February 16, 1997
Jeff Gordon becomes youngest
Silver dollars made legal
February 17, 1801
Thomas Jefferson is elected third president over Aaron Burr after one vote tie in Electoral College
Brian Wilson rolls tape on “Good Vibrations”
February 18, 1930
Pluto is discovered at Lowell Observatory
in Arizona by astronomer
Clyde W. Tombaugh
Dale Earnhardt killed in crash
February 19, 1878
Thomas Edison patents the phonograph
Marines invade Iwo Jima
February 20, 1962
John Glenn, Jr. orbits earth
aboard Friendship 7
Kissinger begins secret negotiations
with North Vietnamese
February 21, 1885
Washington Monument is dedicated
Nixon travels to China
February 22, 1998
Deadly tornadoes rip through
Milli Vanilli win Best New Artist
at the Grammy Awards
Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
February 18, 1885
On this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes his famous and famously controversial novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Twain (the pen name of Samuel Clemens) first introduced Huck Finn as the best friend of Tom Sawyer, hero of his tremendously successful novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Twain actually saw the book as a sequel to Tom’s story, but the new novel was more serious, focusing on slavery and other aspects of Southern life.
The book’s heart is the relationship between Huck and Jim, a runaway slave, as they travel down the Mississippi River on a raft. Jim runs away because he is about to be sold and separated form his wife and children. Huck goes along with him to insure he makes it to Ohio and freedom. Huck is the narrator and describes distinctively the people and places they encounter along the journey. He describes Jim as a strong, brave, generous, and wise man, while white characters are often described as violent, stupid, or just plain selfish. Huck ends up questioning the unjust nature of society in general.
A month after publication, Huckleberry Finn was banned by a library in Concord, Massachusetts calling its subject matter “tawdry” and its narrative “ignorant”. Other libraries followed beginning a controversy that continued long after Twain died in 1910. Even in the 1950s, the book came under fire from African-American groups for being racist in its portrayal of black characters, despite the fact that it was seen by many as a strong criticism of racism and slavery.
As recently as 1998, a parent sued her school district for making the novel required reading for high school students, saying it made existing racial tensions worse.
Aside from the controversy, many literary critics proclaim it as a masterpiece.
Clinton County News Headlines:
Thursday, February 16, 1950 – Volume 1, #16
Large moonshine still captured
A 100 gallon moonshine still was captured in the Bald Rock section by Sheriff John Sawyers, deputies James Lovelace and Bates Delk, accompanied by Pickett County Sheriff Stanley Cummings and deputy Cull Amonett, and two officers from Wayne County.
Seventeen hundred pounds of sugar, thirty-seven dozen empty half gallon cans and 18 half gallon cans filled with moonshine were seized, along with the still and a supply of food. Six large boxes of beer, estimated at 3500 gallons, were destroyed.
Upon nearing the spot where the still was found, the officers heard someone give a warning scream, and later found where the look-out man was stationed.
No one was apprehended, but the officers were so close on them before they were spotted that the men left their personal belongings consisting of clothes and other items.
The still along with the sugar and liquor were brought to Albany. Part of the catch was taken by the Wayne County and Pickett County officers. Clinton and Wayne counties in Kentucky and Pickett and Fentress counties in Tennessee, join at or near the spot the still was found.
According to the officers, the still was found about three o’clock Monday afternoon and was well hidden between two large bluffs. The sugar was first found with a tarpaulin on top the bluff. The officers descended the bluff by way of a fallen tree and found the still. A complete kitchen with canned food was also found.
In addition to the look-out man, the officers said at least three others were operating the still.
Schedule of district tourney
Drawings have been made for the district tournament at Tompkinsville. The games will be played in night sessions only on March 1 through 4.
On March 1, Albany will play Tompkinsville in the opening game followed by Fountain Run and Center. On March 2, Burkesville will play Gamaliel at 7 p.m. followed by Marrowbone and Edmonton at 8:30 p.m. Winners of each bracket will play the semi-finals at the same hours on Friday. The consolation game will be played Saturday at 7 p.m., followed by the final at 8:30 p.m.
U. S. hockey team makes miracle on ice
February 22, 1980
In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U. S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators. Two days later, the Americans defeated the Fins 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.
The Soviet team had not lost an Olympic hockey game since 1968 and had previously won four gold medals going back to 1964. The Soviets were seeded number 1 and, as expected, went undefeated with five victories in the first round.
The Americans, seeded seventh, had very little hope of success going into the Olympic tournament, but surprisingly made it through the opening round of play undefeated with four victories and one tie, advancing them to the four-team medal round.
On Friday afternoon on February 22, the American college boys began their run against the Soviet dream team and when the final horn sounded, players, coaches, and team officials poured out onto the ice in celebration. The American team had won. The Soviet players were awestruck as was everyone else. All that was left for them to do was return home.
The improbable victory came at a time when Americans were faced with major recession and the Iran hostage crisis, and President Carter had just announced the United States would boycott the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Americans needed something to believe in and something to cheer about.
Daniel Boone and his wife Rebecca are buried in the Frankfort Cemetery. Their son Isaac is buried at Blue Licks Battlefield near Carlisle, where he was killed in the last battle of the Revolutionary War fought in Kentucky.
Boone was an American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman whose frontier exploits made him one of the first folk heroes of the United States. Of course, Boone is most famous for his exploration and settlement of what is now the Commonwealth of Kentucky.