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Louisville—30 Years of Change

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Louisville street scene

Meet Elvis before he became the King, Diane Sawyer before she became a TV icon, and Muhammad Ali before he became the Greatest. Produced by KET in partnership with the University of Louisville Photographic Archives and the Filson Historical Society, Louisville—30 Years of Change brings to life three pivotal decades in the history of the River City, from the 1940s through the ’70s.

The program examines many critical moments in history, from the mobilization of local industry as the country prepared for World War II to the upheaval caused by urban renewal and suburban sprawl. It also spotlights the jazz and African-American culture that flourished on old Walnut Street. Richly textured with nostalgic photographs and vintage film, the documentary includes clips of local television programs from the 1940s and ’50s as well as footage of a 1956 performance by Elvis Presley that was filmed by the Louisville police to use as evidence in case charges of public indecency were ever brought against the King’s swiveling hips.

Louisville—30 Years of Change is the sequel to Louisville—A City at the Falls, a KET production incorporating restorations of three documentary films by Al Shands that focus on Louisville’s history from 1850 to 1937.

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