Boone Bicentennial

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Boone Bicentennial


A third celebration in Madison County was not exactly like the 1840 and 1907 Boonesborough events. This was the Daniel Boone Bicentennial of 1934. Boone was born November 2, 1834.

Governor Ruby Laffoon appointed a 15-member commission to organize the gathering. Locally connected members were Dr. J.T. Dorris, Mrs. Grant Lilly, Keen Johnson and Judge W. R. Shakelford. Among the activities were a commission meeting at Boone’s grave in the Frankfort Cemetery and the minting and sale of Daniel Boone Souvenir half-dollars. Hundreds of thousands of the coins came from the U. S. Mint in Philadelphia. Boone’s head was shown on one side, and Boone and Indian Chief Blackfish were displayed on the other.

Special emphasis was placed on other locations besides the fort that were connected with Boone’s life. These included Boone’s Station, Bryan Station and the Blue Licks Battlefield.

The biggest event connected with these celebrations was conducted at the fort on Labor Day, Sept. 3, 1934. Over 6,000 spectators were in attendance. Sen. Alben Barkley gave the keynote speech. Also present were Gov. Ruby Laffroon and Congressman Virgil Chapman. Other celebrations were conducted at the Filson Club in Louisville and at Reading, Penn., near Boone’s birthplace.

A re-enactment of the 1778 siege of Fort Boonesborough was put on at Hanger Field to celebrate its bicentennial. Many enthusiastic locals participated. Today, such re-enactments are presented at the fort.

I wonder if anyone in the county has a Daniel Boone Souvenir half-dollar?


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Boone Bicentennial,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 19, 2024,