NEW ALBANY — Three debutantes, two dresses and one moment in the 200-year timeline of New Albany’s history will be one of many featured in an event at The Grand on April 6. In a style show like no other hosted in this area, New Albany’s Living History Committee has planned a showcase of more than just fashion throughout the last two centuries.
‘“The 200 Years of New Albany History and Styles’ is about stories,” said Commission Vice Chairperson, Barbara Zoller. “Anyone who came into New Albany for any period of time had a story, and those stories became part of our rich history. Characters in our show will not only wear period clothing, they will tell some of these stories.”
For the 1959 milestone, Oneita S. Phillips, Alice Phillips Miles and Yvonne Williams Grundy will reflect on a significant event consistent with these three ladies whose friendship has truly stood the test of time. These debutants were the first ladies from New Albany invited to be a part of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Cotillion held annually in Louisville, but that wasn’t the only thing memorable about 1959 for them.
Miles was just finishing her freshman year in college as Grundy and Phillips were beginning theirs. In a time where it was exceptional for women to attend college, their parents hadn’t presented them with any other option. Their fathers may have worked two or three jobs to ensure financial stability, but their mothers had gone to college in their day as well and understood the value of an education.
“When I was growing up, the mindset was that we knew we were going to go to college,” Miles said. “My parents would tell me an education is something no one can take away from you. With that, you’ll be able to take care of yourself.”