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Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On January 15, 1810, the “War Hawks” of Congress expressed concern about the Native American presence in Kentucky and extinguished all Cherokee land claims.

On January 15, 1811, Kentucky created two counties.  The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives is the source for the order of the counties created.

Kentucky 1811

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.

By David Benbennick

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.

By David Benbennick

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.

By David Benbennick

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.

The Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives is the source for the order of the counties created.

1845 Kentucky County Map
By David Benbennick

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.

January 15, 1862, Police Officer Benjamin S. Rust, Louisville Police Department, died from gunshots while arresting a wanted man on Newburg Road over stolen mules.

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.

By Greg5030

January 15, 1914, Madeline McDowell Breckinridge and Laura Clay became the 1st women to address a joint session of the Kentucky legislature.

January 15, 1920, Monroe County native Benton McMillin became the U.S. Minister to Guatemala.  He also served as the 27th governor of Tennessee from 1899 to 1903.

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.

December 15, 1967, Louisville native Paul Hornung won the 1st Super Bowl as an injured member of the Packers.  Green Bay beat Kansas City 35-10.

January 15, 1967, Army PFC David L. Miles from Corbin died in the Vietnam War.

January 15, 1969, Marine Corps LTCOL Ermil L. Whisman from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.

January 15, 1971, Kentucky announced the Kentucky Village, the state’s 73-year-old home for delinquent children, would close in two years.

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, 2001, Kentuckians and America remember Martin Luther King, Jr.  South Carolina finally recognized the day as a paid holiday for all state employees, the last state to do so.

January 15, 2011, Kentucky bred Tapizar won Santa Anita’s GIII $100,000 Sham Stakes for three-year-olds. 

January 15, 2018, Lexington held their 1st Martin Luther King, Jr. march without two Confederate statutes on the courthouse lawn.

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, 2021, Kentuckian Robert Bauer told the F.B.I. the Capitol Police shook his hand and said, “It’s your house now,” when he stormed the Capitol on January 6 with his wife.

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.