Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Dolores Delahanty, June 4, 2013

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:00 - Background information / childhood

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Partial Transcript: This is Nieta Wigginton. I am with Miss Dolores Delahanty, along with...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty gives some background information about herself, including her name, where she was born, and her family. She also talks about her childhood.

Keywords: Children; Juvenile court probation officers; Juvenile justice; Mispronunciations; Names; Reading; Wedding rings

Subjects: Families; Rockford (Ill.)

GPS: Rockford (Ill.)
Map Coordinates: 42.272895, -89.093499
00:03:18 - Childhood love of reading

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Partial Transcript: Share with me some of the things that you liked to do as a child. Did you grow up in Illinois?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty talks about her early love of reading, the time she spent at the local library, and some of the books and genres she enjoyed reading.

Keywords: Biographies; Books; Carnegie libraries; Gone With the Wind (book); History; Libraries; Reading

Subjects: Books and reading

00:05:16 - Admiration for Eleanor Roosevelt / notable teachers

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Partial Transcript: When you were reading those biographies, were there any particular individuals who inspired you?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses her admiration of Eleanor Roosevelt from a young age. She also talks about some of the teachers who encouraged her to take her education more seriously.

Keywords: Elementary school; Miss Peterson; Montague Elementary School (Rockford, Ill.); Movies; Mr. Horrell; Skipping school; Washington Junior High (Rockford, Ill.); West High School (Rockford, Ill.)

Subjects: Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962; Teachers

GPS: Rockford (Ill.)
Map Coordinates: 42.272895, -89.093499
00:08:24 - Becoming involved with the National Student Association / interest in advocacy

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Partial Transcript: ...What happened in college that made you become interested?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty tells how she became involved in the National Student Association while attending college, and how she met her husband through this organization. She also briefly mentions her father's involvement in unions, and how this, and her husband's interests, contributed to her own interest in advocacy.

Keywords: Advocacy; College; History; Husbands; Learning; Marriage; Mary Jo; National Student Association; Robert Delahanty; Student government; Women's colleges

Subjects: College students; Labor unions; Rockford (Ill.); Rockford College; United States National Student Association

GPS: Rockford, Illinois
Map Coordinates: 42.272895, -89.093499
00:12:52 - Benefits of attending a women's college / moving to Louisville / shared beliefs within a marriage

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Partial Transcript: Now when you, you mentioned your father, um, expressing his ideas...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares her views on the benefits of attending a women's college, such as how it allowed her to exercise more leadership than she might have at a co-ed school. She also talks about moving to Louisville with her husband, and the importance of shared beliefs and partnership within a marriage.

Keywords: Culture; Economic injustice; Integration; Judges; Race relations; Robert Delahanty; Swimming pools; Textbooks; Values; Women's colleges

Subjects: Leadership; Louisville (Ky.); Segregation

GPS: Louisville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.254358, -85.752411
00:17:18 - Robert Delahanty's involvement in the Braden case

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Partial Transcript: And the other thing, um, Bob came-- graduated from George Washington in Washington D.C....

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty tells how her husband, Robert Delahanty, came to be involved in the Braden case soon after the couple moved to Louisville. She also describes the case briefly.

Keywords: Bombings; Clerical work; Communism; Lawyers; McCarthyism; Open-housing; Sedition; Trials

Subjects: Braden, Anne, 1924-2006; Braden, Carl, 1914-1975; Discrimination in housing; Louisville (Ky.); Race discrimination; Shively (Ky.)

GPS: Louisville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.254358, -85.752411
00:20:18 - Interest in advocating for women's rights

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Partial Transcript: And from there, um, Bob, uh, and I have to speak because our lives were so intricately...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty tells how she developed an interest in women's rights, and shares some of the ways that she has been discriminated against as a woman.

Keywords: "Black Six"; Arrests; Juvenile court probation officers; Marches; Open housing demonstrations; Political office; Politics; Riots; Robert Delahanty; Trials; Women's rights

Subjects: Louisville (Ky.); Sex discrimination against women; Sexism; Women's rights

GPS: Louisville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.254358, -85.752411
00:23:05 - Feminism in the 1970's

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Partial Transcript: ...Around how old were you when that light bulb went on...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses feminism in the 1970's, naming prominent works, authors, and other women of note.

Keywords: Ally Hickson (??); Betty Friedan; Children; Germaine Greer; Sister Louise Fryberg (??); Suzy Post; The Feminine Mystique (book)

Subjects: Women; Women's rights

00:24:42 - Work with the Kentucky Women's Political Caucus / interest in studying social work

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Partial Transcript: I was on the, uh, at the time, I helped to found the W-- Kentucky Women's Political Caucus...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses some of her work with the Kentucky Women's Political Caucus. She also shares her reasons for choosing to study social work.

Keywords: Equal Rights Amendment; Kentucky Women's Political Caucus; Money; NIMH; National Institute of Mental Health; Rebecca Westerfield; Social work; Student Government Association

Subjects: Education; Ford, Wendell H., 1924-; University of Kentucky

00:28:28 - Work with political campaigns

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Partial Transcript: So your husband had the law side. Your husband is also an inductee into the hall of fame...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses her involvement in several political campaigns.

Keywords: Advocacy; Law; Marguerite Harris; National Women's Education Fund; Robert Delahanty; Social work

Subjects: Political campaigns; Politicians

00:30:23 - Changes in running political campaigns / experience as a political candidate

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Partial Transcript: What type of things, uh, during that time period, were involved with helping to run a campaign?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares what it was like to be a part of a political campaign before social media and other means of mass communication. She also talks about her experiences as a candidate, and her interactions with voters.

Keywords: Capitol punishment; Elections; Fraternal Order of Police; Honesty; Legislative campaigns; Merged government; Political candidates; Politics; Social networks; Voters

Subjects: Political campaigns; Politicians

00:35:10 - Running for County Commissioner of Louisville / push polls and other underhanded tactics

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Partial Transcript: Were you elected to office?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses her campaign for County Commissioner of Louisville, and how push polls are sometimes used to slander rival candidates. She also talks about other tactics that are used in this way.

Keywords: Congress; Elections; Merged government; Money; Political candidates; Push polls

Subjects: Jefferson County (Ky.); Louisville (Ky.)

GPS: Louisville (Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.254358, -85.752411
00:40:40 - Women politicians in Kentucky / Martha Layne Collins

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Partial Transcript: How do you think that impacts women who are interested in...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses the small number of female politicians in Kentucky, though she states there are more female judges than other types of public officials. She also talks about former governor Martha Layne Collins, and states that she feels women are not being prepared for higher office.

Keywords: Collins, Martha Layne; Commission of Women; Emerge Kentucky; Judicial elections; Mayors; Thelma Stovall; Training

Subjects: Collins, Martha Layne; Ford, Wendell H., 1924-; Fund raising; Shelby County (Ky.); Women politicians

00:44:32 - Family involvement in politics

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Partial Transcript: What are some of the, um... things that you did to prepare your family...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses her children's involvement in her and her husband's political campaigns. [there are two breaks in the recording] She also briefly mentions Suzy ??.

Keywords: Affirmation; Change; Children; Community; Elections; Electoral process; Suzy ??; Working mothers

Subjects: Elections; Families; Judges

00:48:04 - Honeymoon in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned you, you've always been a working, um, mother, working woman...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty describes her extended honeymoon in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the surrounding area.

Keywords: Honeymoons; Law school; Marriage

Subjects: Cambridge (Mass.)

GPS: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Map Coordinates: 42.372305, -71.111326
00:50:02 - The civil rights march on Frankfort, 1964 / other demonstrations

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Partial Transcript: We're gonna switch back, um, to our conversation about, um, politics and your role in politics...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares her experiences as a part of the civil rights march on Frankfort, Kentucky in 1964. She also talks about other demonstrations she has been a part of.

Keywords: Crowds; Harassment; Kent School Student Association; Marches; Peace; Protesters; Protests

Subjects: Civil rights demonstrations; Frankfort (Ky.); Graduate school; Social workers

00:55:08 - Reproductive rights for women / Pope Francis

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Partial Transcript: For example, with regard to reproductive rights for women. I mean, we are, we have been pushed back...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares her thoughts on the modern struggle of reproductive rights for women, and how she feels that the United States has regressed in this in recent years. She also talks about Pope Francis. [there are several breaks near the end of the recording]

Keywords: Casual sex; Contraception; Marriage equality; Modesty; Planned Parenthood; Sexual revolution; Simplicity; Social change

Subjects: Catholic Church; Catholics--Kentucky; Francis, Pope, 1936-; Poverty; Reproductive rights; Sex

00:58:45 - Single mothers and the National Welfare Rights Organization

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Partial Transcript: This is Nieta Wigginton, with Dolores Delahanty, along with our...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses the work she did with single mothers in Louisville as a family service consultant, and tells how these mothers became involved in organizations such as the National Welfare Rights Organization.

Keywords: Boys; Delinquents; Family service consultants; Food stamps; Middle school; Mothers; Sniffing glue; Welfare; Welfare recipients

Subjects: Mothers; National Welfare Rights Organization (U.S.); Poverty

01:02:47 - Fear and hostility

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Partial Transcript: We found in doing these interviews that, um, quite a few of them... have limited the conversations...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses the fears of community activists, and some of the hostility she has experienced in her work.

Keywords: Catholics; Empowerment; Fear; General hospital; Health problems; Hostility; Mickey; Priests; Public schools

Subjects: Catholics--Kentucky; Leadership; Taxes; Women

01:06:22 - Threat of kidnapping and other dangers / lawyers working for the Bradens

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Partial Transcript: Did you ever receive verbal, or um, written threats?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty tells how she learned that there was a plot to kidnap her children, although it never was acted on. She also talks about the lawyers who worked for the Bradens during their famous case, including her husband Robert Delahanty.

Keywords: Bob Salinger; Kidnapping; Lou Lusky; Money; Phone tapping; Robert Delahanty; Threats; Voting

Subjects: Braden, Anne, 1924-2006; Braden, Carl, 1914-1975; Economics; Lawyers--Kentucky

01:09:14 - Voting rights and democracy

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Partial Transcript: In our current uh, climate, what are the social issues um, of greatest concern...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares her concern that the voting process is being overly influenced by corporations, and that it has also become more complicated in order to bar certain voters from exercising their rights. She also talks about her own first experience voting, and her enjoyment of going door to door to canvass for votes.

Keywords: Corporations; Money; Technology; Voter registration; Voters; Voting rights; Women's rights

Subjects: Democracy--United States; Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965; Voting; Women

01:13:19 - Potential for a woman president / women's rights in the United States / American women politicians

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Partial Transcript: Do you think we'll have a woman president?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses the possibility of there being a female president of the United States. She states that she feels the US lags behind other first world countries in women's rights, and mentions several important women in modern politics, including a few moderate Republicans.

Keywords: Audry Colomb (??); Bella Abzug; Christie Whitman; Decisions; Germany; Jennifer Granholm; Moderate Republicans; Nancy Pelosi; Republican women; Shirley Chisholm

Subjects: Clinton, Hillary Rodham; Republican Party (U.S. : 1854- ); Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; Women politicians; Women presidents; Women's rights

01:18:46 - Views on feminism

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Partial Transcript: You had mentioned previously that um, you were a part of that caucus, but that you never joined NOW...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares her definition of feminism, and mentions that she feels her own children became excellent parents because of the values that were practiced within her home when they were growing up.

Keywords: Child development; Choices; Family relationships; Feminists; Girls; Shared responsibility; Socialization

Subjects: Children; Feminism; Women

01:21:37 - Views on marriage / Catholics for Fairness

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Partial Transcript: In your conversation, um, partnership in marriage comes up. What role... do you believe...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty shares her views on marriage, and discusses her involvement with Catholics for Fairness. This is an organization that advocates that the Catholic Church no longer try to prevent same-sex couples from being able to marry or enjoy other civil rights.

Keywords: 14th amendment; Barack Obama; Catholic Church; Catholics for Fairness; Empathy; Gay families; Gay marriage; Groups; Marriage equity; Relationships; Selfishness

Subjects: Catholics--Kentucky; Marriage; Same-sex marriage

01:26:56 - Family support / disagreement within party lines

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Partial Transcript: Are there any issues where you felt like you were standing alone?

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty states that she feels her family supported her views and her activism for the most part, even when others did not agree with her. She also points out that, while she does not always agree with other liberal friends on particular candidates, they always are united by the same core values.

Keywords: Candidates; Catholics for Fairness; Grandchildren; Love; Political discussions; Rebellion; Values

Subjects: Children; Families

01:30:35 - Influence as a teacher and mentor / children and grandchildren / faith and activism

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Partial Transcript: We started our interview with you, uh, sharing that um, your big sister, in college...

Segment Synopsis: Delahanty discusses her influence as a teacher and mentor, as well as several of the classes she taught at Bellarmine and the University of Louisville. She also mentions her children and grandchildren by name, and talks briefly about how her faith has impacted her work in activism. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Faith; Government assistance; Grandchildren; Indoctrination; Introduction to social work (class); Mary Jo; Mentors; Research; Research utilization; Responsibility; Sociology

Subjects: Bellarmine College (Louisville, Ky.); Catholicism; Children; Economic assistance; Social workers; Teachers; University of Louisville