Skip to content


February 24, 1775, the North Carolina Gazette printed NC Governor Martin’s letter.  He quoted at length from the Royal Proclamation of 1763, particularly the portion prohibiting land purchases from Native Americans by private persons.  He aimed his piece directly at Richard Henderson and his Kentucky confederates.

February 24, 1838, Kentucky Congressman William Graves killed Congressman Jonathan Cilley of Maine in a duel outside Washington D.C.  It started on the House floor when Graves approached Cilley with a letter from a 3rd party.  Cilley refused to accept it.  Graves took it as an insult and challenged him to the duel.

February 24, 1843, Kentucky created Johnson County from Floyd County, Morgan County, and Lawrence County and named it in honor of Richard Mentor Johnson, U.S. V.P.  Paintsville is the county seat.  Other localities include Asa, Boonscamp, Chandlerville, Collista, Denver, Dobson, East Point, Elna, Flat Gap, Fuget, Hager Hill, Hargis, Keaton, Kerz, Leander, Low Gap, Manila, Meally, Nero, Nippa, Odds, Offutt, Oil Springs, Redbush, River, Riceville, Sip, Sitka, Staffordsville, Stambaugh, Swamp Branch, Thealka, Thelma, Tutor Key, Van Lear, Volga, West Van Lear, Whitehouse, Williamsport, Winifred, and Wittensville.  The 97th county created, Johnson County, covers 264 square miles.

By David Benbennick

On February 24, 1852, Mason County native Roy Bean dueled on horseback with a Scotsman.  The Kentuckian damaged the Scotsman’s right arm, and police arrested both men for assault.  Bean, considered brave and handsome by the local women, received numerous visits and gifts during his six-week stay in jail.  However, he escaped in April when one of his admirers slipped him knives hidden in some tamales.

February 24, 1865, the Kentucky legislature refused to ratify the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery to the U.S. Constitution.  When President A. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves on January 1, 1863; it applied only in states that had seceded from the Union.  Thus, it did not abolish slavery in Kentucky.  The Commonwealth finally climbed on board in 1976.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Barlow native Robert Earl Grace, born in 1907 in Ballard County.

By Goudey

February 24, 1924, Deputy Sheriff James Baker, Clay County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained two weeks earlier while attempting to make an arrest.

February 24, 1930, Town Marshal J. Wes Perkins, Williamsburg Police Department, died from a gunshot as he and another officer attempted to stop a car where occupants were firing several shots from the vehicle.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to World Boxing Association World Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Ellis, born in 1940 in Louisville.

February 24, 1944, Sharpe native James King lost his life near Gotha, Germany, when the B-24 on which he was a co-pilot got shot down.  James played basketball for the Wildcats for three seasons (1939-42).  Sharpe resides in Marshall County.

February 24, 1956, one of the 1st drunk driving experiments concluded, and the findings showed that drivers are impaired much lower than the generally accepted .15%.  

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Falmouth native Elizabeth Alice Broderick, born in 1959.

February 24, 1961, while police arrested 58 people during an anti-discrimination demonstration in downtown Louisville, civil rights leaders met with Louisville Mayor Bruce Hoblitzell to end the three-day protest.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Kelly Craft, born in 1962.  The ex-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2019 to 2021 ran for governor in 2019.

February 24, 1967, Army SGT Carl A. Humphrey from Jeffersontown, Marine Corps PFC Gary S. Jordan from Newport, Marine Corps LCPL Phillip R. Shoopman from Louisville and Army CPT Paul E. Vanhoose from Stambaugh in Johnson County, all died in the Vietnam War.

February 24, 1968, Marine Corps SSGT William B. Hughes from Vanceburg in Lewis County, Air Force SSGT Johnny Rose, Jr. from Williamsport in Johnson County and Army SSG William L. Watson from Louisville, all died in the Vietnam War.

February 24, 1969, Marine Corps LCPL Ronald T. Varney from Belfry in Pike County died in the Vietnam War.

February 24, 1970, Army CPT Patrick L. Smith from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

February 24, 1971, former Secretary of the Interior delivered a speech at UK’s Student Center Ballroom.  Mr. Hickel, “Society today faces problems on many fronts, but I consider none more serious than that of defending our ecological life lines.  We are faced with the reality we cannot create new resources…continued waste…extravagance…that will only burden the welfare of tomorrow.”

On February 24, 1972, several spokespeople for Kentucky’s horse racing industry voiced opposition on a bill that would legalize handbook operations, also known as off-track betting.  Those who spoke up included John Battaglia (GM Latonia & Miles Park), Robin Griffin (Lawyer for Trotters), Andrew Mann (Mutuel Union), David Hopper (Thoroughbred Breeders of KY), Kent Hollingsworth (Bloodhorse), William Robertson (Thoroughbred Record).

February 24, 1990, Deputy Sheriff Ethelbert Wainscott, Jessamine County Sheriff’s Department, suffered a fatal heart attack as he and two other deputies served an arrest warrant at a man’s home.

February 24, 1996, Gulfstream’s GII $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes paid a $288.20 payout on a $2.00 ticket.

February 24, 1999, Columbia native Lance Buton’s Top Secret special aired on television.

February 24, 2003, Governor P. Patton, in his bid to cut costs, shrunk the Kentucky fleet from 5,000 sedans, trucks, and vans to 4,500.  The governor and Lt. Governor drove around in a 20-car fleet, including Crown Victorias, Chevrolet Suburbans, and a Ford Conversion van.

February 24, 2008, the GII $350,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes finished with Keeneland graduates placing 1st through 7th.  A Kentucky bred took home $210,000 for 1st place.

A February 24, 2014, Washington Post editorial celebrated America’s successful campaign to overthrow Ukraine’s democratically elected President Yanukovych.  The “moves were democratic,” the Washington Post concluded, and “Kyiv is now controlled by pro‐Western parties.”  Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, bought all of Ukraine’s media years earlier and laid the foundation for the takeover.

February 24, 2015, a bill AT&T pushed to deregulate telephone service finally passed the Kentucky House.  The new law enabled telecom conglomerates to drop essential services in rural areas.

February 24, 2019, government finance records showed that Kentucky’s four major utility companies pumped $327,050 into Frankfort lobbying, while the solar industry only showered the city with $6,500.

February 24, 2020, Hollywood hit their lowest point in the city’s history when a jury found Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape in a landmark trial.  Early coronavirus news made investors uneasy and the Dow Jones had their most significant sell-off in two years.  Technology stocks also fell because many bought gold, government bonds, utilities, and real estate investments.  Meanwhile, the Rupp Arena remodeling construction continued.

The F.B.I. detained a Benton man on February 24, 2021, after being seen on YouTube videos during the Capitol riots.  Clayton Mullins dragged a police officer down the Capitol steps sending him to the hospital.  Meanwhile, Frankfort lawmakers sponsored a bill to protect landlords’ rights to evict tenants during future pandemics.

February 24, 2022, Russia finally invaded Ukraine, and Washington D.C. celebrated.  Defense contractors and both political parties had planned the Russian invasion since American intelligence forces overthrew Ukraine in 2014.  The war had many purposes, one being to control natural gas pipelines that ran from Russia through Ukraine into Europe.  War is also an excellent method to wash large volumes of cash.

February 24, 2023, Central Kentucky high school students organized walkouts in response to Senate Bill 150, which targeted transgender issues.  A Paul Lawrence Dunbar student said, “This bill is inherently not letting people choose who they want to be and feel they are, even if someone disagrees.  That’s not their job to force that on someone else.  That’s just a basic principle of human– of American rights is just to let people be who they are.”  However, one lawmaker claimed the bill protected certain rights.  “It’s protecting the freedom of speech, rights of staff and students, by not forcing them to not use non-conforming pronouns by other students.”