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Kentucky Life features Elijah Craig, Mill Creek Lake, the Hurricane Mine Disaster, and painter Vian Sora


Kentucky Life features Elijah Craig, Mill Creek Lake, the Hurricane Mine Disaster, and painter Vian Sora

For Release: 10/16/19 8:47 AM

The next episode of KET’s Kentucky Life spotlights Baptist preacher Elijah Craig’s influence on the bourbon industry, the hidden treasure that is Mill Creek Lake at Natural Bridge State Park, the Hurricane Mine Disaster from 1970, and the abstract work of Iraqi-born painter Vian Sora. The episode airs Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8/7 pm and Sunday, Oct. 20, at 4/3 pm on KET, and Monday, Oct. 21, at 7/6 pm on KET2.

First, Kentucky Life checks out Baptist preacher Elijah Craig’s claim to bourbon fame. Craig, a church pastor, founded a distillery in what’s now Georgetown, where he purportedly was the first to use charred oak casts to age distilled spirits, earning him the reputation as the inventor of bourbon whiskey. But does the claim hold up?

Next, Kentucky Life revisits a segment from its archives, traveling with former host Dave Shuffett on his first Kentucky Life assignment, which brought him to Natural Bridge State Park, where he discovered the serenity of Mill Creek Lake.

Then, Kentucky Life travels back to a cold December day in 1970, when the small town of Hyden in Leslie County was rocked by one of the deadliest mine explosions in US history, claiming the lives of 38 men. Long after the tragedy has faded from national attention, the community still honors those lost that fateful day through a memorial erected near the explosion site.

Finally, Kentucky Life spotlights the story of Iraqi-born artist Vian Sora, who began painting and drawing as a child in war-torn Baghdad.  She moved to Louisville with her husband, a Kentuckian who met her when he began collecting her work, and now exhibits her vibrant paintings at city galleries.

Kentucky Life is a KET production, produced by Brandon Wickey. Segment producers for this episode are Jim Voskuhl, Chelsea Gorham, and Jayne McClew.

This year is Kentucky Life’s 25th anniversary, and to mark the occasion, the program will include special Memory segments, in which each of Kentucky Life’s hosts—Byron Crawford, Dave Shuffett and Doug Flynn—will revisit some of their favorite stories over the years.

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, where learning comes to life for more than one million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization at, on Twitter @KET and at


Todd Piccirilli
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications