- Kentucky colonel
Kentucky colonel is an honorary title bestowed upon individuals by approval of the
governor of Kentucky. It is not a military rank, requires no duties, and carries with it no pay or compensation other than membership in the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels. Award of the title requires nomination from an existing colonel. Nominators are expected to consider the nominee's service and contributions to the global community before making a nomination. Applicants must be at least 18 years old. The sitting governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky bestows the honor of a Colonel's Commission, by issuance of a certificate.
The title Kentucky colonel has been around since 1813. [http://sos.ky.gov/executive/kentuckycolonels.htm Kentucky Colonels] Commonwealth of Kentucky,
21 April2005. Retrieved 10 September2006. ] When the Kentucky Militiawas deactivated following the War of 1812, Governor Isaac Shelbycommissioned Charles S. Todd, one of his officers in the campaign, as an aide-de-campon the Governor's Staff with the rank and grade of Colonel. Todd married Shelby's youngest daughter two years later.
Early colonels actually served military roles. In the latter part of the 1800s, the position took on a more ceremonial function. Colonels in uniform attended functions at the Governor's mansion and stood as symbolic guards at state events. By the late 1800s, the title had become more of an honorary one.
After a person receives a
commissionthey are invited to join the "The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels". This organization is an independent, non-profit corporation. The mission of this organization is to raise money to support needy charities, educational efforts, and other works that will help all citizens of Kentucky. The organization's good works do not stop at the borders of the Commonwealth. Recently the organization supported Hurricane Katrinarelief efforts, partnering with another organization and contributing $25,000. [ [http://www.kybaptist.org/kbc/welcome.nsf/pages/katrinakycol Kentucky Colonels Pledge $25,000 To Disaster Relief] Brenda Rick Smith, KBC Communications, 9 January2005. Retrieved 10 September2006. ]
A particularly embarrassing incident for the order occurred in the early 1980s when Kentucky journalist Tom Loftus submitted a nomination to the order for his friend's dog Waldo. [ [http://www.cincypost.com/2005/02/03/wecker020305.html Canine colonel tale won't go away] Cincinnati Post,
19 December2002. Retrieved 10 September2006. ] When Waldo Wecker was accepted into the order, the story received nationwide attention and became a source of amusement on national shows such as " Good Morning America" and Paul Harvey's radio program. Governor John Y. Brown, Jr., who signed the document granting the honor, received particular ridicule. Both Waldo and Loftus were stripped of the title.
Some of the more famous recipients include:
Muhammed Ali, professional boxercite web |url=http://kycolonels.org/index.cgi?id=17 |title=Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels FAQ |accessdate=2007-09-05]
Fred Astaire, entertainercite web |url=http://kycolonels.org/index.cgi?id=18 |title=Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels Good Works |accessdate=2007-09-05]
Omar Bradley, General of the Army (United States)cite web |url=http://kycolonels.org/index.cgi?id=34 |title=Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels Timeline |accessdate=2007-09-05]
Eddie Cantor, entertainer
Winston Churchill, prime minister of the United Kingdomcite web |url=http://www.sos.ky.gov/executive/kentuckycolonels.htm |title=Kentucky Secretary of State - Kentucky Colonels |accessdate=2007-09-05]
Bill Clinton, U.S. president
Joan Crawford, actress
Stephen Foster, composer (awarded posthumously)
Clark Gable, actor
John Glenn, astronaut, U.S. senator
Bob Hope, entertainer
Pope John Paul II
Lyndon B. Johnson, U.S. president
Ashley Judd, actress, activist
Gene Markey, Hollywoodscreenwriter, producer, author, and U.S. Navy officer
Irving Mills, jazz music publisher
Will Rogers, humorist
* Harland Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken (often referred to simply as "The Colonel")
* Dave Thomas, founder of
Hunter S. Thompson, author
Mae West, actress and playwright
* Carl Edwin Lindgren. Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (February/March 2001). "Il Mondo del Cavaliere", Vol. I, No. 1, p. 14. ISSN 1592 1425.
* [http://www.kycolonels.org/ Official website of The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels]
* [http://sos.ky.gov/executive/kentuckycolonels.htm Kentucky Secretary of State's site regarding the Order]
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