Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
January 15, 1811, Kentucky created Bath County from Montgomery County and named it for the medicinal springs within the county. Owingsville is the county seat. Other localities are Salt Lick and Sharpsburg. Bath County, the 56th county created covers 277 square miles.
On January 15, 1811, the Commonwealth created Union County from Henderson County and named it for the residents’ unanimous decision to unite and create a new county. Morganfield is the county seat. Other cities and towns include Sturgis, Uniontown, Waverly, Breckinridge Center, Bordley, Boxville, Caseyville, Curlew, Dekoven, Grangertown, Grove Center, Henshaw, Pride, Spring Grove, Sullivan, and The Rocks. The 55th county created, Union County, covers 363 square miles.
On January 15, 1824, Kentucky created Graves County from Hickman County and was named for Benjamin F. Graves who died in the War of 1812. Clinton is the county seat. Other cities and towns include Dukedom, Mayfield, Water Valley, Wingo, Fancy Farm, Farmington, Symsonia, Lowes, Kaler, and West Viola. The 75th county created, Graves County covers 557 square miles.
January 15, 1845, Kentucky created Fulton County from Hickman County and named it in honor of Robert Fulton, inventor of the 1st commercially successful steamboat. Hickman is the county seat. Other localities include Fulton, Cayce, Anna Lynne, Ash Log, Beech Grove, Blue Pond, Bondurant, Brownsville, Crutchfield, Ebenezer, Fish Pond, Harmony, Jordan, Kentucky Bend, Ledford, Liberty, Mabel, Miller, Riceville, Sassafras Ridge, State Line, Stubbs, Tyler, Union, and Walnut Grove. Fulton County was the 99th county created in Kentucky and covers 231 square miles.
January 15, 1858, the General Assembly chartered Kentucky University (KU) in Mercer County, led by John B. Bowman. Classes began in the old Bacon College buildings in Harrodsburg, from which Mr. Bowman had been an 1842 graduate. KU merged with Transylvania University (TU) after the Civil War hardships.
UK/TU Name Change Trivia Snippet: In 1865, John Bowman convinced state legislatures to merge KU and TU utilizing the federal Morrill Act that gave each U.S. state money, to establish Agriculture & Mechanicals (A&M) schools. They located the new A&M College of Kentucky on TU land, but locals called it KU. By 1880, A&M College was commonly known as State College. In 1908 the schools split, one reverted back to Transylvania University and the other became State University, Lexington. The latter, in 1916, officially changed the name to the University of Kentucky.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Madisonville native Ruby Laffoon, born in 1869 in Hopkins County. Dubbed the “Terrible Turk from Madisonville,” Laffoon defeated William B. Harrison in the general election by what was then the largest margin of victory in Kentucky gubernatorial history to become our 43rd governor.
January 15, 1886, Congress presented Daniel Noble of Breathitt County the Medal of Honor for his action in the Civil War Battle of Mobile Bay. On August 5, 1864, in a crew on a small boat sent from USS Metacomet, he rescued survivors of the USS Tecumseh, which a “torpedo had sunk.” Despite the intense fire, the boat crew pulled ten Tecumseh men from the water.
January 15, 1900, Carnegie Corporation of New York gave $85,000 to Covington for a new city library. Today, the old library is the Carnegie Visual and Performing Arts Center containing five art galleries and a theater.
On January 15, 1922, The Saturday Evening Post printed an article stating that a Lexington native Thomas R.J. Ayres made the 1st American fire-arm in a hammerless fashion. He manufactured the gun in Danville. His son donated the weapon to the Kentucky Historical Department in 1920.
January 15, 1927, the Speed Art Museum opened. Designed by Louisville architect Arthur Loomis, nearly 2,000 visitors were on hand to view works by more than 100 American and European painters. Mrs. Speed served as the 1st president and director of the museum.
Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Danville native William Richard Higgins, born in 1945. Terrorists captured the U.S. Marine Corps Colonel in Lebanon, where he was tortured and eventually murdered by his captors.
January 15, 1966, Col. Harland Sanders and Adrian ‘Odie’ Smith, a member of the UK’s Fiddlin’ Five who won the 1958 national championship, attended UK’s game against Vanderbilt at Memorial Coliseum. Smith, who grew up in Farmington in Graves County, also won a gold medal on the 1960 U.S. Olympic team.
January 15, 1966, Pat Riley rested on the bench in the closing minutes as the #2 Cats defeated #3 Vanderbilt 96-83 at Memorial Coliseum. Riley and Louise Dampier combined for 52 points in the Cats’ 12th straight victory of the season. UK would finish the year 27-2, #1 in the final AP and UPI rankings. Still, the Cats would lose to Texas Western in the NCAA title game.
January 15, 1990, Kentuckians and America remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. Over 300 people stood outside the state capitol for the 2nd year to ask for the day to be a paid holiday for state employees. Inside, Governor W. Wilkinson stated he would sign a bill if the Assembly would pass one.
January 15, 1996, “Youth and the Dream: The Quest for a Just Society” was the theme as more than 2,000 people filled Heritage Hall in Lexington to hear speakers, including three elementary students, speak about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the movement he inspired.
January 15, 2000, Tubby Smith joined his professional association in calling for South Carolina to take down the Confederate Flag that flies atop the State House in Columbia. “I’m not necessarily offended by it,” Smith says after UK won at South Carolina, “but I think it is time for a change.”
January 15, 2019, Senate President Robert Stivers stated he was “blown away” by revelations there was little to no oversight of the lobbyist that worked in the executive branch. Businesses often spend $20 million annually lobbying legislatures; however, no accounting system exists for documenting how much each lobbyist spends on their executive branch clients, who are far more numerous. Several criminal cases at the time prompted his Senate Bill 6 and public concern.
January 15, 2020, the coal miners’ protest ended after only three days of banning together to block train tracks against American Resources Corporation for unpaid wages. The Pikeville stand-off attracted national attention. In 2019, miners had to stop trains for months to receive their salaries from Blackjewel Coal Company in Harlan County.
On January 15, 2000, the General Assembly amended House Bill 137 to allow betting on in-state universities. The bill would have legalized sports betting. Though approved unanimously at the committee level and with more than enough support to advance it to the Kentucky Senate, legislatures never brought it to a vote.
January 15, 2022, Joe B. Hall passed at 93 years, 1 month, and 16 days. He began as head coach in 1972, and in 13 seasons, he went to the final four three times, taking the championship in 1978 for Kentucky’s 1st title in 20 years.
January 15, 2022, Kentucky set a new school record for points scored against Tennessee when they crushed the Vols 107-79 in Rupp Arena. TyTy Washington led the Cats with a career-high 28 points, Sahvir Wheeler added 21, and Kellan Grady chipped in 16.