Datebook: June 22 - Paul Morphy Turns 175

Jun 22, 2012

Paul Morphy was the greatest chess player of his era and unofficial World Chess Champion. He was called "The Pride and Sorrow of Chess" because of his brief and brilliant career, early retirement, and unusual death. 

Born to a wealthy family in New Orleans and encouraged to play chess at an early age, he made his first claim to fame defeating Hungarian master Johann Lowenthal at the age of 12. By his late teens, Morphy easily won most of his games, trouncing every master in the US and Europe. He was hailed "the Champion of the World" by President Martin Van Buren and on a trip to London was invited to a private audience with Queen Victoria. Having defeated everyone at the age of 22, he announced his retirement and lived off his family fortune. In 1884, at the age of 47, Morphy was found dead in his bathtub having suffered a stroke from the cold water. Urban legend has it that he was surrounded by women's shoes. 


It’s Friday, June 22

The Wastelanders of Paducah will hold a “garden party”-themed summer art opening tomorrow evening from 6 to 9.  It’s at the former Joe’s Market building, located at the corner of 10th and Park Avenue.  The event is free and open to the public. 

The Nature Station at Land Between the Lakes offers a special program on the eastern bluebird tomorrow afternoon at 2:15.  Learn how to attract bluebirds to your backyard, and take a walk to visit some nearby bluebird residents.  The program is free with admission to the Nature Station.  Details at

There’s a Kentucky State Boating Safety Class tomorrow from 9 to 4 at Eddy Creek Marina Resort.  The free course certifies students ages 12 to 17 to operate power boats with parental permission.  The class emphasizes the use of personal water craft, but also addresses safe operation practices for all types of power boats.  To register, call (502) 460-6495.

See community events at