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OH120 Marion A. Porter Oral History

Marion A. Porter Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project - Lifestyles

Series Number: OH120

Interviewee: Porter, Marion Arundeil

Interviewer: Peyton, Bill

Date interviewed: November 18, 1979

Processed by: Tara Marcum

Date processed: July 12, 2011

Description: 1 sound disc (57 minutes)

Abstract: Marion Porter discusses his life experiences as an African American growing up in Paducah, Kentucky. He describes the reason why his family moved to Paducah and that during the flood of 1938 his family remained in their house and took in thirty-three homeless neighbors. During the prohibition era, he remembered bootleggers selling whiskey by the pint or by the glass. The bootleggers would hide their liquor in the fireplace or in the walls. He mentioned that his father assisted in putting down the first concrete sidewalk in Paducah and that he was the first black contractor in the city. He tells of his involvement in church, including being a member of the choir, a trustee and starting the brotherhood organization. He recalled mixing concrete by hand, and making $2.40 a week for installing basements for houses. He concludes the interview by describing his military service in the United States Navy during the Second World War.

Biographical / Historical note: Marion Porter was born on February 10, 1916. His father, James E. Porter, was a concrete contractor in Paducah. His mother ran a salon from the family home. He attended the Lincoln School from elementary to high school. He quit school after the eleventh grade to work with his father. From 1935 to 1939, he hauled coal for the West Kentucky Coal Company. Porter was drafted into the United States Navy in 1943. He traveled from Paducah to Maryland for basic training and then to California. His job was to assist in clearing underwater mines planted by the Japanese. He returned from the service in 1946.

General information: No user access to original recordings. Use audio user copies, digital derivatives, transcripts, and/or tape indexes. This collection may be protected from unauthorized copying by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code). Permission for reproduction must be requested from Murray State University.

Subject Headings / Descriptors:

Porter, Marion, 1916-

Porter, Joseph E.

Lincoln High School (Paducah, Ky.)

African Americans – Kentucky – Paducah.

Prohibition – Kentucky – Paducah.

Paducah (Ky.) – History.

World War, 1939-1945 – Participation, African American.

Floods – Kentucky – Paducah.