TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Isaac Shelby, the first Kentucky Governor, born in 1750.

December 11, 1787, the town of Maysville was formally created and named after John May when it was part of Bourbon County.  At the time, the local post office was called Limestone and the name persisted for many years, as late as 1824 the town was still called by both names.  The town was officially named Maysville around 1799.  The defeat of the Indians at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 made the area safe for settlement.  With the finest taverns, Maysville was famous for its visitors including H. Clay and Gen. Lafayette.

December 11, 1801, Adair County was created from Green County and was named in honor of John Adair, eighth Governor of Kentucky.  The county seat is Columbia chosen one year later.  Other localities include: Breeding, Glens Fork, Gradyville, Knifley, Neatsville, Pellyton, Sparksville, Cane Valley, Coburg, Holmes Bend and Kellyville.  Adair County was the 44th county created and covers 412 square miles.

KY 1801

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Manchester native Miss Laura Rogers White born in 1852.  She was one of the first eight women to graduate from the University of Michigan (1874), and studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Boston and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  Probably her greatest architectural achievement was designing the First Christian Church of Ashland, Kentucky, which was completed in 1890.

Dec 11 Church

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Thomas Coleman DuPont.  Thomas spent much of his young life in Kentucky to become an industrialist and U.S. Senator.  In 1927, Thomas offered to purchase the Cumberland Falls area for $400,000 in order to preserve it in its natural state.  In 1931, his widow donated the land to the state of Kentucky for use as a public park.
The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 344

December 11, 1909, Jailer William Vernon Coffey, Green County Jail, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a drunk and disorderly man in the Greensburg public square.  The Greensburg town marshal was out of town at the time and Jailer Coffey was called upon to arrest the man.  The man pushed Jailer Coffey away and immediately shot him in the face before fleeing on his horse.  He was survived by his wife and young daughter.

December 11, 1923, William J. Fields, known as “Honest Bill from Olive Hill” became the 41st Governor of Kentucky.  He increased the gasoline tax to help fund his highway program.  He also preserved the Cumberland Falls from industrial development by getting T. Coleman du Pont to purchase the property around the falls and donate it to the state.  He loved keeping his dairy cows on the Governor’s Mansion’s lawn, to the dismay of many.
A New History of Kentucky By James C. Klotter, Craig Thompson Friend

Dec 11 Gov

December 11, 1931, Sheriff Albert Bogie, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to injuries sustained in a vehicle crash on the Curtis Pike the previous day while he and a Berea police officer were en route to conduct an alcohol raid.  The vehicle that the officers were riding in crashed through a bridge railing and overturned in a creek.  Sheriff Bogie had been elected two years earlier.  Sheriff Bogie was 49 and survived by his wife, son, brother, and sister.

December 11, 1939, Sergeant Louis F. Fowler, Louisville Police Department, was injured when his motorcycle fell onto of him near the intersection of North Sixth Street and West Main Street.  Sergeant Fowler had pulled away on his motorcycle without kicking up his kick stand.  When Sergeant Fowler turned the kick stand caught in the street car tracks in the street causing him to fall from the motorcycle.  Sergeant Fowler had served with the Louisville Police Department for four years.

December 11, 1951, Governor Lawrence Winchester Wetherby takes the oath of office for a second time to remain Kentucky’s 48th Governor.  In the general election, Wetherby faced Republican Court of Appeals judge Eugene Siler, a fundamentalist Christian who claimed that the state government was full of corruption.  Siler cited gambling in Northern Kentucky, bribery accusations against members of Clement’s and Wetherby’s administrations, and a 1951 scandal involving the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team; he referred to Frankfort as “our Nineveh on the Kentucky River.”

Dec 11 Wetherby 2nd Term

December 11, 1958, Columnist Ann Landers, at Lexington’s Phoenix Hotel, admiring her ashtray fashioned from a shoe from Faultless, one of the Calumet Farm’s thoroughbred racehorses who won the Blue Grass Stakes and finished third in the Derby.

Dec 11 Landers

December 11, 1970, two and half years after the race, a circuit judge ruled the Kentucky Racing Commission erred in denying first place money to Dancer’s Image when he crossed the finish line first in the 1968 Kentucky Derby.

December 11, 1976, Rupp Arena was officially dedicated.  It was a festive evening for the Wildcats and their fans, which honored former Kentucky coach and Kansas graduate Adolph Rupp before the contest.  Kentucky, which had six players score in double figures (Jack Givens 15, James Lee 14, Rick Robey 13, Dwane Casey 13, Mike Phillips 12 and Larry Johnson 10) before a crowd of 23,107.

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December 11, 1979, Governor John Young Brown, Jr. was sworn in as Kentucky’s 55th Governor.  He appointed a woman and an African-American to his cabinet, as he promised.  The most controversial appointment was Secretary of Transportation Frank Metts, who broke with political tradition, announcing that contracts would be awarded based on competitive bids.  Metts doubled the miles of roads resurfaced.  In challenging economic times, Brown stuck to his campaign promise not to raise taxes.  Instead, he reduced the state budget by 22% and cut the number of state employees by 6,400, mostly through transfer and attrition.  Simultaneously, his merit pay policies increased salaries for the remaining employees by an average of 34 percent.  He cut the executive office staff from ninety-seven to thirty and sold seven of the state’s eight government airplanes.  He also required competitive bids from banks, generating $50 million in revenue.  He created communications and contacts with Japan, setting the stage for future economic relations.  Brown was absent for more than five hundred days during his four-year term.  As noted by Kentucky historian Lowell H. Harrison, Brown’s hands-off approach allowed the legislature to gain power relative to the Governor for the first time in Kentucky history, a trend that continued into his successors’ terms.

Dec 11 Brown

December 11, 1981, Muhammad Ali’s final fight is a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick.  It took place before 10,000 fans at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau, Bahamas.  Ali was attempting his second comeback from retirement.

December 11, 1981, hundreds of spectators turned out, in near-freezing weather for the lighting of the state Christmas Tree on the plaza in front of the Capitol in Frankfort.

Dec 11 Tree

December 11, 1982, Eastern Kentucky University football coach Roy Kidd got a ride to the locker room after his Colonels earned their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Division I-AA football championship game with a 13-7 victory over Tennessee State.

Dec 11 Kidd

December 11, 1985, Roger Foster set a Kentucky record by catching a 58 pounds 4 ounces Striped Bass (rockfish) in Lake Cumberland.  The fifth-largest inland striper certified for Hall of Fame world records.  It weighed nine pounds less than the world record yielded by the Colorado River in Arizona.

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Kentucky Trivia:  Acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s oldest operating bourbon whisky distillery is Maker’s Mark in Loretto, distilling bourbon since 1805.  Burks Distillery beats out all of the other distilleries that now pack the bourbon trail.  But it wasn’t until 1953 that Maker’s Mark plunked itself down in the historic distillery before producing its first signature wax-sealed bottle in 1958.

December 11, 1995, Governor Brereton Chandler Jones, on his final day as governor, pardoned nine women who committed a crime against their alleged abusive spouses.

On December 11, 2005, in Seattle’s NFC West-clinching victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Florence native Shaun Alexander had his ninth 100–yard rushing game of the year, breaking Chris Warren’s franchise record of eight 100–yard games.  In the process he also set a more significant NFL record, running for 100 yards against divisional opponents in nine straight games, a record previously held by Walter Payton.

December 11, 2007, Steven Lynn Beshear became the 61st Governor of Kentucky and the 57th individual to hold the office.

Dec 11 Beshear

December 11, 2019, Governor Bevin files 161 pardons and 419 commutations of sentences with the Secretary of State including commutations for 336 people who were serving sentences solely for drug related charges.  In 2015, Gov. Steve Beshear issued 200 pardons and former Gov. Ernie Fletcher pardoned 100 people during his four-year term.