Kentucky Trivia

On October 30, 1870, Robert Fox, an elderly mortician, his brother Samuel and a business partner, Horace Pearce, created the first rebellious civil right act in Kentucky, which was later heard in court.  They entered into a near-empty trolley car at Tenth and Walnut on the Central Passenger line outside the Quinn Chapel in Louisville.  For black city dwellers, riding a trolley was no ordinary act.  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 on the scene.  The officers quickly arrested the three men for disorderly conduct and hauled them off to jail.  They eventually won in a federal court, but the civil rights battle had not begun.


Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Perryville native Elizabeth Madox Roberts, born in 1881.  Elizabeth was an author whose novels and stories were 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 wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Florence Katherine Shoemaker Thompson Riney, born in 1892.  Sheriff Riney was the first female sheriff in the U.S. to carry out an execution.  Rainey Bethea hung in Daviess County and it was Florence’s job to see the execution through.

October 30, 1894, Portland native Mary Millicent Miller passed away in her hometown.  Mary was the first 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 be granted 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, was shot and killed 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’ unit was fighting an entrenched group of elite German mountain soldiers, and they were losing badly — 55 of 88 men in his company had been lost by noon.  But that didn’t make Ross weary; instead, he pushed even harder to prevail.  For his efforts, the young man from Strunk, Army Pvt. Wilburn Ross, received the Medal of Honor.

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 wishes 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) fights an undefeated George Foreman in Mai 20 Stadium, Kinshasa, Zaire, now  the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  “The 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.”  But they underestimated Ali’s skills.  Ali leaned on the ropes and let Foreman punch himself out, which he did by the end of the seventh 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 was again world heavyweight champion.

October 30, 1980, Pulaski County residents, specifically the 268 who live over Sloans Valley Cave, the second-longest cavern in Kentucky and the 14th longest in the U.S., voiced concern over a proposed landfill nearby.  The residents claim the landfill would pollute the wells and the cave, which is nominated as a national natural landmark.

October 30, 1982, prosecutors accused Harlan County Sherriff Paul L. Browning Jr. of lying about his military record and sex life.  Browning who was on trial in Boyle Circuit Court on two counts of conspiracy to commit murder and one count of second-degree arson, denied the accusations, which his lawyers called “character assassination.”  The 37-year-old sheriff was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison.

October 30, 1995, Richard Frey, the straight-arrow ex-Marine who returned law and order to the Jefferson County jail system goes on trial in U.S. District Court, facing a potential lengthy prison term for alledgly taking nearly $200,000 in bribes from private prison operators.  He was found guilty in November.  It is not clear if he ended up in a private prison.

October, 30, 2003, gubernatorial hopefuls Ben Chandler and U.S. Representative Ernie Fletcher both cut wide swaths across the state in last minute hectic campaigning to replace Governor Patton.

October 30, 2004, the 21st Breeders’ Cup came to Texas for the first time at Lone Star Park in suburban Dallas.  The trainer and jockey combination of Todd Pletcher and John Velazquez won two races.  The four-year-old Ghostzapper capped off the day with a brilliant performance in the Classic, winning it wire-to-wire for jockey Javier Castellano and trainer Bobby Frankel.  The victory earned Ghostzapper the Horse of the Year crown.


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

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

October 30, 2008, Governor Steve Beshear announced that Kentucky would see a $294 million revenue shortfall and a tax increase and/or more spending cuts to an already lean state budget.  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 Miss World in Sanya, China.  Mills was the third woman from the U.S. to win Miss World.

Friday, October 30, 2015, the 32nd Breeders’ Cup World Championships was a homecoming.  For the first time BC returned to the city where it was born, and a record crowd filled Keeneland Race Course for two days.  Driven by the popularity of American Pharoah, ratings for the Breeders’ Cup Classic on NBC were the highest in 20 years.  It was one of the most competitive renewals of the World Championships.  The 161 starters in the 13 races included 25 horses from overseas.  Four races were held on this day and nine races Saturday.

Dirt Mile
Juvenile Turf

October 30, 2018,  Andy Barr and Amy McGrath exchanged sharp jabs on several topics at their first 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, had more reported infections.  Meanwhile Trump and Biden hit the road on their last days to campaign.