A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Billy Reed: Historic properties folks still haven’t said what statue will replace Davis; should be Ali

It was on June 11 when the Kentucky Historic Properties Advisory Commission voted 11-1 to remove the statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, from the Kentucky state capitol rotunda. (The lone vote against was Brandon T. Wilson who said the issue was being politicized and that he wasn’t there to remove history but to protect it.) The Commonwealth received much national and regional...

Rep. Lisa Willner to Gov. Beshear: House Democratic Women’s Caucus wants women considered for statue

A letter to Governor Andy Beshear: As chair of the Kentucky House Democratic Women’s Caucus, and on behalf of our 19 members, I first want to thank you for leading the way in the removal of the Jefferson Davis statue from the Capitol Rotunda.  This divisive symbol made the “People’s House” a less-than-welcome place for more than 80 years, and as you said on the day the statue was taken down,...

Bill Straub: Georgia Davis Powers represents all that should be celebrated by a statue in Capitol Rotunda

Unless you’re a devotee of Turner Classic Movies – I plead guilty – you’ve probably never come across Judge Priest, a 1934 film starring Will Rogers and directed by the American master, John Ford, who, a year before his passing, said it was his favorite movie. Based on the writings of Paducah native Irvin S. Cobb, Judge Priest takes place in an unidentified Western Kentucky town sometime around...

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...

Billy Reed: Finally, at long last, Jefferson Davis’ statue out of Rotunda. Bring on Muhammad Ali

So the statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, finally is being removed from the rotunda of the Kentucky state capital building. Gov. Andy Beshear made the announcement on Thursday, June 12, giving credit to the Historic Properties Advisory Commission for acting “pursuant to my request.” I had to smile because on June 6, 2016, in a column for a Louisville television website, I...

Historic properties committee recommends removal of plaque from Jefferson Davis statue

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A committee of historic properties advisors on Thursday recommended replacing a plaque from the Jefferson Davis statue that calls the only president of the Confederacy a “patriot, hero, statesman.” “There appears to be subjective language on it,“ said Committee Chairman Craig Potts. “The reference to Jefferson Davis as a ‘Patriot-Hero-Statesman’ is subjective,...

Black leaders call on Bevin to remove statue of Jefferson Davis from Capitol Rotunda

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today Black leaders and lawmakers called on Gov. Matt Bevin to remove the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis from the Capitol Rotunda in the State Capitol during a protest Wednesday. “There is an elephant in the building,” said Raoul Cunningham, Kentucky president of the NAACP, “and we ask the Governor to remove the elephant.” Sen. Gerald Neal, D-Louisville,...

Bill Straub: In the debate about Confederate statues, the real issue is who deserves to be honored

WASHINGTON – Remove if you must the hoary statues found in our public squares dedicated to those who perpetuated treason under the banner of the Lost Cause, but by all that is holy spare the John Hunt Morgan figure that rests proudly covered in pigeon droppings on the front lawn of what was once the Fayette County Courthouse. The survival of this noble sculpture is necessary for several reasons,...

State lawmakers call for removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Capitol rotunda

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A rally in the State Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday saw bi-partisan calls to have the statue of Confederate President and Kentucky native Jefferson Davis removed. The “One People, One Commonwealth” rally included Republican state Treasurer Alison Ball, who called for Kentuckians to unite. “We love our country, we love our Commonwealth, we love all of our people in this...

Louisville legislator files measure to eliminate Confederate related state holidays

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today A Kentucky lawmaker is filing legislation for the 2018 session aimed at removing Confederate-related holidays from the list in the state’s statute. Rep. Jason Nemes, R-Louisville, said it includes Robert E. Lee Day on Jan. 19, along with Confederate Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis Day, both of which are observed June 3. However, it does not include removing statues across...

Commentary: Much has been accomplished, but many challenges remain on the horizon

By Eli Capilouto Special to KyForward For more than two centuries, the United States Capitol Building has stood as a symbol of American democracy. Rising 288 feet, at the pinnacle of the recently renovated Capitol Dome sits the 19-foot “Statue of Freedom,” designed by American sculptor Thomas Crawford during the 1855 expansion of the building. Crawford was commissioned by a Kentuckian — then...

Old Time Kentucky: Little-known Trigg County native Baker was last protector for Jefferson Davis

By Berry Craig KyForward columnist When the Yankees captured Confederate President Jefferson Davis, a Christian County native, Trigg Countian Hazard Perry Baker offered his sword as a token of surrender. Baker, a Rebel army lieutenant, doesn’t rate even a line in most history books. Neither does Capt. Given Campbell and the other horsemen from the Second Kentucky Cavalry Regiment. They rode as Davis’...