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Kentucky Trivia

December 15, 1792, Kentucky authorized the 1st lottery by law to enable the Dutch Presbyterian Society to rise $500 to erect a house of Worship.  Kentucky in Retrospect by Lila Jones Kington, pg: 31

On December 15, 1823, Kentucky created Oldham County from Henry, Shelby, and Jefferson Counties and named it in honor of the Revolutionary War Colonel William Oldham.  La Grange is the county seat.  Other communities include Crestwood, Goshen, Orchard Grass Hills, Pewee Valley, River Bluff, Buckner, Westport, Ballardsville, Brownsboro, Centerfield, Floydsburg, Park Lake, and Prospect.  Oldham, the 76th county created and the wealthiest county, covers 196 square miles.

Kentucky 1823
By David Benbennick

December 15, 1864, the CSA Army burned the Princeton Courthouse in Caldwell County. 

December 15, 1871, a convention of Kentucky lawyers in Louisville recommended the legislature allow the admission of “black” testimony to the same extent as whites.

December 15, 1926, Nelson County Deputy Sheriff Lee Hagan suffered a fatal heart attack while searching for stills in the Balltown area of Nelson County.

December 15, 1937, UK played Berea College and won 69-35 in Alumni Gymnasium.

December 15, 1939, Maysville, native John Robert Marsh attended the Atlanta world premiere of Gone with the Wind written by his wife, Margaret Mitchell.  A graduate of the UK, Marsh is suspected of having provided his wife with the inspiration for one of the book’s characters – Belle Watling – based on Lexington madam Belle Brezing.

December 15, 1950, Army PVT Gene T. Hall from Carter County died in the Korean War.

December 15, 1967, Army SSG David P. Jewell from Owensboro and Army SFC Dan Wagner Jr from Pineville in Bell County died in the Vietnam War.

December 15, 1970, McCracken County Conservation Officer, Joe Alexander, charged the Illinois Central Railroad and one of its employees with polluting Crystal Creek in Lee County.

At 6:00 p.m., December 15, 1972, the Lexington Bluegrass Airport required all customers to go through metal detectors before they boarded their planes.

December 15, 1979, Eastern Kentucky Colonels won the NCAA Division I-AA Championship football game in Orlando Stadium over the Lehigh Engineers 30-7.  Governor John Y. Brown Jr. declared the week of January 20–26, 1980, as “EKU National Football Champions Week” in the state.  Head coach Roy Kidd led the Colonels for his 16th season.

December 15, 1981, the U.S. House approved a proposal to make the Falls of Ohio at Louisville a National Wildlife Conservation area.

December 15, 1985, Mayor-elect Jerry Abramson and County-Judge-Executive-elect Harvey Sloane came to a historic agreement for Louisville and Jefferson County, covering tax-sharing, joint agency funding, and annexation.  The two entities did not merge officially till 2003.

December 15, 1986, locals convicted a Jefferson policeman and ex-Marine of robbing four savings and loans seven times over seven months.  The 1st Louisville policeman convicted of robbery stole $24,508 and received 30 years.

December 15, 1990, the Reverend Louis Farrakhan finished his 15-month, 50-city tour with a speech in Louisville that touched on everything from the high rate of homicides among young black men to the Persian Gulf crisis to abortions.  The speech before an estimated 5,000 marked Farrakhan’s 1st visit to Louisville.

December 15, 1995, William Robards Buster, the former director of the Kentucky Historical Society, died.  He also served as deputy adjutant general for two Kentucky governors.

December 15, 2005, Army SGT John D. Morton 31, of Stanton, died in Afghanistan fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

December 15, 2008, officials announced that “Valley of the Drums” may need to be cleaned again.  In December 2008, EPA inspectors found about four dozen rusted metal drums on land just outside the dump that it capped and fenced in the 1980s.  Locals found the drums in a portion of the Jefferson Memorial Forest.

December 15, 2009, Air Force Tech SGT Anthony C. Campbell Jr., 35, of Florence, died in Afghanistan fighting in Operation Enduring Freedom.

December 15, 2018, Harlan County native Jerry Donald Chesnut passed away.  Jerry’s country music hits included “Good Year for the Roses,” recorded by Alan Jackson, George Jones, and Elvis Costello and “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” recorded by Elvis Presley in 1975 and Travis Tritt in 1992.

December 15, 2019, Rhyne Howard’s three-pointer at the buzzer clanged off the rim and #14 Kentucky fell to #7 Louisville 67-66 in Rupp Arena.

December 15, 2021, Hopkinsville native Gloria Jean Watkins, better known as bell hooks, died.  She published around 40 books and appeared in documentary films and public lectures addressing love, race, class, gender, art, history, sexuality, mass media, and feminism.  Meanwhile, President J. Biden visited a tornado-ravaged Mayfield.

December 15, 2022, UK sprinter Abby Steiner won The Bowerman — the most prestigious collegiate track and field award presented by the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.