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It was the center of planning, supplies, recruiting and transportation for numerous campaigns, especially in the Western Theater. In addition, the decision to install Confederate Governor Richard Hawes in the alternative government in Frankfort made people think the state might change. Grant met at the Galt House to plan the spring campaign, which included the capture of Atlanta, Georgia.
As of 2014 [update] , that this meeting actually occurred has fallen into dispute. The Unionists—most of whose leaders owned slaves—felt betrayed by the abolitionist position of the Republican Party. After 1865 returning Confederate veterans largely took political control of the city, leading to the jibe that it joined the Confederacy after the war was over. Gibson, and a bank in the city to serve the now free and growing African American population.
Making meaning after the war was another way of writing its history. Churchill Downs in 1901 James Callahan and other area businessmen organized the Louisville, Harrods Creek and Westport Railway in 1870 and continued construction through the Long Depression before failing in 1879.
Ten thousand spectators were present at the first Derby to watch Aristides win the race. A giant baseball bat adorns the outside of Louisville Slugger Museum in downtown Louisville On February 2, 1876, professional baseball launched the National League , and the Louisville Grays were a charter member.
While the Grays were a relatively short-lived team, playing for only two years, they began a much longer lasting relationship between the city and baseball. It grew quickly, attracting students from all parts of the nation, and by the early 20th century it was the second largest accredited seminary in the United States. It relocated to its present 100-acre 0. In February 1882, Oscar Wilde lectured in the city and on that occasion met Emma Speed Keats, the niece of his poetical hero John Keats , who had settled in the city.
On August 1, 1883, U. Highlighted at the show was the largest to-date installation of incandescent light bulbs , having been recently invented by Thomas Edison , a former resident.
Passenger train service arrived in the city on September 7, 1891, with the completion of the Union Station train hub. The first train arrived at 7: Interrupting these developments, on March 27, 1890, a major tornado measuring F4 on the Fujita scale visited Louisville. At least 55 of those deaths occurred when the Falls City Hall collapsed.
This is one of the highest death tolls due to a single building collapse from a tornado in U. In 1893, two Louisville sisters, Patty and Mildred J. Hill , both schoolteachers, wrote the song "Good Morning to All" for their kindergarten class.
The song did not become popular, and the lyrics were later changed to the more recognizable, " Happy Birthday to You ". This is now the most performed song in the English language.
Also in 1893, the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary was founded, building a handsome campus at First and Broadway downtown now occupied by Jefferson Community College. Eight years later, it absorbed an older Presbyterian seminary in Danville, Kentucky. An anti-corruption party unique to Louisville, called themselves the Fusionists, briefly emerged at this time. Democratic boss John Whallen succeeded in getting his candidate, Paul C. Barth , elected, but the results were overturned in 1907.
Elections gradually became less corrupt, but political machines would still hold considerable power for decades. The Waverly Hills Sanatorium was opened in 1910 to house tuberculosis patients. The hospital was closed in 1961. It was later used as a retirement home 1963—1982. It was unused for more than a decade until 1991, when it was reopened for tours. In 1917, the English-bred colt "Omar Khayyam" became the first foreign-bred horse to win the Kentucky Derby.
Two years later, in 1919, Sir Barton became the first horse to win the Triple Crown , though the term for the three prime races did not come into use for another 11 years. Barely surviving through the Great Depression , it closed in 1939. Its successor, the current Louisville Zoo , did not open until 1969. Schmidt introduced the Hot Brown sandwich in the hotel restaurant, consisting of an open-faced "sandwich" of turkey and bacon smothered with cheese and tomato. The Belle of Louisville , today recognized as the oldest river steamboat in operation, came to Louisville in 1931.
That same year, the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes was established to allow black Louisvillians to attend classes. The college was dissolved into the University of Louisville with the ending of segregation in 1951. On March 28, 1936, the river reached a level of 60. The flood submerged about 70 percent of the city and forced the evacuation of 175,000 residents.
In Louisville, 90 people died. At the crest on January 27, 1937, the waters reached 30 feet 9. Photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White documented the flood and its aftermath in a series of famous photos. Later, flood walls were installed to prevent another such disaster.
Bowman Field , a smaller airport, had been previously opened in 1919. Louisville was a center for factory war production during World War II. In May 1942, the U. The factory produced the C-46 Commando cargo plane, among other aircraft. In 1946 the factory was sold to International Harvester , which began large-scale production of tractors and agricultural equipment. Otter Creek Park was given to Louisville by the U. Throughout the 20th century, the arts flourished in Louisville.
The Speed Art Museum was opened in 1927 and is now the oldest and largest museum of art in Kentucky. The Louisville Orchestra was founded in 1937. In 1949 the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival was begun, and today it is the oldest free and independently-operating Shakespeare festival in the United States. The Kentucky Opera was started in 1952, and the Louisville Ballet was founded that same year, though it only achieved professional status in 1975. The next year, in 1957, the St.
James Court Art Show was started. Both these are still popular festivals in the region. Decline in mid-century[ edit ] Eight whiskey distilleries opened on 7th Street Road after the end of prohibition , and Louisville attempted to annex them to increase its tax base. Not wanting to pay city taxes, the whiskey companies persuaded the Kentucky General Assembly to pass the Shively Bill, which made it much more difficult for Louisville to annex additional areas.
Shively grew to include residential areas. This status prevented their annexation by Louisville. Louisville continued fighting to annex land to grow. For a variety of reasons, Louisville began to decline as an important city in the 1960s and 1970s.
Highways built in the late 1950s facilitated movement by the expanding middle class to newer housing being developed in the suburbs.
With the loss in population, the downtown area began to decline economically. Many formerly popular buildings became vacant. Even the previously strong Brown Hotel closed its doors in 1971 although it later reopened.
The final death-knell for the Haymarket, already in decline due to changing economic trends, was the construction of an Interstate 65 ramp through the main part of the open-air market. Not only did interstates facilitate suburban living, they sliced through older city neighborhoods and often divided them irreversibly.
The Haymarket in Louisville before its closing. Another major F4 tornado hit on April 3, 1974, as part of the 1974 Super Outbreak of tornadoes that struck 13 states. It also caused extensive damage in Cherokee Park.
Despite these signs of decline, a number of activities were taking place that presaged the Louisville Renaissance of the 1980s. Southeast Christian Church , today one of the largest megachurches in the U. In 1964, Actors Theatre of Louisville was founded. It was later designated the "State Theater of Kentucky" in 1974.
It has created a strong regional theater. Excitement over him raised interest in the Derby. There were signs of revival in the 1970s. Throughout the decade, new buildings came under construction downtown, and many historic buildings were renovated. And in 1981 the Falls of the Ohio was granted status as a Federal conservation area. On the downside, in the early morning hours of February 13, 1981, sewer explosions ripped through the southern part of Old Louisville and near the University of Louisville.
The cause was traced back to chemical releases into the sewer system from a nearby manufacturing plant. Louisville continued to struggle during the 1980s in its attempt to redevelop and expand. It fought with other Jefferson County communities in two more failed attempts to merge with county government in 1982 and 1983. The Courier-Journal was one of the papers printed by Standard Gravure. On September 14, 1989, Joseph Wesbecker , on medical leave due to mental illness and work-related stress, entered the Courier-Journal building and shot and killed eight employees, injuring another twelve before killing himself.
Civil rights groups had undertaken a variety of actions to challenge that. In addition, black neighborhoods had declined during the economic downturn of the city. Urban renewal efforts undertaken for ostensible improvements had adversely affected the center of their neighborhood. In addition, feelings were raw because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.