At age 87 she’s doing well in the first grade

Posted by | May 1, 2007

“Aunt Betty Arnett lived 87 years of her life unable to read or write; she lives far back at the headwaters of Licking River in Magoffin County, KY. She is now doing well in the first grade in literacy classes offered in the mountains.”

Photo caption by George Goodman
1939 photo describes ‘The Education Project,’ a WPA sponsored literacy program.

In 1900, George H. Goodman (1876-1961) founded a mail order whiskey business which he continued until the enactment of the 1919 Volstead Act. In 1922 he bought the Paducah News-Democrat which he operated until 1929 when he sold it to Edwin J. Paxton (1877-1961.) From 1934 through 1941 Goodman was director of the Works Progress Administration in Kentucky. During his tenure he traversed the state, camera in hand, seeking to depict the accomplishments of the WPA within the state.

Below right, the WPA State Headquarters on 4th Floor, Gibbs-Inman Building at 9th and Broadway in Louisville, KY.

WPA appalachian+history appalachian+culture history+of+appalachia appalachia

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