TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

December 31, 1835, Newport Rifles of Kentucky, a 52-man company of volunteers, left Kentucky for Texas aboard the steamer Augusta.  Before their departure, the unit received a flag from the ladies of Newport.  This is the only existing flag carried by the Texan Army at the Battle of San Jacinto to remain in Texas.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Newport native General John T. Thompson, born in 1860. During the Spanish-American War, Thompson dedicated himself to correcting the sorry state of American military small arms.  He was the first Army Ordnance Dept. officer to recognize the merits of automatic pistols and rifles.  In WWI, Thompson studied several designs and was impressed with a delayed-blowback breech system designed by John Blish.  With Blish as a partner, Thompson obtained the necessary venture capital to form the Auto-Ordnance Company and set to work fine-tuning what would eventually become the Thompson submachine gun.  When the U.S. finally entered the war in 1917, Thompson became a brigadier general and later received the Distinguished Service Medal.  After the war, he retired and went back to work perfecting the “Tommy Gun,” a machine gun that would be unlike anything the world had ever seen.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Minerva native Stanley Forman Reed, born in 1884 in Mason County.  Judge Reed served as U.S. Solicitor General from 1935 to 1938 and as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1938 to 1957.

December 31, 1887, Sheriff Henry Harrison Winters, Hickman County Sheriff’s Office, was killed while attempting to serve a warrant.  Sheriff Winters had learned the man was at his mother’s home in the county and summoned a posse to assist him.

December 31, 1898, Town Marshal Tom Roach, Barbourville Police Department, was killed while attempting to disarm a county deputy who had gotten into a personal argument with a store clerk.  The store’s owner ordered the deputy to leave the store before stepping outside himself.  When the store owner left, the deputy pulled out his gun and attempted to search the clerk.  Marshal Roach put himself between the two.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Barrier native Hal Dallas Rogers, born in 1937 in Wayne County. 

December 31, 1950, Army PVT John W. Moore from Todd County died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Bardstown native William Paul Durbin Jr., born in 1953.  Mr. Durbin is a martial artist and Baptist minister, known for founding Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei (気楊柔手流拳法武芸, Kiyōjūte-ryū Kenpō Bugei), meaning “spiritually positive gentle person system of martial arts”, a form of Kempo.  It is a Gendai Budō martial art in the James Mitose lineage intended to provide for all aspects of self-defense.  The Hombu Dojo, or headquarters, is located in Frankfort.

December 31, 1961, Sheriff Sam L. Green, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, was killed by a suspect while serving a warrant due to a domestic disturbance.  He was assisting the city police department and had gone to the home with a city police officer.

December 31, 1968, Army SGT Harlan Secress from Hebron in Boone County and Army SP4 Johnnie D. Knight from Grant County died in the Vietnam War.

December 31, 1970, Army SP4 Pete E. Williamson from River in Johnson County died in the Vietnam War.

December 31, 1974, Maker’s Mark joined the National Register of Historic Places.

December 31, 1976, Fran Curci’s Wildcats shutout the Tar Heels 21-0 in the Peach Bowl in front of 57, 507 spectators.  Kentucky outgained North Carolina 334 yards to 109 thanks to All-American’s Warren Bryant and Derrick Ramsey.  The defense, led by Art Still, held the Tar Heels to a total of five first downs and forced five turnovers.

December 31, 1988, Kentucky visits #14 Louisville in Freedom Hall and gets handed a beating 75-97 by Coach Crum.  Eddie Sutton’s top scorer was Derrick Miller, with 34 points.  Pervis Ellison pulled down seven rebounds and 20 points.

December 31, 1996, Coach Crum was upset at a call during the #16 Louisville’s 74-54 loss to #3 Kentucky at Freedom Hall.  The legendary coach of the Cardinals guided Louisville from 1971 to 2001, compiling a 675–295 record with two NCAA championships (1980, 1986) and six Final Fours.  During his 30-year career, Crum was 7-13 against Kentucky.

December 31, 1999, the Newport World Peace Bell dedication took place, one of many Peace Bells around the world.  Newport’s bell was the largest swinging bell in the world, weighing 66,000 lbs., when first swung in 2000.  The bell features an inscription commemorating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and important events from the past 1,000 years.

December 31, 2001, Louisville defeats BYU 28-10 in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis.  It was Coach John Smith’s first bowl win in four attempts.  Coach Smith would be gone in 2002.

December 31, 2001, a private midnight unveiling of the $400,000 clock located in Lexington’s downtown public library’s entrance took place.  Lucille Caudill Little donated the clock and a 70 foot Foucault pendulum that hangs from the dome, which moves from the Earth’s rotation.

December 31, 2004, Bobby Petrino’s Cardinals beat Boise State 44-40 in the Liberty Bowl with the help of Michael Bush.  This was the last Conference USA game for Louisville, who entered the Big East the following year.

December 31, 2007, Army PFC Brian L. Gorham, 21, of Woodburn, died at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of wounds sustained in Afghanistan fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

December 31, 2010, the Yum! Center hosted their first UK/UofL game with 22,803 in attendance.  #11 Kentucky beat #22 Louisville 78-63.  UK’s Josh Harrellson scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.  Coach Cal was now 2-0 against Coach Pitino; both games played in 2010.

December 31, 2011, #3 Kentucky defeated #4 Louisville 69-62, and it was an ugly game for both teams.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist led the Cats with a monster double-double of 24 points and 19 rebounds.  Coach Cal was now 3-0 against Coach Pitino.

December 31, 2015, Lamar Jackson ran for a career-high and Music City Bowl-record 226 yards and two touchdowns and threw for two more scores to help Louisville beat Texas A&M 27-21.  Louisville (8-5) won its third bowl in their past four trips and first since 2013.

December 31, 2019, Kentucky defeats Virginia Tech 37-30 in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte with a TD pass from star Lynn Bowden.  Lynn’s 233 yards was the biggest in a bowl game since Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel ran for 219 yards in 2013.  With both WKU & UofL winning their bowl games, the state of Kentucky improved to 3-0 on the season.

December 31, 2019, Lawrenceburg native and Paintsville High School graduate Tyler Childers visited the Floyd County Animal shelter.  According to the shelter’s manager Jackie Brown, the visit helped increase adoption and bring awareness to the facility.

December 31, 2020, the Lexington Herald-Leader top headline read: “Absolutely Terrified – COVID-19 Not Over Long After It Hits.