TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

December 23, 1861, the Confederate Government authorized the act of raising 20 companies of troops in Kentucky.
The Civil War in Kentucky by  Lowell H. Harrison

December 23, 1862, John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders began their Christmas Raid when early 4,000 men crossed into Kentucky near Tompkinsville.  They captured Glasgow on Christmas Eve before the Union resisted them on Christmas Day at Bear Wallow near Cave City.  Then it was on to Elizabethtown.  Morgan’s Raiders came into Kentucky for three significant raids; First Kentucky Raid, Christmas Raid, and the Great Raid of 1863.

December 23, 1883, Marshal Harlan Taylor, Morganfield Police Department, was killed while attempting to arrest a man for public intoxication.  The suspect, who shot Marshal Taylor in the head, was sentenced to ten years at hard labor.  Marshal Taylor had served with the agency for only 11 months.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Trenton native Edward Franklin Camp Jr., born in 1905 in Todd County.  He is the winningest head football coach at UofL, coaching from 1946 to 1968, compiling a 118–95–2 (.551) record.  He brought Louisville football back following a three-year absence caused by World War II.  Quarterback Johnny Unitas was among the players he coached.

December 23, 1907, the temperance movement broke up a whiskey parade in Paducah.  The dry team destroyed all of the banners and smashed several whiskey bottles on the street as they passed.  The next day, Christmas Eve, citizens tried another parade.  However, this time, one of the marchers who served as drum major carried a pickax instead of a baton.  Under his armed direction, the band played “It’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.”

December 23, 1908, Deputy Sheriff Robert B. Smith and Deputy John Brooks, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, were killed while attempting to serve a warrant on three men wanted 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.

December 23, 1919, Deputy Sheriff Dolie Clifford Harmon, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and a private detective were shot and killed by the brother of a man they had just arrested for deserting from the U.S. Army.

December 23, 1928, Town Marshal Mat Holland, Combs Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a miner in front of the mine commissary at Domino in Perry County.  Despite being wounded he was able to return fire and killed the subject.

December 23, 1928, Deputy Sheriff Mack Summers, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a drunk person who was firing a gun.

December 23, 1931, Kentucky hosted Berea in Alumni Gymnasium for the fifth time, winning 52-27.  John DeMoisey #00 from Walton was a high scorer with 16 points.  His jersey is retired.  Kentucky played Berea nine times, all in Lexington.  The average margin of defeat was 26 points, and the last time they played was in 1939 when Kentucky won by 50.

December 23, 1933, Deputy Game Warden James Claxton was shot and killed in Carroll County.  He and two other wardens served a warrant on a fisherman for using a double wing net in the Kentucky River.  When the wardens entered the man’s house boat, the man said he would kill Claxton.  The man picked up a double barreled shotgun and pointed it at the officers. Warden Claxton opened fire on the man, missing but wounding his son.  The subject fired his shotgun, striking Warden Claxton.

December 23, 1934, Deputy Sheriff Guy Rogers, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a miner for public drunkenness near the Three Point Coal Company mines.  The subject pulled out a .32 caliber handgun and shot Deputy Rogers in the face, killing him instantly.  A month later the 23-year-old suspect, who claimed self-defense, was tried and acquitted.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Paul Hornung, born in 1935.

December 23, 1945, Mrs. Roy Jennings filled one of 400 baskets of food collected by the Goodfellows Club of Everybody’s Church for distribution to Lexington’s needy at Christmas time.

On December 23, 1950, Gallup released a poll showing that 52% of American families open their presents from Santa Clause on Christmas morning compared to 37% on Christmas Eve.  Families that did not have a set time or opened presents on both days took the remaining 11%.

On December 23, 1950, the Kentucky Press Association named Coach Paul Bryant “Kentucky’s Outstanding Citizen of 1950.”  Bryant was honored a month later at the Brown Hotel and was presented a silver pitcher.  The inaugural winner in 1948 was V.P. Barkley, and in 1949, former U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper took the honor.

December 23, 1955, State Police arrived in Burkesville and made three arrest to try to calm down about 100 persons throwing firecrackers at town residents.  The mayor asked for help after the town’s two police officers were unable to restore order.

On December 23, 1963, Kentucky secured a white Christmas when the Commonwealth received nine inches of snow.

December 23, 1966, Army SSG Brownie Hall from Deane in Letcher County died in the Vietnam War.

December 23, 1967, Army SFC Bobby J. Lawrence from Mayfield in Graves County died in the Vietnam War.

December 23, 1969, Army SFC Clifford Montgomery from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

December 23, 1969, two Lexington police officers assisted an inebriated Santa Claus after he was arrested for public drunkenness.

December 23, 1970, President Nixon ordered new procedures that required companies to obtain a federal permit for their discharges into all of the nation’s waterways, enabling the government to monitor polluted streams.  The Army Corps of Engineers and EPA approved the licenses.

On December 23, 1970, Kentucky officials warned motorists to avoid the heavily traveled Kentucky Turnpike, the toll portion of I-65.  There had been 13 deaths on this stretch of highway in 1970, and it was considered the deadliest highway in Kentucky.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lakeside Park native Becky Ruehl, born in Kenton County in 1977.  She competed in the women’s 10 meter platform event at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

December 23, 1983, record cold slowed holiday travel for much of the nation as the death toll for a week reached 123.  The National Weather Service called it the coldest December in more than a half a century.  Freezing rain, with very little snow, coated Kentucky highways and caused four deaths for the week.

December 23, 1995, Pitino’s #4 Wildcats defeated Crum’s #25 Cardinals 89-66 in Lexington.  UK would finish the year 34-2 and claim the program’s 6th national title.  Pitino had a 6-2 record against the Cardinals during his eight years at Kentucky.  In his 16 years at Louisville, he compiled a 6-12 record against the Cats.  Coach Crum’s record against the Cats was 7-13 in 17 years. 

December 23, 2002, eighteen demonstrators were arrested outside Louisville police headquarters on the 10th day of protest over the killing of a handcuffed man who was shot 11 times by a detective.  The protestors vowed to be there on Christmas or until a grand jury investigated the incident.

December 23, 2010, the national average price of gasoline topped $3.00, for the first time around Christmas.  Prices had traditionally dropped during the holidays.

December 23, 2013, a Franklin Circuit Judge fined the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services $756,000 for making “a mockery” of the state’s Open Records Act.  Kentucky’s two largest newspapers claimed the state repeatedly withheld information about abused and neglected children.  The state claimed they withheld the data for the children’s safety.

December 23, 2020, Kentucky reported 2,953 new coronavirus cases, 26 new deaths, and 1,644 persons in hospitals due to the flu strain.  The new totals now stood at 250,280 positive cases and 2,466 deaths.