From the WKVI Archives

On this date 40 years ago, a very special visitor came to our area. Louis Russell, Jr. was a guest of the Pulaski County Heart Association organization at its annual meeting at West Central High School. He was a guest, specifically, of the late Dr. Martin Barco, who was President of the local association.

Louis Russell was an honored school teacher and he was a member of the United States Air Force in WW II. He was the 34th person in medical history to receive a heart transplant. On August 24th, 1968, Mr. Russell received a heart transplant at the Medical College of Virginia Hospital located in Richmond, Virginia. The donor had been a 17-year-old African American boy. Louis Russell lived for six years with his new heart, longer than any previous heart transplant recipient. He died in November 1974 in the same hospital where he received his heart.

There is an elementary school named in his honor in Indianapolis.

On this date in 1972, 130 people heard the heart transplant story from the lips of this very special man. All in attendance said it was a night they will never forget.

On this date in 1994, it was 22 degrees below zero at 7:00 a.m.

One of Knox High School’s most popular teachers of the 60’s and 70’s was born on this date. The late Norm McCurdy was a business teacher who inspired many of his students to pursue an education following graduation. After retirement, he opened a store with his wife Judy on Culver Road called Spring Valley Sales.