In honor of Black History Month, the CVA is showcasing some of the region’s most important and influential African-American citizens. In this installment, we take a look at Affrilachian poet Nikky Finney.Read More
Category Archives: People
Ralph Stanley was born in 1927 in the Clinch Mountains of Virginia. He learned to play the banjo as a child and, with his older brother, Carter, formed the Stanley Brothers Band in 1947.
They achieved success through radio airplay,…Read More
George C. Marshall was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania in 1880.
His parents were both from the Maysville Kentucky area. His mother’s family were Union supporters during the Civil War but his father was a Confederate POW. His father was a…Read More
Charles Hard Townes was born in Greenville, South Carolina in 1915.
He attended Furman University and graduated with honors at the age of 19. He completed a Master’s degree at Duke and a Ph. D. in 1939 at Caltech. He…Read More
Helen Keller was born at Tuscumbia, Alabama in 1880. She became both blind and deaf due to an illness at the age of nineteen months.
She was taken at the age of six to see Alexander Graham Bell. At this…Read More
Dinah Shore was born Frances Rose Shore in Winchester, Tennessee.
She had polio as a baby but recovered to become a cheerleader in high school. She earned a bachelors degree in sociology from Vanderbilt University before launching her career in…Read More
“Cordell Hull was born in 1871 in Pickett County Tennessee one of five boys. His father was a farmer. He attended a one room school and later schools in Kentucky and Southern Ohio, eventually earning a law degree and returning…Read More
Louisa May Alcott is known as the author of Little Women and is not usually associated with the Appalachian Region. She was born in 1832 in Germantown Pennsylvania, the second of four daughters.
Her childhood was extremely poor but apparently…Read More
Sequoyah was born in 1776 near what is now Monroe County, Tennessee. His mother was Cherokee and his father was Nathaniel Gist of Virginia. He is thought to have been lame.
He served with the U.S. Army in the Battle…Read More
Bessie Smith, known as the “Empress of the Blues” was born in Chattanooga sometime between 1894-1900.
She was discovered by Ma Rainey and became a hit on the vaudeville circuit. Her first recording ” Downhearted Blues” was released in 1924…Read More
George C. Scott was born in Wise, Virginia in 1927.
His mother died when he was 8 years old. In 1945 he joined the Marines and served for four years. After his service he attended University of Missouri Journalism School…Read More
“William C. Westmoreland was born in Spartanburg South Carolina in 1914. His father was a successful textile manufacturer. He attended West Point and graduated in 1936. He served in WWII first as an artillery commander then as a staff officer.…Read More
Pearl Buck was born in 1892, the fourth of seven children, in Hillsboro, West Virginia to Southern Presbyterian Missionaries who were home on furlough.
At three months, she was taken to China by her parents. She grew up speaking both…Read More
Rosa Parks was born in Tuskegee, Alabama in 1913. Her father was a carpenter and her mother was a teacher. She grew up on her grandparents’ farm near Montgomery and attended the Montgomery Industrial School for Girls.
She attended the…Read More
Tammy Wynnette, country music’s “Heroine of Heartbreak” was born in 1942 in Itawamba County, Mississippi. Her real name was Virginia Wynette Pugh.
She recorded a string of hits and received two Emmy awards, plus many other honors including a place…Read More