Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Paul Carluccio, July 12, 2022

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


Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Search this Index
00:00:00 - Introduction / Upbringing

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What year were you born? Where did you grow up?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio begins the interview talking about his early life, school, parents, and what led him to be where he is now. Born in 1948, he grew up in Keansburg, New Jersey, on the Jersey Shore on Raritan Bay. He notes his father's occupation at a chemical plant. Paul was one of five children, he played sandlot baseball, rode his bike, went swimming, and camped as a youth.

Keywords: High schools; Hobbies; Middletown Township; New Jersey; Urban areas; Hercules Powder Corporation

Subjects: Families; Keansburg (N.J.); Middletown (N.J. : Township); New Jersey; Raritan Bay (N.J. and N.Y.); Segregation; Education

00:06:35 - Segregation

Play segment

Partial Transcript: When you use the term segregation and urban areas, you mean specifically like they would segregate it away from black people?

Segment Synopsis: He recalls some of the Jersey Shore amenities, including ferry boats and a midway, and how people would come from New York City and Newark on day trips to enjoy the sites. The swimming pool his family used was a club, however, which was designed to keep out people of color because of the high membership fee. Carluccio recalls how Hurricane Donna devastated the area in 1965, and how the community came together to help storm victims, and how there was another instance of damage from Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Keywords: Belvedere Pool; Catholic parishes; Exclusion; Hurricane Donna; Hurricane Sandy; Jersey Shore; People of color; Belford, New Jersey

Subjects: Discrimination; New York (N.Y.); Newark (N.J.); Racism; Raritan Bay (N.J. and N.Y.); Segregation; Urban renewal.; Keansburg (N.J.)

00:14:33 - Learning about the Vietnam War in high school

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you start activism when you were in high school?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio credits older siblings, uncles, and cousins who went to college with inspiring him to get a good education as well, and also remembers a high school history teacher who was a World War II veteran as being inspirational. He says Mr. Marian, the teacher, showed up to class and read the students a New York Times article about the Vietnam War. He also had a Green Beret come as a guest speaker at the end of the school year who spoke about fighting against communism

Keywords: Neville Chamberlain; New York Times; The Geen Berets (motion picture); US History; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War Two; Green Berets

Subjects: Apocalypse now (Motion picture); Communism; Deer hunter (Motion picture); Korean War, 1950-1953.; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; World War II

00:21:25 - Origins of Vietnam War

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What were the reasons the movie said we were in Vietnam for? Like, what were the origins?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio remembers a film that he had watched at the end of high school which shared an inaccurate portrayal of the start of the Vietnam War and what America's role was during the war. Carluccio notes that the film was designed to play on one’s emotions and get young men like him motivated to go and fight communism.

Keywords: CIA; Dien Bien Phu; Colonialism

Subjects: Imperialism; United States. Central Intelligence Agency.; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Điện Biên Phủ (Vietnam); Communism

00:24:08 - Catholicism, anti-communism, and the "Pagan Babies" campaign

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I remember being a kid and taking my catechism

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio discusses his experiences seeing anti-communism within the Catholic church during his childhood. He also talks about expectations around young men and military service during that time, and his own feelings about it. Carluccio goes on to talk about the religious politics in Vietnam at the time, and how that was represented in America by Catholic campaigns to save "Pagan Babies."

Keywords: Anti-communism; Catholicism; Pagan Babies; Benedictine priests

Subjects: Benedictines; Buddhism; Buddhists; Christians; Communism; Jesuits; Missionaries; Nuns; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; Religion

00:30:53 - Draft process, militant activism, and Catholicism in Vietnam

Play segment

Partial Transcript: I want to talk about more about you being draft age and I want to ask about that guy’s militant activism

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio talks about the religious aspects of why people were against the war, like the Buddhists having their national and religious reasons. Meanwhile, the Catholics weren't taken as seriously as they should have been during these times. He also mentions activism going on within North and South Carolina, and how it had an effect on the student organizations on college campuses. He mentions that a lot of racists actions towards Black people had taken place, such as dormitories being sprayed down with machine guns.

Keywords: Anti-war movements; Religious activism; Student organizations; Activism

Subjects: Black people; Buddhists; Catholics; Christianity; Draft; Racism; South Carolina; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; North Carolina

01:04:10 - Nuclear non-proliferation, civil rights and antiwar movements

Play segment

Partial Transcript: You mentioned nonproliferation, nuclear nonproliferation, civil rights, and obviously--

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio recalls when he personally experienced different movements happening within the United States at the time. He says that from dress codes, to work environments, to military activity, many people were forming unions to fight for their rights and against mistreatment.

Keywords: Civil Rights Movement; Dress codes; Nuclear non-proliferation; Unions; Anti-communism

Subjects: North Carolina; Nuclear warfare; United States; Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; South Carolina

01:22:59 - East coast and West coast organizations / Chinese communism

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Was the organizing on the West Coast different than the organizing on the East Coast?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio discusses the union systems on the East and West coasts, and how they were trying to negate one another. He says that the West coast wanted to use their unions to counteract what the East coast unions were standing for. He also mentions many events that had taken place around the world relating to the issues of both unions as well as communism, mainly in locations like New York, China, and England.

Keywords: Unions; West Coast; East Coast

Subjects: China; Communism; Communists

01:46:56 - Discontent and activism of the Vietnam War

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Which came first, like, discontent of the war or the activism based on the discontent?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio talks about the struggles that men faced during wartime. He compares the numbers of men from World War II to the Vietnam War and spoke about how millions of men in this time period were transitioned from high school to a military based to be trained to fight.

Keywords: Discontent; WW2; WWII; World War 2; World War Two; Activism

Subjects: Vietnam; World War II; Vietnam War, 1961-1975

02:00:14 - "Urban Legends" within activism

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Are there any urban legends you can think during your time in activism?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio brings up many important figures during the times of his activism and mentions that they all have been inked out of history, so no one to really know about them. An example he makes is mentioning David Dillenger and the Bargain Brothers, and how they were responsible for the great marches during the anti-war movement.

Keywords: Activism; Activists; Anti-war movements; David Dillenger; Urban legends; Bargain Brothers

Subjects: Peace movements

02:10:28 - Conclusion

Play segment

Partial Transcript: What do you want people to know about the Vietnam War?

Segment Synopsis: Carluccio mentions that the Vietnam War was a war crime and could've been avoided with different and better strategies and policies. He says that many people senselessly died during the war from it being dragged out for another five to six years. He feels as though there were a lot of negative consequences to come out of the Vietnam War.

Keywords: America; War

Subjects: Vietnam; Vietnam War, 1961-1975; War crimes; United States