Enterprise featured on PBS series ‘Human Footprint’

August 10,2023

The City of Enterprise Wednesday was featured on national television highlighting the story of the boll weevil and its impact on the city.

“The Ground Below” episode of PBS’s series Human Footprint featured stories about the history and science of cotton.  Enterprise resident and historian LaPonce Harrison spoke with host and biologist Shane Campbell-Staton about his own experience with the pest.

“I actually experienced the boll weevil on my cotton sack, on my hands, on my arms. You would knock them off, they wouldn’t bite. They didn’t bother humans, but they were devastating to cotton,” Harrison told Campbell-Staton as the two spoke while enjoying Boll Weevil ice cream at Milky Moo’s Deli and Creamery in downtown Enterprise.

“The boll weevil came and devastated this place. It devastated the rich, the poor, and in between. The people of Enterprise listened to Dr. [George Washington] Carver and those who had the agricultural ability to teach and to share. They listened to his advice and it brought the city back.”

Dr. Carver suggested crop rotation, with peanuts and sweet potatoes, to not only restore the soil, but to provide both income and food to farmers.

“This is some of the reason, I believe, the city is called ‘The City of Progress’ because they see how much it progressed by listening and taking good advice.”

“The City of Enterprise is always happy to share our story of triumph over adversity, especially on a national stage,” Mayor William E. Cooper said. “We were proud to be part of this episode showcasing cotton and hope people who watched it will come visit to learn more about Enterprise and see how far we’ve come since the boll weevil first came to town.”

The PBS crew filmed the roughly four-minute segment in July 2022. To view the episode, click here.