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The Lie: Evolution

Textbook War



By Karl Priest June 7, 2013 (Revised 7-13-19)
(Typos will be fixed when found without changing the date.)


This lengthy article addresses lots of slurs that have been slung all these years at the Kanawha County Textbook Protesters. For categorized briefer answers to many other authors see Textbook Protester Truth.

This is an Internet article which contains many “hot links.” To avoid clutter, the web addresses are not provided.

At the very least, please see “Dr. Durst Duplicates and Designs Disinformation”.


The reader may think that I am really furious. Actually, I am reasonably frustrated. The lack of integrity and intelligence regarding reports and reasoning on and about the Kanawha County Textbook War is remarkable! Most of the people that have been pounded on are turn-the-other-cheek Christians. I try to be that way but, due to my Manor Mentality, I fight back, especially when good people are under attack.

Something that irks me is a blatantly biased bigot supposing to be a subjective scholar. There are too many highly educated people who exhibit a muddled mentality and inadequate integrity.

I make no pretense of being objective. That is the main way I differ from the authors criticized below. I do not try to disguise my position behind academic credentials. I do provide links and citations so a reasonable reader can determine if my points are valid. Toward the end, I show that there was some semblance of sanity and scholarship regarding research and other reports about the protesters.

Recently I was blessed by the generosity of a true scholar to be able to obtain several articles. That person practices what liberals preach. I decided to combine commentary on these articles and make this the foundation for my proclamation that the 1974 textbook protesters have been intentionally victimized by ignorance and lies.

To their shame, some of my Christian brethren have believed the ruthless rhetoric and propaganda* that has been perpetuated by people like those exposed in this article. Some of those have been listed on the Faces of Disgrace. An additional person would be a Christian businessman who refused to return my telephone calls regarding the Protester Reunion.

The people named in the article below make no pretense of believing the Bible. They are excellent examples of the egregious scholarship produced by so-called intellectuals who are nothing more than bigoted hypocrites. Their statements are full of (at best) exaggerations and (at worse) fabrications (i.e. ludicrous lies). Nevertheless, their statements have been believed by people who should know better.

They pervert the truth. I present the truth. The Textbook Protester Truth pages extensively document the scandalous slurs and stupid statements made in many articles and papers. Sickeningly, they have ruined the reputations of good people. Sadly, too many Christians and conservatives contributed to the shame.

To my brethren I say, "You have aligned yourselves with the left-leaning Charleston Gazette and God-haters in general. Instead of being intelligent and courageous you have chosen to be ignorant and cowardly. Your ignorance of historical truth is exceeded only by your love of the praise of men. Nevertheless, I love you in Christ and forgive you as Christ commands, but as “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) I have to tell you what you have done."

The behavior of the aforesaid brethren is discouraging, but the behavior of the “scholars” that I slam below is disgusting.

Both groups arouse anger in me, but I follow the biblical admonition to “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath." (Ephesians 4:26 KJB) As I said in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, “I do not dislike the pro-bookers**, but I disagree with what they believe and I detest what they have done to America’s children. I hope every pro-booker gets saved and finds the joy and peace of being a born-again Christian.” (p. 77)


Dr. Carol Mason seems to have devoted her life to attacking conservatives and Christian fundamentalists (i.e. “Bible believers”) in particular. Several of her articles focus upon the 1974 Kanawha County Textbook Protesters. Dr. Mason is not objective and some may conclude that she is callous. Dr. Mason mutilates history because of her need to push her philosophical principles. Her university webpage declares that “Carol Mason is an interdisciplinary scholar of twentieth-century American culture known for her research on the rise of the right since the 1960s.”

She was a featured speaker at the 2013 Queer Studies Conference. A part of the conference was a panel discussion on “ Queering the Ontario Elementary Classroom: Addressing Gender Expression and Sexual Orientation in Inclusive Education.” A conference colleague presented “Poetic Collaboration in the Spirit of Queer: Couples, Triads and Orgies.” Mason’s speech was “ Homonational Fruits and Anita Bryant’s Midwestern Roots.” Homonationalism is “the favourable association of gay and lesbian people and/or gay rights with a nationalist ideology.” ( In other words, make homosexuality part of American culture. (

Mason’s bias was first exposed in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (pages 37-40). This article critiques her paper “From Textbooks to Tea Parties: An Appalachian Antecedent of Anti-Obama Rebellion.” West Virginia History, New Series, vol. 5, no.2 (Fall 2011): 1-27

Dr. Mason presents a mixture of begrudging or unintentional truth along with shameless and stealth smears in her article. She credits the “textbook controversy as “one of the many precursors to the current conservative rebellion” and says the protesters’ “links to national organizers and conservative supporters, which are often overlooked, strengthen their likeness to today’s tea partiers.” (1) First, conservatives are not in “rebellion.” They are resisting the attack upon American traditional values that was launched in the late sixties. Second, the links between the West Virginia protesters and national entities has been a focal point of critics since 1974 and Mason is one of the most vocal. Mason cannot comprehend the liberal groups that came to Kanawha County to oppose the protesters. Mason refers to the textbook protesters and like-minded groups as “right-wing” (1, 3), but never refers to the opposite side as “left-wing.” Regarding the ties between the protesters and national conservatives, Mason provides an unintentional compliment by saying their relationship “(S)hows how influential the textbook controversy was in helping to shape today’s conservatism, a history lesson useful to all regardless of political persuasion.” (3)

Mason quoted a Charleston Gazette report that Alice Moore paid to “cheer Sarah Palin at the National Tea Party Convention.” (1) If the leftist Gazette or activist Mason had bothered to investigate, they would have discovered what Mrs. Moore told me in a June 2013 email. “I didn't pay a penny of it.  I cheered Palin, but that was not the reason I went to the convention. I went at the request of a friend who asked me to attend and found it to be both informative and beneficial.” I wonder how much Mason contributed to the Obama campaigns. Either matter is irrelevant to the claim Mason makes about Palin and Moore having “naïve views of politics.” (2) Moore was quoted (1-2) as saying the “1960’s radicals became school teachers and warped the young. ‘This is what led to the election of this president (Obama).’” I argue that Mason has a naïve view of education if she thinks government school educators cannot influence their young students. If she disputes that, then she should not mind sending her young relatives to a Sunday school class taught by me.

Mason continued to slur the protesters by quoting Charleston Gazette propaganda about the miniscule (and not always protester caused) violence that occurred during the protest. (2) The protesters were NOT VIOLENT. Instead of saying there were opponents of “books” (which is a fact), Mason added “multiracial” to make it “multiracial books” in a sneaky slur. (2) If Moore were racist, she would have reveled in the negative way black folks were portrayed in the books. The protesters were NOT RACIST.

A prime example of propaganda is to present a fact in a context that makes it negative toward the target of the propaganda and to tell it over and over. Mason does that when she says that Alice Moore objected to the book selection “even though she admitted that she had not yet read them.” (4) Here is Mrs. Moore’s account (which can be verified) of the night the board first saw the books:

“The board heard several presentations by teachers and administrators involved in the selection process. During the presentations I heard, to my dismay, a reference to the importance of teaching non-standard English. Based on my knowledge of what non-standard English entailed, I felt strongly that we needed to take a look at these books before we agreed to purchase them. I certainly had doubts about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on teacher salaries and school books to teach children how to speak the slang with which they were already far too comfortable… At the end of the board meeting, my husband, Darrell, walked up and handed me a book saying, ‘Look what you just adopted.’ To my shock, I read the words of Malcolm X, 'All praise is due Allah that I had moved to Boston when I did. If I hadn’t I’d probably still be a brainwashed black Christian.' The next day, I had 325 books delivered to my home and I started reading.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 193-194)

NONE of the board had read the books prior to that night and I have not seen any claim that any other board member actually attempted to read them after that night.

In my capacity as a teacher, I served on textbook selection committees and can unequivocally state that none of the teachers on the committees read all of the books. Mason skipped over the fact that some of the books were quickly “banned” by the board because they were so blatantly bad.

Mason did something that few scholars have done by admitting that “members of both sides of the controversy issued threats and committed acts of violence.” Then she said, “Gunshots were fired from book opponents and proponents at picket sites and schools.” (6) The facts are that the only gunshots proven (and they hit humans) were fired by pro-bookers!

Regarding the Citizen Review Committee, which had split into two factions, had the pro-book side “accepting ‘all but 35 of the 325 books’” while the protester side “recommended banning 180 of the books.” (6) Why didn't Mason say the pro-book side wanted to ban 35 of the books? The answer is obvious.

She accurately reported that the teachers' association invited the National Education Association to Charleston to investigate the protest (she used “chaos”), but the rest of her paragraph was about the Ku Klux Klan. (6) The protesters, as a huge—99% would be a good figure—majority were not aligned with the KKK! Mason would do well to take note of what I wrote in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 13:

Liberals adore Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) who, early in his political career, was a member of a prominent Democratic Party group that opposed desegregation and civil rights. But that pales in comparison to the fact that Byrd was a KKK member! Byrd recruited 150 others and formed a KKK chapter in which he was closely involved for several years.

I found no racist statements that were ever spoken by the protest leaders. Byrd had publicly said that he “would never fight in the armed forces with a Negro by my side” and that he would rather “die a thousand times…than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels.” Byrd urged promotion of the Klan all over America.

Mason mistakenly claimed that by January 1975 “the books were back in the classrooms” (8) and “in the spring of 1975…most of the contested books had been returned to the classrooms.” (19-20) The books may have been in some school libraries (nineteen schools did not have them), but few of them were used. A Charleston Daily Mail article reported that 65.6% of elementary school parents refused to allow their children to use the books. There was reason to believe the actual figure was 80%. (p. 12A. March 29, 1975)

On page 10 Mason falsely claimed the protest “erupted over the multiracial literature curriculum.” That is plainly false and I challenge her to prove it WITH DOUMENTED FACTS! On the same page she refers to the NEVER CITED AND NEVER PROVEN reference of someone saying they wanted the “nigger books out.” The claim is usually made that a sign was posted. I searched three large collections of newspaper articles and did not find a single photo of such a sign. I am certain that, had there been such signs, one would have been front page news. I am mystified that pro-bookers did not post such a sign to discredit the protesters. (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 175) As stated previously in this article, and it cannot be declared too often, the protesters were NOT RACIST!

In a poorly worded sentence Mason insinuated that Alice Moore was embarrassed by the “working-class ministers.” (second paragraph p. 12) Mason’s desperate attempt to slur Bible believing Christians by twisting Moore’s statement about her desire to not display her emotions is shameful. Watch this video (especially at point 2:45) of Mrs. Moore at an “emotional” rally with those preachers Mason abhors and see what Mason misses.

Mason cannot stay away from slinging the racism slur. She wrote, “If Moore felt that the educators who selected the books were talking down to her, a high-school graduate, it apparently had no effect on her own paternalistic impulses to tell the black parents of Charleston which writers their children should read.” (13) First, where are Mason’s citations about Mrs. Moore’s feelings? Second, it was all (with maybe a token one or two blacks) white people who developed the books and selected them for Kanawha County children. Third, Mrs. Moore had a duty, as a board member, to voice her concerns over the content of books bought with the tax money of the citizens who elected her.

Continuing riding her racism horse, Mason (17-19) discusses Robert Hoy who had some connection to White Supremacist groups. Avis Hill was assisted by Hoy which was not a good move by Hill, but Hoy did have the ability to set up press conferences with national media in DC.

After attempting to make Hill and Hoy appear as bosom buddies, Mason admited that Hill endured violent threats “possibly from the Klan whom he refused to endorse publicly.” (21) Hill describes his experience with the Klan on pages 295-297 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party.

Pastor Hill told me that he does not recall Mason ever contacting him for an interview. Had she done so, Hill would have likely introduced Mason to his beautiful black South African wife.

To my knowledge Mason has never sincerely tried to personally interview a protester. A reliable source told me that Dr. Mason had nearly finished her book Reading Appalachia from Left to Right before she bothered to contact Alice Moore. In Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 37-40) I point out Mason’s muddled mentality regarding the actions and thinking of the protesters. In this article she took a quote by Avis Hill and claimed he was saying “how much better it is now that the country has swung further to the right.” (13) Hill said, “In 1974 when we got started, there was no Fox News, there was no Rush Limbaugh, there was no Sean Hannitys.” (13-14) Hill was making the point that the means of communication (2000s) now allow the conservative message to be easily broadcast.

Mason claimed that Avis Hill said his daughter (in 1974) had “received a failing grade for a report on creationism that she gave in defiance of the assigned report on evolution. At that time, Hill did not think much of the incident, but, in the context of the textbook controversy, ‘then it dawned on me.’” (16) Here, in Avis Hill’s own words, is the actual account:

One day my daughter, Paula, came home from Anne Bailey Elementary School and informed me that her teacher had given her an assignment to give a report on evolution. She went on to ask, “Daddy we don’t believe in evolution, right?” I said, “No baby, we don’t. We believe that God created us and we did not come from a monkey.” She was told if she did not give the report she would be given a failing grade. I told my daughter to let the teacher know if she gave her a zero, that her daddy would come and have a talk with her. The next day when the teacher asked if she was ready, she replied, “Yes.” Paula stood and, from her little purse, she took out a small children’s Bible that my mother had given her and she began to read from Genesis, Chapter 1: “In The Beginning, God created...” The teacher stopped her, but she did not get a zero. I was somewhat upset, but continued to leave her in school. (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 292-293)

A large part of Mason’s paper (8-15) was commentary on The Great Textbook War radio documentary (Trey Kay, 2009). To her credit, Mason points out that the program “goes far to remedy unfair portrayals” of protesters including the “rampant sexism” suffered by Alice Moore. (13) However, Mason cast a shadow upon Kay’s documentary for that very reason—he overwhelmingly portrayed the protesters as reasonable people. Mr. Kay was the first journalist to contact me (2009) regarding a teacher’s perspective of the protest. The others were too busy seeking to portray the protesters as ignoramuses. In Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 173) I wrote that Kay “did a pretty good job of fairly reporting on the historical 1974 Kanawha County Textbook War. The documentary was technically superb. Mr. Kay’s extensive work and research was quite apparent.” Kay's kind of objectivity is anathema to Mason. Amazingly Mason states that “media attention paid to Kanawha County (during the protest) was indeed excessive.” (19) What part of MAJOR NEWS STORY is confusing to Mason?

Mason correctly stated, “In 1974, a tradition of protest culture turned decidedly right in West Virginia…It may well be true that Kanawha County was an early skirmish in the culture wars of the 1980s and thereafter." (22) She raised some good points via questions she posed. “Is the recent success of conservative curriculum reform an indication that Kanawha County book protesters were justified in believing an anti-Christian, anti-American evil force was corrupting children via multiethnic texts? Or is it an indication that the Kanawha County protesters represented the first wave of a cumulative shift in America that occurred because of the politicalized evangelicals, wealthy conservatives, mobilized Christian women, and militant populists?” (22-23)

The answer to her second questions first: Yes! Notwithstanding the wealthy liberals, politicalized atheists, mobilized non-Christian women, and militant socialists the Kanawha County protesters represented the first wave of an attempt to stop anti-Christian, anti-American evil forces from corrupting children. As for her first question: Yes! Although the “recent success” (I assume she meant Texas) will not last, and it was not “multiethnic” that was the problem with the 1974 texts, the KANAWHA COUNTY BOOK PROTESTERS WERE JUSTIFIED IN BELIEVING AN ANTI-CHRISTIAN, ANTI-AMERICAN EVIL FORCE WAS CORRUPTING CHILDREN.

In “Suggestions for Further Research” Mason called for more depth from the “African American community.” That is fine, if it includes blacks who were Christian fundamentalists who were too confused or cowered by their liberal leaders and failed to publicly align with their white brothers and sisters. I agree whole-heartedly with Mason’s call for more knowledge about the thinking of coal miners. I can put her in touch with one who was jailed for his role in the protest. David Lucas wrote in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party “One morning, as I left work, as I came to the end of the mine road I saw a few women with signs. They began to explain to the miners that were coming on evening shift and those that were leaving from day shift what they were there for. They begin to explain about the books to the miners that were standing around. Before long, miner after miner refused to go to work. Literally, right then, they began to get involved in the protest themselves.” (p. 242)

Mason called for an examination of “the political, ideological, and philosophical values of the textbook advocates.” That is a great idea. I suggest starting with the statement made by the selection committee chair who referred to the protesters as “stupid protesters” in The Great Textbook War radio documentary. (49:18) As for Mason’s desire to determine if any of the “advocates” were communist sympathizers, I say “good luck.” They are not likely to admit it if they are. Some research may prove socialist leanings of the text developers. My opinion is that the local folks were probably not, but they were duped. See what Betty Jarvis says about one of them in the Thelma Conley critique below. Also, the inconsistencies of the committee chair are exposed in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 180).

A glaring omission in the suggestions for research is to find out what the teachers who sided with the protesters thought! Chapter 6 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party would be worth studying.

I wholeheartedly attest that I agree with a statement Mason made in her final paragraph: “…the 1974 Kanawha County textbook controversy will continue to prove important to scholars, who have already noted its significance to American history.” (Emphasis added.) Too bad that conservative scholars miss that point.


When I wrote Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party I was only aware of one Kanawha County Schools administrator (p. 50) who wrote something about the protest. Now, I will comment on two more I discovered.

Thelma Conley and Ken Young make the total three.

Conley (“Scream Silently: One View of the Kanawha County Textbook Controversy.” Journal of Research and Development in Education, vol. 9, no. 3 (1976): 93-101) was a “language arts consultant” who was referred to as a “English-Reading supervisor” by Betty Jarvis in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 231). She was part of the professional educators who selected the books. As the title of her article implies, she writes with a mixture of facts as she perceived them and feelings as she experienced them.

She said, “When the school doors opened on September 3, 1974, no one in the school system dreamed of what the year was to bring.” (94) Of course, all that was to transpire was unforeseeable, but the June board meeting gave conspicuous clues that the community was concerned or even riled up. “Over a thousand people (one source said it was closer to 2,000) attended the June 27, 1974 three hour board of education meeting where the books were voted in by a 3-2 vote. The spectators were overwhelmingly against the books. The auditorium and hallway were packed. Most of the folks held umbrellas and stood outside of the open first floor windows in a heavy downpour. The board of education should have realized that the taxpayers and parents of the system's students were bothered about the books!” Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 70)

Conley claimed “The chaos on the opening day of school was awesome. One of the most exciting days in the lives of children was turned into a nightmare of anger.” (95) Video ( ) and photos (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 17), many of which were taken at the peak of the protest, reveal reality was other than that reported by Conley. A teacher from a school in one of the pockets of the protest said, “The parents were keeping their children at home to protest the material in the textbooks. Every day, 25-40 parents protested outside the school. I had a deep compassion and sympathy for those people as they stood in the rain, cold and wind— and stood strong for what they believed. I never witnessed any inappropriate behavior or conduct by the protesters. Many times, misinformation was given in the media to portray the protesters in a demeaning manner.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party p. 130) There probably were hot-heads who exceeded the normal protester civility, but they were few and far between. It would have been easy to produce a tape recorder and prove some of the allegations of derogatory “epithets” that “greeted teachers and administrators.” (95) I urge real researchers to read newspaper articles of September 3 and 4, 1974 and see how it really was when school opened. You will have to dig to find any reference to violence. The Charleston Daily Mail has a photo (of several) showing “some of the more than 85 protesters who showed up a Midway Elementary school today.” Midway was in the heart of protest territory.

Conley continued by proclaiming “Ultimately, as information concerning plans for the destruction of schools, school buses, and automobiles of private citizens was revealed during court trials, these parents had ample reason to be afraid.” Her footnote refers to statements by the prosecutor at the Horan, trial. (95) The facts about protester violence are documented at “The Protesters Were NOT VIOLENT ” and the trial she refers to was not as clear as she claims.

“Frequent bomb scares” were cited as the only major interruption for most schools. (96) “There is no proof that protesters made the bomb threats. An October 15, 1974 Daily Mail report disclosed that five students were arrested for calling in bomb threats. Some of the calls were made from the school. One of the students said they did it ‘to get the kids out of school.’” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 8-9). It was a convenient excuse to play hooky.

Conley’s emotionalism was extraordinary when she claimed “(S)tudents and their teachers faced the traumatic experience of seeing books taken from their hands. Old editions, new editions—a multiplicity of materials evaporated in a matter of hours.” (96) She was referring to the compromise voted on by the board to allow a group of board appointed citizens to review the books. No one took books out of children’s hands. In many schools, the books had not been unpacked. What she meant by “old editions” is a mystery since this was a new adoption. She went on to claim that some junior and senior high students refused to turn in their copies. There probably were a handful at the only high school in the heart of a rich (largely liberal) area of Charleston. If there were others, they did not make the news as major events. Knowing the attitudes of that age group (I taught middle and junior high school for the last nine years of my career.), it is safe to say that few kids cared.

Seeking sympathy, Conley stated that teachers had to utilize “old editions of textbooks from earlier adoptions, sets of supplementary materials, educational learning packages, and teacher creativity and initiative.” (96) The “old” editions were fine just a few months before. Supplementary materials are always used. Educational learning packages were part of a high-priced boondoggle Kanawha County had embraced in the early 197os and were touted by the central office. Teacher creativity and initiative should be bragged about, not bemoaned.

The often made claim that “the Kanawha County Schools Central Office complex in Charleston (had) work interrupted frequently by screaming, jeering crowds” is not supported by video. See point 5:oo of Textbook War Video I and subsequent videos. The most anger you will see was directed at the protester’s beloved Alice Moore.

The protesters were accused of “in some cases” not having read any of the books. (96) The fact is that it was a rare teacher that read a newly adopted book and, most importantly, the only board member who read any of the books before voting to adopt them was Alice Moore!

Red herrings appear in several places in Conley’s article. For example, she told of a parent producing a book that was not from the adoption and the protesters wanting “all” of the books removed which would include a re-adoption of literature books, a long used handwriting program, and some classics. (97) That ignored the several hundred page report issued by a citizen’s committee which explained their objections. She said, “Certainly not Shakespeare or Chaucer or Dryden or Hardy. Neither Poe nor Melville” would be accepted by the protesters. (97) I do not recall any of those authors being among the adopted books. Conley criticized the Citizen Review Committee for citing their concern about a selection of ballads that included "The Cherry Tree Carol." She tells a tear-jerking story of one of her shy former students singing it in school. Conley failed to provide the specific objections by citing the committee’s comments. (98) I do not have those, but know that song is a fictional account of Mary, Joseph and Jesus Christ. People like Conley have no qualms about that being done, but woe unto anyone who wants to have a biblical account of those entities in a literature program.

Conley did say “most of the people who came to view the textbooks were thoughtful, polite, concerned, and willing to listen.” (97) However, that statement included “(they (the books) had been on public display since March 8, 1974, but no one cared much about them until the protest began).” (97) That insertion tended to negate the compliment and it was untrue. Parents were trusting of professionals to select appropriate books because that had been done for decades. Naturally, when problems were made public parents began to take note. The aforementioned June meeting destroys Conley’s claim that parents did not “care much.” Also, a Charleston Daily Mail photograph (August 3, 1974) showed people reading the books. That photo is in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 54).

The conclusion of Conley’s article begins with condemnation of the protesters using a conversation she had with an unnamed minister. (99) The preacher took the position that all religious references should be removed from school materials. Perhaps the man (unintentionally arguing as an atheist) was manipulated by Conley or circumstances into taking his stance. Not having a transcript of the dialogue, I will assume, only for the sake of argument, Conley’s report is accurate. She asked him, “Do you have the right to deprive children whose parents do not agree with you—to deprive them of an education?” He replied (rightly), “Their souls are important.” He could have said, “I do not try to tell people what their children should read with their money under the guidance of their family values. Do you have a right to force children whose parents do not agree with you to be indoctrinated with your perverted version of the Bible?” Conley responded to his actual answer by ignoring his point about souls and said, “But this approach is anarchy, and we live in a democratic society. Would you discard our form of government?” The minister is quoted as saying, “That too may have to go.” He went on to point out that they were in a “religious (i.e. “spiritual) war.” He could have asked, “What does anarchy have to do with my statements? If you really believed in democracy you would allow the huge majority of Kanawha County citizens to prevail.”

Conley closed with “What effect it (the protest) will have on their lives only time will tell.” (100) Time certainly has told the tale!

In a statement given to me in June of 2013 Betty Jarvis wrote that “Thelma Conley was a hard working supervisor and a good leader. However, she was blinded and unable to see the damage that horrible material would eventually do to our students. I was blinded too! I wonder if she regrets her actions as I have regretted mine. I have watched the destruction of education and my heart hurts to see the demise of the greatest education system in the world turn to garbage. God help us!” Betty Jarvis publicly apologized in 2011.


Ken Young was an associate superintendent in Kanawha County Schools. His article, “School Storm Centers Charleston.” Phi Delta Kappan, (December 1974): 262-267, should have been titled “Chicken Little Lives in Charleston.” (Note: Young’s article was one of two running on the top and bottom of the pages. The other article was a reasonably objective report about integration in Boston schools.) Young wrote just before the protest peaked and he must have been influenced by the realization that local citizens were not going to kowtow to the kings and queens with college degrees employed as professional educators.

His article ranks as one of the three worst I have found on the subject of the Kanawha County Textbook controversy. It is filled with aberrations, exaggerations, and fabrications. I will be blunt in responding to most of his bunk since specific rebuttals are above and below as well as at the links provided at Textbook Protester Truth. My comments to each of his quotes are in blue font. Let’s roll.

“Gunshots in the crisp morning air could be coming from squirrel or grouse hunters, or it could be so-called textbook protesters shooting out bus, school building, or neighbor’s windows.” (162) The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

“Will a new wave of censorship sterilize our educational programs?” (262) No, but we tried to make the schools free from the bacteria of humanism.

“Are our public schools and educational institutions’ foundations cracking and crumbling?” (262) Yes, but that was not our fault.

“Is the end of the public schools at hand?” (262) Oh, if it only had been, there would have been no Columbine.

“The following ideas and concerns are offered as one educator’s early view of this situation, which surfaced when a small segment of the community began protesting the adoption and purchase of a series of language arts textbooks for the county’s schools” (262) The concept of over 1000 people at a board meeting was not computed in his calculation of “small.” Also, a petition of over 12,000 names was presented to the board by the protesters.

“…it is my hope that your community can and will make educational changes called for by changing times, and not be forced to go through an experience like this.” (262) Yes, listen to taxpayers!

“School buses are riddled with sniper bullets, gas lines are cut, windshields are broken, and bomb threats disrupt school daily. Students, parents, custodians, secretaries, bus drivers, teachers, administrators, board members, judges, and law enforcement officers continue to receive personal threats of all kinds. Teachers and custodians must remove nails and broken glass from their school parking lots each morning, and several schools have been damaged by early morning fire bombs and dynamite.” (263 ) Aberrations, exaggerations, and fabrications!

“Workers have been shot and their cars destroyed when crossing picket lines.” (263) I do not recall any of the latter, but the former was true. The shots were fired by people opposed to the protesters!

“Many people have lost their jobs…” (263) Not true! This is the only place I have heard that lie.

“The John Birch Society has sent its lawyers and agitators, armed with money…” (263) The JBS did not send anyone significant, if they sent anyone, and it was the Heritage Foundation that sent a lawyer who was housed by Avis Hill, not the Holiday Inn.

“The National Education Association sent representatives here to investigate and to support the rights of teachers.” (263) Chicken Little Young implied that the NEA sticking its nose in was noble and conservative groups supporting the rights of parents was not.

“Donations are being solicited and received by a multiplicity of groups—some of which are now being accused of fraud by their followers.” (263) Yep, both sides needed money. That is just reality. If he meant to slur the protesters with his “fraud” comment, my rebuttal is “BUNK, BULL, BALONEY. BLADERDASH, BILGE!”

“Several attacks have been made on books which have been in use for years.” (263) Not true.

“Everyone is suspect, and all materials and teaching methods are being questioned.” (263) The suspicions were caused by the arrogant behavior of people like Young. What is wrong with taxpayers questioning the things he lists?

“Quotes from school library books are printed in the paper.” (263) If there were, it was a fluke. See what we had printed in a paid ad . The newspapers refused to print some of content of the protested books. Television stations would not allow it to be read on air. Eventually, the system sunk so low it censored reading from student books at its own board meeting!

“It was this board member who persuaded several religious leaders and their flocks to denounce and oppose the recommended books at the deadline board meeting.” (264 ) A lie. See “Faigley’s Fragrant Falsehoods” below.

“After much shouting and uproar, the Board of Education (sic) removed eight of the more controversial supplementary books at the high school level…” (264) Bald faced lie unless some cheers and boos are what he is referring to. Watch a segment of that meeting (01- to 1:10) for yourself and you will be disappointed if you expect to see an “uproar.”

“Almost immediately rumors and hand-printed flyers full of half-truths, false statements, and quotes from books not adopted by the board were spread throughout the county,” (266) Hand printed? Give me a break! Perhaps some bits of misinformation got passed around. With a grassroots program involving thousands of independent people that could have happened. However, the FACTS were put out and they are undeniable.

In one area of the county two school bus divisions were shut down by mobs of people.” (266) Yeah, right, they were mobs. To use the vernacular of my former teenage students, “NOT!” No news stories support the folks that picketed bus garages resembled anything close to a “mob.” One of the photos in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (between pages 216-219) show a man and three ladies, two of whom are holding small children in their arms. Check the news articles and see if you can find anything about mob actions at bus facilities. Pages 224-226 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party provide a firsthand account of a protester arrested at a bus garage.

In a box citing a November 4, 1974 Time article Young put “‘…texts that include passages by authors from E. E. Cummings and Sigmund Freud to Dick Gregory and Eldridge Cleaver. Under particular attack are selections that appear to challenge a literal interpretation of the Bible or are otherwise anti-religious, anti-American, or too violent.’” (266) Again, from my former students, “DUH!” What gave the school system the right to attack the religious beliefs of a large section of its students? Why can’t Americans protest anti-American content in “public” school textbooks? Exactly what were the portions of the named authors’ works that were objectionable? Why did the school system never adopt Cleaver’s Soul on Fire?

“Will teachers walk out if the basic language arts books are not returned to the schools?” (267) They did not. They only walked out several years later over money and power issues.

“All the while, the children for whom we say the schools were established continue to be used, abused, embarrassed, and denied an atmosphere conducive to quality education.” (267) It wasn’t as bad as he implies, but it was the arrogance of the “professionals” that made the situation into what it was. And for all the things he names, plus much worse see the post 1974 West Virginia School News. The facts about what the “professionals” did are outrageous!

“The first issue to be made known was disapproval of the adopted reading materials, for religious reasons, by a small group of religious people.” (267) No, it was due to sub-standard grammar and it quickly became apparent that Christianity was under attack and, as proved above, the number of people was NOT small.

“The next major issue, one just now being brought to light, is racial.” (267) Of course, the race card had to be played because they were losing the debate. The protesters were NOT RACIST. I’d like to ask those blacks (especially those professing to be Christian) why they chose to follow their liberal leaders and embrace an author based upon the color of his skin instead of the content of his character.

“Another issue was evident early, when the coal miners in this and surrounding counties seized the opportunity to shut down the mines and deplete the coal stockpiles.” (267) That claim was never proven and is debunked by an actual miner (David Lucas) cited above.

“Many of the people who oppose the school system’s books and procedures in West Virginia have had bad experiences in public schools.” (267) Funny! Even if he was right he pointed out how bad the school system was.

“We are accountable to the public which supports the schools.” (267) He left out what his article exposes, unless the bulk of that “public” are Bible believing Christians.

Young’s piece was not worthy of what is perceived as an intellectual publication. It should have been printed in a journal called Pie Duncin Capa.

Now, on a serious note—the worse piece of you-know-what I have come across regarding the Kanawha County Textbook Protest.


Schaub, Donald W. “A Lesson in Communication.” Ohio Schools, September 1975: 2-5

Communication and Miscommunication

“’We will not completely recover in a decade. Morale is low. The kids don’t have the trust in teachers they once had…’ Roscoe Keeney, president of the Kanawha County (West Virginia) Association of Classroom teachers…” (2) “ In 1974 the local teacher union (Kanawha County Association of Classroom Teachers--KCACT) was becoming aggressive in demanding collective bargaining rights. The National Education Association (NEA) had sent negotiations specialists to West Virginia to assist county teacher organizations. The KCACT president said ( Gazette October 20, 1974) that the textbook controversy would help achieve the group’s goals. However, the KCACT could not muster enough teacher support to stage a planned one day sickout to protest the removal of the books from school sites.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (pages 43-44).

Keeny also said that “The books were adopted as supplemental texts from the very beginning…” (2) That was not true for the huge elementary level adoption. Also, claiming the books were “supplemental” is a smokescreen. The huge amount of money spent on the secondary level books guaranteed they would be widely used.

Schaub communicated a new outlandish lie that “homes were firebombed.” (2) In the same sentence he wrote that buses and cars were firebombed. There were no buses firebombed. Two of the three cars firebombed were owned by protesters (Charleston Daily Mail November 1, 1974 and citation pending).

Nelle Wood (chairman of the textbook selection committee) was quoted in the context of teachers being reluctant to join “such groups as the Coalition for Quality Education (a pro-textbook group organized during the controversy). Wood is the one who called the protesters “stupid” in The Great Textbook War radio documentary. (49:18) In the same program she complained that no one wanted to hear her side. She was heard here and in Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (pages 180-181) I prove, with citations, that Mrs. Wood had plenty of publicity. The teachers opposed to the books were never contacted until Trey Kay called me in 2009. Two teachers who criticized the books was threatened by school administration (page 132). I have never revealed the discrimination I experienced when trying to reenter the school system four years after the protest.

The liberal left-leaning Episcopal minister James Lewis got to communicate his opinion about the damage done to the school system. Also, Lewis said he wanted the schools to “open up my kids’ eyes to more than one point of view…” (3) What a hypocritical statement since Lewis, over the years, has never sought to allow Bible believing Christians to present their point of view in “public” schools. In fact, he would fight such an idea. To be clear: I am not advocating using the schools as a church. I am simply talking about traditional Judeo-Christian values.

Schaub did allow Alice Moore to communicate that she did not want the school system to try to change the values of her children. “This is an area where I don’t think the schools have any right in getting involved…What we’re really challenging is the right of parents to bring their children up with their own beliefs.” (3) Also, Moore said, “I really think that sometimes board members get to thinking that their job is to represent the views of the administration rather than represent the views of the public… (that) is how education grows apart from the community.” Even teacher union representative Keeney and Superintendent Underwood agreed that parental involvement is important. (4) Of course, they did not mean conservatives and especially conservative Christians. On the same page, Underwood wisely advised other systems to “have ‘parental involvement in a total way—look at your whole community…” Then, he excluded those not aligned with him by saying, “Recognize the hard core groups and in no way let them sterilize the system. Recognize them for exactly what they are and don’t let them push the system.” I wonder what Underwood things of the hard core homosexuals.

The red herring of a flyer distributed by the protesters supposedly containing false information. (4) Even if true, that was a miniscule issue and the protesters provided a documented 500 page report on what the books contained. Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (page 94)

Interestingly, Superintendent Underwood admitted that the cause of the protest would not be pinpointed as religious, racial, or a class struggle. (4) The protest was certainly not racially motivated.

More Miscommunication

The new superintendent John Santrock said he “believes that as many as 5,000 people may have been supportive ot the protesting parents.” (4) He could believe whatever, but the facts (documented above) show at the minimum it was double that amount. Even if it were only 5,000, that is a huge amount of taxpayers!

Superintendent Underwood claimed “there were more than40 national groups in Charleston to take advantage of the situation.” (4) Actually, if you count the liberal groups that arrived, the outsiders could be counted on two hands.

“Those supporting the textbooks are unhappy about a set of book selection guidelines which, they contend, give parents a censorship role of books before they ever get to the teacher selection committee.” (5) Those guidelines are listed in the Kincheloe section below and on pages 32-33 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party. The sentence in the Schaub article could easily end with “…before they ever get to the teacher selection committee for their censorship.”

Keeney claimed the protesters “want to take over the selection of curriculum materials, period!” (5) Keeney was always cool with teachers having total control with input from liberals.

Lewis said “The opposition is now taking us seriously, just as we have taken them seriously.” (5) The protesters took his group serious from the first time they heard about it.

In closing, Lewis got the last word. “The whole problem, he believes, has been a ‘gigantic exercise in language arts for this community—an exercise in our inability to talk with each other and to listen.” (5) What he meant was, “We will do the talking and they will do the listening.” In November 2009 a Textbook War forum featured only those (and one token “protester”—a lady who was kid in 1974) from the pro-book perspective. Protest leader Avis Hill said, “ “It appears to me that they can’t debate us, so they debate empty chairs that can’t talk back. It will be just a sham—twisting history once again.” Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (page 165)

That is a lesson in communication that this article attempts to teach.


I have a collection of terrible tripe that tries to tarnish the protesters and this one is at the bottom (or top—depending on which rates as the most treacherous). Often, papers are prepared by professors who never met a protester. A few writers, such as Cowan, Kay and Kincheloe, personally got acquainted with protesters and came away with a respectful perspective. Lester Faigley (“What Happened in Kanawha County.” The English Journal, (May 1975): 7-9) claims to have made an on-site visit. He must have only spoken to the opposition during that visit because he crammed a lot of propaganda into three pages.

His second sentence reads, “This past autumn paired the all too familiar script of racial violence with an odd clash in West Virginia between angry parents and local officials over a series of textbooks…” (7) AGAIN, protesters were NOT RACIST!! The protesters did object to some material by black authors. Protesters objected to the content of the books, not the color of the author. It was the negative portrayal of blacks as urban thugs and the hatred portrayed between the races that concerned the protesters. Protesters understood and honored blacks’ objection to Huckleberry Finn . What about the real racial discrimination by the county education establishment? (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party p . 318-319) Also see pages 8-17 for more about why the protesters were NOT RACIST.

He concludes his opening paragraph by stupidly stating that “Reports in national media tended to characterize the text opponents as poor, downtrodden hillbillies crying out against the oppression of an elitist system which has no regard for their views or values.” The national media portrayed them as poor hillbillies who wanted to ban (or burn) books. I have the citations and challenge anyone to prove that the media did otherwise. “A closer look reveals, however, that the people who closed the schools in Kanawha County do not match this image, nor was their protest spontaneous.” The protesters were “crying out against the oppression of an elitist system which has no regard for their views or values.” That is an indisputable FACT. Also, it was spontaneous as has been documented and described by Alice Moore (the board member who discovered what was happening). At the end of the board meeting, my husband, Darrell, walked up and handed me a book saying, “Look what you just adopted.” To my shock, I read the words of Malcolm X, “All praise is due Allah that I had moved to Boston when I did. If I hadn’t I’d probably still be a brainwashed black Christian.” The next day, I had 325 books delivered to my home and I started reading. (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party p .194) Only a local liar could have gotten a gullible visitor to believe otherwise.

Referring to Mrs. Moore’s 1970 election Faigley wrote, “Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Moore defeated an incumbent school board member and gained a forum for her admitted stand against academic freedom.” (7) Mrs. Moore NEVER took such a stand except in the minds of those who opposed her. Anyway, K-12 teachers have never had complete academic freedom. Regarding Moore’s victory, see how superbly solid it was in the section about Kincheloe below.

Faigley claimed that “Mrs. Moore demanded that all of the books be removed…” (7) That is not true. The context seems to be saying that she made that demand at an April board meeting when the books were introduced to the board. Here is the truth which can be verified by public records and news accounts. Mrs. (Alice) Moore was originally concerned about the tendency to water down the teaching of English—especially grammar. At the April 11, 1974 board meeting (4) she found out which books had been selected. The textbook selection committee made a typical presentation about how hard they worked and the board president complimented them. Mrs. Moore caught a reference to non-standard English which was made by the textbook selection committee presenter. Proper grammar was important to Mrs. Moore so she requested a delay in accepting the books. The superintendent informed her of a deadline imposed by state law, so Moore made a motion that the board adopt the books, but delay a vote to purchase them. The motion passed. Moore had the books delivered to her house the next day. Once she saw what was in them she requested (within a week of the April 11 meeting) a private conference with the other board members. She was trying to avoid making it a public fight . Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p. 21-22).

“Twenty percent of the forty-five thousand public school students were absent on September 3, the first day of class…At no time in urban Charleston, the capital and commercial center of the state, did schools waiver from a normal rate of eight percent absence, nor did the school boycott ever gain the backing of a third of the parents in the county.” (7) This is a classic case of “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” A twenty percent absent figure is enormous! They tried to claim that parents feared (Faigley said they feared “school bus snipers and school bombers”) sending their children. Perhaps a few did, but the data (such as the aforementioned 65.6% of elementary school parents who refused to allow their children to use the books in late March 1975) strongly suggest that was not the case. A week after school opened absenteeism was 23% with numbers in the western end of the county located far from the center of the protest (eastern part) increased (Charleston Daily Mail September 9, 1974). On September 18 the Daily Mail reported an absentee rate from 50 to 90 percent in the eastern of the county. That figure was “up in comparison to figures last week.” Over a month later absentee rates were between 20-25 percent (Charleston Daily Mail October 21, 1974). An October 21 Daily Mail article reported that “law-enforcement and school board officials confirmed that the school day Monday passed without incident.” By October 25 th the 25% amount had increased “but not a great deal" (Daily Mail). In the spring, a two-day boycott produced a reported rate of about 17% and a protest leader, citing an inside the board office source, claimed the figure was higher (Charleston Gazette March 5, 1975). Regarding the “urban” claim—what is “urban?” That could be arguably a handful of schools making the attendance percentage insignificant.

Speaking of percentages, a December 19 Charleston Daily Mail report cited a 70% disapproval of the elementary textbooks.

The usual “the union wished to deplete coal stockpiles” argument is made (7) and Faigley was certain “the miners’ interest in the dispute ranged wider than the texts themselves." (8) At least he admitted the texts were a part of the motivation for the miners.

Faigley continued further flimflam in the next paragraph when he wrote “The protesters who censured violence in the texts used violence to halt work at construction projects, factories, and chemical plants and to stop trains and busses. Two shootings and numerous beatings occurred along picket lines.” (8) Only with liberal fanaticism could he indict at least 12,000 protesters with the actions of literally a handful. The only construction project that I am aware of that was halted is told about by protest leader Ezra Graley who said, “One time, when we were at the board of education, the steward on the job of putting I-64 in back of the capitol—building that big wall—came over and told me, 'If you’d just send grandma over there with a picket sign, we’ll shut the whole thing down.' There were a couple of women that went over there with picket signs and that guy went through and shut everything down on the highway.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party (p 27). Naturally, workers would have to present some reason for walking off the job so they claimed to be threatened. The Charleston Daily Mail reported (September 6, 1974) that “Workers at Union Carbide’ Alloy Plant jointed the dispute.” On September 9 the Mail reported that “The majority of the day shift at the (True Temper) plant refused to cross a picket line formed by six school book protesters this morning, a plant official said.” There was no mention of violence in either article. The second article went on to report that there were not any pickets at the Alloy plant but about 150 construction workers “walked off the job after reporting to work. The only explanation Carbide was given, (a plant spokesman) said, was that the workers resented the presence of federal marshals who were sent to the plant to enforce a federal restraining order against the textbook pickets.” I recommend reading David Lucas’s account of his arrest at the Alloy plant on pages 242-243 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party. As for stopping buses, the protesters did block exits and many bus drivers were sympathetic. One such bus blockade is described by a participant on pages 224-226 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party. It is an eye-opening account for anyone not willingly blind. It should be noted that in 1990 West Virginia teachers went on an 11-day strike and some of them were arrested for blocking school buses. A Daily Mail September 10 article reported “Most bus drivers employed by the Kanawha Valley Regional Transit Authority (KRT) today joined the boycott in Kanawha County in protest of controversial textbooks…One of the men standing on the picket line said they were not violating any injunctions which have been issued. ‘We are not keeping anyone from working. We are just asking them to help us.’” The accompanying photo shows the men hardly appear to be threatening. A caption to a photo with the article shows KRT drivers who “stationed themselves outside the Kanawha County Board of Education building on Elizabeth Street today to support a countywide protest of the controversial books.” Other unionized companies, for whatever reasons, had workers who would not cross a picket line. I have a copy of the December 1974 edition of the newsletter of the local affiliate of the American Postal Workers union (AFL-CIO) which contains an article explaining why the textbook protest was related to keeping a strong union. Unless someone shows me proof, I have to firmly state that Faigley’s claim of trains being stopped came from his fantastic imagination. Regarding Faigley’s claim about shootings and beatings—the only humans shot were shot by men who were aligned against the protesters. One of the shooters took a good whipping after he emptied his pistol. See articles in the Charleston Daily Mail (September 13, 1974 and the Charleston Gazette (September 14 and 25, 1974).

About the “compromise” (the protesters later learned it was a CONpromise) where the books were removed from schools while being reviewed by a board appointed Citizen Review Committee: “Ms. Moore and other leaders initially accepted the compromise, but when they canvassed their supporters that night, they found them buoyed by their triumph and unwilling to accept anything less than the permanent removal of all new English books, the resignation of the Superintendent of Schools and the four pro-book board members, and amnesty for anyone violating injunctions.” (8) The injunction violations were an issue prior to this. There were always people who wanted Underwood to resign and all books to be out, but there was no poll by Mrs. Moore and others.

“The September 18 arrests of demonstrators blocking entrance to the Board of Education office building apparently led to the bombing of three elementary schools in the following month and several cases of vandalism culminating in the dynamiting of the board office building on the night of October 30.” (8) See just how those protesters were “blocking” entrance to the board (point 3:15 to 15:25). THEY WERE NOT! The bombers of the board office were never identified and there is reason to think it was done by those opposed to the protesters. Anyway, we need to follow “innocent until proven guilty.” Faigley came close to getting it right when he said those “actions alienated the conservative middle class support” of the protest. Actually, the actions of a handful of men were disgusting to protesters of all income levels.

Thanks to this modern age we have a term to express the next fantastic statement from Faigley. It is BWAHAHA!! Being the bigot he is, he said, “ The preachers who provided an element of low comedy to the fracas-the truck driving Rev. Marvin Horan, who called policemen "pigs" during a rally assailing textbooks cited for including the same word and in the same context in a story; the Rev. Charles Quigley, a convicted felon, who prayed for God to strike dead the school board members favoring the texts…” (8) The claim about Horan is a bald-faced lie. In fact, at a major rally at Watt Powell Park Horan helped the crowd thank the police who were there. I verified that with Marvin Horan via a May 2013 telephone call. Also, Avis Hill (email of June 2013) reminded me that police were referred to as “pigs” in the textbooks that the protesters were protesting. Faigley was more motivated in slinging mud and had to wallow with the hogs to make that false accusation. Quigley was not a felon and his explanation for his prayer is on page 285 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party. Faigley goes on in the same paragraph to list “extremist right-wing organizations” as the Heritage Foundation, Robert Dornan, and Rev. Carl McIntire. Look them up and see how “extreme they were. Their radicalism exists only in the minds of those who do not equate the National Education Association as left-wing and Bill Ayers as a violent extremist. Of course Faigley brings up the Klan which was NOT part of the protest and merely sought to insert itself.

Naturally, “the nigger books” farce is mentioned. (8) See above for the debunking of that OUTRAGEOUS LIE.

Faigley stupidly cited as sincere the mocking statement of a Marshall University professor who cynically called the protesters “the best pole on God’s green earth.” (8)

Continuing to sling his craziness, Faigley said that “the most prominent writer of this region, Jesse Stuart, is among the many whose books the protesters want banned.” (8) The protesters were right to object to a story by Stuart. “Jesse Stuart was ‘surprised’ and ‘furious’ when he found out that a story of his, which was in the controversial textbooks, had been edited to remove the lesson he taught about cheating being wrong. Stuart said (about the publisher), ‘It’s underhanded piracy in editing.’” (Charleston Daily Mail, January 23, 1975)

Faigley foolishly claimed that “...Ms. Moore's appointees (to the Citizen Review Committee) breaking off to form a dissident group when they realized they could not dominate the review committee." (9) In his description of what went on a committee member related, “As the meetings progressed, the sessions became acrimonious. Committee members who favored the books would ask the members who were opposed to the book adoption, ‘What don’t you like about this book?’ When the member described his or her objection, invariably the response from the pro-book members would be to act astonished that someone would object to that passage and say that it did not bother them at all. It became very one-sided because the pro-book members did not have to read the books, they relied on the anti-book members to read and provide the criticism. The pro-book members would then ridicule the objections. The result of this one-sidedness and hostile treatment was that the anti-book members pulled away from the main committee, began to meet separately, and decided to present their own report.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 246)

In that report Faigley claimed “Their five hundred page report is illustrative of text-protester reasoning…A story about Admiral Dewey is denounced for its profanity. (9) “A November 3, 1974 Gazette op-ed tried to force BPPABT (Business and Professional People Alliance for Better Textbooks) President Elmer Fike into a corner over Fike’s claim that patriotic themes were lacking in the textbooks and his objection to profanity. The writer lampooned Fike’s dilemma at Admiral Farragut’s famous 'Damn the torpedoes' statement. Of course the liberals hooted at this. It turned out that the context in the textbook was ridiculing the admiral’s quote. Mr. Fike responded in a letter printed seven days later. He explained that the passage was actually a parody that was a 'downgrading of what has been considered sacred ‘America’.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 20) Faigley figureed the protester should be mocked because the report says “An account of various theories on the diversity of human language including the Tower of Babel story is found objectionable because the Bible is "fact" and theories which differ from it should not be printed.” (9) To the protesters, the Bible is fact. Faigley lists other works such as Moby Dick, which are listed in the 500 page report, but fails to provide context which is one of the main criticisms used (unjustly) against the protesters. Does that bring to mind the word “hypocrite?”

Faigley failed to mention, when crediting the board for allowing students to choose not to use the books, the overwhelming amount of parents who took the opt-out. (9)

Faigley cited the National Education report as saying allowing parents to be on a future screening committee “makes censors of parents.” (9) It is fine with the NEA to allow teachers to be the censors. The NEA report is dissected in Chapter 7 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party which contains “The conclusion of the NEA report was that ‘no group has the right to impose its religious values upon the public schools.’ That means that Christian values are out and, since a vacuum cannot exist, in the place of those Christian values, the religion of secular humanism (no matter how vehemently denied by NEA and its liberal cohorts) will rush in. That fact has been historically proven.”

Finishing his paper, Faigley, quoted an ultra-liberal, Christian mocking Charleston Gazette columnist and flung“book banning” and “censorship.” He worried that the schools will be surrendered “to the shrillest members of the community.” (9) He got that right, the homosexuals have made Faigley a prophet.


Another fellow (besides me) found fault with Faigley. Robert Small, a professor at Virginia Polytechnic institute, (“Textbook Protesters as People." The English Journal, (March 1976): 18-19) opened by stating the obvious, “The controversy over textbooks which has racked Kanawha County, West Virginia during the past two years has drawn considerable national attention…(it) has been discussed, analyzed, and investigated. It has also produced a number of efforts to present a picture of the protesting parents as racist red-necks bent on the imposition on all the children of the community of an education system presenting only what their critics see as bigoted and foolish ideas and beliefs.” (18)

Despite accepting Faigley’s dogma as definitive (“the facts he presents are too well documented to argue with”) Small makes some powerful points. Too bad he did not have the documentation I provide in this article and in my book.

Small said, “Only the foolish and fanatic would try to defend the crowds chanting, “Get the Nigger Books Out!” (18) True, but it did not happen and even Faigley did not say crowds chanted the reprehensible words. Small provides a good example of how things get exaggerated as they are passed on without careful investigation. After those sad statements Small challenged Faigley.

“But Mr. Faigley makes the mistake of characterizing the causes of the protest in such nasty terms…(racism, coal miner opportunism, warped preachers) were there, of course, but there are other causes of at least equal importance which the report in the English Journal fail to report. It might be possible to make a case for these other causes as of greater fundamental importance than any Mr. Faigley mentions. I plan to try.” (18)

“Only twice does “What happened in Kanawha County” touch on the nature of the people who formed the majority of the protestors.” (18) That was where Faigley dismisses his misunderstood national media depiction of them as “poor, downtrodden hillbillies.” Small compared the term “hillbillie” (sic) to “nigger.”

Small did catch that Faigley misused the Marshal University professors quote. “…Mr. Simkins (sic) rather hyperbolic remark is used to make defenders of the protestors seem incredibly silly.” (18)

After pointing out Faigley “lightly dismissed” the protester point that the texts “attempt to present diverse points of view from various ethnic groups, they neglect the Appalachian culture,” Small said, “…what underlies the protests, it seems clear to me, is less racism and economic opportunism than the feeling that the schools are, in fact, not merely ignoring the beliefs and culture of the parents but actively trying to subvert them. That is, the schools are actually teaching values in conflict with those of the parents.” (18)

“The protesting parents to a considerable extent subscribe to what is popularly called fundamental Christianity. Belief in this form of Christianity implies many beliefs about the creation of the world, the absolute nature of divine moral law, the duties of children, and so forth. Many of these ideas are unpopular today in intellectual circles. It is fashionable to sneer at such religion as unsophisticated, unscholarly, narrow, and even less complimentary characterizations. Nevertheless, the religion represents the sincere belief of a sizable majority of the people of the Appalachian region. There is something inconsistent surely in treating with respect the beliefs of some minorities, while looking with scorn on the convictions of this minority. Yet, despite Mr. Faigley’s comment that the national media tended to treat the protestors with undue sympathy, I can remember only one such defense of them. That appeared in the Wall Street Journal (October 7, 1974, p. 20) and so, I suppose, can be dismissed because of the conservative capitalist source.” (18-19)

“It is this feeling that the Wall Street Journal described as ‘resentment—against the schools, the bureaucrats, the upper classes in general.’ To characterize these protestors as oafs performing ‘low comedy’; as bigots referring to the texts as ‘nigger books’; as miners, ministers, and school board members motivated by crass opportunism, as the English Journal article does, does no good, solves no problems. To dismiss the objections to the texts as silly, superficial, and the result of ignorance and twisted logic, as the examples given in this article do, is to disguise deep, sincere, and strongly held beliefs and frustrations. Where is the respect for diversity we talk so much about?” (19)

“The dissatisfaction of the Appalachian protestor is no less than the dissatisfaction of the civil rights militant. The Appalachian protestor is no less proud and protective of his culture and the way of life than are members of ethnic minorities. The Appalachian protestor may at times give way to extreme statements and violent actions, as have members of other groups asserting their rights. While condemning the violence, the bigotry, and foolish remarks, we must give the Appalachian protestor’s basic beliefs and feelings the same respect we now seem willing to give to those of other protest groups. Modern experience makes that, if we do not, there will be more Kanawha Counties. Worse, it is easy to predict that, in the end, the schools will suffer the most.” (19)

There has not been another “Kanawha County,” but the schools have surely suffered because what the protesters proclaimed was defamed and dismissed.


Professor Joe Kincheloe took the time to get to know the lady who led (by inspiration) the Kanawha County Textbook Protest, Alice Moore. I have categorized him as one of the few scholars who came close to objectivity. Nevertheless, Kincheloe missed some important matters. Let’s take a look at that and what he got right.

In “Alice Moore and the Kanawha County Textbook Controversy” (Journal of Thought, Spring, 1980: 21-34) he said Alice Moore had “no experience in educational policy making” while neglecting to point out none of the other board members had any either before being elected. Then he accurately described her as “Charming, perceptive, and quite articulate, Moore, moved by a sincere concern for ultimate parental authority regarding a child’s education, became the spokesperson for a number of like-minded parents in the affluent western part of the county…" Her actions regarding a sex-ed program made her “a powerful advocate of parental rights in the region, and as a result (she) gained a devoted following in both Kanawha County and the city of Charleston. Moore kept parents who were fearful of governmental interference in their children’s moral education united and aware of forces in the county thought to be insensitive to such concerns.” (22) That really bothered liberals.

“Moore read avidly and kept abreast of the world through her own initiative. The successful school board campaign bolstered an innate confidence and a security in what she believed. The word of God was easily deciphered, and man, she contended, simply acted upon his faith in a set of absolute standards set down by the Creator." (23) Who has a right to mock her beliefs which were the same as the bulk of the protesters?

Kincheloe missed a point somehow when he said, “Moore argued that the language arts goal of emphasizing the racial, cultural, and philosophical diversity of American society was from her perspective anti-Christian, anti-American, anti-authority, depressing, and negative.” (23) Such a statement by Mrs. Moore cannot be proven. However, in a June 2013 email to me, Mrs. Moore said, “Black culture, and/or inner city culture, was shown in the context of pride in being a pimp for prostitutes and, if I recall correctly, driving around and running men down in a big Cadillac, painting graffiti on and defacing other people’s property, and poetry with this line, ‘Mama's got a brand new baby…Wrap it up in toilet paper, throw it down the elevator.  One, two, three out goes she.’ And Black Panthers boasting about murdering a judge and killing the 'Pigs' (police officers), all presented 'non-judgmentally'.  In that context, I would be happy to claim that statement as something I well might have said.”

He was correct when he said, “Others, she freely admits, may not view the textbooks in this light, but for Alice Moore and her constituency the books severely challenged the basic moral assumptions on which their children were raised. Moore sees universal compulsory education in a diverse society that is unable to agree on the meaning of morality as impractical. Teachers, regardless of their political or moral perspective, cannot hide their feelings on divisive issues and thus will always deny some parent the right for his child to be educated in an atmosphere he considers appropriate. She therefore advocates a free enterprise system of education which would end public schooling as we know it and give parents a range of choices concerning where, how, by whom, and for what purposes their child would be educated. Questions of possible social stratification along racial or economic lines are answered by the charge that people concerned with problems of equality are basically scared of freedom. Moore admits there may be some stratification but denies that such layering would be a problem. ‘Both wealthy and poor people would choose religious schools,’ she maintains, for religion recognizes no class lines.” (23-24) Amen!

“The question of academic freedom raised by so many of her critics would finally be answered, she argues. Teachers in the multitude of private schools growing out of the death of compulsory education would be totally free to teach whatever philosophy the school advocated from Protestant fundamentalism to atheism or from free enterprise economics to socialism. Not unlike the radical critics of the left Moore contends the state dictatorship over the mind of the child would be terminated by the end of public schooling.” (24) Amen, again!

Kincheloe got some historical facts correct. “Between the May and June meetings Moore was very busy, appearing frequently at church groups, community organizations, and other county assemblages. Contrary to the picture portrayed by the visual and print media Moore did not venture into the coal mining portion of the county. The movement was almost exclusively confined at this time to the western portion of Kanawha County.” (24) I would add that Mrs. Moore did not seek appointments. She responded to requests.

“In her many appearances Moore maintained that she was interested in the schools providing basic knowledge of reading, fundamental principles of math, some American history, some world history, government, and English grammar. Realizing the immediate impracticality of her vision of a free enterprise system of education, Moore emphasized that her rights as a parent were violated when schools exposed her children ‘to values clarification or various rap sessions with the intent of making them more open-minded than I want them to be on religious and moral questions. This is an area where I don’t think the schools have any right in getting involved.’” (25) That was the protesters’ prerogative.

Although it is minor, Kincheloe mistakenly credited Moore with presenting a 12,000 signature petition to the board. That petition was presented by the protesters. “The petition called for the prohibition of literature which encourages skepticism in the following: the family unit which comes from the marriage of a man and a woman, belief in God, the American political system, the free enterprise economic system, the laws and legal system of the nation and the state, the history of America as ‘the record of one of the noblest civilizations that has existed,’ respect for other people’s property, and the need for the study of the traditional rules of grammar." (25) WHAT IS WRONG WITH ANY OF THOSE REQUESTS?

Moore watched with great consternation as television reporters and other journalists entered the county on the prowl for the spectacular.” (26) Kincheloe stated, probably correctly, that the protest became more emotional after the June board meeting and that made Moore uneasy because it allowed the press to distort the story. To Moore’s claim that “the vast majority of Kanawha Countians agreed the texts were inappropriate for the schools” Kincheloe faced the facts. “Her claims achieve a degree of validity when the school board election returns for 1976 are examined. She won the contest by the largest majority ever received by a school board candidate and carried all districts in Kanawha County—both city and state.” (26 Emphasis in the original.)

Regrettably, on page 27 Kincheloe quoted Faigley and the NEA Report (see above for the credibility status of those sources) and reported some exaggerations and fabrications of what happened starting in September. I have already robustly rebutted all of those, but will make reference to a couple here. Regarding his claim that “300,000 dollars of damage” was done to schools, a Charleston Daily Mail (October 9. 1974) top of the front page headline read “Dynamite, Fire Bombs Rock Schools.” The report said Wet Branch (Cabin Creek) and Midway “damages were about $1000 each at the two schools.” Two doors were blown off and dozens of windows were shattered at Wet Branch. Midway school “sustained moderate fire and smoke damage”. The October 22 Daily Mail (front page top right) headline about Midway School again read “Dynamite Blast Damages School.” Near the middle of the article was “Damage was confined to one room, and a board of education official estimated it at $1,500.” Those are the worse examples of property damage during the protest. His statement that “many of the windows of the board of education building were blown out by shotgun blasts” is also overblown (pun intended). A September 6, 1974 Daily Mail photo shows two (maybe pellets in a third) small windows above the entrance doors were partially broken.

Moore’s take on the Citizen Review Committee (Also, see the Faigley section above.) was provided without comment. “It was, she recollects, ‘you show us what you think is wrong and we’ll decide whether we think it’s wrong…(A)s the Citizen’s Review Committee proved, we cannot teach morality in the schools because in these times people’s notions of true morality has been shattered and many individuals have quite a distorted view of the concept.’” (28 Emphasis in the original.)

This was when the Christian homeschool movement was launched and the Christian school movement was strengthened. “Moore implied that parents may be forced to educate their children in their homes because of public school insensitivity to their rights. Other protesters threatened to escalate their plans to set up their own alternative school system.” (28)

Kincheloe continued to kick fantastic field goals.

“The school board meeting of November 21 seemed to quiet some of the anxieties of many of the protesters when the members accepted Moore’s textbook guidelines. The principles, which had been presented and ignored at the November 9 meeting prohibited the use of texts which invade the privacy of a child’s family life, teach racial conflict, subvert the sanctity of religious, ethnic, or racial group value structures, undermine patriotism, imply that alien political philosophies are superior to the American system of government, use the name of God profanely, or use vulgar language. In addition parents were placed on the textbook selection committees.” (28-29) Only extreme fanatics could object to those guidelines. They did. The Kanawha Coalition for Quality Education (a pro-book organization) “blasted” the guidelines as “vague, arbitrary, and hastily designed.” (Charleston Gazette, December 12, 1974)

“The textbooks, so important to traditional teaching methodologies, served as an extremely important symbol of control of the schools. If parents could not control the type of information found in their children’s school books, they had certainly lost an integral portion of their right to educate their children as they saw fit. Alice Moore was quite aware of many more subtle implications of the textbook as symbol of parental control. Rarely did the textbooks specifically advocate immoral or morally relative practices. Subliminally, however, the textbooks, Moore argued, planted anti-American and anti-Christian thoughts into the malleable minds of our children. Over a period of time those truths which were once absolute and inflexible lose their validity and find themselves open to question.” (29) The protesters trusted that the board decision was sincere and it may have been. However, people like those in the Kanawha Coalition for Quality Education did not relent and it was not long until blasphemy was a part of Kanawha County Schools and an amazing incident occurred at a board meeting.

“Moore contends that textbooks take on even greater importance when one examines the role of the teacher and the state of education in contemporary America. Teaching, sadly enough, often does not attract the most perceptive members of our society. When this fact is coupled with the ‘pathetic training’ found in most colleges of education one can understand why many teachers simply ‘teach the textbooks’ and never comprehend the implications of their lessons…Thus, colleges of education, controlled by the relativistic ideology of John Dewey for decades, continue to inflict their social and political radicalism on the American public…” (29) I retired after 34 years in public schools and can confirm that statement is a factual conclusion.

On page 30, Kincheloe drifted into error (probably influenced by Faigley and the NEA Inquiry Report) citing the “outside elements” that came to Kanawha County. Of course, he neglected to name the left-wing NEA that stuck its nose in and stirred racial conflict. “The NEA report was expertly written to disguise the NEA’s distaste for conservative (especially Christian fundamentalists/Bible believers) views in a way that made the NEA appear to be a high-minded organization, offering solutions to avoid future Textbook Wars. Any semblance of neutrality by the NEA was eliminated when the report disclosed that the chairperson of the NEA Ethics Committee represented the NEA in a pro-book parade and rally held in Charleston and said (on that day) that racism was a core issue of the protest.” (Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 138)

Also on page 30 Kincheloe uses the “nigger books” outright lie, but added a quote that Marvin Horan did not make. I challenge anyone to prove that quote referring to the Klan. Also, Marvin Horan never spoke at a Klan rally as is often portrayed although he made the serious mistake of going to one in order to find out what they said.

Before closing with an illogical conclusion that free enterprise schooling would deny minorities “parental rights and democratic participation” (32) Kincheloe allowed Alice Moore to clearly speak and he added complimentary comments. It is too bad that Kincheloe, at this time, was unable to free himself completely from the labyrinth of liberalism.

Quoting Moore: “Parents will initiate great changes when they finally realize that many people, especially professional educators, differ significantly in their definition of morality. These same parents would be shocked into action if they only knew the perversity which operates in our schools under the name of ‘humanistic morality’…I started out with the assumption that we had the best educational system in the world. It didn’t matter how much we paid for it—it was worth it. It’s absolutely not so! When you find out it’s not so, you begin to question other things, and then you begin to find out there are a lot of things you have been relaxed about believing that are just not there. We don’t have the best educational system in the world…” (31) In less than ten years a report by the U.S. Secretary of Education declared America was a Nation at Risk because “the educational foundations of our society are presently being eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people.” A little over 35 years later, Americans were simplemindedly Waiting for Superman who will never come.

“American educators have little time before the American public finds out about them, if Moore’s intuitions are correct. The only way the American education system can save itself at this late date is to keep the public ignorant of its goals for a social reconstruction based on a relativistic moral philosophy. There will be social restructuring, she claims, but it will come only when parents withdraw their support for public schooling after they recognize and begin to question the assumptions on which it rests.” (31) The likely last chance arrived in 2011 with the documentary IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America.


I conclude with someone who served on the NEA Inquiry Panel. I have certainly been critical with the NEA’s meddling in the protest, but Todd Clark (“The West Virginia Textbook Controversy: A Personal Account.” Social Education, April, 1975: 216-219) came to some conclusions that are worth complimenting.

Clark was the National Education Director of the Constitutional Rights Foundation and served as Chairperson of the National Council for the Social Studies Academic Freedom Committee in 1974. His criticisms of the protesters were petty. His praise was profound.

“All of us on the Commission had read newspaper accounts of the controversy before we arrived…I expected to find a fairly clear-cut conflict involving academic freedom compounded by the unique cultural characteristics of the county. After listening for three days to the people of the county explain their views, the issues were no longer clear-cut. It became increasingly difficult to identify the heroes and villains…The foremost fact that emerged was that those involved differed deeply and sincerely over philosophies of education.” (216 Emphasis added.)

“One of the fundamentalist preachers who testified before the Commission referred in eloquent language to his growing conviction, shared by many, that no public figures could be trusted either to behave honestly or to respond to the wishes of the people.” (217)

“(T)hose parents who support the books, again an undefined number, do so for basically the same reasons; they want the schools to reflect their views…” (218)

“…as many (protester) parents indicated to us, they have no wish to force their views on others, it is more difficult to find fault with their position…” (218)

The NEA panel had to admit that religion cannot be removed from government schools. “There can be no teaching of literature or history that does not concern itself with philosophical, moral, or political values; and there can be no discussion of such values that may not offend some members of some religious organization or political party—or perhaps cause them to re-examine their own position—at some time.” (National Education Association. “NEA Inquiry Report.” Washington, D. C., February 1975: 62) Of course atheists and Muslims must not be offended. After the 911 attacks upon America the NEA published lesson plans that urged teachers not to blame any particular group. Liberals claimed the claim was inaccurate but a libertarian source reported “Overall, the NEA's proposals for commemorating Sept. 11 are hardly above criticism. Many lesson plans seem to substitute hand-holding and group therapy for learning about facts and ideas; some have an annoying whiff of political correctness.” Easily offended atheists are constantly protected by the ACLU. Ironically, religion was rampant in the Kanawha County school system within a few years.

The Clark article included a photo of one of the Textbook Protest marches. Of the many signs carried by protesters the only legible one could serve as a stark reminder of the seriousness of the issues raised by the Kanawha county Textbook protesters. It read: OUR CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION WILL DETERMINE THEIR DESTINATION.

The Kanawha County Textbook Protest launched the war for the hearts and minds of America’s children. Many authors above have made vicious attacks upon the good people who tried to protect their children in 1974. Their assaults have been successful. Americans either are uniformed or brainwashed about that enormous event.

This article has documented the deranged and devious attempts to demean the good people who sounded the alarm that our children were under attack in America. History has proven their alarm was accurate. West Virginia news headlines are similar to those all over the country.

Liberals and God-deniers do what they do because it is their nature. Christians have a choice. I criticize Christians (with myself in the front) for compromising.

Liberals and God-deniers will not even send their children to a six minute Sunday school lesson once a week taught by a Bible believer (i.e. “fundamentalist Christian”) yet Bible believing parents give liberals their children for six hours a day five days a week!

Dear Reader: Will you listen to the liars or will you focus on the facts?

Repetition - owing to the infantile limitations of collective memory, a message must be continuously propagated in order to take hold within the collective consciousness.

Simplicity - The message must be designed in such a way that it appeals to or is quickly understood by the lowest common intellectual denominator of the collective. This is not only true because of the vast ignorance of the masses, but also because the collective attention span is virtually nonexistent.  We now live in a world of sound-bite discourse.  The simple lie always conquers the complex truth.

Imagery - The most powerful propaganda is embedded within appealing imagery. This imagery could be pictorial or descriptive.  This is why movies and music are such potent forms of propaganda.

Sentiment - The message must contain as little detail as possible, and instead be designed in such a way that it appeals to some strong emotion or sentiment—such as sex or sympathy.

An example of the above definition of propaganda (perhaps not intentional) is the opening sentence of “The Furor over School Textbooks” by Noel F. Busch.  Reader’s Digest  January 1976. 

“In Kanawha County, W. Va., (repetition) a dispute between parents and the school board over textbooks used in the public schools (simplicity) precipitated the bombing of the schoolhouse, the overturning of a school bus (imagery) and a week-long strike by coal miners who sympathized with the angry parents (sentiment).”

The “repetition” is the multiple negative references over time to the Kanawha County Textbook Protest. “Simplicity” calls it a dispute and ignores the great amount of study by the protesters and their attempts to reason with the school board. Leaving out the bad scholarship of stating the “the (as in, the only one) bombing of the schoolhouse,” the “imagery” leans toward imagining a collapsed building. The truth of the “bombings” is handled in the Not Violent document. For the record, no school bus was ever turned over. The whole Reader’s Digest article contains “as little detail as possible, and instead (is) designed in such a way that it appeals to some strong emotion or ‘sentiment’.”

**“Pro-booker” is not a complimentary term. It merely is the easiest designation I could coin for those who supported the books which were protested by those with different values. The protesters were not against books per se. The pro-bookers could be accurately labeled the “anything goes except Judeo-Christian concepts” crowd. ( Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party, p. 29)

Sincere thanks to DG for lots of editing help.

Special thanks to "WW" for research assistance.

For other documented facts that the Courageous Corps of ’74 were also NOT NARROW-MINDED, NOT IGNORANT, NOT CENSORS, NOT RELIGIOUS FANATICS, NOT VIOLENT, and NOT RACIST--click on each slur. Also, please see PERTINENT POINTS which do not fit the slur categories. Note: Some items may apply to more than one category. In that case the item is placed arbitrarily into whatever I feel is the best fit. The anchor for these particular pages is “The Facts”.

A video is worth a million words. See Textbook War videos and see if you believe your lying eyes and ears.

Kanawha County Schools are riddled with religion and evolutionism permeates the curriculum. There is a COMMON THREAD connecting evolutionism and the One World Religion.



1. This 2013 report of pro baby killing people is an excellent example of how liberals act which make the Kanawha County Textbook Protesters look like pussy cats. Chaos reigned in the final minutes of the Texas Senate late Tuesday night as opponents of a strict abortion bill succeeded in killing the measure, using a sprawling Democrat-led filibuster, egged on by noisy "unruly mob" protests…(Gov.) Dewhurst denounced the more than 400 protesters who staged what they called "a people's filibuster" from 11:45 p.m. to well past midnight…” We had an unruly mob."

2. In “ The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter” the New York public library stated what the protesters knew: “ Our first books stir and shape us as few books ever again can.” (

3. The serious violence that can be connected to protester sympathizers was more like vandalism. Under a sensational headline Charleston Daily Mail 10-9-74) a report stated that dynamite and fire bombs resulted in “damages were about $1000 each at the two schools.” Two doors were blown off and dozens of windows were shattered at Wet Branch. Midway “sustained moderate fire and smoke damage”. On October 22, 1974 the Daily Mail reported another blast and that “Damage was confined to one room, and a board of education official estimated it at $1,500.” Let’s compare the bombings to vandalism. What cost $1.00 in 1974 would cost $4.37 in 2010 ( In 2010 the 1974 damage would equal $6556.27. In 2010 a lone Massachusetts teenager did over $50,000 dollars of damage to a school. (

4. Over and over and over the protesters are portrayed as crazed wild-eyed dangerous people. Between pages 216-219 of Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party I posted plenty of photo s taken by newspaper personnel. Beginning at Textbook War Video I I have posted video with audio of the protesters. After searching the complete collections of news items held by the Kanawha County Public Library and the West Virginia Archives, I CHALLENGE anyone to PROVIDE PROOF that 99.99% of the protesters were anything except polite patriots. The lies about them need to be stopped by the facts!

5. If “The Kanawha County Textbook Controversy” (Rosemary Basham, Charleston Gazette, August 23, 2009) had been included above it would be headed “BASHED BY BASHAM.” Her article attempted to portray her as a pitiful young teacher pounded by the protest. She described the empty classrooms then asks about the parents, “Didn't they know we could be trusted? We would never expose their children to anything we didn't think was appropriate.” Just follow the threads of drugs, sex (including teachers with students and promotion of sexual perversion), lack of disciple, violence, poor academic standards, crime, anti-Christianity that poured into Kanawha County post 1974 to see how wrong she was. She related an unusual incident. “If there was any doubt as to the extent of our community's disdain, it was made clear one morning when two of our teachers were met on the front steps of the school by a parent carrying a shotgun. ‘Are you going in there to teach them dirty books?’.” That was news to me so I asked Alice Moore if she knew anything about it. In an October 23, 2012 email to me, Mrs. Moore replied, “I had never heard that one before this reference.  Why wouldn't someone have called the police?  And how did that fail to make the evening news? Why weren't charges filed? I can't believe anybody walked into a school with a rifle and no one slipped off to make a phone call as the principal talked with him.” Basham concluded her blitzkrieg by saying the protesters were a “minority who took it upon themselves to decide what was morally right, not only for their children, but for all the children of Kanawha County.” Avis Hill (October 2012 email) said, “Also, in 2012, Avis Hill said, "I never heard once about someone entering a school with a shot gun. Our folks may have been dumb according to the media, but we were not stupid! The Governor's State Police and Kemp Melton's Sheriff's Department would have been there right away.” As documented above, the protesters were not a minority. She was blind to the fact that she wanted to impose her morality.

6. The Kanawha County Textbook War was undoubtedly the foundation of the modern conservative movement. Many sources acknowledge that including the following about the Heritage Foundation. To its shame, the Heritage Foundation turned its back on its roots when Protester Voices—The 1974 Textbook Tea Party was published and would not offer even a word of support.

The early 1970s were the worst of times, and the best of times in which to launch a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C.

The media again stressed the Heritage-New Right connection when the foundation's legal counsel, James McKenna, paid frequent visits to Kanawha County, West Virginia, to help parents who objected to the liberal textbooks chosen for their schools. The struggle of the Kanawha County parents against West Virginia's educational establishment (and the National Education Association) was prominently featured in Conservative Digest and other New Right publications. Further evidence of Heritage's tilt to the New Right was provided by its publication, in late 1976, of a Critical Issues study entitled "Secular Humanism and the Schools: The Issue Whose Time Has Come," by Dr. Onalee McGraw. The thirty-page pamphlet was described as "a case study of the growth of humanistic teaching in the public schools and the efforts of local parent groups to stymie the humanistic trend." It quickly went into a second printing and became one of Heritage's most popular early studies.

Edwards, Lee. The Power of Ideas--The Heritage Foundation at 25 Years. Jameson Books, Inc. Chapter 1: A Modest Beginning (

7. A perfect example of the unrelenting put-downs of the protester is found in Michael Wenger’s book My Black Family My White Privilege (Bloomington: iUniverse, 2012).

Mr. Wenger, a liberal New Yorker who eventually was closely connected to Jay Rockefeller (120) and Bill Clinton (186), was president of the “newest and most progressive” Piedmont Elementary School* PTA when the Textbook War broke out. He had arrived in Charleston in 1969. (79) He said that Alice Moore had been elected “with strong support from fundamentalist activists in rural areas of the county.” (113) Like all good propaganda, there is some truth to that. There were a lot of fundamentalist Christian believers who supported Mrs. Moore. Few of them were activists. In fact, in Protester Voices-the 1974 Textbook Tea Party (213), Mrs. Moore provides the facts.

There were a few of us who had become close friends. We had discussed getting someone to run for the one seat coming open on the school board that year. With time running out, we had reached the last day for filing. In fact, we had reached the last minutes before the courthouse closed. Our small group was sitting in the rotunda of the capitol building. I had a strong feeling that I could win that election if I ran--an irrational feeling based on my lack of experience with public involvement or public speaking. I was too timid to suggest I might be the one to run for office. No one was saying anything, until one of my friends spoke up and said, “Who is going to run for school board? Somebody has got to run for school board!” No one volunteered until I quietly, more than a little embarrassed, said, “I have sort of thought about it.” My friend jumped on that statement and insisted I had to do it. Hardly believing what I was doing, with her urging me on, within minutes we were in her car speeding toward the courthouse which we feared would be closed before we got there. I had no money with me, so she paid the five dollar filing fee. (213)

With the help of bake sales and small donations, our small beginning band of a half-dozen women raised the $2500 the campaign spent for my election. Approximately $1700 was the donation of one person who insisted we had to have billboards--seventeen of them. (214)

Undoubtedly, there was support in rural areas, but her re-election proves she had wide support.

(Mrs. Moore) was re-elected in 1976, by a huge majority, and retained her seat until she moved out of state. She won districts all over the county—urban, rural, and suburban. (ibid. 72)

Wenger said that the books “contained the ‘anti-American’ writings of such African American writers as James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Ralph Emerson, and Richard Wright,…” Those are his words, not those of the protesters. If any of the objectionable content came from those authors it was due only to the context and subject matter. I challenge Wenger to provide citations to support his allegations that those authors were protested. “and raised issues such as war and peace, racial prejudice, poverty, and environmental degradation.” I don’t recall any of the environmental stuff being in the books, but the other issues were covered with the point-of-view of liberals and blacks were portrayed as violent slum dwellers. “The books encouraged youngsters to think, to question, and to reason.” The books encouraged teachers to question the values of their students via situation ethics. “Those who believed there was only one set of correct answers to complex issues were terrified that their children would be exposed to viewpoints at variance with their own beliefs.” Of course, reasonable parents would not want their young children to have their beliefs questioned! Wenger probably never sent his children to a fundamentalist church Sunday school for that very reason. (113)

Wenger “spent hours polishing what was to be a five-minute speech” for a monumental school board meeting. He “implored the board to allow our children to learn to think critically by exposing them to different points of view on controversial issues.” (114) That is sickeningly hilarious! I already pointed out why. I assume that meeting was this one:

Over a thousand people (one source said it was closer to 2,000) attended the June 27, 1974 three hour board of education meeting where the books were voted in by a 3-2 vote. The spectators were overwhelmingly against the books. The auditorium and hallway were packed. Most of the folks held umbrellas and stood outside of the open first floor windows in a heavy downpour. The board of education should have realized that the taxpayers and parents of the systems’ students were bothered about the books! (Protester Voices 70)

Additionally, regarding critical thinking on “controversial issues,” the blatant hypocrisy of Wenger’s ilk was proven during the Evolution Resolution battle in Kanawha County.

Wenger said he received about six harassing phone calls after his speech. (115) Although nothing happened to him, that is regrettable. He did not disclose if the calls were from different people. My guess, is it was the same one or two who were aberrations to the typical protesters who numbered in the thousands. Why should Wenger have worried about words which his side said were harmless? Even children know that “sticks and stones my break my bones…” It was those from Wenger’s side who pulled out guns and shot other humans. The only person seriously hurt during the protest was shot in the heart by a pro-book leader. Another pro-booker emptied his pistol at pickets, but missed. The protesters were not violent!

Wenger served on the citizens’ review committed assigned to review the books. Here is a description of what Wenger’s side did during the committee meetings:

As the meetings progressed, the sessions became acrimonious. Committee members who favored the books would ask the members who were opposed to the book adoption, “What don’t you like about this book?” When the member described his or her objection, invariably the response from the pro-book members would be to act astonished that someone would object to that passage and say that it did not bother them at all. It became very one-sided because the pro-book members did not have to read the books, they relied on the anti-book members to read and provide the criticism. The pro-book members would then ridicule the objections. (Protester Voices 246)

Wenger stated that “upon the committee’s recommendation, the board reaffirmed its decision to purchase the books.” (114) He left out that many of the books were deemed too objectionable to be placed in classrooms and that an overwhelming majority (Protester Voices 72) of parents of elementary children refused to allow their children to use the books.

In claiming that the “book-burners” (114) lost the battle but won the war, Wenger, in his zealous efforts to claim racism was the root of the protest, claimed the “virtual exclusion of black writers form our American history curriculum would continue.” (114) First of all, American History books were not protested. Secondly, the protesters never objected to morally uplifting stories by and about blacks. The protesters were not racists! Third, if Wenger was correct about the history books, he should blame that on publishers, not protesters.

“‘Book-burners’ from as far away as Texas invaded the county…” (113) The only books that were burned was when the county sent the rejected texts to the incinerator. Wenger failed to mention the NEA visitor from who-knows-where who came to incite racial animosity. At a pro-book rally the NEA spokesperson asked her audience to ‘pull back the sheets and look at what is going on’. Having done that, she said, people will realize that there is a strong threat of racism running through the textbook protest. (Protester Voices 144)

Michael Wenger is good at hurling insults and omitting inconvenient facts.

To see the powerful political players with whom Wenger was associated and how he inadvertently agrees with the actions of the Kanawha County Textbook Protesters see the conclusion to “BOOK REVIEW: My Black Family My White Privilege”.

*Piedmont Elementary is a showcase of liberal education philosophy. I have not researched the performance statistics for the school, but I would predict that, over the years, the numbers would be similar to (or worse than) those of 2012 . Only 43.29% of the students were proficient in reading, 30.15% in science, and 25.60% in social studies. The best was math at only 55.46%. In contrast, a more rational school (Belle) in the eastern part of the county scored 52.22%, 39.54%, 37.30%, and 62.68% respectively.

In November 2012 Wenger was a speaker at the “Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia” He asked a ridiculous question, “How many corporations do you think were anxious to locate in the Kanawha Valley after the 1976 textbook protests, in which I was involved and which generated national attention about racial divisions?” ( I posted: “Racism is not a simple “black and white” matter. See misc/racial-reality.htm”. I commenter posed: “With all due respect to Mr. Wenger, who is entitled to his opinion and to see the world through his perspective, I think the Kanawha County textbook controversy was more about the nascent theocratic political power of Christian Fundamentalism in the U.S. than about race.” To which I replied, “Mr. Wenger and you are both wrong. Perhaps you have been a victim of the propaganda, or like Wenger, you push a different version of the Gazette propaganda. The Textbook War was the first shot in the culture war and focused on the rights of Christian parents to not have their values attacked by government schools. I suggest that anyone who wants to know the truth see testimony/ textbook-protester-truth/ the-facts.htm.
Also, see what I say about Mr. Wenger’s involvement with the event at testimony/ textbook-protester-truth/ indisputable-ignorance.htm”.

My review of Mr. Wenger’s book was done as an August 26, 2013 article.

8. Here is proof of REAL CENSORSHIP in Kanawha County—and it is not from those mean old Textbook Protesters.

9. Also see “A Tale of Three Tiny Tomes”.


I have had a POP EYE MOMENT!

Classical liberals had wrong worldviews, but they were usually honest, polite, and would listen to other viewpoints.

Now, liberals are liars and loony hypocritical, anti-science, vile, vicious and intentionally ignorant fools. Liberalism is evil. Liberalism is a perfect example of what God said would happen in the last days.

In the case of the Kanawha County Textbook Protest, the ignorant (even evil) pseudo-scholarship seeds have yielded the ultimate ignorant (even evil) pseudo-scholarship fruit.

The Kanawha County textbook protesters were overwhelmingly good people—the kind of folks that make great neighbors. Also, they were courageous Americans. Over the years I have exposed the fake news, propaganda, exaggerations and pure hate spewing from the liberal/left that detest the Courageous Corps of 74 and their values of faith, family, and fundamentals of education. The efforts to slander the Courageous Corps of 74 have been shameful--ordering on disgusting. Sadly, the line to disgusting was crossed when I found (May of 2018) a 2017 article by a so-called “research librarian”. The so-called “research librarian’s” “research” must have been totally based upon the previous fake news, propaganda, exaggerations and pure hate of others mixed with liberal Canadian hallucinations and fantasies.

This so-called “research librarian” made a mockery of “research” and brought shame to the librarian profession. I cannot even come close to being polite in responding to the so-called “research librarian’s” tripe. The so-called “research librarian’s” article does not even merit the pointing out and correcting of mistakes. To call what the so-called “research librarian” wrote “mistakes” would be too kind. The complete article is below. I have changed the font color where the so-called “research librarian” lied, was petty, or twisted facts to suit his agenda.

Lies are in red font followed by LIE.
Petty comments are in blue font followed by PETTY.
Twisted facts are in green font followed by TWISTED.
I have inserted some criticism of his academic ability on orange font.

I challenge the so-called “research librarian”, or anyone in his Courageous Corps of 74 hating group to prove that any of my assertions of his pettiness, fact twisting and outright lying are inaccurate.

Here is his “article” (image of Alice Moore omitted).

I will not comment on his use of the word “Trustee” instead of “board member.”

The textbook wars of Kanawha County

Mike Selby Mar. 28, 2017

This is the worst one.

In March of 1974 the Kanawha County school board (Charleston, West Virginia) voted to adopt 325 book titles to be used during the upcoming school year. All the books were chosen from a state-approved list, and were reviewed by a committee comprising (Karl’s comment: This librarian needs a spell checker.) of board members, teachers, and parents. LIE The books were then on display for two months at Kanawha Country (Karl’s comment: This librarian needs a spell checker.) Public Library for anyone to examine.

With zero objections to 325 elementary school readers and textbooks chosen from a state approved list, Kanawha County officially adopted each title into the curriculum of the upcoming school year. TWISTED Before moving on to other business, the meeting was interrupted with an objection.

The challenge came from Alice Moore — who the board was unfortunately all too familiar with. Mrs. Moore — who was neither an educator, board member, or even a parent LIE — had successfully lobbied to have sex-education removed from all Kanawha County schools in 1970. Fronting a group calling themselves MOTOREDE (Movement to Restore Decency), LIE she had somehow convinced enough trustees to vote against “the growing menace of school courses on sex.”

Moore was back now, stating incorrectly that the trustees had not given the public enough (Karl’s comment: sic) to review any of the chosen books. She demanded that they all be sent to her home for review. Although illegal LIE (the state dictates that books are to be reviewed by professional educators), the board agreed to send them to her, probably in hopes this would placate her and she would go away. PETTY

No such luck. Moore was outraged, claiming that 325 different books by hundreds of authors and various publishers were somehow all “filthy trash, disgusting, one-sidedly in favour of blacks, and unpatriotic.” LIE Sensing zero outrage from the board, she proceeded to contact Mel and Norma Gabler of Hawkins, Texas. LIE

The Gablers were professional textbook protesters, PETTY calling their business Educational Research Analysis. All three of those words certainly didn’t apply to the organization, or even to the Gablers themselves, PETTY who felt modern education was destroying society. TWISTED They launched lengthy campaigns against books that taught evolution, sex education, contribution by minorities, critical thinking, and any book that dared claim slavery was wrong. LIE

The Gablers furnished Moore with all the help she needed, LIE and soon she was reading excerpts from the offending school books at community events, over the radio and on television. LIE And what should have been seen as an inane crusade by someone with too much time on their hands, somehow began to gain ground. PETTY

The first sign was during the spring PTA meeting, which erupted into a screaming match as exactly half the members were siding with Alice Moore, and half were not. LIE This was soon repeated when a coalition of interdenominational ministers from ten separate churches issued a statement supporting the school board’s choice, only to be met by a statement from exactly ten other churches voicing their dissent.

New organizations began to appear, ones with names such as Magic Valley Mother’s Club, Christian-American Parents, and Concerned Citizens began to petition and picket the school board. Supporting the board were the NAACP, the YWCA, and the West Virginia Human Rights Commission.

The first week of June saw Kanawha County papered with flyers which excerpted passages from two books: LIE Sol Gordon’s ‘Facts About Sex for Today’s Youth’ and Kate Millet’s ‘Sexual Politics.’  Printed beside the “filthy” experts (Karl’s comment: This librarian needs a spell checker.) were graphic illustrations of male and female genitalia.

That the accompanying pictures came from neither book, or the more obvious fact that the titles alone are clearly not elementary school readers, was someone lost on a growing number of outraged citizens. TWISTED When the offending passages and illustrations were not found in any of the newly adopted books, many felt the school board was simply lying about them.

The third week of June that year saw the school year end, but also saw a number of protest groups not from the county set up camp. These included the National Parents Organization, the Guardians of Traditional Education, LIE and the Ku Klux Klan. TWISTED

A quiet summer was the calm to all that followed.

The first week of school in September coincided with a wildcat miner’s strike, LIE who sought to reduce coal stockpiles until their union ratified new wages with the government. The miners extended their wage goals with that of the book protesters , LIE and thousands of miners began to picket elementary schools. LIE Fearful parents simply kept their children at home, causing an unwanted boycott of every school in the cou nty. LIE

Two fundamentalist preachers from out of state arrived, and became the de facto leaders of a county now under siege.  One addressed a large crowd and actually urged them to ask God to kill the members of the school board. The other made no such shocking statements, instead he dynamited two elementary schools (which were thankfully empty due to the miners’ strike). Things go from bad to worse from here, as numerous homes of both school trustees and mine officials begin to be bombed. LIE LIE LIE

Violence, including beatings and shootings erupt all over the county, LIE with school board trustees fearing for there (Karl’s comment: This librarian needs a spell checker.) lives. Members of the press including a CBS television crew are severely beaten by protesters. TWISTED Police escorting busloads of children are halted by sniper fire. LIE

The National Guard was sent in after more school bombings, car bombings, and physical beatings. A superintendent and two administrators were placed under citizen’s arrest at gunpoint, LIE charged with “contributing to the delinquency of minors.” They were later freed by the actual police.

A protest of thousands marched through Charleston, holding signs readings “Trash is for Burning” TWISTED a not so veiled threat at city officials. LIE Things took a giant step towards the unthinkable when police uncovered a plan to dynamite school buses full of children. TWISTED

And that was somehow that. The very close murder of the children caused everyone to step back. The protesters went back to their home states, LIE the schools reopened, and the perpetrators of violence were handed lengthy prison sentences .  TWISTED Even Alice Moore who began it all stated “I never dreamed it would come to this.” TWISTED

The following April, the Kanawah (Karl’s comment: This librarian needs a spell checker.) County School (Karl’s comment: sic) once again voted to adopt all 325 books off of the state approved list. Not one person objected, and they were all made part of the curriculum the following fall. LIE

Mike Selby is Reference Librarian at the Cranbrook Public Library