Kentucky Trivia

November 8, 1789, folklore claims that Bourbon Whiskey was first distilled from corn by Elijah Craig in Bourbon County.

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

Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to the 19th Governor Lazarus W. Powell and his wife, Harriet Ann Jennings, 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, was ordered to break up a large Confederate recruiting camp in Prestonsburg.  In what would be the first major clash in eastern Kentucky, the Confederates took up positions at this site, where they waited in ambush.  It was considered a win for the Union when the Rebels retreated.  There were an estimated 293 total casualties (US 30; CS 263).

Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Henry Stephenson Hale and Virginia Adelaide Gregory, married in 1865.  Henry was a confederate officer, state senator and state treasurer.  As Kentucky’s State Treasurer, he instituted a requirement, later made law, that banks pay interest on state deposits!  Henry and Virginia had seven children.

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

November 8, 1902, Marshal Nicholas Hopperton of the Independence Police Department, was shot and killed by a man he was attempting to throw out of town for being drunk.  As the marshal escorted the man to the town line the man suddenly opened fire with his shotgun.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Lamasco native Dale Faughn from Lyon County, born in 1925.  Mr. Faughn was Kentucky’s Poet Laureate in 1986, along with numerous other accolades such as a member of 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, a Louisville resident and Kentucky’s second Poet Laureate in 1928, who died in 1937.

November 8, 1947, Henry Clay played Lafayette at Stoll Field.  It was the first meeting ever on the football field between the city-county rivals.  Henry Clay was the longstanding power of the 20-team Central Kentucky Conference, and Lafayette was in only its second season.  The game was billed as the “battle of the season,” and it was expected to have the largest crowd ever to see a high school game in Lexington. 10,000 people were expected, but rain kept the crowd to 5,000 shivering fans.  The Blue Devils coasted to a 28-6 win.  The loss ended the Generals’ season at 2-6. The following week, Henry Clay beat Somerset, wrapping up its season at 5-3.

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, was shot and killed when he responded to a gun call at a tavern located at Seventh and Arcade in Louisville.  The suspect was fleeing out of the back door when he confronted Patrolman Keown and shot him.

November 8, 1965, American Airlines Flight 383 crashed into a Constance hillside, in Boone County, as it made its approach for landing in Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Airport.   Sixty-two people were on board the flight, four of whom were Kentuckians.  One crew member and three passengers survived.

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, 1966, Henry Ward was the first Democratic nominee for governor to lose a general election since 1943 when he lost to Louie B. Nunn who became 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 educational conditions in Kentucky. The investigation was requested by the Kentucky Educational Association (KEA) when the general assembly failed to past 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 car was a noiseless smooth riding electric automobile emitting no fumes to befoul the air.

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

November 8, 1983, Martha Layne Collins defeated nominee Jim Bunning with 54.50% of the vote, becoming the first female governor of Kentucky.

November 8, 1994, two teenagers rob 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 six lengths, the largest Classic-winning margin to date.  In a close vote, Favorite Trick was later named Horse of the Year.


November 8, 2010, a Whitley County grand jury returned a 21-count indictment against Sheriff Lawrence “Larry” Hodge, while he was still Sheriff.  In 2011, Hodge received 15.5 years in federal prison for drug trafficking, money laundering and extorting persons arrested by his department.  Williamsburg attorney Ronnie “Ron” W. Reynolds received three years in federal prison for his part in the crimes.  Kentucky state auditors determined at least $200,000 had been stolen or was otherwise missing from Sheriff Hodge’s official accounts.

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

November 8, 2016, Greg Stumbo was defeated by challenger Larry L. Brown.  Governor Bevin, who had 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 State 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 has only 12.9% of the money it’s expected to need to pay future benefits.  That was down from a funding level of 13.6% reported the previous year.