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The Anderson Mann Thompson Interviews are a collection of interviews between Anderson Mann "Doc" Thompson and his granddaughter Cinda Thompson, recorded from June to December 1972, and a written transcript based on these interviews.
Doc Thompson reminisces about his life as a Williamson County coal miner and his political activities, spanning from the early 1900s and into the 1940s. He began working in the mines when he was 9 years old after dropping out of the third grade. He describes the social customs and daily life of early 20th century Marion, IL mentioning race and ethnic relations, and the conflict between the Ku Klux Klan and bootleggers like The Shelton Brothers and S. Glenn Young during Prohibition. He established himself in the mining profession, and eventually became a labor organizer in the coal miner's union. During strikes, he negotiated between the union and company management, and was also involved in the Herrin Massacre trial where miners were convicted of murdering scabs. Thompson participated in local, state, and federal politics as a Democrat, and became a Labor Commissioner in Governor Henry Horner's administration after campaigning for him in Southern Illinois. He speaks about the various politicians he encountered throughout his career including Pat Nash, Martin Durkin, and Paul Powell and his participation in Democrat Party conventions. Ultimately, he moved to Washington D.C., and worked in the Labor Department during President Harry Truman's administration where he was responsible for training state labor commissioners.
About Cinda Thompson:
Cinda Thompson graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 1972 with a BA in English, and continued her education at the University of Arizona in Tucson where she earned an MFA in Creative Writing. Thompson is a professional writer and also worked in the publishing industry. She writes poetry, short stories, and creative non-fiction. Her poem "Planting" was included in the national PBS Special "Grow Old Along With Me" (Maryland Public Broadcasting/Leonardo's Children), featuring Richard Kylie and Julie Harris, and was also included in the anthology, When I Am An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple edited by Sandra Martz. Thompson received awards and grants from the Peoria Area Arts Council/Illinois Arts Council, Lannan Foundation, Writers Live at the Library/Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, and Writer's Digest.
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