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How Inez, Kentucky started the War on Poverty

Appalachian poverty refers to the economic hardship and deprivation experienced by residents living in the Appalachian region of the United States.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez, Kentucky, where the poverty rate at the time was more than 60%.

Courtesy of NPR

In this picture, President Lyndon Johnson stands on the front porch of Tom Fletcher's Cabin. He listened as Fletcher described the firsthand experiences of economic hardship in Appalachia.

This moment represented Johnson's direct confrontation with the realities of Appalachian poverty, motivating the war against economic disparities.

On April 24, 1964, after President Johnson declared before Congress, the war on poverty in America prompted policies that included food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare and Head Start.

These policies were set in motion and have since attempted to prevent economic circumstances for much of the Appalachian population.

Despite all of President Johnson's programs and the coal boom in the 1970s and '80s, Appalachia is still at war with poverty 60 years later.

Inez, Kentucky is one of the poorest cities in the U.S. today with a third of the population being in poverty.


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