Monday, July 31, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 31, 1921 – Whitney M. Young, Jr.

Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Whitney Moore Young, Jr., civil rights leader, son of Laura (Ray) and Whitney M. Young, Sr., was born at Lincoln Ridge, Shelby County, Kentucky, on July 31, 1921. His father was an instructor at and later president of Lincoln Institute, in Shelby County. Young graduated from Lincoln Institute as valedictorian in 1936. In 1940 he received a premedical degree from Kentucky State College (now Kentucky State University), graduating at the head of his class. Young then taught mathematics and coached at Rosenwald High School in Madisonville. In 1941 he enlisted in the army and was sent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied electrical engineering for two years. He then became a first sergeant in the 369th Regiment Anti- Aircraft Artillery Group. While serving in this all-black unit under white officers, Young decided to make race relations his life's work.

Denied admission to the
University of Kentucky, Young attended the University of Minnesota during 1944-47 and helped organize a chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality. After he received a master's degree in social work, he went to work for the Urban League chapter in St. Paul, Minnesota, as director of industrial relations. He was promoted to president of the chapter in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1950 and served until 1954. In January 1954 he moved to Atlanta University to become the dean of the School of Social Work, a position he held until he became executive director of the National Urban League on August 1, 1961.

As director, Young guided the Urban League away from traditional social work and into more progressive programs. An advocate of equal employment opportunity, improved housing, and education as the means for social and economic equality for blacks, Young drew upon corporate, government, and foundation support to advance the league's programs. His goal was economically strong black communities that would be integrated into the general society through nonviolent direct action and political lobbying.

During the 1960s, Young emerged as a national leader of the civil rights movement. He served on seven presidential commissions during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961-69) and was president of both the National Conference on Social Welfare and the National Association of Social Workers. He wrote a syndicated weekly newspaper column. His book To Be Equal (1964) called for a " domestic Marshall Plan" to deal with black poverty, and in Beyond Racism: Building an Open Society (1969), Young outlined sweeping programs to create an egalitarian society. He started the "New Thrust" program of the Urban League in 1968 to move into ghettos to attack the causes of minority deprivation, inadequate housing, poor health, and educational disadvantage; he did not want to focus on the symptomatic statistics of joblessness. Young was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1969 by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Young married Margaret Buckner of
Campbellsville, Kentucky, on January 2, 1944. She became a teacher and an author of children's books about black history and civil rights. They had two children, Marcia and Laurene.

Young died in Lagos, Nigeria, on March 11, 1971, in a swimming accident while attending a conference to increase understanding between races. He was buried in
Lexington's Greenwood Cemetery; later the body was reburied in New Rochelle, New York.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Dickerson, D., University Press of Kentucky, & NetLibrary, Inc. (1998). Militant mediator : Whitney M. Young, Jr. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
Young Library   Books - 4th Floor   E185.97.Y635 D53 1998

Young, W., & Baker, T. (2004). Interview of Whitney M. Young, Jr. by Thomas Baker, June 18, 1969. Austin, TX: Lyndon Baines Johnson Library.

Young, W. (1969). Beyond racism; building an open society (1st ed.]. ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Young Library   Books - 4th Floor   E185.615 .Y6  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 27, 1916 – Elizabeth Hardwick

Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -

Elizabeth Hardwick, writer and critic, was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on July 27, 1916, to Eugene Allen and Mary (Ramsey) Hardwick. After obtaining both her B.A. (1938) and M.A. (1939) from the University of Kentucky , she received a fellowship offer from Louisiana State University, but decided at the last minute to apply to Columbia University in New York, where she did postgraduate work from 1939 to 1941. Deciding not to pursue a Ph.D., Hardwick turned to short story writing. Her first novel, The Ghostly Lover, was published in 1945, and a short time later she began writing regularly as a critic for Partisan Review.

In July of 1949, Hardwick married American poet Robert Lowell. Their only child, daughter Harriet Winslow, was born on January 4, 1957. Shortly after their marriage, Lowell entered New York's Payne Whitney Clinic, where he underwent three months' treatment for manic depression. Throughout their life together, Lowell's recurrent psychological difficulties put considerable pressure on Hardwick, yet she remained a productive and well-regarded writer. In 1955 she published her second novel, The Simple Truth, and in 1960 she edited The Selected Letters Of William James. In 1962, when her first collection of essays, A View Of My Own, was published, she was one of the founding editors of the New York Review Of Books. In 1967 she became the first woman recipient of the George Jean Nathan Award for dramatic criticism.

Hardwick's marriage to Lowell ended in divorce in October 1972. In the decade following, she published two more collections of essays, Seduction And Betrayal (1974) and Bartleby In Manhattan (1983), and the autobiographical novel Sleepless Nights (1979).

In his 1982 biography of Robert Lowell (to which Hardwick contributed many details), Ian Hamilton introduces Elizabeth Hardwick as "a Southerner from Kentucky... [who] had left the South in 1940 to do graduate work at Columbia University and had never properly returned." The Ghostly Lover and her early short stories led some critics to consider Hardwick a southern writer, but as she herself comments, in a 1984 Paris Review interview, "being a southern writer is a decision, not a fate" -- and she identifies her selection of Columbia rather than Louisiana State as "a critical, defining moment" in her life. But she goes on to say, "Naturally, I love the best southern writing," and to recall the Lexington of her first twenty-three years as "a very beautiful and interesting place."


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Hardwick, E. (1983). Bartleby in Manhattan : And other essays (1st ed.). New York: Random House.
Young Library Books - 5th Floor PS3515.A5672 B3 1983

Hardwick, E. (1982). A view of my own : Essays on literature and society. New York: Ecco Press.
Special Collections Research Center Closed Stacks - Ask at desk on 2nd Floor for assistance PS121 .H25 1982

Hardwick, E. (1982). The ghostly lover. New York: Ecco Press.
Young Library Books - 5th Floor PS3515.A5672 G47

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 23, 1918 - Harold Henry “Pee Wee” Reese


Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Harold Henry ("Pee Wee") Reese, baseball player, son of Carl and Emma Reese, was born on a small farm in Meade County, Kentucky , between Ekron and Brandenburg, on July 23, 1918. When he was a child, the family moved to Louisville, where he got his nickname not because of his size but because of his prowess at marbles. One year he was the runner-up to the national champion in the Louisville Courier-journal marble tournament. He graduated from DuPont Manual High School in 1936.

As a professional baseball player, Reese was first signed by the Louisville Colonels of the American Association in 1937. His fielding skill at shortstop attracted the notice of major league scouts, and in 1939 a group that included Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey purchased the Louisville Colonels baseball club for $195,000, largely because they wanted Reese's contract. Later that year the club sold Reese to the Brooklyn Dodgers for the equivalent of $75,000 ($35,000 in cash and four players). At the time, Larry MacPhail, president of the Dodgers, described Reese as the most instinctive base runner he had ever seen.

During his rookie year (1940), the Kentuckian displaced Dodger regular Leo Durocher and thus began a sixteen-year tenure at shortstop that was interrupted only by a three-year stint in the Navy (1943-45). During the seasons that Reese played full-time with the Dodgers (1941-42 and 1946-57), his team finished first in the league seven times, second four times, and third twice. He played in seven World Series. Reese was known for his clutch hitting and for big plays in the field. He also led the National League in stolen bases (thirty in 1952), in double plays four times (1942 and 1946-48), in runs scored (132 in 1947), and in fielding average (.977 in 1949). He was named to the All-Star Team eight times (1947-54). Reese was such a dominant shortstop that the well-stocked Dodger farm system was unable to produce a player capable of dislodging him. Players who tried (Tommy Brown, Mike Sandlock, Stan Rojek, Eddie Miksis, Chico Carrasquel, Bobby Morgan, Billy Hunter, Don Zimmer, and Chico Fernandez) all ended up playing for other teams. Reese's offensive career totals (126 home runs, 885 runs batted in, and a.269 batting average) do not begin to measure his value to the team. He was the team's captain, and Dodger sportscaster Red Barber described him as the glue that kept his team together. Reese, instrumental in smoothing Jackie Robinson's entrance into baseball, was called "the catalyst of baseball integration," by author Roger Kahn.

After his baseball career, Reese worked as a broadcaster with CBS, NBC, and the Cincinnati Reds. He was elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, on August 12, 1984. He is director of the college and professional baseball staff at Hillerich and Bradsby , maker of the Louisville Slugger bat. Reese married Dorothy Walton on March 29, 1942; they have two children, Barbara and Mark.


Selected Source from UK Libraries: 

Kahn, R. (1972). The boys of summer. (1st ed.]. ed.). New York: Harper & Row.
GV875.B7 K3 1972, Young Library - 4th Floor

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 22, 1937 - Gurney Norman


Image from

Gurney Norman, Andrew Garrison, Ned Beatty 

From Encyclopedia of Appalachia, edited by Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2006.

Gurney Norman, born July 22, 1937, in Grundy, Virginia, is best known as the author of the novel Divine Right’s Trip, for which he received a National Book Award in 1972, and the collection of short stories Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories (1977).

From a coal-mining family that experienced the hard times of depression and war, Norman and his two siblings spent part of their childhood with grandparents in Hazard, Kentucky and Pennington Gap, Virginia. In 1946 he and his brother enrolled at the Stuart Robinson School, a Presbyterian boarding school in Blackey, Kentucky, and he remained there until his graduation in 1955. Norman attributes his early interest in writing to the influence of Robinson teachers who first introduced him to the books of Jesse Stuart and James Still and encouraged his own writing. He edited the school paper, the Stuart Robinson Highlights, and wrote his first short stories at the school.

Norman attended the University of Kentucky, where he majored in journalism and English. In the late 1950s, four of his stories appeared in Stylus, the campus literary magazine. On the strength of these stories, he won a Stanford University Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship in 1960.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1961 through 1963, Norman returned to Kentucky to work as a reporter for the weekly Hazard Herald. He covered such stories as the roving pickets, which were still active in 1964, the War on Poverty, and the beginnings of environmental activism against strip mining.

A return to California in 1967 brought work as an editor and writer for the Whole Earth Catalog. Out of that experience came Norman’s first novel, Divine Right’s Trip. Published in short chapters in the margins of the catalog, it became a national best seller in 1971.

In 1979 Norman joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky, teaching creative writing. Since then, he has been a driving force for cultural activism in Appalachia, supporting young writers, filmmakers, actors, and teachers. He initiated and coedited an anthology of poetry, Old Wounds, New Words (1994), and the essay collection Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes: Back Talk from an American Region (1999). In 1999 Norman and his wife, Nyoka Hawkins, founded a small publishing house, Old Cove Press. The press’s first book was Affrilachia, a collection of poems by Frank X Walker.

Norman has also been involved with television and film. He wrote and hosted three documentaries for Kentucky Educational Television: Time on the River, exploring the Kentucky River Valley; From This Valley, examining the literary and cultural heritage of the Big Sandy Valley; and Wilderness Road, retracing Daniel Boone’s route into Kentucky. His play Ancient Creek was recorded by June Appal Records of Appalshop; later translated into Italian by Annalucia Accardo from the University of Rome, it was performed for video in a series of programs on The South of the World. Norman collaborated with director Andrew Garrison on the screenplay adaptation of three stories from Kinfolks: “Fat Monroe,” “Night Ride,” and “Maxine.” The three resulting films were edited together into The Wilgus Stories (2000).

- Andrew Garrison, University of Texas

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Norman, G. (1990). Divine Right's trip : A novel of the counterculture. Frankfort, KY.: Gnomon.
PS3564.O57 D58 1990, Young Library - 5th Floor

Farrell, D., Norman, G., Beattie, L., Brinson, B., & Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. (1977). Kentucky Writers Oral History Project.
KW001, Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

Norman, G., Appalshop Films, & Athens Center for Film Video. (1991). Fat Monroe ; A conversation with Gurney Norman. Whitesburg, KY: Appalshop Film & Video.
SC-V3632, Young Media Library

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 19, 1837: William Shakespeare Hays

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Born in Louisville on July 19, 1837, the son of Hugh and Martha (Richardson) Hays, William Shakespeare Hays wrote as many as five hundred songs. Sales of sheet music copies of his tunes reached about 20 million -- an extraordinary number for his time. Educated at Hanover College in Indiana and Georgetown College in Kentucky, Hays was devoted to the southern way of life and had a lifelong attachment to riverboating, the subject of his regular columns in Louisville newspapers during the last half of the nineteenth century.

Will S. Hays, as he signed his manuscripts, composed patriotic, religious, and sentimental songs. Perhaps his most popular piece was " Mollie Darling," which sold as many as 3 million copies in the 1870s. Other notable tunes included " My Sunny Southern Home," " Evangeline," " We Parted By The River Side," " The Drummer Boy Of Shiloh," and " Nora O'neil." Late in life Hays claimed to have written " Dixie," but credit for this tune must in fact go to Ohio's Daniel Decatur Emmett.

Contemporary writers lavished praise upon Hays and his songs. S.J. Clarke claimed that "in America his songs were more deeply admired and cherished than those of any other composer." Hays was described as "one of the gentlest men in all the Southland" in spite of his "rough ways and his profane language." A music critic credited the success of his music to "charming melodies, easy and effective accompaniments, and a genuine feeling... written for the masses and by the masses appreciated." Hays died on July 23, 1907, and was buried in Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery.

NICKY HUGHES, Entry Author

Source from UK Libraries:

Hays, W. (1875). Answer to Log cabin in the lane. Little log cabin's the home after all. (American broadsides and ephemera. Series 1; no. 1098). Philadelphia]: A.W. Auner, song publisher & printer, Tenth and Race Sts., Philadelphia, Pa.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 18, 1939 – Hunter S. Thompson

  Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –

Hunter S. Thompson, journalist, son of Jack R. and Virginia (Ray) Thompson, was born on July 18, 1939, in Louisville. He began his journalistic career as a sportswriter while in the U.S. Air Force from 1956 to 1958. From 1961 to 1963, he traveled in South America, sending back dispatches to various publications, including the National Observer. In the mid-1960s, Thompson's occasional free-lance writing assignments included a Nation piece on the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club that led to many book offers. Thompson's Hell's Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga (1966) was based on conversations with members of the gang, with whom Hunter had ridden. This kind of involvement marks Thompson's own style "Gonzo journalism," in the genre of New Journalism, which combines nonfiction with the emotional impact of a novel or short story. In his Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream (1972), Thompson's alter ego Raoul Duke goes to "the city that never sleeps" to cover both an annual motorcycle race in the desert and a national seminar on narcotics and dangerous drugs.

Thompson began writing for Rolling Stone in 1970 and covered the 1972 presidential campaign for the magazine. Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 (1973) "recorded the nuts and bolts of a presidential campaign with all the contempt and incredulity that other reporters feel but censor out," in the words of Anne Janette Johnson ( Contemporary Authors, 1988).

In 1963 Thompson married Sandra Dawn; they have a son, Juan. Thompson lived as a hermit in Woody Creek, Colorado. He died February 20, 2005.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Depp, J., O'Rourke, P., Steadman, R., McGovern, G., Cusack, J., Zevon, W., . . . Thames Television, ltd. (2003). Breakfast with Hunter. United States]: Wayne Ewing Films ; b Gonzo International.
AV-D3863, Young Media Library

Black, Thurman, Marksbury, Nolte, Busey, Penn, . . . FBN Motion Pictures. (2007). Buy the ticket, take the ride. Englewood, Colo.]: Distributed by Starz Home Entertainment.
AV-D6869, Young Media Library

Thompson, H., & Littmann, B. (1988). Generation of swine : Tales of shame and degradation in the '80s. New York: Summit Books.
E876 .T48 1988, Special Collections Research Center

Monday, July 17, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 18, 1954 Ricky Skaggs


Image from Ricky Skaggs images

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia - 
Ricky Skaggs, musician, the son of Hobert and Dorothy (Thompson) Skaggs, was born on July 18, 1954, in Cordell, Kentucky. He was a child star, performing country music with the family band at age six and appearing one year later on the " Flatt and Scruggs" radio program. When fifteen years old, Skaggs left high school and took his first professional job, playing mandolin with Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys, then joined the Kentucky Gentlemen as a fiddler. In 1974 Skaggs moved to Lexington, where he played mandolin and fiddle for J.D. Crowe and the New South before forming his own band, Boone Creek, in 1975. From 1977 to 1980 Skaggs played in Emmylou Harris's Hot Band and wrote arrangements for the critically acclaimed album Roses in the Snow. In 1980 he began a solo career.

Skaggs's unique blend of bluegrass, country, jazz, and "new traditional" styles has been recognized by various awards from the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences ( Grammy Award). His albums include Kentucky Thunder (1989), Love's Gonna Get Ya! (1986), and Don't Cheat in Our Hometown (1984). On August 4, 1981, he married Sharon White; they have four children: Mandy, Andrew, Molly, and Lucas.

RON PEN, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Skaggs, R., & Kentucky Thunder. (2006). Instrumentals. Hendersonville, TN : Nashville, TN: Skaggs Family Records ; Distributed by Lyric Street Records.
CD10159, Fine Arts-Media Center

Skaggs, R., & Kentucky Thunder. (2001). History of the future. Hendersonville, TN : Burbank, CA: Skaggs Family Records ; Disributed by Hollywood Records.
CD8923, Fine Arts-Media Center

Scruggs, E., Watson, D., Skaggs, R., Duncan, R., Krauss, G., Watson, Richard, . . . Kentucky Thunder. (2003). The three pickers. Cambridge, Mass.: Rounder.
CD8231, Fine Arts-Media Center

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 16, 1906 – James Still

Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
James Still, author, was born on July 16, 1906, in Lafayette, Alabama, the son of J. Alex and Lonie (Lindsey) Still. He graduated from Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, in 1929, earned an M.A. degree from Vanderbilt University in 1930, and later received a degree in library science from the University of Illinois. For the next six years he served as librarian of the Hindman Settlement School at the forks of Troublesome Creek in Knott County , Kentucky, where, among other duties, he conducted a library- on-foot, delivering books in a carton on his shoulder to one-room schools.

His first poem appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review in 1935 and his first short story in Atlantic Monthly a year later. In 1939 he moved into a two-story log house on Dead Mare Branch of Little Carr Creek in Knott County, where he expected to stay only long enough to complete the novel River of Earth. With time out for military service in World War II, fellowships at writers and artists colonies, and parts of fourteen winters spent in the Yucatan, Guatemala, and Honduras, Still has lived in his log house for over half a century.

Still draws on everyday experiences and observations, especially the speech of the area, for his poems, stories, and novels. Even when writing stories and novels, Still is primarily a poet. Themes and images of his early poems, such as the "river of earth," his metaphor for the human condition, are elaborated in the novels and stories. His novel River of Earth (1940) is considered an American classic. Still's works include: Hounds on the Mountain (poems, 1937); On Troublesome Creek (stories, 1941); Way Down Yonder on Troublesome Creek (juvenile, 1974); The Wolfpen Rusties (juvenile, 1975); Pattern of a Man (stories, 1976); Sporty Creek (novel, 1977); Jack and the Wonder Beans (juvenile, 1977); The Run for the Elbertas (stories, 1980); The Wolfpen Poems (collected poems, 1986); and The Wolfpen Notebooks: Appalachian Life (1991).

Still's work is part of the literary flowering in the American South during the late 1920s and early 1930s, which included Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, and Kentuckians Elizabeth Madox Roberts , Jesse Stuart, Harriette Simpson Arnow, Caroline Gordon, Allen Tate, Cleanth Brooks, and Robert Penn Warren.

He died April 28, 2001 at the age of 94.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Still, J. (1991). The Wolfpen notebooks : A record of Appalachian life. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky. 

PS3537.T5377 W59 1991, Special Collections Research Center

Still, J., & Olson, T. (2009). James Still in interviews, oral histories and memoirs (Contributions to southern Appalachian studies ; 23). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland. PS3537.T5377 Z46 2009, Young Library - 5th Floor

Still, J. (1983). River of earth : The poem and other poems. Lexington, Ky.]: Workshop, The King Library Press. 

PS3537.T5377 R520 1968, Special Collections Research Center

Friday, July 14, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 14, 1898 – A. B. “Happy” Chandler


Image from

From the Kentucky Encyclopedia -
A.B. ("Happy") Chandler, twice governor of Kentucky (1935-39, 1955-59), was born near Corydon, Kentucky, on July 14, 1898, to Joseph Sephus and Callie (Saunders) Chandler. After graduating from Corydon High School in 1917, he attended Transylvania University , then enrolled for a year at Harvard law school; he graduated from the University of Kentucky law school in 1925. That same year he married Mildred Watkins; they had four children. Chandler opened a law practice in Versailles, Kentucky, and coached high school sports. Deeply interested in Democratic politics, he won a seat in the state Senate in 1929. In 1931 he was elected lieutenant governor over Republican John C. Worsham, 426,247 to 353,573, while Ruby Laffoon became governor. Chandler and the governor split over the sales tax, which Chandler opposed, and some of Chandler's powers were removed by legislation. In 1935, while the governor was in Washington, D.C., Chandler called a special legislative session that passed a bill requiring party nominations to be made by a primary election and not by a convention, which Laffoon and his supporters might well control. Chandler trailed Tom Rhea in the first primary but won the runoff, then defeated Republican King Swope, 556,262 to 461,104, to become governor.

The "Boy Governor" had the new sales tax repealed. Then through reorganization, reform, frugality, and higher excise and income taxes, he financed far-reaching improvements in schools, roads, health and welfare programs, and penal institutions. A masterful politician, aided by such associates as J. Dan Talbott of Bardstown, Chandler dominated the legislature. He used radio effectively to win public support. The Government Reorganization Act of 1936 created a more efficient administration, and he was able to pay off much of the state's debt. Among the most significant innovations were the free textbook program, participation in the federal rural electrification program, establishment of a teachers' retirement system and an old-age assistance program, and the start of a special rural roads program. Although friendly to labor, Chandler opposed closed shops and sit-down strikes, and he sent the National Guard into Harlan County to curb labor-related violence there. Chandler's first administration was one of the most productive in the state's history.

In 1938 Chandler challenged Alben Barkley for his U.S. Senate seat. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt made a whistle-stop trip to Kentucky in support of the Senate majority leader, the governor boarded the train uninvited and appeared with the president whenever possible. Barkley won, and Chandler then took aim at the U.S. Senate seat vacated in October 1939 when M.M. Logan died. Chandler resigned as governor, and on October 10, 1939, when Lt. Gov. Keen Johnson succeeded him, Johnson appointed Chandler to the U.S. Senate. In 1940 Chandler won a special election for the rest of Logan's term, and in a controversial 1942 campaign he defeated John Y. Brown, Sr. , and won a full six-year term. In Washington Chandler usually backed the administration although he opposed some of the New Deal fiscal policies and the decision to give priority to the war in Europe over the Pacific conflict. On November 1, 1945, Chandler resigned from the Senate to become national commissioner of baseball. During the next six years, black players entered the major leagues for the first time and a players' pension fund was established. As commissioner, Chandler alienated many of the owners, and when his contract was not renewed in 1951, he resumed his law practice in Versailles.

In 1955 he won the Democratic nomination for governor over Bert T. Combs , despite the opposition of many of the party's most powerful leaders. His smashing victory over Republican Edwin R. Denney, 451,647 to 322,671, was an anticlimax to the Democratic primary. Times had changed greatly in the twenty years since Chandler's first term, and he was opposed by many of the liberal elements in his party. In his second term, he achieved substantial improvements in the highway program (using a $100 million bond issue), the schools, and other public institutions. Additional funding went to the public schools' Minimum Foundation Program and the teachers' retirement system. His proudest accomplishment was the establishment of the University of Kentucky Medical Center, named for him. He attracted national notice in 1956 when he used state police and National Guardsmen to enforce desegregation in the public schools, yet his second administration lacked some of the reforming zeal of his first term.

Increasingly out of touch with the times, Chandler failed in bids for the nomination for governor in 1963, 1967, and 1971. In 1967 he supported the Republican nominee, Louie B. Nunn, for the office. He remained deeply interested in politics and was especially close to Gov. Wallace Wilkinson (1987-91), who restored voting rights to Chandler's lifetime honorary membership on the University of Kentucky board of trustees in January 1988. Two incidents in the late 1980s involving alleged racial slurs led to unsuccessful demands for Chandler's resignation or removal from the board. In 1989, in collaboration with Vance H. Trimble, Chandler published his autobiography, Heroes, Plain Folks, and Skunks.

Chandler died on June 15, 1991, at home in Versailles and was buried in the cemetery of Pisgah Presbyterian Church in Woodford County.


Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Birdwhistell, Marshall, Cooper, Appleton, Birdwhistell, Terry L, Marshall, William, . . . Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. (1974). A. B. "Happy" Chandler Oral History Collection.Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

Mann, A. (1951). Baseball confidential; secret history of the war among Chandler, Durocher, MacPhail, and Rickey. New York: McKay.GV865.A1 M3 1951, Special Collections Research Center

Carter, J. (1939). Harlan County Mine Strike Photographic Collection, 1939.81PA109, Special Collections Research Center - University Archives 

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 14, 1903 – Thomas D. Clark

Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Thomas D. Clark, historian, was born in Louisville, Mississippi, on July 14, 1903, to John Collinsworth and Sallie (Bennett) Clark. His parents were of pioneer families who had moved from South Carolina into Choctaw Indian lands that later became cotton country. In 1925 Clark entered the University of Mississippi, intending to study law. Instead, under the influence of historian Charles Sackett Sydnor, he turned to the study of history. Clark graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1928. He received his master's degree from the University of Kentucky in 1929 and his doctorate from Duke University in 1932. Duke professor William K. Boyd, a first-rate collector, had a profound influence on Clark's research skills. Clark said of Boyd that he had "both a genuine sense of the value of the original records, and the energy and imagination to collect them." These words apply equally well to Clark himself.

Clark began his teaching career at Memphis State University in 1930. In 1931 he moved to the University of Kentucky , which was then lacking in the quality of faculty and research that characterize first-rate institutions. University of Kentucky president Frank L. McVey (1917-40), who had high hopes for the school, personally hired Clark. The university was Clark's base for thirty-seven years, while at various times he taught at Harvard, Duke, North Carolina, Tennessee, Rochester, Chicago, Wyoming, Wisconsin, the Claremont Graduate School, Kent State, Stanford, Indiana, and at the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies in Austria. He lectured overseas for the Department of State, at Oxford University, and in Greece, India, and Yugoslavia.

At the University of Kentucky, Clark simultaneously taught fifteen-hour schedules and started the university library's Special Collections. He acquired a serial set of U.S. government documents from Centre College in Danville and the Kentucky State Library in Frankfort and a set of state documents for the law school. He also brought private collections to the university. For several years Clark taught extension courses, and quickly established himself as a popular lecturer, known for the humor and anecdotes with which he made his points. Clark became chairman of the UK's history department in 1942, and at the end of World War II he began to piece together a distinguished collection of faculty. He was in the vanguard of the movement that established the University of Kentucky Press in 1943 and the University Press of Kentucky in 1968.

Clark's own series of publications began in 1933 with The Beginning of the L&N. He followed with A Pioneer Southern Railroad (1936), A History of Kentucky (1937), The Rampaging Frontier (1939), and Pills, Petticoats and Plows (1944). In the last book, one of his most popular, Clark portrays the country store not as a homey institution but as a mirror of the basic images of the South. His next works on the region, The Rural Press and the New South (1948) and The Southern Country Editor (1948), reflect not only his affection for and sense of the South but also his tough-minded ability to look critically at his native land. His works, however, also reveal a universality that has made him not a regional specialist but an American historian of the first rank. As well as writing, Clark served as managing editor of the Journal of Southern History for four years and chief editor of two multi-volume publications, a sixteen-year undertaking: Travels in the Old South and Travels in the New South.

In 1965 Clark's tenure as chairman of UK's history department ended. He was then Hallam Professor until 1968, when he retired. While teaching for a time at Indiana University, he wrote a multivolume history of that university and served as executive secretary of the Organization of American Historians. At seventy years of age, Clark left Indiana University in 1973 as Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus. He then taught at Eastern Kentucky University , at the University of Wisconsin as a visiting professor, and at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, South Carolina, as adjunct professor. His writing continued: Indiana University in Mid-Passage (1973), South Carolina, the Grand Tour (1973), The Great American Frontier (1975), Off At Sunrise: The Overland Journal of Charles Grass Gray (1976), Indiana University: The Realization (1976), Agrarian Kentucky: That Far-Off Land (1979), A History of Laurel County (1989), and Footloose in Jacksonian America (1990). Clark was the primary mover behind the founding of a state archives.

Clark's honors include a Guggenheim fellowship, a merit award from the Association of State and Local History, an Indiana author's award (1971), and eight honorary degrees. He lived in Lexington with his wife, the former Martha Elizabeth Turner, whom he married in 1933; they have two children, Thomas Bennett and Ruth Elizabeth. Clark died on June 28, 2005.

H. LEW WALLACE, Entry Author
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Kleber, J., Clark, T., & University Press of Kentucky. (2003). Thomas D. Clark of Kentucky : An uncommon life in the commonwealth. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky.E175.5.C56 T47 2003, Young Library - 4th Floor

Clark, T. (2006). My century in history : Memoirs. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky.
E175.5.C56 A3 2006, Young Library - 4th Floor

Clark, T. (1937). A history of Kentucky (Prentice-Hall history series, C. Wittke ... editor). New York: Prentice-Hall.
F451 .C63 1937, Special Collections Research Center - Rare

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 14, 1926 - Harry Dean Stanton


Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -

Harry Dean Stanton, actor, was born to Sheridan and Ersel (McKnight) Stanton on July 14, 1926, in West Irvine, Kentucky. His family soon moved to Lexington, where he graduated from Lafayette High School in 1944. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war Stanton attended the University of Kentucky from the fall of 1946 until the spring of 1949. While there he began acting, playing such characters as Alfred Doolittle in Pygmalion.
Stanton moved to New York City and then to California in the early 1950s. After working at the Pasadena Playhouse for four years, he made his film debut in 1957 in Revolt at Fort Laramie. He played supporting roles in Cool Hand Luke (1967), Kelly's Heroes (1970), Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1971), Farewell, My Lovely (1975), The Missouri Breaks (1976), Alien (1979), Private Benjamin (1980), Repo Man (1984), Pretty In Pink (1986), and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Stanton had his first starring role in Paris, Texas (1984) as a man who after several years of alienation hopes to rebuild his life with his family. The film won the Palme D'Or grand prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and the London Film Critics Circle selected Stanton as best actor. He has worked also in television.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Shepard, S., Wenders, W., Stanton, H., Kinski, N., Stockwell, D., Carson, H., . . . Atlas Pictures. (1996).Paris, Texas. Munchen: BMG Video. AV-D3108, Young Media Library
Stanton, H., Estevez, E., Cox, A., Nesmith, M., Wacks, J., McCarthy, P., . . . Edge City. (2000). Repo man. Troy, MI: Anchor Bay Entertainment.
AV-D3044, Young Media Library
Valdes, D., Darabont, F., Hanks, T., Morse, D., Hunt, B., Duncan, M., . . . Warner Home Video. (2007). The green mile (Widescreen version.. ed.). Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Pictures : Distributed by Warner Home Video. PN1995.9.P68 G7446 2007, Law Library - Reserves-Lobby-Circulation Desk

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 13, 1895 – Bradley Kincaid


Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia –
Bradley Kincaid, one of the country's first and most popular radio singers, was born on July 13, 1895, in Garrard County , Kentucky, to William and Elizabeth (Hurt) Kincaid, singers who taught him folk songs. Kincaid entered the Berea College Academy at the age of nineteen and graduated at twenty-six after service in World War I. He then moved to Chicago to attend the YMCA College (later George Williams College). After singing with a YMCA quartet at newly formed radio station WLS in Chicago, Kincaid agreed to sing mountain ballads on the WLS " National Barn Dance." Delighted listeners made him a star performer. On his first road trip, Kincaid was astonished that queues of people in Peoria, Illinois, his first stop, were actually there to see him. The demand for copies of his songs was so great that he published a series of songbooks, Mountain Ballads and Old Time Songs, which sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

To increase his repertoire, Kincaid spent several summers collecting songs from traditional singers in the mountains. He moved from radio station to radio station beginning in 1930: from Cincinnati's WLW to Pittsburgh's KDKA, Schenectady's WGY, New York City's WEAF and NBC Red Network, Boston's WBZ, Hartford's WTIC in Connecticut, Rochester's WHAM in New York, and thence to Nashville's WSM and the " Grand Ole Opry." During his career Kincaid recorded for such labels as Gennett, Champion, Challenge, Silvertone, Supertone, Brunswick, Conqueror, Vocalion, Decca, Bluebird, RCA Victor, Capitol, and Bluebonnet. When he left the " Grand Ole Opry" in 1950, he bought and managed a radio station and later a music store in Springfield, Ohio. Kincaid married his music teacher from Berea, Irma Foreman; they had four children: Barbara, Alene, William B., and James E. Kincaid died on September 23, 1989, and was buried in Springfield, Ohio.

LOYAL JONES, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Kincaid, B. (1931). My favorite mountain ballads and old-time songs : As I have sung them at WLW "The nation's station" (4th ed.). Chicago: S.n.
M1629.K56 M930, Special Collections Research Center

Kincaid, B. (1998). Bradley Kincaid. Brighton, Mich.: Old Homestead Records.

CD7873, Fine Arts-Media Center

Smith, H., Kincaid, B., James, J., Kelly, J., Johnson, R., White, B., . . . Four Aces. (2000). Harry Smith's anthology of American folk music. Volume four. Austin, TX: Revenant.
CD5730, Fine Arts-Media Center

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 12, 1881 - Charles Albert "Tod" Browning

Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Charles Albert ("Tod") Browning, the so-called Edgar Allen Poe of the cinema, was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on July 12, 1881. His parents were Charles and Lydia J. (Fitzgerald) Browning. He attended Louisville Boys High School, and for several years worked as a stockboy and clerk at a wholesale saddlery. In late 1899 or early 1900, Browning left home to join a circus. Performing as a clown and contortionist, he later joined the World of Mirth vaudeville troupe. In 1913 Browning began working as an actor for cinema director D.W. Griffith in New York. In October 1913 Browning followed Griffith to Hollywood, where he continued to act and began to write scripts and direct two-reelers. He played a crook in " The Modern Story" section of Griffith's Intolerance (1916), and was also one of Griffith's assistant directors on Intolerance.
In 1917 Browning and Wilfred Lucas codirected the feature film Jim Bludso. The following year Browning married Alice Houghton. In 1919 Browning, as director and screenwriter, collaborated with Lon Chaney, Sr., the actor, on The Wicked Darling. Working with Chaney on a total of ten films, including The Unholy Three (1925) and The Unknown (1927), Browning found his niche in atmospheric horror films. Browning was best known for directing Dracula (1931), starring Bela Lugosi, a classic of early horror films, and Freaks (1932). Now a cult classic, Freaks aroused such controversy after its original release that the studio withdrew it from general circulation, and it was rarely seen until it was honored at the 1962 Venice Festival.
After the commercial failure of Freaks, Browning made only four more films before he retired in 1939. Following his wife's death in 1944, he lived alone in their Malibu Colony home until his death on October 6, 1962. He was buried in Los Angeles.
THOMAS M. HOUSE, Entry Author

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Skal, Browning, Ford, Baclanova, Hyams, Ates, . . . Warner Brother's Company. (2004). Freaks. United States]: Turner Entertainment and Warner Brothers Entertainment.
AV-D3898, Young Media Library

Laemmle, C., Browning, T., Lugosi, B., Chandler, H., Manners, D., Frye, D., . . . Universal Pictures. (1999).Dracula (Full frame version. ed., Classic monster collection). Universal City, CA: Universal.
AV-D4404, Young Media Library

Riley, P., & Browning, T. (1985). London after midnight. New York: Cornwall Books.
PN1997 .L67 1985, Young Library - 5th Floor

Friday, July 7, 2017

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 7, 1908 - Harriette Simpson Arnow

   Image from

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia -
Harriette Louise (Simpson) Arnow, author, was born to Elias and Mollie Jane (Denney) Simpson, on July 7, 1908, in Wayne County, Kentucky . She graduated from Burnside High School in Pulaski County, attended Berea College during 1924-26, then taught school in rural Pulaski County . She received her B.A. in science from the University of Louisville in 1930. For the next four years, she was a teacher and then principal at a high school in Pulaski County . In 1934 she taught junior high school in Louisville, then moved to Cincinnati to devote time to writing, including several short stories and her first novel, Mountain Path (1936), the first of her Kentucky trilogy. In 1936 one of her best short stories, " The Washerwoman's Day," was published in Southern Review.

Harriette Simpson married Harold B. Arnow in 1939, and they moved to a farm near Keno, Pulaski County, where she and her husband divided their time between farming and writing. In 1944 they moved to a housing project in Detroit, where he took a job with the Detroit Times. Arnow's second novel, Hunter's Horn (1944), was a best seller and brought her national acclaim as a novelist. This work portrays the life of a Kentucky hill farmer obsessed with the capture of an elusive red fox that he calls King Devil. In 1950 the Arnows moved to a farm near Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she finished her most popular novel, The Dollmaker (1954). This story, which completed her Kentucky trilogy, chronicles a Kentucky family's difficult World War II move from the mountains to a Detroit housing project, where they encounter economic uncertainty and social prejudices. The Dollmaker was made into a TV movie in 1983 starring Jane Fonda. Arnow's Seedtime On The Cumberland (1960), Flowering On The Cumberland (1963), and Old Burnside (1977) are social histories. The fictional The Weedkiller's Daughter (1970) was followed by The Kentucky Trace: A Novel Of The American Revolution (1975). The Kentucky Trace reflects Arnow's concerns about contemporary problems such as the destruction of the environment.

Arnow received the Kentucky Woman Of The Year Award in 1954, the Berea College Centennial Award and the Friends Of American Writers Award in 1955, an Award Of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History in 1960, and the Milner Award from the Kentucky Arts Council in 1983. In 1955 The Dollmaker won the National Book Award. Arnow was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame and received the Mark Twain Award For Midwestern Literature from Michigan State University. She also received honorary doctorates from Albion College in Michigan, Transylvania University , and the University of Kentucky . From 1978 until her death in 1986, she participated in the Hindman Settlement School's annual two-week writing workshop in Hindman, Kentucky .

Arnow and her husband had two children, Marcella and Thomas. On March 21, 1986, Arnow died at her Washtenaw County farm near Ann Arbor, Michigan, and her ashes were buried beside her husband's grave in Keno.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Walsh, K. (1984). Hunter's horn ; Harriette Arnow's subversive tale.
PS3501.R64 Z6880 1984, Special Collections Research Center

Harrison, E., & Mayer, D. (1991). Female pastoral : Women writers re-visioning the American South (1st ed.). Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press.
PS261 .H25 1991, Special Collections Research Center

Arnow, H. (n.d.). Harriette Simpson Arnow (Kentucky Authors).
SC-V3397, Young Media Library