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
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
Dolly Parton was born in 1946 in Sevier County, Tennessee. She was from a family of twelve children.
She reportedly began to make up songs before she could read or write and has since authored more than 300 songs, many …Read More
William Faulkner was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, one of four sons. His great grandfather was a Civil War Colonel and best selling author.
He moved with his parents as a child to Oxford, Mississippi, a town that …Read More
Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager was born in Myra, West Virginia in 1923, the second of four children. He completed high school but did not attend college. His father was a gas driller.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps at …Read More
Charles Bronson was born in 1921 as Charles Buchinsky in Ehrenfeld, Pennsylvania.
He was one of 15 children in a Lithuanian coal mining family and, though he completed high school, worked in the mines himself before serving as a tail …Read More
Loretta Lynn was born in 1935 in Butcher Hollow, Kentucky.
She is a coal miner’s daughter and the second of eight children. She married at 13 and had four children by 17. She had a total of six children and …Read More
George Mortimer Pullman was born in Brockton, New York in 1831.
He was originally trained as a cabinet maker but is famous for inventing the Pullman Railway car. This was used to transport Lincoln’s body across the country.
He owned …Read More