World War II-era envelope illustration (SC 1819)
On May 7, 1945, only two weeks after the funeral of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the White House press office issued a short statement: the new president, Harry S. Truman, planned “to make an announcement to the nation by radio at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning.” The end of World War II in Europe was at hand.
The press release was probably typed by Elizabeth (Phillips) Brite, a Bowling Green native, graduate of the Bowling Green Business University, and secretary to White House press secretary Jonathan W. Daniels. Elizabeth was uniquely situated to witness Washington’s anticipation of the Nazi surrender. On May 1, Truman had authorized Daniels to state that should hostilities cease, the President would “emphasize the necessity for thankfulness and for continuation by all Americans in the great war job which still lies before us.” On May 2, the State Department released a chronology of the week’s negotiations with Germany–the summons of a Swedish intermediary, German commander Heinrich Himmler’s secret peace offer and his claim that Hitler was fatally ill, and America’s coordination with its British and Soviet allies. Having demanded that capitulation be unconditional and delivered to all three Allied governments, President Truman agreed with London and Moscow that their announcements of victory would be simultaneous.
In Truman’s May 1 message, he had hoped that “there will be no celebration” in light of the unfinished struggle against Japan. Fred Vinson, a Kentuckian directing the Office of War Mobilization, took a similar stance. The government would “not attempt to prescribe a rigid rule of conduct” for local celebrations of victory, but he urged that there be no break in war production and “no greater interruption of normal activity than the peoples’ sense of sober rejoicing demands.” Although many heeded his request for restraint, Victory in Europe Day–May 8, 1945, which also happened to be President Truman’s birthday–nevertheless brought jubilation.
Press releases and other materials relating to V-E Day are part of the Henry and Elizabeth Brite Collection in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives holdings of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections. Click here to access a finding aid. For other World War II collections, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.
World War II-era envelope illustration (SC 1819) mocking Hitler by using the name of his father’s unwed mother.
Athletic Village – article by Kelly Thompson
Beulah Collins Ellis Autograph Book
BUWKY 9/1938 – Bowling Green Business University student publication
Glasgow Normal School – collection inventory
Personnel File – September 1988 issue WKU newsletter
Rodes-Helm Lecture Series – posters & programs
Sophomores – links to images and information regarding Sophomore classes
Southern Normal Scrapbook Index
Van Meter Hall – building history
Wetherby Hall – building history
Zacharias Hall – building history
In February 1943 Leone Brewer was a student at the Bowling Green Business University. She was pledging the Delta Theta sorority and as part of those activities, she kept a diary. This diary is now in the WKU Archives. It records the rules which pledges had to observe such as carrying books and running errands for other students. Ms. Brewer gives details about the clothes she wore, going on a date, assemblies and a survey of neighborhood cats and dogs. Check out the entire diary at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/stu_alum_papers/47.
Do you have similar experiences of pledging a fraternity or sorority? Were there top secret initiation rites? Share your memories of WKU and BGBU with us.
Oral histories capture a slice of life. WKU Archives holds many audiotapes and transcripts of interviews with six presidents from Kelly Thompson 1955-1969 to Thomas Meredith 1988-1997. These tapes tell the story of how WKU has grown and evolved over time. There are also interviews with athletes and coaches such as William “Big Six” Henderson, Dee Gibson, Clem Haskins, the Cook twins, Clemette Haskins and E.A. Diddle. Interviews with alumni reveal changes in student life over time.
The WKU History Department Oral History Committee files have been processed and are now available to researchers in WKU Archives. Interviews were conducted between 1976 and 1997 and capture a variety of views of WKU’s history. The collection inventory is available online at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/293
Also available to researchers are the WKU Centennial Oral Project tapes. The collection inventory is available online at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/dlsc_ua_fin_aid/190/
Editor-in-Chief & business manager Lawrence Stone launched the BUKY in March 1936. The publication statement indicates that it was to be a student magazine published monthly “during the college year except for July and August in the interests of the students of the Bowling Green Business University and Western Kentucky Teachers College.” It cost $.75 for a year’s subscription and $.10 per single issue.
The next extant issue May 1936 indicates a change in the title to BUWKY due to a misunderstanding in the pronunciation. Although published at the BU, there were more Western students on the rolls of reporters in the early issues each with pseudonyms such as Rusty Rhythm and Norothy Nix. The magazine covers WKU sporting events, alumni of both schools, and highlights BU students and faculty. The ads are also an interesting component highlighting local businesses of the period as well as national trends.
The University Archives does not hold a full run of the magazine. Those that are extant 1936 and 1938-1943 have been digitized and are now available on TopScholar. They are a wonderful view into student life at both schools. Please contact the University Archivist at email@example.com if you have more issues of this publication to donate. Also, check out the University Archives wish list.
These magazines and other records regarding the Bowling Green Business University are available to researchers in the Harrison-Baird Reading Room of the Kentucky Library & Museum Monday – Saturday, 9 – 4.
The Bowling Green Business University split off in 1906 as WKU was formed. It functioned as an independent business college until 1963 when it merged into WKU and formed the basis of what is now the Gordon Ford College of Business. In 1948 the students of the BU as it was known, created a monthly student magazine named Towers and Toppers or T ‘n’ T. Student reporters highlighted faculty and students, tracked alumni whereabouts, dished the latest gossip and talked WKU sports.
The University Archives holds several issues of the magazine for the 1948-1951 period and these have been indexed, digitized and posted on TopScholar. Originals are available in University Archives. We are interested in finding additional issues to make our holdings complete. Please contact the University Archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have these or other items to donate.
Before there was WKU, there was the Southern Normal. A school that evolved from the Glasgow Normal, which moved to Bowling Green and changed hands several times before the Cherry brothers took over. The Southern Normal existed between 1893 and 1906 when it split into WKU and the Bowling Green Business University.
The Southern Educator serves as a journal of pedagogy, alumni magazine, advertisement for the Southern Normal, course listings and gives an overall look into the daily life of the Southern Normal. Published more or less quarterly from 1897 to 1906, the newspaper is being digitized and made available online to researchers. A name index available at: http://www.wku.edu/Library/dlsc/ua/bgbu-a.htm.