TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia ● Kentucky Tweets

On January 28, 1753, a large party of Native Americans consisting of 70 Christian Conewagos and Ottawas, one French Canadian, and a renegade Dutchman, named Phillips, came down the Warrior’s Path from the vicinity of the St. Lawrence River on a scalp-hunting expedition against southern tribes.

January 28, 1788, Elijah Craig opened the first classical school in Kentucky.  The school taught Latin, Greek courses, and “such branches of the sciences as are usually taught in public seminaries.”  Ten years later, the Rittenhouse Academy took over, which was given some 5,900 acres in Christian and Cumberland counties to sell the land to benefit their endowment fund.  The academy eventually became Georgetown College in 1829.

January 28, 1794, officials recorded James Harrod’s will.  Mr. Harrod died mysteriously during one of his hunting trips in the winter of 1792; they never found his body.  Because of his prominence in the state, his death intrigued the public.  The story captivated the young commonwealth.  Unfortunately, the only documentation on the disappearance was Mrs. Harrod’s testimony about receiving her Revolutionary War wife’s pension, which she never received.  Ann believed he was murdered by “Bridges.”  James was an important witness against “Bridges” in a pending lawsuit.

James Harrod divided his plantation between his wife and daughter.  The daughter’s second inheritance from her half-brother increased her acreage to 2,800, and when Margaret married in 1802, she was one of Central Kentucky’s richest heiresses.

On January 28, 1815, the city of Lebanon was incorporated.  It eventually became the county seat of Marion County in 1835.  Because of its style, architecture, and businesses, the city developed a reputation of being Kentucky’s Philadelphia and, at one point, was in consideration for being the state capital.

January 28, 1819, Harlan County was created from Knox County.  The county was named in honor of Silas Harlan, Army Major in the Battle of Blue Licks.  The county seat is Harlan.  Other cities and towns include: Benham, Cumberland, Evarts, Loyall, Lynch, Ages, Cawood, Coldiron, Kenvir, Pathfork, South Wallins, Wallins Creek, Baxter, Bledsoe, Brookside, Closplint, Cranks, Dayhoit, Elcomb, Fresh Meadows, Grays Knob, Gulston, Highsplint, Holmes Mill, Putney, Pine Mountain, Rosspoint, Smith, Tacky Town, Teetersville, Totz and Verda.  Harlan County was the 60th county created and covers 468 square miles.

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

January 28, 1819, Hart County was created from Hardin County and Barren County.  Hart was named in honor of Nathaniel G. S. Hart, army major and lawyer captured at the Battle of Frenchtown.  The county seat is Munfordville.  Other cities and towns include: Bonnieville, Horse Cave, Hardyville, Canmer, Cub Run, Hammonville, Legrande, Linwood, Monroe, Priceville, Rowletts and Uno.  Hart County was the 61st county created and covers 418 square miles.

1280px Map of Kentucky highlighting Hart County.svg 2
By David Benbennick

January 28, 1819, Simpson County was created from Allen County, Logan County and Warren County.  It was named in honor of John Simpson, military captain killed at the Battle of Frenchtown.  The county seat is Franklin.  Other cities and towns include: Gold City, Middleton, Neosheo, Prices Mill, Providence, Rapids and Salmons.  Simpson County was the 62nd county created and covers 236 square miles.

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

January 28, 1854, McLean County was created from Muhlenberg County, Daviess County and Ohio County and was named in honor of Alney McLean, U.S. Representative from Kentucky.  The county seat is Calhoun.  Other localities include: Island, Livermore, Sacramento, Beech Grove, Buel, Cleopatra, Comer, Congleton, Elba, Glenville, Guffie, Lemon, Livia, (partially) Nuckols, Poverty, Rangers Landing, Tichenor, Wrightsburg, Wyman, Buttonsberry, Poplar Grove, Rumsey, Semiway, Station and Underwood.  McLean County was the 103rd county created and covers 256 square miles.

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

January 28, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson nominated Louis D. Brandeis, from Louisville, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Seco native Tom Gish, born in 1926 in Letcher County.  Mr. Gish owned the Mountain Eagle Weekly newspaper and worked as a reporter and editor.  He worked alongside his wife, Pat Gish, in Whitesburg.  It was the first paper in Eastern Kentucky to challenge strip mining.

January 28, 1937, due to economic reasons, Churchill Downs and Latonia formed a separate operating corporation titled Churchill Downs-Latonia Incorporated.  The American Turf Association still owned the two tracks.

January 28, 1937, Patrolman Lawrence W. Claycomb, Louisville Police Department, died when his patrol car was struck by an Army truck which had gone over an embankment.

January 28, 1951, Army PVT Raymond Cecil from Nelson County and Army CPL Charles C. Flener from Bullitt County both died in the Korean War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Emporia native David Green, born in 1958 in Daviess County.

January 28, 1966, Army PFC Ewing C. Babbage from Hopkinsville in Christian County died in the Vietnam War.

January 28, 1969, Louisville hosted the 2nd American Basketball Association (ABA) All-Star Game in the Louisville Convention Center before an audience of 5,407.  The Western Conference won over the Eastern Conference, 133–127.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Kentucky bred Mr. Prospector, born in 1970 on Spendthrift Farm.

January 28, 1974, Muhammad Ali (44-2) fought Joe Frazier (30-1) in Madison Square Garden.  The fight was spiced up by a wrestling match between the two during a pre-fight interview with Howard Cosell.  Frazier attacked his opponent after Ali called him ignorant, and both men were fined $5,000.  But Ali dominated the less-than-thrilling rematch and outpunched Frazier, winning the decision.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Covington native Nate Jones, born in 1986.  Nate was a relief pitcher who is known for his career with the Chicago White Sox.  He finished his 2012 rookie season with a record of 8-0 and a 2.39 ERA.

January 28, 1988, Luska J. Twyman, the first black mayor of a Kentucky city, passed away.  He became mayor of Glasgow in 1968.

January 28, 1994, the Russell Lodge, No. 284, also known as the Jamestown Masonic Lodge was listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

1140px RUSSELL LODGE NO. 284
By Jerry & Roy Klotz

January 28, 2006, Jerry Bailey rode his farewell mount in a $500,000 stakes at Gulfstream Park aboard Silver Tree.

January 28, 2017, Gulfstream Park ran the inaugural $12 Million Pegasus World Cup Invitational, the world’s richest thoroughbred horse race.  The event was the brainchild of Frank Stronach, the track’s owner.  The Grade I rating came from the Donn Handicap.  A Kentucky bred and Keeneland graduate takes top prize.  Over half of the entries came from the Keeneland sales ring.

January 28, 2020, Governor A. Beshear proposed his two-year state budget.  He offered rare good news to public workers after 14 years of painful cuts, relying on $1.53 billion in fresh revenue from sports gambling and taxes on tobacco and vaping.  The $23 billion budget included pay raises for teachers and state employees.

January 28, 2021, Spendthrift Farm virtually hosted the 50th annual Eclipse Awards.  Authentic wins 2020 Horse of the Year by a landslide, to go along with his nearly unanimous selection as Champion Three-Year-Old Male.

January 28, 2021, Governor A. Beshear signed a proclamation declaring the day as Hunger-Free Day in Kentucky and then made a surprise donation of $15,000 to “Feeding Kentucky.”  The money came from leftover funds from the Beshear-Coleman inaugural fund.