Kentucky Historical Society
Kentucky Historical Society Notes Passing of Dr. Thomas D. Clark
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 28, 2005) – The passing of Dr. Thomas D. Clark, Kentucky’s historian laureate for life, this morning was marked by reflective silence and tears at the Kentucky Historical Society. Staff members were informed of his passing at a called meeting Tuesday at
“All of us at the Kentucky Historical Society are deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Thomas D. Clark. We are grateful for the vision and inspiration of this beloved man,” said. Kent Whitworth, executive director of the Kentucky Historical Society. “A gifted historian and scholar, he insisted on taking history to the public. In this way, he lived the mission and values of the Kentucky Historical Society. What a privilege it has been for all of us at the Kentucky Historical Society to have known and worked with him for the betterment of the commonwealth he loved. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Clark’s family at this time of great loss. We join with them in a deep desire to honor his memory in a way that is consistent with his gracious and significant life.”
Warren Rosenthal, president of the Kentucky Historical Society Foundation Board of Directors, noted, “Kentucky history and the state have lost a magnificent jewel that can never be replaced.”
Dr. Clark, a longtime advocate and activist for Kentucky history worked closely with the Kentucky Historical Society in the development of its collections, outreach and educational program. He was a member of the Kentucky Historical Society’s executive board and was instrumental in the development of the Society’s headquarters building, constructed in 1999.
“The Kentucky History Center was a dream realized for Dr. Clark,” says Libby Jones, the president of the Kentucky Historical Society Executive Board. ”Its construction was the direct result of his vision and passion for providing the best place possible to keep and share Kentucky’s treasures for all Kentuckians, now and for generations to come.”
In March, the Kentucky General Assembly voted to rename the Kentucky Historical Society’s headquarters building in honor of Dr. Clark. The building will be known as The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. The new name for the building is scheduled to be revealed at a public event on July 9. The day’s events, including a showcase of Kentucky history, were planned in close consultation with Dr. Clark and his family.
“Despite Dr. Clark’s passing, we have been encouraged to go on with our plans,” notes Whitworth. “His family expressed their sense that this is an appropriate way to honor his life and career. We look forward to a celebration of Dr. Clark’s life and of Kentucky history for the people of the commonwealth, whom Dr. Clark loved so much.”
The Kentucky Historical Society is offering the public an opportunity to sign a book of condolence, which will be presented to members of the Clark family. The book may be signed at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, 100 W. Broadway Avenue, in downtown Frankfort. It will be available Monday – Friday from a.m.to , Saturday from to , and Sunday from p.m.to through July 10.
An agency of the Kentucky Commerce Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, since 1836, has provided connections to the past, perspective on the present and inspiration for the future. KHS operates the Old State Capitol, Kentucky Military History Museum and its five-year-old headquarters, the Kentucky History Center. Since 1999, the thirty-million-dollar History Center has welcomed almost one million visitors. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the Web at http://history.ky.gov or call (502) 564-1792.