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Louisville Roadways - What's in a Name?

We drive them every day, but most people never give thought to the names behind Metro Louisville’s busiest roadways and bridges.

Exactly who were Gene Snyder, Sherman Minton and Henry Watterson? We have the answers, in Et Cetera.

Henry Watterson was a nationally-known journalist and, for a partial term, a U.S. congressman.

He founded the Louisville Courier-Journal, owned and edited the newspaper from 1868 to 1919… and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1918.

Construction on the Watterson Expressway, also known as I-264, began in 1949.

It is Louisville’s inner beltway and played a major role in migration from the city to the suburbs in the 1950s and ‘60s.

Southern Indiana’s Sherman Minton was a lawyer, Senator, and later, a U.S. Supreme Court justice, appointed by President Truman.

He took the oath of office as a justice in 1949; due to poor health—resigned in 1956; and lived out the rest of his days in New Albany, Indiana.

In 1963 the I-64 Bridge, which connects New Albany to Louisville, was given his name.

Lastly — Louisvillian, Marion “Gene” Snyder was a prominent politician. He held several public offices, including U.S. congressional representative for 11 terms, starting in 1962.

In 1982 he helped secure the funds needed to complete the Louisville beltway that now bears his name.

I-265, originally called Jefferson Freeway, was renamed after Snyder retired from Congress in 1986.

Additional details:

  • Cave Hill Cemetery is the final resting place of Henry Watterson.
  • You can download Watterson's autobiography free online at Project Gutenburg or read it for free online at Google Books.
  • Sherman Minton was born in Georgetown, Ind. He attended New Albany High School, graduated from the law department at Indiana University at Bloomington (1915) and from Yale University. According to The Encyclopedia of Louisville, Minton helped organize the Yale University Legal Aid Society.
  • Sherman Minton was a proponent of the New Deal.
  • Sherman Minton died at his residence in New Albany, Indiana in 1965. He is interred in Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery.
  • In addition to a portion of I-265, the federal courthouse building in Louisville is also named after Gene Snyder.
  • According to the Courier-Journal, Gene Snyder also helped secure federal protection for the Falls of the Ohio.
  • Besides politics, Snyder was also involved in local real estate & construction, farming, and law.
  • Gene Snyder lost one bid for reelection to former Louisville Mayor Charles P. Farnsley.
  • Gene Snyder died in Naples, Fla. In 2007.
  • Two recent names to grace Kentuckiana’s thoroughfares, but heard less frequently, are Lee Hamilton Highway (1999) and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Expressway (2007). The former is a nine-mile stretch of I-265 in southern Indiana, named after the long-time Indiana Congressman; the later refers to the entire stretch of I-65 through Jefferson County.
  • Lee H. Hamilton served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 34 years. (1965-1999). After leaving Congress, Hamilton was vice chair of the 9/11 Commission and, along with former Secretary of State James Baker, co-chair of the Iraq Study Group (organized by the United States Institute of Peace).
  • Hamilton is a graduate of DePauw University and the Indiana University School of Law.
  • As of 2009, Lee Hamilton is the president and director of The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and director of The Center on Congress at Indiana University.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s younger brother, A.D. King, was once a pastor in Louisville, Ky.
  • I-65 enters Louisville from Indiana via the John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge. It is claimed that this bridge was the first structure in the country to receive his name.
  • The stretch of I-65 from Bowling Green to Louisville, was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Highway in 2006.

For more Et Cetera facts, check out our Season Two segment on Louisville food and drink.

Program 324
Louisville Life strolls through Louisville’s vast green spaces, learns the heroic history of the structure that now serves as the Belle of Louisville’s ticket office and much more. (#324)