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The Public Papers of Governor Martha Layne Collins, 1983-1987

The Public Papers of Governor Martha Layne Collins, 1983-1987

Elizabeth Duffy Fraas Editor
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 676
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  • Book Info
    The Public Papers of Governor Martha Layne Collins, 1983-1987
    Book Description:

    This volume presents the important speeches and correspondence of Governor Martha Layne Collins, the only woman to be elected governor of Kentucky. Papers from state archives chronicle the agenda and rhetoric that Collins, a former schoolteacher, used to accomplish her intertwined goals of education reform and economic development. Also included are Collins's letters to automobile makers urging them to consider Kentucky as a manufacturing site and her triumphant announcement that Toyota had selected Georgetown, Kentucky for its North American plant. An introductory essay by Elizabeth Duffy Fraas's summarizes Collins's life and career and assesses the impact of her administration on the state. The editor's notes provide context and background for each of the 199 speeches or documents included. The volume contains Collins's pivotal speeches during her rise to leadership in the Democratic Party, which chose her to chair its 1984 National Convention, and presents her vision to position Kentucky in the global marketplace. Other sections deal with related issues of labor and management, energy and environment, and health and welfare. For those interested in learning more about the challenges facing women with careers in politics, Fraas has assembled a section including Collins's statements on gender issues, motherhood, and the role of women in the political sphere.

    eISBN: 978-0-8131-5690-3
    Subjects: History, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-xviii)
    (pp. xix-xx)
    Nelson L. Dawson
    (pp. xxi-xxiv)
    Elizabeth Duffy Fraas
    (pp. 1-24)

    Kentucky elected its first female governor on November 8, 1983, giving ex-schoolteacher and Lieutenant Governor Martha Layne Collins a 107,000-vote margin over her Republican opponent, state senator and former major league baseball pitcher Jim Bunning.¹

    For only the third time in the history of the United States, a woman campaigning on her own merits, not as a successor to her husband, was elected as a state’s chief executive officer.² Kentucky became the only state in the country whose governor was not a man. Collins’s victory garnered national headlines and the attention of Democratic Party leaders. They tapped Collins to deliver...

  6. INAUGURAL ADDRESS Frankfort / December 13,1983
    (pp. 25-28)

    Fellow Kentuckians, Friends:

    By constitutional decree, we assemble today to reaffirm our statehood and, for the fifty-second time, transfer to another the mandate of the people.¹

    Sworn to democratic principles, pledged to uphold the public trust, sustained by your confidence, I am honored to address you, now, as the governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

    True, the governor of Kentucky is a woman. And if I am to be a symbol, then let it signify the kind of individual freedom and opportunity precious to typical Kentuckians from whom I come and with whom I remain. With a deep awareness of...

    (pp. 29-156)

    Senator Allen and Representative Richards, I appreciate your invitation to be here today.¹ Efforts such as this one encourage me that together we are going to face up to the challenge of bringing better education to our young people.

    Governor Clinton, I’m pleased to welcome you to Kentucky.² Our states share common problems in education. I’m sure we can profit from hearing about the things you’ve done to improve schools in Arkansas.

    I note too that we have guests here from Tennessee and Florida—Representative Steve Cobb and Senator Curtis Peterson.³

    I know these states, like Arkansas, have made major...

    (pp. 157-246)

    As governor, I want more than anything to expand opportunities for the people of Kentucky. To that end my administration is pursuing better schools and economic development.

    We are working hard to bring business and industry to the state. Already, we have met with important successes. Over 8,000 jobs have been created in Kentucky since I took office.

    Besides providing work to the men and women who seize the opportunity, new jobs improve the quality of life in our communities. They generate other commerce; they pay for better schools, roads, hospitals, and other essential public services; they open up new...

    (pp. 247-344)

    Thank you, Dr. Hammer.¹ It’s certainly good to be here today. It’s been a hectic week for me in San Francisco, and I am delighted to enjoy Los Angeles while I’m here.²

    Dr. Hammer was my guest earlier this year at the Kentucky Derby, and I was so honored that he could join us for this year’s Derby festivities. Before I begin, I want to express my gratitude to Dr. Hammer for all the support he continues to show Kentucky and for hosting our luncheon today. Dr. Hammer knows about the wonderful world of Kentucky, and that’s why we wanted...

    (pp. 345-358)

    I appreciate this chance to renew some old acquaintances and to meet new friends, particularly at such an impressive gathering of leaders from Kentucky labor and management.¹ We share a commitment to improving opportunities for our people. And when it comes to economic development, I count on your help in several ways, including improving Kentucky’s image in two vital areas.

    Our problems in education, for example, are widely recognized. We know they hamper our economic development. Business and industry too often steer away from Kentucky because they fear our schools have turned out too few men and women with the...

    (pp. 359-390)

    Good afternoon. This is Martha Layne Collins, Democratic governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.¹ Earlier today President Reagan ignored real, pressing human tragedies that persist in this country. Mr. President, innocent Americans are hungry, and for your Republican administration to have implied in recent days that that is not the case is wrong.

    It’s one thing that you’re forced to erect concrete barriers at the White House gates to protect against terrorists, but, Mr. President, you must tear down the barriers between you and the people.² I’ve been out in my state for four straight years, talking to and listening...

    (pp. 391-416)

    Thank you for your efforts to see that an admirable tradition is carried on as it should be. As governor, I am proud to be the first lady of Kentucky and proud that this First Lady will join her predecessors in the Capitol.¹

    Since the day I was elected, there has been much speculation about just how this tradition would be carried on: good-hearted speculation for the most part. In fact, every day you can still hear visitors to the Capitol weighing the pros and cons of which doll should go into the case. Now you have answered all those...

    (pp. 417-460)

    It is a pleasure to be participating in this international coal show sponsored by the American Mining Congress.¹ I am pleased to have the chance to get to know more about the AMC in person, to meet your leadership, and to discuss our mutual concerns about mining and energy policies.

    I thank my energy secretary, George Evans, for accompanying me today. George is a long-time member of the American Mining Congress and introduced me to a number of friends earlier today.

    Whenever the American Mining Congress gets together for a meeting like this one, Kentucky has a strong interest in...

    (pp. 461-502)

    I appreciate this group’s kind invitation and initiative in arranging this special evening for Kentucky’s former governors.¹ The honor is appropriate because of the advances in mental health these governors have championed. I commend them for what they have done; I intend to build on what they have accomplished.

    As for the Kentucky Association for Mental Health, I admire your work, your dedication, and your compassion.² This group and others like it throughout Kentucky exemplify the very best in citizen involvement in government. More important, they exemplify the very best in people caring deeply for other people.

    Your contributions are...

    (pp. 503-520)

    Thanks all of you for being here in Frankfort today. I commend your individual efforts and those of the federation in promoting tourism in Kentucky. You are doing a fine job.

    Tourism represents a vital part of this state’s economy, a part I intend to encourage as much as possible. You saw evidence of that shortly after I took office when I elevated tourism to cabinet status.

    Tourism deserves that status. It is perhaps the brightest spot in Kentucky’s economy. It offers tremendous potential for economic growth—for creating the new jobs that Kentuckians need, for improving the quality of...

    (pp. 521-528)

    It was almost two years ago, with the Kentucky Press Association in Owensboro, that you and I first discussed the problems we face in our corrections system. In the intervening time, we have made some progress in meeting the problem. The 1984 General Assembly, for example, approved a significant number of important measures to deal with our prison overcrowding problem. However, the increase in prison population continues to outstrip all projections, and we continue to face a growing crisis in our corrections system.

    Meanwhile, the Prison Options Task Force has been instrumental in bringing into focus the pressing problems in...

    (pp. 529-544)

    It is an honor to chair the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Authority.¹ The waterway is an economic breakthrough and, like all economic break-throughs, a chance for hard-working Americans to prosper.

    Over the last four years, I have been actively involved in seeing that the Tenn-Tom was completed. And now that we are close to the day when the first barges will use it, I am pleased with this opportunity as chair of the authority to do what I can to see that the waterway lives up to its potential.

    Those who wanted the waterway built in the first place ran into obstacles,...

    (pp. 545-570)

    I am honored to be here today on this historic occasion for Murray State University and for all of higher education in Kentucky. The installation of Kala Stroup as the seventh president of Murray State is indeed a milestone.¹ It is an event we gladly celebrate, and I am proud to be a part of it.

    As the first woman president of one of our universities, Kala Stroup has automatically earned a place in Kentucky’s educational history. I can assure you, however, that she will not be content with recognition based on her gender alone.

    I am confident she will...

    (pp. 571-594)

    “I give you a man dedicated to the good things of life, to the gentle, the heartfelt things, to good living, and to the kindly rites with which it is surrounded.¹ In all the clash of a plangent world, he holds firm to his ideal—a gracious existence in that country of content ‘where slower clocks strike happier hours.’ He stands in spirit on a tall columned veranda, a hospitable glass in his hand, and he looks over the good and fertile earth, over ripening fields, over meadows of rippling blue grass. The rounded note of a horn floats through...

  20. APPENDIX Speeches of Governor Collins
    (pp. 595-626)
  21. INDEX
    (pp. 627-654)