April 20, 1942 was the deadline for many western McCracken County families to vacate their homes and properties in order to make way for the soon-to-be-formed Kentucky Ordnance Works trinitrotoluene (TNT) production facility. Today, 75 years later, we remember those families, the plant, and the effects that are still visible.
Today we remember the late Joe Mangrum (March 29, 1856 – January 13, 1932). While many may not recognize the name, at one time “Blind Joe” Mangrum was possibly the best known musician to come out of the Jackson Purchase. He appeared on the Grand Ole Opry, played before the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and was a personal friend of humorist Irvin S. Cobb.
We’re nigh on St. Patrick’s Day around here, so what to write about….shamrocks, the wearing of the green, fairies, jigs, corned beef, Riverdance, the driving of snakes, James Joyce, blighted potatoes, Lucky Charms, or even the fact that Paducah may have gotten its name from an early Irish settler named Pat Dugan? Or….how about pots of gold?