The Kentucky Governor’s Mansion turned 100 years old earlier this month and the anniversary is being marked with a yearlong celebration of events honoring the Mansion’s architectural, social and political history.
“Toyota is well aware of the important history of the mansion, including how it was a critical venue for discussions that led to the location of Toyota in Georgetown more than 25 years ago,” said Wil James, president of the Toyota-Kentucky plant. “We are pleased to contribute to the long-term preservation of a beautiful piece of Kentucky’s history.”
As described in the documentary “Kentucky Governor’s Mansion: A Century of Reflection”, the Governor’s Mansion played a pivotal role in the decision of Toyota officials to locate the world-class vehicle manufacturer in Kentucky.
On Nov. 14, 1985, while top Toyota officials were in America to make a final decision about where to locate their first U.S. plant, Governor Martha Layne Collins invited them to a special evening at the executive mansion.
After an entertaining dinner, the evening was capped off with champagne toasts, a fireworks display and the cast of “The Stephen Foster Story” singing “My Old Kentucky Home.”
The impressive theatrical and hospitable evening at the mansion sealed the deal for Toyota executives.
"The Japan/America Society of Kentucky is proud to support the efforts of the Centennial Celebration of the Mansion,” said David Carpenter, executive director of the Japan/America Society of Kentucky. “Toyota’s generous donation signifies that the strong personal friendship and business relationship between Japan and Kentucky continues to endure today. We look forward to continuing to work with the Governor’s Mansion and with our Japanese companies here in Kentucky to continue to expand our enduring relationship."
The Governor’s Mansion Centennial Celebration will feature a range of both free and ticketed public and private events, including a civil rights exhibit and public mansion tour honoring Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to Frankfort on March 5th 1964, a reception honoring the people of Frankfort and more.
The Mansion will also feature several special art exhibits throughout the year, including an Audubon collection.
For a complete list of currently scheduled celebration events, click here.
All events and exhibits are sponsored through private donations to KEMFI, a 501(c)(3) organization established to undertake, promote and assist financially and otherwise the modification to the restoration, maintenance and preservation of public buildings, sites, structures, places and objects of historic significance owned by the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Information provided by the Office of Governor Beshear
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