Library: Finding stories for Women’s History Month

Published 7:51 am Monday, February 27, 2017

By John Maruskin

Clark County Public Library

March is Women’s History Month and I’d like to exhibit pictures of notable women from Clark County and Winchester at the Clark County Public Library. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve learned about two women of note, but I have not been able to find pictures of them.

The first woman is Jennie Bibbs Didlick. In a Winchester Sun article about Black History Month, Mrs. Didlick was referred to as “the Rosa Parks of Winchester,” and indeed she was.

The University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era website reports “in the late 1940s, Mrs. Didlick filed a lawsuit against the local transportation system after she was asked to sit in the back of a public bus travelling between Winchester and Lexington. The judge filed in her favor, awarding her $200 in damages.” Along with being a brave civil rights pioneer, Mrs. Didlick was a respected Kentucky educator, with an undergraduate degree from Howard University, and a master’s from UK.

The second woman is Kate Pendleton, who was described to me by members of the Winchester Art Guild as a very popular artist and beloved Winchester figure. I’d like to find out more about Ms. Pendleton. I’d love to be able to display some of her work here.

If you have a picture or information about either of those women, or if you have a picture of your mom, a friend or any local woman you think is worth celebrating during Women’s History Month, please bring a picture for me to scan and a bit of information about her.

The most significant women in our lives are often our mothers, relatives, wives, and friends. Women’s History Month would be a great time to note their accomplishments and influences.

In April the library will host an exhibit of paintings by Winchester muralist Phil May. Phil did all of the murals that enliven downtown.

His April show will consist of original paintings he did for those murals. While Phil and I were discussing the show, he told me the best part of creating the murals was listening to stories people stopped to tell him. He suggested I collect memories of Winchester and hang them with the show. That’s a swell idea.

If you have a short — 500 words or less — memory of Winchester you’d like to share, bring it into the library or email it to me and I will format it, print it, frame it and hang it with Phil’s April Show.

If you like, attach a picture of yourself that can be added to your story. If you have questions, call 744-5661, ext. 110 or email john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.

Last week, a condensed version of the Harwood Report, commissioned by the Greater Clark Foundation, was mailed to all of the households in Winchester. If you want to read the whole report, the library has 10 copies for in-library use. It’s only 45 pages long. You can read the report in one sitting, say in a comfortable chairs in the library’s magazine section.

Next time you’re in the library, go back to the reference desk and ask for a copy. When you’re finished reading, please return it to the reference or circulation desk so that others can read it. If you need paper and pencil to take notes, you can find those on the table near the public copier.

The story of Jennie Bibbs Didlick underscores the integrity and courage that’s been shown by the people of Winchester and Clark County. It is part of the library’s mission to reveal those stories.