The 'Manatee County Oral History Collection' includes nine interviewees provide insight into the forced Manatee County busing confrontation that took place in April 1970. Among those interviewed are the superintendent and assistant superintendent of schools, aides to the governor, an attorney, a U.S. marshal, an assistant U.S. attorney, a journalist, and school board chairman. Subjects covered include Governor Claude Kirk and his advisors, Federal District Judge Ben Krentzman, county's intransigence to forced busing, racial climate, suspension of the school board, standoff between U.S. marshals and governor's aides, President Nixon's behind-the-scenes involvement, communication with Tallahassee and Washington, political impact on Kirk's political career, comparing Kirk with past Southern segregationist governors, NAACP, impact on Florida history and race relations, the media, county politics, among other topics.
The 'Manatee County Oral History Collection' is part of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program is an affiliated program of the University of Florida's Department of History. Its collections include approximately 4,000 interviews and more than 85,000 pages of transcribed material, making it the largest oral history archive in the South and one of the major collections in the country. The transcribed interviews are available for use by research scholars, students, journalists, genealogists, and other interested groups. Researchers have used our oral history material for theses, dissertations, articles, and books.
Digitization of the collection has been funded in part by the generous donation of Caleb and Michele Grimes.