Oral History

The oral history collection includes transcriptions from the “I Remember Hour” series from the 1980s, as well as other interviews from more recent times.

Notes: We are regularly working to transcribe these oral histories and though it will take time, check to see if the title of the program is in a different color. If you hover your mouse over it, you may get a link to a PDF file of the transcript. You will need a PDF reader installed on your computer to read it.



Wynne S. Christensen “I Remember Hour” Collection

In 1984, Congressman James Mackay, who served as President of the DeKalb Historical Society (1984-1986), developed the idea to create an oral history collection to document the history of DeKalb County, Georgia. His plan called for interviewing public officials, teachers, shopkeepers and other longtime residents of DeKalb who had different experiences and memories to share. These interviews were usually an hour long and thus were known as the “I Remember Hour.” Wynne S. Christensen was a staff member of the DeKalb History Center in the 1980s and a resident of the Druid Hills area.  Funds were donated in Christensen’s name for us to preserve this valuable collection. As a result, the Wynne S. Christensen “I Remember Hour” Collection has now been digitized and contains over 130 interviews on DVD. Notes and transcriptions (if available) for these recordings are available in the reading room, and increasingly as PDF files from this page.

The collection features a variety of  people and covers many subjects.  There are two programs on the 1996 visit of the Olympic Torch to downtown Decatur, the 100th anniversary of the Tucker Baptist Church and the integration of Decatur High School.  Guests on the “I Remember Hour” include local judges Oscar Mitchell, Bond Almond, Clarence Peeler and Richard Bell.  The R.L. Mathis family talk about the dairy business in DeKalb, Thomas Vinson talks of public health issues, George Dillard talks of working for the FBI and Joe Pugh speaks about Baron DeKalb. Local resident Scott Candler, Sr. talks on identifying Georgia homes in a program from 1968, Pauline Pounds gives a talk on one-room schoolhouses, and Fire Chief Dudley Martin talks about fire services. Women during World War II, Hardman Cemetery, Scottdale Mill, Peachtree DeKalb Airport, Swanton House and the making of the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” are all included in this wide-ranging collection.

In addition to the “I Remember Hour” series, we also have “Then & Now” series and podcasts and/or DVDs of the DeKalb History Center’s Lunch and Learn series (see “Program Audio” page). There are also many compact discs and DVDs donated to the History Center for research purposes.


Some of the following presentations contain language that may be considered offensive; but solely in the interest of historic preservation, the DeKalb History Center has transcribed the presentation as accurately as possible. Otherwise the presentation and remarks therein are in no way a reflection of the mission and values of the DeKalb History Center, its employees, and its agents.


2012.3.1 Julius McCurdy, Mar 1982


2012.3.2 Charles M. Clayton, May 1982


2012.3.3 James Venable, May 1982


2012.3.4 Judges Oscar Mitchell and Bond Almand, Sept 1982


2012.3.5 Judge William Dean, Jan 1983


2012.3.6 James G. Lester, Feb 1983


2012.3.7 Verlyn Moore Jr. & Mrs. Douglas McCurdy, Nov 1983


2012.3.8 Nina Rusk Hosch, Emory Univ., Nov 1983


2012.3.9 Judson C. Ward, Emory Univ., Mar 1985


2012.3.10 Milton Scott, Sep 1985


2012.3.11 Clark Harrison, Oct 1985


2012.3.12 Brad Clement, Architecture of DeKalb, Oct 23 1985; Rod Bain, Eagle Scout, on Hardman Cemetery; Max Cleland, Oct 1985; Mike Mears, Nov 1985


2012.3.13 Judge Clarence Peeler, Jan 1986


2012.3.14 Fannie Eberhart; Maj. Fred Howard, Feb 1986


2012.3.15 Judge Richard Bell, Mar 1986


2012.3.16 Julius McCurdy, Sept 1986


2012.3.17 Hugh Howell, Jr., Jan 1984


2012.3.18 Mr and Mrs. Sam Hastings; Wheat Williams, Mar 1984


2012.3.19 Julius McCurdy, Robin Harris, Jas. Mackay,  Apr, 1984 


2012.3.21 Chief Dudley Martin, Sep, 1984; Dr. Wallace Alston, Nov, 1984


2012.3.22 Dr. Thomas O. Vinson, Feb 1985


2012.3.23 Grace Hanson, Mar 1985


2012.3.24 Wyman C. Lowe, Apr 1985


2012.3.25 R.L. Mathis family, Dairying, Oct 1986


2012.3.26 Steffan Thomas, painter, Nov 1986


2012.3.27 Commander Bennie Wilkens, Jan 1987


2012.3.28 Sarah Furse, Feb 1987


2012.3.29 Dr. Lawrence Matthews, Dr. Carl Renfroe, Mar 1987


2012.3.30 John Evans, May 1987


2012.3.31 Dorothy Nix


2012.3.32 Mayor Dub Brown of Chamblee, Oct 1987


2012.3.33 “Doc” Manget Jan, 1988


2012.3.34 Andy Robertson, Feb 1988


2012.3.35 Whitfield Smith, Clerk of the Court, Mar 1988


2012.3.36 Caroline Ridley Howard; John Ridley, Apr 1988


2012.3.37 Dr. T.O. Vinson, Dir., DeKalb Health, May 1988


2012.3.38 Judge Clarence Peeler and Noah Stone, May 1988


2012.3.39 Mrs. J. Don (Geraldine) Aderhold, Oct 1988


2012.3.40 J.C. Bailey, his Shoe Shop on the square, Nov 1988


2012.3.41 B. J. Smith, 1988


2012.3.42 Tom O. Davis, Jan 1989


2012.3.43 Kent Randolph, Tucker Resident, Feb 1989


2012.3.44 George Dillard, Mar 1989


2012.3.45 Margaret Bridges, Apr 1989


2012.3.47 Jim Anderson, May 1989


2012.3.48 J. Davidson Phillips, Pastor of Decatur Presbyterian Church, Nov 1989


2012.3.49  Talmadge Amberson, Pt 1


2012.3.50 Talmadge Amberson, Pt 2


2012.3.51 Willie Austin, Oct 1989


2012.3.52 Bobby Burgess, Feb 1990


2012.3.53 William Breen, Architect, Mayor, Mar 1990


2012.3.54 Delores Stockard, Apr 1990


2012.3.55 Bill Evans, May 1990


2012.3.56 Tom J. Fountain, Oct 1990


2012.3.57a-d Daniel Hopkins, Jeanette Hopkins / Livingston, Cora Cash Henderson, / Frances Lanford, Willie Arnold, First Baptist Church of Tucker, 1993


2012.3.58 C. Campbell, Feb 1991


2012.3.59 Horace Ward, Mar 1991


2012.3.60 Ga. State Convention, Sacred Harp, part I, Mar 1995


2012.3.61 Ga. State Convention, Sacred Harp, part II, Mar 1995


2012.3.62 City of Dunwoody Remembers, Feb 1994


2012.3.63 Ira B. Melton on Pine Lake


2012.3.64 Cities of Tucker & Lithonia, Sep 1994


2012.3.65 Virgil Hopkins, Sep 1991


2012.3.66 Robertson Brothers, Nov 1991


2012.3.67 Col. Tom Hensler, Feb 1993


2012.3.68 Lunch & Learn, Sue Ellen Owens, Apr 1994 / Baron DeKalb, by Joe Pugh


2012.3.69 Sam Knuckles Remembers, Jun 1993


2012.3.70 Georgia State Convention of Sacred Harp/shaped note singers, Decatur, Mar 1994


2012.3.71 Margaret W. (Jane) Pepperdene, Agnes Scott professor of English, date unknown


2012.3.72 Olympic Torch Relay/Para Olympics, 1996


2012.3.73 Scottdale Black Community, Sep 1995


2012.3.74 Georgians & the Holocaust


2012.3.75 Making of the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” (for research purposes only)


2012.3.76 Mrs. Pauline Pounds and Swanton House, 1994


2012.3.77 Paige Perkins/Chamblee Remembers, Nov 1996


2012.3.78 DeKalb insurance agents: Jim Anderson, David Crosby, George Whiting


2012.3.79 Torch Relay at Old Courthouse, Jul 1996


2012.3.80 Tom Keating on Saturday School, Oct 1996


2012.3.81 Bobby Burgess (also see tape 52), Mar 1997


2012.3.82 Franklin Garrett, May 1995


2012.3.83 Liz Salter, Tom Preacher, Vera Hiller, Jun 1995, Druid Hills


2012.3.84 Walt Drake, Joe Pugh on Stephen Decatur and Baron DeKalb, Apr 1995


2012.3.85 DeKalb Historical Society 50th Anniversary Dinner, Aug 1987


2012.3.86 Jim Anderson on Mr. DeKalb, 1990


2012.3.87 Professor Clayton


2012.3.88 Julius McCurdy


2012.3.89 Mrs. Albert Burke


2012.3.90 Winnona Park Neighborhood Association


2012.3.91 Wyman Lowe


2012.3.92 Brad Pepharn, Max Cleland, Mike Mears, Clement Archie


2012.3.93 Decatur’s 175th Anniversary


2012.3.96 Sacred Harp/Shaped Note Singers


2012.3.97 Decatur High School Desegregation, Feb 24 1999, Decatur Business Bureau event


2012.3.98 Clarkston


2012.3.99 Dolly Wolf, Evelyn Boring, Margaret Carf, Cecil Beach – Decatur Library; Jun 1997


2012.3.100 Dr. Ruth Schmidt


2012.3.101 Manuel Maloof


2012.3.102 Dr. Wade Huie, Jr.


2012.3.103 Ken Thomas on genealogy (1997)


2012.3.104 Earnest Adkins/DeKalb Medical Center


2012.3.106 Congressman Mackay retirement party, Decatur Federal Skyroom


2012.3.107 Sue Ellen Owens & Walt Drake on Stephen Decatur (1997)


2012.3.109 Justice in DeKalb, Session One, Feb 1999: Tom Davis, Clarence Peeler, Edward Wheeler


2012.3.113 John Lewis


2012.3.125 a) old courthouse roof repairs b) Mr. Bill Brice? c) Presentation of Pike Cty. book d) Bill Hall (Robb?) dinner and roast


2012.3.126 Decatur Schools superintendents: Renfroe, Simmons, Griffith, Love


2012.3.127 Decatur Federal, Jan 2002


2012.3.128 Glennwood School, Decatur, Feb 2002


2012.3.130 Richard Sams on “Civil War DeKalb”


2012.3.131 DeKalb’s Rural Roots, Sep 2002


2012.3.132 The Nelms and Sams families 1930-1950, Mar 10 2003


2012.3.133 Mayors and their Cities, Mar 2003


2012.3.134 Scott Candler Sr.


2012.3.135 Politics of Preservation, May 2003


2012.3.136 Guss Simpson, 1991


2012.3.137  Mrs. James Mackay


2012.3.138 Bedros Sharian


2012.3.139 C. Judson Ward on the US Constitution, Nov 1987


2012.3.140 John Pruitt and Jerry Crane, top DeKalb news stories


2012.3.141 Lunch and Learn Avondale Estates, Terry Martin-Hart, Nov 17, 2009-2 discs, one audio and a second with photographs used in presentation (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.143 Mt. Zion Church, Nov 21, 2009; raw footage


2012.3.145 George Rikard Confederate grave marker dedication, Alston House, Oct 2001


2012.3.146 Betty Asbury Hosts: The history of Doraville with Horace Creel, Fannie Mae Jett, Dr. Pagenhart, Jul 1999


2012.3.147 Shermantown Living History Project – Stone Mountain Charter School, May 2000


2012.3.148  History maker award presented to James Mackay, Mar 10 2002


2012.3.149 Tim Timmons interviews Grace Gober on Tucker in the 1920s, Mar 18 2002


2012.3.150 Who Runs Georgia, Nov 10 1998


2012.3.151 DCTV presentation on the historic DeKalb courthouse clock


2012.3.152 Scott Candler Sr., honored Sep 23 1971


2012.3.153 Wilbur Kurtz Jr., May 27 1971


2012.3.154 Dr. Thomas Vinson, Jan 24 1985


2012.3.155 DeKalb newspapers, Apr 20, 2008


2012.3.165 East Lake Country Club


2012.3.166 Walter McCurdy


2012.3.167 DeKalb historic courthouse clock


2012.3.168 Rebecca Latimer Felton (re-enactment)


2012.3.169 Caroline Ridley Howard


2012.3.170 Jim Perkins


2012.3.171 Narvie J. Harris


2012.3.172 Elias Nour on PBS, Mar 1987 (for research only)


2012.3.173 Stonehenge and Venables in Georgia, May 12 2005


2012.3.175 Arbor Montessori/Mt. Zion Oral History presentation, May 2006


2012.3.176 This is Atlanta History PBS program, (for research only) 2005


2012.3.177 Lunch and learn Stone Mountain Dr. George Coletti, Jan 2009 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.179 Lunch and Learn MAK District – Scott Leith, Mar 2009 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.181 Lunch and Learn Tucker – Tim Timmons, May 26 2009 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.183 Davidson-Arabia Mountain nature Preserve and Heritage Area;  includes Cynthia McKinney, Pierre Howard, Max Cleland and others (see 2012.3.258 also)


2012.3.184 Charles Harrison, owner of Robert A. Alston house


2012.3.185 Bobby Burgess


2012.3.186 DeKalb History Center 3rd Annual Black History Month Celebration, parts 1 and 2, Law and Justice leaders, Feb 25 2010


2012.3.187 DeKalb History Center 2nd Annual Black History Month Celebration, parts 1 and 2, raw footage, Feb 26 2009


2012.3.188 DeKalb History Center 1st Annual Black History Month Celebration, African American Entrepreneurs, Feb 2008; Britt Fayssoux, Jerry Crane, Vivian Price and moderator Dr. Keith Hebert


2012.3.189 Robert Winebarger


2012.3.191 James Mackay at Druid Hills High School Black History Celebration, Feb 27 1996


2012.3.192 Assisting Crime Victims during the Olympic Games, 1997


2012.3.194 African American Schools, Sue Ellen Owens and possibly Narvie Harris


2012.3.195 Mysteries of Oakhurst, family home video


2012.3.196 Max Cleland on Larry King Live (for research only)


2012.3.197 DCTV’s Inside DeKalb, (for research only)


2012.3.198 Max Cleland Strong in Broken Places (for research only)


2012.3.199 2002 State of DeKalb County Address, Vernon Jones, CEO


2012.3.200 The Jeanes Supervisors – Striving to Educate


2012.3.201 Walter McCurdy speech to Northlake Alliance, 2003


2012.3.202 Building a Watershed Alliance (Peavine) (for research only), 2000


2012.3.203 Lonnie Edwards (Asst. Superintendent of DeKalb County Schools), 2000, on Sally Jessy Raphael show (for research only)


2012.3.204 South DeKalb Advisory Committee-Report to the Community on the future development of the DeKalb Medical Center campus at Hillandale (for research only)


2012.3.206 2003 State of DeKalb County Address, Vernon Jones, CEO; Memorial Tribute DCTV, (for research only)


2012.3.208 Popham seminar, Jun 21 1998


2012.3.209 DeKalb African American history on DCTV, hosted by Lyn Vaughn and Sue Ellen Owens


2012.3.210 Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, African American history, Sep 27 1999, Caroline Leach, minister


2012.3.211 Flag Forum, Jan 28 1993


2012.3.212 C. Judson Ward on Emory, Oct 22 1997


2012.3.213 A Most Bold and Daring Man – Stephen Decatur by the National Trust for Historic Preservation


2012.3.225 Oak Grove Elementary living history project: Interviewees: Marito Culwell, Archivist, Oak Grove Methodist Church; Wallace Nelms, born in Oak Grove, raised there in the 1930s, talks of African American education, interviewed by LaVerne Byas-Smith, Honor Berry, resident and real estate agent, Veronica Wood, assistant food services manager at Oak Grove Elementary, Jane Dunbar, Oak Grove parent, grandparent and volunteer


2012.3.226 A Dream Realized: DeKalb Medical Center at Hillandale


2012.3.227-231 Mt. Zion community oral history project, April and May 2006


2012.3.232 digitized film of Newt Gingrich’s family, circa 1920s?


2012.3.235-6 Experiences, Memories and Messages by Eron Miller, for research only, African American history, Mereda Johnson interview in two parts


2012.3.237 Lunch and Learn Druid Hills – Richard Sams, Jul 12 2009 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.246 Lunch and Learn, Teri Stewart on the John B. Gordon family of Kirkwood, Ranch house architecture (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.247 Talking Walls – School Desegregation – Ellen Jones, Jul 2009


2012.3.250 A Dramatic Reading of Shermantown, Aug 27, 2005


2012.3.251 Elizabeth Wilson history maker presentation, 2006


2012.3.252 DeKalb General Hospital Early Years


2012.3.253 Wilma Hipps on DeKalb Chamber of Commerce (video) (also see 2012.2.357 for audio only)


2012.3.254 Amazing Architects of DeKalb: Edward J. Sayward and Leila Ross Wilburn, Nov 17, 2005


2012.3.256 Dunwoody: The History and Heritage 1821-2003, for research only


2012.3.257 Ben Epps: The Legacy of Georgia’s First Aviator


2012.3.258 Arabia Mountain Heritage Area video, 2000; Selected interviewees include Max Cleland, Pierre Howard, Cynthia McKinney and Becky Kelley (see 2012.3.183 also)


2012.3.262 African American Lives – Johnny Waits and the Flat Rock community; for research only PBS production, 2006


2012.3.267 John Walter Drake on the history of Decatur, Sept 2010 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.268 Paul Hudson and Lora Mirza, Atlanta’s Stone Mountain: A Multicultural History, Jan 2011 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.269 DHC 4thAnnual Black History Month celebration, Feb 24 2011; DeKalb’s military heroes: Arthur Anderson, Reverend Thomas N. Bristow, Sr., James W. Gray and Ray J. Jones, Jr.


2012.3.272 Tucker High School Veterans Day program, Nov 11 2010: Harold Dye, Robert Spooner, William Carlysle, John Rice, Lt. Col. James Williams


2012.3.273 Ken Thomas on Presidential visits to the area, Mar 15 2011; Lunch and Learn (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.275 Civil War: The Battle for Georgia, for research only, no duplication


2012.3.276 Arthur Raper at Agnes Scott College by Clifford Kuhn; Lunch and Learn (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.277 Decatur Civic Chorus: 50 years and still singing, for research only


2012.3.278 1937 16mm film of congregation of Pattillo Methodist Church leaving their Oakhurst sanctuary


2012.3.321 Gussie Brown and her daughter Christine on Scottdale: Mill life, Hamilton High School, Tobie Grant, Jim  Cherry, Scottdale daycare center, Mar 2007


2012.3.332 Chamblee 75th Anniversary: mayors, councilmen, Mayor Dub Brown and the city logo. Nancy Creek and Prospect churches, Franklin Garrett speaks, citizens remember and brief history on the area, May 1983


2012.3.341 Clarkston Talk by Franklin Garrett of Atlanta Historical Society given at DeKalb College in the Fine Arts Auditorium, Sep 1982


2012.3.355 Betty Scott Noble and her father Philip Noble on living in the Scott Cooper House in Decatur, now site of the Rec Center


2012.3.356 Cleveland Browns player and Decatur resident Clarence R. Scott Jr.


2012.3.357 Wilma Grant Hipps on the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce (audio only) (also see 2012.3.253 for video)


2012.3.358 100-year old resident Carmon Elliott


2012.3.390 Mary Brown Bullock, Agnes Scott alumna and past president of the College


2012.3.391 Kathy Bruce and Kelly Thrasher on Decatur, the Waffle House and its museum


2012.3.392 Susan W. Shields, whose father was the agricultural director of the Honor Farm on Panthersville Rd


2012.3.393 David W. Scott, whose family began the Scottdale cotton mill (as well as Agnes Scott College)


2012.3.394 Kirkwood Lunch and Learn with Joe Alcock (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.396 Lunch and Learn by former Decatur mayor Elizabeth Wilson on the Beacon Hill African American area of Decatur (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.397 DHC 5th Annual Black History Month Celebration, Feb 2012


2012.3.398 Lunch and Learn on 20th Century Interiors given by Beth Shorthouse and David Ramsey, Sep 2011 (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.400 Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Lunch and Learn, Mar 2012; Mera Cardenas (also see Program Audio page)


2012.3.401 Judge Clarence Seeliger – Change & Transformation in the Courts of DeKalb County in the 1980s; Sept 2012


2012.3.402 6th Annual Black History Month Celebration at DeKalb History Center- Living Legends, February 23, 2013


2012.3.403 Understanding Local Historic Districts: Why is That House Historic?, Speakers Leigh Burns & Richard Laub; July 2012


2012.3.404 The Atlanta Nine and desegregation of the Atlanta school system, July 2013


2010.26 Undying Faith, Biracial History Project production, Antioch First, Baptist church, Edgewood/Candler park, 2007; The Unveiling: African American Legacy markers in Candler park, 2010


DeKalb Lawyers Association, March 24, 2005- “Minority Bar in the Courthouse”


Franklin Nix


Claudia Stucke– July 2018; Segregation, desegregation


Iris H-(audio) July 2018; Desegregation and related topics


Teri S- (audio) July 2018; Desegregation and related topics


Carole Midgette– (audio) February 2019; legacy of former DeKalb History Center director Gordon Midgette


Charles Turner– (audio) February 2019


Bob Joyner – Oct 2019; Dunwoody, Ben Hill, Georgia Tech, Treasury, bootlegging, Postal Telegraph Company


Pinkie Tyson & Margaret Sterling – February 2020; Scottdale, Eskimo Heights