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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
Happy New Year

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 books were placed in the Transylvania Seminary Building.”  The Squire’ 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 called for the recruitment and establishment of 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.

January 1, 1900, immediately after Republican Governor William S. Taylor took office, Attorney General, Clifton J. Pratt, filed suit in the name of the Commonwealth against the Democratic-controlled Election Board Committee.  The historic fight for the governor’s mansion was underway.

On January 1, 1900, the Mamre Baptist College opened its doors in Clay County with 100 boys, girls, men, and women with three teachers.  Classes ranged from grades one through eight with tuition of $1 a month.  Only a few could pay cash; others brought farm animals, produce, or coal dug on the family farm.

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

January 1, 1951, Army CPL John Payne from Henry County died in the Korean War.

On January 1, 1951, the Secretary of the Army granted 2,791 acres of land to the Commonwealth of Kentucky to be developed as a state park recreation area.  It would become Lake Cumberland State Resort Park.

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.

January 1, 2010, a unique exhibit of artifacts focused on Abraham Lincoln’s death began at the National Museum of Health & Medicine on the Walter Reed Medical Center Campus, including the bullet that killed the president.

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

January 1, 2015, Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, spoke out against her concern for the youth gravitating towards e-cigarettes.  In 2011, approximately 79,000 Kentucky youngsters tried vaping; in 2013, it jumped to 213,000.  Many claim it is the lesser of two evils.

January 1, 2015, Governor S. Beshear proclaimed 2015 the Year of the Women Veteran in Kentucky.  There were 33,000 women veterans in the Commonwealth in 2015.

January 1, 2019, the wettest year for Lexington was 2018; such records began to be kept in 1872.  When the city hit 66.97 inches in early December, it broke the 2001 record.  New Year’s Eve ended the year with a tad over 71 inches.  

January 1, 2019, #16 Kentucky defeated #13 Penn State in the Citrus Bowl 27-24.  Benny Snell became UK’s career rushing leader on his 12-yard TD run late in the 3rd quarter by breaking Sonny Collins’ record of 3,835 yards from 1972-75.  The 16th ranked Wildcats ended their best season in more than four decades on a winning note and Coach Stoops got his 1st Kentucky Bowl win in his 3rd try.

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.