Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy National Poultry Day!


Following the theme of yesterday’s blog post about random holidays, we thought we would share one that is sure to be near and dear to every Kentuckian’s heart: National Poultry Day! From Colonel Sanders to the World Chicken Festival, its no secret that the folks of the commonwealth love their yard birds. To celebrate this unique holiday, we wanted share the history of a native Kentucky chef!

Kentucky’s Cookbook Heritage by John VanWilligen highlights the life of Thelma Clay Linton of Harrodsburg, KY, who was a respected caterer and an important leader in the business, social services, and religious communities. Linton lived to the ripe old age of 101. Susanna Thomas’s introductory essay states, “In our town of Harrodsburg in Mercer County, Kentucky, Thelma Clay Linton is an institution, revered for her outstanding country cuisine and her remarkable character”. Here is her recipe for fried chicken pulled from her cookbook, Thelma’s Treasures: The Secret Recipes of the Best Cook in Harrodsburg:

Fried Chicken (1992)


Puritan oil


Put the chicken pieces in a big pot of water. Add two tablespoons of salt for every one chicken that you use. Soak the chicken in the salty water overnight in the refrigerator. The next day, drain off the water, pat the chicken pieces dry.

Mix the flour (enough to coat all of the chicken) with the pepper and the paprika and a little bit of salt to taste. Coat each piece of chicken with this mixture.

In an iron skillet, add the Puritan oil and cook it until it sizzles. The grease should be even up with the chicken. Then add a few pieces of chicken and turn down the heat to medium. Cook the chicken a half hour or so on one side and flip it and cook it a half hour on the other
side until it is evenly browned. Remove the pieces from the pan as they are done and drain them on a paper towel.

To learn more about Kentucky cookbooks, recipes, and chefs, check out Kentucky’s Cookbook Heritage by John Van Willigen on our website!

It’s National Agriculture Day!


We know you’ve heard of all of the major holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and even smaller ones like Arbor Day, but did you know that March 18 is National Agriculture Day? On behalf of learning totally awesome things you didn’t know before, we would like to wish you a happy National Agriculture Day! Although many of us are surrounded by the buzzing of cars and corporate buildings, agriculture is still one of the most important factors in life as we know it! Without it, our bodies would become malnourished, many products we enjoy using today wouldn’t be available to us, and a vast amount of people would be without jobs.

To celebrate the importance of agriculture in our lives, we have prepared an excerpt from The Vandana Shiva Reader, which tells the inspirational story of how a woman became one of the world’s most influential and highly acclaimed environmental and antiglobalization activists. Her groundbreaking research has exposed the destructive effects of monocultures and commercial agriculture and revealed the interrelationships among ecology, gender, and poverty. Enjoy!

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In 1984, a number of tragic events took place in India. In June, the Golden Temple was attacked because it was harboring extremists. In October, Indira Gandhi was assassinated. And in December, a terrible industrial disaster took place in Bhopal when Union Carbine’s pesticide plant leaked a toxic gas. Thirty thousand people died in the terrorism in Punjab, and thirty thousand people have died in the “industrial terrorism” of Bhopal. This is equivalent to twelve 9/11s. I was forced to sit up and ask why agriculture had become like war. Why did the “Green Revolution,” which had received the Nobel Peace Prize, breed extremism and terrorism in Punjab? This questioning led to my books The Violence of the Green Revolution and Monocultures of the Mind. Blindness to diversity and self-organization in nature and society was clearly a basic problem in the mechanistic, Cartesian industrial paradigm. And this blindness led to false claims that industrial monocultures in forestry, farming, fisheries, and animal husbandry produced more food and were necessary to alleviate hunger and poverty. On the contrary, monocultures produce less and use more inputs, thus destroying the environment and impoverishing people.

In 1987, the Dag Hammarjold Foundation organized a meeting on biotechnology in Geneva called Laws of Life. I was invited because of my book on the Green Revolution. At the conference, the biotech industry laid out its plans—to patent life; to genetically engineer seeds, crops, and life-forms; and to get full freedom to trade through the GATT negotiations, which finally led to the WTO. This led to my focus on intellectual property rights, free trade, globalization—and to a life dedicated to saving seeds and promoting organic farming as an alternative to a world dictated and controlled by corporations.

Having dedicated my life to the defense of the intrinsic worth of all species, the idea of life-forms, seeds, and biodiversity being reduced to corporate inventions and hence corporate property was abhorrent to me. Further, if seeds become “intellectual property,” saving and sharing seeds become intellectual property theft. Our highest duty, to save seeds, becomes a criminal act. The legalizing of the criminal act of owning and monopolizing life through patents on seeds and plants was morally and ethically unacceptable to me. So I started Navdanya, a movement that promotes biodiversity conservation and seed saving and seed sharing among farmers. Navdanya has created more than twenty community “seed banks” through which seeds are saved and freely exchanged among our three hundred thousand members.

Through our saving of heritage seeds, we have brought back “forgotten foods” like jhangora (barnyard millet), ragi (finger millet), marsha (amaranth), naurangi dal, and gahat dal. Not only are these crops more nutritious than the globally traded commodities, but they are also more resource prudent, requiring only two hundred to three hundred millimeters of rain compared to the twenty-five hundred millimeters needed for chemical rice farming. Millets could increase food production four hundred fold using the same amount of limited water. These forgotten foods are the foods of the future. Farmers’ seeds are the seeds of the future.

For more from The Vandana Shiva Reader, head over to our website!

A Conversation with Irish author, Ruth Barton

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! We thought we would kick off the Irish festivities today by discussing one of Ireland’s brightest film legacies, Rex Ingram! We recently chatted with UPK author and Ireland native, Ruth Barton, who reveals some insight on the research of her book, Rex Ingram: Visionary Director of the Silent Screen, and the life of the director himself! Check it out below!


UPK:  Why did you choose to study Rex Ingram?

RB:  I had written an earlier book (Acting Irish in Hollywood) on émigré Irish actors in Hollywood, which threw up some extraordinary stories. So, I thought it would be interesting to extend that study into directors. I knew the outline of Rex Ingram’s story but I had never really explored it much, so this seemed to be a good time to do that. Outside of Liam O’Leary’s book on Rex Ingram, he had been surprisingly neglected by film historians and writers so it seemed like the moment had come. Also, a number of new films have emerged and new materials, like letters and family papers, so that helped.

UPK:  Did anything surprise you in your research?

RB:  We were very lucky to acquire his memoirs for the Trinity (College Dublin) archives and I was surprised by just how attached he was to Ireland and how that stayed with him throughout his life. When I started, I hadn’t been sure if he had really converted to Islam, it seemed such a radical step for the son of an Anglican rector, but the facts mounted up and now I’m convinced that he did. It was also interesting for me to find out more about the early film industry and to read his account of that in the memoirs.

UPK:  What, in your opinion, makes Rex one of the greatest artists in silent cinema?

RB:  He was truly convinced that film was the great new artform of the twentieth century and that he could put the principles of sculpting that he had learned studying under Lee Lawrie at Yale into practice by making films that had the depth of sculptures. And he managed that, making films that were acclaimed as artistic masterpieces but that were also really popular with audiences. Artistic blockbusters, if you like. He was a real perfectionist too and refused to compromise on detail.

UPK:  What influenced him to go into the film industry?

RB:  To be honest, he started in the film industry (as an actor) to make money but then he got hooked. That wasn’t unusual in those early days of the film industry, when people didn’t really know what it was. Then, too, people didn’t waste too much time on learning what to do or how to do it, they just learned on the job, which is what he did.

UPK:  Do you think growing up in Ireland had an impact on Rex’s career?

RB:  I’m sure that it did. In particular, he grew up in the Irish Protestant tradition. Irish Gothic writing comes out of that tradition, most famously with Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which Rex had wished to film. The Irish Gothic is filled with images of haunted castles and ghosts and supernatural apparitions, as are his films. He always spoke of how important Ireland was to him and was very proud to be Irish.

UPK:  How did the Great War affect Rex and his work?

RB:  Rex’s brother, Frank Hitchcock, was an officer in the war and was gassed in the trenches and Rex was very affected by this. Also, many of the boys he went to school with at St Columba’s died in the war. He himself joined the Royal Air Force Canada but didn’t see service. He was also always very interested in military matters and collected military items, like swords. I think that he was fascinated by war generally and deeply affected by it personally so that this feeds into his great anti-war war film, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and also Mare Nostrum.

UPK:  Why do you think Rex felt pulled toward America?

RB:  Irish people have traditionally emigrated to America and he saw that he would have opportunities there that he never would have in Ireland. His father had a friend there who promised to look after him, so that made it easier for him to leave. Also his mother had died and he missed her terribly and wanted to get away.

UPK:  Do you feel that Rex’s work is underappreciated today? In what ways?

RB:  Unlike other of his contemporaries, such as say Cecil C De Mille, very few people have ever heard of Rex Ingram. One practical problem is that it is hard to get to see his films. Another is that the pictorial style that he so pioneered is less in favour now than fast-paced narratives. Another just seems to be chance–no one kept his reputation going. I’m hoping to rectify that!

UPK:  Do you feel that he still has an impact on modern Ireland?

RB:  I believe that it is important for Irish filmmakers to realize that they come out of a longer tradition (of art cinema) than they knew. I’ve found people in the film industry are very intrigued by this history that they didn’t know about.

UPK:  What do you think Rex would have to say about the film industry today?

RB:  I think he’d love some of the films being made by non-mainstream cultures, such as Iranian films. He didn’t much care for Hollywood by the time he left it and I doubt he’d care for it any more now.

UPK:  What is your favorite Rex Ingram film and why?

RB:  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse has to be my favourite film, because it is so visually stunning and so ambitious and it carries it off, but I also love The Magician, which is a very creaky horror movie in the tradition of over-the-top Gothic melodramas.

To learn more about Rex Ingram: Visionary Director of the Silent Screen, check out our website!

Poster - Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The_02 220px-Rexingram2 th

A Look Back On The Wildcat’s Championships

Kentucky has won a lot of Championships. A lot; 8 total. And I know that it’s hard not to sound like someone is bragging when they say that, but it really is amazing that a school – any school – has achieved that (and UK doesn’t even have the most! It’s UCLA, with 10). And, I mean, it happened; there’s no denying it. And now, they are, once again, in the running for another title, and possibly a perfect season to boot. Now, anything can happen in the tournament, and this no way claiming that Kentucky will go all the way, but, let’s take a little retrospective on UK’s titles anyway, and, hopefully, provide some fun factoids you may never have known.



1921 Champions

While this may not count as an NCAA title, since it didn’t even exist back then, I’m still going to include it. Back in 1921 George Buccheit and his “Wonder Team,” who I talked about in the previous blog post, went on to win the first ever Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament against the Georgia Bulldogs. The team comprised of all Kentucky natives and was led by Basil Hayden, UK’s first All American. He also returned to coach UK in 1926, but had a dismal 3 – 13 record.1921_UK_bball_team



1948 – 1949 Back to Back Champions

Kentucky’s first championship was also the second time, ever, that a college team had won both the NCAA and NIT title. They played against the Baylor Bears, defeating them 77 – 59. And while the game was not as dramatic as others, the team went on to play in the Olympics, afterwards, in London, winning gold – the first college team ever to do so. The next year, most of The Fabulous Five returned, winning one more game than the previous year, and went on to win another championship against Oklahoma A&M, defeating them 46 – 36.




1951 Champions

With a championship omission in the 1950 season, Kentucky came roaring back to defeat Kansas State 68 – 58 in 1951 to claim the title. Victory was not celebrated for long however. Scandal rocked the school; Kentucky players, Alex Groza, Ralph Beard, and Dale Barnstable were accused of taking bribes to shave points in the 1948-1949 season against Loyola. As a result, Kentucky cancelled the 1952 – 1953 season. champs1951

The Undefeated in 1954

I’m also just including this one just because it’s interesting. In 1954, Kentucky went undefeated in the regular season; they had a perfect 25 – 0 and were also ranked the number one team overall. But Rupp, following a decision that excluded some of his star players from participating in the tournament, in protest, backed out of the tournament.1953-54

1958 Champions

Both UK’s and Rupp’s fourth title, this season showed the Cats play against Seattle in Louisville. This team, also known as the “Fiddlin’ Five,” who was also mentioned the previous blog post, dropped as low as thirteen in the overall rankings. But, despite their “fiddlin’” they still brought home the championship, defeating Seattle 84 – 72.champs1958

1978 Champions

Kentucky’s next championship would not be for another twenty years. The pressure mounted each year UK did not win a title, so by 1978, they were known for almost never breaking composure during their games. Hence, this season was known as the “Season Without Celebration.” Their dedication paid off however, as they won 30 out of 32 games and went on to defeat Duke 94 – 88.champs1978

1996 Champions

It would almost be another twenty years though before Kentucky won their sixth championship. Pitino, in ‘96’, however, coached “The Untouchables” to the Finals. They defeated Syracuse 76- 67, and almost went on to win the championship two years in a row, but, lost to Arizona, one of the two games “The Untouchables” lost, in ’97, partially due to Derek Anderson tearing his ACL.champs1996

1998 Champions

After Pitino, Tubby Smith came to Rupp arena and took the Cats to the finals in his very first season with the Cats. This team played “Tubbyball,” a defense oriented, slow tempo type of playing, This caused them to never truly dominate the court, as Kentucky fans usually prefer, but always come from behind and pull off amazing comebacks, such as the Duke and Stanford games during the season.champs1998

2012 Champions

And then the Wildcats didn’t make to the Final Four again until 2011. They lost to UConn however, that season, but bounced back the next year, only losing two games, and wound up defeating Kansas 67- 59 in New Orleans, earning their eight national championship. The team lost six players to the NBA after this season, leading Calipari to recruit, arguably, one of the best recruiting classes of all time.UK men's basketball photo day 2011-12, John Calipari, UK Basketball, UK men's basketball team photo


Check out some of our other books on Kentucky Basketball, as well as some other sports, here.

The Cat’s Pet Names

Kentucky has had a lot of great Basketball teams throughout the years, and, as a result a lot of these teams have garnered nicknames. For whatever reason, whether it be for memory’s sake or just for the fun of it, any memorable whoever or whatever in sports has to have a nickname to go by. Nicknaming is an essential part of sport’s culture and in honor of March Madness – and being in Kentucky – here are some of the pet names the Cats have been called over the years.


The Wonder Team (1919 – 1925)

Back in the early days of Kentucky Basketball, all the way back in 1919, there was Coach George Buchheit’s “Wonder Team.” Bringing with him the “Illinois System,” Buchheit led the Wonder Team to the first ever, Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association tournament victory, in 1921, defeating the Georgia Bulldogs in what is considered the first major success of UK Basketball. However, the team was not able to match the success of this season with their remaining time at UK. One player injured his knee and another one succumbed to diphtheria at the end of the season.1921_UK_bball_team

The Mauerman (1927 – 1928)

Coach John Mauer never won any Southern Conference titles during his time at UK, but his “Mauermen,” total, went 40-14 by the time he left. They were known for being team oriented and, in general, being a very well rounded team, laying the foundation for what the program was destined to become.


The Fabulous Five (1947 – 1948)

Here is the team that is responsible for Kentucky’s first ever title. Led by Adolph Rupp, the “Fab Five” defeated the Baylor Bears 77 to 59, claiming their spot as champions. However, it is not just that they won UK’s very first title that they are referred to as The Fabulous Five, even though that is certainly a key factor. After the championship, the starting five went on to play in the Olympics, defeating every opposing team in London. This makes Kentucky the only team ever to win an NCAA title and an Olympic gold medal.champs1948

The Fiddlin’ Five (1957-1958)

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are the Fiddlin’ Five, the team that had the most losses during a season, albeit still winning a championship. Rupp referred to them as this, mainly, just because he didn’t think they were a good team. They lost 6 games during the season, but still went on to win the championship against Seattle in Freedom Hall.1957-58
The Unforgettables (1991 – 1992)

Obviously I have to start this blurb off with saying: you can’t forget the Unforgettables. This team, made up of mostly local players, played one of the most memorable games in college basketball history, against Duke in 1992. But, despite the loss, their legacy lives on at UK; their jerseys were almost instantly retired after the

The 8th Wonders (2011 – 2012)

While the Unforgettables might have played one of the most memorable games in NCAA history, the 8th Wonders had, arguably, one of the most iconic players on its team. Yes, it’s Anthony Davis, the man who has trademarked phrases about his unibrow. While no one will forget “The Brow,” Davis is not the only distinctive feature about this team. This team was also the first to have two of its players taken as the first and second draft picks in the NBA. They also had the six players chosen in a single two-round draft, the most ever taken.11-12


To learn more about University of Kentucky Men’s basketball, check out our extensive collection of books on the subject here


Q&A with Lisa Anderson Todd

We recently spoke with UPK author Lisa Anderson Todd about her newest book, For a Voice and the Vote: My Journey with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. For a glimpse into her experience, check out our following Q&A.

UPK: Your involvement in this story doesn’t begin with your book, For a Voice and the Vote. You were present for many of the events that summer. Why have you chosen now to circle back to document this period in your life?

LAT: The summer of 1964 was a significant time in my life, but something that I did not reflect on as I focused on my legal career. I collected the books written about the Mississippi Summer Project, but did not take the time to read and evaluate them as they might pertain to my own experience. In retirement I decided to devote myself to learning more about the Mississippi civil rights movement, particularly what happened to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) at the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City. I didn’t understand why or how the MFDP, having done all that was required to be an accredited delegation and entitled to represent all the citizens of Mississippi—black and white—was rejected by the Democratic Party. I wanted to reflect, satisfy my own curiosity, and provide a record of these important historical events from my position as a participant-observer.

UPK: What drew you, back in 1964, to volunteer for the Mississippi Summer Project?

LAT: In 1963, the summer before, I had spent time in Mississippi at a World Council of Churches work camp doing maintenance work for Tougaloo College and learning about the civil rights movement. I had not been active in the movement in college and now was seeing and hearing how black people were living as second class citizens in a segregated society. My experience made me decide to become a civil rights worker and to do what I could to help them gain their constitutional rights. My desire coincided with the plans for inviting as many as 1,000 college-age volunteers to spend the summer of 1964 working on voter registration, teaching in Freedom Schools, and helping in community centers.

UPK: As described by you, the summer of 1964 was a highly combustible and often scary situation for volunteers. Can you give us a sense of what it was like on the both for those involved locally and for outsiders like yourself who came in to volunteer?

LAT: The local people took real risks to participate in the civil rights movement: to attend mass meetings, to attempt to register to vote, to participate in demonstrations, or just to associate with the students encouraging local participation. They lost their jobs, lost credit needed to run a business or grow their crops, were arrested and beaten, had their homes shot into or firebombed, and were harassed with threatening phone calls. Outsiders could be arrested for disturbing the peace or traffic violations that did not occur. They were subject to harassment, called “communist,” and told to go back home. We found protection in the black community as we joined forces in the nonviolent struggle for freedom, equality, and justice.

UPK: After a summer spent rallying and registering voters in Mississippi, what was the mood like among those who made their way to Atlantic City for the Democratic Party Convention? Afterwards?

LAT: We were excited that finally we would draw the attention of the Democratic Party and the rest of the country to all that had happened in Mississippi during the summer. Publicity about the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner and the activities of the predominantly white volunteers in Mississippi had made the country more aware of the plight of disenfranchised Mississippi blacks. We were optimistic that the Democratic Party would seat the MFDP in lieu of the discriminatory, all-white official delegation. At the least we believed that there would be a reasonable compromise that would recognize the efforts of the MFDP. When the leadership of the Democratic Party—without negotiations with the delegation—made the final decision to give the MFDP two seats with at-large votes, we were disappointed and disillusioned.

UPK: In this book, you build upon your own experience with a vast amount of research including taped conversations from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library that have only recently become available. What was it like to go back and reconstruct the events and impacts of the MFDP’s efforts in 1964?

LAT: It was difficult to remember what happened fifty years ago, and I knew what I could remember might not be accurate, but I wanted to reconstruct the events as best I could. I was fortunate that I kept a detailed diary during the summer of 1963 that reflected how I learned about the Mississippi civil rights movement and that my parents saved the letters I sent them during the summer of 1964. I supplemented this information with accounts of the summer from books and internet sources. This was a new and interesting process for me.

Oral interviews of principals involved with the MFDP Convention Challenge and the LBJ tapes provided me my first information of what had been going on behind the scenes in Atlantic City. We heard at the time that LBJ pressured delegates to change their votes so there would not be a floor fight, but I did not know why he was so adamantly opposed to seating the MFDP and how he managed to obtain the result he wanted. The chronology of events over the five hectic days in Atlantic City has been confused in some accounts. With the facts I was able to find in primary sources, I have tried to set the record straight. The political strength of the MFDP is apparent from the efforts the Democratic Party leadership had to take to prevent the MFDP from winning public favor and obtaining a floor vote that would disrupt the Convention and reveal the split within the Democratic Party.

UPK: You say at one point in the introduction that you often caught yourself saying, “I never knew that.” Were there revelations in this book writing process that stood out or changed how you understood that summer? Did anything you learn change your understanding of your own experience?

LAT: One surprise was that many in SNCC opposed white volunteers coming, including Charlie Cobb, a leader of the opposition who was a project director in the Greenville area where I was assigned. I did not know about this opposition or the reasons for it, but can understand now how resentful the local black leadership could be of white volunteers.

UPK: Now, some fifty years removed from the events of that summer, what is the most important thing to remember about the efforts of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party?

LAT: The dispossessed, grassroots, poor, black underclass of Mississippi found their voice as they sought the right to vote. Their efforts began long before the Mississippi Summer Project, when stalwart individuals registered to vote and began to organize politically, but even with student assistance and encouragement in the early 1960s, the process proved to be slow. The formation of a new open political party—the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party—attracted national attention. What is most important to remember is that it was the courageous actions of many local people who were willing to take risks to join and organize the MFDP. It is now time to recognize the role of the MFDP played in passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

At the Oscars, Patricia Arquette Speaks Up for a Woman’s Wage

During a night jam-packed with the biggest names in Hollywood, it was one winner’s acceptance speech that made television viewers and award show attendees alike stand up and take notice.

After winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as a single mother in BoyhoodPatricia Arquette took to the stage to send a message:

“To every woman who gave birth to every tax payer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”

The spirited call-to-action was applauded by the audience and earned an enthusiastic reaction from the one and only Meryl Streep. streep Arquette’s speech comes at a moment when the issue of equal pay and rights for women is at the forefront of many minds, particularly after the Sony Pictures hack that released droves of emails some of which revealed dramatic pay inequality between leading women and their male counterparts, including even blockbuster stars like Jennifer Lawrence.

In the U.S., that pay gap is hardly restricted to Hollywood. A 2014 report from the World Economic Forum revealed that American women make only 66% of what their male equals do, ranking the U.S. 65th out of 142 countries when it comes to wage equality.

Kessler-HarrisCompF.inddLast year, the University Press of Kentucky released an updated edition of a path breaking classic: A Woman’s Wage by Alice Kessler-Harris. The book explores the meanings of women’s wages in the United States throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and explains the historical reasons behind the unequal treatment of women in the workforce and strips away the arguments in favor of this discrimination.

Kessler-Harris focuses on many of the same issues that Arquette pointedly raised in her speech as well as in other interviews including the battle over minimum wage for women, the argument for equal pay, and the debate over comparable worth, exposing the relationship between family ideology and workplace demands and how the notion of the traditional family has changed over time.

In a new chapter for the updated edition Kessler-Harris goes even further. “A Woman’s Wage, Redux,” argues for a social wage that responds to a working family’s needs. This new social wage would help relieve the so-called double burden on women and make it easier for both men and women to successfully balance work and family life.

While there is still an unreasonably difficult battle ahead, Arquette’s speech is another reminder that while the arc of history may bend toward progress, it only does so at the behest of those who fight for it.