A Weird and Violent Chapter of Kentucky’s History Revealed in Recent Jeopardy! Clue
I am a Jeopardy! nerd. I own it. I don't care. I've been watching the iconic quiz show for decades.
And here's where the nerd factor pings the meter up past ten: I record it every day. Yes, I own that, too. And, by the way, I hope Aaron Rodgers gets the gig full-time because his dryly funny approach is perfect for the show.
So...last week, this clue appeared in a category, the name of which escapes me now.
First of all, the question is super easy. Obviously, the answer was and is "Kentucky"--a no-brainer for all of us, but not necessarily if you aren't from here...or have never heard anything ABOUT Kentucky. I've seen Kentucky-specific categories come up on Jeopardy! and contestants tend to avoid it until they have no choice but select it. And I don't know why Kentucky throws so many game show contestants. Several years ago, on The $20,000 Pyramid, one of the contestants described Fort Knox as "that place in TEXAS where they keep all the gold." And her partner GOT IT. Cue the eye roll emoji.
Okay, so back to this Jeopardy! clue. What I found interesting about this was the information revealed in the SECOND half of the clue, because THAT is the interesting portion AND far too difficult to be the point of the question.
So I did some digging and found the story at HistoricalCrimeDetective.com.
The governor in question, William Goebel, actually became governor AFTER he got shot, by way of what sounded to me like a LOT of bureaucratic red tape and was then replaced by J.C.W. Beckham immediately after Goebel succumbed to his injury.
And yes, the guilty party, Caleb Powers--after multiple trials--was eventually elected to Congress. He died in 1932.
Talk about some bizarre, twisted Kentucky history that I NEVER would have learned if I hadn't recorded Jeopardy! that day.
Alex Trebek is looking down and smiling right about now.