TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

December 30, 1819, Todd County was created from Christian County and Logan County and was named in honor of John Todd, military colonel killed at the Battle of Blue Licks.  Elkton is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include: Guthrie, Trenton, Fairview, Allensville, Allegre, Claymour, Daysville, Clifty, Hadensville, Kirkmansville, Pea Ridge, Penicktown, Pinchem, Sharon Grove, Tabernacle, Tiny Town, Tress Shop and Tyewhoppety.  Todd County was the 64th county created and covers 376 square miles.

1280px Map of Kentucky highlighting Todd County.svg
By David Benbennick

December 30, 1862, the Civil War Battle of New Haven took place in LaRue County.

December 30, 1901, the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded Shelbyville $10,000 for a new library.

1083px Graves at the library
By Nyttend

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Dry Ridge native Skeeter Davis, born in 1931.  In 1973 she was banned from the Grand Ole Opry for making a “political speech” complaining about the recent arrests of members of a conservative Christian group.  Only the week before, Roy Acuff made an onstage plea to reinstate the death penalty after the murder of Kentuckian Stringbean, which was just as much a political statement as Skeeter’s yet received no fallout.  Skeeter returned to the Opry in 1975, but her career and the hits had stopped.  Skeeter’s real name was Mary Penick.

December 30, 1938, Hollywood released the major motion picture Kentucky.  It was a Romeo and Juliet story, set amidst Kentucky horseracing, in which a family feud continues from the Civil War days.

December 30, 1945, Town Marshal Grover George Owens, Brodhead Police Department, was shot and killed in retaliation for arresting a subject for drunkenness the night before.  The prisoner had threatened to kill Marshal Owens after he was arrested.  The man was released from the jail the following morning.  He and three of his brothers located Marshal Owens at a service station in Brodhead and shot him.

December 30, 1952, Army SGT James A. Carroll from Henderson and Air Force David T. Heer from Louisville, died in the Korean War.

December 30, 1953, Kentucky’s top officials proposed the State Health Department require annual vaccinations against rabies for all dogs in the Commonwealth.  The bill would also require a dog pound and dog catcher for each city with a population of over 10,000.

December 30, 1953, “Pete” Widener III, former owner of Elmendorf Farm, became the Fayette County Police Chief.  The shy 28-year-old sold a majority of Elmendorf but kept 400 acres when his father passed.  He also owned a 7,500-acre ranch in Florida.  Besides his new duties, he remained a Director of Keeneland and Hialeah Race Tracks.

December 30, 1959, a commemorative stamp honoring Ephraim McDowell was issued on the 150th anniversary of successful ovarian operation.

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December 30, in 1964, Paducah’s first public library, the Carnegie Library, caught fire due to faulty Christmas lighting.

December 30, 1967, Army SP4 Terry W. Holmes from Baxter in Harlan County died in the Vietnam War.

December 30, 1969, Army PFC Robert L. Rose from Vanceburg in Harlan County died in the Vietnam War.

December 30, 1969, Detective James Riley Ratliff and Patrolman Donald W. Gaskin, Louisville Police Department, were shot and killed when they responded to a robbery call at a local grocery store on Osage Avenue.

December 30, 1970, at 12:20 p.m. the Hurricane Creek Coal Mines 15 & 16 of Hyden, in Leslie County, exploded, killing 38 of the 39 men underground.  The massive coal dust explosion is the deadliest coal mine disaster in Eastern Kentucky history.

December 30, 1975, Louisville antibusing sympathizers met to discuss potential strategies.  These included boycotting school when they reopen after the Christmas holidays, a Frankfort march when the General Assembly convenes, and picketing the Kentucky Derby.

December 30, 1982, Valley of the Drums received the green light to clean their 23-acre toxic waste site in northern Bullitt County.  The site’s name comes from the waste-containing drums strewn across the property since the 1960s.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyzed the property and creek in 1979, finding high levels of heavy metal and over 140 other chemical substances.  It is known as one of the primary motivations for the passage of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, or Superfund Act of 1980.

December 30, 1984, many lawsuits finally ended concerning Kentucky’s famous oil field in Burkesville known as “God’s Land” or “the Hippie Lease.”  The land received its name by oil men for the owner, an artist who had deeded the land to God.

December 30, 1984, Police Officer Anthony E. Jansen, Newport Police Department, was accidentally shot and killed by another officer while investigating a suspicious person in the 700 block of York Street.

December 30, 1989, #8 Denny’s Cardinals played Rick’s Cats in Lexington and easily won 86-79.

December 30, 1992, the Mistletoe post office in Owsley County closed.  For 11 months a year, the Post Master would see about 240 letters a month.  But when December rolled around each year, it was swamped with at least 10,000 cards and letters.  The cancellation mark was a silhouette of two youngsters kissing under a sprig of mistletoe, designed by the Post Master’s son, Wendell Couch.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Sara Walter and Governor Bert Combs, who wed in 1998.  It was the third marriage for 40-year-old Sara and the third for 77-year-old Bert.

December 30, 2006, Jared Lorenzen made his first appearance on the field in a Giants uniform.  During this game, he was used for one play, a quarterback sneak to make a first down on a third-and-one.

December 30, 2008, Doug Pelphrey earned his biggest upset as coach of the Razorbacks by beating #4 Oklahoma in Bud Walton Arena, 96-88.

December 30, 2009, using ground penetrating radar and metal detectors, researchers found the 225-year old site of General George Rogers Clark’s Indiana mill built in 1784.

December 30, 2014, Nick Chubb runs for 266 yards as Georgia rolls over Louisville in the Belk Bowl.  Chubb set a new Belk Bowl rushing record, eclipsing the 174-yard effort set by Boston College’s Andrew Callender in 2004.  DeVante Parker lived up to his billing with eight catches for 120 yards for Louisville.

December 30, 2016, tolling began at 4:00 a.m. on the Kennedy, Lincoln and Lewis & Clark Bridges connecting Louisville and Indiana.  Drivers enjoyed 390 free days on the Kennedy & Lincoln Bridges and 11 days on the Lewis & Clark Bridge.

December 30, 2017, a Kentucky bred wins Santa Anita’s GI $300,000 American Oaks for three-year-old fillies.

December 30, 2019, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers beat Western Michigan 23-20 in the 10th First Responder Bowl in Gerald J. Ford Stadium at Southern Methodist University in Texas.  This was the 16th meeting between the two programs and the first since 1947; Western Michigan led the all-time series, 11–3–1.

December 30, 2020, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron sent a letter to two Kentucky lawmakers stating that he sent “a formal request to the F.B.I. to investigate then Governor M. Bevin’s numerous pardons.

December 30, 2020, a judge ruled Waste Services of Lexington cannot expand the Scott County landfill where Fayette’s trash has been sent since 2015.  This was a major victory for the Localtonians who had complained of extremely bad odors and dangerous truck traffic.