TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

January 5, 1773, Fincastle County, Virginia, was created from Botetourt County, Virginia.  Botetourt County used to stretch to the Mississippi River.  In 1780, Fincastle County, Virginia, divided itself into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln Counties.

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native William Preston Johnston, born in 1831.  His mother died when he was four and his father took off to Texas.  William stayed behind to be raised by his Kentucky family.  He graduated from Yale in 1852 and studied law at the UofL.  At the outbreak of the Civil War, Johnston joined the Confederate Army and served as aide-de-camp to President Davis in May 1862.  In May 1965, Johnston was captured and held captive with President Davis for several months.  After his release in 1867, he became chairman of the History and English Department at Washington University in Virginia, offered by the university’s President Gen. Robert E. Lee.  Later, he was made president of Louisiana State University in 1880.  Two years later, he began to organize the University of Louisiana in New Orleans.  Renamed Tulane University in 1884, Johnston was the president until his death.

January 5, 1925, Patrolman Benjamin Frank Law, Covington Police Department, was shot four times and killed while intervening in a robbery while off duty.  He was at his home on Russell Street when he heard a woman screaming.  Patrolman Law ran to the scene where he confronted a suspect.

January 5, 1935, Kentucky plays their first game in Madison Square Garden III.    Adolph Rupp’s Cats lost to New York 22-23.  From the New York Times, “….University of Kentucky, the powerhouse of the South, in the feature game of the college double-header before basketball’s largest crowd in Eastern court history.”  The final record for the Old Garden was 24-10 in 1951.

January 5, 1939, Deputy Sheriff Marion Layne, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, died while investigating a previous shooting on the highway between Garrett and Lackey.  He was searching a subject when he was shot twice in the chest and once in the back by two other juveniles.  Both boys were acquitted of murder.

January 5, 1939, Patrolman Walter Davis Mazzie, Jr. Louisville Police Department, was shot and killed near the intersection of 10th Street and Walnut Street by a suspect who he had previously arrested.  Despite being mortally wounded, he was able to kill the suspect before he died.

On January 5, 1941, Deputy Sheriff Clifton F. Arnsparger, Bourbon County Sheriff’s Department, was killed when he attempted to question a theft suspect who suddenly produced a pistol and opened fire.  The 25-year-old was convicted and sentenced to death.  After a second trial, he got life.  In May 1961, two state troopers in Breathitt County shot him dead.

January 5, 1946, the 200,000 employees of the big three electrical companies announced they would begin a nationwide strike for a $2 a day increase in pay.

January 5, 1946, Louisville broke a single-day heat record from 1888 when the temperature reached 65 degrees; winds topped out at 70 m.p.h.

January 5, 1953, Army PFC Chaffine Smothers from Marion County died in the Korean War.

January 5, 1963, localtonians, including lawyers, began asking questions about raising car insurance premiums.  The concerned citizens wanted oversight on new charges and asked government officials to step in.

January 5, 1970, Rep. William Curlin Jr. and Rep. Wilson Wyatt Jr. announced they would introduce a bill to allow local governments to decide if their community abides with Kentucky’s Sunday Law.  The bill was referred to as “Home-Rule.”

January 5, 1973, a memorial service for former President Harry Truman took place at the Washington Cathedral.

January 5, 1979, Deputy Sheriff Lester E. Reid, Warren County Sheriff’s Department, was killed in an automobile accident while on duty.

January 5, 1980, Spectacular Bid, with the Shoe up, faced only four other horses in Santa Anita’s seven-furlong Malibu Stakes.  Bid broke another track record; this winning time was 3/5 of a second faster than the old 1954 track record, and just 1/5 of a second off the 1972 world record.  Spectacular Bid won all nine races he started in 1980.

January 5, 1985, Covington native Robert L. Surtees, A.S.C. passed away.  Robert was a cinematographer who won three Academy Awards for the films King Solomon’s Mines, The Bad and the Beautiful and the 1959 version of Ben Hur.  He was one of the most versatile cinematographers of his time.

January 5, 1985, a barn at Airdrie Stud caught fire and tragically killed 15 broodmares and yearlings.

January 5, 1988, Governor W. Wilkinson addressed the Kentucky House of Representatives during the opening day of the General Assembly.

January 5, 1991, #16 Kentucky hosted Shaquille O’Neal and the #14 LSU Tigers for a 93-80 victory.  Tom Hammond provides the play-by-play for a national audience.

January 5, 1996, Kentucky recovered $2.4 million from a post office box because David Cheak never picked up the check he sent to himself.  David worked at the Kentucky Revenue cabinet for 19 years until officials caught him stealing millions of dollars.  Officers were bewildered why he never picked up the check?

On January 5, 2006, Shaun Alexander won the 2005 NFL MVP, becoming the first Seahawk to do so.  He beat out the NY Giants running back Tiki Barber and the Colts QB Peyton Manning, who had won the award the previous two years.

January 5, 2007, Army MAJ Michael L. Mundell, 47, of Brandenburg, died in Iraq during combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

January 5, 2008, Louisville exploded on a 32-9 run, out of halftime, on its way to a convincing 89-75 victory at Rupp Arena.  Louisville ended a three-game losing streak against Kentucky.

January 5, 2019, Kentucky dairy farmers told their story of how milk prices were forcing them to take their dairy cattle to slaughter.  In January 2018, there were 600 dairy farms; in December, there were 513.  By comparison, Kentucky had 1,400 dairy farms in 2005.  Corporate farmers who receive Washington D.C. handouts continue to destroy the small farmer.

January 5, 2019, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate trifecta takes Santa Anita’s $100,702 GIII Sham Stakes for three-year-olds.

January 5, 2020, Louisville native Justin Thomas won the PGA Sentry Tournament of Champions in a three-man playoff for his third victory in his last six starts and the 12th of his career.

January 5, 2021, taking advantage of their supermajorities in the House and Senate, Republicans began to push through 10 priority bills to strengthen the General Assembly and weaken the executive branch.