Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



March 26, 1959

Representatives of coal mine operators and the United Mine Workers of American are scheduled to meet in Frankfort with Gov. A.B. Chandler Friday. The governor’s offer to act as mediator in the current coal mine strike has been accepted by the UMWA and coal mine operators from Letcher, Perry and Knott counties.

The 1959 Easter Seal drive in Letcher County has raised $472 to day, Dr. J. Huston Westover, chairman of the local drive, has announced.

The State Highway Department has taken over maintenance of the principle streets in Whitesburg. The streets to be maintained by the state include Kentucky 15 through Whitesburg, along Bentley Avenue, Main Street, Railroad Street, and Madison Street, and the Solomon Road alternate route.

“Ride Out for Revenge” is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

March 27, 1969

Whitesburg was granted an additional $210,735 in federal funds today to permit completion of the city’s urban renewal project. Funds were also approved today for the 1969 Head Start program in Letcher, Knott, Leslie and Perry counties.

Olla Vae Cornett, a fifth-grade student at Kingdom Come Settlement Grade School, is the spelling champion of Letcher County. Olla Vae spelled down all other contestants in a spelling tourney at Whitesburg High School on March 22. Second place winner was Charlene Tackett of Colson Elementary School.

Vine ripe tomatoes are 9 cents each at the A&P Food Store. Chuck roast is 49 cents a pound.

March 29, 1979

Fifty more miners are out of work in Letcher County with the shutdown of the Lake Coal Company March 14. Lake Coal Company’s general manager, Frank Delzer, said the lay-offs were the result of an inability to get large ton coal cars from the L&N Railroad.

Unemployment in Letcher County skyrocketed to a whopping 16.2 percent in January, making it the highest unemployment figure for any January since the Department for Human Resources began tracking unemployment by county in 1971.

The era of less than $20 a ton coal is apparent back in the Appalachian coalfields again. Tennessee Valley Authority spot coal buys for late February and early March show several contracts for under $20 a ton coal.

The Department of Transportation will let bids on the proposed Whitesburg bypass April 20.

March 29, 1989

Estimates compiled by The Mountain Eagle show the population in rural Letcher County may be up by more than 200 people over February of last year. However Jenkins, Fleming-Neon and the area around them appear to be losing population.

Letcher County ranks 23rd highest among Kentucky counties in the percentage of its citizens living in poverty — but seventh in the percentage of increase in poverty since 1979.

The University of Kentucky has approved the old Whitesburg Coca-Cola bottling plant for use as classrooms for Southeast Community College, Mayor James Asher announced.

At least 26 Letcher County retailers have been approved to sell Kentucky lottery tickets. Tickets for the first two lottery games are scheduled to go on sale April 4..

March 31, 1999

Should Little Shepherd Trail be widened to two lanes? And if it should, can it be? The Kentucky Department of Parks will pay the Kentucky River Area Development District $25,000 to answer those questions.

Veterans will be able to obtain Veterans Affairs medical services at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp. under a demonstration project approved by the federal government.

The Jenkins Lady Cavaliers and the Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets wrapped up the opening week of the softball season with perfect records.

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