Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Statement from Governor Fletcher on the Passing of Dr. Thomas Clark

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, June 28, 2005  
Contact Information:  Carla Blanton
Michael Goins
Jodi Whitaker

 “Dr. Thomas Clark always saw Kentucky as a land of contrasts, and that’s as true today as it has ever been. We will be eternally grateful to him for trying to define and explain those contrasts. But we will be just as grateful to him for doing more than any other individual to make us proud of being a Kentuckian. His legacy will enrich the commonwealth for countless decades to come. Our state’s historian laureate has become an important influence on our state’s history.

“It’s unusually poignant that we have lost Dr. Clark only days short of his 102nd birthday and the day we have set aside to officially re-name the Kentucky History Center in his honor. That was to be Dr. Clark’s day, and I assure you it still will be. His special brand of Kentucky’s spirit will be with us as we celebrate his life, his accomplishments and his reverence for our past, present and future.

“Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers presented Dr. Clark, our distinguished state historian laureate, with a scooter that he could use to negotiate his way around the Kentucky History Center. I’m told that Dr. Clark accepted the gift with youthful delight and soon was puttering around the Center, bumping into walls and laughing as he learned how to operate his new set of wheels. That story tells me that, to his final days, Dr. Clark never lost the youthful delight, sense of adventure, and intellectual curiosity that sustained him throughout his long and distinguished career as one of the nation’s pre-eminent historians.”