Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search This Index
0:00 - Introduction

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: This is Herman Landau. I'm interviewing Lewis Conn at his home on August the 15th, 1977.

Segment Synopsis: Interviewer introduces himself and the interviewee and states the date.

0:14 - Family background

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Lewis, what can you tell me about your family, how they got to Louisville, and so on?

Segment Synopsis: Briefly mentions family's origins in Russia and Hungary, father's birth in Louisville, and mother's birth in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

Keywords: Hungarian Jews; Louisville Normal School; Russian Jews

Subjects: Jews--Migrations; United States--Emigration and immigration

2:38 - Father's career

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Okay, my father was taken out of school after one year at Manual.

Segment Synopsis: Recalls father's work as a tailor, first in the family business and later in business for himself, making uniforms for soldiers at Fort Knox.

Keywords: du Pont Manual High School; Knox Tailor Shop; M. Cohen and Sons

Subjects: Family-owned business enterprises; Jewish businesspeople

4:39 - Residences and neighbors

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Did you grow up in that same neighborhood? Had you always lived out there on Third Street near the monument?

Segment Synopsis: Recalls childhood residences as well as early jobs at a drug store and as editor of the U of L student newspaper. Lists and describes many neighbors (both Jews and non-Jews) at Ouerbacker Court and Sherman Place Apartment.

Keywords: Eastern Parkway (Louisville, Ky.); Frankel Drug Company; Highlands (Louisville, Ky.); Louisville Cardinal; Old Louisville (Louisville, Ky.); Ouerbacker Court (Louisville, Ky.); Third Street (Louisville, Ky.)

Subjects: Jewish neighborhoods

13:19 - Relations and family anecdotes

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Flora was... are you interested in anecdotes?

Segment Synopsis: Discusses his aunts, uncles, and cousins, their marriages, and their careers. Recalls some funny anecdotes about his aunt Flora Cohen and his cousin Alvin Cohen, who went on to be an award-winning Broadway costume designer. Notes that his family was not really involved in the Jewish community or Jewish organizations.

Keywords: Alvin Colt; Flora Lederman Cohen

23:08 - Labor organizing

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Not really... was over with her local union.

Segment Synopsis: Describes work as a labor organizer for a textile union in New York (prior to serving in World War II), then in Danville, Virginia, and finally in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mentions tensions with Jewish businessmen in Danville.

Keywords: Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA)

Subjects: Jewish businesspeople; Jewish socialists; Labor unions

27:41 - Jefferson Reporter

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: So that was the beginning of my newspaper career back in Louisville. Do you want to go into a short summary of this?

Segment Synopsis: Discusses return to Louisville to start the Jefferson Reporter, which became the first offset newspaper in Kentucky, with his brother Richard. Describes initial financial difficulties and support from the community.

Keywords: Arthur Kling; Richard Conn

Subjects: American newspapers; Jewish publishers; Newspaper publishing--United States

31:10 - Louisville Cardinal

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: Let me back up. Let me go way back to my college days.

Segment Synopsis: Discusses tenure as editor of the Louisville Cardinal, the University of Louisville student newspaper. Describes how his "rebellious" and "radical policy" as editor got him in trouble with Charlie Morris, founder and chairman of the Louisville Conference of Jewish Organizations, who accused Conn of "damaging the Jewish community."

Keywords: American Legion; Charles W. Morris; Ellis Freeman; Joseph Landau

Subjects: Academic freedom--United States; Anti-communist movements--United States; College student newspapers and periodicals; Student newspaper and periodical editors

34:00 - Return to Louisville

Play segment Segment link

Partial Transcript: All of this made it strange when I came back to Louisville because, to some extent, I came back to my hometown as a stranger.

Segment Synopsis: Describes reconnecting with his childhood friend Lawrence Bloom. Notes that because he and his wife, Irene, do not go to synagogue, most of their contact with the Jewish community occur through the Jewish Community Center. Irene tells a touching story about being reunited with Arthur and Selma Kling upon their return to Louisville.

Keywords: Arthur Kling; Irene Conn; Selma Kling

Subjects: Jewish community centers