her works included The Time of Man (1926), My Heart and My Flesh, The Great Meadow (1930), and A Buried Treasure (1931).  Robert Penn Warren called The Time of Man a classic Washington County.   

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Florence Katherine Shoemaker Thompson Riney, born in 1892.  Sheriff Riney is known as the 1st female sheriff who carried out an execution when Rainey Bethea hung in Daviess County.

On October 30, 1893, Robert Harrison, the original landowner of the farm that became Elmendorf, died in his home by an assassin.  The Maysville paper Evening Bulletin headline said a “Crank” shot him.  His son Carter Harrison, Jr. (1860–1953) became mayor of Chicago four years after his father’s murder and served five terms.

October 30, 1894, Portland native Mary Millicent Miller died in her hometown, the 1st American woman to acquire a steamboat master’s license.  When Miller applied for the permit, the New Orleans Inspector waited eight months before deciding; they thought it improper for a woman to hold the position.  When Secretary Charles Folger of the Treasury Department finally received it, he was equally bewildered and asked, “Has Mrs. Miller have a living husband?  He made his decision and telegraphed the New Orleans office, “Mrs. Miller should receive her license if she is fit for performing the duties required, without regard to her sex.  

On October 30, 1899, the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded the city of Newport $26,500 to construct a new library at 401 Monmouth Street.  Today, the former Carnegie Library hosts the Carnegie Hall Event Center.  A new library structure for Newport opened in 2004. 

October 30, 1918, Patrolman Preston Pullen, Lexington Police Department, died from a gunshot while arresting a man who had just robbed a local store.  The suspect and another man had just committed the armed robbery but had been chased by the store clerk.

October 30, 1922, 13 Native American skulls, with eight or nine complete skeletons, implements, ornaments, pottery, and remains of birds and animals, were found in the Hines Cave 10 miles from Burnside in Wayne County.  The University of Kentucky scientist who excavated the site estimated the remains to be thousands of years old.

On October 30, 1944, McCreary County native Wilburn Ross earned the Medal of Honor.  The young man from Strunk single-handedly took out nearly 60 Germans in a five hours in 1944, saving his depleted company from an elite German force.

October 30, 1951, Army PVT Leonard L. Burton from Pulaski County died fighting in the Korean War.

October 30, 1969, Air Force MSGT Clyde J. Bennett from Auburn in Logan County died fight in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Bowling Green native Ben Bailey, born in 1970, host of the fun TV gameshow Cash Cab.

October 30, 1971, Army SSG Darrell Hogan from Brownsville in Edmonson County died fighting in the Vietnam War.

October 30, 1974, Muhammad Ali (45-2) fought an undefeated George Foreman in Mai 20 Stadium, Kinshasa, Zaire, now two different countriesThe Rumble in the Jungle was one of Ali’s greatest moments.  It’s where rope-a-dope made its way into America’s lexicon.  Many thought Ali, at 32, was a fading star and that powerful Foreman would have his way with The Greatest.  They underestimated Ali’s skills.  Ali leaned on the ropes and let Foreman punch himself out, which he did by the end of the 7th round.  In Round 8, Ali dropped Foreman with a pair of combinations, the final right hand sending the exhausted champion to the canvas.   Foreman didn’t get up in time, and Ali regained the world heavyweight championship. 

October 30, 1980, Pulaski County residents, specifically the 268 who lived over Sloans Valley Cave, the 2nd-longest cavern in Kentucky and the 14th longest in the U.S., voiced concern over a proposed landfill nearby.  Locals wanted the proposed national natural landmark free of pollution for the cave’s wells.

October 30, 1982, prosecutors accused Harlan County Sherriff Paul L. Browning Jr. of lying about his military record and sex life.  Browning, on trial in Boyle Circuit Court on two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of second-degree arson, denied the accusations and claimed “character assassination.”  The 37-year-old sheriff received ten years in prison.

On October 30, 1995, Richard Frey, the straight-arrow ex-Marine who returned law and order to the Jefferson County jail system, went on trial in U.S. District Court.  He broke laws working with private prisons.  They found him guilty in November.  It is not clear if he ended up in a private prison.

On October 30, 1997, Sheikh Mohammed announced that he would acquire his 1st farm in the Bluegrass area, the historic Raceland Farm in Paris, to house his weanling operation.  The 650-acre nursery, steeped in history and tradition, was owned by Catesby Woodford, a wealthy Paris, Kentucky distiller who became President of the Race Horse Owners’ and Trainers’ Association and whose New York Times obituary regarded him as the “dean of Kentucky sportsmen.”

On October 30, 2003, gubernatorial hopefuls Ben Chandler and U.S. Representative Ernie Fletcher cut vast swaths across the state in hectic last-minute campaigning to replace Governor P. Patton, who had governed for eight years.

October 30, 2004, Breeders’ Cup visited Texas for the 1st time, at Lone Star Park in suburban Dallas. Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez won two races.  Four-year-old Ghostzapper capped the day off with a brilliant wire-to-wire win in the Classic, and later, Horse of the Year honors.  Javier Castellano and trainer Bobby Frankel had a good day.  


October 30, 2005, Rosa Parks became the 1st female to lie in the rotunda of the nation’s Capital.  Supreme Court Justice R. B. Ginsburg became the 2nd female to receive the honor in 2020.

On October 30, 2005, the Louisville Zoo hosted the last night of the “World’s Largest Halloween Party,” a 24-year-old event that drew over 80,000 people.

On October 30, 2006, Joe Pesci took top billing at the Breeders’ Cup kick-off luncheon in the Galt House.  He spoke about his passion for horse racing and his horse Pesci, who was in foal to Ghostzapper.

On October 30, 2008, Governor S. Beshear announced Kentucky’s $294 million revenue shortfall and a new tax increase.  Advocates for Human Services and Education stated more cuts would be devastating.  On the same day, the Commonwealth announced the Ford Motor Company would receive an $80 million tax break to refurbish the Louisville plant. 

October 30, 2010, Louisville native Alexandria Nichole Mills became the 3rd U.S. woman named Miss World.  She won her crown in Sanya, China.

On October 30, 2014, The Joe B. and Denny Show ended after WVLK-FM, the Lexington station from which Hall did his portion of the show, announced a format change.  The show began in 2004.  

On Friday, October 30, 2015, the 32nd Breeders’ Cup World Championships came home for the 1st time, and a record crowd filled Keeneland Race Course for two days.  Driven by American popularity of American Pharoah, ratings for the BC Classic on NBC were the highest in 20 years.  Moreover, it was one of the most competitive renewals of the World Championships.  The 161 starters in the 13 races included 25 horses from overseas.  Friday held four races, and they raced nine on Saturday.

Dirt Mile
Juvenile Turf

October 30, 2018, A. Barr and A. McGrath exchanged sharp jabs on several topics at their 1st and only debate a week before the election.  The two candidates together had the personality of one gnat; both dull corporate tools ready to serve the same donors regardless of who won.  

On October 30, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 1,941 new coronavirus cases, putting the state on track for another record-setting week of new infections.  Only one other day, October 7, reported more infections.  Meanwhile, Trump and Biden hit the road on their last days of campaigning.

Positives:  1,941 / 105,242
Deaths:  15 / 1,476 – 1st Death 3/16/20
50&over: 1,437 / 49-30: 37 / 29&under: 2

On October 30, 2021, Governor A. Beshear “tweeted,”  Now more than ever, Kentucky needs a multi-faceted and skilled workforce to support an economy that’s on fire. I delivered $10 million to the Johnson Co. Board of Education to fund the construction of a new Local Area Vocational Education Center.

October 30, 2022, Thomas Massie “tweeted,”  While we’re having a national discussion about rhetoric and vilification of political opponents, let me remind you that Pelosi herself called me a “dangerous nuisance” on national TV for merely asking for a recorded vote on the biggest spending bill in history.

On October 30, 2022, Police Officer Logan K. Medlock, London Police Department, died when a drunk driver struck his patrol car at the intersection of KY 229 and South Main Street at 12:50 a.m.