Louisville History and the Insights of Mike Weaver aka The Weav


Not a whole lot to report today. Been pretty busy trying to get a manuscript for submission to either the Ohio Valley or Kentucky Historical registry magazines. The topic is Louisville in the 19th Century and its transformation from a Northern city to a Southern city. I decided to look into that when I saw at the Filson Club a quote that said at the end of the Civil War, Louisville was a Northern City by 1900 it was a Southern City. Found some rather cool stuff. Hopefully you’ll be able to read all about it. I find Louisville to be a extremely interesting city as its been around for so long. One thing that people should know but don ‘t really hear much about is that the 1974 Tornado was not the only big bopper to hit the city. In fact, in my research, I found a number of times where Louisville was affected by a major tornado. There was one instance I remember regarding a tornado coming across the river and sinking a couple of dozen barges. But the big one that people forget about is the 1890 tornado. I believe it was March 24, 1890. The twister started near Parkland and ended up at the water tower. That water tower is a new one, rebuilt after the 1890 tornado knocked it down. The tornado killed some 120 people and destroyed well over 500 homes, several schools, numerous businesses and some churches. At Cave Hill cemetary, if you look around you can find a whole bunch of graves with the same date of death. That is what caught my attention as I knew that meant something catastrophic had to have happened. I am told that Cave Hill had funerals every hour for over a week following the tornado. If you do the math, 24 hours times 5 days would equal 120, so I suspect they took some breaks over the late night hours. In any event, though we are not in Tornado Alley, we are vulnerable and the last time I can recall a big ole tornado in the area was the Bullitt County tornado in 1996. So again, as I mentioned the other day, be a good boy scout and be prepared ahead of time and know your safety procedures at home and at work.

Hey, this weather system that looks so similar to last weekends is still on the mark except for one wrinkle. The warm, moist air looks as if it may lift a little farther north into the Ohio Valley. Thursday afternoon as the cold front approaches, I think our chances for thunderstorms will be greater than last weekend and the prospects for something worthwhile have increased. But, at this point there is nothing that really jumps out as far as causing great concern. I’d be more wary if I lived in the Lower Mississippi Valley. Of course, Jay will be all over this and report any changes one way or another. So stay tuned.

Mike Weaver sent me a comment regarding the Heroes of Texas. He said ” I don’t know what kind of a ball player Davey Crockett was, but Earl Campbell was the best running back I ever saw.”

Thanx for the insight, Mike. By the way, Earl was the best while he lasted. I’ll bet Davy as middle linebacker might be a good match up though.

On This Date in Weather History Here we are talking about severe weather but, that storm last weekend dumped pretty good snow on the northern plains and Great Lakes before doing some work on the Northeast. In another example of the diverse weather across the nation this time of year, stories of snow abound in the historical record. Beginning Feb. 27 and ending on March 7, 1717, parts of New England got 5 feet of snow with Boston getting 3 feet and just north of Boston 6 feet. For much of March the city of Boston was paralyzed. In 1969, a similar story, A six day nor’easter did the same thing, except on Mt. Washington, 97 inches fell, which is over 8 feet.

On the global warming front though…this same date in 1997, JFK airport got to 70 degrees. There is no report on what or when the previous record for the day was but it was probably the upper 60’s so warm air in the northeast this time of year is not completely unprecidented and only supports my idea that when pitchers and catchers report, expect all sorts of stuff….but don’t expect a Cubs Pennant.

rsymon@wlky.com

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