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Interview with Sally Brown Rhoden, July 12, 2013

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:27 - Early Life and Culture of Monroe, Georgia

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Partial Transcript: Sally, or as I like to call you, Mom, let's just start with a little bit of kind of background...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden grew up in Monroe, Georgia as a youngest of three children. She explains that Monroe was a tight knit community, defined by religiosity, togetherness, and the family. She explains that both of her parents worked, and her father owned a farm out of town. She describes Monroe as a very segregated society until the early 1960s.

Keywords: Baptist; Methodist; Presbyterian; presbyterian; school teacher; small town; soil preservationist agent

00:05:49 - Monroe Drum and Bugle Corps

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Partial Transcript: So we had sort of a rural upbringing even though we were in a town

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden was a bugle player in the Monroe Bugle Corps. She joined in the expectation of getting to go to out of state events such as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. She describes it as hard work and long hours. She expresses thankfulness that the Corps taught her discipline.

Keywords: Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade; adventure; childhood life; middle school to high school aged children

00:08:12 - Shelter Occupancy Research Project

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Partial Transcript: So I want to ask you about your participation in the shelter occupancy research project...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden describes the Shelter Occupancy Project, which was a two-week fallout shelter experiment in 1963, conducted by the University of Georgia and the Civil Defense Department. Rhoden discusses how at age sixteen, she was one of the thirty subjects to take part in the experiment. Rhoden notes the lack of hygiene, nutritional food, and poor sleeping accommodations as challenges presented by the experiment.

Keywords: The Cold War; University of Georgia (UGA); adults; cash incentive; cigarettes; elderly; fallout shelter; human experimentation; psychology; school age children; sociology; teenagers; textbooks

00:15:27 - Culture in the Fallout Shelter

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Partial Transcript: and anyone could leave, just raise your hand and you can leave...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden describes how the culture of the fallout shelter was created by celebrating holidays, having current events discussions, partaking in hypnosis, and entertaining the youngest member of their group. Rhoden recalls government personnel entering into the subject group to create interpersonal drama and attempting to run bomb simulations. Rhoden notes her reverence to the everyday life after the shelter.

Keywords: Civil Defence; Cold War; diaries; holidays; hypnosis; political discussions; sociology

00:25:10 - Monroe, Georgia and the Civil Rights Movement

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Partial Transcript: Monroe was really a site for Civil Rights in the early 60s and mid 60s...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden talks about the segregation of the Monroe community. Rhoden gives a brief overview of the Civil Rights Demonstrations in Monroe and touches on the Moore's Ford Lynchings, which brought national attention and spurred demonstrations in Washington, D.C, leading to the creation of the President's Committee on Civil Rights. Rhoden states that the assumed murderers were men she knew around her father's age. She highlights that this is still a point of discussion in Monroe today though at the time that it happened, it was not.

Keywords: Civil Rights Marches; Holmes Hunter Academic Building; Moore's Ford Lynchings; News Notes from Monroe Area; fist fighting; integration; racial tension

00:31:26 - Lessons Learned in the Fallout Shelter

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Partial Transcript: Going back to the fallout shelter...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden explains that there were members of the Pentagon who would enter the fallout shelter to stir the pot. She highlights that there was little conflict within the shelter. She remembers most clearly the seven year old who was deeply anxious and homesick staying in the shelter. She notes the lessons she learned from the experiment.

Keywords: The Pentagon; ability to handle change; stirring the pot

00:34:45 - Comparing Cobb County and Walton County

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Partial Transcript: Do y'all have any other questions?

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden states that Walton has remained a small town and describes the attributes of a small community, while Cobb County is part of Metro Atlanta. She goes on to compare the past homophobia of Cobb to the racism of Walton and states that both have become more accepting in the past few decades.

Keywords: homophobia; metro Atlanta area; racism; small town; social acceptance

00:37:42 - Privacy in the fallout shelter/Teenagehood in Monroe

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Partial Transcript: Going back to the fallout shelter...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden discusses how she doesn't recall any uncomfortableness around the lack of privacy in the fallout shelter. She further discusses how the members of the fallout shelter celebrated holidays and had political discussions, and explains the skills she gained from the experiment. Rhoden touches on social and work life as a teenager in Monroe, emphasizing the lack of free time.

Keywords: Child Labor; Holiday decorations; UGA Football; butterbeans; ping pong; swim instructor; television; tennis

00:44:01 - Using the skills built in the fallout shelter further into life

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Partial Transcript: So our world was very, very small...

Segment Synopsis: Rhoden explains her desire to broaden her horizon from her hometown, which led her to attend Florida State University. Rhoden explains how
her experience in the fallout shelter later informed her career choices. She goes on to explain her life philosophy, which shaped her experiences both during and after the fallout shelter experiment.

Keywords: Florida State University (FSU); Special Needs Education; adaptability; recreational therapy; social directing