Thursday, September 1, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: September 1, 1913 - Woody Stephens

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia –
(Accessed August 26, 2016)
Woody Stephens (September 1, 1913 – August 22, 1998) was an American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame trainer.
Born Woodford Cefis Stephens in Stanton, Kentucky, he had a younger brother named William Ward Stephens who also became a successful trainer. Woody Stephens started in racing as a jockey at age 16 but within a few years switched to training horses. After working as an assistant for several years, in the late 1930s he started training on his own, taking on horses from various owners. Near the end of the 1950s, he was hired by the wealthy Harry Guggenheim as head trainer for his Cain Hoy Stable. The move proved very successful, with Stephens training several champions and winning a number of major stakes races, including the Kentucky Oaks three times. He remained with the Guggenheim operation for ten years before returning to run his own stable again in 1966.
In a career that spanned seven decades, Stephens trained eleven Eclipse Award winners, and his horses won over a hundred Grade 1 stakes races. Among his most notable horses was Henryk de Kwiatkowski's colt Conquistador Cielo, the winner of the 1982 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. Although Stephens trained horses that won the Kentucky Oaks for fillies five times, plus the Kentucky Derby twice and the Preakness Stakes once, he is most remembered for winning an unprecedented five straight Belmont Stakes between 1982 and 1986.
Stephens was elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1976. In 1983, he won the Eclipse Award as the top trainer in the United States. Although he often wore rumpled clothes, his earnings from racing plus investments in successful breeding stock made him a very wealthy man.
Personal life, death
Stephens died in 1998 in Miami Lakes, Florida, from complications of chronic emphysema 10 days shy of his 85th birthday.
U.S. Triple Crown race winners

  • Kentucky Derby:
    • 1974  : Cannonade
    • 1984  : Swale
  • Preakness Stakes:
    • 1952  : Blue Man
  • Belmont Stakes:
    • 1982  : Conquistador Cielo
    • 1983  : Caveat
    • 1984  : Swale
    • 1985  : Creme Fraiche
    • 1986  : Danzig Connection  
  • Woody Stephens autobiography Guess I'm Lucky! My Life in Horseracing (1985) Doubleday ISBN 0-385-19568-0
  • Woodford Stephens at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame
Selected Source from UK Libraries: 
Stephens, Woody., and James Brough. Guess I'm Lucky. New York, N.Y.: Penguin, 1987. Print. 
Special Collections Research Center Closed Stacks - Ask at desk on 2nd Floor for assistance SF336.S73 A34 1987 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: February 18, 1914 - Pee Wee King

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Songwriter and musician Pee Wee King, the son of John and Helen (Mielczarek) Kuczynski, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on February 18, 1914. He joined the " Badger State Barn Dance" on Milwaukee's WJRN radio in 1933. The next year he was discovered by J.L. Frank and went to Louisville with a group called the Log Cabin Boys. In 1936 he went to WNOX in Knoxville and in 1937 to Nashville and the " Grand Ole Opry," where he stayed ten years. In 1942 he and his Golden West Cowboys were featured on the " Camel Caravan," which presented 175 shows in sixty-eight service-related establishments. In 1947 he returned to Louisville to appear on WAVE and other radio/television stations. He appeared in dozens of movies. The song Tennessee Waltz, which King wrote in collaboration with Redd Stewart, is country music's most- recorded (500 times), most-sold (70 million records) song of all time. Patti Page's version was one of the biggest hits in modern popular music history. King is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Nashville Songwriters Association Hall of Fame. In 1936 he married Lydia Frank.

CHARLES F. FABER, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Hall, Wade, and University Press of Kentucky. Hell-bent for Music : The Life of Pee Wee King. Lexington, KY: U of Kentucky, 1996. Web.
ML422 .K57 H35 1996, Fine Arts Library

Flatt, Lester., Earl. Scruggs, Pee Wee King, Redd. Stewart, Jimmy. Simpson, Jimmie Skinner, Joe Lulu Belle & Scotty., Rose Lee. Maphis, Hylo. Brown, Leon. Hobson, Lyle. Collins, Maphis, Joe, and Willis Brothers. Doin' My Time. Madison, Tenn.]: Starday, 1964.
LP7340, Fine Arts - Media Center

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable 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 Hampton University, 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 with Renee 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:

Hamilton, Ed. The Birth of an Artist : A Journey of Discovery. Louisville, Ky.: Chicago Spectrum, 2006. Print.
NB237.H239 A2 2006, Fine Arts Library

Robson, Julien., and J.B. Speed Art Museum. Ed Hamilton, from the Other Side. Louisville, Ky.: Speed Art Museum, 2002. Print.NB212 .R63 2002, Fine Arts Library

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: February 9, 1849 - Laura Clay

Image from National Women's History Museum

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
One of the controversial figures in the national women's rights movement, Laura Clay was born at White Hall, her family's estate near Richmond, Kentucky, on February 9, 1849. Her parents were Cassius M. Clay , the noted antislavery activist, and Mary Jane (Warfield) Clay, both of prominent Bluegrass families. Laura Clay was educated at Lexington's Sayre School, where she graduated in 1865. She then spent a year at Miss Hoffman's finishing school in New York City and later studied at the universities of Michigan and Kentucky for short periods. She supported herself and financed her long public career with her income as a "practical farmer," managing a three-hundred-acre farm in Madison County, which she leased from her father in 1873 and owned after his death in 1903.

Clay's commitment to women's rights arose from her parents' bitter separation in 1869 and divorce in 1878, when she became aware that the property and legal rights of Kentucky women, especially those married, were woefully unprotected. After considering careers in teaching, law, and the missionary field, Clay decided to devote her life to the woman's movement. In 1888 she took the leading role in organizing the Kentucky Equal Rights Association (KERA) , which she served as president until 1912. Although the growth of the association was slow, its lobbying in Frankfort by the mid-1890s had won a number of legislative and educational victories, including protection of married women's property and wages, a requirement for women physicians in state female insane asylums, and the admission of women to a number of male colleges.

 As an officer in both the Women's Christian Temperance Union and the Kentucky Federation of Women's Clubs , Clay persuaded the groups to join the KERA in advocating additional benefits for women and children at the turn of the century. Their efforts secured legislation that provided for a women's dormitory at the University of Kentucky , established juvenile courts and detention homes, and raised the age of consent from twelve to sixteen years. Clay and other women activists saw the vote as the capstone of their movement. With the state legislature's grant of school suffrage in 1912, they won a partial victory.

 During the 1890s, Clay became the best-known southern suffragist and the South's leading voice in the councils of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Her efforts were largely responsible for the establishment of suffrage societies in nine of the former Confederate states. Clay addressed constitutional conventions in Mississippi and Louisiana and managed an unsuccessful NAWSA effort to add women's suffrage to the South Carolina constitution of 1895. In 1896 Clay was elected auditor of the NAWSA, a post she held for fifteen years. She maintained a position of moderation and conciliation on the NAWSA official board in matters of both race and personality clashes. As an unpaid NAWSA field worker, she also directed suffrage campaigns in Oregon, Oklahoma, and Arizona. While chair of the association's membership committee, she introduced recruiting innovations that almost tripled the number of members, from 17,000 in 1905 to 45,501 in 1907. In 1911 Clay lost her bid for reelection as auditor, following a dispute between the southern and western suffragists and those from the East over administrative and organizational matters. Contrary to some accounts, neither the race question nor the issue of the federal amendment versus the state route to enfranchisement figured in this dispute. Despite her removal from the official board of the NAWSA, Clay for a number of years chaired association committees, contributed to fund drives, and worked in state suffrage campaigns.

In 1916 Clay was elected vice-president-at-large of a new organization, the Southern States Woman Suffrage Association, founded to win the vote through state enactment. Clay saw this organization as an auxiliary, not a rival, of the NAWSA, whose activities she continued to support. It was not until 1919, when the U.S. Congress enacted the Nineteenth Amendment, that Clay withdrew from the NAWSA, turned her energies to securing a state suffrage bill in Kentucky, and began openly to oppose the federal bill. She based her opposition to it on states' rights, asserting that the Nineteenth Amendment was a vast and unneeded extension of federal power. A product of her time, Clay was a believer in Anglo-Saxon superiority but was paternalistic, rather than Negrophobic, in her attitudes.

 After the ratification of the suffrage amendment, Clay continued to work for women's rights and the involvement of women in civic life. She helped organize the Democratic Women's Club of Kentucky, served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1920, and ran unsuccessfully for the state Senate in 1923. A firm believer in women's church rights, she was instrumental in winning vestry and synod eligibility for women in the Lexington diocese of the Episcopal church. In the 1928 presidential campaign, she made a number of speeches for the Democratic nominee, Alfred E. Smith, and vigorously condemned national prohibition. When Kentucky voted for the repeal of prohibition in 1933, Clay served as a member and temporary chair of the ratifying convention in Frankfort. Clay died on June 29, 1941, and was buried in the Lexington Cemetery .

PAUL E. FULLER, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Totenberg, Nina., Heather. Lyons, Chris. Blair, and Little City Media Workshop. Laura Clay, Voice of Change a Documentary Film. Lexington, Ky.: Little City Media Workshop, 1992.
SC-V4082, Young Media Library
Goodman, Clavia. Bitter Harvest; Laura Clay's Suffrage Work. Lexington [Ky.: Bur, 1946. Print. Kentucky Monographs. 3.
B C5784g, Special Collections Research Center - Biography Collection 

Clay, Laura. Laura Clay Papers, 1882-1941, 1906-1920 (bulk Dates) (1882). Print.
PA46M4, Special Collections Research Center

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: January 19, 1939 - Phil Everly

phil everly   Image from
From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
The pop singers known as the Everly Brothers were born in Brownie, Kentucky -- Donald Isaac on February 1, 1937, and Phil on January 19, 1939, the sons of country musicians Ike and Margaret (Embry) Everly. They made their radio debut as preteens on radio station KMA, Shenandoah, Iowa, working with their parents until they graduated from high school. In 1957 they joined the "Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville. The Everly Brothers sang close harmony in the style of Karl and Harty , but achieved their biggest hits with rockabilly numbers written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant. Their records reached No. 1 on both country and pop charts. The brothers split up in 1973, but reunited ten years later.

CHARLES F. FABER, Entry Author

Slected Sources from UK Libraries:

Whitburn, J. (1993). Billboard top rock 'n' roll hits, 1957-1961. Los Angeles, CA: Rhino.
CD3548, Fine Arts Media Center

Classic country early 60's. (1999). Richmond, VA: Time-Life Music.
CD7330, Fine Arts Media Center

Classic country golden 50's. (1999). Richmond, VA: Time-Life Music.
CD7328, Fine Arts Media Center

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: January 17, 1942 - Muhammad Ali

 File:Muhammad Ali NYWTS.jpg  Image from Wikimedia Commons

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, Ali's World Champion for time number three": So said Muhammad Ali, probably the quickest heavyweight boxer who ever fought, at the same time bringing style and showmanship to the ring. Ali held the World Heavyweight Championship during 1964-67, 1974-78, and 1978- 79.

Cassius Marcellus Clay -- as Ali was known before he joined the Nation of Islam in 1964 -- was born on January 17, 1942, in Louisville, to Marcellus and Odessa (Grady) Clay. The Clay family lived at 3302 Grand Avenue in the West End of Louisville. Ali took up boxing at age twelve. His first trainer was Joe Martin at Columbia Gym, who paid Ali four dollars each time one of his fights appeared on a local television program, " Tomorrow's Champions." Ali then switched to trainer Fred Stoner, joining Stoner's camp at the Grace Community Center. He attended Central High School in Louisville, where his studies suffered because of his intense involvement with boxing.

Ali won six Golden Gloves tournaments in Kentucky in weight classes from light to welter to heavy; the total number of his amateur fights is unknown. In 1959 and again in 1960 he won the Light Heavyweight National Golden Gloves and National AAU tournaments. As AAU champion he was invited to the Olympic trials, and became the light heavyweight entry for the United States. He defeated "Ziggy" Pietrzykowski of Poland for the gold medal in 1960.

On October 29, 1960, Ali made his first professional appearance, winning over Tunney Hunsaker by a decision. Needing money to repair his parents' home, he had signed for the fight himself. Ali then contracted to be managed by a group of Louisville millionaires led by William Faversham and remained with them until 1967. His promoters had scheduled training with fighter Archie Moore, but Ali quickly left and hired Angelo Dundee to manage and train him as a professional. Ali worked his way up the ranks, and on February 25, 1964, he scored a seventh-round knockout against Sonny Liston to win the world heavyweight championship.

After a swing through Europe, where he defeated all contenders, Ali received an army induction notice. Although Ali was offered both a commission and a support services assignment, he refused induction for religious reasons. He was sentenced to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The World Boxing Association then stripped him of his title on April 28, 1967, and awarded it to "Smokin"' Joe Frazier, the beginning of a bitter feud between the two fighters. Although Ali did not serve jail time, he was barred from boxing, his livelihood.

During his three-year exile from the ring, Ali toured colleges and universities making speeches about civil rights. On June 20, 1970, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in his favor in the army induction case, and Atlanta gave him his first boxing license, which effectively ended the exile. In his first return bout, held amidst protest on October 26, 1970, Ali knocked Jerry Quarry out in three rounds. The feud with Frazier festered, and the first Ali- Frazier bout was scheduled -- Ali's first million-dollar purse and his chance to win back the world heavyweight title. The fight, outstanding in boxing history, was held in New York City on March 8, 1971. Frazier won the fifteen- round decision and retained the championship. Ali suffered his second loss, as well as a broken jaw, at the hands of Ken Norton on March 31, 1973.

Ali met George Foreman, then the champion, on October 30, 1974. This fight, called the "Rumble in the Jungle," took place in Kinshasa, Zaire, and featured a $5 million purse for each man. Ali changed from his famous shuffle, dance, and rope-a-dope style, and stood toe-to-toe with the hard-punching Foreman. The result was a worn-down Foreman whom Ali knocked out in the eighth round to reclaim the championship. The hard-driven Frazier, however, was still there to challenge for the title. Perhaps the greatest heavyweight fight in history was the "Thrilla in Manila" between Ali and Frazier on September 30, 1975. The fight was an action-packed brawl that finally ended when Frazier could not answer the bell for the fifteenth round. Ali lost the title on February 15, 1978, by decision to Leon Spinks, then regained it from him on September 15, 1978, by unanimous decision, becoming world heavyweight champion for the third time. Ali last fought on October 2, 1980, when he was knocked out by Larry Holmes in the eleventh round. The fights took their toll, as Ali developed Parkinson's syndrome.

Ali has been married four times, first to Sonji Rei. He then married Belinda Boyd (Kalilah Tolona) in April 1967; they had three daughters and a son. In June 1977, he married Veronica Porshe; in November 1986, Yolanda Williams. On occasion, Ali returns to Louisville to visit parents and friends. His autobiography, The Greatest (1975), was written with Richard Durham.

JOEL T. SATTERLY, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Bingham, H., & Amthor, D. (1993). Muhammed Ali : A thirty year journey. New York: Simon & Schuster.
GV1132.A44 B56 1993, Special Collections Research Center

Hauser, T. (1992). Muhammad Ali : His life and times (1st Touchstone ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.
GV1132.A44 H38 1991, Special Collections Research Center

Gorn, E. (1995). Muhammad Ali, the people's champ (Sport and society). Urbana: University of Illinois Press.
GV1132.A44 M85 1995, Young Library - 4th Floor

Bingham, H., & Wallace, M. (2000). Muhammad Ali's greatest fight : Cassius Clay vs. the United States of America. New York: M. Evans and.
GV1132.A44 B56 2000, Special Collections Research Center

Other Sources:

Monday, January 11, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: January 11, 1870 - Alice Hegan Rice

Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Alice Caldwell (Hegan) Rice, author, was born in Shelbyville, Kentucky , on January 11, 1870, to Samuel Watson and Sallie P. (Caldwell) Hegan. She attended a private school in Shelbyville and Miss Hampton's College in Louisville, where she began writing. During that time she wrote a parody of Reveries Of A Bachelor by Ik Marvel, which the Louisville Courier-journal published. She and several other women in Louisville organized an authors' club, where they discussed writing and read their works aloud.
At a time when reformers and settlement house workers were calling attention to the living conditions of the urban poor, Hegan began volunteer social work in a truck-farming area south of Oak Street and west of Sixth Street known as the Cabbage Patch. There she taught a boys' Sunday school class at a city mission of the First Christian Church. Inspired by a resident of the desperately poor area, Mary Bass, Hegan transformed her into the fictional Mrs. Wiggs, a widow with five children who lived in dire poverty and had many misfortunes, but who faced life with steadfastness, cheerfulness, and hope. Mrs. Wiggs took in washing and her children -- Jimmy, Billy, Asia, Australia, and Europena -- sold kindling to try to forestall the landlord from foreclosing on the family home.
In 1901 Hegan introduced her novel Mrs. Wiggs Of The Cabbage Patch to the authors' club. She submitted her manuscript to a publisher, and within six months of publication, 10,000 copies a month were being printed -- later 40,000 copies per month. The novel was a best-seller for two years. It was translated into French, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish, German, Japanese, and braille. Mrs. Wiggs was such an international success that Louisvillian Anne Crawford Flexner helped adapt the novel for a stage play presented at Macauley's Theatre in 1903. The Courier-journal proclaimed the play "a distinct success," and it ran for seven years in the United States and for two in England. Mrs. Wiggs also spawned four movies. The first two (1919 and 1926) were silent movies. The 1934 film, featuring W.C. Fields and Zasu Pitts, had its world premiere at the Rialto Theatre on Fourth Street in Louisville. It was proclaimed "the literary event of the season." A fourth film adaptation premiered in December 1942 at the Strand Theater in Louisville, and Louisville actress Fay Bainter won an Oscar for her portrayal of Mrs. Wiggs in this version.
On December 18, 1902, Hegan married Cale Young Rice , a poet, playwright, and philosopher from Louisville. Samuel McClure, publisher of Mcclure's Magazine, bought Cale Rice's first book soon after the wedding and invited the Rices to accompany him on a vacation trip to Europe. Alice Rice's novel Sandy (1905) was a fictional portrayal of McClure and his career. On the trip, she met and formed a friendship with social reformer and muckraker Ida Tarbell.
Alice Rice wrote twenty books, including several sequels to Mrs. Wiggs, most notably Lovey Mary (1903). Her personal favorite was Mr. Opp (1909), in which the title character to all outsiders appeared a failure, yet saw himself as a success in the world, one who refused to recognize defeat. Mrs. Wiggs's observation at the end of the novel expressed this kind of optimism: "Looks like ever'thing in the world comes right, if we jes' wait long enough!" Rice wrote in her autobiography The Inky Way (1940) That She Did Not Want To Record Life's Tragedy. Rather She Wanted Her Autobiography "to Follow, Through A Long life, the course of an inky way that happened to follow a flowery path." Her posthumously published work Happiness Road was described by the New York Herald Tribune as "an exercise in the discipline of happiness."
The Rices built a house in 1910 at 1444 St. James Court, where for thirty years she played the role of gracious hostess. Throughout her life, Rice was involved in philanthropic work. In 1910 Louise Marshall founded the Cabbage Patch Settlement on Sixth Street, a settlement house to reach out to the poor families in the urban neighborhood. Rice was a member of its first board. During World War I, she served as a hospital volunteer at Camp Zachary Taylor . She used that experience as a source for her 1921 novel Quin. Rice supported prohibition and served on the Kentucky State Committee of Law Enforcement.
During the 1920s, Rice collaborated with her husband on two books of short stories. In the 1930s the Rices suffered illness and financial reversals, and her works from that time were written under the burden of financial necessity: Mr. Pete & Co. (1933), a picaresque tale of the Louisville waterfront; Passionate Follies (1936), written with her husband; My Pillow Book (1937), a book of devotions and comments on life. In 1937 she received an honorary doctor of literature degree from the University of Louisville. Rice died on February 10, 1942, and was buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.
GAIL HENSON, Entry Author
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Rice, Alice Caldwell Hegan. Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch. New York: Published by the Century, 1901. Print.
F R36 1st ed., Special Collections Research Center - Fiction Collection

Boewe, Mary. Beyond the Cabbage Patch : The Literary World of Alice Hegan Rice. Louisville: Butler, 2010. Print.
PS3535.I2145 Z6 2010, Young Library - 5th Floor

Rice, Alice Caldwell Hegan. Alice Caldwell Hegan Rice Notebooks. Print.
50M32, Special Collections Research Center - Manuscripts Collection