Ky. Historical Society shows John Y. Brown Jr. artifacts collection

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Of the more than 100,000 items housed at the Kentucky Historical Society, is a collection of former Governor John Y. Brown Jr. artifacts.

“We’re just kind of the safe keeper for Kentucky history,” KHS Director of Marketing Communications Dana Zinger said.

The 1979 campaign memorabilia highlighted his success as a businessman, with a campaign poster saying, “John Brown means business.”

“He was running on the fact that he would run state government like a business,” Zinger said.


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The campaign also showed off his sense of humor. One tongue-in-cheek campaign shirt declared, “this is a brown t-shirt.”

“It just has a more fun feel than what you’re used to,” Zinger said.

While the campaign items, along with a family Christmas card, are kept in climate-controlled storage, his official portrait and bust are on display.

Both are currently draped in black fabric to show respect after his passing.

“These are our legacy,” Zinger said, referring to the artifacts. “These are our legacy but they also show where we’ve come from.”

The bust will head to the Capitol as Brown lies in state next week.

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