December 1, 1776, two years after the first settlement at Harrodsburg, the Virginia legislature divided all their territory west of the mountains, known as Fincastle County, into Washington, Montgomery, and Kentucky Counties. Harrodsburg was the first county seat of Kentucky County. The territory was essentially the same boundary as the state is today.
December 1, 1866, the first pedestrians crossed the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge connecting Cincinnati and Covington. One hundred sixty-six thousand people crossed in the first two days. On a side note, John’s son built the Brooklyn Bridge constructed three years later.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Governor James Robinson and his third wife Caroline “Carrie” Hening, who wed in 1873. Carrie was 36 years his junior and they were both natives of Scott County. James was the 22nd governor for less than a year and the two were married after he left office.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Simeon Slavens Willis, Kentucky’s 48th governor, born in 1879. Willis was the only Republican governor between 1927 and 1967. The governor was not able to realize his campaign promise of eliminating the state income tax because of the enormous budget. But he did record modest accomplishments, including constructing five tuberculosis hospitals across the state and significantly increasing funding for education.
December 1, 1919, Governor James Black, the 39th governor, issued a pardon for Henry Youtsey, a recent parolee who had served eighteen years for conspiracy in the assassination of Governor William Goebel, the 34th governor.
December 1, 1930, Class II Senator Ben M. Williamson won the November election to finish Jon M. Robsion’s term. Williamson had the 2nd shortest term for a Kentucky Senator only serving three months and two days.
Army CPL Clifford D. Beasley from Jefferson County
Army PVT James F. Binkley from Caldwell County
Army CPL Fred T. Chatfield from Whitley County
Marine Corps 1stLT Harold W. Dean from Anchorage
Army CPL Charles E. Dismukes from Graves County
Marine Corps PFC Reubin Fields from Cumberland in Harlan County
Army PFC Rodger E. Fields from Perry County
Army CPL George T. Fisher from Nicholas County
Army PFC M. C. Geurin Jr from Calloway County
Army SGT Ralph E. Kegley from Boyd County
Army CPL James E. Lemaster from Johnson County
Army PVT Charles H. Mcatee from Shelby County
Army PFC Frankie K. Morgan from Hancock County
Army SGT Elmer Mullins from Letcher County
Army CPL Roy L. Powell from Whitley County
Army PVT Robert J. Sipes Jr from Bullitt County
Army PFC John W. Spurlock from Clark County
Army CPL Wilson Aubrey from Warren County
December 1, 1950, Memorial Coliseum opens when the Wildcats routed the West Texas State Buffaloes. The facility was built as a memorial to Kentuckians who had died during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Later, the names of all Kentuckians who died in the Vietnam War were added. Originally, it had an official capacity of 12,000, making it the largest arena in the South at the time.
December 1, 1955, after a long day of work, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. She took her seat in the ‘colored’ section. As she rode the Cleveland Avenue bus home, the bus began to fill.
December 1, 1961, Deputy Sheriff Douglas Frank Hutton, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed as he and four other deputies attempted to arrest an escaped convict. As the deputies surrounded the house the suspect fired a shot through the front door at the deputy who announced their presence.
December 1, 1970, Tom Payne plays his first game for the Wildcats under Coach Rupp. Rupp signed Payne, an athletic 7′-2″ center out of Louisville. This ended the all-white Kentucky basketball teams forever and marked a new era with black Kentucky basketball legends.
December 1, 1980, the Richmond Camp of Gideons, a religious organization that distributes Bibles in motel rooms across the country, gave bibles to fifth-graders in Madison County. They had been doing it for several years. On this day, organizations and individuals began to speak up against the practice by sending a letter to Madison County School Board asking the Gideons to stop.
December 1, 2006, Russell Baze won the fourth race at Bay Meadows and set the world’s record for most career victories. He passed jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. by winning career race 9,531. He is the first jockey to win 10,000 races. In 2013 he won his 12,000th race. Since the inauguration of the Isaac Murphy Award in 1995, presented annually by the National Turf Writers Association to the jockey with the highest winning percentage in North America, Baze has won it 13 of 14 years, coming in second in 2004.
December 1, 2012, Trinity beats Pleasure Ridge Park for the 54th High School Football State Championship 61-7 in division 6A. The game was held in Bowling Green in front of 7,412 fans at Houchens-L.T. Smith Stadium.
December 1, 2014, Casey County bans tobacco on their school grounds. With only one dissenting vote, the school board made it another long-time Southern Kentucky tobacco county that goes tobacco-free in their school systems.
December 1, 2018, the 1882 historic Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot in Paris re-opened as a restaurant and bar. The trains stopped in the late 1960s and sat empty for over 50 years until localtonians like Chris Poynter got involved and restored the landmark.