Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

Presented by the Kentucky Historical Society

Bible Presentation

On March 16, 1922, James E. Hudson, an elevator operator in the capitol, became the first African American to address the Kentucky General Assembly. A volunteer missionary at the state reformatory, Hudson was known as a man who kept a Bible with him at all times and read it when he was not operating the elevator. While an evolution bill was being debated, some legislators sought a Bible they could use in their arguments, and Hudson offered his own. Seeing that Hudson”s Bible was worn, Representative George C. Waggoner from Scott County took up a collection and bought Hudson a new one, along with a Bible dictionary. Hudson made his remarks in the House chamber in response to the presentation of this gift.

James E. Hudson

James E. Hudson, taken in 1922. KHS Collections.

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