A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

KET’s Social Studies Shorts and virtual Capitol tours offer new civic resources for students

In a typical year, hundreds of Kentucky students make the trek to Frankfort to visit the Kentucky State Capitol and learn about the state government. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Capitol has been closed to in-person tours since March 2020. Now, however, students can take a virtual tour of the Capitol — and learn about social studies and civics topics — thanks to a pair of new video resources...

Constance Alexander: Teaching the history of our country is hard enough, but living it is even harder

Schools are not adequately teaching the history of American slavery, educators are not sufficiently prepared to teach it, textbooks do not have enough material about it, and – as a result – students lack a basic knowledge of the important role it played in shaping the United States and the impact it continues to have on race relations in America. Even as I consider how I learned history, with many...

Central Kentucky’s Old Frankfort Pike added to the Federal Highway Administration list of scenic byways

Old Frankfort Pike is among 34 new National Scenic Byways and 15 All-American Roads recently added to the Federal Highway Administration’s America’s Byways collection. America’s Byways are a distinctive collection of American roads, their stories, and treasured places. Under the National Scenic Byways Program, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation recognizes certain roads as National...

Kentucky by Heart: Wrapping up our ‘County Quiz’ of Kentucky’s history, culture and geography

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Now comes the second part of the 120 question “Kentucky County Quiz” after the first one was published last week. Feel free to go back and take the first part Kentucky by Heart: Testing your knowledge of Ky’s history, culture and geography with a ‘County Quiz’ and include it with this week’s for the chance to win a prize. For the first five...

Kentucky by Heart: Testing your knowledge of Ky’s history, culture and geography with a ‘County Quiz’

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Though I’m not sure I’ve been to all 120 Kentucky counties, I believe it is pretty close to that number. I’ve found that if you study the history, culture, and geography of each, you’ll learn some quite interesting trivia, though the people who make up those counties would not prefer to call them “trivial matters.” Ha. I thought it would be fun for...

University of Kentucky Art Museum’s ‘This is America*’ exhibit hold mirror up to society today

By Whitney Hale University of Kentucky From a celebrated portrait of the nation’s first president George Washington to a drawing of George Floyd, University of Kentucky Art Museum’s “This is America*” examines the nation’s story — the good, the bad and the ugly — as we approach the most divisive presidential election in recent history. “Originally planned to coincide with...

UK Cooperative Extension program provides fun, raises community awareness during pandemic

By Katie Pratt University of Kentucky As the COVID-19 pandemic continued to alter Americans’ everyday lives, an office of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service used the pandemic as an opportunity to foster community pride and promote its town’s local economy and history. Samantha Saunders, Robertson County extension agent, worked with community partners to design a scavenger...

Campbellsville University welcomes largest incoming freshman class (677) in history of institution

By Ariel C. Emberton Campbellsville University As of Sept. 7, Campbellsville University’s fall freshman class reached a total of 677. The total includes those students taking classes at main campus, regional centers and sites and online. “We are very pleased to welcome the single, largest incoming freshman class in Campbellsville University history,” said Dr. Shane Garrison, vice president for...

Ron Daley: Jefferson Davis forces Kentuckians to decide when we wish to be on right side of history

Kentuckians who wish to be on the “right side of history” and be proud of their heritage advocated for the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue in the Kentucky Capitol rotunda. This has encouraged both emotional divisive dialogue and reflection on our Commonwealth’s heritage. Those who called the statue removal did not want to see the slave holder and president of the Confederacy honored in...

Mitch McConnell: Kentucky feels effects of COVID-19, but Senate responds with historical rescue package

Every Kentuckian is feeling the effects of the coronavirus. It’s a national health and economic emergency that demands action. The Republican-led Senate answered with the biggest rescue package in history, and Kentucky will see at least $1.25 billion in relief. We’ve already received $39 million to address urgent housing and economic development priorities, and more funding will soon be on the...

The Immigrant: The Life of Matthias Toebben in his own words — and what a life it has been

By Judy Clabes Special to KyForward Matth Toebben tells his story as only he can and as you turn the pages of his book, The Immigrant, the words come to you in his distinctive voice – heavy still with the German inflection from his boyhood, peppered with his innate good humor and the pain and poignancy of a life fully lived. If you are lucky enough to have heard any of the stories firsthand, before...

Frazier History Museum offering daily screenings of multimedia production KentuckyShow!

A multimedia production about the state of Kentucky is now being screened daily at the Frazier History Museum. KentuckyShow! is a 32-minute program narrated by Emmy-nominated actress and Kentucky native Ashley Judd that explores the history, landscapes, culture, and commerce of Kentucky. “Frankly, the show is hard to describe,” Executive Producer Sharon Potter said. “It is at once a documentary,...

The misadventures of Thaddeus Lowe, The Enterprise and the birth of modern aeronautics

By Jacob Koch Special to KyForward On the morning of April 20, 1861, Thaddeus Lowe (1832–1913) would prepare to set off in his hot air balloon, “The Enterprise,” from Cincinnati as a test run to Washington DC. This was part of a much grander plan, a transatlantic flight. Previously, he had sailed from Philadelphia to New Jersey in July of 1860 using the enormous balloon “The Great Western,”...

Civil War Days weekend set for Oct. 11-13 at Columbus-Belmont State Park; admission is free

Civil War Days returns to the banks of the Mississippi River at Columbus-Belmont State Park the weekend of Oct. 11-13. The 29th year of this weekend features battle re-enactments, history and museum tours, soldier camps, entertainment, food and more. Admission is free. This three-day event begins with an Education Day on Friday, featuring cannon and rifle demonstrations, life of a soldier, camp cooking...

EKU opens 20th year of Chautauqua Lecture Series with Yale professor, author Oswald Schmitz Sept. 12

Eastern Kentucky University is presenting the 20th year of its Chautauqua Lecture Series beginning Sept. 12, with Yale University professor and author Oswald Schmitz on the topic of his recent book, “The New Ecology: Rethinking a Science for the Anthropocene.” This opening lecture serves as the series’ annual Bruce MacLaren Distinguished Lecture, in honor of the series’ founder, as...

Kentucky by Heart: Wrapping up our ‘County Quiz’ of Kentucky’s history, culture and geography

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Now comes the second part of the 120 question “Kentucky County Quiz” after the first one was published last week. Feel free to go back and take the first part Kentucky by Heart: Testing your knowledge of Ky’s history, culture and geography with a ‘County Quiz’ and include it with this week’s for the chance to win a prize. For the first five...

Constance Alexander: One small step toward history in the making; now, how about creating a better world

If it weren’t for my brother-in-law, I would have missed the moon landing in 1969. I was spending the summer with my sister Jeanne and her husband, David. They lived in the Bay Area of San Francisco. Haight-Ashbury was hot, Janis Joplin was still singing, and the Berkeley Barb newspaper was the nexus between free speech and free sex. We, of course, were not part of that scene. My sister was a librarian...

Kentucky by Heart: Testing your knowledge of Ky’s history, culture and geography with a ‘County Quiz’

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Though I’m not sure I’ve been to all 120 Kentucky counties, I believe it is pretty close to that number. I’ve found that if you study the history, culture, and geography of each, you’ll learn some quite interesting trivia, though the people who make up those counties would not prefer to call them “trivial matters.” Ha. I thought it would be fun for...

Constance Alexander: Historian Jill Lepore’s book chronicles life of ‘Anonymous’ woman named Jane

A few days into my brand new job at AT&T, I was called into the Division Manager’s office for a chat. He complimented me on my taste in clothes and my demeanor, assuring me I would do well in the corporate world if I learned to smile more. He framed his parting words as fatherly advice. “Don’t be one of those women’s libbers.” That was more than thirty years ago, and I like to think...

Constance Alexander: Celebrating a birthday happy, healthy, and blessed and marveling in life’s miracles

Celebrated my birthday last week, July 1, same day as the births of Princess Diana, Olivia De Havilland, Tommy Dorsey, and Esteé Lauder. The day also marked the invention of sunglasses in China in the year 1200, and the start of the bloody Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. In 1898, the Rough Riders stormed San Juan Hill, and in 1916 Ike and Mamie Eisenhower said “I do” in Denver, Colorado. On the...