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Datebook: February 22 – George Washington Turns 280

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George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 (and died December 14, 1799). We all know him as the 1st U.S. President (1789-1797), and as a great military leader. He was elected unanimously and oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed government that maintained neutrality in the wars raging in Europe. He was born into a wealthy Colonial Virginia family, who owned tobacco plantations and slaves. He was mentored by William Fairfax, who promoted his career into the military. He quickly became a senior officer in the colonial forces during the French and Indian War. As  Commander-In-Chief of the Continental Army, he forced the British out of Boston in 1776, but lost New York City. After crossing the Delaware River, he defeated the British in two battles, and retook New Jersey. Washintgon strategized the capture of Saratoga in 1777 and Yorktown in 1781. As President, he supported Alexander Hamilton’s programs to pay off the debt, to implement a tax system, and to create a national bank. He was outspoken against partisanship, sectoinalism, and involvement in foreign wars. He retired from presidency in 1797 and returned to his home, Mount Vernon. He freed his slaves in his will. At his death, Washington was hailed as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen”.

It’s Wednesday, February 22

The American Red Cross holds a blood drive at First Presbyterian Church in Murray tomorrow from 12:30 to 5:30.  Donors must be healthy, at least seventeen years old, and at least 110 pounds.  Schedule an appointment by calling 800-RED-CROSS.

The Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park hosts an Oil Painting Weekend this Saturday and Sunday.  Learn the wet-on-wet method of oil painting by creating your own 16×20 landscape painting.  The fees are $65 for one class or $120 for both classes and the Friday night program.  For more information, call Rebecca Clark at 797-3421.

The Murray State University Department of Theater presents Suddenly Last Summer, by Tennessee Williams, tomorrow night at 7:30 in the Actor’s Studio Theater.  The play tells the story of a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin dies under mysterious circumstances. Admission is $8, or free for MSU students.

Tomorrow at noon, hear Swinging into the 21st Century with Wynton Marsalis.  Find details at

Datebook: January 13 – William Brydon Becomes Sole Survivor of First Anglo-Afghan War 160 Years Ago

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The First Anglo-Afghan War was fought between British India and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842. It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Central Asia between the United Kingdom and Russia, and also marked one of the worst setbacks inflicted on British power in the region after the consolidation of British Raj by the East India Company. It is considered one of Britain’s worst disasters in Asia before Japan’s invasion of Malaya and capture of Singapore during World War II. The final stand took place at Gandamak on the morning of January 13, 1842 in the snow. 20 officers and 45 British soldiers, found themselves surrounded on a hillock. The Afghans attempted to persuade the soldiers that they intended them no harm. Then the sniping began, followed by a series of rushes. Captain Souter wrapped the regimental colors around his body and was dragged into captivity with two or three soldiers. The remainder were shot or cut down. Only 6 mounted officers escaped. Of these, 5 were murdered along the road. In the afternoon, the British troops in Jalalabad, watching for their comrades of the Kabul garrison, saw a single figure ride up to the town walls. It was Dr. William Brydon, an assistant surgeon. Part of his skull had been sheared off by an Afghan sword and he survived only because he had stuffed a copy of Blackwood’s Magazine into his hat to fight the intense cold weather. The magazine took most of the blow, saving the doctor’s life. He was the only member of the army of 4,500 men to reach safety at the British garrison.

It’s Friday, January 13

Monday the Paducah Chapter of the NAACP’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration starts at 10:15 a.m. with a march from the Robert Cherry Civic Center proceeding east along Park Avenue to the MLK Monument for a wreath laying. The annual luncheon follows at the Civic Center.

Henry Countians commemorate Monday’s holiday with a prayer breakfast at Quinn Chapel AME Church at 218 Church Street in Paris followed by a march from there to the Henry County Court House for more speaking. At 6 p.m.Rev. Thomas Taylor, Union Grove Baptist Church keynotes at the closing ceremony for the day at Allen Temple CME Church on Warren Street.

Murray’s Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast begins at 8 a.m. Monday at the Woodman of the World, 330 CC Lowry Drive. MSU students participate in a day of service from noon to 5. At 10 a.m. Pastor Rinzee Stansberry of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Ridgeway, South Carolina remembers Dr. King in the Curris Center Ballroom.

See details at Thanks!

Datebook: January 10 – Robinson Jeffers Turns 125

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Robinson Jeffers was born on January 10, 1887 (and died January 20, 1962). He was an American poet, best known for his work about the central California coast and as an icon of the environmental movement. Most of his poetry was written in classic narrative and epic form, but his short verse is usually found in modern anthologies. His poems “Tamar” and “Roan Stallion,” are considered a mastery of epic form, akin to Greek narrative, and were full of controversial subject matter like incest, murder, and parricide. Jeffers’ short verse includes “Hurt Hawks”, “The Purse-Seine”, and “Shine, Perishing Republic.” His intense relationship with the physical world is described in often brutal and apocalyptic verse, and demonstrates a preference for the natural world over what he sees as the negative influence of civilization. He coind the term ‘inhumanism,’ the belief that mankind is too self-centered and too indifferent to the “astonishing beauty of things.”

It’s Tuesday, January 10

Murray State’s MFA winter reading series continues tonight at 7:30 with writer Padma Viswanathan. Her reading’s in Clara Eagle Gallery, 6th Floor Doyle Fine Arts. Her first novel, The Toss of a Lemon, traces 60 years in the lives of a young Indian widow and her gay manservant.

Hopkinsville’s Guild Art Gallery features new original paintings and photographs along with jewelry, woodworking and pottery by Art Guild members with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday. The Gallery’s in Bradford Square Mall, 4000 Ft. Campbell Boulevard .

The Marvelous Wonderettes perform for Murray’s Playhouse in the Park this weekend and next. Shows are at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays . Four girls sing for their prom in 1958 in act one- then sing together again at their ten year reunion in 1968. Call 270-759-1752 for tickets. Also, tonight from 4 to 6 there are auditions for 13 the Musical.

Red Cross Blood Drive, Wal-Mart, Jan. 13, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m.

See more about America’s Test Kitchen Radio with Christopher Kimball new to our weekend schedule at


Datebook: December 28 – Godfather of R&B Turns 90

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Johnny Otis was born on December 28, 1921 (still alive). He’s an American musician commonly referred to as the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues.” The son of Greek immigrants, he grew up in the ethnically mixed neighborhood in Vallejo, California and identified himself with the culture of his black neighborhood friends. He founded his own band in 1945 and became a hit with the song “Harlem Nocturne,” followed by a long string of R&B hits. He discovered Big Jay McNeely (“Barrelhouse Stomp”), Etta James (“Roll With Me, Henry”), He also produced the original recording of “Hound Dog.” In 1958, he recorded his best-known recording “Willie and the Hand Jive.” He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

It’s Wednesday, December 28

This Sunday St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1620 West Main in Murray opens a Free Warming Center. Its hours are 6 to 8 p.m. through Saturday March 3. The Center provides dinner and breakfast as well as lodging. No pre-registration is required, but arrival should be before 10 p.m. Call 270-753-1881 for more.

The Art Guild of Paducah meets for the first time in 2012 next Tuesday. Regular guild meetings with a program are the first Tuesday monthly — from 6 to 8 p.m. at the McCracken County Public Library. The Library’s at 555 Washington Street.

Lake Barkley State Resort Park near Cadiz hosts the Nashville band Pink Cadillac for Saturday’s Barkley Bash. The Park’s package includes overnight lodging in a lake view room, dinner buffet for 2, Barkley Bash dancing, drinks during dance and breakfast buffet for two. This is an age 21 and older event with no outside alcohol permitted. Call 270-924-1131.

Hear A Season’s Griot 2011 tomorrow at noon. See more at Thanks.

Datebook: December 19 – Gorbechev Releases Sakharov 25 Years Ago

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Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov earned renown as the designer of the Soviet Union’s Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. He was also an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the Soviet Union and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. Following public protests against the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, Sakharov was sent into internal exile in the city of Gorky. He and his wife were kept under tight surveillance and suffered notoriously poor treatment. On December 19, 1986, Mikhail Gorbechev, who had initiated perestroika and glasnost, formally released Sakharov. After his relese, he continued human rights campaigns until his death in 1989. The Sakharov Prize, which is awarded annually by the European Parliament for people and organizations dedicated to human rights and freedoms, is named in his honor.

It’s Monday, December 19

The American Red Cross has a Blood Drive at First Presbyterian Church, 1601 Main St. in Murray this Thursday from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Patti’s Settlement and downtown Grand Rivers boast a half million lights twinkling in trees nightly through the first week of January.

The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications until next March 15 from professional artists who want to be listed in the Performing Arts Directory, Architectural Artists Directory or Kentuck Crafted Program. See details at or call 502-564-8110.

Relax with a cup of hot chocolate and listen to the Dickens’ Carolers at the McCracken County Public Library on tomorrow from 1:00 – 3:00. Dressed for holiday party in the 1800’s, the group sings traditional carols and invites singing along. The library’s at 555 Washington Street in Paducah.

Enjoy A Café Jazz Christmas with Todd Hill with us tomorrow night at 9. See for details.

Datebook: December 14 – First Explorers Reach South Pole 100 Years Ago

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Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen saw success chartering the North Pole and set to the south with a crew, in 1911. he set up camp at the Bay of Whales, donned Eskimo-style wool clothing and used skis and dog sleds for transportation. They departed from camp on October 19 with four sledges and 52 dogs. Using a route Using a route along the previously unknown Axel Heiberg Glacier, they arrived at the edge of the Polar Plateau on November 21 after a four-day climb. On December 14, 1911, his team arrived at the Pole (90° 0′ S). They arrived 33–34 days before rival Robert F. Scott’s group. Amundsen named their South Pole camp Polheim, “Home on the Pole.” Amundsen renamed the Antarctic Plateau as King Haakon VII’s Plateau. They left a small tent and letter stating their accomplishment, in case they did not return safely to their camp. They did return, however, on January 25. Amundsen’s success was publicly announced on March 7, 1912, when he arrived at Hobart, Australia.

It’s Wednesday, December 14

The Western Baptist Hospital Foundation offers sponsorship of a poinsettia or “Christmas Star” in honor or memory of a loved one. The poinsettia tree is in the atrium of Doctors Office Building 2. The suggested donation is $20 for a 6 inch, $40 for a 12 inch. An acknowledgement card goes on the poinsettia and another goes to announce the gift. See

Enjoy Murray’s Playhouse in the Park’s production of The Sound of Music Friday and Saturday nights at 7, Sunday afternoon at 2:30. Get tickets at Take a canned good or non-perishable food item with you for the Festival of Lights at Murray’s Central Park.

LBL continues to offer permits, maps, and cutting guidelines for free Cedar Christmas Trees through Christmas Eve. Stop by the Administrative Office 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at the Golden Pond Visitor Center, 9 to 5 Saturday and Sunday, closing at 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

Follow our holiday programming schedule at Enjoy today.

Datebook: December 12 – Gustave Flaubert turns 190

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Gustave Flaubert was born on December 12, 1821 (and died May 8, 1880). He was a French writer considered among the greatest Western novelists, known especially for his first published novel, Madame Bovary (1857). Flaubert spent five years writing Madame Bovary, which was serialized in the Revue de Paris in 1856. The government brought an action against the publisher and author on the charge of immorality, which was heard during the following year, but both were acquitted. When Madame Bovary appeared in book form, it met with a warm reception. Flaubert is infamous for scrupulously avoiding the inexact, the abstract, and vaguely inapt expression. He believed in the principle of finding “le mot juste” (“the right word”), which he considered has the key mean to achieve quality in literary art. In his letters, it is evident that he toiled in agony, violently tormenting his brain for the best turn of phrase. Modern writers may sympathize with the notion that blood, sweat, and tears went into his work. Because of this, he published less prolifically than his peers and was considered a “martyr of style.”

It’s Monday December 12

Murray’s Playhouse in the Park’s youth group, Box of Frogs, offers the Show Stoppin’ Recipes Cookbook for holiday giving. These are $15, include 200 recipes, and the Playhouse is open most afternoons for pick up. The Playhouse’s annual meeting is tomorrow evening at 6:30. The Marvelous Wonderettes will be on hand with entertainment.

Murray State’s President’s home Oakhurst on Main between 15th and 16th is open to all for a Holiday Reception from 4:30 to 6:30 Thursday. Drs. Randy and Ronda Dunn invite the Town and Gown communities.

The Mayfield Middle and High School Christmas Assistance Program seeks donors. Contact the STAR Youth Service Center at 270-247-7256. The Program pre-interviews parents or guardians of children to create lists of wishes and needs. Donors may get a list to shop confidentially for a particular child or give donations to the program to do the shopping.

Listen to Rose Krzton-Presson’s story about the newly established circus museum in Hopkinsville at Thanks for supporting this service.

Datebook: December 9 – Our Lady of Guadalupe Appears 480 Years Ago

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Our Lady of Guadalupe, also known as the Virgin of Guadalupe is a celebrated Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary and one of Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural images. According to tradition, on December 9, 1531 a peasant named Juan Diego had a vision of a young woman while he was on a hill in the Tepeyac desert, near Mexico City. The lady told him to build a church exactly on the spot where they were standing. He told the local bishop, who asked for some proof. He went back, had the vision again, and said the bishop wanted proof. She said “Bring the roses behind you.” Turning to look, he found a rose bush growing. He cut the roses, placed them in his poncho and returned to the bishop. When he opened his poncho, instead of roses, was an image of the young lady in the vision.

It’s Friday, December 9th

Fountain Avenue United Methodist Church in Paducah has its Christmas Craft Bazaar and Bake Sale tomorrow from 9 to 4.

There’s a wreath laying ceremony Monday at 10 a.m. at Fort Campbell Memorial Park in Hopkinsville honoring those lost in the plane crash in Gander, Newfoundland, December 12, 1985.

Enjoy free Breakfast with Santa tomorrow at 8 a.m. at the Paducah Recreation Center at 1527 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. Children 12 and under are also invited to the free Candy Cane Hunt at 10 at Keiler Park at 2900 Broadway.

Henry County High School’s State Champion Football Team members and coaches are grand marshals of the Holly Jolly Christmas Parade at 6 p.m. tomorrow in Downtown Paris.

Paducah’s National Quilt Museum hosts Story Time with Mrs. Claus tomorrow from 10 to 2. Create and consume a Quilted Cookie.

The Sound of Music is on stage at Murray’s Playhouse tonight and tomorrow night at 7 and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Get tickets at

Take care. Enjoy more at

Murray Mentioned in ‘This Is NPR’

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We found a Murray, Kentucky mention in NPR’s biographical retrospective! Here’s some context: Susan Stamberg writes about the early days of producing All Things Consisdered in 1971, about hearing voices from ‘exotic’ locations like Murfreesboro, Tennesse and Kankakee, Illinois…

Excerpt from page 15 of “This Is NPR: The First Forty Years”

In addition to carrying our program, reporters at those and other stations let America listen in to what was happening in their towns. They interviewed citizens and produced stories on local doings, and their tapes were broadcast on ATC.

“What’s there to do in Murray, Kentucky, on Saturday night?”

“You go down south ’til eleven-thirty. To Tennessee for beer. Then you come back here and usually you eat. You get a pizza. You drive around town two or three times. Nothin.’ You go home. That’s it.”

“Surely there’s more than that?” 

‘”There’s nothing else to do in Murray. If there was something else to do, we wouldn’t be up there on Saturday night driving up and down the street.”

Check out This Is NPR, available at the NPR Shop. It may just be your next good read!

Written by Matt Markgraf

December 5, 2011 at 2:32 pm

Posted in FYI

Tagged with , ,

Datebook: December 5 – Walt Disney Turns 110

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Walt Disney was born on December 5, 1901 (and died December 15, 1966). Along with his brother Roy O. Disney, he was co-founder of Walt Disney Productions, which later became one of the best-known motion picture producers in the world. The corporation is now known as The Walt Disney Company and had an annual revenue of approximately US $36 billion in the 2010 financial year. Disney is particularly noted as a film producer and a popular showman, as well as an innovator in animation and theme park design. He and his staff created some of the world’s most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse, for whom Disney himself provided the original voice. During his lifetime he received four honorary Academy Awards and won 22 Academy Awards from a total of 59 nominations, including a record four in one year, giving him more awards and nominations than any other individual in history.

It’s Monday, December 5

The Paducah Knights of Columbus fundraise with a Christmas Tree Sale continuing while trees last weekdays from 4 to 8 p.m. and weekends 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the downtown Farmer’s Market. Trees are Fraser Fir and Scotch Pine from 6 to 12 feet tall.

Friday is the deadline to bring food items for Christmas Baskets for Need Line of Murray. Tomorrow is the deadline for signing-up to receive a basket. Bring items ranging from jello and candy canes to turkey, sweet potatoes and stuffing mix. Donations are also welcome at the office, 638 South Fourth Street.

Tomorrow the Kiwanis Club of Paducah hosts its annual Charity Christmas Auction at Rolling Hills Country Club. A silent auction starts at 6:30 p.m. and goes live at 7:30. Admission is free and open to all. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and cash bar. Proceeds benefit Helping Hands, St. Nicholas Clinic, the club’s scholarship, Paducah Day Nursery and the West Kentucky Easter Seals.

Enjoy the week. Stay informed with Thank you.