Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
April 3, 1755 – Simon Kenton


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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –

Simon Kenton, pioneer settler, was born April 3, 1755, in Fauquier County, Virginia, the son of Mark and Mary (Miller) Kenton. Kenton refused to attend school and remained illiterate all his life, learning only to sign his name. At age sixteen, he fought with William Leachman over a girl. He knocked Leachman unconscious and, believing he had killed him, ran away from home. Kenton assumed the name Simon Butler and worked his way to Pittsburgh, where he met adventurers who persuaded him to travel down the Ohio River in search of "cane-lands." After several attempts, he and Thomas Williams entered Limestone Creek (now the site of Maysville) in the spring of 1775 and went into the interior. There they found tall cane, cleared it, made a rough camp, and planted some corn, probably the first cultivated by white men north of the Kentucky River . Kenton and Williams are considered the first permanent settlers of Mason County. In the autumn, Kenton moved to Boonesborough.

For the next few years, Kenton traveled through Kentucky meeting fellow pioneers, including Daniel Boone , Robert Patterson, and George Rogers Clark. In 1777 Clark appointed him spy for defense of the frontier. Kenton is credited with saving the life of Boone during an Indian attack at Boonesborough. In 1784 he built a station on Lawrence Creek in Mason County to which he welcomed incoming settlers. His first guests included the widow Dowden and her four daughters, one of whom, Martha, became his bride on February 15, 1787. They were the first to be married at his station. Four children were born prior to December 1796. As Kenton's family grew, he built a brick house for them near his station. He operated a store in Washington, near Maysville, and hired Israel Donalson, teacher, to keep his books. The new house caught fire, and Martha, who was pregnant with their fifth child, was burned and died of shock. Within fifteen months, Kenton married Elizabeth Jarboe, Martha's first cousin. They had five children. In 1798 he moved to Ohio, where he spent his later years, often in poverty but still a traveler. He made four trips to Missouri, where he bought more land, visited Boone, and considered relocating in the new state.
Kenton managed his finances poorly, lost large acreages of land, and while on a visit to Washington, Kentucky, in 1820, was imprisoned for debt. As he was a popular figure, the jailer, Thomas Williams, allowed him considerable freedom, and the citizenry were incensed by his incarceration. Kenton was released from prison on December 17, 1821, after the Kentucky legislature repealed the Debtor's Law. Kenton died on April 29, 1836, near Zanesville, Ohio, and was buried there. In 1865 his remains were moved to Urbana, Ohio. In 1840 the Kentucky legislature created a new county out of the western half of Campbell County and named it in Kenton's honor.

JEAN W. CALVERT, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Simon Kenton, Kentucky scout, by Thomas D. Clark, illustrated by Edward Shenton.
F517 .K35, Young Library - 4th Floor

The frontiersmen : a narrative / by Allan W. Eckert.
F517 .K362, Young Library - 4th Floor

The violent years : Simon Kenton and the Ohio-Kentucky frontier / by Patricia Jahns.
F517 .K367, Special Collections Library - Reading Room

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
March 4, 1915 - Rude Osolnik

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From -

Osolnik was widely admired as one of the finest wood turners in America and his workshops and seminars were in demand around the world. The Queen of England was presented one of his bowls by the US Government. His bowls and signature candlesticks are collector's items and his pieces are in the permanent collections of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Atlanta's High Museum and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, The Yale Museum, The Speed Museum, The Kentucky History Museum, The Mayo Clinic, The Connell Gallery and many other fine institutions. In 1992, he was presented the Milner Award, the Governor's Governor's Award for Lifetime Achievement by then Governor Brereton Jones. He is honored by the Commonwealth of Kentucky which presents the Osolnik Award each year to a selected Kentucky artist. Osolnik was born on March 4, 1915 in Dawson, NM, the son of Slovenian immigrants. The family settled in Johnston City, Illinois where Rude learned wood turning in high school. He attended Bradley University in Peoria, IL and received both a BA and MA. In 1937 he accepted a teaching position at Berea College in the Industrial Arts Department. He later became Chairman of the Industrial Arts Department and for awhile ran the Woodcraft Department. He was also the Fire Chief of Berea in the fifties. He taught thousands of students over the course of 40 years at the college. Except for his service in the US Navy in the Pacific during WWII, he lived and worked the rest of his life in Berea. In 1938, he married Berea graduate, Daphne Francis of Carr Creek, KY, who was his partner in Osolnik Originals until her death in 1988. In the 60's and 70's, Osolnik was a leader of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild and helped found the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen having served both as President. He was one of the architects of The Kentucky Guild Train that first started promoting Kentucky crafts. In 1982, he started the ongoing Berea Crafts Festival. Rude Osolnik died at his home on Poverty Ridge, in Berea on November 18, 2001. He was 86.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Rude Osolnik, a life turning wood / text by Jane Kessler and Dick Burrows ; principal color photography by Chipp Jamison.
NK9698.O83 R830 1997, Special Collections Library

Rude Osolnik: by nature defined.
American Craft, February/March 1990, Vol. 50, p54- 56; 3p,1990, 3p.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
February 16, 1910 – Morgan and Marvin Smith

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From The Notable Kentucky African Americans Database

Born in Nicholasville, KY, the sons of Allena Hutchinson Smith and Charles Smith. The Smith twins were photographers who left Kentucky and settled in Harlem, NY. The memorable photo of Robert Day playing Hi-Li was taken by Morgan Smith. Marvin later took up abstract painting and Morgan became interested in film. The resonant life in Harlem was captured on film and in photographs with events and images such as the first African American policeman. Morgan Smith died in 1993 and Marvin Smith died in 2003. For more see The Photography Encyclopedia, by G. S. McDarrah, et al.; M & M Smith: for posterity's sake, by H. Lyons, et al; Morgan and Marvin Smith, from North By South: The African American Great Migration; and Harlem: the vision of Morgan and Marvin Smith, by M. and M. Smith.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

M & M Smith [videorecording] : for posterity's sake / producer & director, Heather Lyons ; writer, Nikky Finney ; Little City Productions.
AV-V4001, Young Media Library

Harlem : the vision of Morgan and Marvin Smith / foreword by Gordon Parks, Sr. ; introductions by James A. Miller.
F128.H3 S65 1997, Fine Arts Library – Oversize

Images of Harlem, 1935-1952 : a brief biography of Marvin and Morgan Smith / [essays and checklist entries by Melissa Rachleff].
TR140 .S625 I45 1993, Fine Arts Library

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
February 14, 1926 – Moneta Sleet

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Born in Owensboro, KY, Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. was the first African American to win a Pulitzer Prize in photography; he was given the award for a photo of Mrs. Martin L. King and her daughter, Bernice, at Dr. King's funeral. A photographer for Ebony Magazine, he covered African nations gaining independence. He also co-authored Special Moments in African American History: 1955-1996. Sleet was the son of Moneta Sr. and Ozetta L. Allensworth Sleet. For more see Notable Black American Men, by J. C. Smith; and Who's Who of Pulitzer Prize Winners, by E. A. Brennan and E. C. Clarage. See also the Sleettown entry.
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Special moments in African-American history, 1955-1996 : the photographs of Moneta Sleet, Jr., Ebony magazine's Pulitzer Prize winner / compiled and edited by Doris E. Saunders ; with introduction by Gordon Parks, Sr. and afterword by Lerone Bennett, Jr.
E185.615 .S5735 1998, Young Library - Oversize Books (5th floor) 
Techniques of the Masters: Jane Evelyn Atwood/Co Rentmeester/Monete Sleet
AV-V3701, Young Media Library
Who's who of Pulitzer Prize winners / Elizabeth A. Brennan and Elizabeth C. Clarage ; foreword by Seymour Topping.
AS911.P8 B74 1999, Young Library - Reference

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
February 14, 1947 - Edward Norton Hamilton

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Ed Hamilton, who was born in Ohio and grew up in Louisville, KY, has created a number of sculptures throughout the United States, including the Booker T. Washington Memorial at HamptonUniversity, the Amistad Memorial in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Spirit of Freedom:African American Civil War Memorial in Washington D.C. A nationally recognized sculptor, he is the author of The Birth of an Artist: a journey of discovery. Hamilton, a graduate of Shawnee High School in Louisville, 1965, and the Louisville School of Art, 1969. He also attended the University of Louisville and Spalding College [now Spalding University]. He has received Honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. For more see the Edward Hamilton website; and the Ed Hamilton interview [#209], "Connections withRenee Shaw," 02/03/2007, at KET (Kentucky Educational Television).
See photo image of Ed Hamilton at Great Black Kentuckians, a Kentucky Commission on Human Rights website.
Artists, Fine Arts, Authors, Sculptors

Geographic Region: Ohio / Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
The birth of an artist : a journey of discovery / Ed Hamilton.
NB237.H239 A2 2006, Fine Arts Library
Ed Hamilton, from the other side / [written by Julien Robson].
NB212 .R63 2002, Fine Arts Library

Friday, January 31, 2014

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
January 31, 1915 - Thomas Merton

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and writer, was born in Prades, France, on January 31, 1915. He was the son of Owen Heathcoate Grierson Merton, a painter born in New Zealand, and Ruth Calvert (Jenkins) Merton, an artist-designer born in the United States. After his mother's death when he was six, Merton spent his childhood in several places, sometimes in the company of his father, sometimes with his maternal grandparents on Long Island, and sometimes with friends of his father. The younger Merton was exposed early to a literary and artistic milieu best described as bohemian. He received his elementary education in the United States, Bermuda, France, and England, where he graduated from Oakham School in 1933. He attended Clare College, Cambridge University (1933-34), then returned to the United States. He attended Columbia University, receiving a B.A. in 1937 and an M.A. in English in 1938.
By that time, with both his grandparents dead, his "journey" (as he often described his life) led him from conventionality to the margins of society. Merton dabbled with communism and the peace movement and apparently followed a bohemian lifestyle, perhaps because his childhood had left him comfortable only with a way of life perceived as marginal (and questionable) by the rest of society. In the late 1930s, he and his friends stood in the vanguard of what was later dubbed the Beat movement. Merton converted to Roman Catholicism in 1938 and attempted to join the Franciscan order but was rejected. In 1939- 40, he taught English at Saint Bonaventure University in Olean, New York. On December 10, 1941, he joined the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) , and entered the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, south of Bardstown, Kentucky. The order followed a basically medieval lifestyle, based on prayer, silence, and work. Merton, known in religious life as Louis, was ordained a priest on May 26, 1949. He became a United States citizen in 1951. From 1951 to 1955, he was master of scholastics (students preparing for the priesthood), and from 1955 to 1965 he served as master of novices at Gethsemani.
Merton had written several novels, mostly autobiographical, before he entered Gethsemani. His search for himself and for God caused him to abandon these early aspirations for a time, although he continued to write poetry. His own inclinations and the requirements of his order, however, led him back to writing as part of his monastic vocation. His first published book was Thirty Poems (1944). His early work consisted, aside from his poetry, of short books on contemplation, pamphlets about the Trappist order, collections of notes on Cistercian saints, and two lengthier biographies of Cistercians ( Exile Ends in Glory and What are these Wounds?). In 1948 his autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain -- the story of his conversion and entrance into Gethsemani -- was an immediate best seller and brought him international recognition. Speaking from the margins of society, Merton touched a nerve in the postwar world. During the next twenty years, he produced a large number of books and articles. His major works after The Seven Storey Mountain included Seeds of Contemplation (1949), The Ascent to Truth (1951), The Sign of Jonas (1953), No Man is an Island (1955), Thoughts in Solitude (1958), Disputed Questions (1960), Seeds of Destruction (1964), Seasons of Celebration (1965), Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (1966), and Faith and Violence (1968). Since his death, more of his writings have been collected and edited, including Thomas Merton on Peace (1971), The Asian Journal (1973), The Collected Poems (1977), The Literary Essays (1981), The Hidden Ground of Love: Letters on Religious Experience and Social Concerns (1985), The Alaskan Journal (1988), and The Road to Joy: Letters to New and Old Friends (1989).
His concern for cultural integrity and social justice led Merton in the 1960s to write on such issues as ecumenism and religious renewal, racial conflict, genocide, nuclear armament, the Vietnam War , ecology, and the Third World. His writings on the non-Christian traditions of Taoism and Zen Buddhism helped to introduce them to American readers. He corresponded widely with scholars and leaders of Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and other religious traditions. In literature his translations of little-known Latin American poets helped to introduce Latin American literature to the United States. Merton was not a systematic writer or thinker, however, and he cannot be considered a theologian in the usual sense of the word.
In 1965 Merton was given permission to withdraw from the routine of community life and to live in solitude on the abbey grounds in a small concrete block cabin. In 1968 he made two extended trips to survey possible sites in New Mexico, Alaska, and California for a more isolated hermitage. After the second trip to California, he left on a pilgrimage to Asia, and in India he had an audience with the Dalai Lama, in exile at Dharamsala from the Communist Chinese government. After visiting Sri Lanka and Singapore, Merton attended a Buddhist-Christian conference on monasticism outside Bangkok, Thailand. He died in his quarters there on December 10, 1968, apparently having touched a fan with faulty wiring while still wet from bathing. He was buried at the Abbey of Gethsemani.
ROBERT E. DAGGY, Entry Author  
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Woods, shore, desert : a notebook, May 1968 / Thomas merton ; with photographs by the author ; foreword by Patrick Hart ; introduction and notes by Joel Weishaus.
B M558ws 1982, Spec Coll Library - Biography Collection
Asian journal of Thomas merton / Edited from his original
Notebooks by Naomi Burton, Patrick Hart & James Laughlin.  Consulting editor: Amiya Chakraverty.
BX2350.2 .M449 1973  Young Library -- Books - 3rd Floor
Thomas Merton collection, 1947-1968.
75M28, Special Collections Library - Manuscripts Collection

Other Sources:

The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

The Monks of the Abbey of Gethsemani

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Birth Dates of Famous Kentuckians
January 29, 1915 - Victor Mature 

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Victor Mature, actor, was born in Louisville, on January 29, 1915, to George and Clara (Ackley) Mature. He grew up in the Germantown neighborhood and attended Roman Catholic schools, including St. Xavier High School, before completing his education at the Kentucky Military Institute in Lyndon (1928- 31). Mature, who planned to open a business locally, attended the Spencerian Commercial College during 1933. He sold candy and operated a restaurant until 1935, when he headed for Hollywood, where he became a successful actor.
Mature was spotted by Hollywood talent scouts at the Pasadena Community Playhouse. Soon after, he made his debut in the film One Million B.C. (1941). He went on to star in over fifty films, including No, No, Nanette, The Robe, Samson and Delilah, and Chief Crazy Horse. Mature also performed on stage, most notably in the play Lady in the Dark (1941). He often played the role of the tough leading man. Some of Mature's films had world premieres in the Louisville Palace Theatre, and he returned to Louisville to visit old friends and relatives. Mature has appeared at a variety of charity events in Louisville, especially the Foster Brooks Pro-Am Golf Tournament for Kosair children's hospital.
Divorce ended Mature's first four marriages, to Frances Charles (1938- 41), Martha Stephenson Kemp (1941-43), Dorothy Stanford (1948-55), and Adrienne Joy Urwick (1959-69). Mature married Lorey Sabina in 1972; they have a daughter, Victoria.  
Selected Sources from UK Libraries: 
The Robe [videorecording]/ Twentieth Century-Fox ; produced by Frank Ross ; directed by Henry Koster ; screenplay by Albert Maltz and Philip Dunne ; adaptation by Gina Kaus ; from the novel by Lloyd C. Douglas.
AV-D3045A ,  Young Media Library

Demetrius and the gladiators [videorecording] / Twentieth Century-Fox ; written by Philip Dunne ; produced by Frank Ross ; directed by Delmer Daves.
AV-D3059, Young Media Library
My Darling Clementine [videorecording] ; Frontier marshal / Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Darryl F. Zanuck presents ; produced by Samuel G. Engel ; screenplay by Samuel G. Engel and Winston Miller ; directed by John Ford.
AV-D7601,  Young Media Library