Civil Rights

History in the News: 50th Anniversary of the Integration of UK & SEC Football

History Advocate for the Kentucky Historical Society, Stuart Sanders, gives us a brief glimpse into the significance of the 50th anniversary of the integration of the SEC.


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 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.


Joe Graves remembers participating in the 1964 march on Frankfort

Joe Graves discusses his first experience demonstrating publicly at the 1964 civil rights march on Frankfort. He recalls his surroundings, the feeling of being watched, and watching other people around him.


Harrodsburg and the Freedom March

This article reflects on Harrodsburg residents participation in the 1964 Martin Luther King led march on Frankfort. This article was written by Kandi Adkinson and Anna Armstrong, the co-directors of the Mercer County African American Heritage Oral History Project. The article was published in the Harrodsburg Herald on 2/20/2014.


Click here to download the essay in PDF format.


Gertrude Ridgel on after the 1964 March on Frankfort

Gertrude Ridgel discusses the aftermath in Frankfort following the 1964 Martin Luther King, Jr. led march on Kentucky’s capitol. Ridgel discusses continuing protests and the fight for desegregation.


Martin Luther King Jr., Speaker At Kentucky State, 1957

Kentucky Historical Society Collections – Community Memories Collection. #1995ph2.53AAFRA1, Martin Luther King Jr., speaker at Kentucky State commencement, with President Rufus Atwood, 1957


Audio – Interview with William C. Calhoun, Sr.

Calhoun: KHS Collections – coll#1995OH02.14b , interview with William C. Calhoun, Sr. Calhoun remembers demonstrations leading up to the Martin Luther King, Jr. led march on Frankfort. He details public protests for the Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant in Frankfort, KY for their segregation policy.