TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

Kentucky Trivia

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Isaac Shelby, the first Kentucky governor, born in 1750.

December 11, 1787, the town of Maysville became official when they named the community after John May when it was part of Bourbon County.  At the time, the local post office’s name was Limestone until 1824 and was officially named Maysville around 1799.  The defeat of the Native Americans at the Battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794 made the area safe for settlement.  Maysville was famous for its visitors, such as Henry Clay and Gen. Lafayette, because of their fine taverns.

December 11, 1801, Adair County was created from Green County and was named in honor of John Adair, eighth governor of Kentucky.  The county seat is Columbia chosen one year later.  Other localities include: Breeding, Glens Fork, Gradyville, Knifley, Neatsville, Pellyton, Sparksville, Cane Valley, Coburg, Holmes Bend and Kellyville.  Adair County was the 44th county created and covers 412 square miles.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Manchester native Miss Laura Rogers White, born in 1852.  She was one of the first eight women to graduate from the University of Michigan (1874).  She studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Boston and the Sorbonne in Paris, France.  Her most outstanding architectural achievement was designing the First Christian Church of Ashland, completed in 1890.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native Thomas Coleman DuPont, born in 1863.  Thomas spent much of his young life in Kentucky and became an industrialist and U.S. Senator.  In 1927, Thomas offered to purchase the Cumberland Falls area for $400,000 to preserve it in its natural state.  In 1931, his widow donated the land to the state of Kentucky for use as a public park.
The Kentucky Encyclopedia edited by John E. Kleber; pg: 344

December 11, 1909, Jailer William Vernon Coffey, Green County Jail, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a drunk and disorderly man in the Greensburg public square.  The Greensburg town marshal was out of town at the time and Jailer Coffey was called upon to arrest the man.  The man pushed Jailer Coffey away and immediately shot him in the face before fleeing on his horse.

December 11, 1923, William J. Fields, known as “Honest Bill from Olive Hill,” became the 41st governor of Kentucky.  He increased the gasoline tax to help fund his highway program.  He also preserved the Cumberland Falls from industrial development by getting T. Coleman du Pont to purchase the property around the falls and donate it to the state.  However, to the dismay of many, he loved keeping his dairy cows on the Governor’s Mansion’s lawn.
A New History of Kentucky By James C. Klotter, Craig Thompson Friend

Dec 11 Honest Bill Fields

December 11, 1931, Sheriff Albert Bogie, Madison County Sheriff’s Office, succumbed to injuries sustained in a vehicle crash on the Curtis Pike the previous day while he and a Berea police officer were en route to conduct an alcohol raid.  The vehicle that the officers were riding in crashed through a bridge railing and overturned in a creek.

December 11, 1939, Sergeant Louis F. Fowler, Louisville Police Department, was injured when his motorcycle fell onto of him near the intersection of North Sixth Street and West Main Street.  Sergeant Fowler had pulled away on his motorcycle without kicking up his kick stand.

December 11, 1951, Governor Lawrence Winchester Wetherby takes the oath of office for a second time to remain Kentucky’s 48th governor.  In the general election, Wetherby faced Republican Court of Appeals judge Eugene Siler, a fundamentalist Christian who claimed that the state government was full of corruption.  Siler cited gambling in Northern Kentucky, bribery accusations against members of Clement’s and Wetherby’s administrations, and a 1951 scandal involving the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team; he referred to Frankfort as “our Nineveh on the Kentucky River.”

Dec 11 Wetherby 2nd Term

December 11, 1958, Columnist Ann Landers, at Lexington’s Phoenix Hotel, admiring her ashtray fashioned from a shoe from Faultless, one of the Calumet Farm’s thoroughbred racehorses who won the Blue Grass Stakes and finished third in the Derby.

December 11, 1970, two and half years after the race, a circuit judge ruled the Kentucky Racing Commission erred in denying first place money to Dancer’s Image when he crossed the finish line first in the 1968 Kentucky Derby.

December 11, 1976, Rupp Arena was officially dedicated as UK’s home court.  It was a festive evening for the Wildcats and their fans, which honored former Kentucky coach and Kansas graduate Adolph Rupp before the contest.  Six players score in double figures: Jack Givens 15, James Lee 14, Rick Robey 13, Dwane Casey 13, Mike Phillips 12 and Larry Johnson 10, before a crowd of 23,107.

December 11, 1979, Governor John Young Brown, Jr. was sworn in as Kentucky’s 55th governor.  He appointed a woman and an African-American to his cabinet, as he promised.  The most controversial appointment was Secretary of Transportation Frank Metts, who broke with political tradition, announcing that contracts would be awarded based on competitive bids.  Metts doubled the miles of roads resurfaced.  In challenging economic times, Brown stuck to his campaign promise not to raise taxes.  Instead, he reduced the state budget by 22% and cut the number of state employees by 6,400, mostly through transfer and attrition.  Simultaneously, his merit pay policies increased salaries for the remaining employees by an average of 34 percent.  He cut the executive office staff from ninety-seven to thirty and sold seven of the state’s eight government airplanes.  He also required competitive bids from banks, generating $50 million in revenue.  He created communications and contacts with Japan, setting the stage for future economic relations.  Brown was absent for more than five hundred days during his four-year term.  As noted by Kentucky historian Lowell H. Harrison, Brown’s hands-off approach allowed the legislature to gain power relative to the governor for the first time in Kentucky history, a trend that continued into his successors’ terms.

December 11, 1981, Muhammad Ali’s final fight is a 10-round unanimous decision loss to Trevor Berbick, more than a year after the Holmes beating.  It took place before 10,000 fans at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Centre in Nassau, Bahamas.  Ali was attempting his second comeback from retirement. His final record stands at 56-6.  Berbick, who briefly held the WBC title in 1986, was murdered in Jamaica in 2006.

On December 11, 1981, hundreds of spectators turned out, in near-freezing weather, to light the state Christmas tree on the plaza in front of the Capitol in Frankfort.

December 11, 1982, Eastern Kentucky University football coach Roy Kidd got a ride to the locker room after his Colonels earned their fourth straight trip to the NCAA Division I-AA football championship game with a 13-7 victory over Tennessee State.

On December 11, 1985, Roger Foster set a Kentucky record by catching a 58 pounds 4 ounces Striped Bass (rockfish) in Lake Cumberland.  It weighed nine pounds less than the world record yielded by the Colorado River in Arizona.

Striped bass DuaneRavenArt

December 11, 1995, Governor Brereton C. Jones, on his final day as governor, pardoned nine women who committed a crime against their alleged abusive spouses.

On December 11, 2005, in Seattle’s NFC West-clinching victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Florence native Shaun Alexander had his ninth 100–yard rushing game of the year, breaking Chris Warren’s franchise record of eight 100–yard games.  In the process he also set a more significant NFL record, running for 100 yards against divisional opponents in nine straight games, a record previously held by Walter Payton.

December 11, 2007, Steven Lynn Beshear became the 61st Kentucky governor and the 57th individual to hold the office.

December 11, 2019, Governor Bevin filed 161 pardons and 419 commutations of sentences with the Secretary of State, including commutations for 336 people who were serving sentences solely for drug-related charges.  In 2015, Governor Steve Beshear issued 200 pardons, and former Governor Ernie Fletcher pardoned 100 people during his four-year term.