TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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December 15, 1823, Oldham County was created from Henry County, Shelby County and Jefferson County and was named in honor of William Oldham, Revolutionary War Colonel.  La Grange is the county seat.  Other communities include: Crestwood, Goshen, Orchard Grass Hills, Pewee Valley, River Bluff, Buckner, Westport, Ballardsville, Brownsboro, Centerfield, Floydsburg, Park Lake and Prospect.  Oldham County was the 76th county created and covers 196 square miles and is the wealthiest county in Kentucky.

KY 1823

December 15, 1864, Princeton Courthouse was burned in Caldwell County by the CSA Army.
Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg:10

December 15, 1871, a convention of Kentucky lawyers in Louisville recommends to the legislature to provide the admission of “blacks’” testimony to the same extent as whites.

December 15, 1926, Nelson County Deputy Sheriff Lee Hagan suffered a fatal heart attack while searching for stills in the Balltown area of Nelson County.  He was assisting federal revenue agents as they searched the woods looking for suspects.  He was survived by his wife and three children.

December 15, 1937, University of Kentucky plays Berea College and wins 69-35 in Alumni Gymnasium.

December 15, 1950, Army PVT Gene T. Hall from Carter County died in the Korean War.

December 15, 1967, Army SSG David P. Jewell from Owensboro and Army SFC Dan Wagner Jr from Pineville in Bell County died in the Vietnam War.

December 15, 1969, Army PFC Monte L. Stamm from Wallingford in Fleming County died in the Vietnam War.

December 15, 1969, Senators Sherman Cooper-KY and Frank Church-ID introduced a bill aimed at curbing further escalation of the Vietnam War and to de-funded the use of U.S. troops in Laos and Thailand.  It would be the last bill Senator Cooper introduced before he retired, he wanted out of office and the war.

December 15, 1970, McCracken County Conservation Officer, Joe Alexander, charged the Illinois Central Railroad and one of its employees with polluting Crystal Creek.  

December 15, 1979, Eastern Kentucky Colonels won the NCAA Division I-AA Championship football game in Orlando Stadium over the Lehigh Engineers 30-7.  Governor John Y. Brown Jr. declared the week of January 20–26, 1980, as “EKU National Football Champions Week” in the state.  Head coach Roy Kidd was in his 16th season leading the Colonels.  

December 15, 1981, the U.S. House approved a proposal to make the Falls of Ohio at Louisville a National Wildlife Conservation area.

December 15, 1985, a historic agreement for Louisville and Jefferson County covering tax-sharing, joint agency funding and annexation was reached by Mayor-elect Jerry Abramson and County-Judge-Executive-elect Harvey Sloane.  The two entities did not merge officially till 2003.

December 15, 1986, a Jefferson policeman and ex-Marine was convicted of robbing four savings and loans seven times over a period of seven months.  It was the first time a Louisville policeman was convicted of robbery.  He stole $24,508 and received 30 years.  

Kentucky Trivia:  Mammoth Cave is the second oldest tourist attraction in the United States. Niagara Falls, New York is first.

December 15, 1990, the Reverend Louis Farrakhan finished his 15-month, 50-city tour with a speech in Louisville that touched on everything from the high rate of homicides among young black men to the Persian Gulf crisis to abortions.  The speech before an estimated 5,000 marked Farrakhan’s first visit to Louisville.  

December 15, 1995, William Robards Buster died.  Mr. Buster was the former director of the Kentucky Historical Society who also served as deputy adjutant general for two Kentucky governors.

December 15, 2005, Army SGT John D. Morton 31, of Stanton, died when his dismounted patrol came under attack by enemy forces using small-arms fire in Shah Wali Kot, Afghanistan.  He was fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

December 15, 2008, it was announced that the land termed “Valley of the Drums” may need to be cleaned again.  In December 2008, EPA inspectors found about four dozen rusted metal drums on land just outside the dump that it capped and fenced in the 1980s.  The drums were found in a portion of the Jefferson Memorial Forest.

December 15, 2009, Air Force Tech SGT Anthony C. Campbell Jr., 35, of Florence, died in Helmand province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained from the detonation of an explosive device fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

December 15, 2015, the University of Kentucky’s board of trustees accepted a $12 million gift from Papa John’s founder John Schnatter and the Charles Koch Foundation to create a new program to research and teach free enterprise.  UK officials said there were no strings attached.

December 15, 2015, the University of Kentucky displayed their new logo to help unify the academic, athletics and healthcare divisions on campus.  The logo was not well received.  

kentucky logo new

December 15, 2016, six Kentucky families filed a federal lawsuit claiming that seven children were relentlessly bullied; some brutally, at Jefferson County’s Crosby Middle School as administrators failed to intervene.  In turn, school and life became a “living hell.”

December 15, 2016, the U.S. Congress passed the water development bill that gave the utility industry what it wanted, a clear path for states to take the lead in regulating coal ash waste.  The bill also cleared the way for a much anticipated dam removal on the Green River near Mammoth Cave National Park.

December 15, 2018, Harlan County native Jerry Donald Chesnut passed away.  Jerry was a country music songwriter whose his hits include “Good Year for the Roses,” recorded by Alan Jackson, George Jones and Elvis Costello and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” recorded by Elvis Presley in 1975 and Travis Tritt in 1992.

December 15, 2019, Rhyne Howard’s three-pointer at the buzzer clanged off the rim and #14 Kentucky fell to #7 Louisville 67-66 in Rupp Arena.