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Kentucky Trivia

December 13, 1769, Dr. Thomas Walker presented a new map of the new west to Virginia’s House of Burgesses.  George Washington later used it on a trip to the Little and Great Kanawha Rivers to claim land for the veterans of the French and Indian War.  Gateway by Dr. Thomas Walker & the Opening of Kentucky by David M. Burns

December 13, 1796, Kentucky created two counties.

Kentucky 1796

December 13, 1796, Kentucky created Bullitt County from Jefferson County and Nelson County and named it in honor of Alexander Scott Bullitt, Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky.  The county seat is Shepherdsville.  Other localities include Fox Chase, Hebron Estates, Hillview, Hunters Hollow, Lebanon Junction, Mount Washington, Pioneer Village, Brooks, Brownington, Clermont and Solitude.  Bullitt County, the 20th county created, covers 300 square miles.

By David Benbennick

December 13, 1796, Kentucky created Christian County from Logan County and honored William Christian, a Revolutionary War Soldier and a founder of Louisville.  The county seat is Hopkinsville.  Other localities include Crofton, Hopkinsville, LaFayette, Oak Grove, Pembroke, Fairview, Fort Campbell North, Apex, Bainbridge, Bennettstown, Bluff Spring, Casky, Edgoten, Empire, Fearsville, Fruit Hill, Garrettsburg, Gracey, Hensleytown, Herndon, Honey Grove, Howel, Julien, Kelly, Mannington, Newstead, Saint Elmo, and Sinking Fork.  Christian County, the 21st county created, covers 722 square miles, the 2nd largest county.

By David Benbennick

December 13, 1798, Kentucky created four counties.

Kentucky 1798

December 13, 1798, Kentucky created Pendleton County from Bracken County and Campbell County and named it in honor of Edmund Pendleton, member of the Continental Congress.  Falmouth is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include Butler, DeMossville, Mt. Auburn, and Morgan.  Pendleton County, the 28th county created, covers 282 square miles.

By David Benbennick

December 13, 1798, Kentucky created Muhlenberg County from Christian County and Logan County and named it in honor of Peter Muhlenberg, Revolutionary War General.  Greenville is the county seat.  Other localities include Bremen, Central City, Drakesboro, Powderly, South Carrollton, Beechmont, Cleaton, Dunmor, Beech Creek, Belton, Bevier, Browder, Depoy, Ennis, Frogtown, Gishton, Graham, Gus, Luzerne, Millport, Moorman, Nelson, Nonell, Penrod, Rosewood, and Weir.  Today Muhlenberg County covers 479 square miles and was the 31st county created.

By David Benbennick

December 13, 1798, Kentucky created Livingston County from Christian County and honored Robert Livingston, one of the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence.  Smithland is the county seat.  Other localities include Carrsville, Grand Rivers, Salem, Burna, Ledbetter, Hampton, Joy, Lola, Iuka and Tiline.  Livingston County, the 33rd county created, covers 342 square miles.

By David Benbennick

December 13, 1798, Kentucky created Boone County from Campbell County and named it for Daniel.  Burlington is the county seat.  Other cities and towns located in the county include Florence, Hebron, Francisville, Petersburg, Union, Walton, Oakbrook, Richwood, Verona, Big Bone, Bullittsville, Hamilton, Richwood, Taylorsport, Constance, and Rabbit Hash.  Boone County, the 35th county created, covers 256 square miles.

By David Benbennick

December 13, 1799, the Kentucky General Assembly wanted dueling stopped.  The act coupled gambling with dueling, and it levied a fine of $150 to $500 for each violation.  Harsher cases imposed prison terms and disqualified duelists from holding public office, a provision especially oppressive on politically minded Kentuckians.  Famous Kentucky Duels by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 5

December 13, 1799, Kentucky created Floyd County from Fleming County, Mason County, and Montgomery County and named it in honor of John Floyd, surveyor and pioneer.  Prestonburg is the county seat.  Other localities include: Allen, Martin, Wayland, Wheelwright, Auxier, Betsy Layne, Dwale, Maytown, McDowell, Alphoretta, Banner, Beaver, Blue Moon, Blue River, Bonanza, Burton, Bypro, Cliff, Dana, David, Dema, Drift, Eastern, Emma, Estill, Garrett, Glo, Grethel, Halo, Harold, Hi Hat, Hippo, Hueysville, Ivel, Jacks Creek, Jump Station, Lackey, Langley, Ligon, Melvin, Minnie, Orkney, Printer, Pyramid, Risner, Stanville, Teaberry, Tram, Warco, Watergap, Weeksbury, Wonder, and Woods.  Floyd County, the 40th county created, covers 396 square miles.

Kentucky 1799 Map
By David Benbennick

December 13, 1802, the General Assembly authorized the establishment of the Big Sandy-Greenbrier Road, the 1st road to be improved with state funds after the Wilderness Road.  Legislators acknowledged the need for public communication and transportation networks.  Frankfort made sporadic efforts to improve and maintain the road during the first half of the nineteenth century.  After 1850, the counties through which the road passed controlled maintenance.  The Squire’s Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 24

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Mary Todd Lincoln, born in 1818.  Mary was the 4th of seven children of Robert Smith Todd, a banker, and Elizabeth (Parker) Todd.

December 13, 1864, Confederates burned the Cadiz Courthouse in Trigg County to the ground.  The Rebels left in a hurry, leaving a fellow solider with smallpox behind.  Locals saved the county records.

December 13, 1907, Patrolman Simon R. Cannon, Louisville Police Department, died when he approached a suspicious suspect in the area of Jackson Street and Roselane Street.  The suspect surrendered to the Louisville Police two years later and locals acquitted.

December 13, 1914, Sheriff Robert Terry McMurtry, Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, died arresting a man wanted for murdering Special Deputy Marshal James Wood, of the Upton Police Department, three days earlier.

December 13, 1924, in Kentucky’s 1st December basketball game, James McFarland scored 10 points, and Kentucky defeated the Bearcats in the 1st game played at Alumni Gym on UK’s campus.

December 13, 1926, Deputy Sheriff Frank Phillips, Pike County Sheriff’s Office, died questioning two brothers drunk and causing a disturbance in front of a local business.  When he asked the two what they were doing they became belligerent and shot Deputy Phillips during a brief scuffle.

December 13, 1927, Laurel County native Flemon Davis “Flem” Sampson became the 42nd Kentucky governor.  The Democrats nominated former governor and Senator J. C. W. Beckham to challenge Flem.  The campaign’s primary issue was whether to outlaw pari-mutuel betting at the state’s racetracks; Beckham favored the ban, and Sampson opposed it.  The Jockey Club lobbyist backed Sampson, and several key Democrats bolted after Beckham’s nomination, enabling Sampson to win by over 32,000 votes. 

Kentucky’s 1927 Inauguration

December 13, 1947, Policeman Shellie Eugene LeQuire, Fleming-Neon Police Department, died by a man seeking revenge against him for a shooting three years earlier.  The man encountered Policeman LeQuire inside a barber shop and after a few moments without speaking, the man suddenly pulled out a gun and shot him several times.

December 13, 1955, Happy Chandler became governor for the 2nd and last time, making him the 44th and 49th leader.

Kentucky’s 1955 Inauguration

December 13, 1967, Army SFC John W. Fitzgerald Jr from Louisville died in the Vietnam War.

December 13, 1968, Army SGT Ronald L. Niewahner from Ludlow in Kenton County died in the Vietnam War.

December 13, 1969, Army CPL James M. Cheatham from Morganfield in Union County died in the Vietnam War.

December 13, 1971, Paris native Margaret Ingels, the 1st female engineering graduate from UK, passed away.  She was also the 2nd female engineering graduate in the U.S. and the 1st woman to receive a Mechanical Engineer degree.

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Benjamin Isaac Hoffman, born in 1974.  He is better known by his stage name and alter ego Wheeler Walker, Jr.

December 13, 1983, Bagdad (Shelby County) native Martha Layne Collins became the 1st woman governor of Kentucky.

By Phaa M. Weimer

December 13, 1991, Lexington Mayor Scotty Baesler unveiled a plan to purchase 250 acres and a conservation easement from debt-burdened Calumet Farm to ensure the land would never be commercially developed.

December 13, 1999, Keeneland announced Nick Nicholson would become the track’s 6th president on Jan. 15, 2000.

December 13, 2008, Trinity defeated Simon Kenton 48-0 to win the Class 6A KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium with 11,556 in attendance.

December 13, 2011, Governor Steven Lynn Beshear took his 2nd oath to govern after winning re-election and remained the 61st governor.  He defeated the Williams / Farmer duo and Gatewood Galbraith.

December 13, 2018, the Kentucky Supreme Court unanimously struck down Governor M. Bevin’s secretive pension plan that would have reduced retirement benefits for public employees.  The state had to try another way to cure the pension blues.

December 13, 2019, Kentucky lawmakers called for an investigation of Governor M. Bevin over the use of his pardon powers the same day the House Judiciary Committee sent Trump impeachment charges to the full House.

On December 13, 2020, the 1st shipment of the coronavirus vaccine landed in Kentucky at Louisville’s UPS Worldport.  Governor A. Beshear touted the strategic importance of Worldport in distributing the drug to America and said some Kentuckians would receive the experimental medicine the following day.  He also announced 2,454 new cases and 15 new deaths.

On December 13, 2021, officials declared Graves County paid the heaviest toll with 21 confirmed deaths, which included eight people in the candle company.  Hopkins County reported 17, Warren County 15, Muhlenberg County 11, and Caldwell County 4.  Marshall, Taylor, Fulton Lyon, and Franklin counties all reported one death.  Although they only reported 52 deaths, they did confirm 74 deaths after five tornadoes swept through Kentucky three days earlier. 

December 13, 2022, federal scientists announced they created the 1st nuclear fusion reaction that generated more energy than it took to produce, bringing hope of unlimited clean energy.