Kentucky Trivia

October 28, 1811, the first 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 was aboard, 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 was put into effect when federal commander Stephen G. Burbridge issued a proclamation asking Kentuckians to sell surplus hogs to the U.S. government. Farmers, who had to sell to the designated contractors, sustained losses estimated at $300,000 during the month the program was in effect.  President Abraham Lincoln soon 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.  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 the 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.

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

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, 1912, the first Governor’s Cup took place when Louisville traveled to Lexington and played football on Stoll Field.  Kentucky won 41-0.

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.

Localtonians wishes 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 number-one 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, M.W. Chuck Thomas was carried to his grave in antebellum plantation splendor with two white horses.  Singers and more than 1,000 friends followed the procession up a quarter-mile corridor hanging flowers on fence rows to a lonely grave in an open field.  The funeral carried out to Thomas’s wishes was a throwback to days preceding his youth when the plantation masters were buried with showy but graceful dignity.  Thomas was master of the 3,000-acre farm known as Thomas Territory with 16 miles of highway frontage in Lyon, Trigg, Caldwell and Christian Counties.


October 28, 1981, Columbia native William Lance Burton appeared on the Johnny Carson Show for the first time.  He was invited back for ten performances while Johnny Carson was the host and another ten performances during Jay Leno’s tenure.  The magician was a big hit on late-night television and elsewhere.  He performed more than 15,000 shows in Las Vegas for over 5,000,000 people, and in 2010 he ended his 31-year Vegas show.

October 28, 1981, Columbia native William Lance Burton appeared on the Johnny Carson Show for the first time.  He was invited back for ten performances while Johnny Carson was the host and another ten during Jay Leno’s tenure. The magician was a big hit on late-night television and elsewhere.  He performed more than 15,000 shows in Las Vegas for over 5,000,000 people, and in 2010 he ended his 31-year Vegas show.

October 28, 1990, Louisville native Jodie Mudd wins the $2.5 million Nabisco Championship in Houston.  Mudd sank three straight birdies, including one on the first hole of a playoff, to earn the first-place paycheck of $450,000 in the world’s richest golf tournament.  This win brought his 1990 earnings to $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, 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 third-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 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 Breeders’ Cup record for margin of victory.  Smith also won the Juvenile aboard Unbridled’s Song.  But the day belonged to Cigar, who completed an undefeated season of 10 straight wins with a rousing 2 ½ length victory under Jerry Bailey in the Classic which earned Cigar the Horse of the Year title.  It was Bailey’s third consecutive Classic win.


October 29, 1996, offshore apparel manufacturing took another bite out of Kentucky employment as OshKosh B’Gosh, Inc. announced it will close its children clothing plant in Columbia.  The 411 jobs lost are 5.5% of all the jobs in Adair County.  The state lost 4,000 apparel jobs from 1991 to 1996.

October 29, 1996, a Moore High School football player was arrested on a fourth-degree assault charge after he allegedly hit an official during a Friday night game.  The referee of the Class AAA district game took out the warrant against the 18-year-old who was released on a $5,000 bond.

October 28, 2004, Army Pfc. Stephen P. Downing II, 30, of Burkesville was killed by small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Ramadi, Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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

October 28, 2017, on his fifth try, Coach Mark Stoops and his Kentucky Wildcats take down Tennessee 29-26 in Lexington.  Tennessee’s Hail Mary pass on the game’s final play was caught, but the receiver was tackled at Kentucky’s 3-yard line.  Kentucky reached bowl eligibility for the second consecutive season with the win.

October 28, 2020, Kentucky confirms over 100,000 cases of coronavirus with 64 counties have severe enough community spread of the virus to be labeled in the “red zone.”