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Kentucky Trivia

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Governor James Garrard and his childhood sweetheart, Elizabeth Mountjoy, who wed in 1769.  They had five sons and seven daughters.  One son and two daughters died before reaching age two.  All the surviving sons participated in the War of 1812.  All served in the Kentucky General Assembly.  Several of his grandsons served in the Civil War; two became Union Generals.  Another grandson, James H. Garrard, served five consecutive terms as state treasurer from 1857 until he died in 1865.

On December 20, 1792, legislators created the state seal during the 1st Kentucky General Assembly and adopted the state motto.  Legislators ensured the seal would “be engraved with the following: two friends embracing, with the name of the state over their heads and around about the following motto: United We Stand, Divided We Fall.

Seal of the Commonwealth

December 20, 1792, Kentucky created Green County from Lincoln County and Nelson County and named in honor of Nathanael Greene, Revolutionary War General.  Greensburg is the county seat.  Other localities include Black Gnat, Exie, Pierce, and Summersville.  Green County, the 16th county created, covers 289 square miles.

By David Benbennick

December 20, 1864, Confederates burned the Hartford Courthouse in Ohio County.  CSA General Lyon also captured the city’s garrison.  Dr. Samuel O. Peyton helped save the county records by pleading to the intruders.  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 20, 1865, Russellville native David Shelby Walker became the 8th Florida governor.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Irene Dunne, who was born in 1898.  The actress and singer appeared during the Golden Age of Hollywood and is best known for her comedic roles, though she performed in films of other genres.

December 20, 1901, nine months after a Danville police officer died, locals hung a man in public as revenge.  

December 20, 1904, Patrolman John Dolan, Louisville Police Department, succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four months earlier when he attempted to quell a disturbance at a bar.

December 20, 1947, Deputy Sheriff David Galloway and Deputy Sheriff Willard Hall, Letcher County Sheriff’s Office, died serving a warrant on a man for being drunk in public.  Police also suspected him of beating his wife earlier in the day.  As the two spoke with the suspect in his home, a second man, hiding behind a closed door, opened fire with a shotgun.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Governor Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt Jr. and Frances Holleman of Mayfield, who wed in 1948.  The couple had four children: Mary Fran, Linda, Susan, and Edward III.

On December 20, 1966, a majority of Kentucky legislatures asked Governor N. Breathitt to call a special session to consider keeping the state on standard time, also known as slow time.  The governor then commissioned a public poll which showed Kentuckians evenly divided.  Under a new federal law, states had to adopt daylight savings time, April to October, starting in 1967, unless state legislatures opted out.

December 20, 1974, Somerset native John Sherman Cooper became the 2nd U.S. Ambassador to East Germany.

December 20, 1980, Kentucky laid Harlan Sanders to rest in Lot 57, Section 33 in Cave Hill, in one of the largest burial services the historic 300-acre cemetery saw, until the “Greatest” arrived.

December 20, 1983, Joe B. Hall’s Wildcats defeated the Cincinnati Bearcats 24-11.  The slow and painful game highlighted why college basketball implemented a shot clock in 1985.

December 20, 1986, Patrolman John R. Herron, Falmouth Police Department, died after being struck by a vehicle while investigating an accident on US 27.  The darkness may have caused the accident.

December 20, 1988, Campbellsville native and Kentucky State Trooper Johnny Edrington died from a gunshot during a traffic stop on Highway 80 outside London.  Kentucky designated US HWY 68 in Taylor County the Trooper Johnny M. Edrington Memorial Highway.  The suspect(s) are still at large.

December 20, 1990, Louisville native Marine Corporal Greg Dawson turned himself in at Fort Knox a month late.  Dawson, a UofL mathematics major, applied as a conscientious objector to Operation Desert Shield.

December 20, 1995, Kentucky approved its 1st for-profit methadone treatment facility, but only after the operators threatened to sue Lt. Gov. Steve Henry.

December 20, 1997, Kentucky State University (KSU) stopped Livingston College three times in the final seconds from inside the 3-yard line to win the inaugural Pioneer Bowl, 30-26 in Georgia.  KSU enjoyed their 1st bowl victory in 49 years, improving to 4-3 in bowls all-time.  The Thorobreds finished the season 7-3 after a 0-3 start.

December 20, 2001, Louisville native Foster Brooks passed away.

December 20, 2015, more than a hundred people participated in the Louisville Urban League’s Walk to Work.  The group wanted to bring attention to Louisville’s homicide rate, which was higher than any other year except 1979.  The league president read the names of the 81 homicide victims who died in 2015.

December 20, 2017, Will Wolford, a St. Xavier alumni and lineman for three NFL teams, stepped down as head coach of his alma mater’s football team.

December 20, 2019, Lexington native Tyler Lee Clippard signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Twins.  As a Twin in 2020, he appeared in 26 games, compiling a 2-1 record with a 2.77 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26.0 innings pitched.

Mitch and Chuck Can’t Stop Gushing Over the Proxy War

December 20, 2021, as Governor A. Beshear prepped citizens for a potential omicron surge, school officials cancelled the UK-UofL basketball game while Kentucky school buses loaded up with supplies for the Western Kentucky tornado victims.