Fall 2017 News

Murray State's Wrather WKY Museum Opens "Kennedy Comes to Kentucky"

A new museum exhibit opens at Murray State University that explores the 1960 presidential election of John F. Kennedy with an emphasis on the former U.S. president’s campaign in west Kentucky and, specifically, in the Jackson Purchase region. “Kennedy Comes to Kentucky” is on display Nov. 14 through March 14 in Wrather West Kentucky Museum, located on Murray State’s campus.

The exhibit, curated by Dr. Jeff McLaughlin, features historic photos, campaign memorabilia and assorted historical documents in addition to video screens and iPad apps included in the exhibition room. 
Todd Hatton speaks with the exhibit's curator at WKMS.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy 2


The Murray State University 2017 Homecoming festivities took place on Oct. 27-29.  Alumni from all over the country were invited to return to campus to join former classmates for all the Homecoming festivities including special class reunions, the Homecoming parade, tent city, and of course the ballgame and the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen.

Streaming: Homecoming parade

Members of the Department of History in Tent City
Homcoming 2017 a

homcoming 2017 b

2017 Ohio Valley History Conference

The 2017 Ohio Valley History Conference (OVHC) will be hosted by The Department of History at Murray State University, October 19-21, 2017.

The OVHC is a regional academic conference promoting scholarship and research across all historical disciplines with a special focus on Kentucky and Tennessee.  Since its beginning in 1985, the conference has been hosted annually.  Currently, it rotates among six host institutions: Western Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Murray State University, Austin Peay State University, East Tennessee State University and Tennessee Tech University.

The main themes of the 2017 OVHC include the centennial of US entry into World War I and the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting his 95 Theses.  The OVHC is a general conference for all historians. Papers and panels on any other aspect of history from any time period are also included in the conference. 

The key speaker will be Lesley J. Gordon, Professor and Charles G. Summersell Chair of Southern History at the University of Alabama and immediate past editor of Civil War History. She will discuss her current research on cowardice and courage in the American Civil War.

Dr. Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Distinguished Professor from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee presented a public lecture at Murray State on Sept. 28, 2017.


The Religious Studies Program is hosting/co-hosting a series of events as part of "Reformation Month" to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

History Majors Reception, Sept. 21, 2017.
Majors 2
Majors 3
majors 1

Bobbie Ann Mason Speaks at Easley Lecture.

Speaking to a packed Curris Center Ballroom at Murray State University’s inaugural Easley Lecture Tuesday night, Sept. 19, 2017, Kentucky author Bobbie Ann Mason spoke about how history plays a role in her fiction and the human experience in general.

Mason 1

Mason 2

Dr. David Pizzo shares a personal testimony of his time staying in South Africa with Tracy Ross on Sounds Good ahead of the Cinema International showing of 'District 9' at WKMS

District 9

Dr. David Pizzo draws comparisons between post-WWI Germany and the U.S. today at WKMS.

Spring 2017 News

Murray State University's Phi Alpha Theta students attended a Regional Conference at the University of Tennessee-Martin, Saturday April 1, 2017.  

Two of the graduate students, Andrew Landreth (not pictured) and Jon Dunning won awards for their papers, First and Second Place Graduate Papers, respectively.
Photo of PAT members at conference

Spring 2017 SHUR Flyer

Fall 2016 News

History Research Forums

Forums occur on a weekly basis, excepting for holidays, on Thursday afternoons. Check out our "Events" page for more information.

Tent City

The history club and honor society of Phi Alpha Theta benefited from a successful turn-out of Murray State University's Homecoming event "Tent City."
Dr. Bolin, also, advertised his latest book Home and Away at Tent City.
Phi Alpha Theta and History Dept at Tent City           Dr. Bolin selling his latest book at Tent City

History of Elections Panel 

The History Department and Phi Alpha Theta sponsored a panel discussion on the nature of the 2016 Presidential Election. Topics addressed included the historical context of elections, the unique aspects of the candidates, and more. Students and faculty, both, were asked to supply relevant questions to guide the nature and depth of panel topics, which proved to be an informative and engaging discussion on elections in America, in general. The panel was Tuesday, October 25.

Book Signing At Kentucky Book Fair 

One of Murray State University History Department's own, Professor Duane Bolin, will sign three of his books at the Kentucky Book Fair, held on November 5, 2016 at the Convention Center in Frankfort, Kentucky. 
Bolin's most recent publication, Home and Away: A Professor's Journal (Malden, Missouri: Acclaim Press, 2016), is featured in this year's Book Fair: 
"Since 2005, readers of the Murray Ledger & Times have been privileged to enjoy the reflective insights of Professor Duane Bolin, a teacher and historian at Murray State University. These delightful essays recount themes well-known to us all, memories of friends and family, thoughts of home and small-town living, travel adventures both near and far, and school life as both a student and a teacher." 
Bolin's other books include: Bossism and Reform in a Southern City: Lexington, Kentucky, 1880-1940 (Lexington, Kentucky: University Press of Kentucky, 2000); and Kentucky Baptists, 1925-2000: A Story of Cooperation (Brentwood and Nashville: Southern Baptist Historical Society and Fields Publishing, 2000).

 Spring 2016 News

Ted Belue spoke at the Murray- Calloway County Library, May 1, 2016
Ted Belue at the Library

Professor Ted Belue addressed a full house at Calloway County Public Library. His talk, "Black Indians and Black Mountain Men on the Frontier: Restoring a Vanishing Legacy" as the final talk hosted by the Murray- Calloway County Public Library in partnership with the Department of History.

History Students at the Symposium for Undergraduate History Research at Mississippi State University, April 30, 2016
Students at SHUR

Two history majors, Lydia Biggs and Alyssa Leet, and one philosophy major, Gerett Treas, presented papers at the Symposium for Undergraduate History Research at Mississippi Stare University in Starkville, Mississippi.

Dr. Charlotte Beahan receives Education Abroad Service Award, April 28, 2016
Dr. Beahan receives Education Abroad Service Award

Dr. Charlotte Beahan received the Education Abroad Service Award. She and Dr. Schell also became inaugural members of Education Abroad's Walk of Fame, a new honor for retiring faculty members who have taught abroad.

Faculty Appreciation Banquet, April 21, 2016
Dr. Bolin receives twenty year service award
Dr. Pizzo received mentor of the year award

At the Faculty Appreciation Banquet several members of the History Department were honored.  Dr. Bill Schell was honored with 25 years of Service and a 2016 retiree.  Dr. David Pizzo was honored as the Mentor of the Year.  Dr. Duane Bolin was honored as the recipient of the Faculty Research Fellowship and for 20 years of service.  Many thanks and congratulations to these individuals for their hard work and dedication to their students and their craft.

History Students Present at Scholars Week, April 20, 2016
German Scholars Week Panel
Potpurri History Panel
Tudor and Stuart England Poster

Eleven History students presented their individual research they have worked hard on as part of scholars week. These students cross all grade levels. Many thanks go out to their advisers and mentors that have helped along the way.

Daniel Marten Moore, April 12, 2016
Daniel Marten Moore

Daniel Martin Moore, the Sun Pop recording artist and Kentucky singer/songwriter held a concert at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, 12 April 2016, in the Reading Room of Pogue Library on the campus of Murray State University. After serving in the Peace Corps, Moore's debut albums, Stray Age (2008) and Dear Companion (2010, with cellist Ben Sollee, and produced with Jim James of My Morning Jacket). In 2011, In the Cool of the Day appeared, a deeply spiritual album. His latest offering, The Golden Age, is also co-produced with James. Come hear Moore's crystal clear voice in the most beautiful room on campus!  Photo Credit to Sun Pop Records.

Home and Away Press Release, April 11, 2016

Dr. Bolin

A Book Reading/Book Signing for James Duane Bolin's (Professor, Department of History) new book, Home and Away: A Professor's Journal published with Acclaim Press, took place at 6:00 pm, Monday, 11 April 2016, in the Murray Room of the CFSB Center. CFSB is sponsored the event. Bolin's book consists of 120 essays, which began as newspaper columns published in newspapers across Kentucky, including the Murray Ledger & Times, the Providence Journal-Enterprise, the Sebree Banner, the Danville Advocate-Messenger, and the Kentucky-Gazette. The Sun Pop recording artist and singer-songwriter Daniel Martin Moore will sing at the event. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.  Photo Credit to Robyn Pizzo.

Dr. Bolin on WKMS Sounds good, April 8, 2016
Dr. Bolin on WKMS Sounds Good

Dr. Bolin appeared on WKMS "Sounds Good" to promote hist newest book Home and Away: A Professor's Journal and the Concert for Daniel Martin Moore. Dr. Bolin will be holding a book signing on April 11, 2016 in the Murray Room of the CFSB Center. Daniel Martin Moore will have a concert there as well at the Library the following day.

Race in America Nearly Half a Century after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., April 4, 2016
Panel for Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Bolin and Dr. Clardy from the Murray State University's Department of History participated in a panel on Monday Morning, April 4th titled "Race in America Nearly Half A Century After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." at WCKTC Campus. Panelist also included: David Nickell, Professor of Sociology and Philosophy, WKCTC;  Gerald Watkins, MBA, State Representative, Former City Commissioner, Professor of Political Science, WKCTC. Berry Craig III, Author and Retired Professor of History at WKCTC facilitated the discussion.  A second panel will be taking place on Thursday evening at the Washington Street Baptist Church in Paducah, KY at 6:00 PM.

Phi Alpha Theta at Regional Conference, April 3, 2016
Phi Alpha Theta at Regional

Huge congratulations to our Chapter President Jonathan Dunning, who's paper took 3rd place overall yesterday at the Phi Alpha Theta Kentucky Regional Conference at Thomas More College. Special thanks as well to Tracey Newport and Ty Bohls, who each did a fantastic job of presenting at the conference as well. Thanks again for all your hard work, and letting me tag along.

Michael Farr CNBC Contributor Spoke at Curris Center Stables, March 9, 2016
Michael Farr at the Curris Center

The Arthur J.Baurenfield College of Business and the Department of History hosted a very important figure in our contemporary understanding of business, economics, and finance. Noted author and CNBC Contributor, Michael Farr spoke in the Curris Center Stables on the subject "Focusing on the Positives: Market and Economic Outlook for 2016" to a large audience of students, faculty, and the community.  President Robert Davies introduced Mr. Farr, who spoke from a thoughtful and well coordinated list of powerpoints that spelled out an optimistic view of the American economy. But more importantly, Mr. Farr showed students how they have a vested interest in the global markets. Mr. Farr donated several copies of his books to the Waterfield Library. His talk and his presence on campus was very well received.

Dr. James Humphreys talk at Calloway County Library, March 6, 2016
Humphreys on Lincoln

Dr. James Humphreys spoke at the Calloway County Library in part of the collaboration between Murray State University Department of History  and the Calloway County Library.  His talk was titled "Abraham Lincoln, Race and Emancipator." 

Sixth Annual Beasley Scholarship Banquet, March 5, 2016
Beasley Banquet

The Department of History held the Sixth Annual Beasley Scholarship Banquet on March 5, 2016. Guest Speaker Christine Kinealy's topic was titled, "An Errand of Mercy."   She spoke of the aid sent to the Irish during the great hunger and the role of international relief. Retired Professor of History from Murray State Dr. Kenneth Wolfe spoke as well about remembering Dr. Beasley.

Ted Franklin Belue on WKMS, March 3, 2016

Belue on WKMS

Professor Ted Franklin Belue spoke on WKMS "Sounds Good" to discuss the plane crash that took the life of Country music legend Patsy Cline on March 5, 1963. You can find the conversation here.

Tracey Newport and Dr. David Pizzo at WKMS, February 29, 2016
Tracey Newport with Dr. David Pizzo at WKMS

Tracey Newport and Dr. David Pizzo appeared on WKMS 91.3 "Sounds Good" radio segment with Tracey Ross.  They discussed Tracey Newport's Posters at the Capitol project, "The Evil that Men do: Comparative Genocide in the Twentieth Century."  The segment can be found on the WKMS website here.

Duane Bolin at the Murray Magazine Club's Founder's Luncheon, February 25, 2016
Murray Magazine Club Officers

Dr. Duane Bolin spoke at the Founder's Day Luncheon of the Murray Magazine Club, Thursday, February 25, 2016. Over thirty members of the literary club were in attendance. The club was founded in 1910. Here Bolin is with the Murray Magazine Club's 2016 officers.

Posters at the Capitol 2016

History majors at Posters at the Capitol
History Majors (L to R): Lydia Biggs, Erynn Pritchett, and Tracey Newport with Dr. David Pizzo in the Back. Presents their research at Posters at the Capitol 2016 this year in Frankfort, Kentucky.  The event is to highlight research performed by undergraduate students throughout the year and display it for the Kentucky State Legislators to see the outcome of the research they have funded throughout the semester.

A.B. "Ben" Chandler pays a visit to Dr. Bolin's Sports and Society in Modern America class, February 23, 2016

Ben Chandler

A. B. "Ben" Chandler III was invited to speak in Dr. Duane Bolin's HIS 130-01 Sports and Society in Modern America class at 8:00-9:15 in Faculty Hall 506. He spoke to the class yesterday. Ben is the executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council. He is also a former Kentucky Attorney General and United States Congressman.

Dr. Bolin invited him to speak to his class because Mr. Chandler is the grandson of A. B. "Happy" Chandler, the Kentucky Governor (elected in 1935 and again in 1955), United States Senator, and the Commissioner of Baseball from 1945 to 1951. It was Commissioner Happy Chandler who brought Jackie Robinson into Major League Baseball as the first African American player in 1947. Commissioner Chandler worked closely with Robinson and Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Ben Chandler knows the story extremely well and tells it extremely well.
HIS 130 with Ben Chandler

Professor Ted Franklin Belue with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, January 25, 2016

Belue at Sons of Confederate Veterans

Ted Franklin Belue of the Murray  State Department of History spoke at the January 25, 2016 meeting of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Murray State Masters Graduate Publishes Book, January 9, 2016
Dr. Mulligan With Shannon McFarlin 

The History Department of Murray State University would like to congratulate Shannon McFarlin on her publication of her book, As If They Were Ours: The Story of Camp Tyson - America's Only Barrage Balloon Training Facility.  She is shown at the recent meeting of the Jackson Purchase historical Society in Paris, Tennessee with the President Dr. William Mulligan.

Murray State Professor Ted Belue Speaks on WKMS about the true story behind "The Revenant," January 7, 2016

Belue speaking at WKMS

Ted Belue, History Professor at Murray State spoke on WKMS Radio about the true story behind the hit movie "The Revenant" starring Leonardo Decaprio.  The link to this inter view can be found here.
Photo Credit: Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Phi Alpha Theta Members present research at National Conference, January 6-10, 2016

Phi Alpha Theta Students at Nationals

The Murray State Phi Alpha Theta chapter sent five students to present papers as the Biennial Phi Alpha Theta National conference in Orlando, Florida.  The Presenters from left to right: John Williams, Eryn Prithcett, Jonathan Dunning, Samuel Brown, and Tracey Newport.


Fall 2015 News
History Student and Phi Alpha Theta member Nick Barron  with a Needline volunteer, November 11, 2015

Nick Barron with Needline DonationMurray State's Department of History donated over 300 cans to the local Needline. Cans were donated towards Needline in lieu of a ticket price for the Roots 6 concert held at the Lovett Auditorium on November 17, 2015.  The Department of History would like to Thank every one involved and those who donated their time to make Roots 6 a possibility. 

Murray State Students present at the NIU Graduate Conference In History , November 6, 2015

NIU Graduate Conference


Three Murray State student members and alumni present at the Northern Illinois University Graduate Students Conference in Dekalb, IL. They presented a panel: "Genocide in the Modern World."  From Left to Right:  Tracey Newport, Samuel Baum, and Benjamin Linzy.