Harry M. Caudill
|Born||Harry Monroe Caudill|
May 3, 1922
Whitesburg, Kentucky, USA
|Died||November 29, 1990 68) (aged|
Whitesburg, Kentucky, USA
|Occupation||Author, historian, lawyer, legislator, and environmentalist|
|Notable works||Night Comes to the Cumberlands|
|Spouse||Anne Robertson (Frye) Caudill (1946–2016)|
Harry M. Caudill (May 3, 1922 – November 29, 1990) was an American author, historian, lawyer, legislator, and environmentalist from Letcher County, in the coalfields of southeastern Kentucky.
Americans are nationals and citizens of the United States of America. Although nationals and citizens make up the majority of Americans, some dual citizens, expatriates, and permanent residents may also claim American nationality. The United States is home to people of many different ethnic origins. As a result, American culture and law does not equate nationality with race or ethnicity, but with citizenship and permanent allegiance.
Letcher County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 24,519. Its county seat is Whitesburg. The county, founded in 1842, is named for Robert P. Letcher, Governor of Kentucky from 1840 to 1844.
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Although styled as the "State of Kentucky" in the law creating it,, Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth. Originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky split from it and became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States.
Caudill served in World War II as a private in the U.S. Army and was elected three times as to the Kentucky State House of Representatives. He taught in the History Department at the University of Kentucky from 1976 to 1984.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
The Kentucky House of Representatives is the lower house of the Kentucky General Assembly. It is composed of 100 Representatives elected from single-member districts throughout the Commonwealth. Not more than two counties can be joined to form a House district, except when necessary to preserve the principle of equal representation. Representatives are elected to two-year terms with no term limits. The Kentucky House of Representatives convenes at the State Capitol in Frankfort.
The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public co-educational university in Lexington, Kentucky. Founded in 1865 by John Bryan Bowman as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Kentucky, the university is one of the state's two land-grant universities, the largest college or university in the state, with 30,720 students as of Fall 2015, and the highest ranked research university in the state according to U.S. News and World Report.
A common theme explored in many of Caudill's writings is the historic underdevelopment of the Appalachian region (particularly his own home area of southeastern Kentucky). In several of his books (most prominently Night Comes to the Cumberlands , 1962) and many of his published articles, he probes the historical poverty of the region, which he attributes in large part to the rapacious policies of the coal mining industries active in the region, as well as their backers: bankers of the northeastern United States. He notes that such interests most often had their headquarters not in Appalachia but in the Northeast or Midwest, and thus failed to properly reinvest their sizable profits in the Appalachian region. Following publication of Night Comes to the Cumberlands, President John F. Kennedy appointed a commission to investigate conditions in the region and subsequently more than $15 billion in aid was invested in the region over twenty-five years.
Appalachia is a cultural region in the Eastern United States that stretches from the Southern Tier of New York to northern Alabama and Georgia. While the Appalachian Mountains stretch from Belle Isle in Canada to Cheaha Mountain in Alabama, the cultural region of Appalachia typically refers only to the central and southern portions of the range, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, southwesterly to the Great Smoky Mountains. As of the 2010 United States Census, the region was home to approximately 25 million people.
Night Comes to the Cumberlands (1963) is a book by Harry Caudill that brought attention to poverty in Appalachia and is credited with making the Appalachian area a focus of the United States government's "War on Poverty". In Poverty in the United States: an encyclopedia of history, politics, and policy, the book is described as a "definitive text on poverty in Appalachia among journalists, academics, and government bureaucrats concerned with economic inequality in America."
Coal mining is the process of extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content and since the 1880s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United Kingdom and South Africa, a coal mine and its structures are a colliery, a coal mine - a pit, and the above-ground structures - a pit head. In Australia, "colliery" generally refers to an underground coal mine. In the United States, "colliery" has been used to describe a coal mine operation but nowadays the word is not commonly used.
In his later years he became an active opponent of the rapidly growing practice of strip mining as practiced by companies working in Appalachia, which he believed was causing irreparable harm to the land and its people. He published articles in many magazines in addition to speaking out about the subject. Caudill pointed out that strip mining could be done responsibly as in England, Germany, and Czechoslovakia where topsoil, subsoil, and rocks are removed separately and placed back in layers in their original order.
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.
Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.
Czechoslovakia, or Czecho-Slovakia, was a sovereign state in Central Europe that existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until its peaceful dissolution into the Czech Republic and Slovakia on 1 January 1993.
Caudill became interested in the work of William Shockley, a scientist with controversial eugenicist stances at Stanford University in California. Caudill came to believe in Shockley's theory of "dysgenics," the argument that unintelligent people weaken the genes of a "race" over time. He felt that "genetic decline" in Eastern Kentucky contributed to issues of poverty. "The slobs continue to multiply," Caudill wrote in a 1975 letter to Time magazine. The editors of Time rejected Caudill's letter.
He also produced several volumes of folklore and oral history, which he collected himself from residents of the area centering on Letcher County and Harlan County, Kentucky. One of those oral history interviews in 1941 of a man who would have been about 90 years old, was the basis for the 1995 movie, Pharaoh's Army , starring Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, and Kris Kristofferson.
Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material culture, ranging from traditional building styles to handmade toys common to the group. Folklore also includes customary lore, the forms and rituals of celebrations such as Christmas and weddings, folk dances and initiation rites. Each one of these, either singly or in combination, is considered a folklore artifact. Just as essential as the form, folklore also encompasses the transmission of these artifacts from one region to another or from one generation to the next. Folklore is not something one can typically gain in a formal school curriculum or study in the fine arts. Instead, these traditions are passed along informally from one individual to another either through verbal instruction or demonstration. The academic study of folklore is called folklore studies, and it can be explored at undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. levels.
Oral history is the collection and study of historical information about individuals, families, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned interviews. These interviews are conducted with people who participated in or observed past events and whose memories and perceptions of these are to be preserved as an aural record for future generations. Oral history strives to obtain information from different perspectives and most of these cannot be found in written sources. Oral history also refers to information gathered in this manner and to a written work based on such data, often preserved in archives and large libraries. Knowledge presented by Oral History (OH) is unique in that it shares the tacit perspective, thoughts, opinions and understanding of the interviewee in its primary form.
Harlan County is a county located in southeastern Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 29,278. Its county seat is Harlan.
Caudill killed himself with a gunshot to the head in 1990, faced with an advancing case of Parkinson's disease.He is buried in Battle Grove Cemetery, Cynthiana, Kentucky.
The Harry M. Caudill Library located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, the main library of the Letcher County Public Library District, is named for Caudill.
"And we just can't afford to sit back and watch all that (land) be destroyed so a few people can get rich now. One of these days the dear old federal government is going to have to come in and spend billions of dollars just to repair the damage that's already been done. And guess who will have the machines and the workmen to do the job? The same coal operators who made the mess in the first place will be hired to fix it back, and the taxpayers will bear the cost."
Knott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 16,346. Its county seat is Hindman. The county was formed in 1884 and is named for James Proctor Knott, Governor of Kentucky (1883–1887). It is a prohibition or dry county. Its county seat is home to the Hindman Settlement School, founded as America's first settlement school.
Cumberland is a home rule-class city in Harlan County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population according to the 2010 Census was 2,237, down from 2,611 at the 2000 census.
Whitesburg is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Letcher County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,139 at the 2010 census. It was named for C. White, a state politician.
The Kentucky River is a tributary of the Ohio River, 260 miles (418 km) long, in the U.S. Commonwealth of Kentucky. The river and its tributaries drain much of the central region of the state, with its upper course passing through the coal-mining regions of the Cumberland Mountains, and its lower course passing through the Bluegrass region in the north central part of the state. Its watershed encompasses about 7,000 square miles (18,000 km2). It supplies drinking water to about one-sixth of the population of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a United States federal-state partnership that works with the people of Appalachia to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life. Congress established A.R.C. to bring the region into socioeconomic parity with the rest of the nation.
Appalshop is a media, arts, and education center located in Whitesburg, Kentucky, in the heart of the southern Appalachian region of the United States.
The David School is a non-denominational private high school for underprivileged and struggling students in David, Kentucky, a rural village in the Appalachian Mountains in the United States.
Gurney Norman is an American writer, documentarian, and professor.
Kentucky Route 15 begins at a junction of US 119/Corridor F & Business KY 15 in Whitesburg, and terminates in Winchester at US 60. It is a major route, connecting the coalfields of the Cumberland Plateau with Lexington and other cities in the Bluegrass region. The segment from Whitesburg to KY 15 at Campton, which in turn connects to the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway near the town, is also the primary part of Corridor I of the Appalachian Development Highway System.
Appalachian Volunteers (AV) was a non-profit organization engaged in community development projects in central Appalachia that evolved into a controversial community organizing network, with a reputation that went "from self-help to sedition" as its staff developed from "reformers to radicals," in the words of one historian, in the brief period between 1964 and 1970 during the War on Poverty.
David Walls is an activist and academic who has made significant contributions to Appalachian studies and to the popular understanding of social movements. He is professor emeritus of sociology at Sonoma State University (SSU) in California, where he was dean of extended education from 1984 to 2000.
Tom Gish was an American newspaper reporter and editor, best known for his work as the owner and co-editor of The Mountain Eagle weekly newspaper alongside his wife, Pat Gish, in Whitesburg, the county seat of Letcher County, Kentucky, where his paper was the first in the eastern part of the state to challenge the damage caused to the environment resulting from strip mining.
Rebecca Caudill Ayars was an American author of children's literature with more than twenty books published. Her Tree of Freedom was a Newbery Honor Book in 1950. A Pocketful of Cricket, illustrated by Evaline Ness, was a Caldecott Honor Book.
Kristin Lisa Johannsen, was an American author and educator.
Cromona is a small unincorporated community located in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky in Letcher County, Kentucky, United States. The Cromona post office has operated since 1916. Cromona is actually known as Haymond by the local residents. However, for reasons that are obscure, the post office was given a different name, Cromona. It was built as a coal town in 1916, and was named for the president of the Elk Horn Coal Corporation, Thomas S. Haymond. The population of Haymond was 502 as of the 2010 census.
Samuel T. Wright III is an Associate Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court. He was elected to the Supreme Court in November 2015.
Pat Gish was an American journalist, publisher and co-editor of the Whitesburg, Kentucky newspaper The Mountain Eagle, along with her husband, Tom Gish. The Gishes led The Mountain Eagle in covering controversial topics such as the effects of strip mining on the Appalachian environment and political corruption. Under the Gishes' guidance, The Mountain Eagle became a prominent rural newspaper, and the pair won many awards for their journalism. Gish also founded the Eastern Kentucky Housing Development Corporation and worked to improve living conditions in Eastern Kentucky.