December 10, 1861, Mount Sterling native Garrett Davis became the 20th Class III U.S. Senator for Kentucky for 11 years until his death. Kentucky legislatures elected him to fill the vacancy caused by John C. Breckinridge’s expulsion for supporting the Confederacy. He entered as a Unionist and became a Democrat.
December 10, 1895, William O’Connell Bradley became Kentucky’s 1st Republican governor and 32nd overall. In his 1st legislative session, he wanted to ban cigarettes, concealed weapons, and gambling at racetracks and church fairs. Bradley did advance civil rights through his pardon powers and signed an anti-lynching bill. Tension ran high as a new party came to power. Their pettiness may have caused the governor’s mansion to burn while lawmakers delayed funds to make needed repairs. One legislative session ended when the militia rode into Frankfort after the senate failed to elect a U.S. Senator. The father of the Republican Party in Kentucky died a U.S. Senator in Washington D.C.
December 10, 1905, Deputy Sheriff Ulysses Grant Holliday, Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office, died as he served a warrant on two brothers. He and two deputized civilians located the brothers outside of the Jackson city limits and informed them they were under arrest when they shot the sheriff.
December 10, 1907, Augustus E. Willson became the 36th governor of Kentucky. The 3rd Republican had many enemies, especially after he pardoned several individuals related to the assassination of Governor Gobel.
December 10, 1921, Deputy Jailer Albert Roberts, Breathitt County Jail, died when seven men, all sentenced to life, broke out of jail. They also shot the jailer’s daughter and wife. Police apprehended four suspects; however they never caught the other three.
December 10, 1933, Lexington native Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) became the 1st Kentuckian to win a Nobel Prize. Morgan distinguished himself as an evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and embryologist.
December 10, 1963, Edward Thompson Breathitt Jr. became the 51st governor of Kentucky. Breathitt earlier defeated two-time former Governor Happy Chandler in the Democratic primary. It would be Happy’s last campaign.
On December 10, 1978, the Kentucky River crested 48.5 feet in Frankfort about one foot higher than the 1937 flood. Many citizens stayed trapped in their homes while 1,200 locals evacuated. The North Frankfort flood wall protected the downtown business district. The Kentucky River by William E. Ellis pg: 115
Tuesday, December 10, 2002, Deputy Jailer Howard E. “Buck” Callis, Trimble County Jail, succumbed to injuries sustained one week earlier when a tractor-trailer struck his vehicle on the Western Kentucky Parkway in Hopkins County.
December 10, 2016, Crittenden County native Shelby Hearon passed away. Shelby authored more than 15 novels, including Footprints, Life Estates, and Owning Jolene, which won an American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award. She received grants from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
During the late evening of Friday, December 10, 2021, a violent, long-tracked EF4 tornado moved across Western Kentucky, producing severe to catastrophic damage in numerous towns, including Mayfield, Princeton, Dawson Springs, and Bremen. Crossing through eleven counties of the Jackson Purchase and Western Coal Field regions, the tornados traveled 165.6 miles.
December 10, 2022, Governor A. Beshear tweeted, Thank you to Marshall County for holding such a meaningful service to recognize the year anniversary of the Western Kentucky tornadoes. We remembered those lost, celebrated how far we’ve come and gave thanks for the strength we’ve found by working together.