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January 13, 1794, President Washington authorized the 15-star, 15-stripe U.S. flag.  The two stars and stripes stood for Vermont (14th) and Kentucky (15th).  It was the only U.S. Flag with more than 13 stripes and lasted 23 years.  Francis Scott Key immortalized it during the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1814.  Five Presidents served under this flag: George Washington thru James Monroe.  Faced with the admission of five more states in 1818, the flag reverted to the original thirteen stars and stripes.

Original size: 30 feet by 42 feet / Current size: 30 feet by 34 feet

January 13, 1817, the Kentucky Legislature tried to stop the Second Bank of the U.S. from entering Kentucky.  The bill passed on this day and prevented the circulation of private notes in the commonwealth.  The bill was unsuccessful.  Branches opened soon afterward in Louisville and Lexington.  These banks were not popular among the locals, who tended to prefer their state banks.  The national bank was no more fiscally responsible than the state banks, and they flooded the state with currency.  Before the new banks, citizens did not widely use cash in the form, and bartering had been the standard trade method.  The influx of currency and easy credit led to the Panic of 1819.

On January 13, 1833, 46 years after the formal creation of Maysville, it became incorporated as a city.  It would become the seat of Mason County in 1848.

January 13, 1848, Kentucky created Taylor County from Green County and named it in honor of President Zachary Taylor.  Campbellsville is the county seat.  Other localities include Acton, Bengal, Black Gnat, Elk Horn, Finley, Hatcher, Hobson, Mannsville, Merrimac, Saloma, Spurlington, Sweenyville, and Yuma.  The 100th county created, Taylor County, covers 277 square miles.

By David Benbennick

On January 13, 1864, Stephen Foster died at the age of 37 in New York City.  At 26, Mr. Foster wrote My Old Kentucky Home.  The Kentucky Derby played it for the 1st time, allegedly in 1921 at the 47th running, and in 1928, it became Kentucky’s state song.

January 13, 1873, Illinois inaugurated Richard James Oglesby as its governor for the 2nd time.  The Floydsburg native of Oldham County would once more take the governor’s oath to serve three nonconsecutive terms.

January 13, 1881, Arkansas inaugurated Jefferson County native Thomas James Churchill as their 13th governor.  He graduated from St. Mary’s College in Bardstown in 1844 and then studied law at Transylvania University.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Uniontown native Nathaniel John Cartmell, born in 1883 in Union County.  The 1st head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels men’s basketball team also won medals in two Olympic Games.

January 13, 1891, Colorado inaugurated Eddyville native John Long Routt as their 7th governor.  He was also their 1st governor.

January 13, 1911, Lexington High, on the road, defeated State University (UK) 36-29 in State’s season opener at Buell Armory Gymnasium.  The High School team coached themselves, and Harold J. Iddings coached the University team.

January 13, 1917, Lexington received their 2nd heaviest snowfall at 11.2”.

January 13, 1933, Deputy Sheriff Crockett M. “Jack” Riddell, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, died from a shotgun while questioning four men loitering at the corner of 12th Street and Zane Street.  As Deputy Riddell searched the men for weapons, one of them shot him from a distance of 15 feet.

On January 13, 1934, a strike by Kentucky Traction & Terminal Company employees ended the Inter-Urban Transportation System.  As a result, the final run from Paris to Lexington ended electric street cars after 40 years of use.  It Happened Today in Kentucky History by Robert A. Powell; pg: 8.

January 13, 1937, Corporal John Holzknecht, Louisville Police Department, succumbed to injuries sustained on November 15, 1937, in a vehicle crash at the intersection of Everett Avenue and Slaughter Avenue (modern-day Patterson Avenue).

January 13, 1939, Chief of Police John D. Gilliam, Cumberland Police Department, died checking on a restaurant while making his rounds.  When he entered the eatery, a drunk man inside suddenly jumped up and opened fire on the chief, shooting him three times.  Chief Gilliam returned fire and killed the subject.

January 13, 1940, Judge Goodenough quashed 196 gambling indictments against a few Covington citizens.  Jimmy Brink, the owner of the Lookout House, received 44.

January 13, 1953, Marine Corps CPL Charles R. Kastor from Buechel in Jefferson County died in the Korean War.

On January 13, 1956, Federal authorities held ten men, including the president of a Middlesboro union, for burning a bridge in Miracle belonging to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.  In addition, they charged eight of the men with violating the federal train-wreck statute.

January 13, 1967, Army CPL Richard A. Robb from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

January 13, 1968, Marine Corps LCPL Delmer Anderson from Bellevue died in the Vietnam War.

January 13, 1969, Army SSG Glen Everett Rountree from Williamsburg in Whitley County died in the Vietnam War.

On January 13, 1972, Kentucky proposed creating the Department of Environmental Protection.  The bill changed the governmental structure to consolidate the environmental problems under one agency’s mandate.  The proposed department ironically excluded strip-mining regulation.

January 13, 1982, after working for almost a year and holding eight public meetings around the state, Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. received the much anticipated Agriculture Land Study.  The report gently suggested providing tax breaks to farmers and land developers who make efforts to save Kentucky’s best farmland.

On January 13, 1994, UK’s Pi Kappa Alpha members received 2,000 community hours of service for taking sports memorabilia from Duke and North Carolina university campuses, including Christian Laettner’s retired #32 jersey.

January 13, 2000, an environmental watchdog group released their report, Danger in the Air: Unhealthy Smog Days, in 1999.  The study ranked Kentucky #5 on a list of the top 10 worst states for bad air days.  Kentucky allegedly had 57 unhealthy air days, which they claimed were caused by coal-fired power plants and automobile exhaust.

January 13, 2004, in Governor E. Fletcher’s 1st address to the General Assembly, he urged lawmakers to rewrite Kentucky’s tax code.  He stated, “The commonwealth is as challenging as it has ever been in the modern age and today’s bitter pill will reduce tomorrow’s pain.”

January 13, 2007, a Kentucky bred won Santa Anita’s GII $200,000 San Fernando Breeders’ Cup Stakes for four-year-olds.

January 13, 2009, Jodie Meeks scored 54 points against the #24 ranked Tennessee in a 90-72 win.  This feat broke Dan Issel’s 53 points in a 120–85 victory over Ole Miss, which broke Cliff Hagan’s single-game record of 51.

January 13, 2016, Owensboro native and actress Tera Wray passed away.

January 13, 2018, a Kentucky bred won Santa Anita’s GII $201,035 La Canada Stakes for fillies and mares four-year-olds and upward by a head.

January 13, 2019, Governor M. Bevin stated he wanted to work with the new Ohio governor on a solution to fix a 57-year-old Brent Spence Bridge, which the federal government had labeled obsolete.  President J. Biden visited Kentucky on January 4, 2023, to tout a gift of $1 billion in federal grants to improve congestion on the aging bridge.

On January 13, 2021, the U.S. House impeached President Trump.  It was the 4th impeachment of a U.S. president, and the 2nd for Trump after his 1st impeachment in December 2019.  Senator McConnell remained primarily silent after the Capitol riots but insiders reported the outgoing majority leader wanted to wash his hands of Trump.  Meanwhile, in Kentucky, Governor A. Beshear called the virus death toll, nearing 3,000, “tragic.”

January 13, 2022, Larry Forgy, who narrowly lost Kentucky’s 1995 race for governor to Paul Patton, died at 82.  In Washington D.C., the Supreme Court halted the Biden administration’s requirement that employees at large businesses be vaccinated or be tested regularly.  The mandated also required wearing a mask on the job.