Keith Runyon

1:50 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Role Moderate Republicans, Including Kentuckians, Played in the Civil Rights Act

Credit Time

Some will remember the dramatic scenes in Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” in which the House of Representatives, under  pressure from Abraham Lincoln, debates, and then passes, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which barred slavery. Others may remember the musical film “1776,” based on historic records, which recreated the debate in Philadelphia over the Declaration of Independence. In both cases, the opponents were generally men of property (yes, they were all men then) and men whose sympathies were with landed Southern aristocracy.

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6:53 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The First Woman Senior Editor at a Major Newspaper Worked in Louisville. It Didn't End Well, Either.

Carol Sutton among Time's 1975 "Women of the Year."

When the bulletin crossed my cellphone Wednesday evening announcing that Jill Abramson, the first woman to be executive editor of The New York Times, had been fired, I couldn’t help thinking of another editor at another newspaper, one from here in Louisville.

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12:44 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

What The Courier-Journal Book Pages, Now Passing, Meant For Louisville


On April 26, The Courier-Journal will publish its final book review page, ending a tradition that has been part of the newspaper’s DNA since at least the Roaring Twenties. I know. I was a major part of it.

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Local News
11:37 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Remembering The 1974 Louisville Tornado, 40 Years Later

Credit © The Courier-Journal

Not long ago I took an afternoon drive through many of the neighborhoods that were ravaged by a violent tornado on the afternoon of April 3, 1974, 40 years ago this month. My deliberate itinerary took me through a trail of tidy, in many cases elegant, neighborhoods — from the Cherokee Triangle north and east through Cochran Hill, Crescent Hill, Rolling Fields, Indian Hills and Northfield.

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7:00 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Why You Should Pay Attention to the Ukraine Crisis

Vladimir Putin in his KGB uniform.
Credit Creative Commons/

When violence broke out in Ukraine several weeks ago, most of us didn’t pay much attention. The big news out of the former Soviet Union was the 2014 Winter Olympics at Sochi. Russian leader Vladimir Putin appeared in an illustration on the cover of The New Yorker, as a figure skater competing before a bank of judges, each of whom look just like Putin. Despite the astronomical amount of money the Russians spent on transforming Sochi into an Olympic site, for the rest of the world the Winter Games had an eerie quality: the threat of terrorism; Putin’s grotesque comments about gays and lesbians; and the menacing situation about a thousand miles northwest in Kiev.

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2:00 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Kentucky's Courageous Attorneys General, Past and Present

Jack Conway
Credit Kentucky Attorney General's Office

More than a half century ago, my parents gave me for Christmas a copy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "Profiles in Courage." It was a collection of stories about United States senators through history who somehow stood up to the prevailing sentiments of their day to take stands that, in time, would earn them special places in history. Among those he included were John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton and Robert A. Taft. A bipartisan group, facing some of the thorniest issues of American history ranging from slavery to fair trials.

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12:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

In Defense of Kentucky

Credit ellenm1/Creative Commons

On Tuesday, Gallup-Healthways issued its annual State of American Well-Being Report. This is a study that has been conducted since 2008 to rank states according to six sub-indexes, which assess things like work environment, emotional and physical health, access to basic necessities and healthy behaviors. As seems to be the case too often, Kentucky once again has made news by ranking 49th in the study; only West Virginia ranks lower.

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8:20 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Love and Marriage: 50 Years of Steady Change in Kentucky


Back in 1969, the Four Seasons had a big hit with their recording of Laura Nyro’s “Wedding Bell Blues.” The lyrics end with these lines: 

        I love you so, I always will

        And though devotion rules my heart I take no bows

         But Bill you're never gonna take those wedding vows


        Oh, come on Bill, oh, come on Bill

        Come on and marry me, Bill, I got the wedding bell blues

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11:05 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Goodnight, Shirley Temple

Credit Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.

On Tuesday morning, I was walking into the kitchen for my second cup of coffee when I heard the familiar voice of Shirley Temple singing “On the Good Ship Lollipop” over the radio. I figured there could probably be only one reason for NPR to be playing that recording at the top of the hour: The most famous child actor, ever, had died.

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7:42 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Changing Attitudes Toward Smoking in Louisville and Beyond

Credit Marlboro

The announcement Wednesday by CVS pharmacies that, as of Oct. 1, they will no longer sell cigarettes in their 7,600 locations is another step in the long march that began 50 years ago this winter, when the Surgeon General’s Report on tobacco and cancer was first issued. (CVS operates 14 stores in Louisville, and is preparing to open a new one on the first floor of the old Stewart’s Dry Goods building at Fourth and Muhammad Ali.)

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