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The Kanawha County Textbook Controversy

The Battle Moves to the Churches


Purchase of the books was delayed until a consensus could be reached, and Moore’s stance sparked an anti-textbook campaign. During July and August, the region split into two camps, with anti-textbook forces hailing predominately from the rural eastern end of the county and textbook supporters residing primarily in Charleston and other urban areas. Churches and ministers became actively involved in the movement. Some of the leading ministers on the protest side included Ezra Graley and Marvin Horan. Despite petitions bearing 12,000 signatures and public condemnation of the books by 27 ministers and others on the grounds of immorality and indecency, the board voted 3-2 at the June meeting to accept most of the books. In this image, Graley and Horan (light-colored jackets) march on either side of the Rev. Carl McIntire, a national leader of the conservative movement.

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