A Kentucky native with an important link to the Civil War era is being honored Saturday in Breckinridge County.
Joseph Holt served as Secretary of War in 1860 under President James Buchanan, and was named the country’s first Judge Advocate General by President Lincoln in 1862. Following Lincoln’s assassination, Holt served as the presiding judge in the trial of those accused of the murder.
Susan Dyer is president of the Friends of the Holt Home, which coordinates events at the house where Holt lived in Hardinsburg. She says many Kentuckians have never heard of the man who helped get the country through one of its most trying times.
“He had a lot on his shoulders because people wanted results, and they wanted somebody to pay," Dyer told WKU Public Radio. "And not only did the assassinate Lincoln, but it came close to wiping out Lincoln’s cabinet.”
The fifth annual Holt Home Community Day is being held Saturday in Hardinsburg, from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. Guest speakers include Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph Minton, and two Judge Advocate General officials.
When President Obama delivers his State of the Union address Tuesday night, a former Kentucky student will be sitting in the audience. Breckinridge County native Brad Henning will be a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama.
The State of the Union speech will emphasize the importance of training workers with skills that lead directly to good jobs in industries such as advanced manufacturing, clean energy, and information technology. The president is expected to recognize Henning, who as a journeyman machinist.
The 23-year-old’s career started as a student at Breckinridge County High School when a teacher got him interested in taking a machining class at the Breckinridge Area Technology Center. By his senior year, Henning worked as a co-op student with Atlas Manufacturing of Louisville, and by graduation, he was offered a full-time job.