Skip to content


January 27, 1808, Kentucky created Estill County from Clark County and Madison County and named it in honor of James Estill, military captain killed at the Battle of Little Mountain.  Irvine is the county seat.  Other localities include Ravenna, Barnes Mountain, Cobhill, Cressy, Crystal, Drip Rock, Fox, Furnace, Hargett, Leighton, Palmer, Patsey, Pryse, Red Lick, South Irvine, Spout Springs, Tipton Ridge, Wisemantown, and Winston.  The 50th county created, Estill County covers 256 square miles.

By David Benbennick

January 27, 1820, Kentucky created Trigg County from Christian County and Caldwell County and named it in honor of Stephen Trigg, military colonel killed at the Battle of Blue Licks.  Cadiz is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include Cerulean, Caledonia, Canton, Linton, Roaring Spring, Rockcastle, and Wallonia.  The 66th county created, Trigg County covers 481 square miles.

By David Benbennick

January 27, 1856, on the coldest winter in 60 years, Margaret Garner, pregnant with her 5th child, and her husband, decided to gather their children and escape enslavement to Cincinnati from Kentucky.  Several other slave families joined them.  According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, the family had stolen horses and a sleigh from their owner and crossed the frozen river at night on January 27.  Once in Ohio, they sought refuge at a formerly enslaved person’s home.  The 1850 Fugitive Slave Act enabled the owners to ask for a warrant for their return to Kentucky.  When the U.S. Marshals entered the hideout, Mrs. Garner killed her daughter instead of returning the child to slavery.

On January 27, 1897, a mob of 25 armed white men came to newly emancipated ex-slave George Dinning’s farm in Simpson County, accused him of stealing hogs and chickens, and demanded he leaves the county within ten days.  Mr. Dining denied being a thief and insisted several people in the county would vouch for his good character.  The mob, enraged by Dinning’s resistance, began firing on his house and wounded him twice.  Dining retrieved a gun from his home and fired into the crowd, killing one man.  The mob fled, and the next day, Dining turned himself into local officials.  While he was in their custody, the crew returned to his farm, drove his family from their house, looted it, and razed it to the ground.  Governor Willaim Bradley dealt with many similar instances during his term.

January 27, 1921, Man o’ War arrived by train at the Lexington Association Track for his retirement.  The trainer Louis Feustel, his groom Frank Loftus, exercise rider Clyde Gordon, and his faithful companion Major Treat accompanied him.  The next day he rode under his silks before a vast crowd.  He retired to Hinata Farm in Lexington but soon moved to Faraway Farm.  While it is true that the most remarkable horse never raced in Kentucky, he did set foot on a Kentucky racetrack.

January 27, 1930, Patrolman John Gruber, Louisville Police Department, died due to injuries sustained the previous day when he was struck by a drunk driver near the intersection of 41st Street and Market Street.

Wednesday, January 27, 1937, the Ohio River reached its crest at 57.1 feet, 460 feet above sea level, or 40 feet above its average level.  It was the worst Ohio River flood in history and covered 60% of Louisville and 65 square miles of Jefferson County outside the old city.  About 23,000 people had to leave their homes.  Damages totaled more than $1 billion in today’s dollars.

January 27, 1938, Congress confirmed Minerva native Stanley Forman Reed as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed the gentleman from Mason County.

January 27, 1940, legislators in Frankfort introduced three bills to tax slot machines.  The estimated income to the state would have been $900,000 annually.   

January 27, 1954, with no bills to discuss in the Kentucky Senate, the assembly indulged in horseplay.  Senator Maloney called for a vote to expel Senator McCann, stating, “I observed the gentleman at breakfast, and he does not know how to eat sorghum molasses.”  Lt. Gov. Beauchamp then chimed in, “I did observe the gentleman.  I must say, in his defense, he did not have a limber knife, and if there is one thing you can’t eat without a limber knife, it is sorghum.” 

January 27, 1966, Army PFC Charles D. Senters from Ashland in Boyd County died in the Vietnam War.

January 27, 1966, Governor Edward T. Breathitt signed the Kentucky Civil Rights Act into law two years after the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964.  As a result, the Commonwealth became the 1st state south of the Mason-Dixon Line to pass a state-level civil rights act.  M.L. King Jr. called the Kentucky law “the strongest and most comprehensive civil rights bill passed by a southern state.”

January 27, 1968, Army SGT Rube A. Cox from Strunk in McCreary County and Army SP4 William H. Scheiber, Jr. from Louisville, died in the Vietnam War.

January 27, 1968, at the time, the stats said Adolph Rupp became college basketball’s all-time winningest coach when the Wildcats overcame a record-setting 52-point performance by defeating the LSU Tigers and Pete Maravich, 121-95.  Years later, statistics showed he had achieved that feat on February 18, 1967, with a 103-74 win over Mississippi State.

January 27, 1971, police captured two McCreary County men driving a U-Haul truck loaded with more than $20,000 in Dry Ridge less than an hour after they robbed a Lexington bank.

January 27, 1974, Louisville native Bobby Nichols won the Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational, a PGA event, by one stroke. The following year, he would lose the same tournament in a play-off to J.C. Snead.

January 27, 1975, about 250 antique collectors crowded into the Thompson & Riley Auction House to attend the estate sale of Mrs. Lucretia Johnson.  Mrs. Johnson owned an insurance agency and had filled every square inch of two large homes with valuable antiques.  Only two rooms in one house were livable.

January 27, 1981, Detective Ronnie Earl Seelye, Louisville Police Department, died when a vehicle struck his unmarked police car on Terry Road near Morning Glory Lane.

January 27, 1985, according to the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, 4,262 licensed trappers caught more than 144,000 animals during the 11-week 1983-84 season.  Fur buyers in Kentucky bought 170,831 pelts worth $1.8 million in 1984.

January 27, 1990, Coach Pitino and Cawood Ledford held their popular post game show in Rupp Arena.

On January 27, 1996, Martin Luther King III visited Centre College.  Even after losing his father and grandmother to fatal shootings; he said he never succumbed to hatred and bitterness.

January 27, 2004, Army SGT James T. Hoffman, 41, of Whitesburg, died from an explosive device attack in Iraq fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

January 27, 2009, in a 2-1 ruling, the Kentucky Court of Appeals ruled Governor Steven L. Beshear did not have the jurisdiction to seize online casinos’ domain names.  Beshear wanted to capture 141 domains to stop them from operating in Kentucky.  They included two bingo sites, the hugely popular Poker Room, Poker Stars, and other major sports betting sites.

January 27, 2010, Apple unveiled their “tablet” device for surfing the web and playing movies and music.

On January 27, 2012, Kentucky officials scrambled to determine if and when they would repair the 80-year-old Eggner Ferry Bridge over Kentucky Lake connecting Trigg and Marshall Counties.  A cargo vessel struck the bridge carrying rocket components to Alabama.  The bridge reopened on May 25.

January 27, 2014, based on Edward Snowden’s documents, NBC News reported that British cyber spies demonstrated a pilot program to their U.S. partners in 2012 in which they were able to monitor YouTube in real time and collect addresses from the billions of videos watched daily, as well as some user information, for analysis.  At the time, they were also able to spy on Facebook and Twitter.

January 27, 2018, a Kentucky bred won Gulfstream Park’s GI $16,300,000 Pegasus World Cup for four-year-olds and upward.  The winner received $7 million, 2nd place $1.6 million, and 3rd place $1.3 million.  Every entry received prize money, including the last-placed horse (12th), who took home $650,000.

January 27, 2022, while Mitch warned Biden not to pick a far-left supreme court judge, Fayette County schools announced that students reached out for mental health issues in a dramatic increase from the year before due to the lockdowns.  Meanwhile, Neil Young wanted his music off Spotify because Joe Rogan signed a contract with the streaming company.