. Chandler was twice governor of Kentucky, 1935-1939, and 1955-1959; a U.S. Senator, 1939-1945; Commissioner of Major League Baseball, 1945-1951. This primary source material (Accession #77M1) consists of personal, political, and general papers, legal papers, and a subject file. There are also photographs, political cartoons, audio-visual material, and memorabilia in this collection. During his term as Commissioner of Baseball, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player allowed to play in the major leagues. See also the 1946 Report of the Major League Steering Committee regarding the integration of baseball. During his second term as governor of Kentucky, Chandler sent National Guard troops to Sturgis, Kentucky to enforce the integration of the schools. See also the A.B. "Happy" Chandler Oral History Project in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries.
. Clements served in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1945-1947; governor of Kentucky, 1947-1950; and as U.S. Senator from 1950-1956 (Acting Majority Leader 1955-1956). This primary source material (Accession #76M2, #82M6, #84M2, and #2007MS065) consists of personal, political, and legal papers, as well as political cartoons, photographs, audio-visual material, and memorabilia. During Clements' term as governor, the University of Kentucky was forced to admit its first African American student, Lyman T. Johnson, in 1948. Clements was an advocate of civil rights but was not able to make much progress in desegregating the rest of Kentucky's colleges and professional schools. See also the Earle C. Clements Oral History Project in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries.
. Combs was governor of Kentucky (1959-1963) and a judge on the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (1967-1970). This primary source material (Accession #96M7) consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, audio-visual material, and memorabilia. Combs appointed the state's first human rights commission, and issued an executive order that desegregated all public accommodations in Kentucky. See also the interviews with Bert T. Combs in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries, and the interviews with Combs and others located at the Eastern Kentucky University Archives.
. Cooper served in the Kentucky General Assembly (1927-1929); Pulaski County Judge, (1930-1938); U.S. Senate (1946-1948, 1952-1954, and 1956-1972); U.S. Ambassador to India and Nepal (1955-1956); and first U.S. Ambassador to East Germany (1974-1976). This primary source material (Accession #80M1) consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings, reports, printed material, county government documents, photographs, scrapbooks, audio-visual material, and memorabilia. Although a Republican, Cooper supported liberal causes such as civil rights as early as 1957 and 1964 while in the U.S. Senate. See also the John Sherman Cooper Oral History Project in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries.
. Hager became publisher and editor of the Owensboro Inquirer (later the Messenger-Inquirer) in 1919, and over the next 70 years education, health, transportation, politics, charity and civic groups were influenced by Hager and the newspaper he headed. This primary source material (Accession #97MS501) consists of correspondence, reports, newspaper clippings, statistics, photographs, and family genealogical material. This collection contains material regarding the last public execution, that of Rainey Bethea, an African American, that occurred in 1936 in Owensboro, Kentucky, and sparked national controversy.
Victor Howard Civil Rights Collection. Dr. Howard, a professor at Morehead State University, gathered over 2,500 items pertaining to the civil rights movement from 1932 to 1972. This material (Accession #2009MS014) consists of reports, pro and anti-segregation literature, articles, books, journals and periodicals, newsletters, and government documents. Dr. Howard was particularly interested in the effect the civil rights movement had on education, and this is reflected by the large amount of literature in the collection dedicated to this issue. This collection is available in Special Collections at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
. Vinson served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1925-1929, and again from 1931-1938. He was appointed Secretary of the Treasury in 1945 and served until 1946 when he was appointed Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. This primary source material consists of correspondence, photographs, court decisions, agency reports, government documents, press releases, statistics, executive orders, and memorabilia. He served until 1953. Vinson was Chief Justice during the Sweatt v. Painter decision in 1950. See also the Fred M. Vinson Oral History Project in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Edward T. Breathitt Oral History Project. These are 12 life-history interviews with former Kentucky Governor Edward T. Breathitt. In these interviews, Gov. Breathitt discusses his role in getting the Kentucky Civil Rights Bill passed in 1964 and meeting Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. This project is located in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History in the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Charles T. Wethington U.K. Alumni/Faculty Oral History Project. This collection of over 700 interviews contains several interviews with Lyman T. Johnson, the first African American admitted to the University of Kentucky, as well as interviews with several men and women who were admitted shortly thereafter. These interviews detail how these people were treated by their classmates and their professors, as well as the formation of the Black Student Union and other civil rights and related social activities. These interviews are located in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Owensboro-Daviess County, Kentucky Oral History Project: Race Relations, 1930-1970 Project. The ten interviews in this project help to document the history of segregation and civil rights in Owensboro and Daviess County, Kentucky during a major part of the 20th century. These interviews are located in the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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The mission of the Special Collections Research Center is to locate and preserve materials documenting the social, cultural, economic, and political history of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Materials are acquired regardless of format and include both primary and secondary sources; Kentuckiana is collected comprehensively. Special Collections maintains the records management program for all records generated by the University and serves as its archival repository for permanent records. As part of the mission, the Special Collections Research Center advances and supports the research, teaching, and scholarship of the University and beyond by preserving and providing access to its holdings.