December 3, 1881, the Kentucky University (KU) football team, aka Transylvania University, played the Kentucky State College football team, aka UK. In a game that played more like rugby, Transylvania won 3 3/4 to 2 ½. KU played three games in the season, all against State.
December 3, 1910, Deputy Sheriff Crit Bryant, Whitley County Sheriff’s Office, died while attempting to arrest three men acting disorderly and firing guns. The men got drunk in Jellico, Tennessee, and then walked along the railroad tracks toward Saxton when they shot Deputy Bryant.
December 3, 1931, Greensburg native Robert Ball Anderson died in an automobile accident. Born into slavery, he became a field hand and fled behind Union lines to enlist in the U.S. Army’s 125th Colored Infantry. Following his discharge at Louisville, Ball moved to Western Nebraska’s panhandle for the 1873 Timber Culture Act. 1922, at seventy-nine, he married twenty-one-year-old Daisy Graham, who encouraged him to write his memoirs, which they published in 1927. At his death, his 2,080 acres made him the largest landowner among blacks in Nebraska.
On December 3, 1950, Governor L. Wetherby escorted a young blond Mrs. Clause to Standiford Field 20 minutes before Santa Clause arrived by a jetliner. A crowd estimated at 5,000 wanted to see the married couple reunited after a year apart.
December 3, 1961, four persons died in a car wreck in Pendleton County, bringing the total for the first weekend in December to 12 automobile deaths. The 1961 toll rose to 655 compared with 700 in 1960. It was a grim reminder that December is the most dangerous month in traffic.
December 3, 1973, after failing to stand for two days due to old age infirmities and lameness, Count Fleet passed of an apparent blood clot. They buried him at Stoner Creek Farm in Paris. At the time of his death, he had become the longest-lived winner of all three Triple Crown races, additionally; he had outlived many of his offspring. More than forty years later, he remains the longest-lived Kentucky Derby winner and the longest-lived Preakness Stakes winner. Nearly fourteen years to the day of his death, Gallant Man surpassed him as the longest-lived Belmont Stakes winner and the longest-lived winner of any Triple Crown race.
December 3, 1979, to celebrate her 30 years of public service, Kentucky held a large party in the Kentucky State Capitol for Lt. Gov. Thelma Stovall’s retirement. President Jimmy Carter sent congratulations, and the state officially proclaimed it “Thelma Stovall Day.”
December 3, 1981, in a surprise move, the State Council of Higher Education voted unanimously to recommend that Kentucky State University (KSU) remain a four-year institution and withdrew its plan to turn KSU into a community college. Protestors outside the meeting approved.
December 3, 1984, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association suspended all Whitesburg High School athletic programs “for an indefinite period not to exceed one year” due to a recruiting infraction.
December 3, 1993, the 19.4-mile Red River joined the National Wild and Scenic River System. President Bill Clinton signed the declaration into law which provided federal protection, eliminating any further possibility of humans building a dam. The free-flowing Red River saved the gorge as it exists today in Menifee, Wolfe, and Powell Counties.
December 3, 1999, Tori Murden became the 1st American to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean when she arrived at Guadeloupe from the Canary Islands. She received a J.D. from the University of Louisville School of Law in 1995 and a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Spalding University.
On December 3, 2005, Maggie Bailey, the “Queen of the Mountain Bootleggers,” died at 101. The Kentucky distiller and local legend started selling moonshine at 17 and continued working well into her 90s. She often wore a uniform that said “National Distillery” on the breast pocket. So highly regarded in Harlan County, juries repeatedly refused to find her guilty of illegally selling alcohol. However, she served two years at a federal reformatory when caught with 150 half-gallons. Law enforcement officers admired the canny bootlegger. U.S. District Judge Karl Forester described her as an expert on search and seizure laws. A self-educated woman, she read every newspaper she got her hands on. Despite her less-than-legal occupation, friends said she lived simply and often gave coal and food to low-income locals and their families.
December 3, 2010, Keeneland hosted Horse Mania 2010, an auction of fiberglass horses decorated by local artists and displayed on the streets during the summer and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. The $376,400 benefited 85 charities. The average sale price of $5,791 was lower than the 2000 Mania.
December 3, 2018, Congressman Hal Rogers announced that Southern Kentucky students could start receiving four-year degrees at Somerset Community College through partnerships with several universities. Locals had pushed this for years, claiming it would boost economic development and enable more people to obtain Bachelor’s Degrees.
On December 3, 2020, the governor, in front of cameras inside the Capitol, announced the 3rd deadliest day in Kentucky from the coronavirus, with 34 deaths, which brought the total over 2,000. He also issued a travel advisory and said Kentucky would receive 38,000 vaccine doses by mid-December. Meanwhile, President Biden asked Americans to wear masks for a hundred days while many Frankfort lawmakers walked around the Capitol maskless, drawing outrage from their counterparts.
On December 3, 2021, the NFL suspended former Kentucky football star Mike Edwards and two other players for misrepresenting their vaccination status with fake vaccination cards. As a result, the NFL forced all three very healthy players to get vaccinated or lose their jobs.