Bryan T. McNeil Oral history collection, 1997.
Creator: McNeil, Bryan T.
Collection number: 20298
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Abstract: Interviews conducted in West Virginia in 1997 by Bryan T. McNeil for his honors essay “In My Time: The Strike of 1949 in the Lives of the Coal Miners of Southern West Virginia” (Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1998). The four interviewees are retired from the coal mining industry: Rufus Bethel is an African-American who worked as a coal miner; Roderick Pickett was a mine foreman; and Louis Vasvary and Fred Iddings are Anglo-American former coal miners.In the interviews, the participants discussed their lives, including their family history, their childhood, their experiences in the mines, and their thoughts on the United Mine Workers of America and on the mining industry in West Virginia. Special emphasis is placed on the period 1949-1950 with the men talking about the lifestyle during that time, their knowledge of negotiations during the 1949 strike, and their opinions relating to that event.
Repository: Southern Folklife Collection
Collection Highlights: Interviews conducted by Bryan T. McNeil for his honors essay “In My Time: The Strike of 1949 in the Lives of the Coal Miners of Southern West Virginia”. The four interviewees are retired from the coal mining industry one of which is Rufus Bethel, an African-American who worked as a coal miner.