Poverty: Misery at Vortex

POVERTY Misery of Vortex Bathed in the unforgiving harshness of massed TV lights, Senator Robert F. Kennedy pounded a table to still the chatter of shabby, tieless white folk crowded into the one-room schoolhouse at Vortex, Ky. The New Yorker, lowest-ranking Democrat on the Senate's Labor and Public Welfare Committee, had come to assess the plight of once proud Appalachian mountaineers who rank today among the poorest of America's poor.

For two days last week, Bobby and a caravan of 36 cars crammed with out-of-state reporters, committee staffers and electronic gear burned...