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Eighth of August

Eighth of August

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Eighth of August

Experience the history and excitement of the Eighth of August weekend. Every year, African-Americans in parts of Western Kentucky and central Tennessee gather to celebrate Emancipation, a homecoming tradition begun in 1868.
S19 E9 Length 26:41 Premiere: 2.1.14

The Eighth of August

American independence is celebrated on the 4th of July, but many African-American communities in Western Kentucky also commemorate another day of freedom. The 8th of August is both an Emancipation celebration and a homecoming, and it’s been a tradition since the 1860s.
 

“Why is it important?” asked historian Nancy Dawson. “Because although things changed, there’s still so much work  that people have to do in term of race relations, in terms of diversity, in terms of understanding each other.

“And that’s on all sides of the fence. The enslavement is a part of American history. It’s not black history. It’s American history. Not a very fun part of American history. It doesn’t make us feel all warm and comfortable.”

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, is a widely celebrated Emancipation celebration, as is Jan. 1. So why is there an 8th of August celebration?

The origins are lost to time. Most newspapers didn’t cover African-American events in much detail, and oral histories vary from town to town. Some say the holiday began in Tennessee when Andrew Johnson, military governor of Union-controlled Tennessee and future president, freed his slaves on Aug. 8, 1863. Others say that news of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued on  Jan. 1, 1863, didn’t arrive in faraway communities until Aug. 8.

The 8th of August quickly became a homecoming event in many Western Kentucky counties, whose populations were roughly 40 percent African-American in the years after the Civil War. Thousands would flood trains and steamboats to return home to celebrate the 8th with family who never left the area.

The 8th of August is still celebrated today in towns where the older generation works to instill the tradition in the younger generation.

1. Hopkinsville: The famed 8th of August celebrations in Christian County can be traced to nearby Crofton in the beginning of the 20th century. The spirit of the festival is kept alive today by the Minority Economic Development Initiative, which sponsors a historic African-American business tour.  “A lot of those locations and sites that we’re visiting are from post-slaves that were part of Reconstruction era after the Civil War,” said Henry Snorton III.

2. Russellville: This Logan County town hosts what has become the largest of the celebrations in the state, partly because of the West Kentucky African American Heritage Museum, which draws tourists and returning family alike.

Organizer Paulette Smith said the celebration, with its music, basketball and softball tournament, and church services, helps knit the community together. “You should know who you are, where you’ve been and where you’re going, and this tells all of that,” she said.

3. Paducah: Paducah can trace its 8th of August history back to at least 1886. Betty Dobson, historian and manager of the historic Hotel Metropolitan, said that in the early 1900s, newspapers reported crowds of more than 10,000 coming in by rail and by steamboat. Paducah features a parade for the 8th of August. James Otis Trice Jr., the grand marshal in 2013, said it was an honor. “This is my 69th trip down to Paducah on the holiday. I don’t miss it,” he said.

4. Allensville: This Todd County community claims to have been celebrating the 8th of August the longest—since 1868. In 2013, Clarence Morton Sr. celebrated his 100th birthday on Aug. 8. Baseball games were the key component of the celebration, as Morton remembered. “My dad was a ballplayer, and he always come to play ball on the Eighth of August.”

Historians say the 8th of August was a celebration of freedom especially during the days of segregation. “I talked to a lot of elders of the community and they told me how important it was to be in a space  where you’re free, ” said Dawson. “And by that I mean free from any kind of racial tension, you know.”

Russellville community historian Michael A. Morrow said the 8th of August is a teaching opportunity and a celebration. “We come to celebrate the freedom and sacrifice of so many African Americans and so many other people to end slavery, and to bring people together, to show everybody that the important thing is that we get along as people,” he said.

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  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

London Cycling; Dave's Memory-Fatherloss; Mays Lick Rosenwald School; Moment-Spring Beauty - S25 E13

  • Saturday February 15, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 15, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 14, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 14, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 14, 2020 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 14, 2020 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 14, 2020 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 14, 2020 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 13, 2020 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 12, 2020 10:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 12, 2020 9:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 12, 2020 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 12, 2020 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 12, 2020 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 12, 2020 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 11, 2020 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 10, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday February 10, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday February 9, 2020 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 9, 2020 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 9, 2020 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 9, 2020 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday February 8, 2020 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday February 8, 2020 7:00 pm CT on KET

Bosnian Exhibit; Bosnian Coffee; Northern Kentucky Brotherhood; Wyatt Dagla Severs - S23 E10

  • Monday February 10, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 10, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

South Union Shaker; Capital City Museum; West End School Louisville; The LEXington Theatre Company - S23 E9

  • Friday February 7, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Northern KY Brotherhood Singers; Maker's Mark; Effie Waller Smith; Haven Gillespie - S23 E8

  • Thursday February 6, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Woodland Native Americans; Indigenous Peoples Day in Stanford; Blue Wing Landing; Kathy Conroy - S23 E7

  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

USA Cares; Beattyville Exhibit/Veterans Wall; Fort Knox Therapy Dogs - S23 E6

  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 3:52 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 2:52 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Alice Allison Dunnigan; Memory-Doug's First Segment; Wendover; Mary Ingles - S25 E12

  • Saturday February 8, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 8, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 7, 2020 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 6, 2020 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 10:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 9:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 5, 2020 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 4, 2020 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 3, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday February 3, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday February 2, 2020 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 2, 2020 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 2, 2020 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 2, 2020 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday February 1, 2020 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday February 1, 2020 7:00 pm CT on KET

KSU Aquaculture; Golden Retrievers; Sue Darnell Ellis; Seafood Lady - S23 E5

  • Monday February 3, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 3, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Bowman's Valley School; Byron's Memory-Tom T. Hall; Mutton; Moment-Prohibitionist Mural - S25 E11

  • Saturday February 1, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 1, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 9:50 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 8:50 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 10:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 9:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 27, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday January 27, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 26, 2020 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 26, 2020 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 26, 2020 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 26, 2020 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday January 25, 2020 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday January 25, 2020 7:00 pm CT on KET

Thomas Noble; Downtown Mt. Sterling; Three Toads Farm; Bread of Life Cafe - S23 E4

  • Friday January 31, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 31, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Latitude Arts Community; Kayaking Bourbon Co; Webster Co. Coal Mine Disaster; Camp Zachary Taylor - S23 E3

  • Thursday January 30, 2020 3:55 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 2:55 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 30, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Hopkinsville Eclipse; Eclipse at Franklin; Man o' War Anniversary; Lost John - S23 E2

  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 29, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Idlewild Butterfly Farm; State Fair; Dan MacPhail Antlers; One Fateful Pitch - S23 E1

  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 28, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

The Louisville Zoo - S22 E20

  • Monday January 27, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 27, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Conductor Amy Gillingham; Memory-Ray Harm Nature Paintings; Cedar Creek Lake; Madisonville Integration - S25 E9

  • Saturday January 18, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 18, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Beverly Hills Supper Club Tragedy; Town of Lynch; Valhalla Golf Course - S22 E19

  • Friday January 24, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Devou Park; Central Kentucky; Stearns; Old Fort Harrod (Kentucky's Anniversary) - S22 E18

  • Thursday January 23, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Certified Midwives; Garden Roller Rink; Sports Radio Broadcasters in Rowan Co. - S22 E17

  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Downtown Taylorsville; Henderson Wetlands; Joe Downing; Constitution Square (Kentucky's Anniversary) - S22 E16

  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Old State Capitol (Kentucky's Anniversary); Patrick the Miniature Horse; Second Stride; National Farm Machinery Show - S22 E15

  • Monday January 20, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 20, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Bibb House Reunion; Memory-Freedom Singers; Goatscaping; Ché Rhodes; Moment-Clydesdales - S25 E10

  • Saturday January 25, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 25, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Saturday January 25, 2020 12:30 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday January 25, 2020 11:30 am CT on KET
  • Friday January 24, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 9:35 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 8:35 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 24, 2020 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 6:00 pm ET on KET
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 5:00 pm CT on KET
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 23, 2020 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 10:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 9:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 22, 2020 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 21, 2020 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 20, 2020 7:00 pm ET on KET2
  • Monday January 20, 2020 6:00 pm CT on KET2
  • Sunday January 19, 2020 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 19, 2020 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 19, 2020 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 19, 2020 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday January 18, 2020 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday January 18, 2020 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Saturday January 18, 2020 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 18, 2020 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
Top

Season 19

Horsepowered: The Keeneland Concours d'Elegance

S19 E21 Length 27:26 Premiere Date 5.23.14

John Hunt Morgan

S19 E20 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 5.16.14

BB Riverboats and Fort Knox Gold

S19 E19 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 5.9.14

Roscoe Goose; Churchill Downs; Mint Juleps; Zenyatta

S19 E18 Length 27:32 Premiere Date 5.4.14

Earth Day

S19 E17 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 4.18.14

The Great Saltpetre Cave

S19 E16 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 4.11.14

Agility Dog Trainer; Lexington Vintage Dance

S19 E15 Length 28:01 Premiere Date 4.4.14

Appalachian Art and the 200-year-old Bodley-Bullock House

S19 E14 Length 27:42 Premiere Date 3.28.14

Community Gardening & a 100-Year-Old Barn

S19 E13 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 3.21.14

Marshall County Hoop Fest; State Parks Golf Trail

S19 E12 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 2.22.14

Presidents' Day

S19 E11 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 2.15.14

Hound Welfare Fund, Hot Browns, Roebling Bridge

S19 E10 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 2.8.14

Eighth of August

S19 E9 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 2.1.14

Motorcycle Museum & Drystone Wall Building

S19 E8 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 1.25.14

Scuba Diving in Hopkinsville, Ky

S19 E7 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 11.23.13

Reintroducing Bees to Ky; Is Daniel Boone not buried in Ky?

S19 E6 Length 26:42 Premiere Date 11.16.13

Veteran's Day Special

S19 E5 Length 26:42 Premiere Date 11.9.13

Haunts of Owensboro, The Whipps, & Louisville Food Trucks

S19 E4 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 11.1.13

Visit Lake Malone & Winchester, Ky's Master Luthier, & more

S19 E3 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 10.18.13

Maritime Education in Ky, Frances BBQ and Ruby Moon Vineyard

S19 E2 Length 26:41 Premiere Date 10.11.13

Bardstown: The Most Beautiful Town in America (and more!)

S19 E1 Length 26:01 Premiere Date 10.4.13

Hosts

Our Current Host, Doug Flynn

Doug Flynn, former Major League Baseball player and current Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, began as the host of Kentucky Life in the 21st season.

During an 11-year MLB career, Flynn won two world championships with the Reds and a Gold Glove award at second base for the New York Mets.

Doug was born and raised in Lexington and is involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations, including Hope for the Warriors and the American Association for the Prevention of Substance Abuse in Athletics. He is a graduate of Somerset Community College, and a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dave Shuffett, Host for Seasons 6 – 20

As host of Kentucky Life from 1999 to 2015, Dave Shuffett received nine Emmy nominations for on-camera performance and producing.

Shuffett is a native of Greensburg and a graduate of Murray State University. From 1989 to 1995, he served as both host and producer of Kentucky Afield.

Dave joined Kentucky Life for the series’ sixth season, replacing former host Byron Crawford. Shuffett was always accompanied by one of his dogs and they frequently appeared as “co-hosts.”

Dave lives in rural Central Kentucky and is the author of “My Kentucky Life,” a collection of his photos and stories of people and places throughout the state.

Byron Crawford, Host for Seasons 1 – 5

Kentucky native Byron Crawford hosted the program from its debut in September 1995 through the summer of 1999.

He studied speech and broadcasting at Murray State University, then worked as a radio and television news reporter in Cincinnati and Louisville before beginning a newspaper career.

Byron wrote his “Kentucky Column” for the (Louisville) Courier-Journal from 1979 until 2008. Today he writes the back page column for Kentucky Living magazine.

Explore KET