This Day in History — January 30

On January 30th, 1900, Kentucky Governor William Goebel was mortally wounded by an assassin the day before being sworn into office. The recent election results were being hotly contested, and despite being warned of a rumored assassination plot against him, Goebel walked with two bodyguards to the Old State Capitol on the morning of January 30th. The reports of what happened next are conflicting, but several shots were fired from the nearby State Building, one striking Goebel in the chest, seriously wounding him.

The following day, the dying man was sworn in as governor, and despite having 18 physicians attending him, Goebel died in the afternoon of February 3rd. Journalists sympathetic to his cause reported his last words as being, “Tell my friends to be brave, fearless, and loyal to the common people.” However, skeptics uncovered another story from people who were at Goebel’s side when he died – on having eaten his last meal, the governor reportedly remarked, “Doc, that was a damned bad oyster.”

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