Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets
January 24, 1848, miners found gold in California. Kentucky’s high migration rate to find the precious metal fell behind Ohio, Massachusetts, and New York.
On January 24, 1861, Robert Perkins Letcher passed away. The 15th Kentucky governor sided with Wigs Henry Clay and John J. Crittenden. When Letcher lost the election to the U.S. House in 1851, it signaled the Whig Party’s end.
January 24, 1886, Henderson County lynched Calvin Simpson for alleged murder.
January 24, 1904, Todd County lynched Lewis Radford for alleged murder. One source recorded 135 lynchings in Kentucky between 1882 and 1921.
January 24, 1937, in the early morning at the darkest moment during the “Great Louisville Flood,” every part of the Ohio River reached flood stage four. The Weather Bureau reported total flood damage for Kentucky at $250 million, an incredible sum in 1937. Another flood of this magnitude would not occur in the Ohio River Valley until 60 years later.
January 24, 1945, Aaron native (Clinton County) Lt. Garlin Conner, with a telephone and wire spool, sprinted 400 yards toward a German battalion with a hip injury. Lying in a shallow snow-covered ditch, he directed artillery onto the Germans while his body remained partially exposed to enemy fire. When they closed in on him, he accepted his possible death and directed artillery on his position until they retreated into the forest. Conner’s leadership resulted in the deaths of 50 German soldiers, 150 casualties, and the destruction of the tanks. For these actions, he received the Medal of Honor.
January 24, 1946, Louisa native (Lawrence County) Fred M. Vinson became the 13th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He had the unique experience of holding positions in all three branches of the federal government, a U.S. Congressman, the 53rd U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Chief Justice.
January 24, 1950, Burkesville native William Branham, a faith healer, is shown during a debate between a friend F.F. Bosworth and a local Baptist minister W.E. Best regarding the theology of divine healing. Bosworth argued in favor, while Best argued against. The photograph showed a light above Branham’s head, which he and his associates believed to be supernatural. The picture became well-known in the revival movement and was regarded by Branham’s followers as an iconic relic. Branham believed the light was a divine vindication of his ministry; others thought it was a glare from the venue’s overhead lighting.
January 24, 1953, Marine Corps PFC John Willie Jones from Williamsburg in Whitley County died in the Korean War.
January 24, 1955, Bert Combs resigned as a judge of Kentucky’s Court of Appeals to campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor. Combs made the announcement moments after Attorney General Hubert Meredith demanded the 43-year-old judge resign or face disbarment for campaigning while sitting on Kentucky’s highest court.
January 24, 1961, Hickman native (Fulton County) Elvis Jacob Stahr Jr. became the 6th U.S. Secretary of the Army.
January 24, 1963, Muhammad Ali (17-0) fought Charley Powell (23-6-3) in the Civic Arena, Pittsburgh. Powell played in the NFL along with his brother, the great receiver Art Powell. Charley was bigger than Clay and not intimidated. The football player started strong and caught Clay with a few body punches, but he soon realized the deceptiveness of Clay’s strength. At the end of round three, Clay knocked out (KO) Powell when he said he would. At this point, Clay had predicted KOs in 13 of his 14 KO victories.
January 24, 1967, Army CPL James P. Spencer from War Creek in Breathitt died in the Vietnam War.
January 24, 1968, Army SP5 Kenneth R. Gay from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.
January 24, 1969, Navy PO3 Lloyd I. Luttrell from Lexington died in the Vietnam War.
January 24, 1972, the house took no action on raising the salaries of department heads. Commissioners would have seen an increase from $20k to $27,5k. However, the highway and health commissioners already earned $27.5k.
January 24, 1974, the Kentucky Senate passed a bill that set a maximum speed limit of 55 M.P.H. for all Kentucky highways in a 35-0 vote.
January 24, 1980, the coal industry announced Kentucky had retained its position as the nation’s number one coal-producing state with a record 145,140,000 tons mined. Around 104,000,00 came from Eastern Kentucky, 41,000,000 from Western Kentucky, and 140,000 tons form other regions.
January 24, 1980, while Judges finally got pay raises, the new Governor, J.Y. Brown, still hadn’t accepted his salary. The governor, however, did consider making radical changes to Kentucky banking laws. The changes allowed local banks to expand to other counties. This would not happen until the late ’80s in Governor Wilkinson’s administration.
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On January 24, 1995, individuals asked UK’s Board of Trustees to hire Fitzgerald B. Bramwell, a New York City educator. They eventually did. In 1996, he became the university’s highest-ranking African American.
January 24, 2005, the Supreme Court gave police broader search powers, saying the Constitution doesn’t protect motorists’ vehicles from the “nosy” inquiries of drug-sniffing dogs during traffic stops.
January 24, 2006, Governor Ernie Fletcher wrote a letter to actress Pamela Anderson stating the bust of Col. Harland Sanders would stay in the Kentucky Capitol, despite her claims that Sanders was a symbol of cruelty to chickens.
On January 24, 2010, Col. Harland Sanders’s bronze bust disappeared from the KFC on Chestnut Street in Berea. Four young men had been the only customers during the time. After they left, an employee “discovered that the colonel had left also,” said Capt. Ken Clark of the Berea Police Department. Appraisers valued the art at $1,200.
January 24, 2015, a Keeneland graduate exacta won Gulfstream Park’s GII $200,000 Forward Gal Stakes for three-year-old fillies. The Kentucky bred, Birdatthewire, paid $26.00 for a $2.00 win ticket.
January 24, 2018, HCR 34 passed the Kentucky House 73-5. The bill, sponsored by a pharmacist, wanted to stall a medical marijuana vote and asked legislatures for further studies. The bill failed to pass the Senate.
January 24, 2019, turf writers voted undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify the 2018 HOY in the 48th annual Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, FL.
January 24, 2020, relying on his intimate knowledge of Clinton’s impeachment, Mitch controlled the narrative as the Senate Majority Leader over Trump’s impeachment trial, the 3rd in American history. Although Mitch claimed Clinton got off because the Democrats claimed a “political witch hunt,” the Kentucky Senator used it again 21 years later for President Trump.
January 24, 2020, a Kentucky family sued Whitefield Academy, a Christian School in Louisville, for expelling their gay daughter. The expulsion occurred days after the girl appeared in a photo with a rainbow shirt and cake. The school stated the image demonstrated “a posture of cultural acceptance contrary to their beliefs.”
January 24, 2021, Keeneland and The Red Mile stopped their historical racing operations temporarily after the Kentucky Supreme Court declined their petition to rehear a case regarding the legality of some of their games. Months earlier, the court ruled some of the games were not legal.
January 24, 2022, the U.S. put 8,500 soldiers on “high alert” as America got ready to enter a proxy war on Russia’s border in Ukraine. Meanwhile, World Health Officials announced they hoped the fast-spreading omicron variant would increase immunity, making the virus less deadly.