TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

January 11, 1815, Allen County was created from Barren County and Warren County and was named in honor of John Allen, hero of the Battle of Frenchtown in the War of 1812.  Scottsville is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include: Adolphus, Amos, Halifax, Halfway, Holland, Meador, New Roe and Petroleum.  Allen County was the 57th county created in Kentucky and covers 352 square miles.

640px Map of Kentucky highlighting Allen County.svg
By David Benbennick

January 11, 1849, Dr. John Croghan passed away.  The good doctor helped establish the U.S. Marine Hospital of Louisville and organized experimental tuberculosis treatments inside Mammoth Cave during 1839–1849.

January 11, 1862, Battle of Lucas Bend in Carlisle County took place.  The Union ironclads Essex and St. Louis, transporting troops down the Mississippi River in fog, engaged the Confederate cotton clad warships General Polk, Ivy, and Jackson.

USS Essex 1862

January 11, 1865, Frankfort native and artist Joseph H. Bush dies eight months after he finished his last self-portrait at his brother’s house in Lexington.  He was buried in the Lexington Cemetery.

Self portrait of Joseph Henry Bush
Self-Portrait

January 11, 1869, Eagle Creek native John McAuley Palmer became the 15th Illinois governor.  Many in the National Democratic Party wanted him to run for president.  He promoted the gold standard, free trade, and limited government.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Alice Hegan Rice or Alice Caldwell Hegan, born in Shelbyville in 1870.  Her 1901 novel Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch became a play and four films.

January 11, 1901, Bracken County native John Gregg Fee, abolitionist, minister, educator, and founder of Berea and Berea College, passed away.  During the American Civil War, Fee taught and preached at Camp Nelson while the newly freed men were becoming soldiers.

January 11, 1926, John Wesley Langley, Floyd County, resigned as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Kentucky’s 10th district.  Also known as “Pork Barrel John,” he relinquished his office after being convicted of illegally selling alcohol.  Langley deposited $115,000 in his bank account over three years despite earning only $7,500 a year as a congressman.  His wife, Katherine, won a special election for his seat, resolving to clear his name.  President C. Coolidge granted Langley a pardon in 1928 with a stipulation he never runs for office again.

January 11, 1929, Deputy Sheriff George W. Clemons, Breathitt County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while serving an arrest warrant on his brother-in-law’s adult son.  He and several other deputies had gone to the man’s home on Spring Fork where the suspect became upset and opened fire on the deputies.

January 11, 1929, Night Policeman William Lee Johnson, Walton Police Department, was shot and killed when he surprised three burglars attempting to enter the Kroger Store.  All three were captured a short time later.

January 11, 1930, Berlin native John Marshall Robsion became Kentucky’s 28th Class II Senator.  He resigned from the U.S. House a day before.  Governor Sampson appointed Robinson after Senator Sackett resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Garrard County native Jody Payne, born in 1936.  Jody is best known as a longtime guitarist in Willie Nelson’s band, The Family.

January 11, 1936, Chief of Police Samuel John Murphy, Weeksbury Police Department, was shot and killed by the brother of a man he had arrested earlier in the day for being drunk in public.  The arrestee’s brother kicked in the door of the city jail and shot Chief Murphy in the chest with a rifle, killing him.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Ashland native Naomi Judd, born in 1946.

On January 11, 1950, Citation won in his first race in exactly 13 months, taking an allowance race by 1 ½ lengths to extend his winning streak to a record 16 races.

January 11, 1956, three of the stars of the movie “Glory,” John Lupton, Margaret O’Brien and Byron Palmer, attend the world premiere at the Kentucky Theatre.  The movie told the story of a young woman who raised a filly named Glory to become a Kentucky Derby champion.  Part of the movie was filmed in Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Calumet Farm.

January 11, 1967, Marine Corps CPL Ernest H. Wilson from Corinth in Grant County died in the Vietnam War.

January 11, 1971, Fayette Circuit Judge N. Mitchell Meade, citing reports of possible “syndicate” connections, charged a grand jury to investigate illegal gambling in Lexington.  Meade also asked the jury to investigate reports of “alleged bribery” and “payoffs” to Lexington’s elected officials.

January 11, 1971, UK Quarterback George Blanda, the “Ageless Marvel” of Oakland Raiders, was named AP Male Athlete of Year.  The 43-year-old grey QB and kicking specialist gave new light to middle-aged men.

January 11, 1972, Army SGT Leonard H. Mantooth, Jr. from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

January 11, 1980, in a move to end the widespread “milk war” that spread across Kentucky, the state obtained a court order to force A&P Food Stores to raise their milk prices 12 to 32 cents a gallon.  A&P wanted to help their customers with inflation and fought the court order.  The judge followed a controversial law prohibiting retailers from selling milk below cost.  

January 11, 1995, federal agents searched every Brown & Williamson Tobacco office at the corporation’s downtown Louisville headquarters.  Agents seized boxes of documents, computer files, and snatched pictures off walls, all while videotaping the different scenes.

January 11, 2000, Scott County schools wanted to avoid a lawsuit, so they voted to delete the words “Trust in God” from a list of virtues the school district posted.  Meanwhile, Louisville begins behind the scenes talks to rid downtown of the blue light district, an entire downtown city block, which has stood for 30 years.

January 11, 2008, Louisville bans smoking in public places.

January 11, 2010, Bell County native Leonard Lawson who made a fortune in blacktop and whose campaign donations gave him access to governors, began trial on charges of bribing state officials for inside information.  Bill Nighbert, former Transportation cabinet secretary during Fletcher’s term, stood beside him as a co-defendant.

January 11, 2010, Louisville loses their first game when Pitino calls for a white-out.  The white-out had worked in its previous three games.  The Cardinals lost to #4 Villanova in Freedom Hall.

January 11, 2020, in a sign of the times, the Lexington-Herald Leader Saturday edition is available online only.

January 11, 2020, to oversee Kentucky’s troubled nursing home industry, Governor A. Beshear chose executive Adam Mather from Signature Healthcare.  This Louisville-based corporation owns more than two dozen low-rated nursing homes in the state.

January 11, 2021, a vandal spray painted “COVID is PCR Fraud” on the state’s #1 health official’s mail box.  Dr. Steven Stack called the Lexington police.  PCR is a standard test the state uses for COVID-19.