Severa Jacobs Oral History

Severa Jacobs recollects highlights from her father’s career as a horse groom. Her father was Carlos Manuel Miyares, a Cuban who moved to northern Kentucky and began his career at Latonia race track. Ms. Jacobs shares stories of how Mr. Miyares was treated differently than other African Americans because of his accent, and his goals to support his family and become an American citizen. He achieved this and was included on the front page of the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper in 1947 (see featured image).


Oral History Interview with William Maxberry

William Maxberry talks about his family, education, starting in the horse industry, being an exercise boy, traveling with the horses, people he has worked with and for, being a groom, and African Americans in the horse industry.


Sharon Payne’s Family Reunion in Adair County (Ky.)

The Adair County African American Heritage Oral History Project features interviewees discussing everything from family history, education, religion, and childhood to segregation, integration, and civil rights activities. In this excerpt, from a 2013 interview, Sharon Payne discusses her family reunion.


Governor Edward T. Breathitt and Civil Rights in Kentucky

Edward T. “Ned” Breathitt served as Kentucky’s governor from 1963 – 1967. Among his contributions to civil rights in Kentucky were his efforts in the passage of the 1966 Kentucky Civil Rights Act, which banned discrimination in public accommodations and employment. Breathitt also worked alongside UK president John Oswald in recruiting Nathaniel Northington.

In this audio clip, Gov. Breathitt talks about civil rights legislation in Kentucky and also his role in working with the University of Kentucky to recruit Nathaniel Northington.


(The interview is part of the Civil Rights Movement in Kentucky Oral History Project, Kentucky Oral History Commission, Kentucky Historical Society:


Robert McClure in Korea

Robert M. McClure describes the harsh conditions in which he and his unit lived in during the Korean War. He was part of the 1st Cavalry, 7th Regiment, 3rd Battalion.

More information on the complete interview, visit:


Raymond Turley and the bombing of Pearl Harbor

Raymond Turley describes his personal experience on the Pearl Harbor naval base in Hawaii in 1941. Turley was eating breakfast in preparation for a day off base when the attack began.

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George Athey and the Spanish-American War

George Athey speaks briefly about his time in the military during the Spanish American War. He was stationed in the Philippians. From an interview conducted in 1973 in Cumberland County.

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Ann Reynolds and Bill Meers of LaGrange, KY talk about growing up parallel to each other in a segregated community

Ann Reynolds and William “Bill” Meers discuss growing up in LaGrange, KY when it was a segregated community. They reflect on going to separate segregated schools (1 for white students and 1 for black students) and talk about the community in general during desegregation. Reynolds discusses attending the Lincoln Institute as a young woman and later Kentucky State University. Meers discusses attending Transylvania University and attending the 1964 civil rights march on Frankfort as a student there. He remembers finding a small group from LaGrange at the 1964 rally, of which a member was Reynolds’ mother.

Click here to download an essay from Bill Meers, ‘Bringing Everyone Together in Church:My Civil Rights Experience La Grange, Kentucky in the ‘60s’ in PDF format.


David Wilson on participating in the 1964 freedom march on Frankfort

David Wilson discusses being the only African American student at Georgetown College in 1964 and his choice to join the rally for civil rights in Frankfort. He talks about discouragement from faculty in attending the 1964 rally in Frankfort and his choice to come anyway.


Robert Estill on 1964 lobbying for legislation and the 1964 march on Frankfort

Robert Estill, the first chair of the Human Rights Commission, talks about lobbying efforts towards the 1964 public accommodations bill and the 1964 march on Frankfort that led up to the bill being introduced to the legislature.

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