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KY History Treasures

Credit: WTVQ Lexington, KY
Published on December 12, 2019 -
An election that caused chaos right here in Kentucky, Doug High has the details!
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KY History Treasures

Be just a little bit warmer with cloud coverage on the way to on the will.

Thanks, alyssa is reese kentucky histor treasures were learning about the assessed nation of a just elected governor was shot down in 1900 right in the city that i take this back to election they created ... c1 3 contested, and it threw kentucky into chaos.

Carol easterly: so the gubernatorial election of 1899 was a very hotly- contested election.

It was very ugly, even from the primaries on.

The nominees for the democratic party, it was william goebel.

He was running against william taylor, a republican.

November when the general election occurred, goebel actually lost to taylor by about 2,500 votes.

A very, very narrow margin.

He contended that there had been voter fraud and actually contested the election.

So in january of 1900 there was a recount proceeding occurring at the old capitol in frankfurt, and goebel was approaching the building to observe the proceedings.

He was traveling with two bodyguards, and as he approached the building, a shot was fired from the annex building next door.

Some think it was from the first floor corner office, some from the second floor corner office, i'm not sure, but the bullet hit goebel underneath the arm right here.

The bullet exited through his back.

He fell down, bleeding profusely and was taken away for medical attention.

Ultimately, goebel was determined to be a duly-elected governor of kentucky.

He was sworn in on his deathbed at the capitol city hotel and passed away three days later.

Frankfurt really was on the brink of some pretty serious violence following the assassination of goebel.

There was a lot of concern on both the democratic side and the republican side that the opposition would quote unquote, steal the election.

And so armed men on both sides descended upon the capitol ready to fight this thing out and keep the other side from stealing the election.

Doug high: a collection of items from the goebel assassination in the kentucky historical society archives continues to educate and inform.

Carol easterly: we have in our collection the coat and shirt that he was wearing at the time of the shooting.

And we also have quite a lot of archival documentation, as well as memorabilia from the time period that tells us, helps tell the story of how popular goebel was among the people.

Goebel's murder remains unsolved to this day.

The gubernatorial election of 1899 was very hard fought, very emotional, and bitter, just as we've seen politics can be, even today.

Doug high: to learn more about the assassination of william goebel and view some artifacts online, go to history.ky.gov.

From the kentucky history center and museums in downtown frankfurt, i'm doug high.

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