Interview with Bruce Stephens, Jr., August 18, 1987

Project: Appalachia: Roving Pickets Oral History Project

Interview Summary

Bruce Stephens, Jr., an attorney for the Kentucky River Coal Company, discusses the Roving Pickets Movement in Perry and Letcher counties in Kentucky. He maintains that this was a last-ditch effort by the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) to organize eastern Kentucky. He asserts that the union publicly denied any connection with the Roving Pickets by saying that the UMWA could not be associated with the violence and illegal activities perpetrated by the pickets. Stephens states that if the union had publicly acknowledged it was sponsoring the roving pickets' movement, it would have been open to lawsuits by coal companies. In fact, he remembers that on at least two occasions coal companies successfully sued the union for damages to company property caused by roving pickets.

Other topics Mr. Stephens discusses in this interview include economic development in eastern Kentucky, the region's future, and the need for improvement in public education. Mr. Stephens is pessimistic about eastern Kentucky ever being able to attract industry other than coal mining. Rather than trying to attract new industry, Stephens believes that eastern Kentucky should place even more emphasis on coal, the one resource it has in abundance. To improve education Stephens suggest that changes should be made in the election process of school board members, including requiring board members to have a college education.

Interview Accession

1987oh166_app089

Interviewee Name

Bruce Stephens, Jr.

Interviewer Name

Doug Cantrell

Interview Date

1987-08-18

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.

Interview Usage

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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Stephens, Bruce, Jr. Interview by Doug Cantrell. 18 Aug. 1987. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Stephens, B., Jr. (1987, August 18). Interview by D. Cantrell. Appalachia: Roving Pickets Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Stephens, Bruce, Jr., interview by Doug Cantrell. August 18, 1987, Appalachia: Roving Pickets Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7z610vtb46