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On January 23, 1813, Nathaniel Gray Smith Hart, a Lexington lawyer and businessman, died, along with many of his men in the River Raisin Massacre.

January 23, 1843, Kentucky created Owsley County from Clay County, Estill County and Breathitt County and named it in honor of William Owsley, secretary of state and later governor.  The county seat is Booneville.  Other localities include Arnett, Big Springs, Blake,  Brewer Neighborhood, Chestnut Gap, Conkling, Couch Fork, Couch Town, Cowcreek, Elk Lick, Endee, Eversole, Fish Creek, Hall, Hogg, Indian Creek, Island City, Lerose, Levi, Lucky Fork, Major, Mistletoe, Moors, Needmore, Pebworth, Pleasant, Ricetown, Rock Spring, Rockhouse, Scoville, Sebastian, Shephard, Southfork, Stacey, Stay, Sturgeon, Sugar Camp, Taft, Travellers Rest, Vincent, and Whoopflarea.  The 98th county created, Owsley County, covers 198 square miles.

By David Benbennick

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Laurel County native Flemon Davis “Flem” Sampson, born in 1875.  Flem, the  42nd governor in the late 1920s, had a tumultuous term.  He wanted the dam at Cumberland Falls to generate hydroelectric power.  Instead, the General Assembly voted to accept an offer from T. Coleman du Pont to purchase the falls and turn them into a state park.  Sampson later got indicted for accepting textbook company gifts, but the charges did not stick.

January 23, 1898, Butler County native Thomas Hines died.  Sympathetic to the South, he joined the Confederate Army in 1862 and was taken prisoner in June 1863.  Five months later, he made a daring and complicated escape from a Union prison camp, becoming a local hero.

January 23, 1915, Kentucky basketball hosted Louisville in Woodland Auditorium, winning 18-14.  Alpha Brumage coached Kentucky, and Louisville coached themselves.   Kentucky played 22 games in the Woodland Park Auditorium from 1914-16.

On January 23, 1924, UK President Dr. Frank L. McVey spoke to Frankfort’s Budget Commission and explained that enrollment had increased 300% over the last decade and the university needed cash.  The meeting lasted two hours.

January 23, 1930, the Kentucky Senate got a big laugh when Senator Fitzpatrick, a former Centre College student, introduced a bill to prohibit athletic teams of any state-maintained university from playing any other teams located out of the Commonwealth.  He introduced the bill in retaliation for UK dropping Centre from their football schedule.

January 23, 1936, the General assembly recommended Governor A.B Chandler fight for $15.00 a month pensions for needy Kentuckians over 65, probation of “hopeful” 1st offenders from state penal institutions, and a new state penal farm.

January 23, 1937, the U.S. moved gold into Fort Knox for the 1st time.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the U.S. off the gold standard by Executive Order and outlawed private ownership of gold coins, bullion, and gold certificates; anyone possessing such items had to sell them to the Federal Reserve.  The nation’s gold supply increased from $4 billion to $12 billion with no place to store it.

On January 23, 1943, the Kentucky Wildcats defeated the Fighting Irish for the 1st time in school history, 60-55.  Louisville hosted the game in the Jefferson County Armory.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Carlisle native Gatewood Galbraith, born in 1947.

January 23, 1950, Frankfort released a utility report that showed Southern Bell & Telegraph Company received $44,508,000 of rate increases in almost four years.

On January 23, 1956, former state insurance commissioner S.H. Goebel defended letting nine new insurance companies do business in Kentucky.  He did this in the last week of the Weatherby administration.  Governor Chandler examined the companies in his 1st actions as the new governor.

January 23, 1963, a blizzard produced record-breaking cold in Kentucky as an Arctic air mass settled over the entire state, bringing four to six inches of snow.  Louisville and Lexington broke their record low temperature for ninety years with -20°F and -21°F, respectively.  Bonnieville in Hart County reached -34°F, breaking Kentucky’s record of -33°F.

January 23, 1972, about two-tenths of a mile of I-64 in Bath County collapsed 10 feet into the ground, making it unpassable.

On January 23, 1973, the Kentucky Colonels coasted to a 131‐112 victory over the Dallas Chaparrals.

On January 23, 1985, Apple Computer stepped up efforts to challenge IBM and unveiled a networking product that allowed 32 Apple Macintosh personal computers to share information.

January 23, 1995, former Kentucky First Lady Mildred Watkins “Mama” Chandler died in her Versailles home.  The talented singer, pianist, teacher, and writer liked to voice her opinions.

January 23, 2001, UK Trustees voted in Lee T. Todd, Jr. as president.  His salary started at $275,000.

January 23, 2006, Saint Liam, who didn’t win a stakes race until Churchill’s Clark Handicap in November 2004, received 2005 Horse of the Year honors at the 36th annual Eclipse Awards in Beverly Hills.

January 23, 2008, Alma Haggin, credited with creating Keeneland’s distinctive clubhouse ambiance, died at 95.  Her father, Hal Price Headley, co-founded the track and was the inaugural president.  Her husband, Louis Lee Haggin II, succeeded Headley.  Her son, Louis Lee Haggin III, became a Keeneland Director and Trustee.

January 23, 2012, Special Deputy James Ireland Thacker, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, died in an automobile accident on U.S. 460, just past Marrowbone Creek Road, at approximately 9:00 pm.

On January 23, 2012, the FBI charged John Kiriakou with disclosing classified information to journalists.  He confirmed the G.W. Bush administration tortured prisoners of war.  Nearly five years after the Justice Department had concluded Kiriakou committed no crime by giving his 2007 ABC interview, the CIA approached the new Obama Justice Department, already engaged in its unprecedented crackdown on government leaks.  He later received 30 months and became the 1st CIA officer convicted of passing classified information to a reporter.  The Obama administration convicted more whistleblowers who exposed corruption than any other president.

January 23, 2014, Poor Fork native Rebecca Caudill entered the Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame to become the 1st author of children’s books to be accepted.  The Lexington’s Carnegie Center hosted.  Poor Fork is now called Cumberland.

January 23, 2017, a federal judge denied Aetna’s plan to buy Humana for $34 billion.  The judge agreed with regulators that the new company would stifle competition and screw over Americans further as it related to health insurance.  The insurer claimed that getting bigger could drive drug prices down.  Health insurance companies are the leeches of the healthcare industry.

January 23, 2018, at 7:57 AM, as students gathered in the commons area before classes, a 15-year-old Marshall County High School student opened fire with a Ruger handgun, killed two fellow students, and injured 14 others.

January 23, 2019, protestors, mostly Central Kentucky federal employees, gathered outside Mitch’s Lexington office on Corporate Drive to demand he open the government back up.  Meanwhile, Mitch’s partner in crime, House Speaker Nancy, declined to let Trump give his State of the Union address if he didn’t open the government.  Meanwhile, the Lexington Bluegrass Airport announced a record 1.4 million passengers in 2018.

January 23, 2020, on the 2nd anniversary of the Marshall County High School deadly shooting, the General Assembly approved a bill that allowed school resource officers to carry a gun.  Today, the bill is law.

January 23, 2021, a Kentucky bred won Santa Anita’s GIII $201,500 Palos Verdes Stakes for four-year-olds and upward.

January 23, 2022, stressed hospitals asked nurses to return to work even if they tested positive for coronavirus due to updated federal health guidelines.  In D.C., 20,000 thousand people protested against the coronavirus vaccine mandates.  Back in Kentucky, a new study showed we ranked #4 for workers who quit in 2021 as part of the “great resignation” during the national shutdown.

On January 23, 2023, Governor A. Beshear tweeted, “We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, which is why I’ve made it a priority to help our fellow Kentuckians suffering from addiction.  As Kentucky’s AG and now as Governor, fighting drug companies and helping our people overcome has been a priority – and it always will be.”