TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Thank You For Visiting

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Hodgenville native Abraham Lincoln born in 1809 in LaRue County.  At the age of 21, he left home and canoed to New Salem, Illinois, where he signed on to a local riverboat firm.  At 52, he became our 16th President.  Hodgenville was in Hardin County at the time of the President’s birth.

Feb 16  abraham lincoln

February 12, 1820, Grant County was created from Pendleton County and was named in honor of Samuel Grant, John Grant, and Squire Grant, three of the county’s earliest settlers.  Williamstown is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include: Corinth, Crittenden, Dry Ridge and Jonesville.  Grant County was the 67th county created and covers 261 square miles.

KY 1820

February 12, 1825, Jefferson County native James Brown Ray became the 4th Governor of Indiana.

February 12, 1833, Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky asked the Senate to modify the Tariff of 1832 in order to make it more agreeable towards both northern and southern interests.  He began his speech by explaining that he refused to get rid of the tariff simply because one side did not agree with it, nor would he keep it exactly as it because one side was happy with it.  He believed that it was his duty as a congressman to adapt legislation to “the whole face of the country.” 

February 12, 1842, Marshall County was created from Calloway County and was named in honor of John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.  Benton is the county seat.  Other localities include: Calvert City, Hardin, Gilbertsville, Aurora, Big Bear Area, Brewers, Briensburg, Draffenville, Fairdealing, Harvey, Moors Camp Area, Oak Level, Olive, Palma, Possum Trot, Sharpe and Tatumsville.  Marshall County was the 95th county created and covers 304 square miles.

KY 1842

February 12, 1904, State College (UK) plays Kentucky University (Transylvania) in KU’s Gymnasium.  KU was to play Georgetown this night but the game was called because the teams couldn’t agree on a referee.   Luckily for the fans, the State College team was present and agreed to play.  KU beats State 12-5.

February 12, 1909, the centennial of Abraham Lincoln’s birth was celebrated by a visit from President Theodore Roosevelt to Hodgenville on a cold rainy day.  President Roosevelt arrived at the Sinking Spring Farm ceremonies by carriage, escorted by twelve Confederate veterans, and spoke for the cornerstone’s formal laying for Lincoln Memorial Hall, the first Lincoln Memorial.  The President addressed the crowd of nearly 3,000 a month before the end of his second term.  The celebration reverberated across the country.  Speeches, formal dinners, and fireworks marked the celebration from New York to San Francisco.  President Roosevelt was a well-known Lincoln admirer and was devoted to preserving Lincoln’s memory and passionately endorsed the project.  The Roosevelt family attended, including daughter Ethel Roosevelt.

Feb 12 MY KY Roosevelt at Lincoln birthplace

February 12, 1916, Louisville played (State University) Kentucky in basketball and wins 28-22.  From the Courier-Journal, “Louisville’s victory tonight gives them a big claim for the State championship.  They have already defeated the fives from Georgetown, Transylvania and Central.  A return game will be played at Louisville sometime in the future and the best State can hope for is an even break on the series.”

February 12, 1942, Patrolman James Leslie Hedgepeth, Louisville Police Department, succumbed to injuries sustained 10 days earlier while directing traffic at the scene of a fire.  Patrolman Hedgepeth and William Kinney were struck by a drunk driver at 7:15 pm, while attempting to keep fire lanes open at Jackson and Main Streets for apparatus responding to a three-alarm fire.  While on the scene a drunk driver entered the area at a high rate of speed.  Patrolman Hedgepeth attempted to flag the driver down but instead the man drove over him, dragging him 70 feet and over a fire hose.  Patrolman Kinney witnessed the incident and charged towards the vehicle, striking and dragging him 100 feet.

Kentucky Trivia:  In February 1943, Lawrenceburg native Anna Mac Clarke was reassigned as third officer and became the first black Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp (WACC) assigned to command an all-white platoon.

Feb 12 AMClarke
Anna Mac Clarke is pictured here in her military uniform. Courtesy of the Kentucky Human Rights Commission.

February 12, 1951, Army 2LT John C. Barbey from Hardin, Army PVT Roy K. Bellamy Jr. from Boyd County, Army CPL Howard R. Boyd from Boyd County, Army PFC Robert Dempsey from Floyd County, Army CPL Neal M. Knight from Todd County, Army PFC Jesse L. Leisure from Hardin County, Army PVT Richard C. McCowan from Lincoln County, Army SFC Mosco Mills from Knox County, Army PVT Henry Ransom Jr. from Madison County, Army SGT James W. Sampson from Whitley County and Army CPL Ray B. Yates from Jefferson County, all died in the Vietnam War.

February 12, 1968, Army SP4 Ralph E. Peters from Booneville in Owsley County died in the Vietnam War.

February 12, 1969, Marine Corps PFC Michael A. Shepherd from Milton in Trimble County died in the Vietnam War.

Horse Racing Trivia:  February 12, 1972, a horse industry study stated in 1961, 30,381 thoroughbreds competed in 40,744 races in North America on 4,641 racing dates.  In 1971, 50,479 thoroughbreds ran in 57,467 races on 6,394 racing days.  In 2019 there were 36,207 races run in North America.

February 12, 1986, Detective John Robert Weiss, Shively Police Department, was killed while conducting an undercover narcotics investigation.  Detective Weiss was able to return fire wounding his killer.

February 12, 2006, shortly after the beginning of the General Assembly’s legislative session, Governor Ernie Fletcher was hospitalized with abdominal pain.  After minor complications and a slow recovery, on March 1, he was discharged.

February 12, 2011, Golden Gate Fields host the El Camino Real Derby (GIII) on the road to the Kentucky Derby.  It was a Keeneland graduate trifecta with six going to post for $200,000.

February 12, 2014, a federal judge struck down a Kentucky practice that did not recognize same-sex unions performed in other states where it is legal.  This ruling may lead the way to gay marriage in the Commonwealth.

February 12, 2016, Louisville native and artist Cathy Sullivan’s Derby Poster printed for the first time.

Feb 12 Debry poster 1

February 12, 2020, the National Farm Machinery Show “Championship Tractor Pull” opened in Freedom Hall with good $10 tickets.

February 12, 2020, Ford’s Theatre campus in Washington D.C. opens a new $25 million museum and education center focused on President Abraham Lincoln.