In this interview, Mrs. Beckett discusses her life as well as her husband’s experiences as alderman in the city of Louisville in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Mrs. Beckett briefly describes her early life and education, including her graduation from Kentucky State College. Mrs. Beckett had a career in education, but also worked with her husband, and for her brother, in the undertaking business in Louisville. She speaks of the Walnut Street area before Urban Renewal. Mrs. Beckett’s husband, William Washington Beckett, was elected alderman in 1951 and served until 1961. In this time, he played a role in the integration of the fire and police departments, the parks, and public accommodations, and in developing a Human Relations Commission. Mrs. Beckett discusses her husband’s contributions and the civil rights movement in general (both in Louisville and more generally) and gives her opinion on the roles of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the African American church.
Benovitz discusses her grandparents, Lithuanian immigrants, and her grandfather's work as a peddler; her father's dry goods business and the family's life in Carrollton, Mississippi, where they lived for twenty years before returning to Louisville in 1923; her husband's business in New Albany, which operated from 1941 until 1966; the Depression of the 1930s, World War II, and recent changes in the local Jewish community.
Berman discusses how and why his parents came to the United States from Poland; his father's work as a peddler and in other businesses; the early Orthodox Jewish community in Louisville; the effects of the Depression on this father's business; his decision to attend the University of Louisville School of Law, from which he graduated in 1928; his early law practice; and activities in Keneseth Israel congregation. Berman concludes with reflections on changes in the local Jewish community during his memory.
Breckenridge is a black businessman from Louisville who founded his own construction-contracting company in 1971. In this interview he discusses his life, family history, education, career and views of black history in Louisville. Redevelopment of Louisville and early black contractors are also discussed.
Mr. Bright is a third generation black Louisville businessman. He discusses his family's history in the drug store and beauty aid businesses, his education and personal history.
The narrative traces Mr. Edward's moves from Moorhead, Mississippi, to Chicago, Illinois, and later to Louisville, Kentucky. During these years Mr. Edwards attended innovative programs in Chicago and graduated from Shawnee High School. After attending Western Kentucky University and Bowling Green Business College, Mr. Edwards was successful in obtaining an Office of Minority Business Enterprise (O.M.B.E.) loan for the Pressley and Edwards Machine and Welding Company. A large portion of the interviewer traces the persistent efforts of Edwards and others to make the company a success. Mr. Edwards is a member of a large extended family presently living in Louisville.
A Boston native, Feldbaum moved to New Albany and then to Louisville in 1909. Her family was from Grodna, Russia. She married in Boston in 1908. She and her husband were Louisville grocery owners till 1924. She remembers Jewish life and geographical distribution; Jewish merchants; synagogues; cemetery; Herman Straus Department store; the Depression years; the Young Men's Hebrew Association and Blanche Mitchell; dances; building the Jewish Community Center; the "Snack Bar"; swim teams; beauty contests; center clubs; Jerry Abramson; AZA (Aleph Zadik Aleph) Conventions.
Mr. Goodwin, a nursery owner and local historian from Louisville, Kentucky, discusses his ancestors and other African Americans who lived in the Petersburg / Newburg area. He describes the relationships of various African Americans with white slaveowners, and the efforts blacks made to build their community following slavery. He describes his own efforts to develop his community through the location of library in Newburg and the Petersburg Historical Society's programs, as well as his fight against urban renewal. He also talks about his own career in the nursery business.
The daughter and granddaughter of Vic Lorch discuss family history and the family business, Vic Lorch and Sons, which operated at various locations in Louisville, Kentucky.
The narrators discuss their parents, Rachel Franel Waldman and Abraham Jacob Waldman. The Waldmans and their four oldest children left Tuckin, Russia, and moved to Louisville, Kentucky, in 1904. Recollections include their businesses at 520 and 500 South Preston Street; the correlation between business and religious life; and the orthodox Jewish community.