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Project Description & History · John Malpede · Reconsidering the War on Poverty · About RFK's 1968 Tour ·
"Be it Remembered" - Pages from the original transcripts · Announcement Press Conference
February 13, 2004
Whitesburg Courthouse Steps. RFK's trip through eastern Kentucky commenced February 13, 1968. He spoke on the Letcher County Courhouse steps on the morning of Feb 14. Our Feb 13, 2004 press conference announced the recreation of RFK's tour which will take place September 8 through 11, 2004. When the weather should be much better.
Fleming Neon High School student John Childers arrived in Wade Boggs vintage 1968 car, that was escorted into town by the Whitesburg Police, and delivered a reconstructed version of RFK's impromptu remarks.
Hearing me, from Boston, you must think I talk funny.
I want to thank the County Judge, the Mayor and everyone else for showing me Letcher County, and especially Carl Perkins for making good on his promise to show me , "the best people in the world."
The people of eastern Kentucky want to know how they can bring industry to the area? They want to know what can be done to encourage their people? What can be done to end welfare in the region, and replace it with jobs? And I agree with them, welfare is no answer. Jobs is the answer. And it's here that education is so important. It makes a major difference what kind of educational system exists, industry goes where the brain power is.
There are great possibilities in eastern Kentucky. But there have to be people who are going to fight for eastern Kentucky. The ones that are really going to make the difference are you--the ones that are commited to get an education, the ones with the spirit, courage and commitment to stay in the mount ains and serve. You can make a difference. One person fighting for his people, his cause, can make a difference. Representative Perkins is an example of that. And his work on behalf of education in the mountains has benefited people in community colleges nationwide. And that's what you can do to make a contribution to the future of eastern Kentucky.
I want to thank you for being here and for your enthusiasm. Maybe it's because I got you out of school today. Don't forget that when you're old enough to vote.
Speaking at the press conference to welcome the project into the community included Letcher count Judge-Executive Carroll Smith, Whitesburg Mayor Nathan Baker, Letcher County Sherriff Danny Webb, retired Sherriff Maynard Hogg, Letcher County Superintendent of Schools Anna Laura Craft.
Speaking to more than a hundred students in the crowd, Superintendent Craft , told the students that they can make a difference. She suggested they look at the history of 1968. It was a time, she said, when students and young people made an enormous difference in the direction of the country and in the direction of foreign policy.
Appalshop Director Gregg Howard and RFK in EKY Artisitc Director John Malpede and Project Coordinator Nell Fields invited eastern Kentuckians of all ages to take part in the project.
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