TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Jesse James’s parents, Robert S. James and Zerelda Elizabeth Cole, married in Stamping Ground in 1841.

December 28, 1854, Bullitt County native James Turner Morehead passed away.  Mr. Morehead served as our 12th Class II U.S. Senator, 12th governor, and was the first native-born Kentuckian to be governor.  A member of Henry Clay’s National Republican Party, Morehead entered politics to challenge the Democratic Party’s dominance in the state.

December 28, 1861, the Battle of Sacramento takes place in McLean County.  Five-hundred CSA troops square off against 200-300 Union troops.  The battle ends with a Confederate victory.

December 28, 1864, 125 miles north of Burkesville, the Hardinsburg Courthouse burns in Breckinridge County.  Rebels tried to burn it to the ground but the Localtonians save it from a total loss and saved the county records as well.
Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg: 10

December 28, 1892, an armed mob, led by many well-known citizens, gathered at the courthouse and seized a black male named Bob Harper.  Harper was in jail for an alleged assault on a white woman in Park City in Barren County.  They brought him to the Warren County Fair Grounds and hung him from a tree.  During this time, lynchings had become a widespread practice due to the “threat” of newly freed slaves and justified on the premise of protecting white females.  Lynching reached an all-time high in 1892, with 69 whites and 161 blacks hung.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Governor John Y. Brown Junior, born in 1933.

December 28, 1943, Representative Andrew J. May confirmed he and associates bought 2,000 acres of timber on the Cumberland River to be cut as soon as labor and machinery were available.  The tract is near Partridge in Letcher County.

December 28, 1947, gasoline busses began replacing streetcars in downtown Louisville.  The Louisville Railway Company said all streetcars will be replaced within a month.  The last working streetcar ran the Fourth-Queen route.

December 28, 1951, Army CPL Herbert E. Guffey from Clinton County died in the Korean War.

December 28, 1954, the Surgeon General announced 1954 had the biggest baby boom and the lowest death rate in American history.  For the first time, U.S births exceeded 4,000,000.  Kentucky would not break the 79,890 record births in 1947.

December 28, 1963, WKU defeated the Coast Guard 27-0 in the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, now named the Citrus Bowl.  Ohio Valley Conference’s (OVC) Coach of the Year (OTY) Nick Denes led the Hilltoppers to the OVC championship, and finished the season undefeated.  This team was one of the finest in school history and set a school record for victories.  The roster included future NFL players J. Mutchler, D. Lindsey, J. Burt, H. Chambers, and coach J. Bugel.  J. Mutchler was named OVC Defensive Player OTY.

December 28, 1967, Army SGT Kenneth Allen from Berea died in the Vietnam War.

December 28, 1971, the Keeneland Association announced their 1971 donation of $32,150 to 47 Central Kentucky organizations at its annual year-end distribution.  The largest single grant of $5,000 went to the United Fund of Lexington and Fayette County.   

December 28, 1974, Julian Carroll was sworn in as Kentucky’s 54th governor after Governor W. Ford resigned to be a U.S. Senator.  Carroll was the 50th individual to hold the office.

December 28, 1974, Governor W. Ford took the oath to become Kentucky’s 36th Class III U.S. Senator.  Senator Ford held his seat for 24 years, the longest term for the Kentucky delegation, second to Mitch, who has been serving 36 years.  

December 28, 1983, about 117,000 Kentuckians won a temporary reprieve from a 17.7% increase in health insurance the state’s largest insurer, Blue Cross / Blue Shield of Kentucky, planned to impose.  The postponement was announced after Governor Collins ordered a public hearing into the manner.

December 28, 1985, #15 Louisville and Denny Crum met #13 Kentucky and Eddie Sutton.  The Cats pull out a close one 69-64 in Rupp Arena.  Milt Wagner (UL) and Winston Bennett (UK) were high scorers.

December 28, 1991, #21 Louisville travels east on I-64 to meet #17 Kentucky.  Pitino’s Wildcats defeat Crum’s Cardinals 103-89.  Greg Minor (UL) and John Pelphrey (UK) earned high scorer honors.

On December 28, 1993, Howard Schnellenberger’s Louisville Cardinals defeated Michigan State 18-7 in the Liberty Bowl with Jeff Brohm calling the signals.

December 28, 1995, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources accepted a gift of nearly 34,000 acres in Western Kentucky, valued at more than $5 million.  It was the largest land acquisition in the Wildlife Agency’s history.  A majority of the land came from reclaimed coal mines.

December 28, 2002, the hype leading up to the Kentucky and Louisville game centered around two former Cats who now were Cardinals.  When the dust settled in front of 20,061 fans at Freedom Hall, Rick Pitino and Marvin Stone looked like they made the right choice in jumping ship.  Louisville upset the 14th ranked Cats 63 -81.

December 28, 2008, the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project reported a wealth of archaeological information about the region, but nothing to stop the construction.  Items found during construction included: spear points from ancient Native Americans, sandstone remains of a 19th-century millrace, and evidence of a Louisville brothel.  Archaeologists painstakingly documented their excavations.  The Abraham Lincoln Bridge opened in December 2015.

December 28, 2013, Charlie Strong coached his last game as a Louisville Cardinal in a winning effort against Miami (FL) 36-9 in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers, who married Regina Crawford in a private family ceremony in 2013.  Regina was on Mitch McConnell’s staff at the time of their marriage.

December 28, 2013, #6 Louisville travels to #18 Kentucky and comes up short 66-73.  Coach Cal’s had two players as top scorers; Andrew Harrison and James Young.  Coach Pitino’s top scorer was Russ Smith.  The Wildcats now won five of their last six games against Louisville and three straight in Lexington.

December 28, 2017, Louisville native Sue Taylor Grafton, author of detective novels, passed away.  She is best known as the author of the “alphabet series” (“A” Is for Alibi, etc.) featuring private investigator Kinsey Millhone in the fictional city of Santa Teresa, CA.  The daughter of detective novelist C. W. Grafton said the strongest influence on her crime novels was author Ross Macdonald.

On December 28, 2018, the Sig Luscher Brewery re-opened in Frankfort.  The original Sig Luscher Brewery opened in 1866 until 1891, when Sig died.  Sig’s has always been the only brewery in Frankfort.

December 28, 2019, #19 UK defeats #3 Louisville 78-70 in OT in Rupp Arena.  Kentucky avoided dropping out of the rankings with a much-needed win and Louisville remained in the Top 10.

December 28, 2019, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate wins Santa Anita’s $300,000 GI Malibu Stakes.  Mike Smith’s 4th win of the day also made him the all-time winner of Grade I victories.