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January 1, 1795, John Bradford, John Breckinridge, Dr. Frederick Ridgely, and several other gentlemen “Resolve to organize a Transylvania Library.”  Almost a year passed before they placed books in the Transylvania Seminary Building.”  The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 23

January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the 2nd and final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves within the rebel states are, and henceforward shall be free.”  The proclamation also established and recruited colored military units for the Union forces.

January 1, 1896, Lexington native James Hilary Mulligan resigned his post as Consul-General to Samoa that President Cleveland appointed him to.  Cleveland wanted him as Consul-General to Cape Town, Africa, but he declined.  James accepted a position with the treasury department.

On January 1, 1902, Nathan Stubblefield demonstrated his wireless telephone, assisted by his 14-year-old son Bernard.  Hundreds of people attended in Murray, which attracted national attention.

January 1, 1918, the U.S. Coal and Coke Company completed their railroad to Lynch.  Construction of the town and railroad began less than a half year earlier.  As a result, the new community already had 1,500 men on the payroll.

January, 1, 1919, the Kentucky River rose 10 feet in ten hours in and around Frankfort, destroying sawmills and flooding many small communities.  Ford may have got the worst.  The Kentucky River by William E. Ellis, pg: 109

January 1, 1924, Simpson County native Emma Guy Cromwell became Secretary of State in Governor W.J. Fields’s administration.  Earlier, Cromwell became the 1st woman to hold a statewide office when the Senate elected her state librarian in 1896.  Her remarkable career continued as State Treasurer, State Park Director, State Bond Commissioner, and Director of Archives.

January 1, 1939, Robert Penn Warren published Night Rider.  He is the only person to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry.

January 1, 1951, Bear Bryant’s #7 Wildcats defeated #1 Sooners, 13-7, in the 17th Sugar Bowl.  Tulane University hosted 82,000 in one of the biggest upsets in college football.  Oklahoma’s regular-season record was 10-0; Kentucky’s was 10-1.  Oklahoma averaged 34.5 points per game and entered the game with a 31-game winning streak.  Only one team had scored more than twice in a game against Kentucky that season.  Walt Yowarsky, UK’s defensive tackle, who recovered a fumble on the Oklahoma 22-yard line, leading to Kentucky’s 1st score, earned the MVP award.  He had played less than five minutes on defense during the regular season.

January 1, 1952, Bear Bryant’s #15 Wildcats conquered #11 Texas Christian, 20-7, before 75,349, in the 16th Cotton Bowl in Dallas.  Kentucky’s Emery Clark, Babe Parilli, and Ray Correll were named the MVPs of the game.

January 1, 1953, Marine Corps SSGT George E. Waggoner from Louisville and Marine Corps CPL Claud A. Yelton from Dry Ridge in Grant County both died in the Korean War.

January 1, 1958, Louisville defeated Drake in the Sun Bowl 34-20 in El Paso.  It was Coach Frank Camp’s 12th season, and this team compiled a 9–1 record.  The Cardinals played their home games at Fairgrounds Stadium.

January 1, 1967, Army PFC Larry A. Bullock from Somerset died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1968, Army SP4 Robert L. Campbell from Lancaster died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1969, Army SSG James M. Hall from Benton in Marshall County died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1970, Army SGT Kenneth W. Todd from Brodhead in Rockcastle County died in the Vietnam War.

January 1, 1971, Army LTC Eugene I. Smith from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

On January 1, 1975, Kentucky legislatures struck this law from the books: “No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway within this state unless at least two officers escort her or unless she is armed with a club.

January 1, 1980, the federal minimum wage increased for Americans, including 87,300 Kentuckians, from $3.10 to $3.35 an hour.

January 1, 1991, #18 Louisville defeated #25 Alabama in the Fiesta Bowl 34-7 in Tempe.  The Cardinals finished the season 10-1-1, the 1st 10-win season in school history.  Weeks earlier, Arizona voters rejected Martin Luther King Day as a paid holiday, and many organizations wanted to move the game.

January 1, 1995, Denny Crum’s Cardinals defeated Rick Pitino’s #5 Wildcats in Freedom Hall by two points, 88-86.  UofL set a team blocking record with 17 (versus 3 for the Cats), and allowed Samaki Walker a triple-double with 23 points, ten rebounds, and 11 blocked shots.

January 1, 1999, Kentucky lost to #22 Penn State in the Tampa Bay Outback Bowl 14-26.

On January 1, 2010, a unique exhibit of artifacts on Abraham Lincoln’s death opened.  The National Museum of Health & Medicine, on the Walter Reed Medical Center Campus, hosted the president’s death bullet.

January 1, 2013, the average temperature at Louisville airport in 2012 was 61 degrees, making it the hottest year in Louisville’s history.  The river town also set the previous record in 2007 with 60.5 degrees.  July 7 set the record for the hottest day at 106 degrees.

January 1, 2021, a Kentucky-bred and Keeneland graduate won Santa Anita’s Grade II $200,100 Joe Hernandez Stakes and set a new track record.

January 1, 2022, Kentucky played its 1st of two bowl games in 2022.  The Cats controlled the 1st half in the Citrus Bowl, but struggled in the 3rd and 4th quarters.  Stoops rallied the troops and scored the winning touchdown with less than two minutes to play.  Ultimately, DeAndre Square sealed the 20-17 victory over Iowa with his 1st interception of the season.  Will Levis looked shaky at times but at least he didn’t sit the game out.