To the Editor:
People the world over know of Daniel Boone, Abraham Lincoln and Jennifer Lawrence’s connection to Kentucky. But what they might not know is that Kentucky also gave us the African American who invented the modern traffic light and one of the Nobel Prize winners who discovered how to split genes. The list of historic accomplishments originating from the commonwealth is lengthy.
But many of these stories are no longer being told and, as a consequence, Kentucky is missing important pieces of its identity. That’s a shame, as these lost narratives include many points of pride that could serve to remind us all, young and old, that we come from a long line of achievers and that our home state has made many positive contributions to the nation and, indeed, the world.
Even the stories that aren’t so pretty serve as valuable lessons that guide us in making decisions for the future. Our connections and commitment to one another are strengthened when we share our stories and experiences. And that’s what our local history organizations are working hard to do.
But they all need financial support to continue their good work. Right now we have a unique opportunity to help them in this cause.
Kentucky’s Local History Trust Fund is a new tax check-off program debuting on the 2015 state income tax return. This voluntary donation, made simply by designating a portion of your tax refund to the fund, goes to a grant pool. Later this year the Kentucky Historical Society, which administers the trust fund, will begin awarding grants from the pool to local organizations that use history to educate our children, preserve our heritage and teach us what it means to be a Kentuckian.
That’s why I am asking you to make your mark for history and check the box to donate to the Local History Trust Fund, and to ask your friends and neighbors to do the same. Even a small donation will go miles toward helping preserve our community’s heritage and showing others how we have contributed to Kentucky’s advancement.