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OH244 James Cruse Oral History

Address Information

Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071

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(270) 809-6152
(270) 809-4295
FAX (270) 809-6153

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James Cruse Oral History

Collection Title: Jackson Purchase Oral History Project – Schools and Education

Series Number: OH244

Interviewee: Cruse, James, 1911-

Interviewer: Peyton, Bill

Date interviewed: June 15, 1979

Processed by: O’Daniel, Hannah

Date processed: February 12, 2014

Description: 1 sound disc (38 minutes)

Abstract: James Cruse discusses his early life in Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky as an elementary school student. He describes attending high school in Bowling Green, Kentucky and at West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky. President D. H. Anderson is mentioned as having a lasting influence on his students, including Mr. Cruse. He speaks of the benefits of attending trade schools. He divulges the employment situation for African Americans in the Jackson Purchase Area and how work opportunities expanded for African Americans during the Second World War. He recalled the return of Klu Klux Klan to the Jackson Purchase in response to the desegregation of public education.

Biographical / Historical note: James Cruse was born on May 30, 1911 in Marion, Kentucky to John and Mary Cruse. He attended elementary school in Marion, Kentucky and worked odd jobs after graduating from eighth grade. Since there was not an African American high school in Marion, he moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky to attend school. He transferred to the West Kentucky Industrial College in Paducah, Kentucky during the tenth grade. He later worked in Indianapolis as a machinist and attended a technical school part time to advance his career. He worked at General Motors for seventeen years, starting as a maintenance man and was promoted to machinist during World War II.

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:

Cruse, James, 1911-

Marion (Ky.) – History.

Education – Kentucky -- Crittenden County – History.

African Americans – Education – Kentucky.

Segregation in education – Kentucky.

Kentucky – Race relations.