Interview with Virgil Couch, January 12, 1976

Project: University of Kentucky Oral History Project

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Interview Summary

Virgil Couch was born November 12, 1907 in Princeton, Kentucky. He recalls his first trip to UK in 1924-1925 when he was a member of the championship debating team at Beaver Dam High School in Ohio County, Kentucky. He graduated from high school in 1926 and enrolled in the University of Kentucky in the fall. Couch recalls some of his work experiences before and during his college years. He talks about some of his first-year experiences at U.K. and remembers several professors. Couch talks about his service with the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (R.O.T.C.), a requirement for students during World War I, and describes his experiences as a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. Couch remembers his advertising work for the Kentucky Kernel, UK's student newspaper.

Couch recalls that WHAS, a radio station located in Louisville, Kentucky, set up a remote station at U.K., located in the Guignol Theater. He talks about his experiences as an announcer at the station, and mentions the Farm and Home Hour, an educational radio show. He describes how they set up "listening posts" in rural areas with donated radios so that people could hear the programs. He used this idea for remote areas of Italy while he was working with the Marshall Plan. Couch also remembers student activities surrounding the football games. He mentions belonging to SuKy, a student volunteer athletic group that sold concessions at the games and remembers that in 1930, he was elected editor of the Kentuckian, U.K.'s yearbook, without his knowledge. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B. S. degree in Commerce in 1930.

Couch notes he was the first Director of Personnel for the Economic Cooperation Administration (Marshall Plan) from 1948-1950. This reconstruction plan, initiated after World War II, was named for United States Secretary of State George Marshall. He modestly states that he was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1961 for his work with the Civil Defense program.

Interview Accession

1976oh001_af015

Interviewee Name

Virgil Couch

Interviewer Name

Terry L. Birdwhistell

Interview Date

1976-01-12

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.

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Couch, Virgil Interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. 12 Jan. 1976. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Couch, V. (1976, January 12). Interview by T. L. Birdwhistell. University of Kentucky Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Couch, Virgil, interview by Terry L. Birdwhistell. January 12, 1976, University of Kentucky Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





Persistent Link for this Record: https://kentuckyoralhistory.org/ark:/16417/xt7zw37kr139