Explore the history of Baptist preacher Elijah Craig and his influence on the bourbon industry; relive a canoe trip down Mill Creek Lake that launched Dave Shuffett’s Kentucky Life career; a memorial honors the miners killed in the Hurricane Creek mine disaster; and Iraqi-born painter Vian Sora brings vivid contrasts to her art and life in Louisville. Kentucky Life Moment: Ducks at Basil Griffin Park in Bowling Green.
Bourbon is one of Kentucky’s most treasured products and an important part of the state’s identity. The exact origins of the spirit as it’s known today are a bit of a mystery, but 19th-century preacher Elijah Craig is widely considered to be a key player in the beginning of bourbon.
Hurricane Creek Mine Disaster Memorial
On December 30, 1970, an explosion at the Findley Mine on Hurricane Creek killed 38 miners and changed the small community of Hyden, Kentucky, for a generation.
“I was getting ready to go to basketball practice,” remembers resident Fred Brashear. “When the explosion occurred, it sounded like a rifle shot. I went on to practice, and the coroner came in and practice was canceled. And for good reason, because unfortunately [the gym] was where the morgue was and where the victims were brought.”
Artist Vian Sora
Louisville artist Vian Sora finds inspiration for her paintings in her life and her surroundings. Growing up in Iraq steered her work toward certain symbols and themes.
“I grew up with a Kurdish dad and Arabic mother in Baghdad,” says Sora. “I was born in 1976. When I was three, Saddam Hussein took power and that was an immediate transition to a whole different state of terror in Iraq.”