TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

On December 22, 1769, Daniel Boone’s hunting party members were captured by the Shawnee, near Eskippakithiki, and took their hides and most supplies.  They released Boone’s men, leaving them enough food for their journey home.  The Shawnee gave them the warning, “never to come back or the wasps and yellow jackets would sting them.”

December 22, 1798, the Kentucky legislature passed an act merging rival Presbyterian learning institutions. As a result, the Kentucky Academy in Woodford County and Transylvania Seminary of Lexington merged and became Transylvania University.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 24

December 22, 1798, the Kentucky General Assembly chartered the Shelbyville Academy with a grant of 6,000 acres of land south of the Green River.  In 1836 the name changed to Shelby College, and in 1841 the Protestant Episcopal Church took control.  By now the campus consisted of 18 acres, a brick building, and the president’s home.  In the late 1840s and 1850s, the college expanded its curriculum for surveyors, civil engineers, astronomers, pharmacists, and physicians.  The school’s main classroom building included an astronomical observatory built by Kentuckian Gideon Shryock.  Disputes over a lottery to provide funding hurt the college, and it closed in 1868.  After the college closed, the campus was used as a school for boys and then an elementary school.  Later the building was razed.

December 22, 1838, Washington native Albert Sidney Johnston became the Republic of Texas’s Secretary of War.  He defended the Texas border against the Mexican invasion, and in 1839 conducted a campaign against Indians in Northern Texas.  In February 1840, he resigned and returned to Kentucky, possibly back to his home in Mason County.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson and Letitia Green, who wed in 1866.  They had three daughters, Mary, Julia and Letitia, and a son, Lewis Stevenson.  Letitia helped establish the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) to help heal the North and South after the Civil War.  She succeeded President B. Harrison’s wife as the DAR’s second president-general.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native St. Elmo Brady, born in 1884.  Brady was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry.  Equally as significant, Brady built chemistry curricula, faculty, programs, and facilities at four major historically black colleges and universities.  He and his colleagues mentored multiple generations of African- American chemists.

December 22, 1892, Centre defeated Central University of Richmond 24-8.  Centre went 6-0 in their third season.

December 22, 1898, Deputy Marshal Ren Ashby, Slaughtersville Marshal’s Office, was killed by the son of a man who had just been arrested by the town marshal.  The marshal had arrested the man on an outstanding charge of violating the peace.  After turning the man over to the sheriff, the marshal and Deputy Marshal Ashby met on the street and talked.  The man’s 27-year-old son suddenly appeared with a shotgun and, without warning, fired at both men.  Deputy Ashby died while the marshal was struck in the face and back and severely wounded.

December 22, 1899, a meeting of the election board, to canvass the votes of the 7th congressional election, put into motion the deadly fight for the Governor’s Mansion.  The Kentucky General Assembly was dominated by the Democrats and a Republican won the governor’s race.

December 22, 1908, Deputized Civilian John Brooks and Deputy Robert Smith, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, were killed while serving a warrant on three men for robbing a miner.  He had deputized four men, including John Brooks, to assist with the arrests.  As Deputy Smith read the warrant to the three men one of them produced a handgun and opened fire, striking him in the abdomen and a shootout ensued.

December 22, 1935, Patrolman Robert Rowland and Patrolman James Hays, Kentucky Highway Patrol, were killed while attempting to question two brothers about a stolen automobile at the garage they operated in Franklin.  One of the brothers was sentenced to life and one was sentenced to six years.  The brother who was released after only six years went on to murder another police officer in Tennessee.

December 22, 1942, the Keeneland Association wrote check number 2591 for $35,000.  It was presented to the Community War Chest during WWII.  Service members received gifts and amenities through this foundation’s work.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Glasgow native Lila Diane Sawyer, born in 1945.

December 22, 1946, Sheriff Joseph Jones Gibson, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call involving a man with a gun.  The 28-year-old suspect was arrested, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death.  A year later he received a second trial and was sentenced to life.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native George Wallace Adams, born in 1962.

December 22, 1962, Kentucky’s Cotton Nash battled for a loose ball as the #9 Cats played #7 West Virginia in the UKIT championship game in Memorial Coliseum.  Despite trailing by five at halftime, UK went on to win, 79-75, behind Nash’s 30 points.  UK would finish the season 16-9.

December 22, 1967, Army PFC Edward L. Polson from Eubank in Lincoln County died in the Vietnam War.

On December 22, 1970, Emma Parkes Watts passed away.  Her home in downtown Richmond bordered the Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) campus.  According to rumor, Emma despised EKU so much that her will stipulated the 20-acre estate and 9,000 square-foot home could not be sold and must be maintained in its current historical condition.  Her will prevented the university from acquiring the property until 2011.  Emma had some faithful lawyers.

December 22, 1980, a federal judge gave Kentucky more time to reduce the population of their two largest prisons; Kentucky State Reformatory and Kentucky State Penitentiary.  Each prison had to reduce its population by 600.  Most prisoners moved to the new Luther Luckett Correctional Facility in Oldham County.

December 22, 1981, nearly 500 visitors attended the Christmas open house at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville.  Superintendent Al Parke revived the prison’s Christmas open house on a scale never attempted before.

December 22, 1990, AN Navy Brent McCreight from Eminence died in Iraq fighting in Operation Desert Storm.  

December 22, 2002, weeks before his confirmation, Governor Patton fired the Department of Workers’ Claims Commissioner.  Lawyer Ched Jennings said he was stunned.  The governor’s office gave no reason.

December 22, 2002, CC, the first cloned domestic pet, a cat, was born by cesarean section in a laboratory.  The healthy cat was the sixth kind of mammal created asexually from a single adult cell, after sheep, mice, cattle, goats, and pigs.

December 22, 2015, for UPS, three days before Christmas, is traditionally is their busiest day.

December 22, 2015, Grant County residents voted to allow full alcohol sales by a margin of 56% to 44% in a special election.

On Dec. 22, 2016, after eight years on the run Johnny Boone was arrested, in a small town outside Montreal, where he had been tracked by the U.S. Marshals Service.

December 22, 2018, #19 Kentucky Wildcats defeat #9 North Carolina Tar Heels 80-72 in the CBS Sports Classic played in Chicago in front of 15,124 spectators.  It was a matchup between two of college basketball’s winningest programs.