Former U.S. Senator Wendell Ford turns 90 years old Monday, and to celebrate, the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center in Owensboro will unveil a new exhibit called “Cracking the Whip.”
Ford Center Director Bruce Kunze says the exhibit focuses on the time Ford spent as whip of the U.S. Senate during the 1990s.
"It goes through the brief history of the whip's position and how Senator Ford was elected to that position unopposed," Kunze told WKU Public Radio. "It also talks about how he operated as a senator and how skilled he was at the art of compromise and at working with both parties."
Ford, who has been undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer, is scheduled to attend the exhibit’s opening Monday evening.
The Ford Center in the Owensboro Museum of Science and History opened in 1999, the year he retired from the Senate.
The annual Wendell Ford dinner that honors the longtime Kentucky political leader will be held as scheduled Thursday night at a hotel in Louisville.
This year's event will celebrate Ford's 90th birthday. The former Kentucky governor and U.S. Senator recently announced that he's undergoing treatment for lung cancer.
The event attracts Democrats from around the state and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes are expected to attend. It will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Louisville. Tickets for the Democratic fundraiser are $100 per person.
Ford was born near Owensboro. He was the 53rd Governor of Kentucky and was elected to four terms in the U.S. Senate, retiring in 1999.
Wendell Ford, who represented Kentucky in the U.S. Senate for more than two decades following a term as governor, has announced he’s been diagnosed with lung cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy treatments in his hometown of Owensboro.
The Messenger-Inquirer reports Ford’s son, Steve delivered a press release to the newspaper’s office Friday morning. In the statement, the 89-year-old says doctors recently diagnosed a malignant tumor in one lung. He says that malignancy has started spreading.
Ford says he is maintaining a “very positive outlook” and has “complete faith in my doctors”.
He says his scheduled public appearances have been put on hold indefinitely.
Owensboro will be playing host this week to one of the most recognizable faces in Democratic politics. President Bill Clinton is attending a fundraiser to benefit a cause championed by an old friend.
President Clinton will be in Owensboro Wednesday to help raise money for the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center. The fundraiser at the Riverpark Performing Arts Center costs $1,000 a person, and includes a VIP reception with President Clinton and dinner.
In addition to serving as Kentucky Governor, Ford served in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999, and was Democratic Whip the first six years of Clinton’s presidencies.
President Clinton has appeared in Daviess County before: in 2000, he presented an education award to Audubon Elementary School, and he campaigned at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2008 on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Owensboro this spring for a benefit fundraiser. The Messenger-Inquirier reports the event will raise funds to support the Wendell H. Ford Government Education Center.
Ford served in the U.S. Senate from 1974 to 1999, and was Democratic Whip the first six years of Clinton’s presidencies.
President Clinton has appeared in Daviess County before—in 2000, he presented an education award to Audubon Elementary School, and he campaigned at Kentucky Wesleyan College in 2008 on behalf of his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
The Ford Government Education Center is located downtown in the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, and has displays of pictures, artifacts, and documents from Ford’s political career.