Navigation Menu+

“Barefoot girl in door”

Jack Corn
February 1964
Jack Corn Collection, Vanderbilt University Special Collections

The wife and children of miner Thomas Marlowe stand in the doorway of their home. Marlowe, a father of eight, had been paralyzed for life when the roof collapsed on him in a small mine. Corn recalls that “Mrs. Marlowe asked us at first not to take her picture, because she wasn’t dressed properly. Three of her children came to the door of the cabin…Denise, one of her children, was barefoot. She was charming and beautiful.” This photograph was later selected by Lady Bird Johnson to be used as part of the publicity for Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty. President Johnson made the statement in Knoxville, Tennessee, while running for reelection “There will be no more barefoot little girls standing in the doorways of mountain cabins.”