We post a new episode of Appalachian History weekly podcast every Sunday. Check us out on the Stitcher network, available on mobile phones, in-car dashboards and tablets worldwide. Just click below to start listening:
We open today’s show with the story of West Virginian Joseph Hubert Diss Debar. By 1864 he’d been appointed WV commissioner of immigration, served as Doddridge County’s first representative to the newly created West Virginia Legislature, and designed the new state seal and coat-of-arms. But all these successes were still far in the future in 1842, the year Diss Debar crossed paths with Charles Dickens for the first and only time.
We’ll pause in between things to catch up on a Calendar of Events in the region this week, with special attention paid to events that emphasize heritage and local color.
When the U.S. Army came to what is now Oak Ridge, TN in 1942 with the Manhattan Project, one thousand families on 56,000 plus acres had to be moved. Half of those acres were in Roane County, the area where K-25 and X-10 are now. In this segment we hear the reaction of Dorathy Moneymaker, one of many whose families had to leave from the Wheat community in Roane County in early 1943.
Ramps are the first green thing of spring in Appalachia, and certainly the smelliest. Mountain folks have traditionally looked forward to the return of the ramp after a winter of eating mostly dried foods, often believing the ramp to possess the revitalizing power of a spring tonic.
John Holt (1870-1918), was a coal miner in Murray City, OH, kept a journal of his daily life. Let’s listen in and hear what he was thinking about in April of 1907.
We’ll wrap things up with a look at Overalls Clubs, a social protest movement that arose in 1920 against the high cost of clothing. Men who joined these clubs pledged to wear overalls, and women to wear gingham, until prices became less prohibitive. They formed overalls clubs, held parades, threw parties, went to church, and even got married in overalls.
And, thanks to the good folks at the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music by Jewel Middleton in a 1982 recording of Lost John.
So, call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian History.