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February 23, 1836, Logan County native James “Jim” Bowie hurried to gather provisions and herd cattle into the Alamo compound while he was ill and confined to a bed. The Battle of the Alamo had begun and would end March 6 when he died with his compatriots.
February 23, 1847, Henry Clay Junior got shot in the left thigh in the Battle of Buena Vista of the Mexican War. He requested that his men leave him and fall back to regroup. As the wounded Clay watched his men go, he was pierced multiple times by the feared Mexican lancers. Before sending his men away, Clay entrusted a subordinate officer with returning a set of pistols to his father in Kentucky.
February 23, 1874, the General Assembly passed “an act to protect the citizens of this Commonwealth from empiricism.” The act prohibited the practice of medicine to anyone “who has not graduated at some chartered school of medicine in this or some foreign country.” Physicians who had been practicing “regularly and honorably” for ten years were exempt from this requirement.
February 23, 1935, Officer James Banahan, Lexington Police Department, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while directing traffic on the Jefferson Street Viaduct. The driver of the car was arrested a short time later.
On February 23, 1937, President F. D. Roosevelt established a national forest in Kentucky called the Cumberland National Forest. As early as 1933, the federal government began acquiring land. Initially, the forest contained 350,000 acres in 16 Kentucky counties. Today there are nearly 709,000 acres in 21 counties. In 1966, after years of debate, the name changed to the Daniel Boone National Forest.
February 23, 1938, a young Governor Happy Chandler announced his bid for U.S. Senate in Newport against Senator Alben Barkley. In one of Kentucky’s most grueling campaigns marked by federal investigations and poisonings, Alben beats the Governor decisively. Governor Chandler would be a Kentucky Senator the following year.
February 23, 1969, Army SP4 Edwin D. Caswell from Lexington, Marine Corps PFC Ronald McIntosh from Booneville in Owsley County and Army SP4 Robert J. Blaut Jr. from Silver Grove from Campbell County, all died in the Vietnam War.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native D’Angelo Russell, born in 1996. D’Angelo was guard selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2015. After two seasons in Los Angeles, he went on to play for the Brooklyn Nets, Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves.
On February 23, 1996, Rex Chapman scored 39 points (converting 9 of 10 3-point attempts) and led an injury-plagued Miami Heat team with an 8-man roster to a 113–104 victory over the Chicago Bulls. This loss was one of ten for the Bull’s historic 72-10 run.
Kentucky Trivia: Rex Chapman has over 1,100,000 Twitter followers.
February 23, 2019, with an 80-53 victory over Auburn, John Calipari moves past Joe B. Hall for the second most victories by a UK head coach in program history. He trails only the Baron of the Bluegrass, Adolph Rupp.