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December 23, 1861, the Confederate government authorized the act of raising 20 companies of troops in Kentucky.  The Civil War in Kentucky by Lowell H. Harrison

December 23, 1862, John Hunt Morgan’s Raiders began their Christmas Raid when nearly 4,000 men crossed into Kentucky near Tompkinsville.  They captured Glasgow on Christmas Eve before the Union resisted them on Christmas Day at Bear Wallow near Cave City.  Then it was on to Elizabethtown.  Morgan’s Raiders came into Kentucky for three significant raids; 1st Kentucky Raid, Christmas Raid, and the Great Raid of 1863.

December 23, 1883, Marshal Harlan Taylor, Morganfield Police Department, died while arresting a man for public intoxication.  The suspect, who shot Marshal Taylor in the head, received ten years of hard labor.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Trenton native Edward Franklin Camp Jr., born 1905 in Todd County.  The winningest head football coach at UofL, he led from 1946 to 1968 and compiled a 118–95–2 (.551) record.  He brought Louisville football back following a three-year absence caused by World War II.  Quarterback Johnny Unitas played under him.

December 23, 1907, the temperance movement broke up a whiskey parade in Paducah.  The dry team destroyed all of the banners and smashed several whiskey bottles on the street as they passed.  The next day, Christmas Eve, citizens tried another parade.  However, this time, one of the marchers who served as drum major carried a pickax instead of a baton.  Under his armed direction, the band played It’ll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.

December 23, 1908, Deputy Sheriff Robert B. Smith Knox County Sheriff’s Office, died while serving a warrant on three men wanted for robbing a miner.  He had deputized four men, including John Brooks, to assist with the arrests.  As Deputy Smith read the warrant to the three men one of them produced a handgun and opened fire.

December 23, 1919, Deputy Sheriff Dolie Clifford Harmon, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, and a private detective died from gunshots by the brother of a man they had just arrested for deserting from the U.S. Army.

December 23, 1928, Town Marshal Mat Holland, Combs Police Department, died while arresting a miner in front of the mine commissary at Domino in Perry County.  Despite being wounded, he returned fire and killed the subject.

December 23, 1931, Kentucky hosted Berea in Alumni Gymnasium for the 5th time, winning 52-27.  John DeMoisey #00 from Walton was high scorer with 16 points.  His jersey is retired.  Kentucky played Berea nine times, all in Lexington.  The average margin of defeat was 26 points and the last time they played in 1939, Kentucky won by 50.

December 23, 1933, Deputy Game Warden James Claxton died from a gunshot in Carroll County.  He and two other wardens served a warrant on a fisherman for using a double wing net in the Kentucky River.  When the wardens entered the man’s houseboat, the man said he would kill Claxton.  The man picked up a double-barreled shotgun and pointed it at the officers.  Warden Claxton opened fire on the man, missing but wounding his son.  The subject’s shot struck Warden Claxton.

December 23, 1934, Deputy Sheriff Guy Rogers, Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while arresting a miner for public drunkenness near the Three Point Coal Company.  The subject pulled out a .32 caliber handgun and shot Deputy Rogers in the face, killing him instantly.  A month later, locals acquitted the 23-year-old suspect, who claimed self-defense.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Paul Hornung, born in 1935.

December 23, 1945, Mrs. Roy Jennings filled one of 400 baskets of food collected by the Goodfellows Club of Everybody’s Church for distribution to Lexington’s needy at Christmas time.

December 23, 1955, State Police arrived in Burkesville and made three arrests to try to calm down about 100 persons throwing firecrackers at town residents.  The mayor asked for help after the town’s two police officers were unable to restore order.

On December 23, 1963, Kentucky secured a white Christmas when the Commonwealth received nine inches of snow.

December 23, 1966, Army SSG Brownie Hall from Deane in Letcher County died in the Vietnam War.

December 23, 1967, Army SFC Bobby J. Lawrence from Mayfield in Graves County died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lakeside Park native Becky Ruehl, born in Kenton County in 1977.  She competed in the women’s 10-meter platform event at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

December 23, 1983, record cold slowed holiday travel for much of the nation as the death toll for a week reached 123.  The National Weather Service called it the coldest December in more than half a century.  Freezing rain, with very little snow, coated Kentucky highways and caused four deaths for the week.

December 23, 1995, Pitino’s #4 Wildcats defeated Crum’s #25 Cardinals 89-66 in Lexington.  UK would finish the year 34-2 and claim the program’s 6th national title.  During his eight years at Kentucky, Pitino had a 6-2 record against the Cardinals.  In his 16 years at Louisville, he compiled a 6-12 record against the Cats.  Coach Crum’s record against the Cats was 7-13 in 17 years.

December 23, 1998, John Smith’s Cardinals lost to the Marshall Thundering Herd 29-48 in the Motor City Bowl at the Pontiac Silverdome in Detroit in front of 32,206 fans.  The Herd’s Chad Pennington threw the 1st TD with 13 minutes into the game.  Chad now resides in Lexington.

December 23, 2002, Louisville police arrested 18 demonstrators outside police headquarters on the 10th day of protest over the killing of a handcuffed man who was shot 11 times by a detective.  The protestors vowed to be there on Christmas or until a grand jury investigating the incident.

December 23, 2010, the national average price of gasoline topped $3.00 for the 1st time around Christmas.  Prices had traditionally dropped during the holidays.

December 23, 2013, a Franklin Circuit Judge fined the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services $756,000 for making “a mockery” of the state’s Open Records Act.  Kentucky’s two largest newspapers claimed the state repeatedly withheld information about abused and neglected children.  The state claimed they withheld the data for the children’s safety.

December 23, 2018, the Associated Press Association voted the Marshall High School shooting in Benton, Kentucky’s top story of 2018.  The teachers’ political activism in Frankfort came in a close 2nd.

December 23, 2019, Fred Minnick picked Brown-Foreman’s King of Bourbon, which is only available in this Commonwealth, as the best bourbon in America for 2019 over 49 other contenders.  Minnick, Editor-in-Chief of Bourbon Magazine and long-time bourbon judge, stated no bourbon dominated his palate like the King.

December 23, 2021, as omicron kept everyone isolated for another holiday season, employees were hard to find across all industries.  Healthcare workers in high demand were allowed to have shorter isolated periods when they tested positive.  Delta Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights due to the new strain and staff shortages.  

December 23, 2022, at 9:19 p.m., Governor A. Behsear tweeted, “Extreme cold temperatures are straining the regional power grid, resulting in scattered power outages. Service interruptions may take place in intervals across the state.”  At 10:00 p.m., he tweeted, “I-71 Northbound near Gallatin is closed, causing significant backup. Avoid this area. Teams are working to find a route to divert traffic. Temperatures remain dangerously low, and we need to do everything possible to keep folks from being stuck in their vehicles. Stay safe.