December 26, 1891, City Marshal Taylor Vice, Sharpsburg Marshal’s Office, was stabbed to death while attempting to arrest an individual. As he struggled with the suspect, a second man ran up and stabbed him several times with a pocket knife. The murderer was executed by hanging 11 months later.
December 26, 1896, Alfred Holt, a black male, died by a lynching in Daviess County. The frenzied crowd pulled him from jail in the early hours of the morning and hanged him from a tree in the courthouse yard for allegedly murdering a white police officer.
December 26, 1942, Deputy Jailer Elisha Hoskins, Harlan County Detention Center, died from a gunshot while arresting two women for being drunk in public on Main Street in Harlan. The husband of one of the women interfered with the arrest and assaulted Deputy Hoskins after claiming that he was not legally allowed to make an arrest.
December 26, 1945, the military declared 1,250,000 plasma units from Vietnam surplus. The Red Cross then began distributing it to American citizens. The plasma came from 2,000,000 donations and met civilian needs for two years.
December 26, 1962, ten individuals escaped East Berlin through a drumfire of tommy guns from East German border guards. The owner of the old custom armor plated truck spent six months planning the breakout.
December 26, 1985, a Clear Creek man from Bell County stated he would fight the Left Beaver Coal Company in court since the Cabinet for Natural Resources and Environmental Protection upheld the company’s coal washing permit. He understood the fight was a losing battle but they had already destroyed everything he and his wife had built. Experts stated the groundwater would not clean up in his lifetime.
December 26, 1985, a coin toss decided the Richmond City Commissioner race when both candidates received 1,420 votes. The winner, Marshall McAninch, went out to dinner with Merle Winburn, the loser, after the toss, with their wives.
December 26, 1985, Muhammad Ali received a luxury face spa treatment at Louisville’s Patsy Stone’s Cosmetic Studio. During his 2 ½ hour session, Ali spoke on various subjects and provided magic tricks for the locals and press. “I am so proud to be from Louisville,” he said. “I’ve conquered the boxing world, and when people think of the best in the world, he’s from Louisville.” Ali was visiting Odessa, his mother, for the holidays.
December 26, 1990, Kentucky lost a congressional seat due to a declining population. The census bureau reported 3,698,969 Kentuckians, barely 1% more than ten years before. Representation dropped from seven to six votes.
December 26, 1990, Dr. Chandra Varia and her husband donated $100,000 to help battered women in Eastern Kentucky through a grant administered by Prestonsburg Community College. The college stated the gift was a godsend.
December 26, 1996, ex-Lee County Sherriff Johnny Mann wed in prison. Mann was sentenced for taking bribes from drug smugglers. He got caught on tape telling the FBI he was going “to make every dime he can for the next four years.”
December 26, 1998, #3 Kentucky meets an unranked Louisville team in Freedom Hall and gets beat 83-74. The Wildcats lost their 2nd consecutive game to the Cardinals; UK had not lost two consecutive games since 2/4/94 and 2/12/94 against Arkansas and Syracuse.
December 26, 2001, a court-appointed trustee took over Wallace Wilkinson’s financial transactions. Earlier in the year, the former governor filed for bankruptcy with debts over $430 million and assets of only $21 million.
December 26, 2001, UK leading scorer, Dan Issel, ended his long career with the Denver Nuggets. Since 1975, he had been synonymous with the professional team, as player, general manager, president, and twice as head coach.
December 26, 2001, Hawesville native Benjamin E. DeJarnette, passed away. Not only did he live in three centuries, but records show he was Kentucky’s last remaining son of a Confederate soldier. At 26, the Civil War ended and at 56 he fathered Benjamin.
December 26, 2013, America Health released a report claiming Kentucky’s drug overdose death rates quadrupled since 1999, with the overwhelming majority from prescription drugs. Kentucky’s overdose mortality rate per 100,000 residents was 23.6, which was third-highest among U.S. states.
December 26, 2015, Kentucky defeated Louisville 75-73 in Rupp Arena. Pitino was caught on camera leaving the court after the game making an obscene gesture to the home crowd. The rivalry was not kind to Pitino after Calipari came to Lexington. Coach Cal won 8 of the 10 meetings from 2009-1016, including two NCAA Tournament meetings and one Final Four matchup.
December 26, 2019, the first charter school application filed in Kentucky was unanimously denied, leaving the state to likely go another year without charter schools since being approved by the General Assembly in 2017.
December 26, 2020, UK took a 1-5 record and masks into the Yum Center to face the 4-1 Cardinals. Only twice previously has a UK team begun a season with six loses in the first seven games, none since 1926-27. The modern series record going into the match was 37-16 in favor of the Cats. Cardinals win 62-59.