A Race About Race

Looking back at the Kentucky Derby of 1969

Louisville Magazine | May 2019

May 2019 Louisville Mag PDF

Amid intensifying anti-war sentiment and shifting party alignments, Richard Nixon, the first (and still only) sitting president ever to attend the Run for the Roses passed through a gauntlet of advocates for “Black Revolution” who had spent the night in jail after occupying the University of Louisville. Among their messages was a reference to the Stephen Foster song, “My Old Kentucky Home,” that would soon play to the horses entering the track for the Derby. “The ‘darkies’ are not gay any longer.”