Video: Johnny Cash Sings About Kinzua Dam, Which JFK Didn’t Stop


Construction of the Kinzua Dam on the Allegheny River in Warren, Pennsylvania began in 1960, against the wishes of the Seneca Nation of Indians. It became operational on September 16, 1966 and flooded 10,000 acres of Seneca ancestral homeland and displaced 600 Senecas, who relocated to Salamanca, New York.

The Seneca Nation, the American Civil Liberties Union, and other groups tried to stop it, but President John F. Kennedy allowed the construction to continue siting the need for flood control. The dam was built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at a cost of $125 million to provide flood control on the Allegheny River.

"The federal government's decision to build the Kinzua Dam resulted in the gutting of the Seneca Nation's reservation; it submerged more than 9,000 acres of the Seneca's habitable land, their ancestral homes, farms, community centers, and burial plots, including the Cornplanter tract located in Pennsylvania, and their hunting and fishing grounds," reads "Dam Building and Treaty Breaking: The Kinzua Dam Controversy, 1938-1958," an essay by Paul C. Rosier published in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.

RELATED: 6 Things JFK Did—Or Didn’t Do—for Natives Before His Death

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Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
I love this, thanku for posting, I would've never come across it on my own.

Robert Lee Mills's picture
Robert Lee Mills
Submitted by Robert Lee Mills on
Had this record on a 331/3 album in the Navy and I was on an aircraft carrier USS Oriskany CVA-34 and we would play this over n over till we darn near wore the record out. I had the whole album Bitter Tears and now have it on CD. There will never be another Johnny Cash.............

HARRY CARTER's picture
Submitted by HARRY CARTER on
I love this

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
I miss Johnny's story telling. I remember watching his television show when I was a kid listening to his stories. Loved the ones about trains!

Bob Leazer's picture
Bob Leazer
Submitted by Bob Leazer on
More political cleansing of the lying treaty breaking politicians, Do not trust the bastards!!

kathi jock's picture
kathi jock
Submitted by kathi jock on
That Johnny Cash was one of a kind, alright. It's sad how our people have been treated, and yet he wasn't afraid to point out the wrongs being done.