A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History 1968: Riots erupt in Cincinnati following assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Part 2 of a continuing series on the 50th anniversary of one of America’s great watershed years, 1968.  By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to the NKyTribune In last week’s column, we reviewed the life and Cincinnati connections of one of our nation’s greatest Civil Rights leaders, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was a courageous man committed to nonviolence, a visionary who strove for peace among...

Our Rich History: 1968, a turning point in U.S. and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky history

Part 1 of a continuing series on the 50th anniversary of one of America’s great watershed years, 1968. By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune In 1968, I was only eight years old. Yet my parents, my teachers, my uncle, and newspaper and television journalists made me acutely aware that I was living through one of the most momentous eras in US history. Four years before, when I was just a toddler,...

Our Rich History: Remembering one of NKy’s forgotten high schools – St. James, Ludlow

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune We often think of schools as having a permanence about them. Once they are established, they last for generations. This is always not the case; schools sometimes live a short life and cease to exist. One such institution was St. James High School in Ludlow. Following the First World War, Northern Kentucky experienced a dramatic increase in the establishment...

Our Rich History: Anybody remember 11th District School? Part of interesting history of West Covington

By David E. Schroeder Special to the NKyTribune The  Covington Independent School District at one time was home to more than a dozen schools. One school –  Eleventh District  – was tucked away in the city’s westernmost neighborhood, bordering the city of Ludlow. This delightful neighborhood has officially gone through several name changes. In the earliest newspaper reports, it was referred...

Our Rich History: St. Patrick in Covington was once a thriving Irish-American parish in the West End

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune Irish Catholics settled in Northern Kentucky as early as the 1830s. In time they established parishes and schools throughout the river cities in Northern Kentucky. Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine swelled those numbers. Originally, Covington’s Irish population was served by the Cathedral Parish. The rest of Covington’s early Catholic churches...

Our Rich History: In March 1836, the Alamo fell; more to the story on our region’s connections to Texas

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune Every March, many who enjoy history can’t help but think of the Alamo. This little mission in San Antonio housed roughly 200 Texans fighting for independence from Mexico. The doomed, heroic struggle of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Barrett Travis, and the other brave Texans at the Alamo, still captures our imagination. Although the Alamo fell on March...

Our Rich History: Approaching Oscars, we remember Robert Surtees, a local man who won several

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune With the 90th Annual Academy Awards ceremony scheduled for March 4 we should celebrate one of our region’s most frequent winners of the highly coveted Oscar® award. This Academy achievement was not for an actor or a director. Believe it or not, the winner of three Academy Awards from our region went to one of the more obscure, behind-the-scene members of a film...

Our Rich History: Alms and Doepke in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine was second largest store west of NYC

Part 6 of a continuing series on Cincinnati’s grand downtown department stores. By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune My parents used to speak of the old Alms and Doepke department store at 222 East Central Parkway in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. It was a mammoth establishment, at its height encompassing 15 acres of floor space, once the second-largest store west of New York...

Our Rich History: Regional African-American inventor and WWI veteran, Fred McKinley Jones, honored

By Lois Hamill Special to NKyTribune The pocket watch had stopped ticking. The little boy took it apart to see what was inside. After he put it back together, it began ticking again. Satisfied with the results, he proudly shared his discovery with his father. Fred Jones was reportedly only five years old at the time. Frederick McKinley Jones, courtesy of The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky and the...

Our Rich History: Shillito’s, the late 20th, early 21st Centuries; as Macy’s downtown store shuts down

Part 5 of a continuing series on Cincinnati’s grand downtown department stores By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune In last week’s installment, we examined how Shillito’s grew to be the largest department store in size and sales in downtown Cincinnati, and a “destination” for one-stop indoor shopping, eating, and services. In fact, by 1955, Shillito’s total sales volume was larger...

Our Rich History: Shillito’s downtown store reaches its peak, World War II through the 1960s

Part 4 of a continuing series on Cincinnati’s grand downtown department stores By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune In last week’s installment, we reviewed how Shillito’s Department Store in downtown Cincinnati completed a mammoth addition in 1936-37, expanding its total sales floor space from 263,000 to 423,000 square feet. But 1937 would also bring misfortune to the Ohio River region. In...

Our Rich History: The Lazarus family reinvigorates Shillito’s and leads it through the Great Depression

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune In last week’s installment, we reviewed the establishment of Shillito’s dry goods store in Cincinnati in 1830, the beginning of a 188-year lineage that ends with the closing of Macy’s downtown Cincinnati store in 2018. In 1878, Shillito’s completed its new downtown Cincinnati store at Seventh and Race Streets. With founder John Shillito’s death the...

Our Rich History: Shillito’s marvelous buildings still remain in Downtown Cincinnati, one a condominium

Part 2 of a continuing series on Cincinnati’s grand downtown department stores. By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Born in November 1808 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, John Shillito arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1817 at age nine. In an era when young boys of rather poor circumstances entered the workforce, Shillito immediately took a job at one of Cincinnati’s leading merchandising firms,...

Our Rich History: Cincinnati’s legendary downtown department stores and the grand downtown dining experience

Part 1 of a continuing series on Cincinnati’s grand downtown department stores By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune For those old enough to remember the days of numerous vibrant downtown Cincinnati department stores, it makes many of us sad to hear the news of Macy’s closing their downtown store in 2018. Front cover of Lost Tea Rooms of Cincinnati. Macy’s is the descendant of Shillito’s, a...

Our Rich History: Regional inventors — legendary toys, everyday health, home and more

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune 

If necessity is the mother of invention, then perhaps your inventiveness might motivate you to come up with the next “fidget spinner” toy. Maybe you’ll even appear on the popular television series Shark Tank. Whirligig, patented in 1866 Inventors of the metropolitan Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky region have conceived some of the world’s definitive...