TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Shepherdsville native James Turner Morehead, born in 1797 in Bullitt County.  James was our 12th Governor and served a term as U.S. Senator.

May 24-25, 1840, there was a grand celebration of Kentucky’s first settlement at Boonesborough in Madison County.  7-10,000 people attended, 3,000 were ladies.  Governor Wickliffe reviewed 11 military companies.  Mrs. French, a daughter of Col. Richard Calloway, kidnapped by Native Americans, was also in attendance, so to were other pioneers.  A great torrent of rain caused havoc on the festivities.

Wednesday, May 24, 1905, Tanya won the 39th Belmont Stakes, the first running at Belmont Park.  Tanya became the second filly to win the race.  The distance was 1 1/4 mile and she went off as the favorite at 2-1 over six other colts.  The net value to the winner was $16,240.  It would take another century before another filly would win when Rags to Riches won in 2007.  As a two-year-old, Tanya won the Hopeful, National Stallion and Spinaway Stakes.

May 24, 1935, Springfield native and Reds pitcher Paul Derringer started the first night game in major league history, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2–1; President Franklin D. Roosevelt turned on the stadium lights from the White House.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Nicholasville native Donald Alan “Don” Brumfield, born in 1938.  Brumfield was the “track all-time leading rider in terms of races won (925) at Churchill Downs, where he won 16 riding titles.  His record was later broken by Pat Day.

May 24, 1951, Army 1LT Randall G. Sammons from Fayette County and Army PFC Willie Beckley from Jefferson County died in the Korean War.

May 24, 1960, Patrolman Delmar Whitworth, Sr., Jefferson County Police Department, was killed in an automobile accident while responding to a call. The patrol car crossed the center median and struck another car head-on.

May 24, 1967, Army SP4 William J. Scherle from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

May 24, 1968, Army SP4 Larry R. McFadden from Paintsville in Johnson County and Marine Corps PFC Jerry L. Hilbert from Jefferson County died in the Vietnam War.

May 24, 1969, Army SFC Orville Hampton from Cattlesburg in Boyd County and Army PFC Gary A. Wallace from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

May 24, 1971, Glasgow native Denny Doyle hit a home run in a game versus the Cincinnati Reds pitched by Gary Nolan.  This is notable as it was the only hit in the game.  Doyle has the distinction of having the only hit in three one-hitters in his career.  This was the second of the three games.

May 24, 1976, Muhammad Ali (52-2) fought Richard Dunn (33-9) in Olympic Hall, Munich, West Germany.  Ali’s skills were waning, and Dunn fought hard.  But Ali knocked him down five times in five rounds before the fight was called.  Dunn was the last fighter Ali would knock down.  After the fight, Ali donated his gloves to a British boxer who had lost his eye.  Inside the gloves it was written: “Ali wins” in one, and “Round five” in the other.

May 24, 1981, Louisville surgeon Dr. Walter Hume, Jr. speaks out on the spiraling cost of hospital stays in Kentucky and elsewhere in the U.S.  The daily hospital bill of an average patient has doubled in the past five years.  To compound the issue, Kentucky Department of Insurance approved a rate hike for Blue Cross to raise plans 25%.

May 24, 1988, Carrie Dalton, a former state prison teacher, turned herself in to the State Police.  She shocked media, friends, and colleagues when she allegedly helped a convicted killer escape and joined him on the run.

Kentucky Trivia:  In 1983, 8,525 people were locked up in jails or prisons.  In 2015 that number became 33,025, a 287% increase.  Black people are 9% of Kentucky’s population; however, they make up 20% of the people locked up.  Since 1980, the number of women in jails has increased by 1,694%, and in prisons, 2,317%.

May 24, 1997, Affirmed broke his maiden at Belmont Park.  He followed up his first win by taking the Youthful Stakes on June 15, where he defeated Alydar by eight lengths.

May 24, 2001, preliminary findings pointed to cyanide poisoning from caterpillars as the cause for losses of foals and fetuses on Kentucky horse farms.  The leaves of the Black Cherry trees contained cyanide.  The leaves likely were eaten by caterpillars, which have immunity to the poison.  The cyanide caused more than 500 cases of stillbirths and deaths of newborn thoroughbred foals.

May 24, 2007, President G.W. Bush nominated Cardiologist Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr. to serve as the new U.S. Surgeon General.  Holsinger’s nomination became controversial over anti-gay bias, and the Senate never voted on him.  Dr. Holsinger served as secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services for Kentucky and was chancellor of the UK Chandler Medical Center for nine years.  He graduated from biblical studies from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore.

May 24, 2020, Kentucky native Garlin “Muri” Conner earned his Medal of Honor in 1945, but it wasn’t till 2018 when President D. Trump awarded it to his widow.  He finally got his due after family and friends campaigned for 22 years to prove he deserved America’s highest military honor.  At the conclusion, Mrs. Conner stated, “I have learned more about what he had done after he passed away than I did the whole entire 58 years I lived with him.”

May 24, 2020, calling it a “vile” and “shameful” act, Kentucky Republicans and Democrats swiftly condemned the effigy of Governor Andy Beshear that protestors hanged from a tree following a Second Amendment rally.  A sign on the effigy said, “sic semper tyrannis,” which translates to “thus always to tyrants,” a phrase used by John Wilkes Booth after shooting President Lincoln.