K-12 News

Documentary explores construction of Kentucky State Capitol

In 1900, Kentucky Governor J.C.W. Beckham lobbied the State Legislature on the need for a new Kentucky State Capitol in downtown Frankfort. Architect Frank Mills Andrews drew up a grandiose plan, and 36 acres of farmland overlooking the Kentucky River was purchased. Over the next nine years, the people watched in wonder as the towering dome took shape, rising above the building’s sprawling terraces and surrounding gardens.

Kentucky’s State Capitol, a new half-hour documentary from KET, tells the fascinating story of how the Kentucky State Capitol was designed and constructed more than 120 years ago. The documentary also includes a tour of the grand, old building, with a behind-the-scenes look at many of its landscaping and architectural details.

Kentucky’s State Capitol airs Monday, Aug. 23, at 9/8 pm on KET and on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 9/8 pm on KET2.

Relatedly, KET has created new online resources that bolster students’ understanding of Kentucky’s government as well as other civics topics:

Social Studies Shorts

Narrated by News Quiz host Kelsey Starks, this video series introduces students in grades 4-8 to key social studies and civics topics, all tailored to Kentucky academic standards. Episodes cover topics such as U.S. presidential inaugurations, the Kentucky General Assembly, the branches of government and how a bill becomes a law.

Capitol Field Trip

A three-video series that takes a visual tour of the Commonwealth’s government history, including the Capitol building’s architecture as well as the art and sculptures that decorate its grounds. Students get a closeup look at the Rotunda, the State Reception Room, the legislative chambers, the First Ladies in Miniature doll collection and more.

Kentucky’s State Capitol is a KET production, produced by Tom Bickel and funded in part by the KET Endowment for Kentucky Productions. The virtual Capitol tours are funded in part by the W. Paul and Lucille Caudill Little Endowment for the Arts. Social Studies Shorts is funded in part by the John R. Hall Endowment for Education.