Food for Thought: Martin County, KY

President Johnson in Martin County in 1964. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis
President Johnson in Martin County in 1964. Photo by Bettmann/Corbis

In 1964, President Johnson, along with Ladybird, toured the isolated hills of Kentucky to generate support for his recently proposed War on Poverty. In the now-iconic photo above, Johnson visits the Fletcher family to talk about the lack of jobs in the coal-mining area.

In January 2014, NPR did a story on the town and the aftermath fifty years later. Because these photos were so powerful in defining Appalachia and poverty, photographer Roger May is commissioning new photos of Appalachia as “visual counter point” this year. More information about his project can be found here.

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