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Omnibus III

Oral History Project Questions

From The Well-trained Mind, Third Edition, Susan Bauer and Jessie Wise Bauer, 2009. This is a simplified version of the “Oral History Interview Outline” developed by Judith Ledbetter for the Charles City County Historical Society. Use as directed in class. 1. Record the name of the interviewer, the date, the time, and the place of the interview. 2. Record the name, and the general description of the interview subject. 3. When and where were you born? a. Names of parents, parents’ occupations b. Siblings? c. Birth assisted by a doctor or midwife? 4. What are your earliest memories about food and meals? 5. What do you remember about school? a. Transportation to school b. School buildings c. Subjects taught d. Teachers e. Discipline, sports, extracurricular activities 6. How did you spend time outside of school? What kinds of games did you play? What chores did you do? 7. Were you sick in childhood? What illnesses did you have? Who was your doctor, and what was he like? 8. How did you travel (foot, horse, wagon, auto, bus, train, airplane)? 9. Tell me about your holidays when you were small---birthdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving. Did your family have any special days? 10. What religion did your family observe? How did you observe it? 11. Do you remember going fishing/hunting, farming, gardening, or getting food in other ways? 12. What stores were near you? What were post offices like? How about banks? Where did people go for entertainment? 13. What stories do you remember your parents, grandparents, or other elderly persons telling? a. Slavery, Civil War, Reconstruction b. Bootleggers, stills, illegal activities, Prohibition c. Woman’s suffrage d. World War I e. The flu epidemic of 1917-1918


f. Ghosts g. Sensational crimes (lynchings, murders, fires, etc.) h. Racial relations 14. What do you remember about the Great Depression? 15. What do you remember about segregation in schools and other public places? How about other kinds of discrimination? 16. Do you remember when electricity/telephone service first came to your house? 17. What do you remember about World War II? a. Service in the armed forces b. Friends or relatives who lost lives c. Rationing d. Precautions e. News stories about the war f. Letters to and from home 18. When did you get married? What was your courtship like? How is is different from modern traditions? 19. When were your children born? Where? Were they born in a hospital or at home? 20. What do you remember about the Korean conflict? Were you affected by it? 21. What do you remember about the Civil Rights movement? a. Brown v. Board of Education b. Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. 22. What do you remember about the assassination of President Kennedy? 23. What do you remember about the Vietnam War? Did it have an effect on your hometown? 24. Could you describe the jobs you’ve held during your lifetime—your responsibilities, skills, the working conditions, the pay and benefits? 25. How has life changed the most since you were a child?