WKMS Documentary

(Photo courtesy of John Scopes, Jr.)

What makes a person voluntarily step into the middle of one of the most controversial and contentious issues of modern times? And what makes them voluntarily step back out?

Western Kentucky native John Thomas Scopes volunteered to be the defendant in a much-ballyhooed trial testing a law he opposed, a law banning the teaching of human evolution in Tennessee. He stood on principle in an intense spotlight... and when the trial was over, he stepped back out, determined to live his own life. But, history was not finished with him just yet.


From the book William Kelly A True History of the So-Called Bessemer Process by John N. Boucher, Public Domain

 

The production explores the history and mystery of western Kentucky’s early 19th century iron industry and how one of the men behind it, William Kelly, developed the process of refining iron into steel that kickstarted America’s rise to industrial might.

However, there is much controversy surrounding Kelly’s invention and whether industrial espionage took it to Great Britain to begin the steel revolution there.

Todd Hatton, WKMS

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Explore the mystery surrounding the innovation that made the industrial might of America and the United Kingdom possible in the latest WKMS documentary production, Western Kentucky A Birthplace of Steel.

The production explores the history of western Kentucky's early 19th century iron industry and how one of the men behind it, William Kelly, developed the process of refining iron into steel that kickstarted America's rise to industrial might. There's also look at the controversy surrounding Kelly's invention and whether industrial espionage took it to Great Britain to begin the steel revolution there.

The documentary airs Friday, May 15 at noon and again Sunday, May 17 at 9 a.m.

This documentary originally aired in 2011.

An hour-long WKMS News production about the Union and Confederate confrontations, battles and tribulations in the Four Rivers Region, featuring a full performance cast.

Listen to this documentary:

Cast: 

    

WKMS News presents a new documentary: Living on the Line: Poverty in Western Kentucky.

Living on the Line tells the story of three families, each making less than a living wage. They share stories of dealing with hardships, trying to move forward and staying optimistic in spite of their situations. Each family has hope for better days and works to get out of poverty.

Join us Sunday, March 30 at 9 a.m. for the story of Irvin Cobb: Back Home.

Irvin Cobb's name can be found throughout western Kentucky. It graces a bridge, a resort, a hotel, and a golf tournament. But despite being one of the most famous writers of the early 20th century, not many people know that much about him. This latest Sounds Good documentary hopes to change all that.

Debuting Sunday, September 1 at 9 am

The words "Kentucky Coal" often summon images of the blackened faces of miners emerging from the dark pits of the eastern mountains. In fact, coal mining in the Commonwealth began long before, in the Western Coal Fields of the 1820s. Ever since, from the first mines of McLean's Drift Bank in Muhlenberg County, to the massive operations beneath many western counties, coal has been a major part of our region's life, its politics, and its economy. 

Made possible with the underwriting support of Jennmar.

Murray State’s NPR station, 91.3 WKMS presents the first program in its new “Sounds Good Documentary Series” with the airing of West Kentucky High Iron: The Story of Four Rivers Rail on Sunday, March 3 at 9:00 a.m.

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The hour-long documentary takes listeners around the four rivers region exploring the rail industry’s history and how this method of transportation has touched people’s lives. Rail historian Cliff Downey and WKMS Producer Todd Hatton connect the segments with reflections recorded while riding the historic “City of New Orleans” Amtrak line from Carbondale, IL to Fulton, KY.