Know Your City! — June 8, 2021

Here’s a review of the questions:

  1. Who is the Louisville native who won the Indianapolis 500 in 1985?
  2. Which member of a famous 1960’s folk group was born in Louisville in 1936?
  3. What did Muhammad Ali allegedly toss into the Ohio River in 1960?

And here are the answers:

  1. Danny Sullivan graduated from the Kentucky Military Institute and went straight into racing in England, at the Jim Russell Racing School. After learning the trade, he returned to the states and got by any way he could, which including a stint as a New York City cab driver. His victory over Mario Andretti at the Brickyard, after 13 years of racing, is still considered one of the most exciting in the race’s illustrious history. The win, combined with his TV-ready good looks, made Sullivan an instant celebrity. He left racing in 1994.
  2. Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary was born in Louisville in 1936, to activist parents who moved the family to Greenwich Village in New York City when she was only two years old. Growing up, she fell in love with the music of Woody Guthrie and became friendly with folk music icons like Pete Seeger and the Weavers. After joining forces with Peter Yarrow and Noel “Paul” Stookey in 1961, the group began a decade-long series of concerts and recordings, which eventually came to embrace elements of folk-rock and pop music, as tastes and their sound evolved. Their self-titled debut album, released in 1962, became a major hit, remaining in the Top Ten for ten months and the Top 20 for two years. Their single, “If I Had a Hammer,” became an anthem of the civil rights movement. In 2004, the music world was shocked by the news that Mary Travers had developed leukemia. She remained active in music, recording and performing until her death at age 72.
  3. The stories vary, but Ali’s own story goes that he went into a restaurant in downtown Louisville after winning a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics. He ordered two cheeseburgers and the waitress told him, “We don’t serve negroes here,” to which he replied, “I’m not trying to order negroes, I want two cheeseburgers.” This prompted the waitress to call the manager, who asked Ali (Cassius Clay at the time) to leave the restaurant. Disgusted with the treatment of African Americans in his own hometown, Ali went to the river, looked at the medal and thought about how well-treated he was in cities all over the world but couldn’t order lunch in Louisville, KY. Others who knew Ali opine that he may have just lost the medal and fabricated the story, but the viewer of this video will just have to be the judge of that!

Thanks for playing!