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Oral History Interview with Juanita Kreps, January 17, 1986. Interview C-0011. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007).
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  • Abstract
    Juanita Kreps grew up in coal-mining Harlan County, Kentucky, but eventually made her way to Durham, North Carolina, where she earned a Ph.D. in economics, and Washington, D.C., where she served as Secretary of Commerce in the Carter administration. In this interview, Kreps remembers a career, as she puts it, "of proposing things before people are ready to accept them." Such things included the notion that women should seek out satisfying careers, a proposal to extend the age of eligibility for Social Security, and that day care should be provided for working women. Kreps herself, a female academic during World War II and already a professional success as women began to push for economic equality, was ahead of her time. This interview provides a brief biography of a woman who made a strong case for women's rights before the women's movement gained momentum.
  • Vivid memories of violent mining strikes
  • Black and white men and women mingle at Berea College
  • Being a woman kept Kreps out of WWII
  • Encouraging women to find satisfaction as professionals, not just as mothers
  • Kreps avers that she embraces the label "feminist"
  • Ideas before their time and national day care for working women
  • Slow problem-solving in government
  • Learn More
  • Finding aid to the Southern Oral History Program Collection
  • Database of all Southern Oral History Program Collection interviews
  • Resources for Educators
  • Southern Women Trailblazers Learning Object
  • Subjects
  • University administrators--North Carolina
  • Women economists--North Carolina
  • Women in politics--North Carolina
  • 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.