Kentucky in History

Kentucky: Lexington - Louisville

Historical Events

  • 1755-03-17 Transylvania Land Company buys Kentucky for $50,000 from a Cherokee chief

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1769-06-07 Daniel Boone begins exploring Bluegrass State of Kentucky

Frontiersman Daniel Boone
Frontiersman
Daniel Boone
  • 1774-06-16 Formation of Harrodsburg, Kentucky.
  • 1792-06-01 Kentucky admitted as 15th US state
  • 1795-12-19 1st state appropriation of money for road building, Kentucky
  • 1798-11-16 Kentucky becomes first state to nullify an act of Congress
  • 1801-11-10 Kentucky outlaws duelling
  • 1821-12-17 Kentucky abolishes debtors' prisons
  • 1838-02-16 Kentucky passes law permitting women to attend school under conditions
  • 1851-11-09 Kentucky marshals abduct abolitionist minister Calvin Fairbank from Jeffersonville, Indiana, and take him to Kentucky to stand trial for helping a slave escape.
  • 1861-05-16 Kentucky proclaims its neutrality
  • 1861-05-20 Kentucky proclaims its neutrality in Civil War
  • 1861-07-10 Lincoln writes to Kentucky's militia & says Union troops will not enter that state
  • 1861-08-06 Lexington, Kentucky - Union military camp forms in neutral state
  • 1861-09-03 Confederate forces enter Kentucky, thus ending its neutrality

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1861-09-06 General Ulysses S. Grant occupies Paducah, Kentucky

US President & Union General Ulysses S. Grant
US President & Union General
Ulysses S. Grant
  • 1861-10-02 Former US VP John C Breckinridge flees Kentucky
  • 1861-11-20 Secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government.
  • 1862-03-16 Battle at Pound Gap Kentucky: Confederates separate battles
  • 1862-08-17 Confederate troops under Kirby Smith enter Kentucky
  • 1862-08-23 Skirmish at Big Hill, Kentucky (2 Federal regiments)
  • 1862-09-17 Battle of Mumfordville, Kentucky, US Col J Wilder surrenders city
  • 1862-10-03 Skirmish at Bardstown, Kentucky
  • 1862-11-20 Confederate armies of Mississippi and Kentucky merge as Army of Tennessee, under General Braxton Bragg

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1862-12-20 Brig-gen Nathan Bedford Forrest occupies Trenton, Kentucky

Confederate General and KKK Grand Wizard Nathan Bedford Forrest
Confederate General and KKK Grand Wizard
Nathan Bedford Forrest
  • 1864-05-31 Raid at Morgan's Kentucky
  • 1864-06-11 Battle at Cynthiana Kentucky: Gen Hobsons unit caught

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1868-03-20 Jesse James Gang robs bank in Russelville, Kentucky, of $14,000

Outlaw Jesse James
Outlaw
Jesse James
  • 1872-04-12 Jesse James gang robs bank in Columbia, Kentucky (1 dead/$1,500)
  • 1877-02-20 1st cantilever bridge in US completed, Harrodsburg, Kentucky
  • 1883-09-24 National black convention meets in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1890-03-27 A tornado strikes Louisville, Kentucky, killing 76 and injuring 200.
  • 1893-10-23 C Dazey's "In Old Kentucky" premieres in NYC (27 seasons)
  • 1900-02-03 Gubernatorial candidate William Goebel is assassinated in Frankfort, Kentucky.
  • 1917-11-05 Supreme Court decision (Buchanan v Warley) strikes down Louisville, Kentucky, ordinance requiring backs & whites to live in separate areas
  • 1930-07-28 114°F (46°C), Greensburg, Kentucky (state record)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1935-06-28 FDR orders a federal gold vault to be built at Fort Knox, Kentucky

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1936-01-11 Charles Anderson enters Kentucky House of Representatives
  • 1936-08-14 Rainey Bethea is hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in the last public execution in the United States.
  • 1939-05-05 Flash floods kill 75 in Northeast Kentucky
  • 1945-01-02 Kentucky begins 130 home basketball game win streak, ends in 1955
  • 1948-01-07 Thomas Mantell, a pilot for the Kentucky Air National Guard, crashes while pursuing a supposed UFO
  • 1950-01-02 16th Orange Bowl: #15 Santa Clara beats #11 Kentucky, 21-13
  • 1951-01-01 17th Sugar Bowl: #7 Kentucky beats #1 Oklahoma, 13-7
  • 1955-01-08 Georgia Tech ends Kentucky's 130-game home basketball win streak
  • 1960-06-28 10.40" (26.42 cm) of rainfall, Dunmor, Kentucky (state 24-hour record)
  • 1963-01-28 -34°F (-37°C), Cynthiana, Kentucky (state record)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1970-06-12 Rocker and blues singer Janis Joplin debuts in Kentucky

Singer-Songwriter Janis Joplin
Singer-Songwriter
Janis Joplin
  • 1972-03-27 Adolph Rupp retires after 42 years of coaching U of Kentucky
  • 1976-05-15 Kentucky Moonrunner by Cledus Maggard hits #85
  • 1977-05-28 165 killed in a fire at Beverly Hills Supper Club in Kentucky
  • 1981-02-13 A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • 1983-11-08 Martha Layne Collins (D) elected 1st female governor of Kentucky
  • 1983-12-13 Martha Layne Collins inaugurated as Kentucky's 1st female governor

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1985-01-03 Mitch McConnell becomes Senator of Kentucky

US Senator Mitch McConnell
US Senator
Mitch McConnell
  • 1988-05-14 Carrollton bus collision: a drunk driver going the wrong way on Interstate 71 near Carrollton, Kentucky, United States hits a converted school bus carrying a church youth group. The crash and ensuing fire kill 27.
  • 1991-03-27 New Kid Donnie Wahlberg, arrested on arson charges in Kentucky
  • 1991-10-04 Whiteland Janice, driven by Mike Lachance, wins Kentucky Futurity
  • 1992-01-06 Robert Schenkkan's "Kentucky Cycle" premieres in LA
  • 1992-10-09 Great meteorite seen from Kentucky to NY
  • 1993-11-14 "Kentucky Cycle" opens at Royale Theater NYC for 34 performances
  • 1993-12-12 "Kentucky Cycle" closes at Royale Theater NYC after 34 performances

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1996-06-01 Woody Harrelson is arrested in Lee County, Kentucky, after he symbolically planted four hemp seeds to challenge the state law which did not distinguish between industrial hemp and marijuana

  • 1999-04-17 1999 NFL Draft: Tim Couch from University of Kentucky first pick by Cleveland Browns
  • 2005-11-06 The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 kills 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.
  • 2006-08-27 Comair Flight 5191 crashes on takeoff from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Kentucky, bound for Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia killing 49 of 50 on board
  • 2008-06-25 Atlantis Plastics shooting, An employee shot and killed five people after an argument, which ended in the gunman's suicide in Henderson, Kentucky.
  • 2008-09-21 37th Ryder Cup: US wins 16.5-11.5 at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 2012-03-02 Tornadoes kill at least 27 people in the American states of Indiana and Kentucky
  • 2015-09-03 Kentucky clerk in Rowan County jailed for refusing to issue marriage licences to gay couples

Famous Birthdays


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1808-06-03 Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (1861-65), born in Fairview, Kentucky (d. 1889)

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1809-02-12 Abraham Lincoln, American politician (R) 16th President (1861-65), born in Hardin County, Kentucky (d. 1865)

US President Abraham Lincoln
US President
Abraham Lincoln

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1809-12-24 Kit Carson, American frontiersman, Indian fighter and army officer, born in Madison County, Kentucky (d. 1868)

Frontiersman Kit Carson
Frontiersman
Kit Carson
  • 1813-01-07 Ann Rutledge, said to be Abraham Lincoln's true love, born in Henderson, Kentucky (d. 1835)
  • 1849-12-21 James Lane Allen, US writer (Kentucky Cardinal)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1861-11-26 Albert B. Fall, New Mexico Senator (Teapot Dome Scandal), born in Frankfort, Kentucky

United States Senator Albert B. Fall
United States Senator
Albert B. Fall

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1875-01-22 D.W. Griffith, LaGrange, Kentucky, American film director/producer (Birth of a Nation, Intolerance)

Film director D. W. Griffith
Film director
D. W. Griffith
  • 1880-03-26 Duncan Hines, US, restaurant guide writer (Out of Kentucky Kitchens)
  • 1890-10-03 Henry Hull, actor (Tobacco Rd, Boys Town, High Sierra), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1891-01-15 Ray Chapman, American baseball player (Cleveland Indians) and only MLB player to die from an injury received during a MLB game, born in Beaver Dam, Kentucky (d. 1920)
  • 1894-09-12 Billy Gilbert, American actor (Great Dictator, His Gal Friday), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1971)
  • 1895-10-06 Caroline Gordon, Kentucky, writer (Green Centuries)
  • 1898-12-20 Irene [Marie] Dunne, actress (Show Boat, I Remember Mama), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1900-07-03 John Mason Brown, critic (Tonight on Broadway), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1902-02-19 John Bubbles, rhythm tap dancer (No Maps on My Taps), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1904-05-20 Russell Hardie, actor (Sequoia, In Old Kentucky), born in Buffalo, New York
  • 1907-08-19 Thruston B. Morton, American republican politician (Sen-Ky, 1957-69), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1982)
  • 1909-09-11 William H Natcher, (Rep-D-Kentucky, 1953- )
  • 1909-11-04 Evelyn Johnson, Corbin Kentucky, female pilot (most flying hours - 57,685), (d. 2012)
  • 1911-09-13 Bill Monroe, Rosine Ky, country singer (Blue Moon of Kentucky)
  • 1912-05-11 Foster Brooks, comedian/actor (Miles-Mork & Mindy), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1913-01-29 Victor Mature, actor (1 Million BC, Samson & Delilah) (d. 1999), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1914-09-19 Rogers Morton, US Secretary of Interior (1968-75), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1918-07-23 Pee Wee [Harold] Reese, American baseball player (Dodgers), born in Ekron, Kentucky (d. 1999)
  • 1919-04-12 Billy Vaughn, singer and bandleader (Sail Along Sil'vry Moon), born in Glasgow, Kentucky (d. 1991)
  • 1919-08-07 John Hogan, Lowes, Kentucky, chemist (discovered methods of producing polypropylene), (d. 2012)
  • 1920-09-27 William Conrad, actor (Bullwinkle Show, Cannon), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1922-11-13 Jack Narz, TV gameshow host (Dotto, Video Village), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1922-12-08 Jean Ritchie, American folk singer, born in Viper, Kentucky
  • 1923-01-16 Roy Lanham, Western guitar player (Sons of the Pioneers), born in Corbin Kentucky
  • 1923-07-13 Sudie Bond, actress (Flo, Temperature Rising), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1924-03-25 Julia Perry, Lexington, Kentucky, African-American composer (Cask of Amontillado)
  • 1924-09-08 Wendell H Ford, (Sen-D-Kentucky, 1974- )
  • 1925-01-02 William J Crowe Jr, Kentucky, chairman joint chief of staff
  • 1925-10-15 Mickey Baker, guitar player ("Love is strange"), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2012)
  • 1926-07-26 James Best [Jewel Franklin Guy], Powderly, Kentucky, American actor (The Dukes of Hazzard, Sounder)
  • 1927-02-26 Tom Kennedy, quiz host (You Don't Say, Name That Tune), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1928-05-23 Rosemary Clooney, Kentucky, singer/paper towels spokeswoman (Coronet)
  • 1929-04-20 Bob Braun, singer (Dotty Mack Show), born in Ludlow, Kentucky
  • 1931-10-23 Jim Bunning, Southgate, Kentucky, American baseball player and politician (perfect Game vs Mets 1965)/(Rep. Senator-Ky)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1932-04-14 Loretta Lynn, American country singer-songwriter (Coal Miner's Daughter), born in Butcher's Hollow Kentucky

Singer-songwriter Loretta Lynn
Singer-songwriter
Loretta Lynn
  • 1933-11-01 Davey Moore, American featherweight world champion boxer who died after injuries sustained in a match against Sugar Ramos, born in Lexington, Kentucky (d. 1963)
  • 1936-04-14 Robert Herman Nichols, PGA golfer (1986 Showdown), born in Louisville, Kentucky

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1936-11-09 Mary Travers, folk singer (Peter Paul & Mary), born in Louisville, Kentucky

Folk Singer Mary Travers
Folk Singer
Mary Travers
  • 1940-02-24 Jimmy Ellis, WBA heavyweight boxing champ (1968-70), born in Louisville, Kentucky, (d. 2014)
  • 1940-08-07 Tom Barlow, (Rep-D-Kentucky)
  • 1941-07-09 Scotty Baesler, (Rep-D-Kentucky)
  • 1941-12-10 Tim Considine, actor (Mike-My 3 Sons), born in Louisville, Kentucky

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1942-01-17 Muhammad Ali [Cassius Clay], American world heavyweight boxing champion (1964-7 74-8), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 2016)

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali
Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Muhammad Ali

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1942-11-01 Larry Flynt, American magazine publisher (Hustler), born in Lakeville, Kentucky

Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt
Magazine Publisher
Larry Flynt
  • 1944-02-01 Leo Burmester, actor (Flo, Chiefs, Abbys, Odd Jobs), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1944-08-21 Jackie DeShannon, Hazel Kentucky, singer (What the World Needs Now)
  • 1944-09-21 Steve Beshear, American politician (D) Governor of Kentucky (2007-2015), born in Dawson Springs, Kentucky
  • 1947-01-23 Gatewood Galbraith, [Louis], Carlisle, Kentucky, Lawyer, American political activist, iconic Kentucky political figure, (d. 2012)
  • 1947-07-04 Morganna Roberts, (Baseball's kissing bandit), born in Louisville, Kentucky

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1948-10-25 Dave Cowens, American NBA forward (Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks), born in Newport, Kentucky

NBA Center and Head Coach Dave Cowens
NBA Center and Head Coach
Dave Cowens
  • 1948-10-28 Telma Hopkins, singer (Tony Orlando, Family Matters), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1949-06-15 Jim Varney, American actor (Ernest Goes to Jail, Hey Vern), born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1949-12-15 Adrian Belew, American musician (King Crimson), born in Covington, Kentucky
  • 1950-01-03 Beth Anderson, American composer, born in Lexington, Kentucky
  • 1951-01-07 Mike Ward, Democratic Congressman for Kentucky & radio talk show host
  • 1952-07-24 Gus Van Sant, American film director (Good Will Hunting), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1953-03-31 Greg Martin, singer (Ky Headhunters-Davy Crockett), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1954-12-14 James Horan, American actor (General Hospital, Transformers Prime), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1955-01-27 Richard Young, Glasgow Ky, singer (Kentucky Headhunters-Davy Crockett)
  • 1955-11-30 Brad Fabel, Nike golfer (1994 NIKE Gateway Classic), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1957-01-05 Vincent Calloway, Kentucky, trumpet player (Midnight Star-No Parking)
  • 1958-02-06 Mark Hamilton, sprint kayak Olympics-96), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1958-07-08 Fred Young, Glasgow Ky, singer (Kentucky Headhunters-Davy Crockett)
  • 1959-11-20 Sean Young, actress (Dune, Young Doctor in Love), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1960-04-23 Joseph Martin Mudd, PGA golfer (1988 Federal Express), born in Louisville, Kentucky

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1961-05-06 George Clooney, American actor (ER, Batman, The Descendants), born in Lexington, Kentucky

  • 1961-08-25 Billy Ray Cyrus, country singer (Achy Breaky Heart), born in Flatwoods, Kentucky

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1963-01-07 Rand Paul, US politician (Senate-R-Kentucky 2011-), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

United States Senator Rand Paul
United States Senator
Rand Paul

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1963-06-09 Johnny Depp, American actor (21 Jump Street, Pirates of the Caribbean), born in Owensboro, Kentucky

  • 1964-07-01 Theresa Lynn, American actress (Orgasm Girl-Private Parts), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1965-08-09 Ezra Polley, Georgetown Kentucky, pitcher (NY Yankees)
  • 1967-08-23 Nancy Jane Cox, Campbellsville Kentucky, Miss Kentucky-America-1991
  • 1968-02-15 Kurt Robin McKinney, actor (Ned-General Hospital), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1968-11-06 Kelly Rutherford, Elizabethtown Kentucky, actress (Generations)
  • 1970-10-30 Ben Bailey, American host of the TV game show Cash Cab, born in Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • 1970-12-03 Paul Byrd, pitcher (NY Mets), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1972-01-09 Kristie Hicks, Bardstown Kentucky, Miss America-Kentucky (1996)
  • 1972-10-19 Otto Steffers, field hockey defender (Olympics-96), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1973-10-17 Lorie Bennett West, Miss Kentucky USA (1996)
  • 1974-10-12 Rachyl Hoskins, Miss USA-Kentucky (1997)
  • 1975-07-14 Matthew Kessinger, figure skater (1995 Gt Lakes Jr champ), born in Louisville, Kentucky
  • 1979-06-25 Kelli Jones, Miss Kentucky Teen USA (1997)
  • 1980-02-04 Kelly Marie Sodan, Miss Kentucky Teen USA (1996)
  • 1989-03-25 Chicken Kentucky, 1st partial birth in space (chicken)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1990-08-15 Jennifer Lawrence, American actress (Winter's Bone, Silver Linings Playbook), born in Louisville, Kentucky

  • 1992-10-12 Josh Hutcherson, American actor (Hunger Games films), born in Union, Kentucky

Famous Weddings


HeartWedding of Interest

1799-04-11 Politician Henry Clay (21) weds Lucretia Hart in Lexington, Kentucky

Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay

HeartWedding of Interest

1810-06-21 US President Zachary Taylor (25) weds Margaret Smith near Louisville, Kentucky

12th US President Zachary Taylor
12th US President
Zachary Taylor

HeartWedding of Interest

1835-06-17 Soldier and politician Jefferson Davis (27) weds Sarah Knox Taylor (21) in Louisville, Kentucky

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis

HeartWedding of Interest

1939-11-04 Actress and comedian Phyllis Diller (22) weds inspector Sherwood Diller in Covington, Kentucky

Comedienne and Actress Phyllis Diller
Comedienne and Actress
Phyllis Diller

HeartWedding of Interest

1968-03-01 Singer-songwriter and actress June Carter (38) weds singer-songwriter Johnny Cash (36) at a church in Franklin, Kentucky

Country Singer Johnny Cash
Country Singer
Johnny Cash
  • 1968-03-01 Country singer June Carter Cash (38) weds music icon Johnny Cash (36) in Franklin, Kentucky
  • 1996-06-16 Soap opera actress-singer Kassie Wesley (35) weds James De Paiva (39) in Morganfield, Kentucky
  • 2000-06-17 Backstreet Boys member Kevin Richardson (28) weds Kristin Willits (29) at Lee County's Cathedral Domain in Kentucky

Famous Deaths


Person of interestPerson of Interest

1864-01-13 Stephen Foster, American composer (My Old Kentucky Home), dies at 37 in New York

Father of American Music Stephen Foster
Father of American Music
Stephen Foster
  • 1984-12-07 Jeanne Cagney, actress (Quicksand, Kentucky Rifle), dies at 65
  • 2003-04-30 Mark Berger, University of Kentucky professor (b. 1955)
  • 2008-03-31 Bill Keightley, "Mr. Wildcat." University of Kentucky basketball equipment manger 1962-2008 (b .1926)
  • 2012-01-04 Gatewood Galbraith, [Louis], lawyer, American political activist, iconic Kentucky political figure, dies from pneumonia at 64