TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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.

January 15, 1811, Bath County was created from Montgomery County and was named for the medicinal springs located within the county.  Owingsville is the county seat.  Other localities are Salt Lick and Sharpsburg.  Bath County was the 55th county created in Kentucky and covers 277 square miles.

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

January 15, 1811, Union County was created from Henderson County and was named for the unanimous decision of the residents to unite together 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.  Union County was the 56th county created and covers 363 square miles.

1280px Map of Kentucky highlighting Union County.svg 1
By David Benbennick

January 15, 1845, Fulton County was created from Hickman County and was named in honor of Robert Fulton, inventor of the first 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.

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

January 15, 1858, Kentucky University was chartered by the General Assembly and founded in Mercer County by John B. Bowman.  Classes began in the old Bacon College buildings in Harrodsburg, from which Mr. Bowman had graduated in 1842.  Kentucky University would merge with Transylvania after the Civil War hardships.

January 15, 1862, Police Officer Benjamin S. Rust, Louisville Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a wanted man on Newburg Road.  He and two other officers went to the home of a suspect that was wanted for stealing several mules.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Madisonville native Ruby Laffoon, born in 1869 in Hopkins County.  Ruby was our 43rd governor.

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.

Jan 15 Library

January 15, 1914, Madeline McDowell Breckinridge and Laura Clay addressed a joint session of the Kentucky legislature in Frankfort, the first time women had done so.

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 the first American fire-arm in a hammerless fashion was made by a Lexington native Thomas R.J. Ayres.  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 opens.  Designed by Louisville architect Arthur Loomis, nearly 2,000 visitors are on hand to view works by more than 100 American and European painters.  Mrs. Speed served as the first president and director of the museum.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Danville native William Richard Higgins, born in 1945.  The U.S. Marine Corps Colonel was captured in Lebanon, held hostage, tortured, and eventually murdered by his captors.

January 15, 1966, Col. Harland Sanders and Adrian ‘Odie’ Smith, a member of the UK’s Fiddlin’ Five who won the 1958 national championship, attended UK’s game against Vanderbilt at Memorial Coliseum.  Smith, who grew up in Farmington in Graves County, also won a gold medal on the 1960 U.S. Olympic team. (Click to see picture)

January 15, 1966, Pat Riley rested on the bench in the closing minutes as the #2 Cats beat #3 Vanderbilt 96-83 at Memorial Coliseum.  Riley and Louise Dampier combined for 52 points in the Cats’ 12th straight victory of the season.  UK would finish the year 27-2, #1 in the final AP and UPI rankings.  Still, the Cats would lose in the NCAA title game to Texas Western.

December 15, 1967, Louisville native Paul Hornung won the first 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 remember Martin Luther King, Jr.

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, 2000, Tubby Smith joined his professional association in calling for South Carolina to take down the Confederate Flag that flies atop the State House in Columbia.  “I’m not necessarily offended by it,” Smith says after UK won at South Carolina, “but I think it is time for a change.”

January 15, 2000, Nick Nicholson became Keeneland’s 6th president.

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, 2007, Army SGT John E. Cooper 29, of Ewing, died in Iraq, of wounds suffered when an device detonated near his vehicle during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On January 15, 2007, Kentuckians remember Martin Luther King, Jr., born January 15, 1929.

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

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

January 15, 2019, Senate President Robert Stivers was “blown away” by revelations that there is little to no oversight of the lobbyist that work the executive branch.  Businesses often spend $20 million annually lobbying legislatures, but there is no accounting system for lobbying the executive branch.

January 15, 2020, the coal miners’ protest ended after only three days of banning together to block train tracks against American Resources Corporation for unpaid wages.  The Pikeville stand-off attracted national attention.  In 2019, miners had to stop trains for months to receive their salaries from Blackjewel Coal Company in Harlan County.

On January 15, 2000, the General Assembly amended House Bill 137 to allow betting on in-state universities.  The bill would have legalized sports betting.  Though approved unanimously at the committee level and had more than enough support to advance to the Kentucky Senate, legislatures never brought to a vote.

January 15, 2021, Kentuckian Robert Bauer and his wife traveled to D.C. to attend the January 6 Trump Rally and participated in the U.S. Capitol siege.  Facing federal charges, he told the F.B.I. that the Capitol Police shook his hand and said, “It’s your house now.”