Interviewee: George Blackburn
IWY SC 566
Interviewer: Louise Pettus
Date: June 10-11, 1977
George Blackburn was a retired teacher living at the Finlay House in Columbia at the time of the interview. Blackburn recently moved from Connecticut to South Carolina, though he had maternal relatives in South Carolina and was educated in the state. Blackburn graduated from Furman University in 1922. Blackburn was a supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment. Interview includes discussion of: Blackburn’s involvement with the League of Women Voters; how Blackburn was urged to attend the state IWY conference by Mrs. Dorothy Davis; and how his family is also in support of the ERA.
Louise Pettus: And where are you from?
George Blackburn: Mind if I read this first and see what I –
LP: Alright. What is your name and where you’re from?
GB: My name is George Blackburn. I live at the Finlay House in Five Points in Columbia, South Carolina.
LP: And why are you here?
GB: Well, I’m retired, I’m a retired teacher and I moved from Connecticut three years ago to live at the Finlay House. I have many relatives in Columbia. My, this was my mother’s home and my grandfather and one of my uncles were builders here and one of my uncles was a well-known newspaperman, so I feel that I’m back at home. I was educated in this State and graduated at Furman University in 1922, and later on graduated at two colleges in New England.
LP: And I see you’re wearing an ERA button.
GB: That’s right.
LP: How did you first get interested or involved in this?
GB: Well, two years ago I was invited to join the League of Women Voters by Mrs. Dorothy Davis, who is a social worker at the Finlay House. And having been a teacher for 43 years, including one year in France and one year in England, I am very much interested in the young people as well as the people as they grow up. And I’m particularly interested in the Equal Rights, what is it, Amendment, and on the whole I believe that what the Equal Rights Amendment stands for is correct. There are some weaknesses that can be adjusted during that two-year period after the ERA is passed. There is a lot of opposition to it I know and some of it is just and I think some of it is quite unjust. So I’m heartily in favor of the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
LP: And that’s your special interest.
LP: And don’t know whether you’ve had the chance to see (unintelligible at 2:43).
GB: I was out of town, I just came back at midnight Thursday night, early yesterday morning. And I tried to get in touch with Tootsie Holland but she was out of the office and she was not at home so I called her house last night and talked to her mother and her sister, and they told me about the meeting. I was informed by Mrs. Dorothy Davis about a meeting but I didn’t know whether I was supposed to attend or not. So I was urged to attend last night and here I am.
LP: Good. Thank you very much.
GB: You’re very welcome.
LP: Your younger brother you say was in –
GB: Is, well was head of the, the national head of – are you recording now?
GB: My younger brother was the national head of the Family Service Association of America for 22 years. He’s now retired from that and has a local position in Northampton, Massachusetts. I was there a few weeks ago and talked about the passage of the ERA and he is very much in favor of it. He is a marriage counselor and specialist and I think he ought to know a great deal more than many of the rest of us.
End of Interview