TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

January 20, 1815, Captain Matthew Harris Jouett of the Army’s Third Mounted Regiment of Kentucky Volunteers resigns.
Jouett-Bush-Frazer Early Kentucky Artist by William Barrow Floyd pg: 12

January 20, 1828, Elizabethtown native Sarah Lincoln Grigsby passed away less than a month before her 21st birthday.  Sarah was the older sister of Abraham Lincoln, whom she took care of when they were children.

Jan 20 sarah lincoln 2

January 20, 1914, a formal reception was held at Kentucky’s new Governor’s Mansion.  Invitations were sent by Governor McCreary to view his new home and the future governors’ home for decades to come.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Packard native Patricia Neal, born in 1926 in Whitley County.  She was best known for her film roles as World War II widow Helen Benson in The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), wealthy matron Emily Eustace Failenson in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), and the worn-out housekeeper Alma Brown in Hud (1963), for which she won the Academy Award for best actress.  

January 20, 1941, Deputy Sheriff Fred Damron, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, died while attempting to arrest a man who was threatening another man with a gun.  Deputy Damron had disarmed the suspect, but the man returned with another gun and shot him five times.

January 20, 1949, Harry S. Truman began his second term as U.S. president.  His inauguration was the first to be televised nationally.

January 20, 1949, Lowes native Alben W. Barkley became the oldest vice president at 71.  A storyteller of great repute, Alben Barkley frequently poked fun at himself and his office.  He was especially fond of telling about the mother who had two sons.  One went to sea; the other became vice president and neither was heard from again.

January 24, 1949, Garrett L. Withers becomes Kentucky’s 32nd Class III U.S. Senator, replacing V. P. Alben W. Barkley.

January 20, 1951, Army PFC Harold C. Minyard from Jefferson County and Army SGT James D. Parrent from Lyon County died in the Korean War.

January 20, 1953, Dwight David “Ike” Eisenhower became the 34th president.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Danville native John Michael Montgomery, born in 1955.

Sunday, January 20, 1957, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 2nd inauguration as the 34th president took place in private.

January 20, 1961, America’s 35th president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was sworn in.  It was the 44th inauguration.

January 20, 1965, the Lexington-Herald Leader charged $21.00 for a round-trip ticket for its inaugural special for President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s swearing in.  Two-hundred Kentuckians boarded the Chesapeake & Ohio Co. train to Washington D.C.

January 20, 1968, Army SGT David A. Jameson from Providence in Webster County died in the Vietnam War.

Monday, January 20, 1969, Richard Milhous Nixon became the 37th president.  This was the last presidential oath administered by Chief Justice Warren.

January 20, 1970, eleven horses perish in a Jonabell Farm fire. 

Thursday, January 20, 1977, President James Earl Carter Jr. was sworn in as America’s 39th president.  This was the 48th inauguration.  This was the last inauguration held on the East Portico of the Capitol building.  Exactly forty years later, Carter attended the inauguration of Donald Trump, becoming the first U.S. president to mark the 40th anniversary of his inauguration.

January 20, 1978, La Grange in Oldham County, measured 31 inches of snow, the Kentucky record for snow depth.  Three days earlier, 18 inches of fresh snow fell on top of seven inches.  Another five-plus arrived on January 20, setting the record.  The winter of 1977-1978 was very different from previous winters in Kentucky.  It was the last time the Ohio River froze over this far south.
Kentucky Weather by Jerry Hill; pg: 63

January 20, 1981, Iranian hostages are freed minutes after President Reagan takes the oath of office and President Carter returns to Georgia.

January 20, 1981, in a unanimous yet reluctant move, the Kentucky Board of Elementary and Secondary Education agreed with an attorney general’s opinion that copies of the Ten Commandments should be removed from public schools.

January 20, 1985, the 2nd inauguration of President Ronald Reagan was held in a televised ceremony at the White House, and was repeated the following day at the Capitol’s rotunda.  This was the 50th presidential inauguration.

January 20, 1986, Kentucky and America celebrated the first Martin Luther King Jr. as a Federal Holiday.  Hundreds of Kentuckians packed the rotunda in the Frankfort Capitol to hear speakers and artists pay tribute to King.  1992 was the first year Kentucky celebrated as a state holiday.

January 20, 1989, George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the 41st U.S. President.

January 20, 1991, Patrolman Gary Elmer Kidwell, Stanford Police Department, was killed while making a traffic stop.  The suspect was known to Patrolman Kidwell to have several drinking-related arrests.  As Patrolman Kidwell approached the car the suspect shot him with a .357 caliber handgun.

January 20, 1992, Kentucky and America celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The nation observes the holiday on the 3rd Monday of each January.

Wednesday, January 20, 1993, the 1st inauguration of President Bill Clinton as the 42nd president of the U.S. took place.  This was the 52nd inauguration.  At 46 years, 154 days of age, Clinton was the third-youngest person to become president, and the first from the Baby Boomer generation.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native DeVante Parker, born in 1993.

January 20, 1994, Ron Hansen’s body appeared in a salt marsh near the San Mateo Bridge, not far from where he left his car three months earlier.  Hansen rode more than 3,600 winners and his horses earned more than $40 million.  Hansen mostly rode in California, winning five titles at Golden Gate Fields and Bay Meadows.  He was the leading rider in the Los Angeles County Fair meets for four consecutive years. He rode six winners on a card at Golden Gate in 1990 and the same year; Golden Gate ruled him off the track for five weeks during a race-fixing investigation.  The California Horse Racing Board reinstated Hansen to ride in the 1990 Derby, finishing 4th.  For many, Hansen’s demise at age 33 remains a mystery today as it did when he disappeared in October 1993.

January 20, 1997, President Clinton takes his 2nd oath of office while the nation and Kentucky celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

Saturday, January 20, 2001, President George W. Bush was sworn in as U.S. President.  Four protesters got arrested when Bush’s limousine got hit by tennis balls and eggs thrown from the crowd during the inaugural parade.

January 20, 2003, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in Kentucky.  The day is also observed in the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

January 20, 2004, Kentucky lottery vendors in Guthrie and other vendors on the Tennessee border breathed a sigh of relief.  The new Tennessee lottery showed little sign of siphoning off their regular customers.

January 20, 2005, President George W. Bush is sworn for the 2nd time to remain the 43rd U.S. President.

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the U.S.  The 56th inauguration set a record attendance for any event held in the city.  Based on combined attendance, television viewership, and internet traffic, it was one of the most observed events by a global audience.  In addition, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize the same year.

January 20, 2009, the Kentucky Court of Appeals said the state and Governor S. Beshear cannot seize online casinos’ internet domain names in an effort to keep them from operating in the state.  The ruling also said a Franklin Circuit Court judge cannot hold further hearings on the issue.

Sunday, January 20, 2013, President Obama takes his 2nd oath in private in the Blue Room.  The public ceremony was held the next day at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

January 20, 2014, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in Kentucky.

January 20, 2017, Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th U.S. president.  Trump used a pair of Bibles, his personal copy and the Lincoln Bible.

January 20, 2018, the Logan Street Market held their open house, a year-round public market that offers products from farmers and artists.

January 20, 2018, Coniah wins Santa Anita’s GIII $100,690 Las Cienegas Stakes for filles and mares four-year-olds and upward.

January 20, 2020, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is celebrated in Kentucky.  Governor A. Beshear marches with UK President E. Capilouto and several hundred Kentuckians in Lexington’s annual Freedom March.  Meanwhile, Senator M. McConnell proposes a speedy trial with 12 hour days for Trump’s impeachment hearing.

January 20, 2021, Joe Biden becomes the oldest individual sworn in as president of the U.S.  Kamala Harris is the nation’s 1st female V.P. and 1st Black woman, and person of South Asia descent to hold the office.