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January 18, 1810, Kentucky created Butler County from Logan County and Ohio County and named it in honor of Richard Butler, Revolutionary War General.  Morgantown is the county seat.  Other cities and towns include Rochester, Woodbury, Aberdeen, Dunbar, Huntsville, Jetson, Logansport, Monford, Provo, Quality, Reedyville, Roundhill, Welch’s (or Welchs) Creek, and Youngtown.  The 54th county created, Butler County covers 431 square miles.

By David Benbennick

Localtonians wish a Happy Birthday to Warsaw native Richard Yates, Illinois’s 13th governor, born in 1815.  His family left Kentucky when he was a youngster but he continued to have ties to his native state as a student at Georgetown College (he graduated from Illinois College) and then Transylvania University’s School of Law.

January 18, 1924, Deputy Sheriff Absolom “App” Perry, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, died from an ambush as he and another deputy searched for stills in the area of Dry Creek.

January 18, 1928, Burton Fork native Buell Kazee recorded The Dying Solider, also known as Oh Brother I Am Dying Now, in New York City.  He is considered one of the most successful folk musicians of the 1920s and experienced a career comeback during the American folk music revival of the 1960s.  Burton Fork resides in Magoffin County.

January 18, 1945, Governor Simeon S. Willis called on “every patriotic citizen to encourage” the United Mine Workers to work two Sundays in the next 30 days to replenish the nation’s coal supply drained by the war.

January 18, 1953, Governor Lawrence W. Wetherby and his fiscal experts began studying the pari-mutuel-tax bill to find out if it would hurt the Kentucky Derby.  They promised if it did, they would insert amendments to adjust accordingly.

January 18, 1963, Congress proposed the compulsory branding of every cigarette pack with a danger warning.  House Agriculture Chief questioned the proposal’s legality and called for calm to the organizations who opposed it.

January 18, 1968, Navy HN Jeffrey S. Aker from Covington died in the Vietnam War.

On January 18, 1971, a Jessamine County grand jury indicted Lexington, its mayor, and city commissioners on two pollution counts.  The county claimed the city’s trash endangered its residents’ health and aquatic life.

January 18, 1975, Álvaro Pineda, 29, while riding at Santa Anita Park, died in a freak accident.  In the starting gate, his horse, Austin Mittler, reared and flipped over, crushing Álvaro’s head against the gate’s steel frame.  His family would suffer a similar loss three years later when his younger brother Roberto died at Pimlico after an accident during a race.  In 1974, Pineda’s peers voted him the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award.  The annual award is given to a jockey in American racing who demonstrates high personal and professional standards on and off the track.

January 18, 1988, with more than 100 people gathered in the Capitol rotunda, Governor W. Wilkinson remembered the work of Martin Luther King Jr and his life, stating, “He touched all our lives, making the world and Kentucky a better place.

January 18, 1999, Kentucky celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  In 1999, New Hampshire became the last state to make it a paid holiday for state employees.  It wasn’t till January 2000 that every state in the Union observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the 1st nationwide celebration.

January 18, 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department stated their intentions of turning 23,000 acres in Western Kentucky into a wildlife refuge.  Locals know the flood-prone land along the Ohio River as Henderson County’s Scuffletown’s bottom area.

January 18, 2003, thousands march on Washington, D.C., to protest the Iraqi War.

January 18, 2008, UK announced that Joker Phillips would be the next Wildcat Football Coach after Coach Rich Brooks retired.  The announcement also spoke of Coach Brook’s pay raise to $1.6 million a year.  Coach Brooks retired after the 2009 season.

January 18, 2010, Rachel Alexandra became the 2009 Horse of the Year (HOY) and the Champion 3-Year-Old Filly.  She is only the 4th female HOY since the inception of the Eclipse Awards, the others being Azeri in 2002, Lady’s Secret in 1986, and All Along in 1983.  The Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills hosted the 39th annual Eclipse Awards.

January 18, 2016, Kentucky remembered King’s legacy during an arctic blast that brought single-digit temperatures.  Dr. King attended Boston University and graduated in 1955 with a doctorate in systematic theology.  He also had a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Morehouse College and a Bachelor of Divinity from Crozer Theological Seminary.

On January 18, 2019, three groups that met in the Lincoln Memorial’s cold shadow could hardly have been more different.  They were indigenous rights activists from Michigan, Catholic schoolboys from Kentucky, and Hebrew Israelites from the nation’s capital.

January 18, 2021, Lexington held its annual Freedom March downtown with Governor A. Beshear, the only in-person event due to the coronavirus.  In Washington, Corporatist Janet Yellen, Biden’s pick to run the treasury, stated the country needed to “act big” on the next coronavirus relief package.  Biden’s 1st relief package and the nation’s 6th was $1.9 trillion for a total of $8 trillion that flooded the economy in just over a year.  Meanwhile, Centre announced a student’s parent of gave 10,000 coronavirus tests to the college.

January 18, 2022, federal authorities sentenced Patrick Baker to 39½ years in prison for killing a man during a drug transaction.  Governor M. Bevin pardoned him in 2019 for the same crime.  The lone sibling of Baker’s victim, Donald Mills, told a reporter she had hoped for a longer sentence, but “I’ll take this.”