A Tribute to Carl Perkins (Film)

A Tribute to Carl Perkins

  •  Dee Davis and Anne Johnson
  •  1984
  • Color IconColor
  •  29:00
  •  3/4” U-matic
Film Description
Carl D. Perkins was sworn into office as representative of Kentucky’s mountainous Seventh Congressional District in 1949 and was serving his 17th term when he died suddenly in 1984. A brillant legislative strategist and home‑style politician who never seemed to forgot a constituent’s name, Perkins served as chairman of the powerful House Committee on Education and Labor where he sponsored bills that established and expanded Vocational Rehabilation and Education Programs, the National Defense Student Loan Act, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ChapterI), and the 1969 Coal Mine Health and Safety Act, which gave the federal government a mandate to protect coal miners and established the Black Lung Benefits Program. Most of A Tribute to Carl D. Perkins was videotaped in his hometown of Hindman, Kentucky as more than a hundred members of the United States Congress and over 3,000 Kentuckians paid their last respects. The film includes remarks by friends and loved ones as well as eulogies by former Senate Majority leader Jim Wright, former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, and Senator Edward Kennedy.

Screenings & Festivals
  • Kentucky Educational Television
  • WSWP/Beckley, WV
  • Blue Ridge Public Television
  • WSJK/Knoville

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"Carl Perkins was truly a legend. This film shows an outpouring of respect and affection for one man, but it also shows respect for an approach to government that looks after the sick, the needy, and those folks who are down on their luck." — Hindman Settlement School
“He had the largest hand I ever shook — with the possible exception of Ken Risner down on Ogden — and I would say, metaphorically speaking, he had the biggest heart that I know anything about.” —James Still