Archive for the ‘Spotlight’ Category


Hike to Historic Site

In Spotlight on February 22, 2018 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , ,

PRESS RELEASE from Helen McKinney, Oldham County History Center, La Grange

Westport Row & Kayak Club:
Hike to an Historic Site

Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m.
Oldham County History Center

A new club has been introduced by the Oldham County History Center: The Westport Row & Kayak Club. “The purpose of the club is to invite members to get out and explore the fascinating and beautiful places that make our community special. Often knowing and falling in love with the places where we live requires the experience and feel of where events and history took place,” said Dr. Nancy Stearns Theiss, Executive Director of the Oldham County History Center in La Grange. Theiss leads all activities and members meet at designated locations in Westport unless otherwise noted. The next outing is scheduled for Friday, March 9 at 11 a.m. Members will hike to an historic spot once owned by the Button family in Westport.

“Participants will not only go on some row adventures on the Ohio River but also hike on some unique and historic properties in the county,” she said. The club is geared for adults (21 and older) and open only to History Center members. All members of the club must furnish their own kayak for rowing events. Hikes will be moderate to difficult. There will be extra charges for some activities that include food and drinks. Dates are listed in the History Center Almanac, which can be picked up at the J.C. Barnett Libraries & Archives building/office, located at 106 N. Second Ave. in La Grange. A description of locations to meet and any other necessary information will be given when participants register for an outing.

The Westport Row and Kayak Club is a sponsor of SPLASH DAY which will be held on June 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. This event “celebrates water safety, history and conservation of the Ohio River,” said Theiss. The event, which is open to the public, is also sponsored by Oldham County Parks Dept., Knock on Wood and the Westport Fire Department. It will take place at the Westport ramp and boat dock. Activities include water safety demonstrations, hands-on activities, kayaking, food, etc.

Please call the Oldham County History Center for more information or to register for any Westport Row & Kayak Club events at (502) 222-0826.

Westport Row & Kayak Club 2018 Events

  • Friday, April 27 – Hike in La Grange includes cemetery walk, conservation park and visit to the Rob Morris house. 11 a.m. Bring brown bag lunch.
  • Thursday, June 14 – SPLASH DAY. 5-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, July 11 – Evening on the Ohio River Paddle. Launch at the Westport Boat Ramp. Cost will include dinner. 5-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 16 – Hike and swim to a spring fed pond and late 18th century springhouse. Cost will include dinner.
  • Sunday, September 9 – Morning paddle on the Ohio River. 10 a.m.

Oldham County Historical Society
106 N. Second Ave.
La Grange, KY  40031
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U.S. slavery

In Spotlight on February 21, 2018 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has released a powerful research report on the teaching of history of American slavery. Entitled “Teaching Hard History” the report concludes that we, collectively, are not adequately teaching this important part of U.S. history in high school. Indeed, since slavery was at the core of our beginnings and formation as a nation-state, we must face squarely this history’s part in the persistent disparities African Americans face today.

The report details the SPLC findings:

  • High school seniors struggle on even the most basic questions about American enslavement of Africans.
  • Teachers who are serious about teaching slavery struggle to provide deep coverage of the subject in the classroom.
  • Popular textbooks fail to comprehensively cover slavery and enslaved peoples.
  • State content standards are timid and fail to set appropriately high expectations. 

“We can and must do better. Read the report. Take the quiz. Engage with hard history.”



In Spotlight on January 23, 2018 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: , , , ,

An announcement from Liz Maurer at the National Women’s History Museum about their new report from an analysis of K-12 curriculum standards for each state in the U.S. We might not be surprised by the overall finding that women are most often portrayed in the curriculum standards in a domestic role.

Pie Chart on topics discussing women

Analysis from the National Women’s History Museum’s survey of K-12 social studies curriculum standards across the U.S.

I am pleased to announce that National Women’s History Museum’s recently released its new report, Where are the Women? A Report on the Status of Women in the United States Social Studies CurriculumWhere are the Women? examines the status of women’s history in state-level social studies standards. It is the most up-to-date evaluation of women’s history integration in US public, K-12 education.

Download the report here.

The report discusses the ways that that women’s history is characterized in US K-12 social studies standards and, by extension, in textbooks and public school classrooms.  Interesting findings include:

  • Names of 178 individual women named in state standards
  • Most and least studied women’s history topics
  • Women’s history marginalization in standards

The report includes the women’s history standards for each state.  Readers can see for themselves how women’s unique history is presented state-by-state. Teachers and museum educators will have complete standards for each state to use in creating lessons and programs. Women’s history scholars will see the expected knowledge base for incoming freshmen. Education and curriculum researchers will have access to the data set for their own work.

Please reach out with any questions or comments.

All the best,

Liz Maurer


Elizabeth Maurer
Director of Program
National Women’s History Museum
205 S. Whiting St. Suite 254
Alexandria, VA 22304
Phone: 571-800-6556




Jobs for Historians

In Spotlight on November 21, 2017 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: ,

The American Historical Association has given us the bad news about early career historians and the 2016-17 academic job market. Check out the blog post by Dylan Ruediger in AHA Today:


graph showing decline in AHA Job Ads vs. number of new PhDs in History

from AHA Today, Nov. 16, 2017,

The AHA will give a fuller contextualization of those numbers, as well as compare their data with that from the H-Net Job Guide, in their newsletter Perspectives on History after the start of the new year. What we do need to keep in mind is that history PhDs need to be thinking more broadly than what their own advisors are doing in their careers – and find a way to describe their skills in a way that would be useful for many different kinds of employers, not just in academia.



Courage to do history

In Spotlight on October 16, 2017 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged:

Many Higgins

Mandy Higgins, KY Historical Society

Have you seen the wonderful essay on the Kentucky Historical Society’s blog by Mandy Higgins, a KATH board member? Check it out: “Community Engagement as Institutional Branding, Or Why I’m Not Brave.” It is a terrific description of what many of us in KATH do.

She writes about how historians ask tough questions and support ways in which their audiences (on paper or in person) can find answers. “It is about modeling good listening skills and providing space for disagreement.”

However, we must disagree with Mandy when she writes: “I am not brave. I am a historian, doing her job.” She is indeed an intrepid warrior on behalf of all of us here in Kentucky. Thank you, Mandy, for all that you do.



KY Photos

In Spotlight on August 14, 2017 by Randolph Hollingsworth Tagged: ,

Some of the Oldest Photos Ever Taken in Kentucky – from Internet Archive Book Images et al.

* Company D, Fourth Kentucky Volunteers, enlisted in 1861 in Louisville.

* 1862, soldiers crossing the Barren River.

* 1900, a snowy street in Columbus

* 1901, congregants from a Methodist church in Hopkinsville

* 1910, aerial view of Louisville

* 1910, Seelbach Hotel

* 1916, University of Kentucky

* 1916, one-room school house for African American students

* 1917, Omar Khayyam – winner of the Kentucky Derby

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