Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Loyal Jones, November 19, 1990

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:02 - Council of the Southern Mountains pre-War on Poverty

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Partial Transcript: Okay we'll start with just, uh, a background question...

Segment Synopsis: Jones mentions how he initially got involved with the Council of the Southern Mountains. He goes on to talk about the focus of the CSM when he started in 1958.

Keywords: "Mountain Life and Work"; Activities; CSM; Economic development; Health education; Organization magazine; Perley Ayer

Subjects: Berea (Ky.)

00:04:21 - Early involvement in War on Poverty

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Partial Transcript: How did the, uh, declaration of the War on Poverty, exactly what happened when, when, uh--how did the Council become involved in the War on Poverty?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the activities and issues that the Council initially worked on during the War on Poverty. He also talks about how eventually the Council, which was made up of several different groups, fractured over ideological differences.

Keywords: Citizen participation; Community Action Technicians (CATS); Council conferences; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Division; Eastern Kentucky; Elective representation; Gubernatorial support; John B. Wissman; Maximum feasible participation; Plan for War on Poverty; Poverty programs; Program 60; Recreational programs; Talent bank; War on Poverty

Subjects: Berea (Ky.); Berea College; Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:13:45 - Early initiatives and community organizing

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Partial Transcript: You say you were, were organizing, what kind of issues did you organize around?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the different projects and programs that the CSM initiated early in the War on Poverty.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Bruderhawk Toy factory; Community Action Projects; Community organizing; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); County judges; Early projects; Federal funding; Iron Mountain Stoneware; Job programs; Milton Ogle; Richard Boone

Subjects: Barbourville (Ky.); Berea College; Economic development--Kentucky; Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963

00:22:20 - Council of the Southern Mountains internal issues

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about what happened at the conferences. What exactly went on?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the split between the CSM and AVs. He goes on to talk about further internal tension within the CSM, which eventually led to him resigning from the CSM. After leaving the CSM he went on to work at the Highlander Center and then Berea College.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Board of directors; Bylaws; Conferences; Controversial issues; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Disruptions; Division; Fontana Village; Highlander Center; Ideological differences; Membership fees; Perley Ayer

Subjects: Dykeman, Wilma; Highlander Folk School (Monteagle, Tenn.); United States. Office of Economic Opportunity.

00:34:28 - Poor people's self-help commission / philosophy of Council of the Southern Mountains

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about this--the poor people's self-help commission. What was their orientation?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the initiative to help capable poor people rise up the leadership ranks. He also talks about the CSM's philosophy prior to 1964. He also mentions that once the CSM got funding the organization began to change and fracture.

Keywords: Annual conferences; Bob Munn; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Networking; Social work organizations; Unifying smaller organizations

Subjects: Social reformers--Appalachian Region

00:40:35 - Beginnings of the Appalachian Volunteers

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about the, uh, the genesis of the Appalachian Volunteers? How did that program come about?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the origins of the Appalachian Volunteers (AVs) and their initial projects. He goes on to talk about how relations between AVs and the local school systems deteriorated.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Community activism; Community organizing; Dick Boone; Enrichment programs; Eula Hall; Local school systems; Phil Conn; Politics; Relations; School boards; School boycotts; School renovation projects; Superintendents; Tension; VISTAs

Subjects: Community development--Appalachian Region.; Floyd County (Ky.); Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963; Rural schools--Kentucky; School boards--Kentucky.; Social reformers--Appalachian Region; Volunteers in Service to America

00:47:38 - Community Action Programs / legacy of the War on Poverty

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Partial Transcript: What about these early community action programs, did they function very well?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the positive outcomes of Community Action Programs, and he also mentions some of the problems CAPs had to deal with. He talks about the involvement of the poor in the War on Poverty. He goes on to talk about the general legacy of the War on Poverty, mentioning several different efforts that didn't work out.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Board members; Citizen participation; Community Action Agencies; Community involvement; Community organizing; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Cumberland Valley; De-funding; Furniture business; Maximum feasible participation; OEO; Poor people; Positive aspects; Representatives; War on Poverty

Subjects: Community development--Appalachian Region.; Knox County (Ky.); Social reformers--Appalachian Region; United States. Office of Economic Opportunity.

00:56:41 - Control of community action programs

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Partial Transcript: All of these early community action programs, who were, who were controlling these programs?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about who controlled the community action programs, mentioning how the locals in Mingo County, West Virginia under Huey Perry took over the board from the traditional power structure. He also talks about how power was sometimes wrapped up in politics.

Keywords: Boards; Community Action Programs; Election fraud; For-profit organizations; Green Amendment; Huey Perry; Kentucky River Foothills; Local power structures; Manipulation; Political support; Takeovers; Vying for power; Woodworking industry

Subjects: Mingo County (W.Va.)

01:02:30 - Appalachian Volunteers shift in focus

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Partial Transcript: Around the same time of '66, '67, you kind of see a shift, uh, and the AVs I guess may be the best example...

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses a shift in the focus of the Appalachian Volunteers, mentioning that people became frustrated because the intended recipients of their efforts were not reaping the benefits of their efforts (i.e. funding was not trickling downward to the poor).

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Disillusionment; Flem Messer; Jink Ray; Outside volunteers; Progression; War on Poverty; Widow Combs

Subjects: Clay County (Ky.); Strip mining--Appalachian Region.

01:06:24 - Changes in the Council / decline in the Appalachian Volunteers

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Partial Transcript: How did the Council--did the Council change during this period?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about a refocus of the Council of the Southern Mountains and the de-funding of the Appalachian Volunteers in West Virginia.

Keywords: Appalachian Volunteers (AVs); Beth-Elkhorn Coal; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); De-funding

Subjects: Pike County (Ky.); Strip mining--Appalachian Region.

01:09:14 - Differences between the Appalachian Volunteers and Council of the Southern Mountains

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Partial Transcript: Why did the AVs and the Council split?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the split between the Appalachian Volunteers and Council of the Southern Mountains, mentioning that they had different ideological beliefs. He also mentions the cultural differences between the VISTAs, AVs, CSM, and the local population.

Keywords: AVs; CSM; Confrontational approach; Cultural differences; Ford Foundation; Humanist approach; Ideology; Perley Ayer; Philosophical differences; Separate organizations

Subjects: Berea (Ky.); Berea College

01:15:14 - What makes a good volunteer in Appalachia

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Partial Transcript: What impact did the VISTA individuals have?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about characteristics and mentalities of volunteers that make them successful in Appalachia.

Keywords: Academic training; Characteristics; Council of the Southern Mountains; Gibbs Kinderman; Mentalities; Milton Ogle; Necessary training; Negatives; Outside volunteers; Positives; Volunteers from Appalachia

Subjects: Appalachian Region--Social conditions

01:21:22 - Circumstances surrounding the firing of Dan Fox and Milton Ogle

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Partial Transcript: When the AVs split it was--there was, there was, a, a confrontation between, uh, Perley Ayer and other--do you know who those people were?

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses the situation surrounding the firing of AV leaders Dan Fox and Milton Ogle by the leader of the Council of the Southern Mountains, Perley Ayer.

Keywords: "Colors of Christ"; Board of directors; Confrontation; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Dan Fox; Milton Ogle; Perley Ayer

Subjects: Berea College; Religion

01:24:36 - Reaction of state and local government / Al McSurely and Joe Mulloy

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Partial Transcript: As, as, as the War on Poverty became more politicized if you will, how did the, uh, state and local governments react?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about the tense relations between poverty organizations and local and state authorities. He goes on talk about Joe Mulloy and Al McSurely, mentioning that he and McSurely had a tense relationship.

Keywords: "Mule incident"; Al McSurely; Anti-poverty organizations; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Involvement; Joe Mulloy; Milton Ogle; Relations; Sedition arrests; Thomas Ratliff

Subjects: Nunn, Louie B., 1924-2004

01:30:49 - Efforts to undermine War on Poverty

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Partial Transcript: What about the uh, Un-American Activities Committee hearings?

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about how the fear of a communist threat and the Green Amendment undermined some anti-poverty organizations and the War on Poverty in general. [interview is concluded]

Keywords: Communist threats; Council of the Southern Mountains (CSM); Edith Green; Green Amendment; Impact; Motivations; Undermining; War on Poverty

Subjects: Perkins, Carl Dewey, 1912-1984; Pike County (Ky.)