The Reader’s Notebook

Weekdays at 9:06 a.m. (Friday at 9:30 a.m.), 12:20 p.m. and 5:44 p.m.

“The Reader’s Notebook” is a daily radio feature using general interest pieces, often of literary or historic significance. Topics will also include science, technology, philosophy, folklore and the arts.

The series is written and hosted by J. D. Reeder, a retired educator, historian, avid reader and regular writer, director, and performer with the Morehead Theatre Guild.

The segments air weekdays at 9:06 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 5:44 p.m. Each segment will include vignettes about writers, artists and other noteworthy people whose birthdays or other significant events coincide with the date of the program. 

Occasionally, word and phrase origins will be explored, often with a Kentucky connection or include poems and excerpts from other writings associated with the subject of the day.  Each episode will conclude with the phrase: “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year,” a quotation from noted American poet and essayist, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Theme music for "The Reader's Notebook" provided by Todd Kozikowski ("Shadows of the Moon"/1997).


February 7, 2017 -- John Deere was an American blacksmith and manufacturer who founded Deere & Company, one of the largest and leading agricultural and construction equipment manufacturers in the world.    

NBC News

February 6, 2017 -- Thomas John "Tom" Brokaw is an American television journalist and author, best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004.


February 3, 2017 -- James Albert Michener was an American author of more than 40 books, the majority of which were fictional, lengthy family sagas covering the lives of many generations in particular geographic locales and incorporating solid history.     

Library of Congress

February 2, 2017 -- Albert Sidney Johnston served as a general in three different armies: the Texian Army, the United States Army, and the Confederate States Army. 


February 1, 2017 -- John Ford was an American film director. He is renowned both for Westerns such as Stagecoach, The Searchers, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, as well as adaptations of classic 20th-century American novels such as the film The Grapes of Wrath.     


January 31, 2017 -- John Henry O'Hara was an American writer. He first earned a reputation for short stories and later became a best-selling novelist before the age of thirty with Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8.    


January 30, 2017 -- Gene Hackman was born on January 30, 1930, in San Bernardino, California. He dropped out of high school to join the Marines, and then studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse Theatre. Hackman's breakout film was Bonnie and Clyde. His famous performances include Popeye Doyle in The French Connection and Lex Luther in Superman. Hackman has received two Oscars. He has since retired from acting.

January 27, 2017  


January 26, 2017 -- Maria Augusta von Trapp, also known as Baroness von Trapp, was the stepmother and matriarch of the Trapp Family Singers. She wrote The Story of the Trapp Family Singers which was published in 1949.    

The New York Times

January 25, 2017 -- Edwin Newman was an American newscaster, journalist, and author. After beginning his career with the wire services and serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II, Newman worked in radio for CBS News.


January 24, 2017 -- Ernest Borgnine was an American film, television, character and voice actor whose career spanned more than six decades. He was noted for his gruff, yet calm voice, Machiavellian eyebrows and gap-toothed Cheshire cat grin. 


January 23, 2017 -- John Hancock was an 18th century U.S. merchant who was president of the Continental Congress and the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.


January 20, 2017 -- Friederike Victoria "Joy" Adamson was a naturalist, artist and author. Her book, Born Free, describes her experiences raising a lion cub named Elsa


January 19, 2017 -- Jean Stapleton was an American character actress of stage, television and film. Stapleton is best known for having portrayed Edith Bunker, the long-suffering, yet devoted wife of Archie Bunker, on the 1970s sitcom All in the Family.   


January 18, 2017 -- Daniel Hale Williams was an African American general surgeon, who in 1893 performed the second documented successful pericardium surgery to repair a wound.    

Public Domain

January 17, 2017 -- Mack Sennett was a Canadian-born American director and actor and was known as an innovator of slapstick comedy in film. During his lifetime he was known at times as the "King of Comedy".  

January 16, 2017 -- André Jules Michelin was a French industrialist who, with his brother Édouard, founded the Michelin Tyre Company (Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin) in 1888 in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand.  


January 13, 2017 -- Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr. was an American novelist, screenwriter, historian, and literary historian who won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1950 for his novel The Way West. 


January 12, 2017 -- Charles Perrault was a French author and member of the Académie Française. He laid the foundations for a new literary genre, the fairy tale, with his works derived from pre-existing folk tales.   


January 11, 2017 -- Ezra Cornell was an American businessman, politician, philanthropist and educational administrator. He was the founder of Western Union and a co-founder of Cornell University.   


January 10, 2017 -- Ethan Allen led the Green Mountain Boys to capture Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution. He petitioned for Vermont to join the new United States.  


January 9, 2017 -- American-born society figure, remembered chiefly as the wife of Lord Randolph Churchill and mother of Sir Winston Churchill, prime minister of Great Britain (1940–45, 1951–55).    


January 6, 2017 -- German archaeologist and excavator of Troy, Mycenae, and Tiryns. He is sometimes considered to be the modern discoverer of prehistoric Greece, though scholarship in the late 20th and early 21st centuries revealed that much self-mythologizing was involved in establishing his reputation.    


January 5, 2017 -- Konrad Hermann Joseph Adenauer was a European statesman who served as the first post-war Chancellor of Germany from 1949 to 1963.    

January 4, 2017 -- Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. It was established in 1754 as King's College by royal charter of George II of Great Britain.     


January 3, 2017 -- J.R.R. Tolkien is an internationally renowned fantasy writer. He is best known for authoring The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy.    


December 12, 2016 -- Born in Bucharest on December 12, 1893, Edward G. Robinson moved to the U.S. when he was ten. He studied acting and began playing stage roles in 1913. In film, he made a name for himself playing a gangster in 1931's Little Caesar, and was often typecast as a "tough guy" after that. Yet he also made films like Double Indemnity, Key Largo, The Ten Commandments, and Soylent Green, his last film.    


December 9, 2016 -- Actor Kirk Douglas brought his formidable chin and talent to movies such as Spartacus and The Bad and the Beautiful. You may also know him as the father of Michael Douglas.    

Public Domain

December 8, 2016 -- Gabriel Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America.     


December 7, 2016 -- Avram Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic, and political activist.