A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: XU’s Roger Fortin releases a timely book on American freedoms — and responsibilities

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan is one of the world’s sacred spaces. Years ago, as I was walking through its gardens, a granite stone with an inscription caught my attention. It featured a quote from a 1981 visit by Pope John Paul II (1920–2005): “To remember the past is to commit oneself to the future.” Roger Fortin, an emeritus professor...

Our Rich History: One small step for NASA, one regional leap for discovery — the local connections

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune Apollo missions boosted American pride. Did you realize, though, that NASA programs have also rocketed the American economy? From aerospace research to computers to Temper Foam, NASA has produced an excellent return on taxpayer dollars. The spectacular Apollo missions of NASA were more than a novel diversion or a space race with the former Soviet Union. The practice...

Our Rich History: Cleaner than water, used as money, whiskey in region started with wheat field

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune John Riddle planted Cincinnati’s first wheat field in 1791. Though only a four-acre plot, it was the beginning of whiskey making in Cincinnati. The first settlers in 1788 most certainly brought their own whiskey from places such as Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. Cincinnati farmers would soon find themselves in the same situations as those in the previously...

Our Rich History: Letters from Covington soldier tell of sunlit days in England before D-Day

Part 3 of a continuing series on the 75th anniversary of the closing stages of World War II By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune On the evening of Saturday, May 6, 1944, Private Arthur B. Pranger sat down at his desk in Port Sunlight, England, and penned a letter home to his mother in Covington, Kentucky. It had been more than a month since he last wrote, which had been during the dangerous...

Our Rich History: Colonel Peter Rudolph Neff was a cultural and spiritual innovator for Cincinnati

By Jacob Koch Special to NKyTribune As the summer months gave way to the fall in September of 1862, the city of Cincinnati geared up for war. The encroaching threat of Confederate Brigadier General Henry Heth marching his troops north from Lexington, would put Cincinnati on high alert. Mayor George Hatch would order all businesses closed in Cincinnati. Under the command of Union Major General Lew...

Our Rich History: Fifty years ago, first Moon Walker spurred imaginations of legions of ‘Moon Men’

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune Fifty years ago, on July 16, 1969, the greatest adventure in the history of life on earth got underway. Amid the swirling distractions of the Cold War, Vietnam, and assassinations, three men climbed into a tiny spacecraft perched atop a massive rocket and departed earth on a column of fire, bound for the moon. Apollo 11 liftoff on July 16, 1969, carrying...

Our Rich History: Reluctant hero Neil Armstrong and his regional roots; 50th Apollo flight anniversary

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune This month marks the 50th anniversary of our nation’s historic Apollo 11 flight and the first footsteps of humans on the moon. The launch occurred on July 16, 1969. Crew members Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Michael Collins accompanied commander Neil Armstrong. Neil and Buzz landed the Eagle (lunar module) on the moon on July 20, while Michael Collins orbited around...

Our Rich History: This is what the Fourth of July celebration was like in Fort Washington in 1792

By Steve Preston Special to NKyTribune On July 3, 1792, a ten-year-old Oliver Spencer left the settlement of Columbia with his two sisters and some other guests aboard a military barge bound for Fort Washington. They were on their way to celebrate the Fourth of July, which promised to be a grand event and a respite from life on the frontier. Military drills, parades, dinners, and a ball given by the...

Our Rich History: Ludlow War Heroes forgotten no longer; 900 served but 27 did not return home

By David E. Schroeder Special to NKyTribune Part 2 of a continuing series on the 75th anniversary of the closing stages of World War II; for Part 1, click here. The anniversary of D-Day and recent Memorial Day ceremonies sparked my interest in looking at the stories of the men and women who gave the supreme sacrifice in World War II. As is my pattern, I turned toward my Ludlow, Kentucky roots. I knew...

Our Rich History: First St. Mary’s church left an enduring legacy to the people of Covington

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the Tribune  On the morning of Sunday, September 21, 1834, two men boarded a ferry waiting on the banks of the Ohio River at Cincinnati and set off across the water toward the city of Covington. French-born Bishop Benedict Joseph Flaget, Bishop of Bardstown from 1808 until 1850, was unable to field missionary priests to the distant Northern Kentucky city of Covington,...

Our Rich History: Passenger Pigeons were once a common sight, and food source, in the Tristate

By Steve Preston Special to the NKyTribune Imagine the noonday sun blackened by what appears to be a moving and expanding cloud of smoke a mile wide that goes on for days. As you look closer, you realize it is not smoke but millions upon millions of birds, Passenger Pigeons to be exact. Photo_01: Passenger pigeon. Photo by James St. John at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Courtesy of...

Our Rich History: In 1869 Lucy Stone lectures in Cincinnati, refuting stereotypes of her day

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Sometimes in American history, it seems harder for us to extend dignity and equality for others than it is for us to deny and dehumanize those different from us. Ironically, this behavior betrays our democratic sense of fairness for all, and further, deprives our economy from capitalizing on hidden and undeveloped talents in our population. In other words,...

Our Rich History: Remembering D-Day 75 years later — and the heroic veterans who landed at Normandy

Part 1 of a continuing series on the 75th anniversary of the closing stages of World War II By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune World War II (1939-1945) was the largest and most deadly war that the world has ever experienced. No one knows exactly how many people died as a consequence of it. Modern statistics place the number at around 80 million dead worldwide, including both military personnel...

Our Rich History: A tribute to Doris Day, hometown Cincinnati girl who became a legend in Hollywood

By John Schlipp
 Special to the NKyTribune Que será, será 
Whatever will be, will be
 The future’s not ours to see 
Que será, será
 What will be, will be
 Those are the familiar lyrics of the Academy Award-winning song, “Qué Será, Será (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”, by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. It will be forever associated with the voice of one of Cincinnati’s most...

Our Rich History: A heartfelt gift from a little girl was inspiration a Bishop needed to build a Cathedral

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune On a warm summer afternoon in the late 1880s, a little girl walked up to the front door of the residence of the Bishop of Covington and rang the bell. When the housekeeper answered, the little girl asked to see the bishop. The housekeeper showed her into a quiet front parlor and asked her to wait there. After a while, she returned and showed the little...