TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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September 15, 1875, Isaac Murphy won his first race.  The win came at the Lexington Crab Orchard track, aboard B. F. Pettit’s chestnut filly Glentina.  Crab Orchard, located 46 miles south of Lexington, was the oldest circular track in the state and was a testing ground for potential stake winning horses and the talented jockeys.
The Prince of Jockeys: The Life of Isaac Burns Murphy By Pellom McDaniels III

September 15, 1890, the Kentucky Post, Covington’s daily newspaper, printed its first edition.  The newspaper was small and inexpensive, four pages for two cents a copy.  Nevertheless, it found a ready niche and grew, pursuing a policy of fighting for the working classes.  In 1899 and 1900, the Kentucky Post published many different editions covering the turbulent campaign, election, and assassination of Gov. William Goebel.  The owner, Edward Willis Scripps, created forty-five such “penny papers” from coast to coast.

September 15, 1950, Army PVT John L. Winchester from Hardin County died in the Korean War.

September 15, 1952, Army CPL Arthur Joseph from Woodford County and Marine Corps SGT Donald Baily from Stanford, both died in the Korean War.

September 15, 1951, Police Officer William M. Carrico, Sr., Carrollton Police Department, was shot and killed while responding to a disturbance call at an ex-convict’s home.  As Officer Carrico and his partner were driving towards the suspect’s house, the ex-convict shot Officer Carrico with a high powered rifle through the windshield, striking him in the head.

September 15, 1970, Army CPL David Bruce Toler from Ashland died in the Vietnam War.

September 15, 1973, Commonwealth Stadium hosted their first UK football game.  The Wildcats defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 31-26.  Fran Curci coached future NFL players such as Sonny Collins, Warren Bryant and Doug Kotar during the 1973 season.

September 15, 1976, the Louisville Colonels and the Spirits of St. Louis were bought for $3.3 million each by the National Basketball Association (NBA) owners.  Due to escalating player salaries and lack of television contracts, most American Basketball Association (ABA) teams were in danger of folding.  The six strongest ABA teams tried to merge, but the NBA owners would only allow the Nuggets, Pacers, Spurs and Nets to join.

September 15, 1978, 36-year-old Muhammad Ali gets the heavyweight title back by beating Leon Spinks in a 15-round unanimous decision, making him the first man to reign as champion three times.  After this fight, Ali retires for the first of two times.

September 15, 1987, J.C. Lawson posed in his marijuana patch near his home in Clay County.  The day after the Herald-Leader story ran about Lawson, the state police destroyed hundreds of his plants near his home.  In the story, Lawson said he no longer sold his marijuana retail and sold it all to Ohio dealers for $1,200 a pound.  He went on to say that, “a lot of the money in Clay County comes from pot.”  Lawson made it clear that he was a good citizen who provides jobs for as many as 22 people.

September 15, 1989, Robert Penn Warren of Guthrie, in Todd County, passed away.  From the 1950s until his death from cancer, Warren lived in Connecticut and at his summer home in Vermont.  He is buried at Stratton, Vermont and at his request, a memorial marker is situated in the Warren family gravesite in Guthrie.

Kentucky Trivia:  In 1921, Mr. Warren, 16, suffered a severe injury that led to his eye removal.  In the same year, a magazine published his first poem while serving in the Citizens Military Training Corps at Fort Knox.  No longer able to serve due to his missing eye, Mr. Warren entered Vanderbilt University and graduated in 1925 Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and was a Founder’s Medalist.  In 1939, he published his first novel, Night Rider.

September 15, 1989, Patrolman Terry Lee Sanders, Mayfield Police Department, was killed in an aircraft accident while on duty.  The plane crashed as a result of heavy fog and rain.

September 15, 2006, Dan Uggla from Louisville hit his 25th MLB home run, breaking Joe Gordon’s record for most home runs by a rookie second baseman.

September 15, 2007, with one perfectly thrown pass, Andre Woodson erased years of agony against Brian Brohm and turned Kentucky’s border battle with Louisville into a real rivalry again.  Woodson threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Steve Johnson with 28 seconds left, and Kentucky shocked the No. 9 Cardinals 40-34.  It was the Wildcats’ first victory over a top-10 team in three decades and halted a four-year losing streak to Louisville.  It also ended Woodson’s even longer skid against Brohm, a nemesis since high school.  The record now stood at 11-9, advantage Kentucky.

September 15, 2007, The Green Monkey made his racing debut in a six-furlong maiden race at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York.  He was made the 2–5 betting favorite but the colt finished third.  The Green Monkey was bought for $16,000,000 in 2006.  His lifetime record was 3-0-0-1.

September 15, 2016, fifteen contestants travelled to a farm near Lancaster for the 35th annual Garrard County Tobacco Cutting Contest.   

September 15, 2020, the city of Louisville settled with the family of Breonna Taylor for $12 million and agreed to take steps toward police reform.  Taylor, 26, died in March when police executed a no-knock warrant.