Tag Archives: appalachia history

Blue Moon of Kentucky, keep on shining

Well, it’s almost a new year, and depending on your definition, there will either be two blue moons in it, or none. Using the Farmers’ Almanac definition of blue moon (meaning the third full moon in a season of four full moons), the next blue moon won’t occur till May 18, 2019. But if you consider […]

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The Overalls Club Movement of 1920

“The revolt against the high cost of living, expressed in the nation-wide formation of old-clothes leagues, overalls clubs, and lunchbasket clubs, is highly significant in that it is the first indication of protest to come from a class which has been a silent and patient sufferer during all the clashes that have taken place between […]

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John Henry was hammering

“John Henry was hammering on the right side, The big steam drill on the left, Before that steam drill could beat him down, He hammered his fool self to death.” —stanza 7 from one of the earliest written copies of the John Henry ballad, prepared by a W. T. Blankenship and published about 1900. He’s […]

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"Their bodies were covered with the wreckage of logs"

The 1912 Barranshe Run mishap was one of the more dramatic log train wrecks in West Virginia history. As the Nicholas County story became legendary, Cherry River Boom and Lumber Company‘s runaway train gained additional notoriety as the subject of a local blind poet, who supported himself by selling copies of his works for a nickel on […]

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Hard work, fresh air, and plenty of food

Shortly after taking office in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt announced plans for creation of a “conservation army.” FDR at first saw the Civilian Conservation Corps primarily as a forestry organization — fighting fires, planting trees, thinning timber stands, stopping soil erosion and floods — but the field personnel of the State and Federal agencies involved […]

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