November 9, 1804, 23-year-old Richard Mentor Johnson of Georgetown became a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives, although he did not meet the Kentucky Constitution’s minimum age requirement of 24. His popularity led legislators to ignore the discrepancy and allowed him to take his seat. In 1806, voters sent him to the U.S. House of Representatives – the 1st Kentucky native elected to Congress. Once again, he didn’t meet the minimum age requirement of 25 years of age, but by the time Congress opened, he had reached the proper age. While in D.C. he left his wife, Julia Chinn, in charge of family matters.
November 9, 1827, Robert Patterson, who laid out the town of Lexington and who served in the 1st state government passed away. The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 713
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Martin Van Buren Bates, known as the Giant of Letcher County, born in Whitesburg in 1845. Normal size at birth; he grew to be 7’11” and 525 pounds. Although of peace-loving nature, he was a courageous officer in the Confederate Army, earning Captain’s rank. After the war, Martin did not return to Kentucky because of violent feuding between the Union and Confederate supporters. Reflecting, he said, “I’ve seen enough bloodshed; I didn’t want it anymore.” Instead, Captain Bates toured the U.S., Canada, England, and Europe, meeting Presidents Garfield, McKinley, and Queen Victoria on multiple occasions.
November 9, 1850, the Louisville Daily Journal reported that “Col. Richard Mentor Johnson is laboring under an attack of dementia, which renders him totally unfit for business. It is painful to see him on the floor attempting to discharge the duties of a member. He is incapable of properly exercising his physical or mental powers.” The paper was referring to his role as a member of the Kentucky House of Representatives. He died ten days after the article appeared.
Kentucky marshals abducted Calvin Fairbank on November 9, 1851, with Indiana Governor Joseph A. Wright’s permission and took him back to Kentucky for trial. He received 15 years. While imprisoned at Kentucky State Penitentiary in Frankfort, he got singled out for exceptionally harsh treatment, frequently flogged and overworked.
Kentucky Trivia: Kentucky convicted Calvin Fairbank, an American abolitionist and Methodist minister, twice of aiding escaped enslaved people and served a total of 19 years. Fairbank is believed to have aided 47 enslaved people to freedom.
November 9, 1866, Bourbon County native Kenner Garrard retired from the military. A brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War, he came from one of Ohio’s most prominent military families. He performed well at the Battle of Gettysburg and then led a cavalry division in the army of Major General William T. Sherman during the Atlanta Campaign.
November 9, 1894, Police Officer James Edward Phelps, Paducah Police Department, suffered a fatal heart attack while assisting at the scene of a fire. Officer Phelps had rushed into the burning building to help search it for anyone trapped inside. He collapsed after exiting the building and died.
November 9, 1938, Keeneland made their 1st charitable contribution. Two years after the first race, Keeneland had made a small profit, and therefore the Lexington Community Chest, a forerunner to the United Way, received $500.
November 9, 1953, Thompsonville native James Thomas Cotton Noe passed away. Kentucky’s 1st poet laureate, an honorary title he held from 1926 until his death. He published eight volumes of poetry before he passed in Beverly Hills, CA. Noe was laid to rest in the Lexington Cemetery.
November 9, 1966, Trooper Mack Edward Brady, Kentucky State Police, died in an automobile accident while responding to a call for assistance. He swerved to avoid a head-on collision after someone pulled into his path during an emergency run.
November 9, 1974, Forego ran two miles in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup. In only six weeks, Forego won the 1 1/2-mile Woodward Stakes, the seven-furlong Vosburgh Handicap, and finally the Gold Cup. At the end of the year, he became the only horse in history to win the Gold Cup and become champion sprinter in the same year.
November 9, 1977, the U.S. National Register of Historic Places accepted the John Andrew Miller House in Georgetown. In 1775, John Andrew Miller settled in Kentucky, and by 1785 he completed a sturdy home on 1,000 acres.
November 9, 1981, Kentucky bought a 120-year-old mansion in Daffenville, located outside Paducah, called the Smith Mansion. The state wanted to use it as a tourist information center. Locals had other ideas. They worked diligently to stop the state’s plans.
November 9, 1981, Governor John Y. Brown called Paul Patton at 6:00 p.m. and asked if he would take on the role as Chairman of the Democratic Party. Patton told the press he thought he was kidding at first. The front runner bowed out at the last minute.
November 9, 1999, Governor Paul E. Patton defeated Peppy Martin to win a 2nd term, continuing to be our 59th governor. This was the 1st election since the General Assembly changed the term limits law in 1992, allowing Patton to run again.
November 9, 2012, Hardinsburg native Bobbie Jordan passed away. Bobbie appeared in guest roles on The Odd Couple, Charlie’s Angels, Diff’rent Strokes, One Day at a Time, Quincy M.E., Nero Wolfe, Highway to Heaven, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Wild Wild West, Love, American Style, and Ironside. A talent scout discovered her singing while she waitressed in a CA restaurant.
On November 9, 2018, Kentucky Department of Education Commissioner Wayne Lewis said he would push the state legislature to pay for charter schools, despite considerable opposition from the state’s public school teachers and their allies.
On November 9, 2019, the Louisville Slugger Museum conducted its 16th annual auction, which included some extraordinary baseball history pieces. The once-in-a-lifetime 2019 auction had Mickey Mantle’s 1960 New York Yankees jersey valued between $150,000 and $300,000, Babe Ruth’s professional baseball bat used from 1928-1929 valued between $100,000 and $200,000, Ty Cobb’s bat from 1925-28 valued at $50,000 to $75,000, Shoeless Joe Jackson’s autographed bail bond from 1915 valued $40,000 to $60,000, Pete Rose’s home jersey valued up to $10,000, and much more. The memorabilia came from the Green Diamond Gallery Collection, which Mr. Bob Crotty amassed over 50 years.
On November 9, 2019, the Lexington-Herald Leader interviewed Dr. Philip Overall in the emergency room at St. Claire Hospital in Morehead. The article highlighted the doctor’s success in cutting opioid-prescription rates by half. The effort began at St. Claire Hospital, which stopped using opioids as its 1st response to pain. UK, the state health cabinet, and the Kentucky Hospital Association endorse the project.