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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Jack Jouett born in 1754. Jouett served several terms in the Virginia General Assembly, representing Lincoln County and later Mercer County. He was instrumental in bringing about Kentucky’s statehood, serving three terms as legislator for Woodford County.
December 7, 1794, Franklin County was created from Mercer, Shelby and Woodford. It was the first county created from three established counties. Franklin was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin, signer of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Founding Father. Frankfort is the county seat. Other localities include: Bridgeport, Forks of Elkhorn, Jett, Switzer, Peaks Mill and Bald Knob, Kentucky. Franklin County today covers 212 square miles and was the 18th county created.
December 7, 1822, Morgan County was created from Floyd County and Bath County and was named in honor of Daniel Morgan, Revolutionary War General. West Liberty is the county seat. Other cities and towns include: Ezel, Caney, Cannel City, Cottle, Crockett, Dingus, Elamton, Elkfork, Grassy Creek, Lenox, Malone, Mima, Mize, Moon, Ophir, Relief, Stacy Fork, White Oak, Wrigley, Yocum and Zag. Morgan County was the 73rd county created and covers 382 square miles.
December 7, 1829, the General Assembly moved into the new state capitol, known today as the Old Capitol building.
Kentucky Eloquence, Past and Present: Library of Orations, After-dinner Speeches, Popular and Classic Lectures, Addresses and Poetry by Bennett Henderson Young, Henry Watterson; pg: 235
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Dixon native Cale Young Rice, born in 1872 in Webster County. Rice, a Harvard graduate, wrote From Dusk to Dusk shortly after moving to Louisville in 1897, which set him on a writer’s career that lasted for more than forty years.
December 7, 1907, Night Riders, the highly violent secret order of the Planters Protective Association (PPA), burned three tobacco warehouses in Hopkinsville, filled with dark tobacco owned by farmers who would not join the PPA. The silent brigade struck a little before 2:00 a.m. with no opposition. PPA’s battle to stop the Duke monopoly in their locality continued.
December 7, 1915, Augustus O. Stanley became the 38th Governor of Kentucky. During his term, Kentucky was the first “wet” state to ratify the Eighteenth Amendment, enshrining prohibition into the national constitution. He resigned as governor to assume the senate seat in May 1919.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Bagdad native Governor Martha Layne Collins, born in 1936 in Shelby County. One of her major accomplishments as the 56th Governor came when the Japanese company Toyota decided to land in Georgetown.
December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, and the U.S. entered into World War II. Henderson native Husband Edward Kimmel was a U.S. Navy Four-Star Admiral who served as the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT) during the Japanese attack. He was removed from that command immediately after the attack and reassigned to his permanent Two-Star rank of Rear Admiral due to no longer holding a four-star assignment. He retired from the Navy in early 1942.
December 7, 1943, Simeon Slavens Willis became the 46th Governor of Kentucky and the 43rd individual to hold the office. Willis was the only Republican Governor between 1927 and 1967. The Governor was not able to realize his campaign promise of eliminating the state income tax because the legislature expanded the budget far beyond what he proposed. But he did forge a record of modest accomplishments, including constructing five tuberculosis hospitals across the state and significantly increasing funding for education.
December 7, 1960, Constable William Austin “Bud” Boyatt, McCreary County Constable’s Office, was shot and killed as he approached four individuals in a vehicle that he suspected of bootlegging. The suspects had parked beside the road he traveled from his residence. As he passed the vehicle, one suspect raised a bottle of liquor up for him to see. He went up the road and turned around and returned to the car. As he was walking from his car to the suspect’s car, he was shot approximately four times with a shotgun. His teen-aged son was with him and witnessed the shooting. The son returned fire as the men ran from the scene. He was 41 and survived by his wife and 11 children.
December 7, 1970, Muhammad Ali fought Oscar Bonavena in Madison Square Garden. Ali needed a court order to allow him to fight in New York. His opponent was the rugged Argentine known for not listening to his trainers (Gil Clancy for this fight). Ali had predicted a ninth-round KO and tagged Bonavena on cue, but when he moved in for the finish, Bonavena threw a desperate left hook that shook Ali. “I was numb all over,” Ali later admitted. By the 15th round, with both men exhausted, Ali threw a heavy left hook that knocked down Bonavena and then dropped him twice more for the KO. Afterward, Ali shouted: “I want Joe Frazier” and of the great rivalries in sports was born.
December 7, 1971, Governor Wendell Ford became the 53rd Governor of Kentucky. He was the first person to be successively elected Lieutenant Governor, Governor and United States Senator in Kentucky history.
Tuesday, December 7, 1971, Deputy Sheriff Jack Brock, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, was shot twice in the back of the head and killed while transporting a prisoner to jail. He had arrested the man for driving while intoxicated. The suspect was arrested the following day and charged with murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. He was 43 and survived by his wife, 10 sons, and 5 daughters.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Jennifer Leann Carpenter, born in 1979. She played Debra Morgan in the series Dexter, for which she earned a Saturn Award in 2009. In 2019, she began playing Erica Shepherd, the lead role in the NBC drama The Enemy Within.
December 7, 1979, Kentucky dedicated the Jesse Stuart State Nature Preserve in Greenup County. Jesse Stuart donated the land around his home in W Hollow. The 714 acres allows for passive recreation and environmental education. The Jesse Stuart Foundation supports the natural, cultural, and historical research on the preserve. This public foundation oversees Stuart’s literary estate.
Kentucky Trivia: Historically, more than 100 species of mussels lived in Kentucky waters; a total exceeded by Alabama, Tennessee and Georgia. Today, about 20 species are extinct or no longer live in Kentucky, and 36 of the remaining 84 species are rare.
December 7, 1995, Tim Couch was named the Gatorade Circle of Champions National High School Player of the Year. The ceremony was held at the Hyden County High School where Couch thanked his teammates.
December 7, 2004, Attorney General Greg Stumbo told the Fletcher Administration that they could not privatize the $92 million prison being built in Elliott County because the facility was paid for by Kentuckians.
December 7, 2005, a Laurel County man was charged with making methamphetamine in the presence of a child, the first case of its kind brought under a new state law. The case was also unusual because the home was booby-trapped with three bombs.
December 7, 2013, Scott County defeats Meade County 21-14 for the Class 6A Kentucky High School Football Championship. Scott County capped an undefeated championship season in front of 4,716 frosty fans in Western Kentucky’s L.T. Smith Stadium.
In his final act as governor, December 7, 2015, Steve Beshear issued more than 200 pardons. He commuted six sentences in a sweeping action that included ten women who committed crimes against their partners after enduring years of domestic violence. He also appointed his wife to the Kentucky Horse Park Commission.