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December 21, 1793, Harrison County is created from Bourbon and Scott. Harrison was named in honor of Benjamin Harrison, co-author of the Kentucky Constitution. The county seat is Cynthiana. Other cities and towns include Berry, Boyd, Breckinridge, Broadwell, Buena Vista, Colville, Connersville, Hooktown, Lair, Lees Lick, Leesburg, Kelat, Morningglory, Oddville, Poindexter, Ruddles Mill, Rutland, Shadynook, Shawhan and Sunrise. Harrison County covers 310 square miles. It was the 17th county created.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Fayette County native James Lane Allen born in 1849. He was one of Kentucky’s first best-selling novelists who was widely read in the U.S. and Great Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He began by writing literary criticism, but after publishing Flute and Violin and Other Kentucky Tales and Romances (1891), he made a highly successful career in fiction and travel writing. He published more than 20 books over 34 years. He was a contributor to many of his time’s most prominent magazines, including Harper’s, The Century, and The Atlantic Monthly.
December 21, 1868, Nelson County native Charles Slaughter Morehead passed away. Governor Slaughter was the 20th Governor of Kentucky. Although a member of the Whig Party for most of his political service, he joined the Know Nothing or American Party in 1855 and was the only Kentucky governor ever elected from that party.
December 21, 1922, Deputy Sheriff Robert H. Napier, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was believed to have been shot and killed after confronting a subject near his home at Walker’s Branch. His mangled body was located on a set of nearby railroad tracks. Evidence showed that his body had been dragged to the tracks and his revolver had been fired four times. A subject was arrested and charged with his murder in 1935, 13 years after his death.
December 21, 1929, Police Officer Jesse B. Dills, Paintsville Police Department, was shot and killed by a former county constable who held a grudge against the officer for a previous arrest. Officer Dills had previously arrested the constable for being drunk in public. Officer Dills was on duty and had gone into a local pool hall on Main Street to get a cup of coffee. As he did so, the suspect and the county jailer, who had been drinking, waited for him to exit. When Officer Dills came out of the pool hall, he observed the two intoxicated men and approached them to arrest them. The former constable immediately opened fire. Officer Dills returned fire, striking the suspect. The county jailer also opened fire on Officer Dills, striking him twice. Officer Dills died in the street.
December 21, 1935, Patrolman James Powell Hays and Patrolman Robert Rowland, Kentucky Highway Patrol, were shot and killed while attempting to question two brothers about a stolen automobile at the garage they operated in Franklin. One of the brothers was sentenced to life and one was sentenced to six years. The brother who was released after only six years went on to murder Deputy Sheriff Melvin Fleming, of the Davidson County, Tennessee, Sheriff’s Department, and Detective Charles Mundy, of the Nashville, Tennessee, Police Department. The two were murdered after Deputy Fleming attempted to arrest the man in a restaurant for being drunk in public. The man was shot and killed in the ensuing shootout.
December 21, 1980, Kentucky’s first trout farm located in Canmer in Hart County was spotlighted. State agriculture officials believed that it was also Kentucky’s first fish farm. The rainbow trout from the Glenbrook Trout Farm was on the menu of 40 restaurants in Louisville and Lexington at the time of the The Courier-Journal article.
Kentucky Trivia: The Ohio River flows 664 miles along the northern and western borders of the state. Kentucky’s highest point is Black Mountain in Harlan County, 4,145 feet above sea level; its lowest point, the Mississippi River in Fulton County, 257 feet above sea level.
December 21, 1990, a Kentucky legislative report stated that Toyota’s presence in Kentucky had meant an investment of nearly $1.7 billion and 5,179 jobs for Kentucky in two years of operation. Meanwhile, the final group of IBM Lexington workers who accepted a recent voluntary separation left their jobs.
December 21, 1990, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, who was in the Persian Gulf, stated he didn’t think peace talks would occur any time soon and that the likelihood of war was growing. Operation Desert Storm began less than one month later, and we are still there after 29 years and eleven months.
December 21, 1990, State Representative Anne Northup announced she would introduce a bill to raise the cigarette purchase age from 16 to 18 in the 1992 General Assembly. Kentucky is now in the process of raising the age to 21.
December 21, 2009, the Kentucky men’s basketball team became the first college basketball program to win 2,000 games. It happened to be during John Calipari’s first season in Rupp Arena for the home crowd. The Cats defeated the Drexel Dragons 88-44.
December 21, 2015, a small Eastern Kentucky moonshine distillery dropped a federal lawsuit against the University of Kentucky (UK) over use of the word “Kentucky” on their promotional clothing. The distillery said it filed suit as a pre-emptive move after the university threatened legal action for the moonshine maker’s pursuit of a federal trademark registration on clothing. Earlier in the dispute, Blanton said UK didn’t tell the distiller it couldn’t use the word “Kentucky” in the business name or object to registering the logo for its product in the alcoholic beverage class but only asked that the logo not be registered in the clothing class. The judged agreed.
December 21, 2015, Coach Jeff Brohm’s Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defeated the South Florida Bulls 45 to 35 in the Miami Beach Bowl. The game was played in Marlin’s Park and was the only college bowl game of the day.