Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM)

Bill Dow in Smithville ,Tenn., 1970

Bill Dow

Bill Dow co-founded the Student Health Coalition while in medical school at Vanderbilt University, in 1969. His larger-than-life role in the SHC origin story and beyond warrants special telling, which we attempt in the essay that follows. Contributed by Margaret Ecker, compiled in collaboration with friends  Bill Dow energized a generation of student activists and …

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Charles “Boomer” Winfrey

After studying geology at the University of Tennessee and working as a geologist for one year, Boomer took a job as a community organizer with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM). As he later described his role: “They needed somebody with geological training to go out and sample water and review mining plans and things and …

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Kate Bradley

Emma Ruth “Kate” Hobbs Bradley was born 13 October 1932 in Petros, Tenn., a small Appalachian coalfield community in the Cumberland Mountains. Kate was the sixth of seven surviving children in her family. Her father was a coalminer. Kate married Jacob “J.W.” Bradley in 1951. They were married for 67 years, until Kate’s death on …

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Pat Kalmans

Pat, while never officially part of the student workforce in SHC, was a major player in the early work of SOCM and ETRC.  She primarily worked on setting up and finding resources, including funding, for the Mountain People’s Health Clinics (MPHC). She graduated Vanderbilt in 1973 and eventually went to law school at Georgetown University …

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Betty Anderson

Betty Anderson was born in Scott County, Tenn. on March 26, 1936. In the 1970s, she became involved with Save Our Cumberland Mountains (SOCM), a social justice organization that addressed strip-mining and other community issues in Tennessee and Kentucky. She became a leader in the organization and eventually served as its president. Related Content:

Interview with Suzanne Kurth by Joey Fink, May 11 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Suzanne Kurth is a professor of sociology at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Dr. Kurth was interviewed about her experiences as a professor and feminist at the University since the 1970s. Topics discussed in this interview include: gendered differences in treatment of faculty members in the 1970s; the women’s movement in Knoxville, Tenn. and …

Interview with Suzanne Kurth by Joey Fink, May 11 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »

Interview with June Rostan by Jessie Wilkerson, July 6 2009, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

June Rostan is a long time community and labor activist in east Tennessee. She was born on May 8, 1947, in Valdese, North Carolina. Rostan received her B.A. from Maryville College in 1969 and her M.A. in Special Education from Appalachian State University in 1970. In the early 1970s Rostan went to Italy with the …

Interview with June Rostan by Jessie Wilkerson, July 6 2009, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »

Interview with Mary Herr by Jessie Wilkerson, May 19 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Mary Herr was born in Springfield, Ill. in 1940. In 1978 she moved to Cherokee, N.C. where she has worked on many community development projects, primarily in legal aid services. Herr begins the interview by discussing her family history; a history of suicide on her mother’s side of the family; memories of growing up on …

Interview with Mary Herr by Jessie Wilkerson, May 19 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill Read More »