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Oral History Interview with Louise Cole, March 16, 1995. Interview G-0157. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Louise Cole was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1945. Cole's childhood was shaped by the family leadership of her mother, whose strong moral convictions were especially influential. She converted to Mormonism at the age of seventeen and subsequently attended Brigham Young University in Utah during the mid-1960s. Cole majored in microbiology and biochemistry and worked for the Department of Defense after graduating in 1967. Cole married while still in college and moved to Frankfurt, West Germany, with her husband in 1972 to work as a chemist in a crime lab. They eventually settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1977 when her husband decided to get his master's degree, followed by his doctorate, in public health. Cole and her husband had six children. They became involved in the Mormon Church in Orange County in the 1970s. Cole balanced family with work, taking a job first as a medical technician and later as a microbiologist-immunologist with the Environmental Protection Agency. In the late 1980s, Cole became actively involved in issues of the school board over curriculum that dealt with homosexuality (via multiculturalism) and sex education. In 1993, she helped to form an organization called Putting Children First—a group dedicated to combating the school board about fiscal issues and school curriculum that they believed were inappropriate for minors. At the time of the interview in 1995, she was preparing to run for the school board.
    Excerpts
  • Growing up with a strong female role model
  • Attending Brigham Young University during the activism-driven 1960s
  • Expectations for men and women in the Mormon Church and its growth in the Southeast
  • Sharing household chores and childcare responsibilities
  • A woman explains her opposition to curriculum on multiculturalism and sex education in southern schools
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  • The Southern Oral History Program transcripts presented here on Documenting the American South undergo an editorial process to remove transcription errors. Texts may differ from the original transcripts held by the Southern Historical Collection.

    Funding from the Institute for Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this title.