TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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December 19, 1796, Warren County was created from Logan County and was named in honor of Joseph Warren, Revolutionary War General.  Bowling Green is the county seat.  Other localities include: Oakland, Plum Springs, Smiths Grove, Woodburn, Plano, Anna, Bristow, Girkin, Glenmore, Gotts, Hydro, Kepler, Loving, Martinsville, Polkville, Pondsville, Richardsville, Riverside, Sunnyside, Three Forks, and Tuckertown.  In South Warren localities include: Alvatonm Blue Level, Boyce, Browning, Claypool, Drake, Greenhill, Guy, Hadley, Hardcastle, Lost River, Matlock, Memphis Junction, Petros, Rich Pond, Rockfield, Rockland, Shawnee Estates, Springhill and Three Springs.  Warren County was the 23rd county created and covers 546 square miles.

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December 19, 1798, Jessamine County was created from Fayette County and was named for the Jessamine Creek, which contains a set of rapids that are the county’s most well-known natural feature.  Nicholasville is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include: Wilmore, High Bridge, Brannon Woods and Keene.  Jessamine County was the 27th county created and covers 175 square miles.

December 19, 1798, Barren County was created from Green County and Warren County and was named for the Barrens, a region of grassland in Kentucky. Glasgow is the County Seat.  Other cities and towns located in the county include: Cave City, Park City, Hiseville, Austin, Eighty Eight, Lecta, Rocky Hill, Finney and Temple Hill.  Barren County was the 29th county created and covers 500 square miles.

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December 19, 1799, Knox County was created from Lincoln County and was named in honor of Henry Knox, United States Secretary of War.   Barbourville is the county seat.  Other localities include: Corbin, (primarily in Whitley County) Artemus, Flat Lick, North Corbin, (primarily in Laurel County) Gray and Kay Jay.  Knox County was the 42nd county created and covers 388 square miles.

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December 19, 1821, Hickman County was created from Caldwell County and Livingston County.  The county was named in honor of Paschal Hickman, military captain killed at the Battle of Frenchtown.  Clinton is the county seat.  Columbus is another community.  Hickman County was the 69th county created and covers 253 square miles.

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December 19, 1821, Pike County was created from Floyd County and was named in honor of Zebulon Pike, western explorer and discoverer of Pike’s Peak.  Pikeville is the county seat.  Other cities and towns located in the county include: Coal Run Village, Elkhorn City, Belfry, Freeburn, McCarr, Phelps, South Williamson, Ashcamp, Beefhide (partial), Belcher, Broad Bottom, Canada, Cedarville, Dorton, Fedscreek, Fords Branch, Garden Village, Hellier, Jonancy, Kimper, Lick Creek, Mouthcard, Phyllis, Raccoon, Shelbiana, Sidney, Stone, Stopover, Varney and Virgie.  Pike County was the 71st county created and covers 789 square miles, making it Kentucky’s largest county.

December 19, 1821, county courts are authorized to purchase lands and erect “poor houses.”

December 19, 1891, the Kentucky State College (UK) played their only football game of the season.  The team lost a single match to Centre, the first instance of this rivalry.  The team’s colors were blue and light yellow, decided before the game.  A student asked “What color blue?” and varsity letterman Richard C. Stoll pulled off his necktie, and held it up.  This is still held as the origin of Kentucky’s shade of blue.  The next year light yellow was dropped and changed to white.

December 19, 1920, the government sounds the alarm on the decrease in the horse population.  With the automobile’s mass production, horses saw a significant reduction in their use in towns, cities, and farms.  The Secretary of Horse Association stated the only remedy was extensive and responsible breeding.

December 19, 1950, Army PVT Bobby Davis from Christian County died in the Korean War.

December 19, 1959, Governor Bert T. Combs calls for a legislature’s special session in one of his first acts as governor.  The purpose was to create a new Kentucky constitution.  The legislatures created one and gave it the people to vote on in November of 1960.  Kentuckians defeated it by almost 18,000 votes.  This was the closest Kentucky has come to replace the 1891 constitution, which remains in effect today.

December 19, 1960, Henry Clay’s Ashland estate became a National Historic Landmark.

December 19, 1960, Perryville Battlefield, site of largest battle in Kentucky during the American Civil War, became a National Historic Landmark.

December 19, 1970, the Lee Corso’s Louisville Cardinals tie Long Beach State in the Pasadena Bowl 24-24 to end the season 8-3-1.

December 19, 1971, Trooper William Harrel Barrett, Kentucky State Police, was shot and killed in an ambush at his home by an unknown suspect.  Barrett, 35, had just completed a 4 p.m. to midnight shift and had backed into his driveway in Rockfield.  As he stepped out of his car, someone emerged from around a building next to Barrett’s residence and shot the trooper twice, once in the right shoulder and once in the stomach.  The shooter fled the scene after ducking through a gap in a fence line and is still wanted.

December 19, 1971, Air Force CAPT Leo T. Thomas Jr from Georgetown died in the Vietnam War.

December 19, 1980, the failure to find adequate financing forced officials of the Louisville International Tennis Classic to cancel the 1981 tennis tournament, thus ending professional tennis in Kentucky.

December 19, 1990, Governor Wallace Wilkinson‘s administration got strict on landfill laws for garbage operators while complying with the environmental request for stringent rules on waste regulations.  

Kentucky Trivia:  Transylvania University, the oldest university west of the Allegheny Mountains, derives its name from the Latin phrase “across the woods,” which was fitting for the school’s early days.  The first classes took place in a local minister’s cabin.

December 19, 2002, Thomas Layzell was unanimously selected by Kentucky’s postsecondary education council as president.

December 19, 2002, John L. Smith the coach who rode out of obscurity to lead, the University of Louisville football program to its most successful five-year run, resigned one day after losing in the GMAC Bowl.  He had taken his dream job as head coach at Michigan State.

December 19, 2006, Trooper Jonathan Kyle Leonard, Kentucky State Police, was killed in an automobile accident on US 119 in Pike County while responding to a domestic violence call.  Trooper Leonard had served with the Kentucky State Police for three years.  He was 28 and survived by his parents and two brothers.

December 19, 2015, the National Cancer Institute released a study that claimed Kentucky was number one in cancer deaths in the U.S per capita.  The report claimed that lung cancer was the number one culprit in Kentucky and ranked in the top 10 nationally for breast, colorectal and cervical cancers.  Lung cancer numbers were staggering, 100,000 people; 92.4 compared with 60.4 nationally.

December 19, 2018, the Kentucky General Assembly ignored the pleas of Governor Bevin and ended the surprise special session he called the day before to address the ailing public pension crisis.  Lawmakers said the decision to go home was based on the fact that the pension disaster evolved over many years, and a five-day special session would not solve it.

Dec 19 Assembly