TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

November 17, 1788, the first Masonic Lodge was established west of the Allegheny Mountains in Lexington.

November 17, 1834, Paris native William Lee Davidson Ewing, became the 5th governor of Illinois when Governor John Reynolds resigned from office.  Ewing was president of the senate at the time.  His term lasted less than a month but a year after leaving the governor’s office, Ewing was appointed to the U.S. Senate till 1837.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Governor J. Proctor Knott and Mary E. Forman, who wed in 1852.  Mary died during the couple’s first child’s birth.  Knott then married his cousin, Sarah R. McElroy, in 1858.  Governor Knott was our 29th governor and a native of Raywick in Marion County.

November 17, 1884, Police Officer James Edgar, of the Covington Police Department, succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four days earlier, when he and his partner attempted to arrest five men they had discovered burglarizing a grocery store.

November 17, 1894, The Daily Racing Forum printed their first edition.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Desha Breckinridge and Madeline McDowell, married in 1898.  The ceremony was a small, private wedding at the Ashland Estate in Lexington.  Desha was a lawyer and editor of the Lexington Herald, which his father owned at the time.  A Democrat, Breckinridge was frequently at odds with both parties in championing such causes as business regulation, child labor laws, education, prison reform, and women’s suffrage.  Madeline was Henry Clay’s Great-Granddaughter and leader of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and one of Kentucky’s leading progressive reformers; her work helped established Kentucky’s juvenile court system.  The two met while Madeline wrote book reviews for the Lexington Herald.  Through the pages of the newspaper, they became successful leaders of the Progressive Movement in Kentucky.

November 17, 1900, Kentucky State College (UK) played the Louisville YMCA and won 12-0.

November 17, 1920, Miss Lottie James becomes the first woman in Kentucky to sit on a jury.  Both sides in the murder trial accepted the decision the day before.

November 17, 1939, Keen Johnson became the 45th governor on his own right when he won election night, defeating Republican King Swope.  Johnson defeated Swope 460,834 votes to 354,704.  A month earlier U.S. Senator M.M. Logan died and Governor Chandler appointed himself to his senate seat, leaving Keen to become governor.

November 17, 1951, Army PVT Lester Hubbard from Clay County and Army SGT Melvin T. Whittaker from Warren County both died fighting in the Korean War.

November 17, 1965, Army PFC Jimmy F. Boren from Cadiz in Trigg County, Army PFC Robert L. Davis from Providence in Webster County, Army SP4 Jimmy Harris from Beattyville in Lee County and Army SP4 James C. Jackson from Oil Springs in Johnson County all died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 17, 1966, Marine Corps PFC Norman E. Guillaume, Jr. from Louisville died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 17, 1968, Army 1SG George C. Rowland from Owensboro died fighting in the Vietnam War.

November 17, 1971, Muhamad Ali (33-1) fought Buster Mathis (29-2) in the Houston Astrodome.  Mathis came in at 256 pounds and was overweight, while Ali was the heaviest he’d ever been.  It has been said that Ali took it easy on Mathis, hardly training for the fight, which went the distance.  Ali was criticized by some for not finishing Mathis.  But he said he would not hurt a man just for the benefit of the writers.  “I gotta sleep at night,” Ali said.

November 17, 1971, Shelby County native Dr. Alice N. Pickett passed away.  In the 1960s, when the Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times made a considerable contribution to the local Red Cross, they did so in her name to honor her years of service to the organization.  In 1957, the University of Kentucky bestowed upon her the Sullivan Medallion for Service. 
The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 721

November 17, 1981, a wrecking ball brought down Lexington’s Phoenix Hotel.  The Phoenix was demolished by Wallace Wilkinson, who had planned to build the World Coal Center skyscraper on the site.  It was never built, and the site eventually became the Park Plaza Apartments and Phoenix Park.

November 17, 1987, Springfield native Samuel Paul Derringer passed away.  Paul was a pitcher in MLB who played for three National League teams from 1931 to 1945, primarily with the Cincinnati Reds.  In 1958 Derringer was named a founding inductee into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.  He is a two-time World Series Champion.

November 17, 1990, Asbury Theological Seminary announced a gift of $38.9 million.  The gift was from Ralph Beeson an insurance executive.  It was the largest gift the school has received and almost doubles the $20 million permanent endowment.

November 17, 1995, Tim Couch broke the high school national record for passing yards ending the game with 11,871 yards.  Couch finished his career with national records for career passing yards (12,104 yards), career passing touchdowns (133), and career pass completions (872).  He also ranked second in career pass attempts (1,372) and seventh in career pass completion percentage (63.6 percent).  The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Couch made the Leslie County varsity football team as a seventh-grader and backed up his brother, Greg, as an eighth-grader before starting the next four seasons.

November 17, 2002, was the last day filming Seabiscuit at Keeneland.  The track was transformed into a depression-era Pimlico Race Course to recreate the famous match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral.  More than 4,200 people turned out in the cold to be unpaid extras in one of the movie’s climactic scenes.

November 17, 2003, more than one in four Kentucky schools failed to meet new academic standards required by the new federal “No child left behind” law.  The Kentucky Department of Education released the data showing 470 schools out of 1,179 failed to make “adequate yearly progress.”

November 17, 2004, Shane Ragland’s 2002 murder conviction where received 30 years was overturned.  He would later plead guilty to manslaughter on in 2007 and sentenced to time served – six years.

November 17, 1010, Overbrook Farm announced it would completely disperse its Thoroughbred yearlings, breeding stock and the majority of its horses in training, beginning at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale.  “Over a period of more than 30 years my father developed Overbrook Farm into one of the most successful and respected breeding operations in the world,” said Bill Young Jr.  “The decision to disperse is a personal one that came after a great deal of thought. I simply don’t have the same passion for the Thoroughbred sport that my father did, despite my respect for the business.”

November 17, 2010, Zenyatta announced her retirement, a little over a month after winning the Hollywood’s Grade I Lady’s Secret Stakes.  This was the third time she won the race and with this victory, she broke the all-time North American record for Grade/Group I victories by a filly/mare.  She also tied the all-time North American record for consecutive victories without defeat, and broke the all-time North American female earnings record.

November 18, 2012, seniors carried Joker Phillips off the field after beating Samford 34-3 in their final home game, while the band played My Old Kentucky Home.  For a night, UK could forget the empty stands, the losing record and Joking getting fired.     

Kentucky Trivia:  All three of Coach Phillips’s senior classes won their last home game.  The program hadn’t even seen two consecutive victories in home finales since 1976.

November 18, 2017, construction started on the first building of Lexington’s CentrePointe project more than nine years after the Webb Brothers announced the downtown project.  The three-story 700 space underground parking had been completed.

On November 18, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 2,931 positive coronavirus cases, the 3rd highest number of cases for a single day and 33 new deaths, the highest for a single day.  He also promised state-wide mandatory restrictions to be announced within hours.