Kentucky Historical Society

Oral History Interview with Albert Lee Taylor

Date of Interview: 

Sat, 03/04/2017

Collection: 

Interviewer: 

Interviewee: 

Subjects: 

Mercer County (Ky.), Harrodsburg (Ky.), African Americans, Schools, desegregation, Military life, Playgrounds, Floods, Typhoid fever, Barbershops, Rosenwald school, Korean War, Rural African American youth, Community centers

Call Number: 

2014OH03.10

109 minutes. Mr. Taylor discusses his family background & childhood in Harrodsburg, Ky. He provides a detailed summary of teachers and classroom placement at West Side High School (a Rosenwald School) in the late 1930s and 1940s. African American businesses in Harrodsburg are discussed including the barber shop owned by his father, Fred Taylor. He discusses his schooling in western Kentucky prior to his military service in the Korean War. President Harry Truman had ordered the desegregation of the military on July 26, 1948. The Korean War began June 25, 1950. Platoon Sgt. Taylor describes how he used snow from Mt. Fuji (Japan) to resolve an incident of racial tension within his platoon. He served two tours in Korea, fourteen months of which were in front-line combat He fought at Heartbreak Ridge & "Old Baldy." The interview concludes with a discussion among Mr. Taylor & the interviewers concerning the history of the Harrodsburg Negro youth Playground, Inc., and its transition into West Lane Park & Community Center.

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