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December 31, 1776, Kentucky County had its 1st official day as stated by Virginia law.  Virginia had carved up its Fincastle County to create Kentucky County. 

December 31, 1832, 406 steamboats, 421 flat, and keelboats with 76,323 tons passed through the Louisville and Portland canal since January 1, 1832, and paid $12,750 in tolls.

December 31, 1833, 453 steamboats, 179 flats, and keelboats with 70,109 tons passed through the Louisville and Portland canal since January 1, 1833, and paid $25,756 in tolls.

December 31, 1845, 1,585 steamboats, 394 flats, and keelboats with 318,741 tons passed through the Louisville and Portland canal since January 1, 1845, and paid $138,391 in tolls.

December 31, 1835, the Newport Rifles of Kentucky, a 52-man company of volunteers, left Kentucky for Texas aboard the steamer Augusta.  Before their departure, the unit received a flag from the ladies of Newport.  This is the only existing flag carried by the Texan Army at the Battle of San Jacinto to remain in Texas.

Newport Rifles Company Battle Flag

December 31, 1845, 1,585 steamboats and 394 flat and keel boats with 318,741 tons passed through the Louisville and Portland canal since January 1, 1845, paying $138,391 in tolls.

December 31, 1847, locals began erecting lines for telegraph messaging in Maysville.  They ended in Nashville, TN.  The lines would travel through Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville, Bardstown, and Bowling Green.  The cables also went from Maysville to Cincinnati.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Newport native General John T. Thompson, born in 1860.  In WWI, Thompson studied several designs and reached out to John Blish.  With Blish as a partner, Thompson developed the Thompson submachine gun.  When the U.S. finally entered the war in 1917, Thompson became a brigadier general and later received the Distinguished Service Medal.  After the war, he retired and returned to work perfecting the “Tommy Gun,” a machine gun that would be unlike anything the world had ever seen. 

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Minerva native Stanley Forman Reed, born in 1884 in Mason County.  Judge Reed served as U.S. Solicitor General from 1935 to 1938 and as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1938 to 1957.

December 31, 1887, Sheriff Henry Harrison Winters, Hickman County Sheriff’s Office, died serving a warrant.  Sheriff Winters had learned the man was at his mother’s home in the county and summoned a posse to assist him.

December 31, 1898, Town Marshal Tom Roach, Barbourville Police Department, died while disarming a county deputy who had gotten into a personal argument with a store clerk.  The store owner ordered the deputy to leave the store before stepping outside himself.  Marshal Roach put himself between the two.

December 31, 1936, Keeneland’s financial statement for the year revealed a net loss of $3.47.

December 31, 1937, Keeneland earned a net profit of $8,286.41 for the year.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Barrier native Hal Dallas Rogers, born in 1937 in Wayne County.  The 86-year-old won’t leave office.  Neither will 81-year-old Mitch, or 83-year-old Nancy, or 81-year-old Joe.  The greed never ends.

December 31, 1950, Army PVT John W. Moore from Todd County died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Bardstown native William Paul Durbin Jr., born in 1953.  Mr. Durbin is a martial artist and Baptist minister known for founding Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei, meaning “spiritually positive gentle person system of martial arts.”

December 31, 1961, Sheriff Sam L. Green, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, died serving a warrant due to a domestic disturbance.

December 31, 1968, Army SGT Harlan Secress from Hebron in Boone County and Army SP4 Johnnie D. Knight from Grant County died in the Vietnam War.

December 31, 1970, Army SP4 Pete E. Williamson from River in Johnson County died in the Vietnam War.

December 31, 1974, Maker’s Mark joined the National Register of Historic Places.

December 31, 1976, Fran Curci’s Wildcats shutout the Tar Heels 21-0 in the Peach Bowl in front of 57, 507 spectators.  Kentucky outgained North Carolina 334 yards to 109 thanks to All-American’s Warren Bryant and Derrick Ramsey.  The defense, led by Art Still, held the Tar Heels to a total of five 1st downs and forced five turnovers.

December 31, 1988, Kentucky visited #14 Louisville in Freedom Hall and got handed a 75-97 beating by Coach Crum’s Cardinals.  Pervis Ellison pulled down seven rebounds and 20 points.  Derrick Miller scored 34 points for Coach Sutton.

December 31, 1993, in Coach Bill Curry’s only bowl game, #24-ranked Clemson defeated the Wildcats 13-14 in the 26th annual Peach Bowl in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.  Kentucky took the opening kickoff and marched down the field to the Clemson two-yard line.  What appeared to be a QB Pookie Jones-to-WB Alfonzo Browning TD was instead a turnover when Browning fumbled the ball attempting to extend it over the goal line.

December 31, 1996, Coach Crum got upset at a call during the #16 Louisville’s 74-54 loss to #3 Kentucky at Freedom Hall.  The legendary coach of the Cardinals guided Louisville from 1971 to 2001, compiling a 675–295 record with two NCAA championships (1980, 1986) and six Final Fours.  During his 30-year career, Crum was 7-13 against Kentucky.

December 31, 1999, locals dedicated the Newport World Peace Bell, one of many Peace Bells around the world.  It was the largest swinging bell in the world, weighing 66,000 pounds when 1st swung the following day.  The bell features an inscription commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and important events from the past 1,000 years.

December 31, 2004, Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals defeated Boise State 44-40 in the Liberty Bowl with the help of Michael Bush.  This was the last Conference USA game for Louisville, who entered the Big East the following year.

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December 31, 2010, the KFC Yum! Center hosted their first UK/UofL game with 22,803 in attendance.  #11 Kentucky beat #22 Louisville 78-63.  UK’s Josh Harrellson scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.  Coach Cal was now 2-0 against Coach Pitino; both games played in 2010.

December 31, 2015, Lamar Jackson ran for a career-high and Music City Bowl-record 226 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more scores to help Louisville beat Texas A&M 27-21.  Louisville (8-5) won its 3rd bowl in their past four trips.

On December 31, 2016, Mark Stoops coached his 1st bowl game for Kentucky in a losing effort.  Georgia Tech defeated the Cats 33-18 in Jacksonville, FL.  QB Steven Johnson picked up MVP honors for Kentucky.  Coach Stoops would lose his 2nd bowl appearance the following year and finally win his 3rd bowl game, the Citrus Bowl, on January 1, 2019.

On December 3, 2022, Calipari’s Cats crushed Payne’s Card 86-63 with only 20,934 in attendance at Rupp.  The Cards were still in a deep funk.  Cardinal El Ellis scored 23, two Cats scored 24, Jacob Toppin and Oscar Tshiebwe.  The overall modern-day record stood at 29-14.