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Kentucky Trivia

November 17, 1788, Lexington established the 1st Masonic Lodge west of the Allegheny Mountains.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Governor J. Proctor Knott and Mary E. Forman, who wed in 1852.  Mary died during the couple’s 1st 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 1st edition.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Desha Breckinridge and Madeline McDowell, who married in 1898.  The ceremony was a small, private wedding at the Ashland Estate in Lexington.  Desha was a lawyer and editor for 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, a leader in the Women’s Suffrage Movement, and one of Kentucky’s leading progressive reformers; her work helped establish 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) defeated the Louisville YMCA 12-0.

November 17, 1920, Miss Lottie James became the 1st woman in Kentucky to sit on a jury.  Both sides in the murder trial accepted the decision the day before the trial started. 

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

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.  Some said Ali took it easy on Mathis, hardly training for the fight, which went the distance.  Some criticized Ali 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,” said Ali.

November 17, 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that Kentucky legislators could not make school officials post a copy of the Ten Commandments (purchased with private contributions) in every public classroom.  The High Court said it violated the 1st Amendment’s establishment clause, the separation of church and state.

November 17, 1981, a wrecking ball brought down Lexington’s historical Phoenix Hotel.  Future governor Wallace Wilkinson oversaw destruction and had planned to build the World Coal Center skyscraper on the site.  It never got built, and the land eventually became the Lexington Public Library, Park Plaza Apartments, and Phoenix Park.

November 17, 1987, Springfield native and two-time World Series Champion Samuel Paul Derringer passed away.  Paul pitched for three National League teams from 1931 to 1945, primarily with the Cincinnati Reds.  In 1958, he became a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame.

November 17, 1990, Asbury Theological Seminary announced a $38.9 million gift.  Ralph Beeson, an insurance executive, gave the largest gift the school had ever received, which almost doubled the $20 million permanent endowment.

Friday night, November 17, 1995, Tim Couch broke the high school national record for passing yards ending the game with a total of 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 2nd in career pass attempts (1,372) and 7th in career pass completion percentage (63.6%).  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.

On November 17, 2002, more than 4,000 unpaid extras played a role in the match race between Seabiscuit and War Admiral on the last day of filming Seabiscuit at Keeneland.  Directors transformed the track into a depression-era Pimlico Race Course to recreate the famous match race.

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, 2010, 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.  “For 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 month after winning Hollywood’s Grade I Lady’s Secret Stakes for the 3rd time and breaking 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 North American female earnings record.

November 17, 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 Joker 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.

On November 17, 2017, crews completed the three-story, 700-space underground parking garage; therefore, construction began on the 1st building of Lexington’s CentrePointe project more than nine years after the Webb Brothers announced the downtown project.

On November 17, 2020, Governor A. Beshear announced 33 new coronavirus deaths, the highest number for one day.  He then promised to enact more state-wide mandatory restrictions within hours.  As the holidays grew near, many Americans were on edge; however, test kits were now available over the counter.

Positives:  2,931 / 142,008
Deaths:  33 / 1,697 – 1st Death 3/16/20
50&over: 1,654 / 49-30: 41 / 29&under: 2

November 17, 2021, Governor A. Beshear announced all experimentally vaccinated Kentucky adults could now receive the experimental vaccine booster, less than a year before they introduced the 1st vaccine.