At a time when the federal government was waging a “war on poverty,” 98 counties in Appalachian coal country were considered among the poorest in the nation. And in Perry County, near where Sen. Kennedy briefly stopped on his poverty tour to address the media, more than 60 percent of residents lived below the poverty line.
“There is no real hope for the future amongst many of these people who work hard in the coal mines,” Kennedy professed to residents. “And now that the coal mines shut down, they have no place to go. There’s no hope for the future…”