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Reformers to RadicalsThe Appalachian Volunteers and the War on Poverty$
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Thomas Kiffmeyer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125091

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125091.001.0001

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(p.xii) (p.1) Introduction
Reformers to Radicals


University Press of Kentucky

During the 1960s, President Kennedy's inauguration speech challenged the youth to do something for the country. As this speech inspired many, several activists joined the Appalachian volunteers (AVs) which served as an antipoverty organization. After Kennedy' inauguration, the AVs had to face accusations that their visions and actions were “un-American” and somewhat rebellious. During this period, several people felt frustration regarding the reform effort involvings another “New Deal” for Appalachia. Although Kennedy did not fulfill what he promised during his campaign, the Appalachian volunteers was one of the first programs that the War on Poverty funded towards a “Great Society.” This endeavor was also supported by other groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) which comprised of black students and the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) which comprised of Northern white students.

Keywords:   President Kennedy, Appalachian Volunteers, Appalachia, War on Poverty, New Deal, SNCC, SDS

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