Monday, October 31, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 31, 1921 – Otis A. Singletary

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Otis Arnold Singletary, Jr., historian and educator, was born October 31, 1921, in Gulfport, Mississippi, the son of Arnold and May Charlotte (Walker) Singletary. He was educated in the Gulfport public schools, at Millsaps College (B.A. 1947) in Jackson, Mississippi, and at Louisiana State University (M.A. 1949, Ph.D. 1954). He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during both World War II and the Korean War.

In 1954 Singletary joined the history department of the University of Texas, where he taught and served in a number of administrative capacities. In 1961 he accepted the position of chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During 1964-65, on leave from the university, he directed the Job Corps of the federal government's Office of Economic Opportunity. The following year he resigned from the university to become vice-president of the American Council on Education. In 1968 he left this post to become vice-chancellor for academic affairs of the University of Texas system. In 1969 he became president of the University of Kentucky.

Singletary assumed his presidential responsibilities during the turmoil kindled by the Vietnam War. His entire tenure was beset by ruinous inflation in the national economy, crippling stringency in the education budget, and unsettling vicissitudes in state politics. Yet he was able, through vision, purpose, and personality, to achieve impressive gains in both the physical and financial resources and the academic quality of the university. He retired from the presidency in 1987.

He was married on June 6, 1944, to Gloria Walton; they have three children: Bonnie, Scot, and Kendall Ann.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Birdwhistell, Terry L., and Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Otis A. Singletary Oral History Project. 1987.
Special Collections Library - Oral History Collection

Singletary, Otis A., and Kenneth K. Bailey. The South in American History. 2d ed. Washington: Service Center for Teachers of History, 1965. Print. Publication (Service Center for Teachers of History) ; No.3.
016.975 Si646s, Special Collections Library

Singletary, Otis A. Negro Militia and Reconstruction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1963. Print.
E668 .S59 1963, Special Collections Library

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Birth Dates of Notorious Kentuckians: October 30, 1945 - Drew Thornton

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From Wikipedia (Accessed October 26, 2016):
Andrew C. Thornton II (1945–1985) was a head member of "The Company", a drug smuggling ring in Kentucky. The son of Carter and Peggy Thornton of Threave Main Stud farm in southern Bourbon County, Kentucky. Thornton grew up living a privileged life in the Lexington, Kentucky area and attended the prestigious private Sayre School and the Iroquois Polo Club along with other Lexington blue bloods. He later transferred to Sewanee Military Academy and then joined the army as a paratrooper.[1] After quitting the army, he became a Lexington police officer[2] on the narcotics task force. He then attended the University of Kentucky Law School. During his tenure, he began smuggling.[3]

After resigning from the police in 1977, Thornton practiced law in Lexington.[1]

Four years later he was among 25 men accused in Fresno, California, in a theft of weapons from the China Lake Naval Weapons Center and of conspiring to smuggle 1,000 pounds of marijuana into the United States.[1] Thornton left California after pleading not guilty and was arrested as a fugitive in North Carolina, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a pistol.[1]
He pleaded no contest in Fresno to a misdemeanor drug charge and the felony charges were dropped.[1] He was sentenced to six months in prison, fined $500, placed on probation for five years, and had his law license suspended.[1]

On a smuggling run from Colombia, having dumped packages of cocaine off near Blairsville, Georgia, Thornton jumped from his auto-piloted Cessna 404.[4] In the September 11, 1985 jump, he was caught in his parachute and ended up in a free fall to the ground. His dead body was found in the back yard of Knoxville, Tennessee resident Fred Myers.[5] The plane crashed over 60 miles away in Hayesville, North Carolina.[6] At the time of his death Thornton was wearing night vision goggles, a bulletproof vest, Gucci loafers, and a green army duffel bag containing approximately 40 kilos (88 lbs.) of cocaine valued at $15 million, $4,500 in cash, two gold Krugerrands, knives, and two pistols. Three months later, a dead black bear was found in the Chattahoochee National Forest that had apparently overdosed on cocaine dropped by Thornton.[7]

The story of Thornton was examined in Dominick Dunne's Power, Privilege, and Justice and in Sally Denton's The Bluegrass Conspiracy.
[8] Robert L. Williams, Cowboys Caravan, looks into the death of his son David, and his skydiving relationship with Thornton. Thornton was also detailed in a Discovery Channel double-length episode of The FBI Files named "Dangerous Company" in 2003.

His death also served as the inspiration for the story arc of season four of FX Network's Justified. The beginning of episode one features a flashback to 1983 in which a male falls to his death, parachute still attached, with bricks of cocaine scattered around his body. The bag that had carried the cocaine becomes the focus of a mystery roughly 30 years later.

Known associates
  • Harold Brown, DEA agent
  • Bradley F. Bryant, childhood friend and partner in "The Company"
  • William Taulbee Canan, former Lexington police officer
  • Dan Chandler, son of Kentucky Governor Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr.
  • James Purdy Lambert, owner of Lexington's Library Lounge night club and friend and business associate of Governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
  • Henry S. Vance, staff member of Governor John Y. Brown, Jr.
  • Wallace McClure Kelly Also Known As "Mike Kelly" - associate in Lexington (now deceased)
  • David "Cowboy" Williams, skydiver, good friend, alleged smuggler, died in plane crash, two weeks after Thornton.
  • Rebecca Sharp, girlfriend and confidante of Andrew Thornton.
  • Derrick W.James,A/K/A "Rex", associate in Fort Lauderdale, Fl., arrested in December, 1982, for selling "lookout list" of the federal government. The "lookout list" consisted of three possible routes from South America to the United States: between Mexico and Cuba, between Cuba and Haiti, and between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The documents at issue were marked "UNCLASSIFIED." After a guilty plea, he received a 10-year sentence for selling unclassified information. He served just under two years. He owned a transport business, called Cargo Dominica, which he operated from the Hotel Susserou in Roseau, Dominica.
 1.Cocaine-Carrying Chutist Was Ex-Policeman, Lawyer, Los Angeles Times, September 12, 1985, retrieved August 5, 2012
3. DeMott, John S. (1985-10-12), "Cocaine's Skydiving Smugglers", Time: 2
4. AP (1988-02-08), "Woman to Go on Trial As Smuggler's Helper", The New York Times: 1
5. "American Notes Drugs", Time, 1985-09-23: 1
6. National Transportation Safety Board (1985-09-11). "NTSB Accident Report Identification: ATL85LA273". NTSB. Retrieved 2007-02-17.
7. "'Bluegrass Conspiracy' tale never gets old". kentucky. Retrieved 2016-03-22.
8. "Cocaine and a Dead Bear", The New York Times, 1985-12-23: 1
9. Sally Denton, The Bluegrass Conspiracy: An Inside Story of Power Greed, Drugs and Murder, revised edition, Avon, 1990; Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2001.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Denton, Sally. The Bluegrass Conspiracy : An inside Story of Power, Greed, and Murder. 1st Ed. in the United States of America.. ed. New York: Doubleday, 1990. Print.
HV5825 .D46 1990, Special Collections Research Center

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 30, 1881 – Elizabeth Madox Roberts


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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Born on October 30, 1881, in Perryville, Kentucky, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, novelist and poet, was the second of eight children of Mary Elizabeth (Brent) and Simpson R. Roberts, both school teachers and descendants of Kentucky pioneers. In 1884 the family moved to Springfield in Washington County, where Simpson Roberts opened a grocery store and worked as a surveyor and engineer. From her father Roberts learned Greek and Roman mythology and heard reminiscences of the Civil War (he served with the Confederate Army).

As Springfield had no public schools, Roberts studied at the private Covington Institute; in 1896 she went to Covington to live with relatives of her mother while attending high school there. In 1900 she entered the University of Kentucky , but ill health and lack of funds forced her to leave. For the next ten years she taught at the family home in Springfield and in new public schools in the area, becoming familiar with the rural inhabitants, their vernacular, and their customs. Troubled by respiratory ailments, she spent long periods at a brother's home in Colorado, where she published In The Great Steep's Garden (1915), a collection of poems illustrated with photos of flowers by Kenneth Hartley.

In 1917 Roberts entered the University of Chicago, where she studied with Robert Morss Lovett and Edith Rickert; belonged to the University Poetry Club; and became a friend of Glenway Wescott, Yvor Winters, Vincent Sheean, Janet L. Lewis, and other writers, and an acquaintance of Harriet Monroe, editor of Poetry. Roberts's poems appeared in Poetry, Atlantic Monthly, and other journals during her Chicago years. After graduating with honors in English in 1921, she returned to the family home in Springfield, where, never married, she spent most of her remaining life except for periodic stays with her sister in California and New York. Under The Tree, a collection of poems based on childhood memories, appeared in 1922; thereafter Roberts focused on writing fiction.

Roberts's first and finest novel, the time of man, was published in 1926 to international acclaim; it made Roberts, says William H. Slavick in introducing the reprint of 1982, "the first major novelist of the Southern renascence." Its psychological insights presage the work of Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, Katherine Anne Porter, and Eudora Welty. Roberts viewed the "wandering tenant farmer" as a symbol of the human odyssey; her central character is Ellen Chesser, daughter of one such man and wife of another. Ellen toils and suffers until she realizes herself, "flowering out of stone." Comparable in quality to this first work is The Great Meadow (1930), which portrays life on the Kentucky frontier during the years of the American Revolution.

Roberts's other works include My Heart And My Flesh (1927); Jingling In The Wind (1928); A Buried Treasure (1931); The Haunted Mirror (1932), a collection of short stories; he sent forth a raven (1935); black is my true love's hair (1938); and Not By Strange Gods (1941), short stories. Song In The Meadow (1940) is a collection of her later poetry.

In the 1930s Roberts lost her readership and fell into relative obscurity, although she was elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1940. Diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease in 1936, she suffered declining health and died in Orlando, Florida, on March 13, 1941, leaving an unfinished novel about the Louisville flood of 1937 and an unfinished epic poem about Daniel Boone . She was buried in Cemetery Hill in Springfield.

DAVID F. BURG, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Rovit, Earl H. Herald to Chaos. Lexington: U of Kentucky, 1960. Print.
PS3535.O172 Z8, Young Library - 5th Floor

Roberts, Elizabeth Madox, Clare Leighton, Robert Penn Warren, and William H. Slavick. The Time of Man : A Novel. Lexington, Ky.: U of Kentucky, 1982. Print.
PS3535.O172 T560 1926, Young Library - 5th Floor

Roberts, Elizabeth Madox. Black Is My Truelove's Hair. New York: Viking, 1938. Print. SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PA-23510-00) ; SOL MN09129.05 KUK.
PS3535.O172 B650 1938, Young Library - 5th Floor

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 30, 1850 - Robert Burns Wilson

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Robert Burns Wilson, artist and poet, was born to Thomas M. and Elizabeth Anne (McLean) Wilson on October 30, 1850, near Parker, Pennsylvania. An orphan at the age of ten, Wilson lived with his grandparents in Wheeling, West Virginia. In 1871 he moved to Pittsburgh, where he studied art and shared a studio with John W. Alexander. After a year, Wilson moved to Louisville, where his drawings included a crayon portrait of Henry Watterson , editor of the Courier-Journal. In 1875 Wilson moved to Frankfort, Kentucky, where local residents were the subjects of most of his portraits, in oil, crayon, and charcoal. He reserved watercolor for Kentucky landscapes, many depicting the Kentucky River and Elkhorn Creek, among them The Land of the Sky, The Cedars of Culmer's Hill, and The Quiet Fields. Several of his Kentucky landscapes were well-received at both the 1883 Louisville and 1884 New Orleans exhibitions.

One of Wilson's poems, " When Evening Cometh On," was published in Harper's Magazine in 1885. He published three books of poetry: Life and Love (1887), Chant of a Woodland Spirit (1894), and The Shadows of the Trees (1898). Wilson wrote " Remember the Maine" shortly after the sinking of the battleship U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor. The poem, set to music, brought instant acclaim to the author and became the U.S. battle song in the Spanish- American War.

Wilson married Anne Hendricks of Frankfort on March 4, 1901. They had one daughter, Elizabeth. The family moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1904, where Wilson believed his painting would have a wider audience. He died on March 31, 1916, in Brooklyn and was buried in the Frankfort Cemetery. 

J. Winston Coleman, Jr., Robert Burns Wilson: Kentucky Painter, Novelist and Poet (Lexington, Ky., 1956).

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Coleman, J. Winston. Robert Burns Wilson : Kentucky Painter, Novelist, and Poet. Lexington, Ky.: Winburn, 1956. Print.
ND237.W74 C6, Fine Arts Library - Closed Stacks

Smith, Joshua Soule. Joshua Soule Smith Papers, 1865-1903. (1865). Print.
52M1, Special Collections Archives

Fox, John. Fox Family Papers, 1852-1962, 1852-1920 (bulk Dates) (1852). Print.
64M122, Special Collections Archives


Saturday, October 29, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 29, 1912 – Joy Bale Boone

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Joy (Field) Bale Boone, poet, was born October 29, 1912, in Chicago to William Sydney and Edith (Overington) Field. She was educated at the Chicago Latin School and the Roycemore School for Girls in Evanston, Illinois. Boone has resided in Kentucky for more than half a century, principally in Elizabethtown (1937-75) and in Elkton. She was married to physician Shelby Garnett Bale from 1934 until his death in 1972; they were the parents of six children. In 1975 she married George Street Boone, an attorney, and moved to Elkton.

Boone began her literary career in Kentucky as a reviewer for the Louisville Courier-Journal in 1945. She edited two collections of Contemporary Kentucky Poets (1964, 1967). In 1964 she founded the literary magazine Approaches and served as its editor for eleven years. Since relinquishing the editorship to Wade Hall, she has served on the editorial board for the journal now known as Kentucky Poetry Review. Boone's long narrative poem The Storm's Eye: a Narrative in Verse Celebrating Cassius Marcellus Clay, Man of Freedom 1810-1903, was published in 1974 by the Kentucky Poetry Press, and was reprinted in the tenth anniversary issue of Approaches. Her Never Less Than Love was published in 1972. Individual poems have appeared in numerous poetry journals, and she is one of two Kentucky poets featured in the award-winning video Poetry: a Beginner's Guide, produced at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green .

For several years, Boone served as president of Friends of Kentucky Libraries . She has chaired the Robert Penn Warren Committee at Western Kentucky University since its inception in 1987. In 1990 she was appointed to the board of the Gaines Humanities Center at the University of Kentucky , and she chairs the endowment committee for the University Press of Kentucky. Boone's awards include the Distinguished Kentuckian Award from Kentucky Educational Television in 1974 and the Sullivan Award from the University of Kentucky in 1969.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Boone, Joy Bale. The Storm's Eye : A Narrative in Verse Celebrating Cassius Marcellus Clay, Man of Freedom, 1810-1903. Louisville: Kentucky Poetry, 1974. Print. Poets of Kentucky Ser. ; No. 7.
PS3552 .A452 S8, Young Library - 5th Floor

Boone, Joy Bale., and Friends of Kentucky Libraries. Contemporary Kentucky Poetry. Elizabethtown?: Friends of Kentucky Libraries, 1964. Print.
PS571.K4 C6 1964, Special Collections Research Center

Boone, Joy Bale. Even without Love : Poems. S.l.: S.n., 1992. Print.
PS3552.O644 E940 1992, Special Collections Research Center

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 29, 1923 – Georgia Davis Powers

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Georgia (Montgomery) Davis Powers, civil rights leader and state senator, was born October 29, 1923, in Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky. She was the only daughter of the nine children of Ben and Frances (Walker) Montgomery. In Louisville she attended Virginia Avenue Elementary School (1929-34), Madison Junior High School (1934-37), Central High School (1937- 40), and Louisville Municipal College (1940-42).

From 1962 to 1967 Powers (as she has been known since her second marriage) served as campaign chairperson for candidates running for a variety of offices, including mayor of Louisville, governor of Kentucky, and the U.S. Congress. She was Kentucky chairperson for the Jesse L. Jackson presidential campaigns in 1984 and 1988, and the first black woman to serve on the Jefferson County Democratic executive committee, beginning in 1964. Powers was one of the organizers of the Allied Organization for Civil Rights, which worked for passage of the statewide Public Accommodations and Fair Employment Law in 1964.

Powers was the first black woman to be elected to the Kentucky Senate, serving from January 1968 to January 1989 as a Democrat. As senator, she chaired two legislative committees: Health and Welfare (1970-76) and Labor and Industry (1978-88). Powers was also a member of the Cities Committee, Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee, and Rules Committee, as well as secretary of the Democratic caucus (1968-88). Throughout her Senate tenure, Powers championed blacks, women, children, the poor, and the handicapped. She sponsored or cosponsored an open housing law; a low-cost housing bill; a law to eliminate the identification of race from Kentucky operator's licenses; an amendment to the Kentucky Civil Rights Act to eliminate discrimination based on race, gender, or age; an equal opportunity law; the Equal Rights Amendment resolution; Displaced Homemaker's Law; and a law to increase the minimum wage in Kentucky.

Powers served on the University of Louisville board of overseers, the board of directors of the Kentucky Indiana Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA), and the governor's Desegregation of Higher Education Implementation Committee. In 1981 she helped lead the efforts to retain Kentucky State University as a four-year institution of higher learning, and in 1982-83 was a leader in the successful opposition in a referendum to merge Louisville and Jefferson County. In 1989 Powers received an honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Kentucky and an honorary doctorate of humane letters from the University of Louisville.

Powers was married to Norman F. Davis from 1943 to 1968; they have one son. She married James L. Powers in 1973.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Powers, Georgia Davis. I Shared the Dream : The Pride, Passion, and Politics of the First Black Woman Senator from Kentucky. Far Hills, N.J.: New Horizon, 1995. Print.
F456.26.P68 A3 1995, Young Library - 4th Floor

Powers, Georgia Davis. Celia's Land : A Historical Novel. Louisville, Ky.: Goose Creek Pub., 2004. Print.
PS3616.O884 C35 2004, Special Collections Research Center

Kentucky Historical Society, and Kentucky Oral History Commission. Living the Story the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky. Frankfort, KY]: Kentucky Historical Society, 2001.
AV-V3226, Young Media Library

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 22, 1783 – Constantine Samuel Rafinesque

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Constantine Samuel Rafinesque, naturalist and philologist, was born on October 22, 1783, in Galata, a suburb of Constantinople, to Francois G.A. and Madeleine (Schmaltz) Rafinesque. His father was a French merchant and his mother the daughter of a German merchant family long resident in the Levant. Rafinesque's family moved to France the year following his birth; during the turmoil of the French Revolution, the boy was sent to live with relatives in Tuscany. He was taught by tutors; his hopes of a university education in Switzerland were thwarted by the family's reduced income after his father died in Philadelphia in 1793, of yellow fever contracted during a commercial voyage to China.

At age nineteen Rafinesque became an apprentice in the mercantile house of the Clifford Brothers in Philadelphia. During the next two years, he roamed the woods and fields from Pennsylvania to Virginia, making plant and animal collections and developing a wide correspondence with fellow naturalists. He returned to Europe in 1805 and spent the next decade in Sicily, where he was secretary to the U.S. consul. He carried on a lucrative international trade in commodities while exploring the island for plants and identifying fishes in the Palermo market that were scientifically unrecorded. During this time his first scientific books were published.

Rafinesque fathered two children in Sicily but could not legally marry their mother, Josephine Vacarro, because he was a Protestant and she a Roman Catholic. On his return to the United States in 1815, he was shipwrecked on Long Island Sound, losing all his collections and unpublished manuscripts. He remained in America the rest of his life, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1832, and did not see his family again.

Assisted by friends, he lived in New York until 1818, when he set off on a collecting trip down the Ohio River as far as Shawneetown, Illinois. During the trip he began the first comprehensive survey of the river's fish population ( Ichthyologia Ohiensis, 1820). He stayed eight days with John James Audubon in Henderson, Kentucky, and on his return to Philadelphia passed through Lexington, where his former employer, the merchant John D. Clifford, had settled. Clifford, a trustee of Transylvania University , arranged for Rafinesque to become professor of botany and natural science there.

Rafinesque's years at Transylvania, 1819-26, though often troubled by quarrels with colleagues, were among his most productive. He published scientific names, both locally and in Europe, for thousands of plants and hundreds of animals. He became interested also in prehistoric Indian sites -- identifying 148 of them in Kentucky alone -- and in Indian languages, leading to his preservation of the Walam Olum, the epic of the migration of the Delaware Indians. At Transylvania he taught botany through the innovation of examining physical specimens and he tried, unsuccessfully, to found a botanical garden in conjunction with the university. When he returned to Philadelphia in the spring of 1826, he shipped ahead forty crates of specimens, which were the basis of his studies for the rest of his life.

Rafinesque's remaining years in Philadelphia were sustained by a variety of means. He traded in specimens and books; he gave public lectures; he organized a workingmen's bank; he invented and marketed a nostrum for tuberculosis. With the patronage of the wealthy Charles Wetherill, he issued an astonishing array of books -- not only natural history works but also philosophical poetry and a linguistic study of Hebrew -- although they found few buyers. By Rafinesque's own count, he published 220 "works, pamphlets, essays, and tracts," yet he left as great a bulk in manuscript, most of which was sold as junk after his death. Best known for remarkable fecundity in devising scientific names -- 6,700 in botany alone -- Rafinesque also had some insight into a number of theoretical issues in biology that became important later: the impermanence of species, the significance of fossils in dating sedimentary geological strata, and such ecological considerations as plant geography and plant succession.

Rafinesque died in Philadelphia in 1840, probably on September 19, and was buried in Ronaldson's Cemetery. Eighty-four years later, friends of Transylvania excavated the gravesite and reinterred at Transylvania the bones thought to be his. (Because of a misunderstanding about the succession of six burials that had taken place in the same Philadelphia gravesite over time, the stone at Transylvania that today bears the name Rafinesque in fact covers the remains of a woman named Mary Passimore.)


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Fitzpatrick, T. J. Rafinesque; a Sketch of His Life. Des Moines: Historical Department of Iowa, 1911. Print.
QH31.R13 F6, Special Collections Research Center - Rare Books

Meijer, Willem. The Contribution by Rafinesque to the Early Botanical Exploration of Kentucky. N.p., 1973. Print.
581.9769 R1247m, Special Collections Research Center

Warren, Leonard, and University Press of Kentucky. Constantine Samuel Rafinesque a Voice in the American Wilderness. Lexington, Ky.: U of Kentucky, 2004. Web.
QH31.R13 W37 2004, Young Library - 5th Floor

Friday, October 21, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 21, 1936 – Jim Wayne Miller

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From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Jim Wayne Miller, poet, was born October 21, 1936, in Leicester, North Carolina, son of James Woodrow and Edith (Smith) Miller. He attended Leicester public schools and graduated from Kentucky's Berea College in 1958 with a B.A. degree in English literature. He served two years as a German instructor at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and did graduate studies in German and English literature at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he was awarded a Ph.D. degree in 1965. Miller became a professor of German at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green , taught folklore and creative writing courses, and served as consultant to Appalachian studies programs in neighboring states. A major southern poet and fiction writer popular at poetry readings and workshops, he is known throughout Kentucky. Miller has been a featured poet on several television programs. His first collection of poems was Copperhead Cane (1964), followed by The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same (1971); Dialogue with a Dead Man (1974); The Mountains Have Come Closer (1980), winner of the Thomas Wolfe Award; and Vein of Words (1985). Miller's translations include The Figure of Fulfillment and The Salzach Sibyl by the Austrian poet Emil Lerperber. His work appears in the anthologies Contemporary Southern Poetry, A Geography of Poets, and Going Over to Your Place. His first novel, Newfound (1989), is set in Appalachia.

Miller married Mary Ellen Yates of Carter County , Kentucky, in 1958; they have three children: James, Frederic, and Ruth Ratcliff.

JOY BALE BOONE, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Lasater, Michael., Jim Wayne. Miller, and Western Kentucky University. Television Center. I Have a Place the Poetry of Jim Wayne Miller. Bowling Green, Ky.]: Western Kentucky U Television Center ; [distributed by Barr Films], 1985.
AV-V2251, Young Media Library

Miller, Jim Wayne. Copperhead Cane : Poems. 1st ed. Louisville, Ky.: Green River Writers/Grex, 1995. Print.
PS3563.I4127 C670 1995, Young Library - 5th Floor

Miller, Jim Wayne., and Rowan Mountain Press. Round and round with Kahlil Gibran. Blacksburg, Va.: Rowan Mountain, 1990. Print.
PS3563.I4127 R68 1990, Special Collections Research Center

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: Michael Dorris - January 30, 1945

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From Wikipedia (Accessed October 21, 2016): 

Michael Anthony Dorris (January 30, 1945[1] – April 10, 1997) was an American novelist and scholar who was the first Chair of the Native American Studies program at Dartmouth.[2][3] His works include the memoir, The Broken Cord (1989) and the novel, A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987). He was married to author Louise Erdrich and the two frequently collaborated in their writing. He committed suicide in 1997 while police were investigating allegations that he had abused his daughters. 

The Broken Cord, which won the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction, helped provoke Congress to approve legislation to warn of the dangers of drinking alcohol during pregnancy.[4] 

Michael Dorris was born in Louisville, Kentucky[1][5] to Jim and Mary Besy (Burkhardt) Dorris. His father died before Dorris was born (reportedly by suicide during WWII), and Dorris was raised as an only child by his mother, who became a secretary for the Democratic Party.[6] It has been reported that two maternal relatives also help raise him, either two aunts,[6] or an aunt and his maternal grandmother.[1] In his youth he spent summers with his father's relatives on reservations in Washington and Montana.[1] In an article published in New York magazine two months after Dorris's death, a reporter quoted the Modoc tribal historian as saying, "Dorris was probably the descendant of a white man named Dorris whom records show befriended the Modocs on the West Coast just before and after the Modoc War of 1873. Even so, there is no record of a Dorris having been enrolled as an Indian citizen on the Klamath rolls."[6] The Washington Post provides a contrary report of Dorris's descent: "Dorris' father's mother, who was white, became pregnant by her Indian boyfriend, but, the times being what they were, she could not marry him. She later married a white man named Dorris."[7] 

He received his BA (cum laude) in English and Classics from Georgetown University in 1967 and a Masters degree from Yale University in 1971 in anthropology, after beginning studies for a theater degree.[1] He did his field work in Alaska studying the effects of off shore drilling on the Native Alaskan communities.[5] In 1972, Dorris helped form Dartmouth College's Native American Studies department,[8] and was its first Chair.[4] 

In 1971, he became one of the first unmarried men in the United States to adopt a child.[8][9] His adopted son, a three-year-old Lakota boy named Reynold Abel, was eventually diagnosed with fetal alcohol syndrome. Dorris' struggle to understand and care for his son became the subject of his work The Broken Cord (in which he uses the pseudonym "Adam" for his son). Dorris adopted two more Native American children, Jeffrey Sava in 1974 and Madeline Hannah in 1976, both of whom also likely suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome.[10] In 1975, he wrote the text to accompany the photographs of Joseph C. Farber in the book Native Americans: Five Hundred Years After.[11] He was named a Guggenheim Fellow in 1977 for his work in Anthropology & Cultural Studies.[12] In 1980, he and his 3 adopted children left their home in Cornish, New Hampshire to spend a year's sabbatical in New Zealand.[5] 

After returning to the United States, in 1981 he married Louise Erdrich,[4] a writer of German-American, Métis and Anishinaabe descent, whom he had initially met ten years earlier while he was teaching at Dartmouth and she was a student.[6] During his sabbatical in New Zealand, Dorris and Erdrich had begun corresponding regularly by mail.[5] After their marriage, she adopted his three children and eventually gave birth to their three daughters: Persia Andromeda, Pallas Antigone, and Aza Marion.[4] Erdrich and Dorris contributed to each other's writing[4] and together wrote romance fiction under the pseudonym Milou North to supplement their income, with many of their works being published in the British magazine Woman[13] Erdrich dedicated her novels The Beet Queen (1986)[6] and Tracks[14] (1988) to Dorris. The family lived in Cornish, New Hampshire.[15] 

While teaching at Dartmouth, Dorris frequently mentored other students and was part of the successful effort to get rid of the college's Indian mascot.[5] In 1985, after the couple had received major grants, the family moved for a year to Northfield, Minnesota.[5]

Beginning in 1986, his son Sava was sent to boarding school and military school.[6] Madaline began going to boarding school when she was 12.[5] After the success of The Broken Cord in 1989, and an advance of $1.5 million for the outline of Crown of Columbus, Dorris quit teaching at Dartmouth to become a full-time writer.[5] In 1992, his oldest son Reynold Abel was hit by a car and killed.[16] Dorris, Erdrich and their three daughters moved to Kalispell, Montana, allegedly because of death threats that Sava had made towards them.[5] They later moved back to New Hampshire in 1993,[5] and then to the Piper Mansion in Minneapolis.[6] 

Sava sent a letter to the couple in 1994 threatening to "destroy their lives" and demanding money. Dorris and Erdrich took Sava to court for attempted felony theft. The first jury deadlocked, and the next year Sava was acquitted of the charges.[5] 

The couple separated, and Dorris went for treatment of alcohol abuse at Hazelden.[6] Dorris and Erdrich divorced in 1996,[17] Dorris considered himself "addicted to" Erdrich and fell into a depression.[17] 

Madeline[5] and two of his biological daughters made allegations of abuse against him.[4] Dorris made a failed suicide attempt in March 1997.[17] On April 10, 1997, Dorris used a combination of suffocation, drugs, and alcohol to commit suicide in the Brick Tower Motor Inn in Concord, New Hampshire. In conversations with friends, Dorris maintained his innocence and his lack of faith that the legal system would exonerate him without him "demolishing" his wife and children in a "vicious" court trial.[17] With his death, the criminal investigations into the sexual abuse allegations were closed.[18] 

Dorris is the author, co-author, or editor of a dozen books in the areas of fiction, memoir and essays and non-fiction.

His Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987) has been named among the "finest literary debuts of the late 20th century."[8] It tells the story of three generations of women in a non-linear fashion from multiple perspectives, a technique that Dorris would frequently use in his later writings as well.[17] 

His memoir The Broken Cord is credited with bringing "international attention to the problem of fetal alcohol syndrome".[9] The book won a number of awards including the Christopher Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for General non-fiction.[19] The book is credited with inspiring Congressional legislation on FAS,[17] and was the basis for a made-for TV film,[17] with Jimmy Smits playing Dorris.[6] In an essay originally published in the Wicazo Sa Review, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn criticizes Dorris and Erdrich (who had written the Foreword), claiming that they are calling for the jailing alcoholic Native mothers during their pregnancies to forestall fetal alcohol syndrome.[20] 

When he and Erdrich co-wrote The Crown of Columbus (the only fiction that they officially share credit, although they frequently stated that they collaborated on many of each other's works), each would individually produce a preliminary draft of each section.[21] Within the novel, various characters are writing collaborators, and the work has been identified as an autobiographical representation of creative "pleasure and problems" Dorris and Erdrich shared.[22] 

His 1997 Cloud Chamber continued the story of the families introduced in Yellow Raft in Blue Water; telling "the hard story of hard people living difficult lives with much courage" (LA Times Book Review) and is written with "evocative prose" (Publishers Weekly).[23]

Dorris published three works for young adults during his life, and The Window was published after his death. Like his other work, the novels explored issues of identity, as well as sibling rivalry.[17] 

  • Native Americans Five Hundred Years After (with photographer Joseph Farber, 1975)
  • A Guide to Research on North American Indians (with Mary Byler and Arlene Hirschfelder, 1983)
  • A Yellow Raft in Blue Water (1987)
  • The Broken Cord: Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the Loss of the Future (1989)
  • The Crown of Columbus (with Louise Erdrich, 1991)
  • Route Two and Back (with Louise Erdrich, 1991)
  • Morning Girl (1992)
  • Working Men (1993)
  • Rooms in the House of Stone (1993)
  • Paper Trail (essays, 1994)
  • Guests (1995)
  • Sees Behind Trees (1996)
  • Cloud Chamber (1997)
  • The Window (1997)
  • The Most Wonderful Books: Writers on Discovering the Pleasures of Reading, edited (1997)
1.    Sharp, Michael D. (2006-09-01). Popular Contemporary Writers: Index Volume. Marshall Cavendish. pp. 551–. ISBN 9780761476016. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
2.    "Michael Dorris". Retrieved 2013-10-24.
3.    "History". 1970-03-02. Retrieved 2013-10-24.
4.    O'Reilly, Andrea (2010-04-06). Encyclopedia of Motherhood. SAGE Publications. pp. 5–. ISBN 9781412968461. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
5.    COLIN COVERT (Aug 3, 1997). "The anguished life of Michael Dorris". Retrieved 16 December 2012.
6.    New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. 1997-06-16. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
7.    Streitfield 1997
8.    JOSIE RAWSON (Apr 21, 1997). "A broken life -". Salon. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
9.    LA Times Staff and wire reports (April 15, 1997). "Michael Dorris; Chronicler of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
10. Kate Falvey (2010). Andrea O'Reilly, ed. Encyclopedia of Motherhood, Volume 1. Sage. p. 355.
11. Linda Ledford-Miller. Emmanuel Sampath Nelson, ed. The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Multiethnic American Literature. A–C. Greenwood Press. p. 609.
12. "Search Results 1977". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
13. Lorena Laura Stookey (1999). Louise Erdrich: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press. p. 4.
14. Quennet, Fabienne C. (2001). Where 'Indians' Fear to Tread?: A Postmoden Reading of Louise Erdrich's North Dakota Quartet. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 223–. ISBN 9783825855987. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
15. Coltelli, Laura (1992). Winged Words: American Indian Writers Speak. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 42–. ISBN 9780803263512. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
16. Couser, G. Thomas (2004). Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing. Cornell University Press. pp. 209–. ISBN 9780801488634. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
17. Carnes, Mark C. (2005-05-12). American National Biography: Supplement 2: Supplement 2. Oxford University Press. pp. 149–. ISBN 9780195222029. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
18. Rawson, Josie (1997). "a broken life". Salon.
19. O'Connor, Maureen (2011-08-23). Life Stories: A Guide to Reading Interests in Memoirs, Autobiographies, and Diaries. ABC-CLIO. pp. 268–. ISBN 9781610691468. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
20. Cook-Lynn, Elizabeth. 2001. Anti-Indianism in Modern America: A Voice from Tatekeya's Earth. University of Illinois Press. p81
21. Laird, Holly A. (2000-05-11). Women Coauthors. University of Illinois Press. pp. 307–. ISBN 9780252025471. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
22. Karell, Linda K. (2002). Writing Together, Writing Apart: Collaboration in Western American Literature. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 202–. ISBN 9780803227491. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
23. Lesher, Linda Parent (2000-02-01). The Best Novels of the Nineties: A Reader's Guide. McFarland. pp. 203–. ISBN 9780786407422. Retrieved 6 December 2012.
Other sources
  • "Michael Dorris." Newsmakers 1997, Issue 4. Gale Research, 1997.
  • Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2005.
  • Gleick, Elizabeth. "An imperfect union." Time, April 28, 1997 v149 n17 p68(2)
  • "Michael Anthony Dorris." Notable Native Americans. Gale Research, 1995.
Further reading
  • Vizenor, Gerald Robert. 1999. Manifest Manners: Narratives on Postindian Survivance. University of Nebraska Press.
External links

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Dorris, Michael. The Broken Cord. New York: HarperPerennial, 1990. Print.
RG629.F45 D67 1990b, Young Library - 5th Floor
Dorris, Michael. A Yellow Raft in Blue Water. 1st ed. New York: H. Holt, 1987. Print.
PS3554.O695 Y4 1987, Young Library - 5th Floor
Beattie, L. Elisabeth, and Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Michael Dorris Oral History Project. 1998.
Special Collections Research Center Spec Coll Research Center - Oral History Collection (OHMD ) 


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 19, 1810 - Cassius Marcellus Clay

 Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Cassius Marcellus Clay, emancipationist and diplomat, the son of Gen. Green and Sallie (Lewis) Clay, was born on October 19, 1810, in the Tate's Creek area of Madison County. After attending common schools and the Madison Seminary, he studied under the celebrated teacher Joshua Fry at his home in Garrard County and later enrolled at St. Joseph's College in Bardstown. From Transylvania University in 1831, Clay went to Yale, where in 1832 an antislavery speech by William Lloyd Garrison deeply impressed him and influenced his lifelong opposition to slavery.

Clay returned to Kentucky and completed a law degree at Transylvania. He embraced Henry Clay's American System and was elected state representative from Madison County in 1835. Opposing slavery interests, he was defeated the following year, but returned again in 1837 when, as a Whig, he backed the Bank of Kentucky and funds for public schools.

Clay's outspoken attacks on slavery aroused bitter hostility, especially among the pro-slavery faction of the Whig party , and occasionally involved him in violence. In 1841 he fought a duel with Robert Wickliffe, Jr.; neither was injured. In 1843, at a political meeting, he was attacked by Samuel M. Brown, reputed to be a hired assassin, who shot at Clay and in turn was severely wounded by Clay's bowie knife (a weapon that became part of Clay's colorful legend in Kentucky). Charged with mayhem, Clay was defended by Henry Clay and John Speed Smith and was acquitted on grounds of self-defense.

In the 1844 presidential race, Clay canvassed the North for his cousin Henry under the slogan "Clay, Union, and Liberty!" having by this time freed his unentailed slaves. The next year he began publishing an antislavery paper, the Lexington True American. A committee was organized to suppress the publication. Clay prepared to defend his office by force, but was stricken with typhoid fever; during his absence a posse including James B. Clay, Henry's son, packed the newspaper equipment and moved it to Cincinnati. Clay continued for a time to publish the paper in Cincinnati. Two years later he was awarded a judgment of $2,500 against the committee.

After serving as a captain in the Mexican War , Clay returned to Lexington in 1847 and continued to agitate on the slavery question, speaking frequently in the North. He corresponded with abolitionist John G. Fee , invited him to Madison County , donated a ten-acre tract of land, and encouraged Fee to begin the church-school community that became Berea College.

In 1856, Clay campaigned vigorously in the North for the first National Republican party ticket. By 1860 his picture had appeared in Harper's Weekly along with those of nine other likely presidential candidates. Clay supported Lincoln for the presidential nomination and after Lincoln's election was appointed minister to Russia in 1861. Before he sailed for Russia, Clay organized a battalion of volunteers to guard the Washington Navy Yard and protect government property in the capital until federal troops arrived.

In 1862 Clay was recalled from Russia and commissioned a major general; at Lincoln's request, he went to Kentucky to sound out opinion regarding the proposed emancipation proclamation and returned with a report that the loyal element would hold. About three weeks later, following the Union victory at Antietam, Lincoln released the historic proclamation.

Clay's second mission to Russia, 1863-69, was an extension of the first. His cultivation of amity between the two nations helped to bring about the U.S. purchase of Alaska.

After his return to the United States in 1869, Clay was a pioneer in the Liberal Republican movement and in 1872 helped to engineer the nomination of Horace Greeley. Later, his dislike of the Radicals led him to bolt the party. As a Democrat, he campaigned in Mississippi against Radical Republican Gov. Adelbert Ames; the famed emancipationist and hero of the North thus became a hero of the South.

Clay married Mary Jane Warfield of Lexington on February 26, 1833. Ten children were born to them: Elisha Warfield; Green; Mary Barr; Sarah Lewis; Cassius Marcellus, Jr. (died at three weeks); Cassius Marcellus, Jr.; Brutus Junius; Laura (Clay) ; Flora; and Anne Warfield. After forty-five years of marriage the octogenarian divorced his wife and married Dora Richardson, many years his junior. He died on July 22, 1903, and was buried in Richmond, Kentucky.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Richardson, H. Edward. Cassius Marcellus Clay : Firebrand of Freedom. Lexington, Ky.: U of Kentucky, 1996. Print.
E415.9.C55 R47 1996, Special Collections Research Center

Clay, Cassius Marcellus. The Life of Cassius Marcellus Clay; Memoirs, Writings, and Speeches, Showing His Conduct in the Overthrow of American Slavery, the Salvation of the Union, and the Restoration of the Autonomy of the States. [Vol. 1]. New York: Negro Universities, 1969. Print.
E415.9.C55 A3 1969, Young Library - 4th Floor

Smiley, David L. Lion of White Hall; the Life of Cassius M. Clay. Gloucester, Mass.: P. Smith, 1969. Print.
E415.9.C55 S47 1969, Young Library - 4th Floor

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 16, 1906 - Cleanth Brooks


Photo by Michael Marsland, from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Literary critic and educator Cleanth Brooks was born on October 16, 1906, at Murray, Kentucky, son of Cleanth and Bessie Lee (Witherspoon) Brooks. He received a bachelor of arts from Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 1928 and a master of arts in 1929 from Tulane University in New Orleans. He was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University during 1929-32.

At Louisiana State University (1932-47) he became associated with New Criticism, the most influential critical movement of its time, and worked closely for many years with Robert Penn Warren. Warren and Brooks together founded the Southern Review in 1935 and Brooks was its first editor. They also collaborated on a widely used series of college textbooks for the teaching of literature: Understanding Poetry (1938), Understanding Fiction (1943), and Understanding Drama (1948). Brooks's best-known works of criticism are The Well-Wrought Urn (1947) and Modern Poetry and the Tradition (1939).

Brooks taught at Yale from 1946 to 1975. He now lives in retirement in New Haven, Connecticut. He married Edith Amy Blanchard on September 12, 1934. She died in October 1986.


Lewis P. Simpson, The Possibilities of Order: Cleanth Brooks and His Work (Baton Rouge, La., 1976).

(According to Brooks died May 10, 1994.)

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Brooks, Cleanth. The Well Wrought Urn : Studies in the Structure of Poetry. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1947. Print.
PR502 .B7, Young Library - 4th Floor

Brooks, Cleanth. A Shaping Joy; Studies in the Writer's Craft. 1st American Ed.]. ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1972. Print.
PR403 .B7 1972, Special Collections Research Center

Farrell, David, Susan E. Allen, and Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Robert Penn Warren Oral History Project. 1977.
Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: October 15, 1912 – Carl Perkins


Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Among the last of the New Deal liberals, Carl Dexter Perkins, who served eastern Kentucky in the U.S. House of Representatives, was born October 15, 1912, in Hindman, Kentucky. He was the son of James Elbert Perkins, a lawyer, and Dora (Calhoun) Perkins, a teacher. Following his education in the Knott County Schools, at Caney Junior College (now Alice Lloyd ), and at Lees College, he taught in a remote Knott County school. In 1935 he graduated from the University of Louisville law school. He entered private practice for the next three years, during which he married Verna Johnson, a teacher. They had one child, Carl Christopher. Perkins completed an unexpired term as commonwealth attorney in 1939 and the following year was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly . He was elected Knott County attorney in 1941, and again in 1945, his tenure interrupted by combat service in the European theater during World War II.

A Democrat from Kentucky's mountainous 7th District, Perkins was first elected to Congress in 1948 and began to serve on January 3, 1949. He was appointed to the House Education and Labor Committee, arena for many of the ideological struggles over the social agenda of the federal government. A conservative coalition on the committee frustrated many liberal initiatives supported by Perkins, but the landslide election of 1964 produced a liberal majority sufficient to enact legislation fundamental to President Lyndon Johnson's program. Perkins became chairman of the committee in 1967, as it prepared to consider major antipoverty legislation. Many doubted whether the unsophisticated country lawyer was equal to the demands of his new position, but Perkins's diligence, persistent commitment to liberal principles, mastery of congressional procedures, and skills of personal persuasion soon gained him a reputation as one of the most influential men in Washington.

Perkins became a champion of the rights of labor, one of the nation's foremost advocates of federal social welfare programs for the disadvantaged, and, in the words of the former president of the National Education Association, Mary Hatwood Futrell, "the father of virtually every postwar federal education program." Perkins's bill supporting vocational education became law in 1963. The following year his committee produced landmark legislation to provide financial aid to disadvantaged college students, and, for the first time, extend general federal aid to elementary and secondary education. Perkins helped formulate the Economic Opportunity Act, centerpiece of Johnson's War on Poverty, and was one of its strongest advocates. He was a champion of the Head Start program, the school lunch program, adult education, federal assistance to libraries, and federal aid for the construction of highways and hospitals in the depressed Appalachian region. An early supporter of civil rights, Perkins backed President Harry S. Truman's attempt to establish a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, and was one of eleven Southern Democrats to vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Act. He also wrote federal legislation to improve safety standards in coal mines and to extend compensation to victims of black lung disease.

In his final years, Perkins fought vigorously to protect federal education and social welfare programs from budget cuts, and he emerged as a leading Democratic spokesman in opposition to the Reagan administration. Perkins died of a massive heart attack on August 3, 1984, en route from Washington to his home in Hindman and was buried in Perkins Cemetery, Leburn, Kentucky.

DANIEL G. STROUP, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Appalshop, Inc. A Tribute to Carl D. Perkins. Whitesburg, KY: Appalshop, 1984.
SC-V3415, Young Media Library

Reeves, Andrée E., and University Press of Kentucky. Congressional Committee Chairmen : Three Who Made an Evolution. Lexington: U of Kentucky, 1993. Print. Comparative Legislative Studies.
JK1430.E352 R44 1993, Young Library - 4th Floor

United States. Congress. Joint Committee on Printing. Memorial Services Held in the House of Representatives and Senate of the United States, Together with Tributes Presented in Eulogy of Carl D. Perkins, Late a Representative from Kentucky, Ninety-eighth Congress, Second Session. Washington: U.S. G.P.O., 1984. Print.
Y 7.1:P 41/3, Young Library - U.S. Government Publications (5th floor)