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Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Richmond native Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson, born in 1809 in Madison County.  The White Native American learned the universal sign language used by western tribes and spoke in six different tongues.  At 25, he took a Native American wife for five blankets, three mules, and a gun.

On December 24, 1864, a group of rebels branched off from General Lyon, burned the courthouse at Leitchfield in Grayson County. They were also ordered to harass and delay the Union Army.  Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg: 10

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Newport native Brent Spence, born in 1874.  A long-time congressman, attorney, and banker from Northern Kentucky is better known today for the bridge that connects Covington and Cincinnati.

December 24, 1881, the Ashland tragedy occurred, the violent murder of three teenagers, Robert and Fannie Gibbons and Emma Carico.  The crime left a lingering mark that still haunts the town today.

December 24, 1879, Belle Brezing began her profession at the “bawdy house” of Jenny Hill on Main Street in Lexington, formerly known as the Robert S. Todd’s house, where Mary Todd Lincoln grew up.  Belle became so successful she started her own house two years later.

December 24, 1887, Town Marshal Jim Tom Hubbard, Barbourville Police Department, died arresting three drunken men after he had arrested one of their friends 30 minutes earlier for being drunk in public.  The remaining three subjects shot their guns in town to get Marshal Hubbard to arrest them as well, when he tried, they killed him.

December 24, 1892, Marshal John Cox, Lamasco Police Department, died arresting a man for disturbing a religious gathering on Christmas Eve.  The subject fled the area after shooting Marshal Cox but was arrested in Princeton two months later.

December 24, 1898, Town Marshal Sam Casebier, Hartford Police Department, died arresting drunk and disorderly men when one of the subjects pulled out a large dirk.

December 24, 1900, Deputy Sheriff John B. Usher, Graves County Sheriff’s Department, died when he and the Sheriff were met with gunfire when they arrived at the scene to arrest the suspect.  The Sheriff returned fire and kill the suspect.

December 24, 1910, Town Marshal A. H. Hamby, St. Charles Police Department, died arresting a man causing a disturbance in a company store.  During the arrest, the man produced a handgun and opened fire.

December 24, 1911, Deputy Marshal Elijah F. “Lige” Hoskins, Crab Orchard Police Department, died from a gunshot while investigating a disturbance at a local soft drink stand.

December 24, 1923, Deputy Sheriff William Smith, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, died in a shootout with a suspect.

December 24, 1931, Deputy Sheriff Jason Andrew “Bee” Webb, Letcher County Sheriff’s Office, died at home in his barn milking a cow on Christmas Eve, 1931.  His wife and two young daughters were in the house preparing supper for the Christmas celebration when a local man whom Deputy Webb had arrested on an alcohol charge a little while prior, stood outside the barn.  As soon as Deputy Webb stepped from the dark barn, the suspect shot him in the chest with a double-barreled shotgun at close range.

December 24, 1938, Officer Charles W. Campbell, Augusta Police Department, died immediately after an arrest when a man pulled a knife and slashed at Officer Campbell, then pulled a pistol and shot him three times.

On December 24, 1939, Louisville native Helen Humes performed as a vocalist with the Count Basie Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.  The concert, From Spirituals to Swing, included James P. Johnson and a saucy R&B diva.

December 24, 1943, Deputy Sheriff James Cornett, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, died arresting an intoxicated man at a roadhouse 11 miles south of Hazard.  As he made the arrest the subject and another man both opened fire.  Despite being fatally wounded, he returned fire and killed the subject.

December 24, 1946, Deputy Sheriff Jason Wells, Leslie County Sheriff’s Office, died from a gunshot while attempting to make an arrest at a half-way house.  Deputy Wells was survived by his wife and nine children.

December 24, 1949, Santa sat at in Lexington’s Ben Ali Theater and handed out bags of goodies at the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas party for children.  About 1,100 youngsters received oranges, tangerines, apples, hard candy, comic books, toys, mittens, crackerjacks, and cheese crackers.  This was the 7th year the Jaycees provided goodies financed by their annual minstrel show.  The children also saw six cartoons and a full-length feature picture.

December 24, 1952, President Truman said a prayer for universal peace and then lit the 35-foot Norway spruce Christmas Tree on the White House lawn.  Truman dropped the atomic bomb eight years earlier.

December 24, 1965, Santa exchanged his traditional suit for Bermuda shorts as temperatures across the Commonwealth reached the high 60s.  Louisville topped 68 degrees, three degrees below the December 24 record in 1889 and below the 70 degrees in 1964.

December 24, 1968, Army SGT Edward L. Vanderpool from Beattyville in Lee County died in the Vietnam War.

December 24, 1970, Bethlehem held their traditional live nativity scene off the shoulder of HWY 22.  Three shifts of 12 cast members worked an hour each from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.  They included: Mary, Joseph, three wise men, three angels, and four shepherds.  The Baptist, Methodist, and Christian Churches worked together to make it happen.

December 24, 1982, Lexington dentist Dr. John Thompson and his wife organized a toy drive for 450 Letcher County needy children days after he read about their parents losing their coal mining jobs.  The doctor and his church loaded up three vans with toys and delivered them to the Fleming Neon Community Center.  A volunteer stated he had never seen so much joy.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Briana Green, born in 1989.  Briana is best known for her freestyle and trick-style basketball dribbler and is the 15th woman on the Harlem Globetrotters.  She shares pictures and videos with over 300,000 Instagram followers.

December 24, 1990, businessman Wayne Mullis from Paducah provided 260 underprivileged Western Kentucky children shoes for Christmas.  Mullis worked with Payless Shoes for the 4th year in a row to play Santa Clause for McCracken County.

December 24, 1995, Tim Couch announced his intention to sign a letter of intent at UK in front of 200 fans at a hotel news conference close to Rupp Arena before the Kentucky-Louisville basketball game.

On December 24, 2000, patients at Central State Hospital displayed their 50 hand-made ornaments on Kentucky’s Christmas Tree on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.  The Pathways of Peace exhibited 56 trees representing each state, U.S. possessions, and territories.

December 24, 2018, Detective Deidre Irene Mengedoht, Louisville Metro Police Department, died when an impaired city employee tractor-trailer driver struck her patrol car while conducting a traffic stop on I-64 in downtown Louisville just after 2:00 pm.  Today, the downtown Louisville I-64 stretch is the Detective Deidre Mengedoht Highway.

December 24, 2021, Bluegrass Banjo music icon and Lexington native J.D. Crowe died in Nicholasville during the early morning.  He helped introduce new Bluegrass musicians to the world through his band The New South, including Ricky Skaggs and several others.