TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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On January 26, 1810, the first scalped law passed in Kentucky, which enabled the Commonwealth to pay citizens for wolves’ scalps.

January 26, 1842, Crittenden County was created from Livingston County and was named in honor of John Jordan Crittenden, Kentucky’s 17th governor.  The county seat is Marion.  Other localities include: Dycusburg, Crayne, Tolu, Frances, Mattoon, Mexico, Midway, Shady Grove, and Sheridan.  Crittenden County was the 92nd county created and covers 361 square miles.

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

January 26, 1867, the Kentucky General Assembly wanted to create Henrietta County.  The county’s actual establishment went to the qualified voters in the area for final approval, but the majority voted against it.  Henrietta County was going to be within the limits of Trigg and Marshall Counties in Western Kentucky.

January 26, 1869, Elliott County was created from Carter County, Lawrence County and Morgan County and was named in honor of John Milton Elliott, U.S. Representative from Kentucky.  Sandy Hook is the county seat.  Other localities include: Ault, Bascom, Beartown, Bell City, Bigstone, Blaines Trace, Bruin, Brushy Fork, Burke, Clay Fork, Cliffside, Culver, Devil Fork, Dewdrop, Dobbins, Edsel, Eldridge, Fannin, Fannin Valley, Faye, Fielden, Forks of Newcombe, Gimlet, Gomez, Green, Halcom, Ibex, Isonville, Little Fork, Little Sandy, Lytten, Middle Fork, Neil Howard’s Creek, Newcombe, Newfoundland, Ordinary, Roscoe, Shady Grove, Sarah, Sideway, Spanglin, Stark, Stephens, The Ridge, Wells Creek and Wyatt.  Elliott County was the 113th county created and covers 235 square miles.

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

January 26, 1869, Morehead, the county seat of Rowan County was incorporated.  The workers who migrated to Morehead as a result of the boom-town economy had a disrupting effect on local politics.  A shooting during the 1884 election sparked a feud that came to be known as the Rowan County War.  The feud ended in a gun battle in front of the Gault House and focused national attention on the town.  William T. Withers, a former Confederate soldier from Lexington, felt that education was the only answer to the problem and contributed $500 to found the Morehead Normal School and Teacher’s College, the predecessor of Morehead State University.

Friday, January 26, 1900, emotions ran strong as Kentucky legislators continued to talk out their grievances.  With 13 elections pending in the legislature, the real fight for the governor’s mansion was in sight.

January 26, 1906, State College (UK) played Central University (Centre), in basketball, for the 2nd time.  Central U hosted the series for the 1st time, taking place in Boyle Humphrey Gymnasium in Danville.  State College wins 17-15.

January 26, 1936, Deputy Sheriff Frank J. Minton, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, was killed from ambush in retaliation for an arrest he had attempted earlier in the evening in Cumberland.  He had attempted to arrest a man for acting disorderly at a dance hall.  Afterwards, Deputy Minton was taking his lunch break in a restaurant on Main Street at 2:00 am.  The subject saw him in the restaurant and opened fire without warning, fatally wounding him.

January 26, 1943, Lexington received 13.4” of snow, their heaviest snow accumulation since keeping records.

January 26, 1950, Cliff Hagan made his debut as a UK basketball player.  Hagan had 9 points in 19 minutes of action as UK’s freshman team beat Xavier’s freshmen 59-46 in Cincinnati.

January 26, 1953, Army PFC Barney M. Huguley from Madison County died in the Korean War.

January 26, 1967, a Berea doctor told a U.S. Senate committee the tale of a fellow doctor who sold a poor crippled boy medicine he did not need.  “If the profit from a few pills can make a physician rob a poor ignorant cripple, I do indeed fear for the future of medicine.” Dr. William Epling warned.  The doctor in question said he was too sick to attend the hearing.

January 26, 1967, Marine Corps SGT Howard H. Dean from Harrodsburg died in the Vietnam War.

January 26, 1970, Army SP4 Larry S. Rutherford from Horse Cave in Hart County died in the Vietnam War.

January 26, 1971, the Defense Department urged the White House to seek Congressional authority to begin work on an anti-ballistic missile defense system for the nation’s capital.  

January 26, 1983, Paul W. “Bear” Bryant passed away.  He coached the Wildcats from 1946 to 1953.

January 26, 1983, Yellow Creek, a stream in Bell County often described as one of Kentucky’s worst pollution problems, became worse.  Middlesboro officials conceded at a hearing in Atlanta that they dumped more than 2 million gallons of untreated sewage into Yellow Creek in two days in January.

January 26, 1986, Correctional Officer Michael R. Green, Jefferson County Corrections Department, was shot and killed while working an off duty, uniformed job at a local night club.  He had assisted other officers removing several disorderly people from the club.  Later in the evening the group returned to the scene and opened fire into the night club, fatally wounding Officer Green.

January 26, 1986, Trenton native Edward Franklin Camp Jr. passed away.  Edward served as UofL’s head football coach from 1946 to 1968, compiling 118–95–2 record.  Camp brought back Louisville football following a three-year absence caused by World War II, and in 1947, the Cardinals had a 7–0–1 season.  Coach Camp has the most wins of any head coach in school history.  Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas was among the players he coached.

On January 26, 1993, Kentucky’s personal income grew at the 4th most robust rate in the nation since the 1990-91 recessions’ depths.  The healthy economy was no surprise; as economists were saying all along, Kentucky fared well throughout.

January 26, 1993, feminist Gloria Steinem talked about a revolution to 400 interested locals in Lexington.

January 26, 1996, Smokers Express, a new airline set up by a group of smoking rights activist, talked to Blue Grass Airport about making Lexington their home base.

On January 26, 2000, addressing Commonwealth lawmakers and citizens, Governor Paul Patton proposed a series of tax changes that included a 7 cent gas tax increase.  He also wanted to remove about 200,000 poor Kentuckians from state income rolls.

January 26, 2000, Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS), received a $300,000 grant from Microsoft.  The funds created new Information Technology (IT) specialist.

January 26, 2005, a pipeline broke and spilled an estimated 63,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kentucky River in Carrollton in Carroll County.

January 26, 2009, Curlin was named the 2008 Horse of the Year (HOY) as well as the Champion Older Male, the first back-to-back HOY winner since Cigar.  The Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach hosted the 38th annual Eclipse Awards.

January 26, 2011, a Kentucky judge dismissed a lawsuit against actress Suzanne Somers over a failed Kentucky-based meal-preparation business.  Suzanne’s Kitchen opened in 2006 in Lexington but closed a few months later for good.  Louisville businessman and attorney John Shannon Bouchillon sued, claiming he was lied to before or after investing $400,000.  Somers testified her name and likeness promoted the store, but former Kentucky Gov. John Y. Brown ran the company.  Brown was dropped as a defendant before the trial.

January 26, 2019, a Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate wins the GI $9,000,000 Pegasus World Cup.

January 26, 2020, Kentucky Advanced Materials Manufacturing showed off their diamonds they created in their lab.  The small handful of diamonds discussed had a value of $250,000.

January 26, 2021, Kentucky confirmed its first two cases of a new variant that was spreading fast in the United Kingdom.  Parents of Kentucky school children requested schools focus more on the students’ mental health as the pandemic continued. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Senate rejected Senator R. Paul’s request to declare the 2nd impeachment trial of former President Trump unconstitutional.  Paul’s bid failed and the trial started in early February.