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The War of 1812

The War of 1812 left an indelible mark on our nation's history, and Kentuckians played a vital role. From Michigan to New Orleans, Kentucky Life follows the trail of Kentucky's soldiers who fought in America's 'forgotten war.'
Season 21 Episode 3 Length 27:21 Premiere: 01/16/16

About

Kentucky Life features our state’s great diversity with stories of its people, places and ideas. Since 1995, Kentucky Life’s focus has always been to help Kentuckians celebrate unique and regional people and cultures and present stories capturing the history and heritage of Kentucky.


Host, Chip Polston

Chip Polston began his tenure as host of Kentucky Life with the premiere of season 28.

A familiar face to Kentuckians, Chip has appeared on air during several KET pledge drives, was the host of KET’s Mixed Media and the longtime on-air personality for the Kentucky Lottery.

Chip is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. He is a lifelong Kentuckian and is thrilled to be traveling the state to highlight stories of the Commonwealth’s fascinating people and places.

Learn about the life experiences that led Chip Polston to his dream job as Kentucky Life‘s host.


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The War of 1812 and Kentucky’s Role

Often called the United States’ “forgotten war,” the War of 1812 left an indelible mark on our nation’s history. Kentuckians played a vital role and paid dearly for it: 64 percent of Americans killed in the war were Kentuckians.

Kentucky Life followed the trail of Kentucky’s soldiers who fought in the war, from Michigan to New Orleans.

What prompted so many Kentuckians to join the fight?

“The big thing here was…the history between the Indian nations and the British and the citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky,” explained John Trowbridge, command historian of the Kentucky National Guard. Kentucky was the site of continuing warfare between settlers and the Native Americans, who were backed by the British.

Kentuckians were eager to fight, and Lexington’s Henry Clay was a leader of the War Hawks in Congress.

Six congressmen from Kentucky fought in the war. “People who voted for the war actually followed up their votes and fought in the war, and some of them died in the war,” said James C. Klotter, Ph.D., state historian of Kentucky.

Leading men into battle were William Henry Harrison, governor of Indiana territory, as well as Isaac Shelby, who was serving his second term as governor of Kentucky.

Another faction in the conflict was a confederation of numerous Native American tribes formed to block American expansion. Leading this alliance was the Shawnee leader Tecumseh. “Tecumseh is quite an incredible figure,” said John Bowes, Ph.D., associate professor history at Eastern Kentucky University. “Tecumseh is seen as the leader of this movement, this unique movement seeking to develop this pan-Indian confederacy that is bringing all these different tribes together.”

The First Nations confederacy had as its spiritual leader Tecumseh’s half-brother, known as the Prophet. “What is so often marginalized and put to the side is the very spiritual foundation for that confederacy,” Bowes said.

The Militia and the Long Rifle

When it came time to go to war, men of the commonwealth brought with them their Kentucky long rifles. Harold Edwards, historian and gunsmith at the William Whitley House in Crab Orchard, said the rifle was used every day by the settlers for hunting and protecting the family as well as for sport.

“It was their pastime, and they became very proficient with it. You know, the average range was probably a hundred yards,” Edwards said.

The British were still fighting in Napoleonic style, marching en masse with muskets, which had a range of 50-60 yards, Edwards said. “It was an old style of warfare dying fast, and unfortunately they learned it a little too late,” said Edwards.

What kind of soldiers were these Kentuckians? There is debate about that, Klotter said.

“Were they good soldiers or bad soldiers? They were a little of both,” said Klotter. “They were really good fighters, when they fought. But the militiamen of Kentucky were not trained. They wanted a quick fight, and then go home. They weren’t particularly good in following orders sometimes.”

This reputation led the British to compare the Native Americans with the undisciplined Kentucky fighters, said Trowbridge.

“The warfare in the West was viewed as a bit more savage,” said Bowes. “For the Americans it’s because of the presence of all these Indian allies. And for the British, it’s in part because of the Kentuckians.”

Remember the Raisin

On Aug. 12, 1812, more than a thousand Kentuckians headed north toward Michigan in summer clothing for what they expected to be a short war.

“After fighting their way up here…they arrived here in the winter of 1813, January, when Michigan was experiencing a very cold winter,” said Dan Downing, chief of interpretation at the River Raisin Battlefield National Park in Michigan.

Historians believe about 100 men died from starvation and exposure to the elements. Even so, the Americans won a victory at Frenchtown over the British. Then they set up for the next battle in haste.

“They don’t fortify the position,” said Klotter. “They know the British are on their way, but they put people in open fields, without any trenches or any kind of earthworks to protect them.”

The British and their Native American allies attacked at 6 in the morning on Jan. 22, 1813. One wing of the American forces was massacred, Klotter said. The other wing fought well but ran out of ammunition and was surrounded. The Americans surrendered, with 500 captured, 400 dead, and 100 who got away, Klotter said.

The captured, wounded men who could not travel stayed behind in cabins. “The great controversy is whether or not the British did all they could to protect those who were unable to travel back to Fort Malden in Canada,” said Downing.

The Native Americans, remembering the Kentuckians’ previous attacks on their villages, sought vengeance. “When an opportunity came to exact revenge, they took the opportunity,” said Downing.

The Native Americans went from cabin to cabin, killing 65 men, in what became known as the massacre of the River Raisin.

The Battle of the River Thames

More defeats that year lowered morale among the Americans, but the tide turned in the fall of 1813 when Americans won control of Lake Erie.

The British and their allies were retreating from Detroit into Canada. “From that moment forward, Tecumseh’s angry,” said Bowes. “Tecumseh cannot believe that the British are essentially surrendering that territory.”

On Oct. 5, 1813, the Kentuckians met the British and their allies again, this time in Ontario, at the Battle of the River Thames.

Twenty mounted Kentuckians, commanded by 64-year-old William Whitley of Kentucky, charged the Native American lines in what was called “Forlorn Hope.” The strategy was to draw fire, then send on the American infantry before the Native Americans could reload. “Only a couple of guys actually survived that charge,” said Trowbridge.

The British pulled back, and Tecumseh was killed. Whitley also was killed, and is buried on the battlefield in an unmarked grave.

The End of the War

After the victories in the West, the flashpoint of the war shifted eastward, to Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. The United States was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy because of the British naval blockade. Britain was war weary with its battles in North America and in Europe with Napoleon.

Negotiations to end the war began, and both sides tried to secure as much territory as possible.

All eyes turned to the port of New Orleans. The British sent a fleet of 8,000 men to take the city. Kentuckians were called to defend the port.

“The people of Kentucky were warmly welcomed here to New Orleans in anticipation of the battle,” said April Antonellis, the War of 1812 Bicentennial Coordinator for the National Park Service.

Andrew Jackson assembled a force of 5,000 to defend the city against the British. On Jan. 8, 1815, the Battle of New Orleans was waged on an old sugar plantation just outside the city limits.

The British, again relying on tactics used in the Napoleonic wars, were slaughtered by the Americans firing long rifles from behind earthworks. In a little more than 25 minutes, the British lost 2,600 men. The Americans lost 71.

“There were errors on the part of the British, leaving some supplies behind, most notably scaling ladders that they were supposed to use to come up over this rampart that the Americans had created,” Antonellis said.

The War of 1812 is often called the Second American Revolution.

“If the British had won this battle, New Orleans certainly would have become a British colony or a British territory,” she said. “I think it’s easy to say that much of the United States could have easily fallen to the British as well. Anywhere west of the Appalachian Mountains that had to trade on the Mississippi River, they would have to pass through the port of New Orleans. If that’s a British city, then it would be very difficult to maintain American control in that area.”

Who won the war? Strategists say it was a draw. In the end, Native Americans paid the ultimate price.

The treaty ending the War of 1812 was negotiated without their participation, and the Native American alliance lost territory it had hoped to hold. In the years after the war’s end, Indiana, Alabama, Illinois, and Mississippi became states.

“The floodgates opened in the aftermath of the war of 1812,” said Bowes.

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Haunted Louisville 2; Doe-Anderson; Merle Travis

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SEKRI; Save A Warrior; Kentucky Museum; Haunted Louisville - Part 3 - S21 E9

Premiered On: 02/27/2016

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Wisconsin's "Kentuck" Days; ROCK n' Rollers; Riverside; Eula Hall - S29 E7

A Northern Wisconsin town celebrates its unique "Kentuck" heritage at an annual festival in Crandon; ROCK - Roller Derby of Central Kentucky - is getting a fresh start; in Louisville, Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing stands as a testament to the significant role agriculture and the river have played in the development of the country; remembering Appalachian health care pioneer Eula Hall. A 2024 KET production.

  • Saturday March 16, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday March 16, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday March 17, 2024 4:30 am ET on KET
  • Sunday March 17, 2024 3:30 am CT on KET
  • Sunday March 17, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 17, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 17, 2024 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday March 17, 2024 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Monday March 18, 2024 3:00 am ET on KET
  • Monday March 18, 2024 2:00 am CT on KET
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 10:00 am ET on KET2
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 9:00 am CT on KET2
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 2:30 pm ET on KET2
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 1:30 pm CT on KET2
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 11:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 10:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 12:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 11:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Saturday March 23, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday March 23, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

David Domine and Old Louisville's Haunted Places - S21 E10

Premiered On: 10/29/2016

Ghost lights illuminate the history of Old Louisville this Halloween! Author David Domine and a host of historians and re-enactors visit Old Louisville's most haunted places, and shed light on hundreds of years of local history and lore. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Monday March 18, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 18, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Eminence Speaker; Luthiers - Frank Neat; Tee Dee's Blues Club - S21 E11

Premiered On: 03/26/2016

Doug tours Eminence Speaker in Henry County; in our first on a series of luthiers, we visit Frank Neat of Russell Springs who specializes in banjos and has made banjos for many famous musicians; and Tee Dee's Blues Club takes the spotlight in Lexington. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 19, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Mammoth Cave; Vaulting at Life Adventure Center; The Parklands of Floyds Fork - S21 E12

Premiered On: 04/02/2016

Mammoth Cave celebrates its 75th anniversary as a National Park and its 200th anniversary of guided cave tours; Doug visits the Life Adventure Center and learns about their Vaulting program, best described as gymnastics on the back of a moving horse; and the Parklands of Floyds Fork in Louisville is breaking new ground as one of the largest and most ambitious urban parks in the nation. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 20, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Weavers Bottom Craft Studio; Luthiers - Bryan England; David Stephenson - S21 E13

Premiered On: 04/16/2016

The couple behind Berea's Weavers Bottom Craft Studio create textiles, cornshuck dolls, and Minecraft worlds of outstanding beauty; luthier Bryan England of Caneyville shows off his mandolin-making skills; and photographer David Stephenson breeds, raises, and races pedigreed pigeons in Lexington. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Thursday March 21, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 21, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

The Crittenden Watch; Minor E Clark Fish Hatchery; Home Cafe & Marketplace; Elwyn Berlekamp - S21 E14

Premiered On: 04/23/2016

Lt. John Crittenden's watch survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn though he did not and now The Crittenden watch resides at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort; the Minor E Clark Fish Hatchery in Morehead keeps anglers happy; Home Cafe & Marketplace in Bowling Green specializes in pizzas, sandwiches, salads, and desserts; and mathematician Elwyn Berlekamp launched his Fort Thomas high school education into a place at MIT, the Digital Revolution, and the stars. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Friday March 22, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 22, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Disc Golf in Kentucky; NAILE; Trail of Tears Pow Wow; Artist Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido - S29 E8

Disc golf combines the precision of traditional golf with the exhilaration of frisbee and fosters a welcoming community; the North American International Livestock Exposition (NAILE) showcases Kentucky farms and the farming tradition; the Trail of Tears Pow Wow in Hopkinsville is an annual gathering for Native Americans from across the US to remember and honor those who walked, and died, along the Trail of Tears; meet Elizabeth Mesa-Gaido, a Cuban American artist and professor of art at Morehead State University. A 2024 KET production.

  • Saturday March 23, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday March 23, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 4:30 am ET on KET
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 3:30 am CT on KET
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday March 24, 2024 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Monday March 25, 2024 2:00 am ET on KET
  • Monday March 25, 2024 1:00 am CT on KET
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 10:00 am ET on KET2
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 9:00 am CT on KET2
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 2:30 pm ET on KET2
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 1:30 pm CT on KET2
  • Thursday March 28, 2024 11:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 28, 2024 10:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday March 28, 2024 12:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 28, 2024 11:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 29, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 29, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 29, 2024 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 29, 2024 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday March 29, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday March 29, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY

Ken Grayson's Horse Memorabilia; Triple Crown Hopefuls - Old Friends; Gallopalooza - S21 E15

Premiered On: 04/30/2016

It's Derby time! Ken Grayson's extensive horseracing memorabilia collection goes back to the early days of Keeneland and Churchill Downs; former Triple Crown hopefuls share their home with the horses that spoiled their title hopes at Old Friends Thoroughbred retirement farm in Georgetown; and artists of Gallopalooza create colorful images on fiberglass horse statues to encourage local exploration and civic pride. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Monday March 25, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday March 25, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

PhbeaD; Doug's Baseball Highlights; Luthier Neil Kendrick - S21 E16

Premiered On: 05/07/2016

Biochemist Lisa Senetar creates her eye-catching PhbeaD jewelry from insects, Kentucky Life talks with Doug about his baseball career and enduring love of the Cincinnati Reds, and Menifee County luthier Neil Kendrick crafts beautiful guitars. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday March 26, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Firefighter Family; Mennonite Knife Maker; Striper Fishing - S21 E17

Premiered On: 05/14/2016

It's a family effort for Greenup County's Oldtown Volunteer Fire Department, Doug visits the Mennonite community near Scottsville and meets custom knife maker Sam Stoner, and Lake Cumberland's Stripertime puts Doug's angler reputation to the test. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday March 27, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Baby Animals at Cincinnati Zoo; Swift Silver Mine; Horseshoeing School with Doug - S21 E18

Premiered On: 05/21/2016

Doug meets the cute and cuddly newest members at the Cincinnati Zoo, Kentucky Life explores the facts and fiction behind the legend of Swift's Silver Mine, and Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond takes Doug on as a new student. A 2016 KET Production.

  • Thursday March 28, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday March 28, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
Jump to Upcoming Airdates

Recent

Antiquing in Hazel; Creelsboro Natural Arch; Victor Mature; UK's Circus Club - S29 E2

  • Sunday February 25, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 25, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Saturday February 24, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday February 24, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET

Downtown Paducah; Today's Special - Peak Bros. Bar-B-Que; Aaron Kizer; Warren Co. Marker; The Historic Railpark and Trail Museum - S20 E13

  • Friday February 23, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Our Town-Bellevue; Chandler's-Today's Special; Susan & George Miller; St. Claire Medical Center; Sister Jeanne Francis Cleves - S20 E11

  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 3:36 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:36 pm CT on KETKY

Hotel Metropolitan; Cabin Creek Covered Bridge Marker; Emerald Ash Borer; Our Town - Hazard - S20 E10

  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Old Airdrie; Himlerville; Sherman Cahal; Louisville Historic House - S20 E9

  • Monday February 19, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 19, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Goin' Down Under; Remembering Ed McClanahan; National Quilt Museum; The Appalachian Shakespeare Center - S29 E1

  • Saturday February 24, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 24, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 9:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 8:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 23, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 22, 2024 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 22, 2024 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 22, 2024 12:45 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 22, 2024 11:45 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 22, 2024 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 22, 2024 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:30 pm ET on KET2
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 1:30 pm CT on KET2
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 10:00 am ET on KET2
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 9:00 am CT on KET2
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 21, 2024 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 19, 2024 3:00 am ET on KET
  • Monday February 19, 2024 2:00 am CT on KET
  • Sunday February 18, 2024 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 18, 2024 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 18, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 18, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 18, 2024 4:30 am ET on KET
  • Sunday February 18, 2024 3:30 am CT on KET
  • Saturday February 17, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday February 17, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET

"Sultana" Disaster; General Lloyd Tilghman Marker; Louisville's Mega Cavern; Kentucky Ingrained LLC - S20 E8

  • Friday February 16, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Hitcents Park Plaza; The Kentucky Tragedy; Morehead State University; White Nose Syndrome - S20 E4

  • Monday February 12, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 12, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Celebrating Veterans Day - Dancing Well; Camp Nelson History; Honor Flight - S29 E6

  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 5:30 am ET on KET2
  • Tuesday February 20, 2024 4:30 am CT on KET2
  • Saturday February 17, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 17, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 9:49 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 8:49 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 16, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 15, 2024 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 15, 2024 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 15, 2024 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 15, 2024 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 2:30 pm ET on KET2
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 1:30 pm CT on KET2
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 10:00 am ET on KET2
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 9:00 am CT on KET2
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 14, 2024 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 5:00 am ET on KET
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 4:00 am CT on KET
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 12, 2024 3:00 am ET on KET
  • Monday February 12, 2024 2:00 am CT on KET
  • Sunday February 11, 2024 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 11, 2024 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 11, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 11, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 11, 2024 4:30 am ET on KET
  • Sunday February 11, 2024 3:30 am CT on KET
  • Saturday February 10, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday February 10, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET

Red Bird; Carrollton - Our Town; Trigg Enterprise; Tillandsias - S20 E3

  • Friday February 9, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

The Ascent; Homeplace on Green River; Hemmer Hill Farm; Burkesville - S20 E2

  • Thursday February 8, 2024 3:32 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 2:32 pm CT on KETKY

Owensboro's Riverfront; Variety Pizza; Blakely Burger and The Hollow Bodies; Bonita Skaggs-Parsons - S20 E1

  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Author bell hooks; Lexington Writer's Room; WKDZ and the History of Radio; A Pollinator's Paradise - S28 E16

  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 3:31 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 2:31 pm CT on KETKY

Empress Chili; Painter Jon Gaddis; White Hall; Artist Lakshmi Sriraman - S28 E15

  • Monday February 5, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday February 5, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

River Lotus Lion Dance; KY Agate; Folk Artists Twyla and Lonnie Money; Arts Carts - S29 E5

  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 5:30 am ET on KET2
  • Tuesday February 13, 2024 4:30 am CT on KET2
  • Saturday February 10, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 10, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 9:51 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 8:51 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 9, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 12:52 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 11:52 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 8, 2024 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 2:30 pm ET on KET2
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 1:30 pm CT on KET2
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 10:00 am ET on KET2
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 9:00 am CT on KET2
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday February 7, 2024 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 10:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 9:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 5:00 am ET on KET
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 4:00 am CT on KET
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday February 5, 2024 3:00 am ET on KET
  • Monday February 5, 2024 2:00 am CT on KET
  • Sunday February 4, 2024 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday February 4, 2024 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday February 4, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday February 4, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday February 4, 2024 4:30 am ET on KET
  • Sunday February 4, 2024 3:30 am CT on KET
  • Saturday February 3, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday February 3, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET

B-29 Superfortress Tour; Pink Boots Society; Artist Robert Morgan; Alice Houston - S28 E14

  • Friday February 2, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Wade Houston; Flavors from Home; First Vineyard Winery; Honoring Jonesville - S28 E11

  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 3:36 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 2:36 pm CT on KETKY

WRFL 88.1 FM; Flame Run; Hensley Settlement - S28 E10

  • Monday January 29, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Monday January 29, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Dream Riders; Buy Nothing Project; Underground Kayaking in Red River Gorge; Carver Abby Peterson - S29 E4

  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 5:30 am ET on KET2
  • Tuesday February 6, 2024 4:30 am CT on KET2
  • Saturday February 3, 2024 3:31 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday February 3, 2024 2:31 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 9:35 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 8:35 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday February 2, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 12:39 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 11:39 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 11:20 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 10:20 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 3:30 am ET on KETKY
  • Thursday February 1, 2024 2:30 am CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 2:30 pm ET on KET2
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 1:30 pm CT on KET2
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 1:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 12:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 10:00 am ET on KET2
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 9:00 am CT on KET2
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 5:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Wednesday January 31, 2024 4:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 7:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 6:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 10:55 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 9:55 am CT on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 2:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 1:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Monday January 29, 2024 3:00 am ET on KET
  • Monday January 29, 2024 2:00 am CT on KET
  • Sunday January 28, 2024 4:00 pm ET on KET
  • Sunday January 28, 2024 3:00 pm CT on KET
  • Sunday January 28, 2024 7:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Sunday January 28, 2024 6:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Sunday January 28, 2024 4:30 am ET on KET
  • Sunday January 28, 2024 3:30 am CT on KET
  • Saturday January 27, 2024 8:00 pm ET on KET
  • Saturday January 27, 2024 7:00 pm CT on KET

Community Aid in Eastern Kentucky; Photographing Appalachia; Painting Appalachia; Russell Railroad YMCA - S28 E9

  • Friday January 26, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY

Civil War Soldier Graffiti in Mammoth Cave; Kentucky Wool Works; Frazier History Museum; Pamir Afghan Cuisine - S29 E3

  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 5:30 am ET on KET2
  • Tuesday January 30, 2024 4:30 am CT on KET2
  • Saturday January 27, 2024 3:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Saturday January 27, 2024 2:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 6:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 5:00 pm CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 12:00 pm ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 11:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 1:00 am ET on KETKY
  • Friday January 26, 2024 12:00 am CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 25, 2024 8:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 25, 2024 7:30 pm CT on KETKY
  • Thursday January 25, 2024 12:30 pm ET on KETKY
  • Thursday January 25, 2024 11:30 am CT on KETKY
Top

Hosts

Meet Host Chip Polston

Chip Polston began his tenure as host of Kentucky Life with the premiere of season 28.

A familiar face to Kentuckians, Chip has appeared on air during several KET pledge drives, was the host of KET’s Mixed Media and the longtime on-air personality for the Kentucky Lottery.

Chip is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville. He is a lifelong Kentuckian and is thrilled to be traveling the state to highlight stories of the Commonwealth’s fascinating people and places.

Doug Flynn, Host for Seasons 21 – 27

Doug Flynn, former Major League Baseball player and current Cincinnati Reds broadcaster, began as the host of Kentucky Life in the 21st season.

During an 11-year MLB career, Flynn won two world championships with the Reds and a Gold Glove award at second base for the New York Mets.

Doug was born and raised in Lexington and is involved with numerous civic and charitable organizations, including Hope for the Warriors and the American Association for the Prevention of Substance Abuse in Athletics. He is a graduate of Somerset Community College, and a member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame.

Dave Shuffett, Host for Seasons 6 – 20

As host of Kentucky Life from 1999 to 2015, Dave Shuffett received nine Emmy nominations for on-camera performance and producing.

Shuffett is a native of Greensburg and a graduate of Murray State University. From 1989 to 1995, he served as both host and producer of Kentucky Afield.

Dave joined Kentucky Life for the series’ sixth season, replacing former host Byron Crawford. Shuffett was always accompanied by one of his dogs and they frequently appeared as “co-hosts.”

Dave lives in rural Central Kentucky and is the author of “My Kentucky Life,” a collection of his photos and stories of people and places throughout the state.

Byron Crawford, Host for Seasons 1 – 5

Kentucky native Byron Crawford hosted Kentucky Life from its debut in September 1995 through the summer of 1999.

He studied speech and broadcasting at Murray State University, then worked as a radio and television news reporter in Cincinnati and Louisville before beginning a newspaper career.

Byron wrote his “Kentucky Column” for the (Louisville) Courier-Journal from 1979 until 2008. Today he writes the back page column for Kentucky Living magazine.

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