Darwin Payne was a 26-year-old reporter for the Dallas Times Herald the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. Assigned to the rewrite desk, Payne dashed to Dealey Plaza and wound up being one of the first to speak to Abraham Zapruder about the home video that vividly froze the assassination in time. For full story click here.
Ivor Bell, a former Irish Republican Army (IRA) leader, was aquitted last week of the 1972 kidnapping and murder of Jean McConville, for which he was accused at least in part due to tapes recorded as part of a research project at Boston College. In a statement to The Heights, former IRA member Anthony McIntyre noted his satisfaction with the court’s ruling. McIntyre, who was imprisoned for 18 years on murder charges before earning a Ph.D. in history, was responsible for conducting many of the Belfast Project interviews with former republicans. For full story click here.
Yuwali was a Western Desert woman whose story of first contact with European Australia in 1964 at age 17 was the subject of an award-winning book and documentary. The story, which Yuwali narrated, is the best-documented first contact event in Australia’s history. She was one of the last generation of Western Desert people to grow to adulthood in a completely traditional life. For full story click here.
Those with memories of Albany’s whaling history are being urged to share them before it is too late. Albany’s Historic Whaling Station’s new project aims to paint a picture of what life was like before the end of the whaling industry 41 years ago. It’s hoped the Whaler’s Tales: Oral Histories of Albany’s Past Whaling Community project can expand on the station’s small oral history collection, while those with a direct connection to the era are still alive. For full story click here.
An Aboriginal community in rural NSW fears their culture may be lost, as dry conditions and low river flows threaten the future of the Darling River. The Barkindji people have lived, hunted and passed down their oral history on the banks of the Darling for more than 40,000 years. Now the river is drying up due to over-extraction by irrigation upstream and drought. For full story click here.
The Boston College tapes which were meant to provide an oral history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland have been ruled “unreliable” as a veteran Republican was cleared of Jean McConville’s murder. For full story click here.
Oral history amplifies individual tales. Mixing contemporary accounts with memories and reminiscences added to the depth of these testimonies. I began to see that the cliches we’d become inured to – like those about the difficulty of finding accommodation in the 50s and 60s, characterized by the notes left in shop windows saying “No Dogs, No Black, No Irish” – had been seen by almost every West Indian I spoke to. Sometimes the impact of those daily humiliations had laid dormant but were still there, just beneath the surface. For full story click here.
According to an estimated statistic of International Telecommunication Union, “at the end of 2018, 51.2 per cent of the global population, or 3.9 billion people, was using the Internet.” In other words, nearly half of the world’s population is not online. What might happen once this significant amount of people eventually have access to the Internet? Although, as a history student, I cannot predict the future, I can still provide some observations from my digital oral history project in collaboration with an eighty-year-old former patient with leprosy. For full story click here.
The 2019 Oral History Australia Biennial Conference is almost here! If you haven’t already made arrangements, please book as soon as possible for pre-conference workshops and post-conference excursions here: – https://www.oralhistoryaustralia.org.au/article/oha-2019-conference-latest