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 guest author and actress Barbara Bates Smith, who discusses her long running one-woman show ‘Ivy Rowe’. “You must be crazy—A one-woman play from Fair and Tender Ladies?” author Lee Smith remembers chiding her. “This novel is all letters; it’s about writing!” Later she admitted, “I would’ve said flatly no, if you hadn’t been so feisty. But I thought to myself, ‘This woman is just like Ivy Rowe,’ and so I said yes.”
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.
Princess Talladega, the beautiful daughter of the Creek Indian Chief ChoccoLocco, made the mistake of falling in love with the wrong man, E. Grace Jemison tells us in her 1959 book Historic Tales of Talladega. ChoccoLocco wanted her to marry Cheaha, an ugly old chief from an adjoining province, who was wealthy and powerful. But her heart was with Coosa, a handsome young brave who had no standing. Just as it looks as though the young couple may find a way to have a life together, Cheaha hatches a treacherous plan.
On June 29, 1899, the boxing match that led to a ban of prize fighting in West Virginia got underway at Fries Park in Parkersburg, WV. The match between local boxer George ‘Kid’ Wanko and Felix Carr of St. Albans was falsely represented to officials as a boxing contest and not a prize fight.
In the tragedy of the Galveston hurricane of 1900 — the most fatal natural disaster in U. S. history — more than 6,000 souls perished. Yet that number would have nearly doubled had it not been for the efforts of Dr. Isaac Monroe Cline. Cline, born in 1861 near Madisonville, TN, was the weather-forecasting pioneer who went on to become the world’s foremost authority on hurricanes.
We’ll wrap things up with a look at the career of aviation giant John Paul Riddle (1901-1989), who learned to fly as a barnstormer. They were the most exciting daredevils of their day. Stunt pilots and aerialists–or barnstormers–performed almost any trick or feat with an airplane that people could imagine. During the 1920s, barnstorming became one of the most popular forms of entertainment. It was the first major form of civil aviation in the history of flight.
And thanks to the good folks at the Berea College Southern Appalachian Archives, we’ll be able to enjoy some authentic Appalachian music from Walter Miller in a 1993 recording of Mary of the Wild Moor.
So call your old Plott hound up on the porch, fire up your corncob pipe, and settle in for a dose of Appalachian history.