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Curriculum - 11th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1930-1945 (Kansas_Benchmark 2) - Dust Bowl experiences (Indicator 1)

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A Dust Cloud Rolling Over the Prairies (near Hugoton, Kansas)

A Dust Cloud Rolling Over the Prairies (near Hugoton, Kansas)
Creator: Stovall Studio
Date: April 14, 1935
This is a photograph of a dust cloud rolling over the prairie near Hugoton, Kansas. Southwest Kansas was among the hardest hit areas during the Dust Bowl. Dust storms, such as the one depicted here, could blow for a full day, coating everything in their path with a layer of dirt. It was taken by the Stovall Studio in Dodge City, Kansas on Sunday April 14, 1935. It is labeled #3.


Approaching Dust Storm in Middle West

Approaching Dust Storm in Middle West
Creator: Conard, Frank Durnell, 1884-1966
Date: 1935
This is a view of an approaching dust storm somewhere on the southern Plains. The photograph was taken by Frank D. ("Pop") Conard, a well known photographer in Garden City, Kansas. Dust storms, such as this one, rolled over the the southern Great Plains from 1932-1936, removing top soil from agricultural lands and prompting important changes in agricultural practice. The image is labeled #24 Conard.


Approaching dust storm

Approaching dust storm
Creator: Conard, Frank Durnell, 1884-1966
Date: Between 1935 and 1936
A photograph of an approaching dust storm in the Middle West; most likely in southwest Kansas. The southwest corner of the state was one of the hardest hit areas during the Dust Bowl. Dust storms, such as this one, rolled over the the southern Great Plains from 1932-1936, removing top soil from agricultural lands and prompting important changes in agricultural practice.


A study made of 719 rural rehabilitation families relative to their standard of living

A study made of 719 rural rehabilitation families relative to their standard of living
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1935
This study was compiled by Conie Foote, supervisor of home economics, and her county home advisers. The report includes an introductory note from Foote, who states that the goal of this study is to provide the rural rehabilitation program with essential information about the needs of relief clients during the Dust Bowl years. The study addresses several questions, including: "What is the present standard of living of the families making application for rural rehabilitation loans? Is there a standard below which a family cannot live and maintain health and efficiency?" To answer these questions, the report includes statistics, such as charts documenting housing conditions, the number of applicants in each household, the items of household equipment required by relief families, and the number of persons needing medical care.


Black Friday meets its master

Black Friday meets its master
Creator: Garden City Daily Telegram
Date: April 10, 1935
Several articles about life in the Dust Bowl can be found on the front page of this newspaper from Garden City. Articles of particular interest include two articles on "raging dusters," one on the winter wheat crop, and a brief article discussing the postponement of community meetings to distribute aid under the soil erosion program. The newspaper also includes articles about other newsworthy events occurring in Garden City and around the state of Kansas.


Canning kitchen in Wichita, Kansas

Canning kitchen in Wichita, Kansas
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: 1934
In this photograph, both male and female workers at a Wichita canning kitchen are canning meat that will eventually be distributed to relief clients suffering during the Great Depression and Dust Bowl of the 1930s. This program was supervised by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC).


Case work procedure requirement

Case work procedure requirement
Creator: Stutz, John G
Date: December 28, 1933
This brief letter from John G. Stutz, executive director of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee (KERC), was addressed to county commissioners, poor commissioners, case supervisors, and county relief committees across the state of Kansas. In the letter, Stutz outlines the essential elements of the relief program, including an admonishment that there were many families in need of relief funds and that the federal government wanted to ensure that adequate relief was distributed. Stutz also points out that these programs were the responsibility of the county commissioners and poor commissioners.


Citizens wearing dust masks in Liberal, Kansas

Citizens wearing dust masks in Liberal, Kansas
Date: 1935
In this photograph, residents of Liberal, Seward County, have donned gas masks to protect their lungs from blowing dust. The photograph was taken in front of the Red Cross building in Liberal, Kansas.


Couple lost in dust, wander thruout night

Couple lost in dust, wander thruout night
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: March 19, 1935
This article describes the harrowing experience of the Modlins, a couple from Esbon, Kansas, whose car was forced off the road during a dust storm. After leaving the car to seek help, the couple got lost in a cornfield. Mrs. Modlin suffered from cuts to her legs and injury to her eyes from the blowing dust.


Drought relief cattle in Kansas City stockyards

Drought relief cattle in Kansas City stockyards
Date: May 1, 1935
This photograph captures one of the hardships faced by families during the Dust Bowl--starving cattle. It was taken in Kansas City, Kansas, by the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, a state agency working to relieve the financial burdens of families suffering during the droughts of the 1930s. The KERC worked alongside the Agricultural Adjustment Administration, which began a cattle-purchasing program in 1934. Emaciated cattle (as in this photograph) were destroyed after purchase, and healthy cattle were shipped to slaughter with the meat being distributed to poor families needing relief.


Dust clouds rolling over the prairies, Hugoton, Kansas

Dust clouds rolling over the prairies, Hugoton, Kansas
Creator: Stovall Studio
Date: April 14, 1935
This is a postcard view of a dust storm rolling over Hugoton, Kansas, on Sunday, April 14, 1935. Southwest Kansas was among the hardest hit areas during the Dust Bowl. Dust storms, such as this one, rolled over the southern Great Plains from 1932-1936, removing top soil from agricultural lands and prompting important changes in agricultural practice. The photograph was taken by Stovall Studio, Dodge City, Kansas, and is labeled #5.


Dust storm's sweep awe-inspiring, fearful, yet beautiful, says Mrs. Doane

Dust storm's sweep awe-inspiring, fearful, yet beautiful, says Mrs. Doane
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: February 28, 1935
This brief article includes excerpts from a letter written by Gertrude Fay Doane, a grade-school teacher in Winona, Kansas. She vividly describes a dust storm that hit her schoolhouse, writing that "clouds, rolling like smoke from the horizon high into the heavens, interspersed by sheets of dark blue, were being driven by some horrible force onward toward us." Doane also recounts the next day's rabbit drive and applauds the optimism of western Kansans in the midst of the Dust Bowl.


Dust storm, Morton County, Kansas

Dust storm, Morton County, Kansas
Date: Between 1933 and 1937
This photograph depicts an approaching dust storm in Morton County, Kansas, during the 1930s. Morton County, in the southwest corner of the state, was among the hardest hit areas during the Dust Bowl. Dust storms, such as the one depicted here, could blow for a full day, coating everything in their path with a layer of dirt.


Dust storm collection

Dust storm collection
Creator: Kansas Authors Club
Date: 1934
This collection of poems, written during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, provides insight into the hardships of daily life in drought-stricken Kansas. The poets' subjects range from harsh despair created by persistent dust storms to thankful verses about much-needed rain. The poems appeared in the Kansas Author's Bulletin.


Dust storm in Topeka, Kansas

Dust storm in Topeka, Kansas
Date: March 20, 1935
Although Topeka lay outside the area affected most by the Dust Bowl, residents of Topeka did suffer from blinding dust storms. This photograph depicts a particularly fierce storm that hit Topeka on March 20, 1935. The photograph was looking north on Kansas Avenue from 7th Street.


Dust storm so severe Kansans were lost in yard of own farm home

Dust storm so severe Kansans were lost in yard of own farm home
Creator: Topeka Journal
Date: March 23, 1935
This article recounts the harrowing experience of Mr. and Mrs. Francis Blender of Monument, Logan County, who were caught unprepared during a dust storm in 1935. The couple was trying to round up their chickens to put them in the hen house when the storm hit, and they quickly became disoriented by the dense, blowing dirt. Luckily they safely found their way to the house.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: March 31, 1936
This letter from Edna and Bill Heim was sent to Clarice Snoddy, a resident of Topeka. The Heims were caring for Snoddy's farm in Smith County and frequently updated her on its condition. According to Mrs. Heim, the wheat crop on Snoddy's farm was doing as well as could be expected during a drought. Also, in anticipation of Snoddy's visit, Heim gave her directions to their farm in Kensington, Kansas.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: March 25, 1936
This letter from Edna and Bill Heim was sent to Clarice Snoddy, a resident of Topeka. The Heims were caring for Snoddy's farm in Smith County and thus remained in close contact. Mrs. Heim describes the condition of the wheat crop, which has suffered during the drought and also expresses her distaste for relief programs. According to Mrs. Heim, the only people who receive relief are those who have not "helped themselves."


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: May 24, 1937
This letter from Edna and Bill Heim of Kensington, Kansas, was sent to Clarice Snoddy, a resident of Topeka. The Heims were caring for Snoddy's farm in Smith County and frequently updated her on its condition. Edna, who wrote the letter, was please to announce that they had had half an inch of rain, and Bill had checked on Snoddy's farm to see how the wheat was faring.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: May 11, 1936
This letter from Edna and Bill Heim was sent to Clarice Snoddy, a resident of Topeka. The Heims were caring for Snoddy's farm in Smith County and frequently updated her on the status of her farm. According to Edna Heim, Smith County had experienced rain on and off for the last few days, which had prevented her husband Bill from planting any corn on Snoddy's farm. Heim also mentions her chickens and her vegetable garden.


Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy

Edna Heim to Clarice Snoddy
Creator: Heim, Edna
Date: August 31, 1938
Tenant farmers Bill and Edna Heim of Kensington, Kansas, wrote this letter to farm owner Clarice Snoddy of Topeka regarding drought conditions and government soil conservation programs on the farm. The letter demonstrates the use of local and federal government programs to counter the removal of a dangerous amount of topsoil from farms on the southern Plains. Kansas began appealing for emergency federal aid in 1937 to counter sever drought and wind erosion in what is commonly known as the Dust Bowl.


Excerpts from taped interviews with John Stadler

Excerpts from taped interviews with John Stadler
Creator: Stadler, John
Date: 1979
This oral history interview with John Stadler, Stevens County, describes his experiences during the dust bowl of the 1930s. He devotes much of the interview to reminiscing about how these dust storms interrupted the daily routines of those living in western Kansas. Stadler worked for the local gas company, and he also supervised the drilling of 443 wells near Hugoton. Copied from Dust Storms as Remembered by Hugoton Citizens.


Ghost cornfield

Ghost cornfield
Date: 1934
This photograph, taken in Barber County at the height of the Dust Bowl, demonstrates the effects of severe drought. Cornfields such as these also contributed to blowing dust because the root systems of corn plants were too shallow to hold loose dirt in place.


Harry Umberger to Willard Mayberry

Harry Umberger to Willard Mayberry
Creator: Umberger, Harry
Date: December 23, 1933
This letter from Harry Umberger, the Director of Extension at Kansas State College (now Kansas State University), was addressed to Willard Mayberry, secretary to Gov. Alf Landon. The letter discusses the reduction of railroad transportation rates for livestock feed, because the depression, combined with the droughts of the 1930s, had made it difficult for farmers to feed their livestock. Umberger recommended that the rates be reduced for at least thirty days (preferably sixty days) in order to keep stock alive during the winter. The letter is accompanied by a state map labeling the counties who needed these rates, with the red shaded section indicating which counties were in the greatest need.


Home economics

Home economics
Creator: Kansas Emergency Relief Committee
Date: June 22, 1934
This bulletin, signed by John G. Stutz, executive director of the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee, describes their policy of encouraging home canning as part of a larger home economics project. In order to help families make the most out of their food supplies, the committee hired a Home Economics Specialist named Conie Foote to teach housewives about canning. Assistance would be provided for families on relief.


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