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Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Governor Thomas Elliott Bramlette, born in 1817 in Cumberland (now Clinton) County.  The last of three Kentucky governors during the Civil War, he served from 1863 to 1867.  While devoted to preserving the Union and the Constitution, he defended the alleged assault on states’ rights.  He responded angrily when the Union army began to enlist blacks.  Bramlette reduced the state’s debt, a decline in crime, and established the Agricultural and Mechanical College, now UK.    

January 3, 1829, Kentucky created Hancock County from Daviess, Ohio, and Breckinridge Counties and was named in honor of John Hancock, signer of the Declaration of Independence.  Hawesville is the county seat.  Other localities include Lewisport, Adair, Cabot, Chambers, Dukes, Easton, Floral, Goering, Patesville, Pellville, Petri, Roseville, Sanders, Skillman, Utility, Waitman, Weberstown, and Boling Chapel.  The 83rd county created, Hancock County covers 199 square miles.

By David Benbennick

January 3, 1849, Henry Clay won a special election, giving him his final term in the U.S. Senate.  Sen. John J. Crittenden resigned from the Senate in mid-1848, and Kentucky appointed former Governor Thomas Metcalfe as interim Senator until Clay took the seat.  Unfortunately, Henry died during this term.  

January 3, 1861, Fleming County native Claiborne Fox Jackson became Louisiana’s 15th governor.  Unionists forced him out of office in July of the same year.

January 3, 1873, Barbourville native Silas Woodson became Missouri’s 21st governor and the 1st Democrat elected to that position since the Civil War.  No Republican would reach the office for over 30 years after Woodson’s election.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Madison County native Mary Kavanaugh Eagle and Arkansas Governor James Philip Eagle, who wed in 1882.  Mary was a community leader, club woman, book editor, and activist in Protestant missionary work.

January 3, 1893, Constable W. F. Deskins, Magoffin County Constable’s Office, died in a shootout when a group of men attacked the county jail in an attempt to free a prisoner.

On January 3, 1908, while soldiers guarded Hopkinsville’s tobacco and other strategic points, the Night Riders raided Russellville with 55 men and destroyed two factories.  The Black Patch War continued.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Covington native Frank Duveneck, born in 1919, a figure and portrait painter.

January 3, 1945, Christian County native Edgar Cayce passed away.  The clairvoyant claimed to channel his own higher self in a trance state induced with help from friends or family.  During these sessions, he would answer questions on healing, reincarnation, dreams, the afterlife, nutrition, and future events.  However, his channeling claims were met with skepticism and viewed with sinister overtones from many of his fellow Christians.

January 3, 1946, George Monroe Woolf fell from Please Me in Santa Anita’s 4th race as they turned for home.  George died the next day in the hospital.  Nicknamed The Iceman, the Canadian-born jockey is known for riding the people’s champion, Seabiscuit, to victories in 1938.  An annual U.S. Jockeys’ Guild gives a yearly award in his name.

January 3, 1949, Middleton native Virgil Chapman became Kentucky’s 34th Class II U.S. Senator by defeating incumbent Senator John Sherman Cooper.  Halfway through his term, Chapman died in a D.C. car wreck.  John Sherman Cooper would win back his seat back in a special election to replace Chapman. 

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Beth Anderson, born in 1950.  A neo-romantic composer is best known in her field for her swales, a musical form she invented based on collages and samples of newly composed music rather than existing music.  She told a reporter for The New York Times in 1995 she named the form based on this definition of the word: “A swale is a meadow or marsh where a lot of wild things go together.”

January 3, 1951, Army PFC Charles Taylor from Greenup County died in the Korean War.

January 3, 1952, Coach Rupp’s #4-ranked Cats defeated an unranked Mississippi Rebel team 116-58 in the Owensboro SportsCenter.  Cliff Hagan earned high-scoring honors in his hometown with 37.

January 3, 1955, former V.P. Alben W. Barkley became Kentucky’s 37th Class II U.S. Senator by defeating incumbent Senator John S. Cooper.  Barkley served 69 months when he died dramatically on the Washing and Lee Campus.

January 3, 1957, Louisville native Thurston Morton became Kentucky’s 34th Class III U.S. Senator.  Incumbent Earle Clements, from Morganfield, lost his re-election bid.

January 3, 1966, Lexington swore in Harry Sykes, the city’s 1st black city commissioner, by Judge Joseph E. Johnson.  After graduating from Kentucky State University in 1952, Sykes played basketball for the Harlem Globetrotters through the 1954 season.  He passed away in 2012.

January 3, 1967, Officer Danny L. Redmon, Lexington Police Department, died in a motorcycle accident while chasing a speeding truck on Winchester Road.  His motorcycle collided with another car.

January 3, 1968, Navy P02 Thomas P. Moore from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

January 3, 1973, Burkesville native Walter D. Huddleston became Kentucky’s 40th Class II U.S. Senator.  Incumbent Senator John Sherman Cooper lost re-election for a 3rd and final time.

On January 3, 1985, Alabama native Mitch McConnell served his 1st day as Kentucky’s 41st Class II U.S. Senator by defeating incumbent Senator Huddleston, thanks to Mitch’s sharp-witted television commercials.

January 3, 1999, Davis County native Senator Wendell H. Ford retired from his Senate Minority Whip position, and Jim Bunning won the next election to become Kentucky’s 37th Class III U.S. Senator.  At the time of his retirement, he served longer than any other individual, a mark Mitch surpassed in 2009.

January 3, 2000, an unusual winter tornado touched down in Owensboro, leaving 8,000 locals without electricity.  President B. Clinton declared Daviess, Crittenden, and Webster Counties disaster areas.

January 3, 2009, Marine Lance CPL Chadwick A. Gilliam, 29, of Mayking in Letcher County, died in Kuwait fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

January 3, 2011, Texas native Rand Paul became Kentucky’s 38th Class III U.S. Senator, replacing Senator Jim Bunning, who retired after serving 12 years.

January 3, 2018, eight members of the House of Representatives called for the expulsion of House Speaker Jeff Hoover.   Hoover had promised to step down amid a sexual harassment scandal in 2017.

January 3, 2019, Big Pharma grew larger and became more powerful when Bristol-Myers bought Celgene for $74 billion.

January 3, 2020, Franklin Circuit Court dismissed Daisy Olivo’s whistleblower lawsuit for retaliation after she exposed the 2017 secret sexual harassment settlement.  The ruling closed a dark chapter in Frankfort, which brought down the 1st Republican Speaker in close to 100 years.

January 3, 2021, a Kentucky bred won Santa Anita’s $200,500 GII Ynez Stakes for four-year-olds.

January 3, 2022, U.S. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy from California was handed a historic defeat for House Speaker.  He became the 1st Speaker nominee in 100 years, not to win support from his party on the 1st vote.  The record was long overdue because forcing the vote gets goals accomplished.  This debate came down to Ukraine funding.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023, Senator Mitch Corporate” McConnell made history by becoming the longest-serving Senator Leader in America, surpassing Mike Mansfield, who served 16 years.  Mitch is Kentucky’s longest-serving Senator.  President Biden acknowledged the milestone by mentioning his long friendship with the Alabama native.  After all, they have the same donors and goals.