TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Happy New Year!

January 1, 1795, John Bradford, John Breckinridge, Dr. Frederick Ridgely and several other gentlemen “Resolve to organize a library called Transylvania Library.”  Almost a year passed before books were placed in the Transylvania Seminary Building.”
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 23

January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.”  The proclamation also called for the recruitment and establishment of Black military units among the Union forces.

January 1, 1896, Lexington native James Hilary Mulligan resigned his post as Consul-General to Samoa; that President Cleveland appointed him to.  Cleveland immediately appointed him Consul-General to Cape Town, Africa, but he declined.  James did accept a position with the treasury department.

Horse Racing Trivia:  All racing thoroughbreds born in 2020 will turn one year old today.

mare with newborn foal in stall

January 1, 1900, when Republican Governor Taylor took office, the first act of the Attorney General, Clifton J. Pratt, was to file suit in the name of the Commonwealth against the Democratic controlled Election Board Committee.  The historic fight for the Governor’s mansion was underway.

January 1, 1900, the Mamre Baptist College opened its doors in Clay County with 100 students of boys, girls, men, and women with three teachers.  Classes ranged from grades one through eight.  Tuition was $1 a month.  Only a few were able to pay cash; others brought farm animals, produce or coal dug on the family farm.

On January 1, 1902, Nathan Stubblefield demonstrated his wireless telephone, assisted by his 14-year-old son Bernard, to “hundreds of people” in Murray.  The night attracted national attention.

January 1, 1918, U.S. Coal and Coke Company completed their railroad to Lynch.  Construction of the town and railroad began less than a half year earlier and the new town already had 1,500 men on the payroll.

January 1, 1921, Louisville chorus girls sing in the New Year!

Jan 1 HNY

January 1, 1924, Simpson County native Emma Guy Cromwell became Kentucky’s Secretary of State in Governor W.J. Field’s administration.  Cromwell became the first woman to hold a statewide office in Kentucky when she was elected state librarian, in 1896, by a vote of the Kentucky State Senate.  Later she won an election for Kentucky State Treasurer and she was appointed State Park Director, State Bond Commissioner, State Librarian and Director of Archives.

January 1, 1951, the #7 Kentucky Wildcats, led by Coach Bear Bryant, beat #1 Oklahoma Sooners 13-7 in the 17th Sugar Bowl.  It is considered one of the biggest upsets in college football.  Oklahoma’s regular-season record was 10-0; Kentucky’s was 10-1.  Oklahoma averaged 34.5 points per game and entered the game with a 31-game winning streak.  Only one team had scored more than twice in a game against Kentucky that season.  UK’s defensive tackle, Walt Yowarsky, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player, who recovered a fumble on the Oklahoma 22-yard line, leading to Kentucky’s first score.  He had played less than five minutes on defense during the regular season.

January 1, 1951, Army CPL John Payne from Henry County died in the Korean War.

January 1, 1952, #15 Kentucky conquers #11 Texas Christian, 20-7, before 75,349 in the 16th Cotton Bowl in Dallas.  Kentucky’s Emery Clark, Babe Parilli and Ray Correll were named the MVPs of the game.

January 1, 1953, Marine Corps SSGT George E. Waggoner from Louisville and Marine Corps CPL Claud A. Yelton from Dry Ridge in Grant County both died in the Korean War.

January 1, 1957, the Louisville Cardinals football team defeated Drake in the Sun Bowl played in El Paso.  It was the 12th season for head coach Frank Camp and this team compiled a 9–1 record.  The Cardinals played their home games at Fairgrounds Stadium in Louisville.

January 1, 1967, Army PFC Larry A. Bullock from Somerset died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1968, Army SP4 Robert L. Campbell from Lancaster died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1969, Army SSG James M. Hall from Benton in Marshall County died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1970, Army SGT Kenneth W. Todd from Brodhead in Rockcastle County died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1971, Army LTC Eugene I. Smith from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

On January 1, 1975, the following Kentucky law was struck from the books: “No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless at least two officers escort her or unless she is armed with a club.”

January 1, 1980, the federal minimum wage increased for Americans, including 87,300 Kentuckians, from $3.10 to $3.35 an hour.  

January 1, 1991, #18 Louisville Cardinals defeated #25 Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl 34-7 in Tempe.

January 1, 1999, Kentucky Wildcats lost to #22 Penn State in the Tampa Bay, FL. Outback Bowl 14-26.

Kentucky Trivia:  There are nine legally designated “Wild Rivers” that conserve the Commonwealth’s pristine waterways for habitat and recreation.  They are the Cumberland River, Red River, Green River, Rockcastle River, Big South Fork of the Cumberland River, Little South Fork of the Cumberland River, Rock Creek, Bad Branch and Martin’s Fork.

January 1, 2000, a horse was silhouetted against the rising sun at Mill Ridge Farm in Lexington.

Jan 1. Sun

January 1, 2006, in a game versus the Green Bay Packers, Florence native Shaun Alexander set the single-season touchdown record at 28.  Alexander also won his first NFL rushing title with 1,880 rushing yards while leading the NFC for the second consecutive year.

January 1, 2006, Army SGT Jason L. Bishop, 31, of Williamstown was killed when an explosive device detonated near his humvee during patrol operations in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

January 1, 2010, U.S. mine deaths hit a record low of 34 for 2009, a decrease for the second straight year.  However, Kentucky led the nation with seven deaths; six in coal mines and one in a limestone quarry.

January 1, 2010, a unique exhibit of artifacts that focused on Abraham Lincoln’s death began at the National Museum of Health & Medicine on the Walter Reed Medical Center Campus.  One item was the fatal bullet that struck the Kentucky native in Ford’s Theater.

January 1, 2013, the average temperature at the Louisville airport in 2012 was 61 degrees, making it the hottest year in Louisville history.  The previous record was 60.5 degrees set in 2007.  The hottest day was a steaming 106 degrees on July 7.

January 1, 2015, Governor Steve Beshear proclaimed 2015 the Year of the Women Veteran in Kentucky.  There were 33,000 women veterans in the Commonwealth in 2015.

January 1, 2015, Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, spoke out against her concern for the youth gravitating towards e-cigarettes.  In 2011 approximately 79,000 youngsters tried vaping; in 2013, it jumped to 213,000.  Many claim it is the lesser of two evils.

January 1, 2019, the wettest year for Lexington was 2018; such records began to be kept in 1872.  When the city hit 66.97 inches in early December, it broke the 2001 record.  New Year’s Eve ended the year with a tad over 71 inches.

January 1, 2019, #16 Kentucky Wildcats defeated #13 Penn State in the Citrus Bowl 27-24.  Benny Snell became UK’s career rushing leader on his 12-yard TD run late in the third quarter by breaking Sonny Collins’ record of 3,835 yards from 1972-75.  The 16th-ranked Wildcats ended their best season in more than four decades on a winning note.