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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, October 16, 1975. Interview G-0023-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Durr's first exposure to the violence of southern paternalism

When Durr began attending the La Follette Civil Liberties Committee's hearings, she faced the ugliness and violence of southern industrialism for the first time.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, October 16, 1975. Interview G-0023-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

Well then the Lafollette committee began to investigate the violations of the Wagner Act. Bob Lafollette was from Wisconsin, the son of the old Bob Lafollette and he was a friend of Sister's and Hugo's and I had met him several times there at dinner, and I thought he was an awful nice fellow-had an awfully nice wife. So I got absolutely absorbed in the Lafollette committee. I would go up every morning and stay there all day long, because they were investigating the violations of the Wagner Act, and Harlan County and the Steel workers and the automobile workers. This book of Jeremy Brecker's has some of it in it. But there was terrible violence and fires and Pinkertons and detectives and arsenols. All of this was new to me, you know. I had seen the poverty in Alabama, but never the violence. I had never seen, and I was just terribly shocked at this. And then when they got to the Tennessee, Coal, Iron and Railroad Company in Birmingham, Alabama, then I really was just shocked out of my mind.