Award-winning author Neela Vaswani was eagerly welcomed by more than one hundred students and educators at Moss Middle School on Friday, November 22. Vaswani traveled from New York City to be recognized with co-author Silas House for their book, Same Sun Here. The two authors attended a luncheon later that day to receive the 2013 Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award.
Event Location: Clay Motley @ Far Away Places, Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 1680 Campbell Lane.
Perhaps no other place in America is as singularly linked to its music history as this small southern city on Highway 61 seventy-seven miles south of Memphis. Here, since the early twentieth century, an astonishing number of significant musicians were born or lived from W. C. Handy, Son House, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters to Sam Cooke and Ike Turner while Influential blues artists like Charles Patton and Robert Johnson played in its juke joints, and some argue the first rock and roll song was written and rehearsed in 1951.
Clarksdale, Mississippi Population: 17,733
WKU’s bestselling author David Bell, an Associate Professor of English, makes a return visit to WKU Libraries Kentucky Live! Southern Culture At Its Best series on Thursday, November 14th at 7:00 p.m. at Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 1680 Campbell Lane. He’ll be talking about the “key elements” in writing a good mystery novel and how they differ from regular fiction and reading from his newest novel. A book signing will follow.
Western Kentucky University Libraries has selected Same Sun Here, written by Silas House and Neela Vaswani, as the winner of the seventh Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award. The national award was created to honor the memory of former WKU librarian Evelyn Thurman, who made significant contributions to children’s librarianship and literacy during her 25 years of service to the university and community. Books eligible for the award must be written or illustrated by a Kentucky author or illustrator or have a significant Kentucky-related connection.
On May 9, 1960 a group of concerned citizens and clergymen, both white and African-American, organized the Warren County Anti-Liquor Association. Their aim was to fight efforts to legalize the sale of alcohol in Bowling Green, thereby preserving the outcome of a 1957 local option election in which both the city and county had gone “dry.”
In their intense campaign to influence the vote in the upcoming September election, the Association clashed not only with pro-legalization forces (“wets”) but with the Park City Daily News over publicity tactics. The Association submitted an ad to the Daily News announcing its intention to print the names of citizens who had signed petitions calling for the new vote, but the paper refused to publish it. While the petitions themselves were public records, the editors argued, the Association’s action constituted intimidation and would expose the paper to lawsuits for invasion of privacy.
Unbowed, the Association heaped disdain on the attempts of its opponents to drape themselves in the mantle of “law and order.” Both factions despised bootleggers, “whiskey houses” and other manifestations of the illegal liquor trade, but the “wets,” who called themselves the Citizens Committee for Law and Order, favored undermining criminal profits by regulating and taxing legal sales, while the “drys” insisted on enforcement of current laws to keep all sales illegal. The rhetoric became heated as the Association accused the Citizens Committee of “fraud and deception” and even called for the indictment of its members. “Don’t be Hoodwinked,” warned its ads, predicting runaway corruption and immorality if Bowling Green went “legal.”
The election of September 24, however, saw the “wets” prevail by a 2,750-vote margin, decisively ending Bowling Green’s last experiment with prohibition. “We threw everything we had at them,” a “dry” spokesman told the Daily News the next day, “but it was not enough.”
Minutes, correspondence and other records of the Warren County Anti-Liquor Association and the 1960 local option election are part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library. Click here to access a finding aid. For other collections on prohibition and temperance, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.
On November 22, 2013, WKU Libraries hosted an awards luncheon in the Kentucky Building to honor the two winners of the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award for 2013: Silas House and Neela Vashwani, co-authors of Same Sun Here, a novel for middle graders made up of letters exchanged between an Indian immigrant girl in New York City and a rural Kentucky coal miner’s son.
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Amazing Tones of Joy - student organization
Chi Omega papers - collection inventory
Henry Cherry - founder and first president
Postcards - collection holds all kinds of postcards, not just of campus
Warner Brownfield papers - collection inventory
Her letterhead, dating probably from the 1930s or 1940s, advertised Virginia Hoskinson, a turkey and chicken breeder in Glendale, Kentucky, as a member of the National Bourbon Red Turkey Club. “These turkeys are direct descendants of a $175.00 trio . . . and we have bred them 11 years,” she explained to a prospective purchaser. “I believe these turkeys would please you in every way.”
Known for their dark red plumage, Bourbon Red turkeys originated in Kentucky’s Bluegrass region late in the 19th century. They’re now considered “heritage turkeys”: no longer raised specifically for consumption, they are nevertheless touted by some turkey pundits as being tastier and healthier than today’s dominant Broad Breasted White variety.
Virginia Hoskinson’s letterhead and sales pitch can be found in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Special Collections Library. Click here to access a finding aid. For other collections search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.
Students, faculty, and staff attended the Faraway Flix movie on Friday, November 15, in the Faculty House. The November film feature was “Kahaani” based on the country of India. Jack Montgomery and Uma Doraiswamy from Library Tech Services led a discussion following the film. Participants enjoyed bread pudding and samosas. This event was sponsored by WKU Libraries, International Student Office, and Student Activities.
Over the past two months approximately 100 people have submitted remembrances of John F. Kennedy’s (JFK) visit to Bowling Green in October 1960 or of his 1963 assassination in Dallas to the JFK Memory Project at WKU. Many of them have been quite touching. Eventually all the remembrances will be archived for posterity in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives of the Special Collections Library. Besides remembrances, people have also donated memorabilia and photographs such as the one featured here that was given by Gerald Givens. Because of the good response, the deadline for remembrances to be submitted has been extended until Presidents Day, Monday, February 17, 2014.
Here are two brief, but memorable, local remembrances:
“The next day, I traveled to Bowling Green with my Dad and Granddad to see Western play Murray in the last regular season game of the year. Many games were cancelled across the country. Western was undefeated and went on to win that cold day….but what I remember most was that a lone bugler stuck his bugle out a window from the old fieldhouse….and in total silence the crowd stood while he played “Taps” in memory of the President.” Bill Edwards, Bowling Green
“As I recall the autumn of 1963 was dry but towards the last of November a change in the weather was expected. My raincoat needed replacing so on November 22 I met my mother for lunch at the Dixie Café and then went to Norman’s to shop. Just as I was trying on a coat, a distraught Ruby Norman approached us to say the President had been shot. The three of us stood together, a trio of agonized disbelief. Soon I bought the coat and went in search of more news. As many others did, I saw and heard Walter Cronkite’s announcing Kennedy’s death. And the world was forever changed. As for the raincoat, I never wore it.” Ann Dickey, Bowling Green
Several faculty, staff, and students showed their campus spirit by donning book character costumes and walking the WKU Homecoming Parade last Friday night. Krystin Avakian, graphic designer and student worker for the Dean’s Office, said the parade was a lot of fun. “We had a great time,” said Avakian. “I went as Sherlock Holmes and carried my magnifying glass and pipe.”
Crystal Bowling, organizer of the parade, credits a great team of people that contributed to the evening’s success. “It was a great turnout and I have to thank everyone who was involved,” said Bowling. “A special thanks goes out to Amanda Hardin and Paula Bowles for rallying student assistants and allowing them to participate.”
The parade began in the middle of WKU campus and continued down State Street to Fountain Square Park.
Learn more about Tate Page Hall
It was a disaster rarely spoken of today, yet it killed more Americans than all of our 20th-century wars combined. Over 10 months alone in 1918, a vicious strain of influenza took the lives of more than half a million in the United States, and some 30 million worldwide. Today, as many obtain their routine vaccination in anticipation of flu season, it is difficult to imagine such a sudden and destructive plague.
But evidence of influenza’s shadow, especially in the terrible autumn of 1918, is preserved in several collections in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives section of WKU’s Special Collections Library. Some Kentuckians seemed to wait in resignation for the illness to strike. Returning home to Auburn, a correspondent wrote Smiths Grove farmer Carlos Moore of a passenger “on the train last night almost dead with ‘Flu.’” She was planning another trip the next week, “if I don’t take the ‘Flu.’” Butler Countian Stella (Phelps) Minton and her family became so ill that her 7-year-old son had to assume all household duties. Grief-stricken when two other sons died, Stella and her husband kept a small trunk filled with the boys’ belongings for the rest of their lives.
Entire institutions shut down in an attempt to curb the epidemic. “The flu is on again here pretty badly,” wrote Cumberland County Circuit Court clerk Nevins Hume to a litigant in November 1918; consequently, “we did not have any Court, and will not have any until March.” Scottsville teacher Eva Dalton recorded lines of zeroes in her attendance register as her school was “closed on account of influenza.” Naomi Strum reported to her soldier husband that the Webster County schools were closing; nevertheless, she assured him there was “no danger in me taking it for I am not going in a crowd until it is over.”
The flu, of course, gave soldiers and their families additional cause to worry about one another in the closing months of World War I. Serving overseas in December 1918, James McWherter heard from his father in Monroe County that the “The flu is still here, some are still dying with it.” Drucilla Short wrote her brother George Harris in October that “influenza has put a ban on all churches, theaters and schools.” Unfortunately, Drucilla’s letter was returned, for her brother had also lost his life–not to the flu, but to battlefield wounds.