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Kentucky Trivia

On December 1, 1772, Virginia officially recognized Fincastle County, the state created it from Botetourt County earlier in the year.  Kentucky in Retrospect by Lila Jones Kingston, pg: 5

December 1, 1776, two years after the 1st settlement at Harrodsburg, the Virginia legislature divided all their territory west of the mountains, known as Fincastle County, into Washington, Montgomery, and Kentucky Counties.  Harrodsburg became the 1st county seat of Kentucky County, which essentially had the same boundary as Kentucky has today.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Greensburg native George Washington Buckner, born in 1855.  The doctor and diplomat served as the U.S. Minister to Liberia from 1913 to 1915.

By Harris and Ewing

December 1, 1866, the 1st pedestrians crossed the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge connecting Cincinnati and Covington.  Around 166,000 people crossed on the 1st two days.  On a side note, John’s son built the Brooklyn Bridge, constructed three years later.

Localtonians wish a Happy Anniversary to Governor James Robinson and his 3rd wife, Caroline “Carrie” Hening, who wed in 1873.  Both came from Scott County, and Carrie was 36 years his junior.  They married after James left office as the 22nd governor, a position he held for one year and 14 days.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Simeon Slavens Willis, Kentucky’s 48th governor, born in 1879, the only Republican governor between 1927 and 1967.  He unsuccessfully championed the elimination of the state income tax due to the enormous budget.  But he did record modest accomplishments, including constructing five tuberculosis hospitals across the state and significantly increasing funding for education.

December 1, 1919, Governor James Black, the 39th governor, issued a pardon for Henry Youtsey, a recent parolee who had served eighteen years for conspiracy in the assassination of Governor William Goebel, the 34th governor.

December 1, 1930, Ben M. Williamson won the November election to finish out Jon M. Robinson’s Class II term. Senator Williamson had the 2nd shortest term for a U.S. Senator from Kentucky, only serving three months and two days.

December 1, 1950, the following Kentuckians died in the Korean War:

Army CPL Clifford D. Beasley from Jefferson County
Army PVT James F. Binkley from Caldwell County
Army CPL Fred T. Chatfield from Whitley County
Marine Corps 1stLT Harold W. Dean from Anchorage
Army CPL Charles E. Dismukes from Graves County

Marine Corps PFC Reubin Fields from Cumberland in Harlan County
Army PFC Rodger E. Fields from Perry County
Army CPL George T. Fisher from Nicholas County
Army PFC M. C. Geurin Jr from Calloway County
Army SGT Ralph E. Kegley from Boyd County
Army CPL James E. Lemaster from Johnson County
Army PVT Charles H. Mcatee from Shelby County

Army PFC Frankie K. Morgan  from Hancock County
Army SGT Elmer Mullins from Letcher County
Army CPL Roy L. Powell from Whitley County
Army PVT Robert J. Sipes Jr from Bullitt County
Army PFC John W. Spurlock from Clark County
Army CPL Wilson Aubrey from Warren County

On December 1, 1950, Memorial Coliseum opened by hosting its 1st basketball game when the Wildcats routed the West Texas State Buffaloes.  The facility memorializes Kentuckians who died during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.  Later, the Coliseum added the names of all Kentuckians who died in the Vietnam War.  Its original capacity of 12,000 made it the largest arena in the South at the time.

December 1, 1955, after a long day of work, Rosa Parks boarded a bus in Montgomery, Alabama.  She took her seat in the ‘colored’ section.  As she rode the Cleveland Avenue bus home, the bus began to fill.

December 1, 1961, Deputy Sheriff Douglas Frank Hutton, Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed as he and four other deputies attempted to arrest an escaped convict.  As the deputies surrounded the house the suspect fired a shot through the front door at the deputy who announced their presence.

December 1, 1963, Colonel Sanders appeared on What’s My Line?

December 1, 1970, Tom Payne played his 1st game for the Wildcats under Coach Rupp.  Rupp signed Payne, an athletic 7′-2″ center out of Louisville.  This ended the all-white Kentucky basketball teams and marked a new era for the school and coach.

December 1, 1972, seven spelunkers announced they had discovered a 6,000-foot corridor linking the 58-mile Mammoth Cave system with the nearby 87-mile Flint Ridge Cave system, the longest in the world.  Mammoth Cave was the 3rd largest in the world, behind Holoch Holle in Switzerland.  The discovery allowed Mammoth Cave to more than double its size.

On December 1, 1980, people began a campaign to make the Richmond Camp of Gideons stop giving Bibles to Madison County 5th graders.  The religious organization had given the Bibles to students for years.  Meanwhile, Lexington police had to manage traffic due to heavy congestion for the opening of the 1st local White Castle.

December 1, 1990, Trinity beats Warren Central 27-14 for the 4A Kentucky High School State Championship.  The game was played in Cardinal Stadium with 8,376 in attendance.

December 1, 2001, Trinity defeated Male in Louisville 45-19 for the 43rd High School Football State Championship in Division 6A.

December 1, 2006, Russell Baze won the 4th race at Bay Meadows and set the world’s record for most career victories, 9,531.  He passed jockey Laffit Pincay Jr. and later became the 1st jockey to win 10,000 races. 

December 1, 2014, Casey County banned tobacco on their school grounds.  With only one dissenting vote, the school board made it another long-time Southern Kentucky tobacco county that went tobacco-free in their school systems.

December 1, 2018, the 1882 historic Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot in Paris re-opened as a restaurant and bar.  The trains stopped coming in the late 1960s and sat empty for over 50 years until localtonians like Chris Poynter got involved and restored the landmark.

On December 1, 2020, the state shattered all coronavirus records, including new cases, deaths, and positivity rate, reported for one day.  The head of Kentucky’s Broad Contact Tracing Program hinted the program was a waste of time.  Meanwhile, homeschooling grew as parents became frustrated with their schools’ coronavirus strategy to cope with the endemic.

Positives:  4,151 / 183,168
Deaths:  35 / 1,943 – 1st Death 3/16/20
50&over: 1,896 / 49-30: 44 / 29&under: 3

December 1, 2021, Dr. Fauci announced the 1st positive test for Omicron in the U.S.; the individual had received a vaccination months earlier.  After decades of controversy over paddling in Kentucky schools, the Kentucky Board of Education placed more restrictions on the practice allowed by state law.

December 1, 2022, Governor A. Beshear announced the creation of the 1st facility in Kentucky to house female juvenile delinquents only.  He made his decision due to the escalating violence in the state’s detention centers, which “are more violent than we’ve ever seen.”  He noted an increased number of riots in the facilities as well.  Girls aged 11 to 18 across the Commonwealth will stay in Newport’s Campbell Regional Juvenile Detention Center.