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Kentucky Trivia

December 21, 1793, Kentucky created Harrison County from Bourbon and Scott and was named in honor of Benjamin Harrison, co-author of the Kentucky Constitution.  The county seat is Cynthiana.  Other cities and towns include Berry, Boyd, Breckinridge, Broadwell, Buena Vista, Colville, Connersville, Hooktown, Lair, Lees Lick, Leesburg, Kelat, Morningglory, Oddville, Poindexter, Ruddles Mill, Rutland, Shadynook, Shawhan, and Sunrise.  Harrison County, the 17th county created, covers 310 square miles.

By David Benbennick

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Mason County native Alexander W. Doniphan and Elizabeth J. Thornton, who wed in 1837.  Alexander prevented the summary execution of cult leader Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at the close of the 1838 Mormon War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Fayette County native James Lane Allen, born in 1849, one of Kentucky’s 1st best-selling novelists.

On December 21, 1859, legislators unanimously elected Thomas P. Porter, speaker of the Kentucky Senate, to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of Lt. Gov. Linn Boyd.

On December 21, 1861, Kentucky legislators expelled John Milton Elliott from the General Assembly for supporting the Confederate cause.  Milton went on to join the Confederate government in Russellville.  After the war, while serving as a judge in 1876, someone assassinated him, and the murder received national attention.

December 21, 1868, Nelson County native Charles Slaughter Morehead passed away.  The 20th governor was the only Know-Nothing to hold the office.

December 21, 1869, Graves County lynched James Stone, a black male, for alleged murder and rape.  One source found evidence of 135 Kentucky lynchings from 1882 to 1921.

December 21, 1922, Deputy Sheriff Robert H. Napier, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was believed to have been shot and killed after confronting a subject near his home at Walker’s Branch.  Locals found his mangled body on a set of nearby railroad tracks.  Police arrested a subject 13 years later.

December 21, 1929, Police Officer Jesse B. Dills, Paintsville Police Department, died when a former county constable who held a grudge against him shot him.  On duty, Officer Dills went to a local pool hall on Main Street to get a cup of coffee.  The suspect and the county jailer, who had both been drinking, waited for him to exit.

December 21, 1935, Patrolman James Powell Hays and Patrolman Robert Rowland, Kentucky Highway Patrol, died while they questioned two brothers about a stolen automobile in Franklin. One brother received a life sentence and the other six years. The brother who did six years murdered two more police officers in Tennessee.

December 21, 1956, U of L contested its 1st basketball game in Freedom Hall.  The Cardinals whipped Notre Dame, 85-75, before 13,756 fans.  In that game, Charlie Tyra, the cover boy on the 1st-ever Street & Smith College Basketball Yearbook, tallied 40, including a perfect 18 for 18 underhanded free throws.

December 21, 1970, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 vote, allowed 18-year-olds to vote for president and congress.  Approximately ten million young voters became eligible.

December 21, 1980, The Courier-Journal spotlighted Kentucky’s 1st trout farm.  Located in Canmer (Hart County), State agriculture officials believed it to be Kentucky’s 1st fish farm.  The rainbow trout from the Glenbrook Trout Farm served 40 restaurants in Louisville and Lexington.

On December 21, 1990, a Kentucky legislative report stated that Toyota’s presence in Kentucky had meant an investment of nearly $1.7 billion and 5,179 jobs in two years of operation.  Meanwhile, the final group of IBM Lexington workers accepted a recent voluntary separation and left their jobs.

December 21, 1997, in the state’s 1st underground mining fatality of the year, Paul D. Campbell of Perry County died by electrocution splicing cables in Fox Mining Corporation’s #1 Skyline Mine in Letcher County. 

December 21, 1999, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission proposed an $88,000 fine against the operators of the Paducah uranium plant for retaliating against a manager who raised safety concerns about the facility.  The plant enriched uranium for use as nuclear reactor fuel.

December 21, 2008, Marine Lance CPL Thomas Reilly Jr., 19, of London, died in Iraq, fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

December 21, 2009, the UK men’s basketball team became the 1st college program to win 2,000 games.  The win came during John Calipari’s 1st season.  The Cats defeated the Drexel Dragons 88-44 in Rupp Arena.

December 21, 2016, the #10 ranked Cardinals defeated the 6th ranked Cats 73-70 in front of 22,783 in KFC Yum! Center.  It would be the last time Pitino and Calipari coached against each other ending the series at 8-2 in Calipari’s favor.

December 21, 2017, the historic James E. Pepper distillery filled and closed its 1st barrel of whiskey 59 years after it closed.  The master distiller copied the recipe for the new batch from the same recipe as last produced in 1958.  They released the whiskey in 2019.

December 21, 2020, as Kentucky started vaccinating vulnerable nursing home residents and staff, Congress passed a $2,300,000,000,000 omnibus bill, which included $900 billion for a 5th coronavirus socialist relief package.  Members received the 5,593-page bill three hours before the vote, the longest bill in American history.  The bill quickly passed through both chambers, with Senator Paul being one of six Senators who voted no.  Rep. Massie and Comer were two of 53 House members who voted no.  All other Kentucky delegates voted yes: McConnell, Barr, Rogers, and Yarmuth.  Rep. Guthrie failed to vote.

On December 21, 2021, Mitch “War Monger” McConnell told reporters while not freezing up, “Providing assistance for Ukrainians to defeat the Russians is the #1 priority for the U.S. right now, according to most Republicans. That’s how we see the challenges confronting the country at the moment.” Some say Joe, Mitch, and Chuck could wash more money than ever imaginable.

The Corporate Uni-Party Leaders With the Ukrainian Comedian

On December 21, 2022, Thomas Massie tweeted, “$100 billion to Ukraine.  Let’s put that in perspective. That’s more than $200 million this year from each Congressional district.  What could your congressman have done for your district with $200 million?  How long will the kids in your district be paying interest on this debt?  He posted the meme later.