Women in Kentucky - Journalism

In her autobiography, Alice A. Dunnigan: A Black Woman’s Experience, she recounts some of the indignities she suffered while traveling on behalf of President John F. Kennedy’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. On one such occasion she was in Frankfort in 1963, and she was tossed from one hotel to the next trying to obtain a room. She was told, “No vacancies,” so she spent the night sitting up in the bus station.

Born in Russellville in 1906, Dunnigan began writing one-sentence items for the Owensboro Enterprise at the age of thirteen. After she completed the teaching course at what is now Kentucky State University, Dunnigan taught Kentucky History in the segregated Todd County School System. When she noticed that her students were not aware of the contributions of African Americans to the health and welfare of the Commonwealth, Dunnigan prepared “Kentucky Fact Sheets,” which she gave to students as supplements to the required text. By 1939 these articles had been collected into manuscript form but no publisher was found until1982 when The Fascinating Story of Black Kentuckians: Their Heritage and Tradition was published by the Associated Publishers, Inc.

She moved to Washington, D.C. during World War II and became the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials. Dunnigan built a solid reputation for her “no-holds barred” style of reporting. Nationally and internationally she was a pacesetter for Black female news reporters as she chronicled the progress of civil rights.

-- A.G. Dunstan, Ph.D.

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Site Overview


A. What

Performing Arts
Public Service

B. When

View a selected history of women
View a selected history of women
Sounds and images
Civil War Diaries

C. Where

Central / Northern Kentucky
Western Kentucky
Eastern Kentucky
Southern Kentucky


Selected Readings
Educational Tools
Web tools
Archival Collections
Children's Books

E. About this Project

Women in Sports:

Minnie Adkins
Elizabeth Barret, Anne Lewis, Mimi Pickering, & Justine Richardson
Jane Burch Cochran
Joan Dance
Enid Yandell

Women in Business:

Nelda Barton-Collings
Julia Dinsmore
Laura Freeman
Mattie Mack
Lena Madesin Phillips
Caroline Burnam Taylor

Women in Education:

Helen Lew Lang
Katherine Pettit
Jane Stephenson
Cora Wilson Stewart

Women in Health/Medicine:

Mary Britton
Linda Neville
Ora Framer Porter
Louise Southgate, M.D.

Women in Journalism:

Linda Boileau
Alice Allison Dunnigan

Women in Law:

Pearl Carter Pace
Lt. Colonel Linda Smith

Women in Literature:

Effie Waller Smith

Women in Military:

Lt. Anna Mac Clarke
Capt. Helen Horlacher Evans
Julia Ann Marcum

Women in Music:

Sarah Ogan Gunning
Helen Humes
Lily May Ledford
Reel World String Band
Jean Ritchie
Mary Wheeler

Women as Pioneers:

Esther Whitley

Women in Public Service:

Governor Martha Layne Collins
Emma Guy Cromwell
Rep. Mary Elliott Flanery
Sen. Georgia Davis Powers
Lt. Gov. Thelma Stovall

Women in Reform:

Madeline McDowell Breckinridge
Laura Clay
Eula Hall
Josephine Henry
Belinda Mason
Lois Morris
Eliza Caroline Calvert Obenchain
Charlotte Richardson
Joan Robinett
Mary Sue Whayne
Corinne Whitehead
Evelyn Williams

Women in Religion:

Eldress Nancy Moore
Rabbi Gaylia Rooks

Women in Science:

Sarah Frances Price
Ellen Churchill Semple

Women in Sports:

Terri Cecil-Ramsey
Geri Grigsby
Audrey Whitlock Peterson
Mary T. Meagher Plant