Interview SummaryDavid K. Blythe, a former professor of engineering at the University of Kentucky, discusses his various jobs at the university from the 1950s until the present day. One of the major research projects that he worked with in the mid-1950s was for the Kentucky Department of Highways in developing Kentucky's interstate system. He explains that he was also involved in drawing the lines for the interstate in the Lexington area. He recalls issues that arose during interstate planning including the destruction of historic buildings and the displacement of poor people.
Blythe also spent a lot of time traveling while he was a professor at UK. He describes a trip to England and Scotland with his wife and three children. He also went to Liberia to teach Peace Corps volunteers and Liberians how to improve and build roads. Blythe describes the Partners of the Americas, which was developed during John F. Kennedy's presidential administration, to encourage friendly exchange between countries. He spent many summers teaching in Ecuador as part of this program.
Blythe discusses his role as chairman of the Department of Engineering. Blythe remembers former UK President Frank Dickey, and talks about John Oswald who became president of UK in 1963. He discusses Oswald's review of deans and chairmen, and states that Oswald shocked people around campus with his "untraditional" ways of doing things. Blythe discusses Oswald's "Next 100 Years" plan for the University of Kentucky, and mentions President Lyndon B. Johnson's visit to UK. Blythe became associate dean for Continuing Education and Extension and describes establishing distance learning programs. He recalls a study of a small community in Kentucky called Granny's Branch and their need for infrastructure. He also discusses his involvement in the development of a co-op program for engineering students.
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Interview UsageInterviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.
All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Blythe, David K. Interview by Joseph L. Massie. 30 Apr. 1989. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Blythe, D.K. (1989, April 30). Interview by J. L. Massie. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Blythe, David K., interview by Joseph L. Massie. April 30, 1989, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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