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December 4, 1810, Henry Skaggs died in Green County. Skaggs was an American longhunter, men who undertook lengthy hunting expeditions into the Trans-Allegheny wilderness. Skaggs led a pursuit and failed attempt to apprehend America’s first known serial killers, the Harpe Brothers in 1799.
December 4, 1861, the U.S. Senate, voting 36 to 0, expelled Senator John C. Breckinridge of Kentucky for joining the Confederate Army. A resolution stating “Whereas John C. Breckinridge, a member of this body from the State of Kentucky, has joined the enemies of his country, and is now in arms against the government he had sworn to support: Therefore—Resolved, that said John C. Breckinridge, the traitor, be, and he hereby is, expelled from the Senate.”
December 4, 1862, Asa Lewis got word that his father had died and he left for his Kentucky home in Barren County. His mother and sisters were without any male support on their farm that had already suffered the effects of several Union raids. Upon hearing the news of his father’s death, Lewis requested permission to visit his family, but the Army refused. General Braxton Bragg of the Confederate Army executed him the day after Christmas for desertion.
December 4, 1868, two passenger steamers, the America and the United States, collided on the Ohio River near Warsaw in Gallatin County. The United States carried a cargo of barrels of kerosene, which caught fire. The flames soon spread to the America, and many passengers perished by burning or drowning. The combined death toll was 162, making it one of the most deadly steamboat accidents in American history.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Corbin native Roy Kidd born in 1931. All told, Kidd led the Colonels to 16 Ohio Valley Conference titles and a national record 17 NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearances. He won the OVC Coach of the Year honor ten times and was twice honored as the NCAA Division I-AA national coach of the year. Over the course of his career, Kidd had a record of 314–124–8, a .713 winning percentage.
December 4, 1932, Deputy Sheriff James Bowlin, Whitley County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to serve an assault warrant on a 23-year-old man for kicking a man in a pool hall. The subject who shot him was arrested and charged with murder, but here is no record of the case. However, in 1938 he was shot and killed by a night watchman in Williamsburg. The night watchman, charged with murder, was acquitted.
December 4, 1945, Lexington native Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan passed away. Thomas was a student of the biological sciences and an author who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for discoveries on chromosome’s role in heredity.
December 4, 1952, Deputy Sheriff Leonard T. Davis, Rockcastle County Sheriff’s Office, suffered a fatal heart attack during a vehicle pursuit of a bank robbery suspect. The suspect had attempted to rob a bank in Mount Vernon as the two tellers returned from their lunch. As he attempted to force them to open the safe a third employee entered and interrupted the robbery. After a short struggle with the employee the suspect ran from the bank and fled in his vehicle, with a citizen in pursuit. Deputy Davis and a highway patrol officer were notified and immediately attempted to locate the vehicle. Minutes later they came across an accident which occurred when the suspect’s vehicle struck another vehicle head-on. The suspect and driver of the second vehicle were killed in the accident. Deputy Davis collapsed as he and the patrol officer began to offer aid. Several days later another man suffered a fatal heart attack when he knew the two people that had died from the crash. Deputy Sheriff Davis was 49 and survived by his wife, four children, and mother.
December 4, 1961, Williamstown native Stanley Atwood “Daddy” Boles passed. Daddy was the athletic director of the University of Kentucky from 1917 through 1933. He also served as head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats football and Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball teams for one season each. He was also responsible for hiring legendary men’s basketball coach Adolph Rupp at Kentucky.
December 4, 1971, was Election Day to fill the vacant 6th Congressional seat. William P. Curlin, Jr., a Democrat, won. Second place belonged to the Republican from Lexington. Third went to Dr. W.S. Kroghahi, a UK physics professor and fourth place belonged to Edgar A. Wallace, a black insurance agent running as an Independent.
December 4, 1979, Paducah native Robert A. Karnes died. Robert was a prolific actor whose credits included: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950), and From Here to Eternity (1953), The Lawless Years, The Untouchables and the Alfred Hitchcock Program.
Kentucky Trivia: Three sites in Kentucky bear the scars of ancient impacts by meteorites: the Jeptha Knob in Shelby County, a site near Versailles in Woodford County, and a site near Middlesboro in Bell County.
December 4, 1991, Pine Mountain Settlement School became a National Historic Landmark. Established in 1913 and located in Harlan County, Pine Mountain served as a boarding school for mountain children in elementary and middle School to 1930. In 1930, the School evolved into a boarding school for high school students and back to an elementary school in 1949. In 1972 Pine Mountain began to focus its educational mission toward environmental education. For more than 30 years, Pine Mountain Settlement School has provided instruction in environmental education and traditional arts and culture to thousands of students. More than 3,000 students visit the campus each year to participate in day programs or weeklong programs. Students study the wonders and complexities of the natural environment through outdoor classes on the School’s 800 acres.
December 4, 2001, Muhammad Ali lighted the Olympic torch from a massive cauldron and passed it to Peggy Fleming in Atlanta. The ceremony began a 46 state, two month journey to the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Games. Ali began the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games by lighting the cauldron with the torch in a surprise appearance.
December 4, 2010, Trinity shutouts Male 38-0, in the Gridiron Bowl, for the 6A Kentucky State High School Football Championship. North Carolina also edged Kentucky 75-73 in a matchup of two of college basketball’s winningest programs.
December 4, 2012, an Elizabethtown cardiologist and his former wife plead guilty to harboring their maid, a Bolivian undocumented worker, for 12 years as a virtual prisoner and using her for their financial gain.
December 4, 2019, a Kentucky state panel claimed a Kentucky judge engaged in sexual activities with staff members in the courthouse, coerced attorneys to back her election and retaliated against a lawyer for not giving her the maximum campaign donation.