Library of Congress, Wikimedia Commons

Fifty years ago this Sunday (February 9, 2014), four mop-topped lads from Liverpool took to a television stage and changed the world. The Beatles made their stateside debut on The Ed Sullivan Show in three consecutive headlining performances to great anticipation and fanfare, drawing over 73 million viewers and launching the 'British Invasion.' Commentator and Murray State history professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects on their first performance and its cultural impact over 50 years.

The Uncommon Authors of Mystery Novels

Jan 3, 2014

Murray State Professor Emeritus and commentator Michael Cohen surveys uncommon authors of mysteries, whose day jobs have nothing to do with whodunits. He's the author of "Murder Most Fair: The Appeal of Mystery Fiction," published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 2000. See more uncommon mysteries.

Uncommon Mystery: Killings at Badger's Drift

Dec 30, 2013

Professor Emeritus Michael Cohen reviews British author Caroline Graham's first mystery, The Killings At Badger's Drift,  published in 1987 and adapted ten years later as the first episode of the British ITV series The Midsomer Murders.

Michael Cohen is Professor Emeritus at Murray State University. He is the author of Murder Most Fair:  The Appeal of Mystery Fiction, published by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press in 2000. 

On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a presidential motorcade through a plaza of onlookers in Dallas, Texas. Commentator and Murray State History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects on his parents' memories of the day.

Uncommon Mystery: Ask Miss Mott

Nov 11, 2013

Mystery enthusiast Michael Cohen reviews an "uncommon mystery" to consider for your reading list. The mystery "Ask Miss Mott" by E. Phillips Oppenheim is a thriller published in 1935, an early adventure spy novel.

E. Phillips Oppenheim, Ask Miss Mott (1935)

Late last week, the Senate Conservatives Fund announced an endorsement for Kentucky businessman Matt Bevin, who is challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his seat in the 2014 Primary. Bevin has already gained attention and support from Tea Party leaders and has, as commentator and History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy says, the advantage of recent political upsets on his side. 

The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the commentator and do not necesarily reflect the views of WKMS.

From the Garden Gate: September Gardening

Sep 25, 2013

Roy Helton divides his time between teaching in the English Department at Murray State University and indulging his passion for gardening. In this edition of "From the Garden Gate," Roy talks about the 'vegetative doldrums' of September, and how to prepare for next season.

50 years ago this Sunday, an explosion at an African-American church in Birmingham, Alabama killed four little girls in an act of racially motivated terrorism, marking a turning point in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement. Commentator and Murray State History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects on this tragic moment, and its historical significance in contributing to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

On this day 50 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech to a crowd of over 200,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Commentator and Murray State History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects on this defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement, and it's cultural significance then and 50 years later. 

Commentator Celia Brewer wonders why we as a society tolerate one form on injustice but loudly protest another. Please note, the thoughts expressed in this commentary are those of the commentator and do not necessarily reflect the views of WKMS or its staff.

Carousel, the 1956 movie made from the hit Broadway musical, recently aired on Turner Classic Movies. Told in flashback, the movie opens with a carnival barker named Billy Bigelow in heaven. He had died in a bungled robbery, desperate for money to support his wife, Julie Jordan, and their baby on the way. Billy is granted a day to return to earth to console his troubled teenaged daughter Louise.