Memories of a Lifetime : Dyess Oral History Project

Coming in 2019!

An oral history project to officially document the experiences of former Dyess colonists was launched during the 2017 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival in Dyess. Videotape interviews were set up with former Dyess residents who attended the festival and agreed to participate. Interviews were conducted by Ben Manatt, EAST facilitator at Bentonville High School, and three of his students, along with Dr. Ed Salo (history and heritage studies), Dr. Mike Bowman (media department), and Dr. Ruth Hawkins (Heritage Sites).

Additional oral histories were gathered at the 2018 Johnny Cash Heritage Festival, as well as the Dyess Reunion in July. The interviews provide a fascinating firsthand look at the federal government's successes and failures in conducting this New Deal social experiment.

To date, all of these interviews have been transcribed and are being reviewed and approved to make accessible to researchers. We plan to begin putting excerpts from some of these interviews online through this exhibit. Watch for periodic additions.

Click Here to Start the Exhibit.

Memories of a Lifetime