A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Stuart Sanders: Ring tells the story of an 1801 Kentucky duel, part of display at Old State Capitol

At first glance, the ring in the exhibit case appears to be unremarkable. Sanders Made of thin brass, the ring’s crown includes more than two dozen small seed pearls that encircle a plate of beveled glass. Twisted under the glass lies a wisp of brown and gray hair, woven into a minute design reminiscent of a Celtic knot. But the story it tells is anything but unremarkable. On display in “Dueling...

Stuart Sanders: Controversy over Kentucky Derby finish continues, but at least there wasn’t a brawl

While this year’s Kentucky Derby lasted about two minutes, the controversy surrounding the race is far from being over. Stewards at Churchill Downs disqualified the horse Maximum Security for interference. Shortly thereafter, they suspended that horse’s jockey, Luis Saez, for 15 days. Saez said that he will appeal his suspension. Furthermore, the owners of Maximum Security have filed a federal...

Many opportunities for fun March 16-17 at Kentucky Crafted Market’s Hands-On Activities area

Create your own sculpture, get up close and personal with musical instruments, learn about the color wheel and be an amateur archaeologist. These are a few of the exciting opportunities available in The Kentucky Crafted Market’s Hands-On Activities area March 16-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. 

Although The Market annually showcases dozens of the state’s finest visual and...

KentuckyWorks Collaborative sets first meeting for Feb. 28 at Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort

The first meeting of the KentuckyWorks Collaborative is scheduled for Feb. 28 at 9 a.m. Eastern time at the Kentucky Historical Society at 100 W. Broadway in Frankfort. Gov. Matt Bevin, in partnership with the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet (EWDC) and the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB), signed an executive order establishing the KentuckyWorks Collaborative to guide...

Kyians from across state recognized for preservation efforts during 2018 Kentucky History Awards

People and organizations across the Commonwealth received recognition for their efforts to promote and preserve state and local history recently when the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) presented its 2018 Kentucky History Awards. KHS honored these recipients in early November in Frankfort: Service/Special Awards • Museum of the American Printing House for the Blind, Thomas D. Clark Award of Excellence •...

Folk artists to be featured at fifth annual Waveland Art Fair on Sept. 8-9 in Lexington

Live music, food trucks, local brews and talented Kentucky folk artists will return to the Waveland State Historic Site for the fifth annual Waveland Art Fair on Sept. 8-9 in Lexington. In addition to meeting the noteworthy artists, guests may browse and purchase their work while enjoying local food and drinks provided by Chrisman Mills Winery, West 6th Brewing, Rise Up Pizza, and The Epic Cure Mobile...

The feuding McCoy brothers’ grave sites in Catlettsburg Cemetery get markers, historic sign

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Another connection to the Hatfield and McCoy feud can now be found in a northeastern Kentucky cemetery, 90 miles from the Pikeville area where the battles took place. 
While the majority of the family’s battle happened in Pike County, the bodies of James and Floyd McCoy of the McCoy clan are buried on a hill in the Catlettsburg Cemetery. The brothers married women...

Constance Alexander: Conflict and compromise come alive on Western Kentucky History Day

For the fourth year in a row, students from elementary, middle, and high schools in Western Kentucky made the past come alive on History Day. The annual event, sponsored by the Kentucky Historical Society, brought approximately seventy-five youngsters to Murray State University’s Crisp Center in Paducah last week, where they competed for opportunities to showcase their history projects at a statewide...

Alexander sworn in as new president of Kentucky Historical Society Governing Board

Constance Alexander, a writer and business consultant from Murray, was recently sworn in as president of the governing board of the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS). After she took the oath of office, as administered by Judge Phillip J. Shepherd, at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort, she outlined her goals for the coming year emphasizing the connections between poetry and...

Kentucky Historical Society awards grants from local history trust fund to preserve, tell stories

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) announced recipients of the first grants from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund, a funding pool that supports local history organizations’ efforts to preserve and tell Kentucky’s stories. Seventeen organizations from 16 counties across the Commonwealth received grants totaling $9,504.30. Individual amounts range from $290 to $1,000 for projects related...

University Press’ Kentucky African-American Encyclopedia honored with state History Award

University Press of Kentucky (UPK) authors Gerald L. Smith, Karen Cotton McDaniel, and John A. Hardin have been named the recipients of a 2016 Kentucky History Award given by the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) for their book, The Kentucky African American Encyclopedia. The Kentucky History Awards recognize outstanding achievements by historians, public history professionals, volunteers, business...

Kentucky Historical Society throwing spotlight on museum’s creepiest artifacts for Halloween

The Kentucky Historical Society will celebrate Halloween by throwing a spotlight on the creepiest artifacts in the museum. A plaster cast of Daniel Boone’s skull, clothes that survived the grave, cursed furniture and beads are just a few items that will be on display Oct. 27-29 during Creepy Kentucky Nights at the Kentucky Historical Society. Museum staff will be stationed throughout the exhibit...

Kentucky Oral History Commission announces new grants totaling $55,700 for variety of projects

The Kentucky Oral History Commission (KOHC) has awarded $55,700 in fiscal year 2015-16 in new grants to support oral history projects ranging in topic from Bosnian immigrants in Bowling Green to the Kentucky Chili Bun Trail in Eastern Kentucky, public art in Louisville to the African American experience in Hopkinsville. Grants support both new projects and the transcription and indexing of existing...

Aviation Museum to unveil bronze sculpture of aviation pioneer Van Meter

The Aviation Museum of Kentucky will unveil a significant addition to its permanent collection, a life size bronze sculpture of aviation pioneer Solomon Van Meter, on Saturday, July 23. The event begins at 5 p.m. The sculpture is the creation of Amanda Matthews, who worked closely with the Kentucky Historical Society to have accurate, museum-quality details. The unveiling event coincides with the 100th...

Old Time Kentucky: Andy Smith’s long-delayed Medal of Honor was a wrong that was righted

By Berry Craig KyForward columnist Andrew Jackson Smith saw the color-bearer die with Old Glory in his grasp. A Kentuckian who escaped slavery in Lyon County, “Andy” Smith grabbed the battle flag. Waving the Stars and Stripes over his head, the 21-year-old Union soldier charged the Rebel foe. Smith’s bravery in the Civil War earned him the Medal of Honor, his country’s highest military decoration....

Bloody Breathitt author wins Kentucky History Award, Appalachian book of year

University Press of Kentucky author T.R.C. Hutton has been named as the recipient of a 2014 Kentucky History Award given by the Kentucky Historical Society and the 2014 Appalachian Writers Association’s Book of the Year Award for Nonfiction for his book Bloody Breathitt: Politics and Violence in the Appalachian South.   These awards follow two other honors for Bloody Breathitt — winning the...

Bringing the Past to Life: Madison history teacher honored for fun, engaging methods

Student teacher Kevin Presnell and Kentucky History Teacher of the Year Sharon Graves pass out cocoa powder during her eighth-grade social studies class at Clark-Moores Middle School in Madison County. The students were learning about the exchange of cultures after Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. (Photo by Amy Wallot)   By Brenna R. Kelly Special to KyForward   Students in Sharon...

Tale of a long-ago political scandal is brought back to life in library’s first published e-book

One hundred and 20 years ago, a political scandal involving a Kentucky congressman became the subject of a salacious paperback in the early decades of American paperbacks. The book is now available in digital format for the first time through the effort of the Lexington Public Library.   Virginia McClure, manager of the Lexington Public Library’s Kentucky Room, displays the original version...

Kentucky Historical Society becomes affiliateof Smithsonian at Boone Day celebrations

The Kentucky Historical Society and the Smithsonian Institution will announce a new relationship at KHS’ annual Boone Day event on June 29, meaning Kentuckians will have the opportunity to collaborate with the Smithsonian as well as facilitate the loan of Smithsonian artifacts and traveling exhibitions.   The prestigious designation of a Smithsonian Affiliation will be announced by director...

Ky. Historical Society wants to connect dots on Dr. Wendell’s life, Lexington’s narrative

Dr. Thomas Tyler Wendell is shown with his son, John, in his Lexington medical office. (Photo from Kentucky Historical Society)   By Molly Crain KyForward intern   A practicing physician in Lexington from 1904 until his death in 1953, Dr. Thomas Tyler Wendell was hailed for improving health care for African-Americans at Eastern State Hospital, as well as recognized as a humble servant of...