"Folks will soon have the chance to take a passenger train excursion through Central Appalachia. The train rides will be April 12-13, one at 8:00 a.m each day and one at 2:00 p.m. each day. They will begin in Grundy, VA, and travel through Pike County and Mingo County. Officials say this is the first passenger train ride of its kind in that area. 'A beautiful, beautiful ride to see Central Appalachia as it really lives in reality of what it is today, so we are enthused,' said Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford."
"Snakes alive! Snake handling is still practiced in the hills of Appalachia. Nestled into the nooks and crannies of everyday life, some small Pentecostal churches practice their beliefs in a blood curdling way. Rattlesnakes and copperheads take center stage in the worship service of these devout Christians. Recently, the capture of over 50 snakes made headlines as the animals were taken alive and the preacher goes free without charges. The tradition continues despite questions about safety and religious rights."
"I was a public health physician serving in Eastern Kentucky as a member of President Kennedy’s Appalachian Health Project from 1964-66. We were giving medical examinations and referrals to hundreds of people and families in 18 counties. Medical facilities were inadequate. Stream water was often not drinkable. There was limited sewer treatment. Waste and abandoned cars littered the landscape and roads were generally poor.Fifty years ago President Johnson announced the 'War on Poverty' and visited Martin County in 1964."
"President Lyndon B. Johnson went to eastern Kentucky in 1964 to promote his War on Poverty. But when he did, he opened a wound that remains raw today. People in the region say they're tired of always being depicted as poor, so when NPR's Pam Fessler went to Appalachia to report on how the War on Poverty is going, she was warned that people would be reluctant to talk. Instead, she got an earful."
"Fifty years ago, when President Lyndon Johnson drove into this Appalachian town, Route 3 was a two-lane road that hugged the mountains in tight curves. Minzie Stanley was 6 years old, living with her parents and 17 brothers and sisters on one of the narrow gravel lanes that sprouted off the main road.Johnson was there to shine a spotlight on families living in rural poverty, families such as Stanley's. Minzie's father didn't have a steady job. The family had to grow everything they ate, or they'd go hungry. She got a pair of hand-me-down shoes once a year if she was lucky. There were few good-paying jobs. College was a distant dream."