Author Archives: Allison Day

Greyhound Celebrates 100th Anniversary

The Greyhound Bus Company is celebrating its 100th anniversary with a “Cross Country Centennial Tour” that offers a tour of some vintage buses like the Hupmobile (1914) and Silversides (1947), along with an interactive museum, in different cities / states across America.  For more information about the Greyhound Centennial Anniversary Tour or the Greyhound Bus Company, please visit

Greyhound began in 1914 in a small mining town of Hibbing, Minnesota by two Swedish immigrants named Andrew “Bus Andy” Anderson and Carl Eric Wickman.  Detailed information about the Greyhound history, company, timelines, and founders can be located at

Library Special Collections is now featuring a display with Greyhound Bus memorabilia from Kentucky in recognition of Greyhound’s 100th anniversary celebration.  The display contains books about Greyhound and also the periodical, Backfire, by the Southeastern Greyhound Bus Lines that can be found at Kentucky Library Research Collections.  Other interesting items contained in the display are bus schedules, tickets, toy buses, and photographs of vintage buses or old stations.



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Maurice Hudson Thatcher

Panama Canal Logo Maurice Hudson Thatcher was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 15, 1870.  The Thatcher family moved to Morgantown, Kentucky when Maurice was about 3-yrs-old and he grew up in Butler County.  Maurice Thatcher worked as a circuit court clerk for Butler County, before he became Assistant U. S. District Attorney for Kentucky’s Western District, 1901-1908.  Thatcher held the office of State Inspector and Examiner for Kentucky, 1908-1910.  In 1910, Maurice Thatcher was appointed by the former U. S. President William Howard Taft as a member of the Isthmian Canal Commission which supervised construction of the Panama Canal.

Maurice H. Thatcher served as Civil Governor of the Canal Zone, 1910-1913, during the construction of the Panama Canal.  The Thatcher Ferry Bridge over the Panama Canal was named for Maurice Thatcher in 1961.  Former U. S. President Robert F. Kennedy reportedly gave Maurice Thatcher the pen with which Kennedy signed the bill that named the bridge after Thatcher.  However, the Thatcher Ferry bridge was later renamed as the Bridge of the Americas.

Maurice H. Thatcher served in the House of Representatives, 1923-1933, from Kentucky’s 5th District.  Thatcher sponsored legislation for the establishment of Mammoth Cave as a National Park.  Thatcher actively supported a national parkway system from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park through the Mammoth Cave National Park and to the Natchez Trace Parkway near Nashville, TN.  Thatcher also helped establish the Gorgas Memorial Laboratory in Panama City for the study of tropical diseases in honor of his old colleague on the canal commission, Colonel William C. Gorgas.

In the House of Representatives address on May 29, 1930, the Honorable Maurice H. Thatcher concluded his speech on page 20 about the History and Significance of the Panama Canal with, “This slight ligament, which through the centuries gone has physically bound together North and South America, in the centuries to come, by the fact of its severance, shall bind and hold together the two continents in the closest bonds of commercial, political, and social friendship, and shall quicken and increase our contacts with all the lands of the earth.”

Maurice Thatcher *Photo of Maurice H. Thatcher can be found in the Department of Library Special Collections.

Thatcher was honorary life president of the Panama Canal Society in Washington, D. C. and honorary life member of the Isthmian Historical Society.  Other honors include: a medal and plaque of the Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa from the Panama government, as well as honors from Venezuela and Ecuador for his service.

Maurice H. Thatcher was the sole surviving member of the Isthmian Canal Commission when he celebrated his 100th birthday on the 56th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal.  Former U. S. President Richard Nixon called to wish Thatcher a happy birthday.

In a newspaper article written by William Greider, February 18, 1968, entitled …Always a Congressman, Thatcher said, “I keep my citizenship back in Kentucky,” he explained, “but I am domiciled here.  I stayed here because of these public matters I was interested in.  I felt I could do more good by staying here and could serve Kentucky and the Panama Canal better than I would by going back.”

Maurice Hudson Thatcher died on January 6, 1973 at the age of 102 at his home in Washington, D. C. and he was buried in Frankfort, Kentucky.


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Kentucky Digital Library partners with DPLA

The Kentucky Digital Library (KDL) has recently partnered with The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).  The DPLA now harvests monthly from various metadata records in the Kentucky Digital Library.  In December, a DPLA report showed 178 accesses of KDL through The Digital Public Library of America.

The Kentucky Digital Library was invited to participate in the Digital Public Library of America as one of the first four service hub partners.  KDL was selected based on the strength of their technological infrastructure and content.  The goal of DPLA is to “create a resource that goes well beyond providing simple access to digitized or born digital content.” DPLA also strives to “bring together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums and make them freely available to the world.”

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Drake’s Creek Baptist Association


The annual minutes of Drake’s Creek Baptist Association have been recently acquired by the WKU Special Collections Library.  There are scattered issues of the minutes from 1847 – 1962.  The associational meetings were held in Allen, Simpson, Barren or Warren counties in Kentucky and a few Tennessee counties like Gallatin, Robertson, and Sumner as well.

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The Liberator, Anti-slavery Newspaper





The anti-slavery newspaper, The Liberator, has been recently acquired by the WKU Special Collections Library.  William Lloyd Garrison was the editor and J. B. Yerrinton & Son were the printers.  These newspapers were published from 1831-1865 from the Anti-slavery office in Boston.  The motto of the newspaper, “Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind” can be seen below the front page, pictorial depiction of slavery.  The Special Collections Library now features 14 original print copies of various issues from 1853-1864 of this anti-slavery newspaper to add to the SCL newspaper collection.  Special thanks to Jonathan Jeffrey for noticing these important newspapers in a Texas store, while on the holiday break.

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by | January 27, 2014 · 4:01 pm

Meet John F. Kennedy

Meet John F. Kennedy

An interesting 1965 children’s book, Meet John F. Kennedy, by Nancy Bean White has been recently donated to the WKU Special Collections Library.  The book is filled with more than fifty, real-life photographs related to John F. Kennedy, his family, and his presidency.  The book presents a realistic timeline of JFK from his childhood, the presidency, the family, and his tragic death.


The donor of this treasured book is Mary Bennett who lives in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Mrs. Bennett participated in the JFK Memory Project at WKU and was interviewed by the Manuscripts and Folklife Archives Librarian, Jonathan Jeffrey.  Mrs. Bennett was shopping in downtown Dallas, Texas at the time of President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade on November 22, 1963.  The Bennett family could not see the actual assassination from their location in the crowd, but Mr. Bennett and a fellow trucker friend were able to communicate with each other by “walkie talkies” to safely escape the chaotic events following the president’s assassination. President Kennedy’s traumatic assassination and the televised funeral procession prompted Mrs. Bennett to collect many memorable JFK items over the years.

The JFK Memory Project at WKU is currently collecting remembrances of Kennedy’s assassination, if anyone would like to contribute their memories of where they were on that fateful day when they first learned of President Kennedy’s death or watched the news and funeral on television.  The JFK Memory Project at WKU is still collecting information about President John F. Kennedy’s visit to Bowling Green on October 8, 1960.  If you or your family, friends, and neighbors remember President Kennedy’s visit to Kentucky or the JFK assassination events, please contact Jonathan Jeffrey at 270-745-5265 or to share your personal memories of these historical events.

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