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Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Jesse James’s parents, Robert Salle James and Zerelda Elizabeth Cole, who married in Stamping Ground in 1841.  Both Kentucky natives, Robert hailed from Lickskillet in Logan County, and Zerelda from Woodford County.

December 28, 1854, Bullitt County native James Turner Morehead passed away.  Mr. Morehead served as our 12th Class II U.S. Senator and 12th governor.  He was also the 1st native-born Kentuckian to be governor.  A member of Henry Clay’s National Republican Party, Morehead entered politics to challenge the Democratic Party’s dominance in the state.

December 28, 1861, the Battle of Sacramento took place in McLean County.  Five-hundred CSA troops squared off against 200-300 Union troops.  The battle ended with a Confederate victory.

December 28, 1864, 125 miles north of Burkesville, Rebels lit the Hardinsburg Courthouse on fire in Breckinridge County.  They tried to burn it to the ground, but locals saved it from a total loss and saved the county records.  Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg: 10

December 28, 1892, an armed mob led by many well-known citizens gathered at the courthouse and seized a black male named Bob Harper.  Police jailed him for an alleged assault on a white woman in Barren County’s Park City.  Locals took him to the Warren County Fair Grounds.  They hung him from a tree.  During this time, lynchings had become a widespread practice due to the “threat” of newly freed slaves.  The mobs justified their actions on the premise of protecting white females.  Kentucky lynchings reached an all-time high in 1892; one source recorded the hangings of 69 whites and 161 blacks.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native John Young Brown Junior, born in 1933, the 55th Kentucky governor.

December 28, 1943, Representative Andrew J. May confirmed he and associates bought 2,000 acres of timber on the Cumberland River and planned to cut it as soon as labor and machinery became available.  The tract is near Partridge in Letcher County.

On December 28, 1947, the Louisville Railway Company planned to replace all streetcars with gasoline busses within a month.  The last working streetcar ran the Fourth-Queen route.

December 28, 1951, Army CPL Herbert E. Guffey from Clinton County died in the Korean War.

December 28, 1954, the Surgeon General announced 1954 had the biggest baby boom and the lowest death rate in American history.  For the 1st time, U.S. births exceeded 4,000,000.

December 28, 1963, WKU defeated the Coast Guard 27-0 in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, now named the Citrus Bowl.  Ohio Valley Conference’s (OVC) Coach of the Year (OTY) Nick Denes led the Hilltoppers to the OVC championship, and finished the season undefeated.  This team was one of the finest in school history and set a school record for victories.  The roster included future NFL players J. Mutchler, D. Lindsey, J. Burt, H. Chambers, and coach J. Bugel.  The OVC named J. Mutchler Defensive Player OTY.

December 28, 1967, Army SGT Kenneth Allen from Berea died in the Vietnam War.

December 28, 1971, the Keeneland Association donated $32,150 to 47 Central Kentucky organizations at its annual year-end distribution.  The largest single grant of $5,000 went to the United Fund of Lexington and Fayette County.

December 28, 1972, Keeneland announced its annual contribution, $44,425.  The two largest recipients received $5,000 each.  Transy received $3,000.  The racecourse had dispensed $1.58 million in 36 years of operations.

December 28, 1983, about 117,000 Kentuckians won a temporary reprieve from a 17.7% increase from the state’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Kentucky.  Governor M. L. Collins postponed the rate hike until locals held a public hearing into the manner.

December 28, 1985, #15 Louisville and Denny Crum met #13 Kentucky and Eddie Sutton.  The Cats pulled out a close one 69-64 in Rupp Arena.  Winston Bennett (UK-23) and Milt Wagner (UL-19) were high scorers.  Officials counted 24,180 in attendance.

December 28, 1991, #21 Louisville traveled east on I-64 to meet #17 Kentucky.  Pitino’s Wildcats defeated Crum’s Cardinals 103-89.  Greg Minor (UL-18) and John Pelphrey (UK-26) earned high scorer honors.  The official attendance came in at 24,295.

On December 28, 1993, Howard Schnellenberger’s Louisville Cardinals defeated Michigan State 18-7 in the Liberty Bowl with Jeff Brohm as QB.

December 28, 1995, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources accepted a gift of nearly 34,000 acres in Western Kentucky, valued at more than $5 million, the largest land acquisition in the Wildlife Agency’s history.  A majority of the land came from reclaimed coal mines.

December 28, 2002, the hype leading up to the Kentucky and Louisville game centered around two former Cats who were now Cardinals.  When the dust settled in front of 20,061 fans at Freedom Hall, Rick Pitino and Marvin Stone looked like they made the right choice in jumping ship.  Louisville upset Tubby’s #14 Cats 63 -81.

December 28, 2008, the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project reported a wealth of archaeological information about the region, but nothing to stop the construction.  Items found during construction included spear points from ancient Native Americans, sandstone remains of a 19th-century millrace and evidence of a Louisville brothel.  Archaeologists painstakingly documented their excavations.  As a result, the Abraham Lincoln Bridge opened in December 2015.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to ex Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, who married Regina Crawford in a private family ceremony in 2013.  Regina worked for Mitch McConnell at the time of their marriage.

December 28, 2017, Louisville native Sue Taylor Grafton, author of detective novels, passed away.  Her “alphabet series” (“A” Is for Alibi, etc.) made her famous, which featured private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, CA.  The daughter of detective novelist C. W. Grafton said the strongest influence was author Ross Macdonald.

December 28, 2021, the White Oak Initiative educated the public about how the White Oak tree plays a crucial role in Kentucky’s ecosystem and economy.  The Initiative warned how the species would see a significant decline soon without action to help it regenerate.  By law, Kentucky bourbon must be aged in new White Oak charred containers, which gives the bourbon its unique color and flavor.

December 28, 2022, bird watchers from around the globe came to Kentucky to spot the rare pink-footed goose. Confirmed sightings took place in Shelby County, Nicholasville, and Lexington.