By Thomas D. Clark
When Thomas D. Clark used to be employed to educate historical past on the collage of Kentucky in 1931, he begun a occupation that might span approximately three-quarters of a century and may profoundly switch not just the heritage division and the college however the complete Commonwealth. His still-definitive History of Kentucky (1937) was once certainly one of greater than thirty books he might write or edit that handled Kentucky, the South, and the yank frontier.
In addition to his broad scholarly contributions, Clark committed his lifestyles to the upkeep of Kentucky's old documents. He begun this campaign by means of accumulating substantial shops of Kentucky's army files from the struggle of 1812, the Mexican warfare, and the Civil warfare. His efforts ended in the Commonwealth's first archival process and the next construction of the Kentucky Library and documents, the collage of Kentucky particular Collections and data, the Kentucky Oral background fee, the Kentucky historical past heart (recently named for him), and the collage Press of Kentucky.
Born in 1903 on a cotton farm in Louisville, Mississippi, Thomas Dionysius Clark could stick to a protracted and winding route to locate his life's ardour within the learn of heritage. He dropped out of faculty after 7th grade to paintings first at a sawmill after which on a canal dredgeboat earlier than resuming his formal schooling. Clark's earliest thoughts -- listening to approximately neighborhood lynch-mob violence and witnessing the destruction of virgin wooded area -- are a useful window into the nationwide problems with racial injustice and environmental depredation. in lots of methods, the tale of Dr. Clark's lifestyles is the tale of the USA within the 20th century. In My Century in History, Clark bargains brilliant stories of his trip, either own and educational, a trip that took him from Mississippi to Kentucky and North Carolina, to management of the nation's significant ancient businesses, and to vacationing professorships in Austria, England, Greece, and India, in addition to in universities during the usa.
An significantly renowned public lecturer and instructor, he touched millions of lives in Kentucky and worldwide. along with his attribute wit and perception, Clark now bargains his many admirers one ultimate quantity of historical past -- his own.
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Additional info for My Century in History: Memoirs
When my maternal grandfather was born, Sarah named him Dyonicious in gratefulness to her Oliver benefactors. Later, when I was born, my mother named me for my two grandfathers. She could never have imagined the burden that middle name has been for me over the years. It seems that certain ignoramuses introducing me as a speaker think it humorous that I bear such an outlandish name. Many times I have had grave doubts about my indebtedness to that ancient Greek god or to the ﬁve generations of Georgia Olivers.
White Hall was too far from our farm to drive back and forth every day over the miserable dirt roads, so we would rent a shabby house near the school and camp there during the ﬁve-day school week. Mother would drive there in the buggy, taking with her Ernest and Wilma, while Marvin and I walked through Reedy Creek Swamp. Meanwhile my father would keep the home ﬁres burning. My mother was a dedicated classroom teacher. She saw to it that her pupils got down to business with their books and behaved themselves in the process.
At an early age I became an admirer of my father’s double-barrel shotgun and longed for the day when I could shoulder it and go on the popular Thanksgiving Day hunts. Before I was permitted to hunt, however, I had to learn to shoot. One Thanksgiving morning my Bennett uncles decided the time had arrived for me to take the ﬁrst step toward becoming a hunter. We went into the woods, and they cocked a singlebarrel choke-bore gun loaded with a black powder shell. When I ﬁred it, the gun kicked me back against a log and I fell head over heels, sure that I had shot myself.