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Alphabetical List of Oral History Interview Topics


Browse Collection by Theme

  Piedmont Industrialization
    BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE
      Economic Leaders and Leadership

Results (most relevant first)

Oral History Interview with Edward L. Gruber, November 11, 1985. Interview C-0136. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Edward Gruber ran Spring City Mills, his family's Pennsylvania-based underwear manufacturing company, for several decades beginning in the 1930s. He explains the expansion of the company; its relationship with department store chains; his efforts to maximize profits by producing a superior, yet affordable, product; and his personal and working relationship with North Carolina Senator and textiles businessman B. Everett Jordan.

Oral History Interview with Stan Gryskiewicz, January 15, 1999. Interview S-0017. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Stan Gryskiewicz worked as a psychologist for the Center for Creative Leadership beginning with its inception in 1970. In this interview (the second of two), Gryskiewicz describes the Center's development in creativity leadership programs and marketing, its evolution and gradual globalization from the 1970s into the 1990s, and the role of various leaders of the organization.

Oral History Interview with Stan Gryskiewicz, November 5, 1998. Interview S-0016. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Stan Gryskiewicz worked as a psychologist for the Center for Creative Leadership from its inception in 1970. In this interview (the first of two), Gryskiewicz describes his background in psychology, his initial duties with the Center during the 1970s, the Center's 1973 managerial reorganization, his perception of various leaders within the Center, and his research in creative leadership development.

Oral History Interview with Roger Gant, July 17, 1987. Interview C-0127. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Roger Gant explains the professional and personal activities of his father-in-law, Everett Jordan, Democratic United States Senator from North Carolina. Gant discusses how he became involved with Jordan's textile mill and how Jordan structured his business. Jordan's skill at relating to people helped him in business and in politics. Gant focuses on a few of Jordan's political successes, including the way he helped Lyndon Johnson before his presidential bid.

Oral History Interview with George Watts Hill, January 30, 1986. Interview C-0047. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
George Watts Hill was a prominent business leader in the Durham area during the twentieth century. He offers his perspective on the changing nature of business and its impact on the community. In particular, he describes his business endeavors in such areas as banking, insurance, land development, dairy farming, and public service.

Oral History Interview with Dennis Gillings, June 10, 1999. Interview I-0072. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Chairman and CEO of Quintiles Transnational Corporation describes his company's success and his business philosophy.

Oral History Interview with Walt Ulmer, November 20, 1998. Interview S-0034. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Walter F. Ulmer Jr. served as the president for the Center for Creative Leadership, based in Greensboro, North Carolina, from 1985 to 1995. In this interview, Ulmer discusses various changes the Center underwent during his tenure, focusing primarily on the Center's rapid economic and geographic growth.

Oral History Interview with Richard Barentine, January 28, 1999. Interview I-0068. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Richard Barentine, CEO of the International Home Furnishing Marketing Association, describes his leadership style and his contributions to Winston-Salem's furniture industry.

Oral History Interview with Jim Goodnight, July 22, 1999. Interview I-0073. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Jim Goodnight describes the founding and growth of his corporation, SAS.

Oral History Interview with John Medlin, May 24, 1999. Interview I-0076. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
John G. Medlin Jr., CEO of Wachovia, discusses the growth of the Charlotte-based bank.

Oral History Interview with S. Davis (Dave) Phillips, January 27, 1999. Interview I-0084. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
North Carolina business leader and former Commerce Secretary S. Davis (Dave) Phillips discusses his personal successes as a businessman in High Point and his successes as Commerce Secretary under Governor Jim Martin.

Oral History Interview with Tracy L. H. Burnett, November 15, 1994. Interview K-0088. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Tracy L. H. Burnett finds financial success after the closing of the White Furniture Company.

Oral History Interview with Lloyd E. Griffin, August 20, 1982. Interview C-0135. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Lloyd Griffin was a lawyer who was born and raised in Belvedere, North Carolina. Following his service in World War I, Griffin returned to North Carolina and became involved in state politics. He describes his involvement in the North Carolina Citizens Association and his perception of North Carolina politics, focusing specifically on the leadership of B. Everett Jordan.

Oral History Interview with Thomas R. Ellington, October 10, 1983. Interview C-0122. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Thomas Ellington, a longtime employee of the Sellers Manufacturing Company, describes employee interactions in the mill and how the owner, Everett Jordan, treated his employees.

Oral History Interview with Frank Daniels Jr., September 11, 2002. Interview R-0320. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Frank Daniels Jr., publisher of the News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina, shares some tidbits about his experience at the paper and his involvement in hospital administration as the chairman of the board of directors of Rex Hospital in Raleigh.

Oral History Interview with Ivey C. Jones, January 18, 1994. Interview K-0101. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Ivey C. Jones, who spent sixteen years working at the White Furniture Factory in Mebane, North Carolina, describes the effects of the plant's takeover and closing.

Oral History Interview with David R. Hayworth, February 6, 1997. Interview I-0099. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
David R. Hayworth describes the history and business model of his family business, Hayworth Roll and Panel Company.

Oral History Interview with Robert Riley, February 1, 1994. Interview K-0106. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Robert Riley Sr. describes his thirty-one years at the White Furniture plant in Mebane, North Carolina, a tenure that ended with the plant's closing in 1993.

Oral History Interview with Gordon Berkstresser III, April 29, 1986. Interview H-0263. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Gordon Berkstresser III shares the fruits of his study of the textile industry.

Oral History Interview with Charles D. Thompson, October 15, 1990. Interview K-0810. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Charles D. Thompson describes his career as a small farmer in North Carolina. Though he found financial success in farming, he was not able to recapture the feel of the farming community of his youth.

Oral History Interview with Alester G. Furman Jr., January 6, 1976. Interview B-0019. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Alester G. Furman Jr. describes his family's involvement in the founding of Furman University in the early 1800s, his father's role in the establishment of the textile industry in Greenville, South Carolina, and the evolution of the textile industry over the course of the early twentieth century.

Oral History Interview with L. Worth Harris, June 11, 1980. Interview H-0164. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
L. Worth Harris discusses the trucking company he started in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the early 1930s.

Oral History Interview with Lauch Faircloth, July 16, 1999. Interview I-0070. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Successful farmer, businessman, and politician Lauch Faircloth discusses the changes in North Carolina's agricultural economy since World War II.

Oral History Interview with Kojo Nantambu, May 15, 1978. Interview B-0059. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this May 1978 interview, Kojo Nantambu—one of the participants in the 1971 Wilmington, North Carolina, race conflicts—describes what he remembers of the 1971 strife, the inequities present in the trial of the Wilmington Ten, and the aftermath of the discord.

Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Nancy Holt, raised in North Carolina's Cane Creek community and a member of the Cane Creek Conservation Authority, discusses the reaction of the community when UNC and the Orange County Water and Sewer Authority attempted to build a reservoir in Cane Creek.

Oral History Interview with Henry Ell Frye, February 18 and 26, 1992. Interview C-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Henry Frye grew up in a segregated farming community in North Carolina during the 1930s and 1940s before becoming a lawyer. He went on to become the first African American elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and to serve on the state supreme court. In this interview, he describes race relations, his career as a lawyer, and his experiences in politics.

Oral History Interview with Kenneth Iverson, June 11, 1999. Interview I-0083. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Kenneth Iverson, president of Nucor Steel, describes his approach to business, Nucor's success, and the changing profile of the steel industry in the United States.

Oral History Interview with Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson, November 5, 1974. Interview G-0005. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Eleanor Copenhaver Anderson remembers her work with the YWCA industrial department over the course of forty years. She describes the impact liberalism and communism had on organizing textile mill labor unions.

Oral History Interview with William and Josephine Clement, June 19, 1986. Interview C-0031. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
William and Josephine Clement were both born and raised in the South. They describe their family backgrounds and education. Josephine focuses on race relations in Atlanta and her father's radical politics, while William describes his participation with the Masons and his work with North Carolina Mutual.

Oral History Interview with Robert Sidney Smith, January 25, 1999. Interview I-0081. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Robert Sidney Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, discusses the hosiery industry in North Carolina and the United States.

Oral History Interview with Lonnie Poole, March 22, 1999. Interview I-0085. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Private waste management company owner Lonnie Poole discusses the past and present of his incredibly successful endeavor.

Oral History Interview with Mareda Sigmon Cobb and Carrie Sigmon Yelton, June 16 and 18, 1979. Interview H-0115. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Mareda Sigmon Cobb and her sister Carrie Sigmon Yelton both worked long careers in North Carolina textile mills, completing the family journey from farm to factory in the early decades of the twentieth century. Here they describe their family lives both as children and parents, the many implications of the Depression, working conditions in the mills, religion, and other themes central to social and labor history. The economic and material realities of textile employment are explored in detail; each suffered a major injury on the job, neither favored unionization (though their husbands did), and neither received a pension.

Oral History Interview with Nell Putnam Sigmon, December 13, 1979. Interview H-0143. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this 1979 interview, Nell Putnam Sigmon describes her upbringing in a large family, her decision at age eighteen to take a job sewing women's gloves, her work in the mill, and her experiences as wife and mother of two children.

Oral History Interview with Jonathan Worth Daniels, March 9-11, 1977. Interview A-0313. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this interview, Jonathan Daniels discusses his father's role as a newspaper editor and Secretary of the Navy, as well as his father's racial and religious views. Daniels also describes how race and the University of North Carolina shaped his own life.

Oral History Interview with Frank Durham, September 10 and 17, 1979. Interview H-0067. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Frank Durham discusses how his family first came to work in the mills and describes other people they got to know there. He describes the inner workings of the mill, the ways management negotiated labor complaints with the employees, the social structure of the mill village, and the commonalities of mill town life.

Oral History Interview with Zeno Ponder, March 22, 1974. Interview A-0326. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Zeno Ponder is one of the most respected and influential leaders of Madison County, North Carolina. This interview begins with his descriptions of his family's activities in the area and local political traditions. Ponder briefly describes his experiences at local schools, including Mars Hill College. Ponder became involved in local politics through a training program and his brother's campaign for sheriff.

Oral History Interview with Mary Price Adamson, April 19, 1976. Interview G-0001. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Beginning with her family background and early childhood, Adamson traces the dynamics that led her to adopt her radical stance later in life. She also responds to the accusations that she had been a Communist spy and explains how the Red Scare affected her life.

Oral History Interview with Virginia Foster Durr, March 13, 14, 15, 1975. Interview G-0023-2. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
In this fast-paced 1975 interview, Virginia Foster Durr remembers her growing awareness of social problems in the South, and continues sharing her life stories through 1948. Along with her husband Clifford Durr, Virginia recounts their move to Washington, D.C., particularly her disaffection with social society and her transition to political action.

Oral History Interview with David Underdown, October 2, 1998. Interview I-0090. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)

Oral History Interview with Sidney Leneer Pete Underdown, June 18, 2000. Interview I-0091. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)

Oral History Interview with Bobby Wesley Bush, Sr., June 22, 2000. Interview I-0087. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)

Oral History Interview with Bobby Wesley Bush, Sr., June 19, 2000. Interview I-0086. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)