Interview with Joseph A. Scopa, July 24, 1986

Project: Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Joseph Scopa, an Italian immigrant who came to the United States in 1938, talks extensively about his experiences as a coal miner in Lynch, Kentucky, and his fight against injustice in eastern Kentucky. He discusses his involvement in establishing the U.M.W.A. as the bargaining agent for coal miners in District 19. Scopa relates his efforts to democratize the U.M.W.A. itself, including his support for Joseph Yablonski and then Arnold Miller for president of the union. He persuaded Miller to make a personal appearance at Evarts, Kentucky, in District 19, despite Miller's trepidation because of the violence perpetrated against members of the Miners for Democracy. Scopa discusses the threats made against him and his wife by supporters of Tony Boyle, illegal kickbacks of union funds by Boyle supporters, and illegal tactics used by Albert Pass, then president of District 19.

Scopa also talks about his fight against a coal company operating near his home in Totz. After several years of litigation, he and other residents forced the coal operator to move his beltlines across the river, thereby eliminating the dirt and dust generated by the coal company's operation. Scopa discusses his involvement in establishing a Community Action Group to clean up Totz, and discrimination against immigrants in Lynch.

Interview Accession

1986oh263_app074

Interviewee Name

Joseph A. Scopa

Interviewer Name

Doug Cantrell

Interview Date

1986-07-24

Interview Rights

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Scopa, Joseph A. Interview by Doug Cantrell. 24 Jul. 1986. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Scopa, J.A. (1986, July 24). Interview by D. Cantrell. Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Scopa, Joseph A., interview by Doug Cantrell. July 24, 1986, Appalachia: Immigrants in the Coal Fields Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7j6q1sh24r