The interactive documentary that I chose was about the McDowell county in southern West Virginia and how it is a dying county. It shows how since the 1950’s more people are leaving the county than those staying or coming in. It is a very eye openning documentary because it is happening to a lot more counties than we think in our own country. After WWII and thanks to coal mining, McDowell county experienced good growth and reached a peak population at 100,000 (which compared to Charlotte is tiny). However, this growth was unsustainable due to the coal mines shutting down, many people faced unemployment. They did experience some good through all of this though, in the 60’s Homer Hickam and his friends built and launched rockets that they built, he went on to become a NASA engineer and the famous movie “October Sky” is about him and his friends. Unfortunately, this was just about the only thing in McDowell county that was good. They faced fires destroying the theater, their steel mill shutting down, losing over 1200 jobs, poverty rates climbing as high as nearly 40%, and floods in the early 2000’s, devastating the already dwindling population. Today, McDowell county now has just 20,000 people, compared to the 100,000 they had just 60 years earlier.


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