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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On October 30, 1870, Robert Fox, an elderly mortician, his brother Samuel and a business partner, Horace Pearce, created the 1st rebellious civil right act in Kentucky, later heard in court.  They entered into a near-empty trolley car at Tenth 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 off to jail.  They eventually won in a federal court, and the civil rights battle had just begun.

Louisville Mule Drawn Streetcar, Portland Ave. ca 1900.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Perryville native Elizabeth Madox Roberts, born in 1881.  Elizabeth authored novels and stories set in Central Kentucky’s 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.

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

October 30, 1894, Portland native Mary Millicent Miller passed away in her hometown, the 1st American woman to acquire a steamboat master’s license.  When Miller applied for a license, the New Orleans Inspector of Hulls office was unsure if it could license a woman.  They believed it was improper for a woman to hold such a position and did not render a decision for eight months.  Finally, they sent her application to the Secretary of the Treasury in Washington, D.C.  Upon receiving her application Secretary Charles J. Folger was equally bewildered and to which he asked “has Mrs. Miller a husband living?”  In January 1884 Secretary Folger rendered his decision and telegraphed the New Orleans office that “Mrs. Miller should receive her license if she were fit for performing the duties required, without regard to her sex.”

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 attempting to arrest 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.

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-hour period 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.  You may know Ben by his TV game show, 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, 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 went to Texas for the 1st time, and Lone Star Park in suburban Dallas hosted.  The trainer and jockey combination of 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 lay in the rotunda of the nation’s Capital.  Supreme Court Justice R. B. Ginsburg became the 2nd female to receive the honor in 2020.

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

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.  The Commonwealth announced on the same day 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 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.

October 30, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 1,941 new cases of the coronavirus, putting the state on track for yet 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 to campaign.

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