Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oh, Kentucky

Good jobs news from Louisville and Somerset. Also bad from Louisville. Ominous from Georgetown.

The new University Press of Kentucky catalog is out: "Kentucky Rising: Democracy, Slavery, and Culture from the Early Republic to the Civil War offers a new synthesis of the sixty years before the Civil War. James A. Ram- age and Andrea S. Watkins explore the crucial but often overlooked period from 1800 to 1865, finding that the early years of statehood were an era of great optimism and progress. Drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, Ramage and Watkins demonstrate that the eyes of the nation often focused on Kentucky, which was perceived as a leader among the states before the Civil War. Globally oriented Kentuckians were determined to transform the frontier into a network of communities exporting to the world market and dedicated to the new republic." Lynwood Montell's book of sheriff stories also sounds good.

Where's the $500 egg?

Very excited to be following the Corsons--who are following Jesus--on foot from Utah, across Kentucky and on to Washington. They were in Bowling Green this week. They came in to Kentucky at Wickliffe and then cut south through Mayfield and on to Elkton. They did visit Paducah, which is odd because that's quite a detour when you could just walk Ky. 121 from Wickliffe through Mayfield. Anyway, this all demands more investigation. U.S. 68 connects Elkton and Bowling Green, so I assume that was their route.

Another happy visitor to Bowling Green.

Speaking of demanding more investigation, the vote was unanimous.

Elton John comes to Louisville, and so do a bunch of women from Leitchfield.

The transformation of Paducah's riverfront continues.

County vs. Independent in Harlan.

There is a terrific, terrific movie to be written about a courtroom drama in 1918 Columbia, Ky., surrounding arguments over "just cause(s) of idleness."


  1. I will probably order the book on Kentucky from 1800 to 1865; it will be useful when I get back to writing up my history of the Kentucky's U.S. Senators.

  2. Actually, the loitering laws mentioned in that 1918 article were a big, big deal in the United States up until the 1960s. You remember how in almost every old movie, there are always cops coming up to people and asking them what they're up to, or urging them to move along? Cops could do that sort of thing because of the anti-loitering laws, which gave local officials immense power over who could and could not be in the street at any time. Of course, the laws were not always enforced fairly -- a lot of Southern towns used them to effectively ban African-Americans after dark. But it's important to understand that what was happening in Adair County was not odd -- it was simply a judge announcing that he was going to start cracking down on poor whites and blacks.