Daily Archives: December 4, 2014

Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award

AdamsWKU Libraries hosted the Evelyn Thurman Young Readers Book Award luncheon last Friday, November 21. Author Christa Carpenter and Illustrator Mark Wayne Adams were the recipients of the award for the book Jilli, That’s Silly!  Friends, Library Council members, staff, faculty, and family attended the luncheon which is given annually to recognize an author and illustrator for their work in children’s literature with a Kentucky connection. More than forty people attended the luncheon with a special program featuring WKU Libraries faculty member Lisa Miller who recently did extensive research on Evelyn Thurman, former librarian and donor for the program, and Galen Currington, the man who purchased Evelyn’s Volkswagon bug which was on display at the entrance to the building. On the days leading up to the luncheon, Adams and Carpenter went to several schools offering author/illustrator visits.

Photo Album

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SOKY Book Fest partners select finalists for 2015 Kentucky Literary Award

Bowling Green, Ky. –The Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership announces the five finalists for the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award. This year’s award will go to a work of non-fiction by a Kentucky author or with a significant Kentucky theme that was published in 2013 or 2014. The five finalists include:

The Kentucky Barbecue Book, Wes BerryKentucky Barbecue Book

Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey: An American Heritage, Michael R. Veachky_bourbon_whiskey_final.indd

Mud Creek Medicine: the Life of Eula Hall and the Fight for Appalachia, Kiran BhatrajuMud Creek Medicine

Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industry, James C. Nicholson


Unbridled Service: Growing Up and Giving Back as a Frontier Nursing Service Courier, 1928-2010, Ann Z. Cockerham

Unbridled Service

The award winner will be announced at the Southern Kentucky Book Fest’s Meet the Authors Reception to be held Friday, April 17–the night before the main Book Fest event. The Kentucky Literary Award is presented annually by the Southern Kentucky Book Fest partnership, and the 2015 award is sponsored by the Friends of WKU Libraries. For more information about the award, contact Kristie Lowry, Book Fest and Literary Outreach Coordinator, at kristie.lowry@wku.edu or 745-4502.

The Southern Kentucky Book Fest is a partnership of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Warren County Public Library, and Western Kentucky University Libraries. For more information, visit sokybookfest.org.

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A December Election

Elizabeth Martin's take on the 1844 election

Elizabeth Martin’s take on the 1844 election

When last we left the Whigs, they were fighting the presidential race of 1844, pitting their candidate, Kentucky’s Henry Clay, against Tennessee Democrat James K. Polk.  Both parties had dumped their presumptive heirs to the nomination, Vice President John Tyler and former President Martin Van Buren, respectively.

With their nation poised to become a continental power, the Whigs and Dems sparred bitterly over the annexation of Texas and Oregon, Manifest Destiny, and the westward expansion of slavery (Polk was for, Clay against).  But economic issues such as the tariff (Polk wanted to lower it) also hovered in the background.  Voting began on November 1–this was the last presidential election to be held on different days in different states–and when it concluded on December 4, 1844, Polk was declared the winner by a narrow margin.

In Elkton, Kentucky, 53-year-old Elizabeth Martin found herself on the wrong side of the vote (had she been able to vote, that is).  Writing to her nephew Benjamin Hinch, she mourned the outcome as “a grate calamity indeed” that left the defeated Whigs “all down in the mouth.”  Elizabeth’s daughter Avaline was also disappointed.  “The times are very hard with us,” and were likely to continue “since they have elected old Polk.”  But this joint mother-daughter letter included another, more personal debate, as the women earnestly proposed suitable names for Hinch’s newborn son.

Elizabeth and Avaline Martin’s letter is part of the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections.  Click here to access a finding aid.  For more collections about politics, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.

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