Kentucky Historical Society
Author Maryjean Wall to Discuss Vices of Early Kentucky at KHS
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2010) —Author and Lexington Herald-Leader writer Maryjean Wall, Ph.D., will discuss Kentucky’s wild and violent frontier past and its transformation to the horse capital of the world during the Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) History Speaks! program at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 7. The event will take place at the Old State Capitol in downtown Frankfort and is free and open to the public.
At the end of the Civil War, Kentucky was plagued with violence and lawlessness, which dissuaded wealthy capitalists from the Northeast from bringing their racehorse-breeding operations to Kentucky. Bluegrass breeders did not find a way to attract those breeders to Kentucky until after the war. Based on her research, Wall contends that this was the time that Kentucky’s identity transformed from that of a border state to a state that is truly southern.
Prior to beginning research toward her doctorate at the University of Kentucky, Wall served as a reporter on the horse racing beat for the Herald-Leader from 1970s to the early 2000s. When she first began her career, she was the only woman in the United States writing about racing for a newspaper on a full-time basis. She has received three Media Eclipse Awards for excellence in thoroughbred racing coverage and three John Hervey Awards for excellence in harness racing reporting.
Wall’s discussion, “How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers and Breeders,” is titled after her book, a recent release from the University Press of Kentucky. The book will be for sale at the event.
History Speaks! is part of the KHS Highlighting History series, which also includes the Food for Thought program. Highlighting History is funded with generous support from the KHS Foundation. Upcoming events in the series include a KHS Film Series screening of “The Narcotic Farm” and History Speaks!: “The Vanishing Bluegrass.”
For more information on Highlighting History, including the full Fall 2010 schedule, visit www.history.ky.gov.
An agency of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, the Kentucky Historical Society, established in 1836, is committed to helping people understand, cherish and share Kentucky's history. The KHS history campus includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the Old State Arsenal. For more information about the Kentucky Historical Society and its programs, visit the website at www.history.ky.gov.