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January 4, 1815, 2,500 members of the Kentucky Militia arrived in New Orleans for the impending Battle of New Orleans that would end the War of 1812.  Maj. Gen. Thomas, Gen. Joseph Desha (later Governor of Kentucky), Gen. William Henry, and Gen. William Henry Harrison (later President of the U.S.) were all present.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Governor William Justus Goebel, the 34th governor, born in 1856.  He is the only U.S. governor to be assassinated.  As a lawyer, he took on large corporations, specifically the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, the largest rail network in Kentucky.  Goebel became known as the “the railroad lawyer,” the “poor man’s lawyer,” and the “champion of the common man.”

January 4, 1865, guerrillas burned the courthouse at Owensboro in Daviess County, which Union Troops occupied.  Locals saved all county records.  Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg: 11

January 4, 1871, Frankfort native Benjamin Gratz Brown became the 20th Missouri governor.  The founding member of the Liberal Republican Party, he also served in the Democratic and Republican parties.

January 4, 1897, Montana swore in Hickman County native Robert Burns Smith as their 3rd governor.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Bellevue native Harlan Hubbard, born in 1900.  Hubbard saw the industrial development in America as a threat to the natural world and rejected consumer culture.  Therefore, the artist and author lived a simple lifestyle.

January 4, 1929, Policeman Grant Smith, Evarts Police Department, died from an ambush by two men he arrested earlier for violating liquor laws.  After posting bond the previous day, they shot Officer Smith in the back with a shotgun as Smith walked home through a schoolyard.

January 4, 1942, Constable Russell Ward, Johnson County Constable’s Office, died from a gunshot while arresting two men for drunk and disorderly conduct.  Locals sentenced the murderer to six years in prison.  Constable Ward has served as a constable for only two months.

January 4, 1943, the greatest home-court winning streak in college basketball, and all sports for that matter, began when Kentucky beat Fort Knox 64-30.  The streak ended with 129 wins in 1955, and during that time, the Cats won three NCAA titles.

January 4, 1951, Kentucky Utilities Company announced a $20,000,000 expansion at an employee dinner held in Lexington’s Phoenix Hotel.  Large portions of the fund improved the Tyrone Plant in Woodford County and Green River Plant in Muhlenberg County, both coal-fired plants.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Pikeville native Patty Loveless, born in 1957.

January 4, 1968, Army SP4 Lowell Johnson from Melvin in Floyd County died in the Vietnam War.

January 4, 1969, Army 1LT Lawrence Beattys from Louisville and Army CPL Frank E. Brawner from Frankfort, died in the Vietnam War.

January 4, 1972, winter finally arrived in Kentucky, causing 12 counties to close schools.  Meanwhile, in Frankfort, on the opening day of the General Assembly, Governor W. Ford told representatives and protestors in the halls how we would tighten strip-mine regulations.

On January 4, 1978, locals began to ask why the state sold their driver’s license information to insurance companies, causing rates to go up.  In 1976, the Kentucky government profited $875,494, averaging $2.00 per license with 1.2 million drivers, in their computers.

January 4, 1980, Philadelphia police arrested Lexingtonian Bradley F. Bryant at the Sheraton Airport Inn with a cache of semi-automatic weapons, a silencer, daggers, ski masks, and a variety of government documents.  The hotel staff called the police because Bradley forgot to pay his bill.  Some would say it was the beginning of the end for “The Company.”

January 4, 1983, Deputy Sheriff Alex Eversole, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while serving a warrant with two state troopers.  As soon as the officers were in the house, the suspect opened fire, killing Deputy Eversole and wounding both troopers, leaving one of them paralyzed.  A child and another suspect also died in the shootout.

January 4, 1988, Governor W. Wilkinson appointed former Governor “Happy” Chandler to UK’s board of trustees.  Chandler, 89, one of Wilkinson’s earliest supporters, said, “The governor couldn’t have done a nicer thing for me.”  Chandler remained seated for the majority of the capitol rotunda news conference and his 2nd term on the board did not end well.

January 4, 1990, the U.S. Post Office raised the price of a stamp to 29 cents.

January 4, 1997, Kentucky demolished Tennessee, 74-40, in their SEC openers.  Jamaal Magioire scored 13 and Nazr Mohammed had 12.

January 4, 1998, Officer Michael Anthony Partin, Covington Police Department, drowned after falling almost 90 feet through a gap in a bridge into the Ohio River at approximately 2:30 am.  Officer Partin joined a foot chase for a man wanted for DUI, possession of marijuana, and running a red light.  Officers searched the scene by air and boat until they located their comrade.

January 4, 2002, to trim the waterfowl population, officials at the Greenbo Lake State Resort Park in Greenup County allowed hunters to shoot ducks and geese.  In 1989, the Park’s beach had to be closed because of high levels of fecal bacteria.

January 4, 2005, Guy Mattison Davenport, Jr., one of the great UK faculty members in the institution’s history, died.  Washington Post book critic Michael Dirda wrote in 1996, “Guy Davenport is the best literary essayist since Randall Jarrell and Cyril Connolly.”  In 1990, he received the MacArthur Foundation grant, commonly called a genius grant, and taught whatever he wanted; his classes filled up quickly.  Because he never learned to drive, Mr. Davenport lived near campus and walked to his office.

January 4, 2009, Edgar Sosa had made seven three-pointers all season long, coming into the latest installment of the Commonwealth’s “Dream Game.”  However, his 9th provided the most improbable ending in the series’ history.  A 20% three-point shooter, Sosa buried one from 26 feet away with 2.3 seconds left to give #18 Louisville a 74-71 victory over Kentucky in Freedom Hall.  The historic venue hosted 20,078 fans.

January 4, 2012, Carlisle native Louis Gatewood Galbraith passed away.

January 4, 2018, U.S. AG Jeffry Sessions wanted to repel Obama-era rules that set a federal policy of noninterference with state-legal marijuana businesses, setting up a clash with state rights over the extremely popular industry.

January 4, 2020, Santa Anita’s GIII $200,000 San Gabriel Stakes is decided by a neck and the winner paid $16.20 to win.

January 4, 2022, while the 1st day of the Kentucky General Assembly opened in Frankfort, a judge blocked the Navy from acting against 35 sailors who refused the vaccine.  The Defense Secretary mandated all military take experimental medicine.  Back in Frankfort, the majority party proposed to limit debates and discussion on upcoming bills in the House.

On January 2023, Air Force One arrived with President Biden at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport around 11:30 a.m.  The President then held a news conference near the bridge, making a rare joint appearance with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Kentucky’s and Ohio’s governors sat in along with two Ohio senators.  Mitch did not freeze up, and Joe did not wander off stage.  It was a good day for the old friends with the same donors and goals.