TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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January 7, 1812, Captain Nathaniel G.S. Hart, a brother in law of Henry Clay and Samuel E. Watson, both of Lexington, appeared on “the field of Honor,” in Indiana, just opposite of Louisville.  The duel was called off after one round and neither were injured.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 28

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Henderson native Ann Rutledge born in 1813.  Ann is acknowledged as Abraham Lincoln’s first love.

January 7, 1824, Spencer County was created from Shelby County, Bullitt County and Nelson County and was named in honor of Spears Spencer, military captain killed at the Battle of Tippecanoe.  Taylorsville is the county seat.  Other localities include: Fisherville, Elk Creek, Little Mount, Mount Eden, Rivals, Waterford, Whitfield, and Yoder.  Spencer County was the 75th county created and covers 193 square miles.

KY 1824

January 7, 1852, Powell County was created from Clark County, Estill County and Montgomery County and was named in honor of Lazarus Whitehead Powell, 19th Governor of Kentucky.  The county seat is Stanton.  Other localities include Clay City and Slade.  Powell County was the 101st county created and covers 180 square miles.

KY 1852

January 7, 1865, Asa Harmon was shot and killed in a cave along Peter Creek in Pike County.  The Logan Wildcats, Confederate guerillas, led by Jim Vance, a Hatfield relative, tracked Harmon to the cave, shot him, and left him to die.   Asa Harmon was also a member of the Kentucky home guard unit in Pike County that spied and stole horses belonging to the Logan Wildcats in West Virginia.  He returned to the Tug Valley, an area that sided heavily with the Confederacy.  Asa Harmon McCoy’s connections to the Union, more so than his last name, led to his death in that cave.  No one was prosecuted for Harmon’s death and though this is the first recorded incident between the Hatfields and McCoys, more than a decade would pass before the feud truly began.

Jan 7 Killing

On January 7, 1867, Kentucky rejected the 14th Amendment.  The U.S. Congress passed it in 1868.  Governor Bramlette opposed it because the Confederate states’ post-war treatment was unfair, and the ratification process therefore corrupted.  Both the Kentucky House and Senate agreed.  Kentucky didn’t ratify the Fourteenth Amendment until over one hundred years later, in 1976.  Kentucky was the last of the original thirty-seven states to do so.  The 14th Amendment guaranteed African Americans citizenship and all its privileges.  However, it was more complicated than just that one issue.  The 14th Amendment is one of the most litigated parts of the Constitution, forming the basis for landmark decisions such as Brown v. Board of Education (1954) regarding racial segregation, Roe v. Wade (1973) regarding abortion and Bush v. Gore (2000).

On January 7, 1878, Deputy Sheriff John Ruggless, Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed near Concord while he and a posse attempted to apprehend one of two brothers who wanted to steal horses.  The brothers were also part of a larger feud between two families that had left several members of each family dead over several years.  When the Sheriff received word that the man had returned to Lewis County, he immediately gathered a posse and searched for him.  When he located the man, the suspect opened fire, striking Deputy Ruggless in the chest.  The suspect was shot and wounded but was able to escape.  He was eventually apprehended and acquitted when the trial moved to another county.  The man died years later as part of the ongoing feud.

Horse Racing Trivia:  The winning horse of the Belmont Stakes is traditionally draped in a blanket of over 700 carnations, taking more than five hours to weave, and weighing more than 40 pounds.

Winners blanket for the Belmont Stakes

January 7, 1901, Newport native Frank Williams Hunt was sworn in as Idaho’s 5th Governor.  

January 7, 1948, 25-year-old Captain Thomas F. Mantell, a Kentucky Air National Guard pilot, died in the crash of his P-51 Mustang fighter after being sent to pursue an unidentified flying object (UFO).  The event was among the most publicized early UFO incidents in America.

January 7, 1951, Army CPL Paul L. Daniels from Johnson County, Army CPL Paul M. Gordon from Grant County and Army SFC Earl C. Lewis from Perry County, all died in the Korean War.

January 7, 1960, Constable William Austin “Bud” Boyatt, McCreary County Constable’s Office, was 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 Bud passed the car, 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 approached the suspect’s car, he was shot approximately four times with a shotgun.  His teenaged son was with him and witnessed the shooting.

January 7, 1968, Marine Corps LCPL Paul H. Webb from Elsmere in Kenton County and Marine Corps SSGT Claude H. Dorris from Louisville, both died in the Vietnam War.

January 7, 1970, Army SSG Gene G. Wells from Pulaski died in the Vietnam War.

January 7, 1981, a historic press conference took place to announce that two legendary congressmen were willing to pass the torch to a new generation.  68-year-old Rep. Carl D. Perkins and 71-year-old William H. Natcher declared their intention to retire in 2000.  Much mirth surrounded their decision.

January 7, 1992, Bruce Wilkinson said, “It’s got something on it….It does! Fell it.”  Bruce was talking to lobbyist Jay Spurrier, in Spurrier’s room at the Capitol Plaza as they noticed the bribe money they were counting was coated with a sticky powder.  This was one of many memorable quotes from the BOBTROT investigation.

Kentucky Trivia: It is illegal to feed bears directly or indirectly for any reason.

Friday, January 7, 2000, Governor Paul Patton flies to Owensboro to offer victims of Monday’s tornado low-interest loans to rebuild.  2,500 citizens still had no power during the Governor’s visit.

Vowing to find the truth, on January 7, 2000, the U.S. Attorney donned a hard hat as workers began an extraordinary excavation at an old landfill outside the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant.  The justice department ordered five large trenches dug up as part of an investigation into a whistleblower lawsuit that alleges the plant lied about their pollution and contamination to get millions of dollars in performance incentives.

January 7, 2007, Jared Lorenzen‘s first play in the NFL was in the Giants’ wild card loss against the Philadelphia Eagles.  On the Giants’ opening drive, he lined up at quarterback on a third-and-one and got the first down, “shifting the pile” in the process, on the way to a Giants touchdown.

January 7, 2019, Raynor Mullins, 74, a UK dentistry professor returned to work with a pay raise and new job after winning a lawsuit that included cash.  He was allegedly pushed out by university officials for publically criticizing Governor Bevin’s Medicaid waiver because it reduced dental coverage.   Mullins sued UK over the first amendment.

January 7, 2020, gun right advocates rally at the state capitol with their weapon of choice to voice their concerns over proposed legislation that would restrict some semi-automatic weapons along with other restrictions.

Jan 7 Guns

January 7, 2020, Governor Andy Beshear announced he permanently waived the $125 fee for Kentuckians to take the GED test for free.  335,000 Kentuckians over 18 did not have a GED at the time.