At the turn of the 20th century, the phonograph and the radio exposed the mountain people to new influences, and took mountain music across America. Stars like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family began making records. And it was a radio program at WSM in Nashville, Tennessee, that gave birth to the Grand Ole Opry. But times were hard, and Appalachia fell into an economic depression even before the rest of the country. President Roosevelt's New Deal was a great boon to the region. The TVA brought electricity into the mountain hollers; the WPA and the CCC offered jobs and built infrastructure. Roosevelt was a hero in Appalachia, and many wondered how they would have survived without the New Deal. World War II took many young people from the mountains. After the war, underground mines were mechanized, and miners were laid off. Throughout the 1950's, people flocked to the big cities in search of work. For those who tried to stay home, it became harder to hold on to their land. State and federal governments claimed property for dams; family farmsteads were flooded, and more people moved away. It was one of the largest internal migrations in American history, and left many Appalachian people displaced in an urban world. The War on Poverty in the 1960's again sent federal aid into Appalachia. But television and magazines showed painful images of hunger and poverty, reinforcing the stereotype of the poor hillbilly. The nation still has a need for coal, and methods have been found to produce it more cheaply and efficiently. In the 1950's, it was strip-mining, and for the past thirty years it has been a process that opponents call "mountain-top removal."
 

More...



Comments

Share your thoughts, questions, and comments on "Appalachians" here.
 

Vermont PBS educates, informs, entertains and inspires Vermonters to be lifelong learners and engaged in their community.

Winners of the Vermont PBS Kids Writers Contest!

Check out the winners of our 2016 Kids Writers Contest, which engages preschool- and elementary-aged children in telling written stories!

Kids & Family

Join our Vermont PBS Families Club!

PBS Kids - many videos and games for children!

Educator Resources - for teachers and parents.

PBS Parents - your child's first, best teacher.

Vermont PBS PLUS!

Learn about our second HD broadcast service offering alternative programming and more content from local and regional producers.

Check out our Vermont PBS Wish List

The Wish List is where we display things our station needs. If you enjoy tangible giving, you might consider funding an item – individually or with a group. Click for more info 

Sign up for the Vermont PBS Weekly

Our weekly email newsletter highlighting upcoming shows and important station news. Sign up today!

Upcoming and featured!


People talk about Vermont PBS!

Vermont PBS

204 Ethan Allen Avenue
Colchester, VT 05446
(802) 655-4800
© 2016 Vermont PBS
All Rights Reserved

Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn