Group honors Louisville sisters with Happy Birthday Park - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Group honors Louisville sisters with Happy Birthday Park

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It's a song everybody knows. The one you look forward to hearing every year. It's the most recognized song across the world.

The Happy Birthday song was apparently first sung in Louisville. Local history tells that during a birthday party in the late 1800s Patti Hill changed the words to one of her songs.

"It began as a song that they used in the classroom called good morning to you but now it is one of the most recognizable songs in the world," said Jessica Stavros, a local historian.

In Louisville, Patty and Mildred Hill are credited for writing the song although the late sisters don't own the rights to it.

"Warner Brothers owns the copyright to the song itself and there have been more than one lawsuit in the songs history to determine who owns it," said Stavros.

But the only recognition the sisters received for their work was a plaque and a parking lot.

"The parking lot, which was a good first try, I love it, I love it!" said Maggie Harlow, president of the Happy Birthday Park. "We appreciate the parking lot, but we want to build something that embodies the ideals the sisters taught of play and engagement and music -- all of that is what contributes to childhood learning,"

The Hill sisters are much more than a song. They were teachers who changed early childhood education to what it is today, and what better way to honor their legacy than build a park.

"It's just been a long time coming for us to figure out where will the park be physically," said Harlow. "Now the next big challenge is what are we building exactly," said Harlow.

The non-profit organization has come up with lot of great ideas using cutting edge technology.

"This is going to be a highly interactive space that lets people come in there, sit and be themselves and express themselves," said Stavros.

"We're trying to think of something extremely visual that will maybe go vertical where it draws people there and recognizable throughout the city," said Wes Lites, a Happy Birthday Park board member.

The park will be located on 4th Street, near Chestnut. The non-profit organization is trying to raise $200,000 for design and construction.

For information on how you can contribute to the Happy Birthday Park, visit the following links:

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