TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

January 25, 1715, Thomas Walker was born in Queen and King County, VA.  As a Loyal Land Company member, Walker engaged in land speculation and led the first organized English expedition on record through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky on April 13, 1750, naming the gap and the Cumberland River.  His party erected a crude cabin near Barbourville.  After wandering in the mountains for several weeks, they returned to Walker’s Virginia plantation, Castle Hill in Albemarle County, on July 13.

January 25, 1810, Grayson County was created from the western part of Hardin County and the eastern part of Ohio County.  The county was named in honor of William Grayson, aide to George Washington in the Revolutionary War and U.S. Senator from Virginia.  Leitchfield is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include: Caneyville, Clarkson, Big Clifty, Pine Knob, Saint Paul and Anneta, Kentucky.  Grayson County was the 53rd county created and covers 511 square miles.

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

January 25, 1834, Marion County was created from Washington County and was named in honor of Francis Marion, Revolutionary War General.  Lebanon is the county seat.  Other localities include: Bradfordsville, Gravel Switch, Loretto, Nerinx and Raywick.  Marion County was the 84th county created and covers 347 square miles.

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

January 25, 1865, a horrible massacre occurred in Simpsonville, some say the last recorded “battle” of the Civil War in Kentucky.  The 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry (USCC) was transporting a herd of 900 cattle to Louisville.  These troops, nearly all slaves, were based at Camp Nelson.  When the troopers neared Simpsonville, Confederate guerrillas attacked from behind.  The Louisville Journal called it “a horrible butchery.”  Twenty-two USCC men perished and eight were severely wounded.  The men were buried in a mass grave by locals.

January 25, 1875, Zerelda James, a slaveholder and mother of Jesse James, lost part of an arm and a young son in a night raid on her Kentucky home by Pinkerton operatives.  Throughout her life, she never surrendered the belief that her sons were Confederate heroes, not ruthless murderers.

Thursday, January 25, 1900, Frankfort woke up to an increased population of 1,000 more male citizens of voting age, many of whom carried guns.  At 11:00 a.m., when the legislators convened, the concerned citizens meet at the historic old capital where many politicians took to the stump.

January 25, 1908, Central University hosted and defeated Kentucky State College (UK) 32-21 in a hotly contested game.

January 25, 1922, the Kentucky General Assembly approved a resolution stating how badly they wanted to keep Camp Knox.  The resolution noted the extent of the government’s investment in the site.  It cited the advantages, including “the climate such as to permit outdoor training the year-round.”  The resolution petitioned the War Department and Congress not only to retain the site but “to grant adequate funds for the permanent improvement of said Camp Knox and make it the chief center of artillery training and for all branches of the U.S. Army.”

January 25, 1926, Ohio County native James Cooksey Earp died.  James was the lesser-known older brother of old west lawman Virgil Earp and lawman/gambler Wyatt Earp.  James was a saloon-keeper and was not present at the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1881.

January 25, 1927, Blue Licks State Park became Kentucky’s 5th state park.  Judge S. Wilson of Fayette County, chairman of the Blue Licks Battlefield Monument Commission, presented a deed for thirty-two acres to the Kentucky State Park Commission on behalf of local citizens who donated the land.

January 25, 1929, Manchester native Laura Rogers White died of a heart condition.  She was one of the first eight women to graduate from the University of Michigan (1874), and studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Boston and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.

January 25, 1969, Marine Corps PFC Clifford L. Newberry from Crescent Springs in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

January 25, 1977, Melanie Flynn got a call from her father, Bobby Flynn (a Kentucky state senator), at 4 p.m.  In it, he asked her to bring some materials home from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, of which she worked as a secretary, in Lexington.  Melanie promised to do so once she completed a doctor’s appointment she had at 5:30 p.m. that same day.  At 5 p.m., Melanie left work in her red 1975 Ford Elite.  She turned off Cooper Drive onto South Limestone Street.  Following this, Melanie has not been heard from since.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Owensboro native B.J. Whitmer, born in 1978.

January 25, 1981, Derrick Ramsey wins a Super Bowl ring when the Oakland Raiders beat Philadelphia 27-10 in the Superdome.

January 25, 1987, Springfield native Phil Simms and the NY Giants beat Denver in Super Bowl XXI, 39-20.  Simms had one of the Super Bowl’s finest performances, to win his first ring.  He completed 22 of 25 passes (2 drops) for 268 yards, setting Super Bowl records for consecutive completions (10), accuracy (88%) and passer rating (150.9).  “This might be the best game a quarterback has ever played,” Giants coach Bill Parcells later said.  Simms was named MVP.  The Kentucky native was the first sports figure to use the phrase “I’m going to Disney World!” following a championship victory.

January 25, 1987, Navy’s David Robinson blocked a shot by Kentucky’s Rob Lock at Rupp Arena.  Robinson finished the game with 45 points and ten blocks, both Rupp Arena records.  He also had 14 rebounds, giving him the only triple-double by a men’s college player in Rupp history to date.

January 25, 1991, the House voted unanimously to impeach Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner, six days after he began serving a one-year sentence for a payroll violation.  The Senate would have voted on February 5, but Ward ″Butch″ Burnette resigned before they convicted him.

January 25, 1992, Glen Campbell sang the National Anthem before the Kentucky / Arkansas men’s basketball game in Rupp Arena.   Campbell was a guest of L.D. Gorman, a member of Kentucky’s Athletics Association board of directors.

On January 25, 1993, Truman Bottom unloaded used GTE telephone books for recycling that were probably never utilized.  The phone books made 125 tons of recycled mulch, used to seed strip-mine reclamation projects.  At the time, officials hoped to recycle at least 25 percent of the 250,000 telephone books in Fayette and Jessamine counties.

January 25, 1999, the first U.S. hand transplant finished after a 14.5 hour operation at Jewish Hospital in Louisville.  Mathew Scott, 37, lost his left hand in an accident with an M-80 firecracker in the mid-80s.

January 25, 2005, Richmond city commissioners sent a clear message to the pentagon, “Keep your chemical weapons off our streets.”  They unanimously approved an ordinance that would ban the transport of nerve gas within city limits.  There are 523 tons of the blistering agent on site.

January 25, 2013, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the longest abdomen hair is 16.77 cm (6.6 in) and belongs to Elaine Martin, as measured in Owensboro.

January 25, 2018, the 47th annual Eclipse Awards were held in Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida.  Gun Runner was named the 2017 Horse of the Year as well as the Champion Older Male.  He was five for six for the year for trainer Steve Asmussen.

January 25, 2020, a Kentucky bred wins the $3,000,000 Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park, with five Keeneland graduates going to the post.  

January 25, 2021, Governor A. Beshear announced that the day’s tally of new cases (1,268) is the “lowest number of new cases in the last four weeks.”  The rate of Kentuckians testing positive is also declining. Meanwhile Preisdent Biden gets bullish on vaccines wanting to give 1.5 million a day.