TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

December 3, 1834, Paris native Joseph Duncan became the 6th Illinois governor, the only Whig to lead the state.

December 3, 1881, the Kentucky University 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.

December 3, 1910, Deputy Sheriff Crit Bryant, Whitley County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest three men who were acting disorderly and firing guns.  The men had been drinking in Jellico, Tennessee, and were walking along the railroad tracks toward Saxton when Deputy Bryant encountered them.

December 3, 1912, the Carnegie Corporation of New York awarded $15,000 to Hopkinsville for a new city library.  Today the building is known as the as the Hopkinsville Carnegie Library of Kentucky Architecture.

December 3, 1931, Greensburg native Robert Ball Anderson died in an automobile accident.  Mr. Anderson was a farmer and Civil War volunteer born a slave.  When the Civil War began, he was a field hand and then fled behind Union lines and enlisted in the U.S. Army.  His unit, the 125th Colored Infantry, trained for combat.  Following his discharge at Louisville, he moved to western Nebraska’s panhandle for the 1873 Timber Culture Act.  In 1922, at the age of 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.

December 3, 1939, Deputy Sheriff Bud Hicks, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man wanted for running moonshine.  He and the suspect were killed during a shootout as the two struggled.  Both men were fatally wounded.

December 3, 1950, Governor Lawrence 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 also showed to see the married couple reunited after a year of being apart.

December 3, 1961, four persons died in a car wreck in Pendleton County bring the total for the first weekend in December to 12 automobile deaths.  The 1961 toll rose to 655 compared with 700 a year ago.  It was a grim reminder that December is the most dangerous mind in traffic. 

Kentucky Stats:  The 780 people killed in car collisions in 2020 were the highest total since 2017 and the third highest in the past decade.  January was the only month to see more than 10,000 collisions while collisions dropped to nearly half in April which was the safest month.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Paul Gregory Byrd, born in 1970.

December 3, 1971, Air Force CAPT Charles P. Russell from Hopkinsville in Christian County died fighting in the Vietnam War.

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 and was buried 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 own 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, 1976, the dedication of the Louisville Clock took place in front of $3,000 people on Fourth Street.  Over the decades the clock has had many homes around the city.

December 3, 1979, to celebrate her 30 years of public service, a large party was held in the Kentucky State Capitol for Lt. Gov. Thelma Stovall’s retirement.  Congratulations were sent by President Jimmy Carter and the state officially proclaimed it “Thelma Stovall Day.”

December 3, 1981, in a surprise move, a plan to turn Kentucky State University into a community college was withdrawn and the state Council of Higher Education voted unanimously to recommend that KSU remains a four-year institution.  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, 1991, Bertram Thomas “Bert” Combs, Kentucky’s 50th governor, from 1959-1963, got caught in a flash flood in Rosslyn Creek while driving on his property and died at age eighty.

December 3, 2000, after five years of federal oversight, Kentucky moved from failing to above average in handling youthful offenders.  Kentucky would now be able to operate independently.

December 3, 1993, the 19.4 mile Red River entered into the National Wild and Scenic River System.  President Bill Clinton signed the declaration into law which provides federal protection, eliminating any further possibility of a dam being constructed.  The free flowing Red River saves the gorge as it exist today in Menifee, Wolfe and Powell Counties.

December 3, 1994, Trinity beats Boone County 21-7 for the 4A Kentucky State High School Championship.  11,425 were in attendance at Cardinal Stadium.

December 3, 2005, Maggie Bailey, the “Queen of the Mountain Bootleggers,” died; she was 101.  The Kentucky distiller and local legend began selling moonshine when she was just 17-years-old.  Wearing a uniform that said “National Distillery” on the breast pocket, Bailey continued working well into her 90s.  Bailey was so well regarded in Harlan County that juries often refused to find her guilty of illegally selling alcoholic beverages.  She did however serve two years at a federal reformatory when caught with 150 half-gallons of alcohol.  Law enforcement officers admired the canny bootlegger.  U.S. District Judge Karl Forester described her as an expert on search and seizure laws.  Bailey was a self-educated woman and a voracious newspaper reader.  Despite her less-than-legal occupation, friends said she lived simply and often gave coal and food to low-income families in the area.

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 was $5,791, lower than the 2000 Mania.

December 3, 2017, the Class 6A KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl was won by Trinity over St. Xavier 38-21.  The High School game was played in Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington.

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.

December 3, 2019, undefeated #1 Louisville beats #4 Michigan early in the basketball season.  Steven Enoch and Jordan Nwora both had double-doubles.

December 3, 2019, the Bevin administration warned the incoming Beshear administration they would be facing a $1.1 billion deficit over the next two fiscal years.

December 3, 2020, Kentucky recorded 3,895 new coronavirus cases, 34 deaths for totals of 190,601 and over 2,000, respectively.  It was the 3rd deadliest day in Kentucky. December totals for positive cases already outnumbered May and June combined.  Governor A. Beshear addressed a “travel advisory” while some Frankfort lawmakers walked around the capitol maskless, drawing outrage from their counterparts.