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Kentucky Trivia

On November 8, 1789, folklore says that Elijah Craig distilled the 1st Bourbon Whiskey from corn in Bourbon County.

November 8, 1805, John Adair began his 1st day as Kentucky’s 4th Class III Senator.  He would become our 8th governor 15 years later.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Lazarus W. Powell, Kentucky’s 19th governor, and his wife, Harriet Ann Jennings, who married in 1839.  The couple had three sons before Harriet died on July 30, 1846.

November 8, 1861, the Battle of Ivy Mountain began in Floyd County.  General William “Bull” Nelson, Union Commander in Northeastern Kentucky, tried to break up a large Confederate recruiting camp in Prestonsburg.  In the 1st major clash in Eastern Kentucky, the Confederates took up positions and waited in ambush.  The North won when the Rebels retreated after an estimated 293 total casualties (US 30; CS 263).

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Henry Stephenson Hale and Virginia Adelaide Gregory, who married in 1865.  Henry, was a Confederate officer, state senator, and state treasurer.  As Kentucky’s state treasure, he instituted a requirement, later made law, to make banks pay interest on state deposits.

November 8, 1902, Kentucky State College Blue and White football (UK) lost to the Louisville YMCA team, 0-17.

November 8, 1902, Marshal Nicholas Hopperton of the Independence Police Department, died throwing a man out of town for being drunk.  As the marshal escorted the man to the town line, the man suddenly opened fire with his shotgun.

November 8, 1911, President W.H. Taft visited Frankfort, where he unveiled the 14-foot bronze statue of Lincoln in the rotunda of the then-new Kentucky Capitol.  Sculptor Adolph Alexander Weinman, a German immigrant, created the 16,000-18,000-pound sculpture underwritten by James Breckinridge Speed at the request of Republican Governor Augustus Willson, who thought the new seat of Kentucky government needed a statue in the rotunda.  He then boarded a special train where he switched tracks in Lexington on his way to Hodgenville.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lamasco native Dale Faughn from Lyon County, born in 1925.  Besides being the 1986 Kentucky Poet Laureate, his other accolades include the National Teachers Hall of Fame of 1998 and winner of the George Washington Honor Medal Award for his poem I Met the Flag at Iwo Jima.

Localtonians remembers Edward G. Hill, who died in 1937, a Louisville resident and Kentucky’s 2nd Poet Laureate in 1928.

November 8, 1947, Henry Clay played Lafayette at Stoll Field, their 1st meeting ever.  Henry Clay was the longstanding power of the 20-team Central Kentucky Conference, and Lafayette was in its 2nd season.  They billed the game as the Battle of the Season, with an expected record-breaking 10,000 in attendance; however, the hard rain kept it to 5,000.  The Blue Devils coasted to a 28-6 win.  The loss ended the Generals’ season at 2-6.  Henry Clay beat Somerset the following week, wrapping up its season at 5-3.

On November 8, 1949, Carrie Conn Moore of Simpson County became the 1st woman elected to the Kentucky Senate.  Kentucky held a special election to fill the seat created by the death of her husband, J. Lee Moore.

November 8, 1950, Army CPL Paul C. Farmer from Whitley County died fighting in the Korean War.

November 8, 1951, Army PVY Emanuel R. Merida from Knox County died fighting in the Korean War.

November 8, 1952, Air Force CAPT Fred H. Garrison from Lebanon in Marion County died fighting in the Korean War.

November 8, 1952, Patrolman Alvin Lee Keown, Jefferson County Police Department, died when he responded to a gun call at a tavern located at Seventh and Arcade in Louisville.  When the suspect fled out the back door, he confronted Patrolman Keown and shot him.

November 8, 1965, Army SGM Thomas E. Thayer from Jefferson County and Army PFC Danny R. Ward from Beauty in Martin County both died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 8, 1965, American Airlines Flight 383 crashed into a Constance hillside in Boone County, trying to land in the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Airport.  Sixty-two people were on board, including four Kentuckians.  One crew member and three passengers survived. 

November 8, 1967, Kentuckians voted.  Henry Ward became the 1st Democratic nominee for governor to lose a general election since 1943.  He lost to Louie B. Nunn, the 52nd governor.  A Republican would not win again for the next thirty-six years, until Ben Chandler, Happy Chandler’s grandson, lost in 2003 to Republican Ernie Fletcher.

November 8, 1967, Army PFC William L. Juett from Owenton died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 8, 1968, Marine Corps PFC Floyd A. Stinson from Lexington died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 8, 1970, a full-scale investigation began into the Kentucky educational conditions.  The Kentucky Education Association (KEA) requested the study when the general assembly failed to pass most of the KEA’s 1970 legislative proposals.

November 8, 1970, John Gulley demonstrated his electric car in Henry County, which he said was ready for mass production.  His vehicle was a noiseless smooth, riding electric automobile emitting no fumes to befoul the air.

On November 8, 1972, someone found the body of former Marine James Willett, from Bardstown, in a shallow California grave.  He had been shot and decapitated.  The police tracked his car to the home of the Charles Manson Family members.

November 8, 1983, Bagdad native Martha Layne Collins defeated Jim Bunning with 54.50% of the vote, to become the 1st female Kentucky governor.

November 8, 1988, Kentuckians voted.  We approved the lottery amendment by a vote of 694,577 to 446,937 despite the opposition by the Coalition Against a State Lottery funded by the Southern Baptists and United Methodists.  Ex-CIA head George H.W. Bush defeated Michael Dukaksis for the presidency.

November 8, 1994, two teenagers robbed a bank on their day off from school in Lexington.

November 8, 1997, the 14th Breeders’ Cup turned out to be too predictable as favorites won five of the seven races.  Patrick Byrne won the Juvenile Fillies with Countess Diana and the Juvenile with Favorite Trick.  Trainer Jenine Sahadi and rider Corey Nakatani combined again to win the Sprint, this time with the 7-year-old gelding Elmhurst.  Foreign horses won the turf races.  The Classic was all Skip Away who dominated by a record six lengths at the time.  In a close vote, Favorite Trick received Horse of the Year honors.


November 8, 2010, a Whitley County grand jury returned a 21-count indictment against Sheriff Lawrence “Larry” Hodge while still Sheriff.  In 2011, Hodge received 15.5 years in federal prison for drug trafficking, money laundering, and extorting people he arrested.  Williamsburg attorney Ronnie “Ron” W. Reynolds received three years for his part in the crimes.  Kentucky state auditors determined he stole at least $200,000 or misplaced it.

November 8, 2011, Governor S. Beshear won a landslide re-election over Senate President D. Williams, capping a remarkable four-decade run in Kentucky politics.  Beshear led Williams with 56% to 35% and Gatewood Galbraith received 9% of the vote.

On November 8, 2016, Larry L. Brown defeated Greg Stumbo.  Governor M. Bevin, who strongly opposed Stumbo and vice versa, remarked, “good riddance…he will not be missed one bit.  Kentucky will be better for his absence.”  Stumbo had served in the House for more than 30 years.

Kentucky Trivia:  Republicans took majorities in the House and Senate in 2016.  Democrats had held a majority of the House since 1921.  This election saw a 60% voter turnout.

November 8, 2017, Dry Ridge Representative Brian Linder confirmed he was one of the legislators, along with Jeff Hoover, who signed a confidentiality settlement with a legislative staff member who alleged sexual harassment.  The other members of the confidentiality settlement were Rep. Jim DeCesare of Rockfield, Rep. Michael Meredith of Brownsville, and Hoover’s chief of staff Ginger Wells.

November 8, 2018, the financial condition of Kentucky’s pension fund for most state workers got a bit worse in 2017.  The pension fund for state employees in nonhazardous jobs had only 12.9% of the money expected to pay future benefits, down from a funding level of 13.6% reported the previous year.

On November 8, 2020, the U.S. surpassed 10 million infections, with the last million added in 10 days.  Kentucky reported its highest positive cases for one week since the pandemic began.  Governor A. Beshear, “The rampant spread will continue to take more Kentuckians; let’s come together as Team Kentucky to defeat the virus.”

Positives:  1,177 / 120,838
Deaths:  4 / 1,565 – 1st Death 3/16/20
50&over: 1,525 / 49-30: 38 / 29&under: 2

November 8, 2021, the school district of Fayette County claimed the new middle school would cost 49% more than previously thought for a new total of $70.5 million due to material cost and inflation.  Meanwhile, the Hazard High School principal received a written reprimand from its district for throwing a “Man Pageant” during homecoming festivities.  In Frankfort, the state reported the 10,000th death from coronavirus.

On November 8, 2022, we learned two former employees of WKYT sued the station and the parent company after they fired them for not taking the experimental vaccine.  They claimed it violated the Title VII Civil Rights Act, the American Disability Act, the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, and the Kentucky Wage and Hour Act.