A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Our Rich History: Virginia, the Taylor Family, and Newport; settling into ‘certain to prosper’ river town

Part 3 of our series, Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020 By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune The Taylor family, founders of Newport, Kentucky, were wealthy Virginians. General James Taylor V (1769-1848) was born on Midway Plantation in Caroline County, Virginia, the son of Colonel James Taylor IV (1732 -1814) and Ann Hubbard (“Midway Plantation near Bowling Green, Caroline...

Our Rich History: The Ohio River Valley was the epicenter of a major global war

Part 2 of our series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Mountains, the Cumberland Narrows, and the Ohio River Valley The Ohio River Valley, with Newport, Kentucky at nearly its halfway point, was an epicenter of a major global war that changed the course of British and American history. The lush lands of the Ohio River, however,...

Our Rich History: From the beginning, Camillus Maes seemed destined to become Covington bishop

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to NKyTribune Part one of a two-part series on the legacy of Bishop Camillus P. Maes On the cold, wintry afternoon of Friday, January 23, 1885, a train carrying a Catholic priest from Detroit pulled into the railway station at Cincinnati. It had been a long journey for Father Camillus Paul Maes, who only months earlier had been appointed the Third Bishop of Covington by...

Our Rich History: An open invitation to help us celebrate Newport’s 225th anniversary

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune Part 1 of a series, “Resilience and Renaissance: Newport, Kentucky, 1795-2020” What does it feel like to be 225 years old? As humans, we may never know the answer to that question personally, but we do know it communally. History enables us to experience a slice of life centuries old, even if merely a glimpse. History also invites us to learn from the past,...

Our Rich History: The misadventures of Thaddeus Lowe and the beginnings of modern aeronautics

By Jacob Koch Special to NKyTribune On the morning of April 20, 1861, Thaddeus Lowe (1832–1913) would prepare to set off in his hot air balloon, “The Enterprise,” from Cincinnati as a test run to Washington DC. This was part of a much grander plan, a transatlantic flight. Previously, he had sailed from Philadelphia to New Jersey in July of 1860 using the enormous balloon “The Great Western,”...

Our Rich History: Don Heinrich Tolzmann’s new book, ‘German Heritage Explorations,’ shares his expertise

By Paul A. Tenkotte Special to NKyTribune If you want to learn more about a foreign nation, you visit it. If you hope to learn to play tennis or golf, you find your way to a tennis court or a golf course. And if you desire to learn more about German Americans, you need to read any of Dr. Don Heinrich Tolzmann’s many books. Tolzmann’s latest work is entitled German Heritage Explorations, published...

Our Rich History: Business branding and regional trademarks — some recognized globally

By John Schlipp Special to NKyTribune All of us have identities — sort of like product brands—in addition to our names. Throughout history, even cities have branded themselves. For example, Cincinnati was originally christened as the “Queen City of the West.” Over time, its municipal marker simply became the “Queen City.” “Suspension Bridge Grand March,” by composer Henry Mayer, to...

Our Rich History: In Normandy, the only way to learn was the hard way — and survival was prize

By Stephen Enzweiler Special to the NKyTribune [Part 4 in a continuing series commemorating the 75th anniversary of the closing stages of WWII. August commemorates the “breakout” of Allied forces in France after the victory at Saint Lo.] Private Arthur B. Pranger of Company A, 86th Chemical Mortar Battalion (CMB) had been in Normandy just eight days when he found himself facing the harsh realities...

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: 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: 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...