Know Your City! — April 13, 2021

  1. Name the Louisville theater, still operating today, that hosted one of the 1984 Presidential debates between Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale? Bonus question: who was the theater named for?
  2. In 2017, a Confederate statue 70 feet tall was moved from U of L’s Belknap Campus to what river town 45 miles southwest of Louisville?
  3. What is the name of the Louisville attraction that thrilled visitors with 4 roller coasters, a skating rink and over 50 rides? Bonus question: what is the name of the community where the park was located, near the Ohio River, where a popular golf course is now located?

And here are the answers:

  1. The 2,377-seat Whitney Hall, part of the brand-new (at the time) Kentucky Center for the Arts, hosted the debate. President George W. Bush also graced the stage in 2005 while discussing Social Security. Since opening in 1983, the Kentucky Center has hosted Broadway musicals, rock concerts, ballet, and of course the world-renowned Louisville Orchestra. Robert Whitney was the acclaimed conductor that the theater space was named after. He became Louisville’s first orchestra conductor in 1937 and held the job for 30 years before passing the baton to Jorge Mester in 1967. Whitney passed away 1986 at the age of 82.
  2. The controversial statue was originally erected in Louisville in 1895. An agreement was made between Louisville mayor Greg Fischer and Brandenburg, KY officials to relocate the statue to Freedom Park in Brandenburg, which Fischer commented, “is still close enough for Louisvillians who want to visit.” The story made national news and became an example of culture changes in Southern cities towards glorifying those who fought and died for the Confederacy.
  3. Fontaine Ferry Park opened in 1905 on 64 beautiful acres along the Ohio River. Named for Captain Aaron Fontaine, who originally owned the land, the park was one of the most popular in the country and featured huge musical events with stars like Frank Sinatra thrilling audiences. The 1960’s, however, brought tremendous difficulties. Protestors, objecting to the park’s “whites only” policy, appeared more and more frequently as the era of the Civil Rights movement began in earnest. The park closed in 1969, was reopened twice under different names, and the property where it once stood is now part of the proud Shawnee neighborhood of West Louisville.

Thanks for playing!